It may be a gross oversimplification, but I think teachers see themselves as experts.
More than that I think they feel completely misunderstood and grossly undervalued. And to this I want to throw in another issue: I believe how teachers feel about themselves is important, because it determines how they will see your advertising.
In short this is a question of identity—of us (the advertisers) and them (the teachers). How you write to them reflects how you see them. If the teachers feel that how you see them does not reflect how they see themselves, then you can’t make a sale.
Of course, there is nothing novel in this thought, for today identity is often a source of conflict in our society. If the leaders of the USA were writing a new constitution in 2018 they sure as anything would not begin it with “We, the people” because today that grossing together of everyone seems, well, pretty ludicrous. It’s them, us, the other them, the other them, and then some.
What we have now is a twofold problem: to understand a group that we are not part of (unless you are a teacher who is running a business on the side) and to work out how we can communicate with them in a way that will encourage them to buy what we have to sell.
How we achieve that is by doing the opposite of the contemporary movement that reinforces separate identities. We, the advertisers, have to accept the teachers and their definitions of themselves and sell into that self-perception.
Of course, your view of how teachers as a group see themselves is a matter for you. I can only tell you my view as a person who was a secondary school teacher (rising to the glorious heights of being a head of department) and who still has many teachers as friends.
I see teachers as full of belief in the necessity of what they do, of their possession of critical knowledge and expertise, while seeing themselves as under-valued, exploited, underpaid, and largely mismanaged, working in a world that is grossly underfunded.
That’s a generalisation, but that is what we have to do as advertisers: we have to generalise to some extent.
Thus I see teachers as people who don’t respond to “BUY NOW!” and “END OF TERM DISCOUNT!!!” because they consider themselves professionals who make broader, professional judgements on what is good for the pupils and students they teach.
But here’s the twist: a substantial number of emails that teachers get are of the exclamation type. Which means that if you write an advert that treats them with the same regard as that in which they hold themselves, they will be more inclined to buy from you, not just because of how you write, but also because you are not the other fella.
If you are interested in reading further about ways of writing you might find this article of some interest. If you want to know about all the stuff we do, that is on www.schools.co.uk and if you want to have a natter, call Steve on 01604 880 927. For email communication it is Stephen@schools.co.uk