Edtech renewals rise 10% with scaleable direct mail strategy
Senior Marketing Operation Manager,
It was a unique opportunity to help drive something that was immediate and needed because education has gone through the ringer in the last couple of years.
Andrew Sarmiento didn’t end up at Teachers Pay Teachers by chance. The senior marketing operation manager made a conscious decision to bring his talents to edtech. It wasn’t about creating flashy direct mail marketing campaigns. Instead, it was a calling, motivated by his desire to be socially responsible. Now he’s using corporate gifting to give back to educators who need a little surprise and delight more than ever.
More than 50% of teachers suffer from burnout. Fortune magazine recently found that K–12 educators are more stressed than any other workers in America.
Teachers Pay Teachers looks to alleviate some of that stress. The online marketplace allows teachers to create, buy, and sell educational content. It offers more than 4 million resources.
But it’s the Teachers Pay Teachers cookies that are giving teachers something extra to smile about.
It’s all part of Sarmiento’s Sendoso-inspired marketing campaign. Now he has the data and an inbox full of touching emails (like the one below) to back it up.
Teachers Pay Teachers –
I just opened a box of cookies, and they could not have come at a better time.
This year has been a lot for me, and I took over teaching full-time as well as trying to be the head of the school seven weeks ago.
I will try to find the time, and if not, my director of operations will chat with you on my behalf.
Leveraging the law of reciprocity
It all starts with the law of reciprocity.
“Their time is valuable, and they’re dealing with a lot. So we wanted to help give something that would make them feel appreciated.”
The marketing manager originally used Sendoso to entice prospects with eGifts to increase meeting attendance.
Sarmiento quickly saw results. The attendance rate was 15% higher among teachers who received a gift card than among those who didn’t.
“That has become a mainstay of our process. We know gift-giving works. And for the deals that it does bring through, it makes sense for us to just give.”
The evolution of a direct mail strategy
Eight months later, Teachers Pay Teachers evolved its direct mail strategy by testing out physical corporate gifts. Sarmiento tapped into the Sendoso Direct Marketplace and found his biggest success by sending cookies from The Cravory to schools and teachers.
So why cookies?
Unlike an eGift, a box of branded cookies is a gift meant to be shared between front office staff or in a faculty room. The ability to share is key to leaving a lasting impression on educators.
Teachers Pay Teachers often engages with an entire school administration team, not just one person. Sarmiento found that sending a shareable gift allowed his company to win over the prospect and any gatekeepers.
“The benefit of people showing up to a meeting happy and grateful really resonates. It’s been making the sales team’s job easier.”
Increasing renewal rates with custom cookies
Incentivizing prospects with cookies helped the account management team too.
The cookies didn’t just reopen doors, they were securing deals with schools en masse in Q3 before the quarter even started.
“We were able to get a lot of meetings on the book, which is great for us, especially in the dead zone of summer, when people usually aren’t reachable.”
The results helped account managers meet their renewal quota a month early and led to the biggest revenue quarter of the year for Teachers Pay Teachers. The early returns helped the company more accurately forecast pipeline.
And like any good marketer, Sarmiento didn’t just assume that the cookie campaign influenced renewals. He tested it by tracking a controlled group of customers who did not receive cookies.
|Closed won %||16%||26%||+10|
|Closed lost %||6%||6%||=|
|Did not set a meeting %||41%||27%||₋14%|
|Quote issued – Commitment %||35%||39%||+4%|
Building a better marketing machine
Incorporating corporate gifts into Teachers Pay Teachers’ outreach has been a game-changer. What started as an effort to increase attendance rates has ballooned into new opportunities thanks to Sarmiento’s diligent vetting.
He found Sendoso online.
“I was looking for a marketing solution, and Sendoso kept being one of the top things to pop up.”
Sarmiento now streamlines his entire marketing campaign with Sendoso and integrations. He set up the system by using Zapier to trigger a send when a prospect books on their Calendly account. Automated corporate gifting means the sales team doesn’t have to do it manually.
The new marketing automation has drawn positive feedback from other teams, the C suite, prospects, and clients.
In fact, the cookies are mentioned in 16% of product feedback. People were eager to express their gratitude, so much so that Sarmiento stopped collecting the additional data.
The positive response resulted in C-suite buy-in too.
“What really won over our leadership is just the actual dollar amounts, and that we were able to compare.”
The money being spent was an important factor for leadership. The integrations, such as Salesforce, helped show Sendoso’s value and track each campaign.
“It all feeds into each other in a really organic way. You can map out the amount of money spent on campaigns. It gives us a robust platform whether it needs to be automated or a sales drive touch.”
Expanding Sendoso as a marketing solution
Don’t expect Sarmiento to slow down his direct mail testing.
The marketing pro is already expanding how his team uses Sendoso. It’s even helping him fix bottlenecks within the company when prospects get stuck in the sales cycle. He’s using the same cookie mailer to reengage customers who received quotes and then went dark without signing their contracts.
Next, he’s planning to explore additional gift ideas and empower the account management team to send gifts throughout the customer lifecycle as needed. Teachers Pay Teachers is even considering using Sendoso to create, scale, and send onboarding welcome kits.
“Teachers Pay Teachers has bought into what Sendoso can do for us. So we are just really exploring where it makes sense.”