If you’re plowing ahead toward your school enrollment and admissions goals, working to keep with the traffic flow and maintain your speed, you’d better make sure you check your rearview mirrors once in a while.
Anyone who’s been involved in Girl Scouts will probably be familiar with the song lyrics “Make new friends, but keep the old/One is silver and the other gold.”
It’s a timeless saying, and it applies to private school admissions, school marketing, and re-enrollment, too.
You’re spending an awful lot of time and attention these days trying to attract new “friends;” that is, new students to apply to your school. Putting your best foot forward, crafting the perfect messages, giving a memorable, top-notch tour - all to bring up those enrollment numbers for next year.
However, as we’ve said it many times before, tried-and-true business wisdom has proven that it is far more cost and time efficient to keep your current customers. So, in all this admissions season hubbub, what are you doing to woo your current families into reenrolling for next year? After all, if you increase retention, you'll make your recruitment work a whole lot easier.
We’ve got some suggestions for this reenrollment season to help you give families every reason possible to want to come back for next year, and to make the decision as quickly as possible.
Topics: retention strategy
This admissions season, as school tours and open houses are coming into full swing and families around your area are feeling out all their options for their kids’ education for the coming school year.
If you’re just hanging on and doing everything the way you did it last year and the one before simply because of busyness - or maybe just because you don’t feel like anything needs changing - then you could be missing plenty of opportunities for reaching and enrolling new families.
If you think that your work is done once you’ve perfected your marketing execution and refined your school tour, dazzling and fully convincing families they want to pursue and apply to your school, you’re wrong. You can still lose parents in the application process. Don’t let your hard work capturing their interest be all for naught.
According to the 2017 Enrollment Marketing Association’s Annual Ride to Independent Schools Report, parents get miffed by arduous application processes. In fact, 12% will actually drop a school from consideration if it’s too complicated.
Think you’re immune to this private school admissions snafu? Perhaps you’ve got your school application process smoothed out to perfection, but it’s at least worth it to examine your application process so that you can identify any potential roadblocks that your prospective families may run into.
Here are seven things your school should do to make sure you’re keeping the path toward enrollment smooth for your prospective families.
Everything is back in full swing after winter break, second semester has begun...and your admissions office is getting busier with inquiries from prospective families.
Anyone working in private school admissions knows that mid-winter is prime time for tours and enrollment marketing of all sorts. This is when families in your area are most likely to be seeking out their education options for next year.
If you're getting lots of calls and starting to schedule those tours, then congratulations! It means that families are finding you (likely online) and they're liking what they're seeing. But the most crucial part of your job is yet to come: the tour, and the follow up that comes after it.
Don't squander your biggest chance to make a lasting impression on these families. When a family comes for a private school tour or open house, if you don't connect on a heart level with them, and if they don't leave with a clear vision of what life for their student would be like in your halls, then all of your hard work to get them there will likely be lost.
There are a few practical, non-negotiable steps you can take before, during, and after your admissions events to not only forge that meaningful connection with prospective families, but also spur them on to the next step in the process toward enrollment.
Kicking off our deeper dive into our Seven New Year’s Resolution for Private Schools, the first order of business we’re taking a look at today is your overall marketing execution.
As we said earlier, if the Christmas season is the gangbusters time for retail, then January and February comprise the busiest season for private school traffic.
A quick look on Google Trends reveals that “private school” related keyword searches peak in the first two months of the year (with August following in second place for all of those procrastinating parents). This is the prime time when parents in your area are exploring education options for their children. All the schools in your area are starting to promote their open houses, banners are out touting “Now Enrolling for 2018/2019!” messages, and with the new year rolling out, everyone is thinking of fresh beginnings.
The question is, are you showing up where it matters most so parents can include your school in their consideration? When they Google “private schools in ABC County,” does your website pop up near the top of their search? When they’re on social media engaging with friends, do they see your news and links peppered throughout their news feed? And when they are searching for solutions to their parenting and schooling concerns, do they find your resources helpful and accessible?
If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” then you are missing your greatest window of opportunity to bring in new applicants this year.
Topics: school marketing strategy