Improving Your Email Conversation Skills

We’ve all heard the phrase: It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. In other words, using the right message, tone and delivery are central to making sure your message is received. But, as marketers targeting educators know, there’s a bit more to it than that.

We’ve learned that with the educator audience, it’s who you say it to, whether it’s relevant, how you say it, and when you say it that matters. In that way, it’s just like any other conversation you’d have where you’re making a request; you have to adjust to who you’re speaking to.

Write Like You Talk

When we’re speaking with someone in person, we make these adjustments without thinking. When reaching out to educators via email, we need to apply the same considerations:

  • Who am I speaking to?
  • What’s important to them?
  • How should I say it?
  • When do I make the request?

For instance, let’s say you’re trying to sell new textbooks to 4th grade science teachers in Kansas City. Writing out your answers to the four questions above is a helpful exercise to get you started with building a successful email marketing campaign.

1. Who am I speaking to?

Once you’ve identified your target audience, in this case all the 4th grade science teachers in the Greater Kansas City area, ensure that you work with a quality data provider like MDR to obtain an accurate list.

2. What’s important to them?

You want to emphasize that you know who they are and what they care about. By personalizing the email with the teacher’s first and last name, speaking to their profession and expertise, referencing their city or school district, and, if possible, noting the last time they bought science books, you’ll be sure to capture their attention!

3. How should I say it?

No one has time for long emails. Craft a concise message in a relaxed, conversational style that clearly and quickly communicates the value of what you have to offer. Make it easy for them to say yes with clear CTAs, clickable images, and a responsive, mobile-friendly design.

4. When do I make the request?

Consider the timing of the email to reach teachers who are ready to say yes. While traditional wisdom in education marketing has been to catch educators’ attention in the first two months of the school year, we see educator engagement throughout the year. Our WeAreTeachers community interacts and engages all year long, including weekends, summer break, and holidays!

Keep the Conversation Going

We’ve all been stuck talking with someone who seems to be missing all the social cues and who drones on about themselves with no awareness that their audience has tuned out. Being a good email conversationalist is really about applying our real-life experience to our online interactions. Asking yourself the four questions as you create an email campaign is a great way to keep your conversations with educators flowing and engaging.

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