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Best avenue for selling app to schools and school districts?

We are excited that our app for schools is now gone through a final beta and is ready for the real market. We are ready to reach out to schools and school districts.

Given that we are bootstrapping this company, we currently have limited resources. So I wonder what the group thinks the best sales and marketing approach would be:
  1. Cold calls?
  2. Higher a commission only sales person or two to make cold calls? (I know with commission only it can be hard to attract a good sales person, however we can pay high commission and our product will be reoccurring revenue).
  3. Email campaign?
  4. Direct Mail campaign?
  5. Google Ad's?
  6. Something I haven't thought of?
Thanks in advance,

Michael Meinberg
www.MobileAlertSoftware.com

22 Replies

Thomas Jay
2
0
Thomas Jay Entrepreneur
iOS / Server Architect / IoT / BLE / iBeacon / Apple Pay
This is an app for schools? As in Employees, Teachers, etc.?

There are so many free ones.

Best way to connect with schools might be face to face, then go to trade shows.

Once you have a few thousand active users they can tell others.

I would also focus on the Teacher Unions.

Apple had a complete company that focused on school apps, not games or learning but running and managing schools (Grades, parent / teacher interactions, etc) It was called Power School at one time (I think they are in Folsom, Ca). Maybe contact them and have them market it for you if its not in competition with one of their products.
Steve Gatter
0
0
Steve Gatter Advisor
Providing Masterminds to B2B Solopreneurs & Start-Ups | Niche Marketing & LinkedIn Specialist

I'd like to know more and would be pleased to discuss if Linkedin might be useful. Would you like to schedule a call?




Adam Pressman
3
0
Adam Pressman Advisor
I've helped a number of folks become millionaires. I'd like to do it a few more times.
SLED marketing (State & Local Government and Education) is challenging to say the least, you typically have bloated bureaucracy and anemic budgets. Relationships are key therefore I'd find a business that markets to the your target with a different (perhaps adjacent) service to what your app provides. Think about what your potential customers would buy before, during and after they buy what you're selling and that will help you identify the right kind of strategic partner with which you can trade leads, cross-refer or otherwise joint venture in marketing.
James Till
3
0
James Till Advisor
Vice President, K-12 Marketing
I might suggest a pragmatic approach to developing your go to market plan. Have you already identified who your school district buyer and influencer personas are? Did some of these types participate in your beta program? Are their experiences approved for sharing via your marketing efforts (presuming they were positive and can suit your needs)?

Proof of performance, ideally with outcomes associated with critical district objectives (pain points) is critical for winning the attention and dialog you need with district/school leadership. K-12 leaders are typically risk-averse and often rely upon peer networks to validate potential decisions. You may be best served to launch locally, or in a defined region where you can build a reputation of success among that community and, then expand - leveraging state-level organizations related to your app/solution category to spread awareness.

If your app offers a 'freemium' or intro. level model and can benefit teachers/students, you may also want to consider employing a targeted 'bottom-up' - strategy to compliment your efforts at the district level? This approach has proven effective for several current K-12 category leaders particularly among academic-oriented apps that can benefit from rapid teacher adoption. Obviously, this approach depends significantly upon your business model and how you expect to monetize your customer relationships over time.
Ilya Lipovich
0
0
Ilya Lipovich Entrepreneur
Angel Investor/Operations leader
You might want to try Facebook ad's. I know this has been successful for others. Very specific targeting could take you a long way. I might have someone to recommend to you if you decide to go this route.
Marc Schulman
3
0
Marc Schulman Entrepreneur
Educational Entrepreneur Reporter
When you figure it out please let me know- I have been trying to sell to schools history software for 20 plus years. The problem is that in every school and every district the customer is different. The purchase cycles very long so you never know what worked and did not. We have tried it all over the years and while we are still in business all these years later, we have had our good years and bad years, and often we never know why
Sidney Sclar
1
0
Sidney Sclar Entrepreneur
SID the SECURITY PRO at sidthesecuritypro.com
Check out cvc-mc.org for access to Montgomery PublicSchools and the Catholic Business Network for access to the area Private Schools.
Patrina Mack
1
0
Patrina Mack Advisor
Experts in global commercialization
You need to catch the school budget cycle so that you're trying to talk with them when they're in a buying mood. Each school has different priorities for what they're trying to improve in a given school year. This is sometimes posted on the school website. Depending on your product and what it does for the school you may wish to talk to members of the Foundation (fund-raising arm) or the PTA. They may have the funds for your product but they tend to be slightly more business oriented folks motivated by improving the educational experience for their child(ren).
Paul Goldstein
0
0
Paul Goldstein Entrepreneur
Chief Software Architect at Wearsafe Labs Inc.
What is the app? Who is it for? My wife is a school principal, is it for teachers/admins or students, parents?
Michael Meinberg
0
0
Michael Meinberg Entrepreneur
Teacher (iOS Development) at The Mobile Makers Academy (A Hack Reactor School)
Hey Paul: Our company wrote a mobile app that is designed to send alerts and notices to all school personnel. It started as a system that is designed to help with dangerous situations on campus: I.E: person with a weapon, bear, etc. In that scenario it is real advantageous to lock down the school immediately: get all teachers and students inside with locked doors. That was Mobile Alert Software does: using smart phones, it let's any school personnel send an alert to the whole school so that all other teachers and personnel can take appropriate action immediately.

We now also have a general notification system for personnel (Non-Urgent: I,E: "Power is out in Math wing", or "Snow Day, no school today") and are working on one for notifying parents of school issues and events.

Michael Meinberg


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