As an owner of a school or even a chain of schools, one of your biggest priorities is maintaining and improving enrollment rates. Enrollment rates are essentially what helps your business thrive.
You may have great programs, happy parents, and an overall good school. But how do you communicate that to potential new customers? Here are a few practical, sustainable ways to give your enrollment rates a little boost.
Word of Mouth (with a little help)
Arguably, no marketing tactic is more effective than reviews from happy customers. And the odds are, you already have satisfied parents recommending your school to their peers and fellow parents. You can do a few things to amplify these voices to reach a wider net of parents!
Sharing through social media and emails
If you're planning school events (even if they're not open to the public), it helps to spruce up your communication materials and encourage your parents to share them on their socials. Communication materials include:
- Instructions for holiday crafts (e.g. Hari Raya crafts, National Day take-home activities)
- Invites for school events (e.g. Meet-the-Parents sessions, Grandparents Day, Family Sports Day)
- Invites for school trips (e.g. zoo trip)
- Open house advertisements
There are obvious benefits to getting your current parents to share public events like open house advertisements. It'll help to get the word out and get more potential clients to visit your school.
Sharing closed school events can be beneficial in a different way. When parents share the materials from these school events (especially if they're designed in cute ways), their peers get to see what your school has to offer year-round. For example, if parents are periodically sharing invites and designs to a variety of school events, activities, and parent-involvement programs, their peers are going to form the impression of an active school and a rich curriculum.
Make it easy for parents to share these materials. If you have templates or instructions for holiday crafts, email them to parents and encourage them to share pictures of their children's crafts and tag you on social media. If you're hosting a school event, set up a photo booth for parents and children to take pictures and post on social media. Build up your school's brand image throughout the year in these small ways!
Examples of craft templates can look like this:
Parent testimonials on your school website
When parents are looking into a new school, they will definitely land on your website to see what you offer. A website that's up-to-date and offers clear information on your school programs is a great start. Something that will help to build trust with potential new clients is seeing testimonies from other parents who already have children enrolled in your school.
Get a sense of which of your parents are your most ardent supporters and approach them to provide a testimony to be displayed on your school website. It'll be good to get a diverse range of parents to speak on what they appreciate about your school. For examples, it'll be good to hear from both working parents and stay-at-home parents. This can increase the chances of new clients resonating with their testimonies.
Even LittleLives has client testimonials on our page. Although we're not a school, we believe that testimonials from real school leaders who have benefitted from our software is one of our most impactful marketing tools.
You can get creative with these testimonials. They don't have to be written accounts. In fact, if your school's parents are eager, you could even make a video of parents (and even students) talking about their positive experiences!
Depending on which country you are based in, there are a number of reviewing websites that rate your school. For example, anyone could search your school's name and leave a Google review. While you cannot control every Google review left on your business, you can encourage positive reviews from your parents.
You could use milestone school events (like parent-teacher conferences) to encourage parents to leave a review on Google or a specific school-reviewing website. You could even incentivise parents to leave reviews by allowing them to redeem trinkets or school merchandise once they leave a review.
Check out our article on Online Reviews for Preschools: How to Get and Use Them for a more detailed plan on how to go about this!
Parents are an untapped resource when it comes to boosting your school's brand and, ultimately, enrollment rates. They provide you with business in the now and, if you play your cards right, will help you bring in even more business. So, ramp up your parent-engagement efforts and reap the rewards!
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