Even though summer is here and in full swing, students will be flocking back to higher learning before we know it. And while this often means a time of change, it also brings a whole new chapter of anticipation and opportunity – for students and business owners, alike.
Your back to school (BTS) marketing campaign should never be an afterthought. In fact, this time of year is the perfect opportunity to get noticed, dominate buying patterns and acquire new customers. According to The National Retail Federation, shoppers spend more on back to school than consumers spend on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day combined. To top it off, back to school spending is estimated to hit close to $83 billion.
So, are you ready to capitalize on this opportunity? It’s time to get your wheels turning. Here’s how your company can leave a lasting impression and create a strong back to school marketing campaign:
Study: Create a compelling foundation
First things first; your back to school campaign won’t be effective if you’re marketing the wrong products or attracting the wrong type of audience. In saying this, before crafting your campaign, ask yourself the following: which of my items or service offerings will people want to purchase the most, during this specific time of year?
To help get your campaign underway, don’t forget to look at your historical data and purchase behavior. Which items were popular last year and drove traffic and sales? What did people end up buying or inquiring about the most?
Always remember that the back to school season isn’t just about the students. Parents, teachers and other professionals are also looking to take advantage and grab a good deal.
Prep: Timing is everything
Being saved by the bell isn’t really an option here. A recent Deloitte survey found that the bulk of shoppers (62% of them) made their back to school purchases before August and that they spent about $100 more than later shoppers did.
To hit the perfect ramp of awareness, it’s best to strategize and finalize your marketing plan in July, and to have everything in place by August 1st – at the latest. It should go without saying – but you’ll also be running the campaign through September 1 or Labor Day.
Make your mark: Leverage Direct Mail
In our books, direct mail always deserves an A+ and for those of you that think direct mail is ‘old school’ … think again! There is a reason why this particular form of marketing has stood the test of time. Whether you choose postcards, flyers or brochures, high-quality direct mail campaigns can help boost brand awareness and convert your ideal customer.
To grab the attention of your audience, make sure your offer has simple/tailored messaging and attractive design. A popular strategy is to offer a percentage or large dollar off of a minimum purchase. Coupons are also a great way to encourage the buyer to spend more. According to an Inmar shopping behaviour survey, 36% of back to school shoppers responded to an ad in their mailboxes in the past 30 days.
Even in a world of electronic media, direct mail can be a high-impact way to deliver a compelling message and engage with leads and prospects. If you need help obtaining a highly targeted mailing list or strategizing your campaign, DRMG can help get the results that you need.