5 Consumer Habits of Teachers That May Surprise You

Are you a bot built solely to do your job? Of course not, and neither are teachers. So why do some marketers act like teachers don’t have lives outside of the classroom?

Getting to know the people behind the profession doesn’t have to be difficult. Teachers tend to be even more active online than the general population, making it the perfect place for marketers to understand and engage them in scalable ways. In fact, according to our latest “Teachers as Consumers” report:

  • 47 percent of teachers said they often click links posted by their peers on social media.
  • 71 percent said they visited Facebook in the past 30 days compared to only 55 percent of the general population.
  • 67 percent reported visiting Google in the past 30 days compared to 51 percent of the general population.
  • Finally, 44 percent reported wanting to purchase something after viewing an online ad.

Do you see some clues in those figures about the best ways to reach teachers? You might have noticed, for example, that Facebook and Google are incredibly effective channels. The best part is that teachers often take conversations about what they see on social media — a digital break room, of sorts — to the real break room. They’re more than willing to share new lesson ideas, classroom tips, cool products, and interesting stories they see on social media with other educators.

To see just how powerful social media can be with this audience, let’s take a look at one client’s recent digital campaigns. During the back-to-school season, office supply company Quill.com leveraged WeAreTeachers, MDR’s online community of nearly 2 million Facebook followers. Together, we produced two sponsored articles, which received a total of 92,000 page views, and a short video, which has had more than 18,000 views on Facebook. As a result, Quill.com’s product pages got more than 15,000 referral clicks.

Intrigued? I told you social media is a smart way to reach teachers. But, before you roll out your own campaign, you might want to know about some of the more surprising statistics from our “Teachers as Consumers” report.

Use these 5 consumer habits of teachers to guide you toward a grade-A strategy for targeting teachers:

1.  The average teacher’s total household income is 42 percent higher than that of the general population.

It’s true: Teachers aren’t paid as well as they should be. But many of them have more disposable income than you might realize. Teachers typically come from dual-income households, and most of them purchase financial products, investments, and insurance plans.

2.  Teachers are 25 percent more likely than other American adults to say the internet has changed the way they work.

The internet has become central to teachers’ daily lives, so it’s no wonder edtech entrepreneurs are betting big on classroom tools. Outside the classroom, teachers communicate, socialize, and make purchases online. Generally speaking, digital channels offer a greater bang for education marketers’ buck than traditional ones such as print, TV, or radio.

3.  Teachers dine out more often than the average American.

Are you listening, restaurateurs? In the past month, 94 percent of teachers ate out at a restaurant, compared to 85 percent of the general population. Teachers tend to prefer mid-price family chain restaurants such as Applebee’s, Olive Garden, and Buffalo Wild Wings. Consider using gift cards to teachers’ favorite eateries to drive contest participation.

4.  Teachers are 10 percent more likely to own a tablet.

PCs and Androids may be more popular with Americans overall, but teachers are actually more likely to own Apple devices. It’s the most popular brand among educators, edging out HP for the top spot followed by Dell. Apple’s professional learning program designed to support educators, Apple Teacher, may have something to do with teachers’ preference. So be sure that every app, email, and digital ad you create to target teachers is optimized for viewing on all types of devices — iPads, in particular.

5.  Teachers are almost 50 percent more likely than other audiences to be moved by an email promotion.

Email is not dead. Despite being flooded by promotional messages just like anyone else, teachers still open emails and click, click, click. Our “2018 Digital Marketing Trends” report found that average open and click-through rates across our client deployments in the K-12 market have increased steadily over the past two years.

When it comes to email marketing, though, bigger isn’t always better. All of our top-performing campaigns had an average campaign size of fewer than 700 emails. Personalization is also key. One client increased its open rate from 3 percent to 10 percent and its click-thorough rate from 0.13 percent to 0.54 percent just by personalizing the “from” and “subject” fields. The client also reduced its unsubscribe rate by 27 percent. Not too shabby for a small tweak.

As you can see, teachers make up an audience that’s full of surprises — but also full of opportunity. Be social, optimize your content, and keep a close eye on your metrics, and you’ll be well on your way to winning over teachers.

Not sure how to turn these insights about teachers into an effective campaign? Check out our guide, “Marketing to Educators: What You Need to Ace the Test,” on exactly that.