Sharpen Your Pencils; it’s Time to Plan for Back to School!

Yes, you read that right, Back to School. College students are just now settling in to summer vacation, and the break for younger students starts soon.  Know what that means?  It’s time for you to sharpen your pencil, put on your thinking cap and create a solid plan for Back to School!  If your products or services peak in the fall or are directly related to “back to school”, now is the time to start planning your marketing efforts.

Why now?  The number one reason to think about marketing now is to save time, money, and future stress.  A top benefit of this is that you have the opportunity to be in front of your prospects and customers early, planting seeds for when they are ready to start making their back to school and fall purchases.

Start early, but stay late.  Back to School is not just the month of September anymore.   Practices for fall sports, college classes, and other school activities often begin in the middle of August.  Busy parents and bargain hunters start to think about their fall shopping lists and projects in late July.  They expect deals and the ability to shop when it is convenient for them, not just during traditional seasons or timeframes.  If you want to reach these prospects and be top of mind when they begin to shop, you must start marketing to them in late July or early August.  Translation:  you must start planning and reserving ad space now!

You should also consider the parents/students who are shopping based on a schools supplied list in September, and bargain hunters looking to score deals on left over items near the end of the season.  Be sure your planning takes you through September and into early October to capture these prospects as well.

Shared Mail allows you the opportunity to put your advertising piece right in your prospect or customers hand.  Successful retailers are using shared mail to bring people in to their establishments and keep them coming back.  Back to School is the second largest retail season of the year (behind the holiday season) which means that half of the work to market yourself has already been done!  You don’t need to convince people that they should be shopping at this time of year you just need to let them know that you have what they need.  Shared mail is a tool that has proven to make that happen.

Use a combination of postcards, single sheets, and multi-page flyers to:

  • Offer special pricing on purchases of basic school supplies for K-12 students
  • Promote items needed as older students move into dorms or a first apartment (furnishings and other home supplies)
  • Promote back to school as a time for a parent to relax a little and take care of themselves (gym, spa, or cleaning services)
  • Offer seasonal service specials such as vehicle tune-ups before traveling back to school
  • Highlight all of your fall sports gear – or discounts on leftover summer gear
  • Remind everyone that you are the place for back to school fashions or new hair style

Shared Mail works because it is a preferred method for receiving marketing from local businesses.

It offers a sense of familiarity that is hard to achieve with other advertising mediums. Consumers look in their mailboxes every day for compelling messages to help them make smart buying decisions.

  • 72% of respondents in one survey read and keep the mail pieces that interest them
  • 30% read and keep the mail pieces that interest others in their home
  • 42% of consumers make one or more weekly purchases from the Shared Mail Package
  • 44% of customers visit a brands website after receiving direct mail advertising.
  • 39% of customers say they try a business for the first time because of direct mail advertising

The back to school and fall shopping season is a huge revenue generator for economy.  Shared Mail can help you get in on the action.  The fact is that it works, and you can share in the positive results.


If you are interested in learning more about how TMM’s Shared Mail program can help you prepare for a successful back to school season, contact us today.

(Sources: DMNews 2008, Informational Resources, Inc. 2010, USPS Deliver Magazine January 2011, Pitney Bowes, Choose Print, Print Is Big, Rochester Institute of Technology, 2013 Advertising Tracking Study by TNS Customer Studies, Valassis 2011, 2014 Statistical Direct Mail Facts, The Little Book of Big Returns 2011, USPS Small Business Brochure)

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