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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » A question for professional school show performers (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Blair Marshall
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Montreal, Canada
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I would love to use postcards, but here in Canada the cost of mailing is the same, and actually when you get up to a booklet size envelope the oversize postcard is actually more! In Canada all is first class mail, 61 cent stamp plus close to 15% tax, so say 70 cents for the stamp.

I do have a postcard (just a photo, no offer etc.) that I send out individually on occasion. However that being said I would like to vary my material, so my thought is to have a special card done for a Fall mailing on it's own.

In my current mailing each envelope has a flyer for the specific show/product I am promoting, a reference page, a general flyer, a photo postcard and a business card, LOT's of STUFF to take out and look at!

Blair

P.S. Arthur I should have mentioned, in case someone points it out, I do have an ad twice a year in my local family directory. I do do some market specific promotional events, and recently only the odd ad on Craigslist....I think that covers it. Oh, I am also quite active on Social Media, mainly Facebook. So many "little" things I do to add to the whole!
Sam Sandler
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I should also mention that if you are doing a school mailing generally you should mail to:
principals- educational type shows such as no bullying, math, etc
nurse- healthy eating or fitness shows
PTO- fund raisers and family night shows.

not always but I have found this to be the general method in most schools. ultimately the principal decides and approves the assembly or evening event but you need to work the other channels first to get them to pitch the idea.

for my current show I address all the postcards and letters to the principal BY NAME.

sam
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Blair Marshall
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Montreal, Canada
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All my principal mailings go out with name, some other ones also. But ones where there is a changeover (PPO, H&S,etc.) it's by position.

B
stempleton
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I guess it's a good time to raise this thread again now that the new school year is approaching.

I have read what I think is every thread, and if I've missed it, forgive me. But my questions is, "when do you mail for a new school year?"

I ask because, if you mail in the summer, no one's there, and upon arrival for the new school year, your mailing is one in a thousand in the box, right? But, if your show is themed around, say, September or October, when should you mail, when schools typically start the new school year in August.

Would love to hear from all you who have mastered the art of school shows. Many thanks.
Steve
TomBoleware
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Hattiesburg, Ms
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There are people in and out all summer, especially the office.
I don't think they let the mail pile up all summer.


Tom
Do What Others Do And You Will Become Average

The Daycare Magician Book
www.amazekids.com/magic-downloads/childrens-magic-ebooks/the-daycare-magician/

Tom Boleware
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stempleton
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Hey, Tom, thanks. I have your daycare book and it has proven invaluable for that market.
TomBoleware
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Thanks Steve. Hope you have the new download version too.

I’m sure the public schools are a little different from state to state, but around here there is something going on in the building most of the summer;
things like summer classes, teachers redoing rooms, cleaning and remodeling, etc. Maybe not daily but I would think the mail would be read fairly often.

It would be interesting to hear from some of those that mail to the public schools and what their mailing schedule is.


Tom
Do What Others Do And You Will Become Average

The Daycare Magician Book
www.amazekids.com/magic-downloads/childrens-magic-ebooks/the-daycare-magician/

Tom Boleware
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Ken Northridge
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Atlantic City, NJ
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I like to have the mailing drop on the principals desk about a week before school begins, first day of school for Guidance Counselors, and a week after school begins for PTA/PTO. I used to do mailings in very early January too, but I got a very poor return the last time I tried that.

Since this thread started I believe direct mail has become less effective. I would love to know if anyone else is seeing that trend.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
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Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
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That trend has been happening for quite a while. I think there are places where physical mall may never go away and it is possible this is one of them. But it has been trending why down for quite a while.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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My experience is similar to Ken's.

I've found that Principals are in the schools a couple of weeks after the end of the school year, and a couple of weeks before the start of the next school year.

However, other staff such as secretaries and teachers aren't in the school until nearly the start of the school year.

That has been my experience when calling to get the current Principal's name in mid-August (schools in my area start in early September, and end at the end of June). *** In my area, there are online directories that publish the Principal's name, but those usually aren't updated until late September thru late October. So, you can't rely on them to be accurate in August and September.

In regards to mailings to school PACs (Canadian equivalent of PTAs), I usually wait until a week or two into the school year, to start on those. And generally, I mail to the title of "Parent's Council" instead of a name (those names are harder to obtain).

For the past few years, I've been including my rates in with my mailings to schools. That's my personal preference. That way, they are ready to book when they respond. I usually send a cover letter, rates sheet(s), & brochure, in an envelope.

Above, Blair explained why he would send a letter instead of a postcard. 6 years later, the reasons remain the same here in Canada. You don't save money by sending a postcard. Minimum postage is 85 cents plus tax, and some mailings are $1.27 plus tax because of their weight or size.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Chad C.
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I have done libraries and schools for the past 14 years or so, and when I did mailings it started as a brochure for the first mailing in August to the media specialist (school librarian) in an envelope with stamp on it. Then I would do 2-3 post card mailings - the first to the Principal/PTA President (I put it that way so it would have a better chance of finding one of the two mailboxes when the secretary looked at it. The second post card mailing was usually back to the Media Specialist as all my shows have a reading/literature theme to them.

These got a decent response rate - with the average % people have already mentioned - but here is how it goes beyond that. The postcards and brochures directed folks to my website and also had my phone and email on them. Once I got a call or an email and booked the program, I would ask the media specialist (99% of the time this is who booked me) to email the other media specialists in their system to let them know that the day before/after is available (or that the other half of the day is available if a half day was booked) - at which point I would oftentimes book at least one more school from their email.

Then, after the performance, I would email them a quick survey and then ask them to share their thoughts with the other media specialists if they would recommend the show. This would usually result in more bookings either that school year or the next - plus I would usually book the original school again the following year as my elementary show changes each year with the summer library themes.

I do mostly middle/high schools now, and some of them started with the postcard/brochure but then they spread the word and I have kept the original school and added others by their word of mouth - they will oftentimes also email the other media specialists across the state via there email list serv and I have many bookings from that. I haven't done any mailings in the last 6-7 years - it's been all repeat customers, referrals, emails, and the occasional conference. Some of my original schools are booking shows for the 13th year in a row this year - and new schools are still added as well. But I have gotten to the point where I book a certain number of the regular schools a year in advance - very much like the summer library market until I retired from summer shows summer before last.

So, I would definitely do a handful of mailings as you are starting out, but make sure to ask them to "assist" you in spreading the word - especially after they see your show and hopefully LOVE it! They are usually more than happy to do so and after a few years you can really lessen the mailings until you don't need them unless it's just an occasional reminder.

I do still hand out my post cards when I'm at conferences so I always have a few stacks of them for that.

Hope this helps!

Chad
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