"How did you hear about our school?"
It's a question every admissions staff or head of school asks prospective parents (Right? At least, we hope you are!). But sometimes it seems you get conflicting or incomplete responses. How can you know for sure what's actually working to bring prospective parents through your doors?
So here's the scenario: You receive a phone call from an interested parent (we'll call her Sarah). On that phone call, you ask her how she heard about your school. She replies that she heard an ad on the radio.
Then, at their tour visit, her husband (let's call him Sam) tells you that he heard about your school from his pastor, while Sarah mentions that she first saw you online. Wait, you remember, I thought she said radio before. So, what's the truth? When and where did this family ACTUALLY learn about your school?
"How did you hear about our school?"
I fear this may be a typical scenario: It’s April, and the leadership of XYZ Christian School realizes that they haven't received enough applications to get next year's enrollment numbers high enough to meet budget goals. The admissions team is in panic mode. They plan a open house extravaganza, place ads in the local newspapers and purchase some spots on a Christian radio station. They pray that their school (aka “the best kept secret in town”) will survive another year.
If your marketing efforts are reactionary, you will never get the results you hoped for.
Let that statement simmer on the back burner as we dive into some suggestions to help you stretch your thinking about what it takes to grow school enrollment.
While most of your school community is out gallivanting in the ocean waves, hopping through every playground in town, and generally soaking in all the fun that summer sunshine has to offer, we know that the grit of school admissions work doesn't take a summer break.
Coming off of your summer board meetings and coming up for air after a hectic year-end schedule, many heads of school and admissions counselors are tackling the paramount question: how do we get those school enrollment numbers where they need to be in order to start the 2017-2018 school year off strong?
You've got a reservoir of interested parents, many of which have even visited your school. And you're getting new inquiries each week from families still weighing their education options, even as the school year looms just two months away. These prospective families are a treasure trove, for sure, so don't let that treasure slip through your fingers. Here are 10 basic tips you can follow to help your school convert interested families into enrolled families this summer.
Your school most likely has a set of Core Values that help to guide your sights and steps as you plan and grow. It's likely that your Board and leaders labored over just the right wording and mix to truly capture the essence of your school and what it stands for. And even if you haven't taken the same painstaking steps to outline them, you, too, espouse a similar set of values that shape who you are.
So it follows that parents who are considering their family's education options harbor a collection of principles - subconsciously and overtly - that guide their decisions, dialogues, and daily priorities.
If you want to reach the heart of your school's prospective parents, you'd better have their core values within clear sight, otherwise you will drastically miss your mark - and end up losing plenty of resources and relationships in the process.
Topics: Millennial school marketing
The Schola Inbound Marketing team will be attending the upcoming Association of Classical Christian Schools (ACCS) Conference scheduled to take place June 21-24 in Pittsburgh, PA and they are looking forward to meeting you!
Topics: ACCS CONFERENCE