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Using Emotion in School Marketing

Posted by Sue Carback on Feb 7, 2017 3:00:00 PM
Using Emotion in School Marketing

One of the most important decisions parents will ever make is that of choosing a school where their children will be educated.  While much of this decision is often based on rational thought and logic, we can’t discount the important role emotions play in this selection process.

Since prospective parents bring to the table all sorts of biases, memories and opinions, Admissions Directors and other school administrators should understand how a prospect's feelings affect their decisions.  Let’s take a closer look at how to connect our school marketing with emotions.

Emotions in Content

First, recognize that there is emotion involved in the buyer’s journey of prospective parents who are shopping for a school.  Facing the challenge of finding an educational solution that meets the needs of both the student and the family can evoke any number of emotions.  Joy.  Anticipation. Apprehension. Frustration.

How do we, as school administrators, make emotional connections with these prospective parents?  The answer lies in the school’s marketing content.

Popular Emotions Chart

According to OKDork and Buzzsumo, content that evokes awe, laughter, amusement and joy will elicit the greatest response.

Content can take many forms including spoken content, written content, images and video.

Spend a few moments brainstorming ways to trigger these four most powerful emotions through your school’s blog and website content, at your next Open House, and during conversations with parents on the phone or when guiding them on a tour of your campus.

Emotion in Images

Teachers often remark that one of the most fulfilling experiences is watching the lightbulb “go on” in one of their students. Witnessing a child discover something new and seeing their delight in learning is very gratifying. A child’s face tells it all.

When it comes to making the decision between using an image of your school building on your marketing brochure or one of students engaged in learning, which will you select?  Keep in mind that facial expressions transcend language and cultural differences.  So while your school building may be quite remarkable, the faces of children will make a much stronger impression in the heart of your prospect.

Schedule a photo shoot with your school photographer that focuses on student’s faces. Capture images of students who are engaging in their lessons, concentrating on perfecting a new skill, or delighting in conversation with teachers or classmates.

Use these images in your next email, on your school website or in your school brochure.

Emotion in Providing Solutions

Parents are responsible for providing an education for their children. It’s the law, right?  Your school can potentially be the educational solution the parents of school-aged children in your community are looking for.  But how will those parents know that your school just might be the solution to their challenge?

This is where school marketing comes into play. Marketing can be defined as promoting a product or service. One of the best ways to promote your school is to earn the trust of prospective parents.

To earn their trust, offer content they will find valuable in your school blog. Provide stories on your website about how student’s lives are being transformed through the education they are receiving at your school. Analyze your admissions process and identify ways you can solve problems for prospects as they move through this process.


When someone invites you over to their house for a meal or to watch a football game, how does it make you feel? Don’t you feel important, noticed, and like you should do the same for them?

Why is this? It’s the law of reciprocity. This law applies to every culture and simply means that when someone gives something to you, you feel an obligation to give something in return.

So what can you give to prospective parents to ensure conversions in the future?

Identify some things to give away. Yes, tangibles like bumper stickers, t-shirts and pens are great.  But an even more beneficial way to help reach your enrollment goals is by offering valuable information in the form of a helpful ebook or a webinar in return for their name and email address. This way, you will gain a prospect’s valuable contact information that you can use in future marketing efforts.

Appealing to the emotions of your prospects as you help them determine if your school is the right fit for their children can lead to increased conversions and enrollment growth for your school.

Watch Now: How to Attract Millennials to Your School




Topics: School Marketing, Content Marketing