Teacher Spending Survey 2016 infographicAgile and SheerID partnered again for our third-annual Teacher Spending Survey. Compiled from the responses of more than 500 PreK-12 teachers across the U.S., our 2016 survey gives education marketers an insightful look into teacher spending habits. The results are in: Teachers still have tremendous purchasing power. Marketers just need to know how to tap into it. 

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Teacher Spending Remains Stable

Our survey revealed that teachers spent an average of $487 out-of-pocket to purchase items for their classrooms during the 2015 – 2016 school year — only a slight $3 decrease since last year. The number of teachers who spent $200 or more increased 6% over the previous year to 77%. A majority of the money teachers spent went toward purchasing classroom supplies and instructional materials.

Email Marketing Earns Respect

When researching how to spend those personal dollars, teachers looked to a variety of resources. Email, however, has become a highly valued source for product and program information; 66% of respondents trust email communication for information about classroom-related items. It trails behind word-of-mouth only as teachers’ most-valued information source.

When it comes time to make purchases, digital channels also prevail. More educators made classroom purchases online than in actual stores, with most making those purchases on computers, followed by tablets and smartphones.

Discounts Lead to Loyalty

Marketers can use that valuable email platform to reach teachers in the education marketplace. Even during the summer months, 81% of teachers checked email at least weekly, with some even visiting their inboxes as frequently as every day.

Email also is a great way to offer exclusive teacher discounts, which educators appreciate. An overwhelming 84% of respondents said they are more loyal to brands that offer teacher discounts. But that discount must be worthwhile: 74% said discounts need to be 20% or more to be considered worthwhile.

Many thanks to our partner SheerID and to our respondents for making the 2016 Teacher Spending Survey another success.


This article is based on a webinar presented May 18, 2016 by Jenny House of RedRock Reports and Steven Rowley of Acumen Partners. In it they shared their insight on the likely impact of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), specifically regarding changes to federal school funding and the ramifications for education companies.

Shifting Funding

The implications of ESSA are still evolving due to the profound changes in accountability at the federal, state and local levels. Central to ESSA are massive changes in how funds will be allocated to districts. The federal government will transfer accountability and funding back to the states, essential removing themselves from funding and accountability roles.

With this shift, companies must begin to look to every state as each will be designing its own unique accountability program. Once those are established, districts will work collaboratively with states to determine spending and accountability plans.

Despite these changes, there is something that remains the same: The federal government will continue to be in charge of allocating funds that have been approved by Congress. However, now it will be up to each state to provide a plan for how that money will be spent. The state plans will be evaluated through a peer-review process, and the federal government will appropriate the money based on the quality of each plan.

Evolving Implications

It’s important to know that nothing is set in stone, and that the outlook is constantly shifting as details of the transition from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) to ESSA emerge. It is safe to describe the new federal role as “light guidance” as it helps states develop their tools.

The success of your marketing hinges on understanding K-12 purchasing habits. Who’s buying what, when? And how are educators finding out about products and programs?

Our May 2016 survey revealed important insights into where educators research purchases, what purchases take place at the school and district levels, when purchases are made throughout the year, and more.

Take a look at the results

Download a PDF of the infographic.

Teacher Purchasing Survey Infographic

Agile can help you navigate the K-12 education market and make sure your marketing is reaching the right people at the right time with the right message. Let’s talk.

K-12 education is an exciting market. But depending on the product you’re selling the purchasing cycle can be bewildering and often frustrating. K-12 Education Marketing Cycle

Paving the way for a smooth sales process starts with tailoring your marketing communications to provide what educators need at each stage of the decision-making process. Agile's free K-12 Education Marketing Cycle guide is designed to help you better understand when, how and to whom to market throughout the year.

You'll learn:

  • How education buying works
  • The typical eduction buying cycle
  • What types of information educators are looking for at each stage of the buying cycle

Everything you need to know to be an email marketing pro!

Email has been a staple of the education marketer's toolbox for a long time now. While it may not be the newest and shiniest marketing tactic, it's one that can consistently deliver good quality leads and high ROI.

email guide 2016What works and what doesn't has evolved since early days of batch and blast email campaigns. Take a look at Agile's guide to Email Marketing Best Practices for the latest strategies and tactical tips for crafting email campaigns that are top lead generators for your organization. This guide covers:

  • Tips for avoiding SPAM filters
  • Strategies for getting your messages opened and read
  • Best practices for calls-to-action
  • Segmentation and personalization tactics
  • Coding tips
  • Mobile email best practices
  • And much more!

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