Five Marketing Strategies to Implement After the First Day of School
It’s hard to believe that the start of another school year is here. While we continue to deal with COVID-19, many private schools are experiencing another year of explosive growth.
This increase in new student enrollment provides a great opportunity for you to implement the following five key strategies during the first month of school.
1—Conduct a New Parent Survey
As part of your comprehensive research strategy, you should plan to conduct a new parent survey in late August or early September. By assessing their school search process and evaluation of your enrollment and marketing effort, you will gather critical information to help you improve this year’s strategy. You can also identify issues among new families that may affect their continued enrollment. I have developed a new parent survey that can be customized and conducted for your school. This is part of my School Survey Solutions package (see website for pricing). Please contact me directly at Rick.Newberry@EnrollmentCatalyst.com if you are interested in utilizing this important tool.
2—Collect Stories from your New Parents
Stories are a powerful way to market your school. Your new parents have great stories to tell about why they selected your school. Through a personal interview, questionnaire, or video vignette, you could collect stories from your new parents and share them on your website and social media channels. This will help to spread word of mouth by showcasing real people and their real stories of why they selected your school. I regularly recommend that school marketing leaders share these new family stories throughout the month of September.
3—Call all New Parents
It is very important for the head of school and principals to welcome new families to your school. While this happens naturally at back-to-school nights, I have seen this strategy work well when the head of school and the principals call new parents during the month of September to welcome them to your school. Your head of school could simply call three to four new parents every day. Even if the new parent is not reached, a personal welcome message could be left on their voice mail. This is also a great way to check in on the new parents to find out how they are adjusting to your school community.
4—Connect New Parents to Your School Community
I believe that if a parent and student are both connected with their peers and are involved in groups and community on your campus, then they will be less likely to leave your school. Therefore, it is critical for you to make sure that your new parents and students are making connections and developing relationships at your school. This is critical during the first month of school. Your entire faculty and staff should work together to make sure your new parents and students get connected.
5—Convert New Parents to Parent Ambassadors
Andy Sernovitz, author of Word of Mouth Marketing, often talks about the power of new love as one of the best forms for word of mouth marketing. Your new parents represent this new love for your school. They have just gone through the school selection process and chosen your school. They are in love with your school (and nothing has gone wrong yet!). Actually, your new parents will make great parent ambassadors for your school and should not be overlooked. Check out my new course for you to develop your School Ambassador Program. Use the discount code, Catalyst100, to receive $100 off the total cost.
These strategies should be implemented now as you work to convert your new families to long-term enrollees in your school as well as to market your school to the community.