As a school administrator, you’ve dedicated a big part of your life to education. You love the Montessori method, you’ve seen incredible results, and you want to spread the word far and wide. You enjoy sharing and educating families face to face, but when it’s time to actually market your school to the masses, you feel overwhelmed. You’re bombarded with all sorts of questions, such as:
Should I try marketing my school with Facebook ads?
Should I focus on Google ads instead?
Is SEO the right way to go?
Should I go old school and buy newspaper or magazine ads?
What about handing out fliers or brochures?
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Those questions never stop coming. But fortunately, the only question you really need to answer yourself is this:
What’s a self-driving enrollment marketing system and how can I use it to increase my school’s enrollment rate?
Even better, we’ll answer that question for you. In this post, we’ll discuss how marketing automation can rescue your time while also improving your school’s enrollment numbers. Let’s get started.
Just a quick side note: Although this post is focused primarily on Montessori schools, the information presented here can be applied to any private school.
Why is Enrollment Marketing Necessary in the First Place?
In the last two decades, the private school market has grown. As a result of this growth, enrollment numbers per school are dwindling. It makes sense, as when there are other options for prospective families to choose from, it’s more difficult for you to keep your school at full capacity. It’s not unusual for one neighborhood to have multiple Montessori schools, especially in bigger cities. You need a way to stand out from the crowd and speak directly to prospective families.
Not only do you need to maintain strong enrollment numbers, your goal should also be to keep your waiting list filled. With a full waiting list, you’ll be able to accept the right families for your school and turn away those who may not be the right fit for your school.
What Methods Do You Currently Use to Grow Your School’s Enrollment?
Let’s start things off by looking at what you currently do to attract prospective families to your Montessori school.
When polled, most Montessori school administrators rely on one or more of the following marketing tactics:
Hosting open houses
Paying for Google ads
Creating press releases
Depending on local press coverage (newspapers and television news)
Paying for newspaper and magazine ads
Buying a spot on local radio
Counting on word of mouth marketing
The problem is the most of the above strategies aren’t effective in this digital age. Let’s take them one by one:
Thanks to ad blockers and banner blindness, Google ads don’t convert as well as they once did.
Having an open house is great, but how do you let people know that you’re having one?
Press releases and local news outlets aren’t consistent ways to reach an audience.
Newspaper and magazine ads no longer produce the results that they once did because fewer people are reading print. Radio spots suffer a similar fate.
Word of mouth is simply not a viable marketing strategy.
While it’s always a hope that your enrolled families will spread the word, you definitely can’t rely on it.
What you need is a automated, or self-driving, enrollment marketing system.
A Peek into a Self-Driving Enrollment Marketing System
So what exactly is a self-driving enrollment marketing system and how does it work?
My favorite analogy for describing an automated enrollment marketing system is to describe a self-driving car. A self-driving car is hands-off. It just works. You only need to put gas in the tank when you need it to drive. In this analogy, gas symbolizes your marketing budget.
Here’s a look at a possible enrollment funnel:
Traffic enters at the top of the funnel. You’ll generate traffic through Facebook ads or Internet searches.
The middle of the funnel is where the magic happens. Once the prospective parent has clicked on your Facebook ad or finds you through an Internet search, it’s time to “nurture” them, or lead them into enrollment. The next step in your enrollment marketing strategy is to get the prospective parent to fill out an inquiry form. Once they do, you’ll create a family record (which can be done automatically) so that you can begin to track their progress.
Next, after receiving their inquiry form, you’ll send out a series of timed emails to the prospective parent. In your emails, you’ll tell them more about your school and share testimonials from enrolled families. You’ll also urge them towards a certain call to action, such as “Schedule a tour.” The point is to get these prospective parents from the inbox and to a face to face meeting with you and your school.
After the tour, your best plan of action may be to follow up with an application form via email. This is a one-click task on your end. The prospective parent fills out the application form on a special page of your website that we set up here at Hubbli. Once you receive this application, you have the choice to approve it and then send an approval letter to the enrollment parent, again with one click.
As you can see, your enrollment funnel is about 99% automated, or self-driving. It requires minimal input from you. Our marketing system will also notify you whenever you need to follow up on a lead.
This type of self-driving system frees up your time. Instead of getting bogged down with complicated and often-boring marketing tasks, you can spend time on higher value tasks.
Why Facebook is an Important Player in Your Enrollment Marketing
Facebook is the key to the success of your self-driving enrollment marketing system.
Although Google ads used to be the most important marketing player, the game has changed in the last few years. Now, Facebook reigns supreme. There are a lot of reasons why Facebook ads are so powerful, but here are just a few:
Facebook ads can be targeted to a specific demographic, such as location, age-range, and family size.
Facebook ads can reach prospective parents who are similar to your current enrolled parents.
Facebook ads provide real-time metrics so that you can see which ads are working. It’s possible to turn off ads that aren’t working mid-campaign.
What Role Your Website Plays in Your Enrollment Marketing Strategy
Your website plays a crucial role in increasing enrollment numbers.
The purpose of your website is to attract the right parents to inquire about your school. It’s not about selling the Montessori method but about encouraging parents to enter into your enrollment process. It’s a fine, but distinct, line.
There will be time to educate parents on the Montessori method. However, your website’s first, and most important job, is to generate leads. Once you get the prospective parents to take a tour, you can school on the Montessori method. But when they first arrive on your site, your job is to give them enough information so that they want to learn more.
The best way to do this is through landing pages. A landing page is a page on your site that’s completely focused on one call to action (i.e. “Schedule a tour” or “Enroll now”). Ideally, you’ll have several landing pages to walk prospective parents through your self-driving enrollment funnel.
Not only are landing pages important for tracking your leads, they also focus your message without distractions. You can create these landing pages in minutes with Hubbli.
The Quickest Way to Increase Your Enrollment Rates
Would you like to learn more about our new done-for-you enrollment marketing service? Book a consultation now.