5 Enrollment Marketing Strategies for Your School in August

It’s August and you might be squeezing in the last few days of your summer vacation, catching the sunset over the water, or spending time with your family.

With the start of the school year only a few days or a few weeks away, August is one of the most important months in the enrollment marketing cycle. In this month you will finish out the enrollment marketing cycle for 2023 and you will begin a new one for 2024.

In this new monthly series of blog posts, I plan to share five school enrollment marketing strategies that you can implement each month. The strategies will be timely recommendations you can implement during that specific month.

During the month of August, you should consider implementing the following strategies:

1—New Family Social Media Posts – You have an opportunity to begin introducing your new families that have just chosen your school on your social media channels. This strategy is very simple. All you need to do is to ask your new families to share a picture (could be from their summer vacation) and a sentence sharing why they chose your school for their child with your team. Also, you will want to emphasize that this is an annual way for you to introduce new families to your school community. The result of this strategy will showcase the diversity of new families and their reasons for choosing your school. The First Academy in Orlando, FL, has been posting pictures of new families and welcoming them to their school community.

2—Countdown to the First Day of School – Everyone enjoys a good countdown on social media. With the upcoming first day of school just around the corner, you could post a daily countdown. Whether you choose to post for 10-days, 20-days or 30-days, the strategy is the same: Post the number of days remaining until the first day of school. Your posts could utilize any of these creative strategies: 1. Highlight key areas you are looking forward to in the new year. 2. Feature an individual or group holding up a sign with the number of days remaining along with a focus on those in the picture (who they are, the group they represent, etc.). 3. Showcase videos of people from your community sharing what they are looking forward to this year. Check out the current countdown on Facebook and Instagram by Westminster Catawba Christian School in Rock Hill, SC.

3—New Parent Survey – As you begin a new school year, your new parents can provide a beneficial assessment of your enrollment and marketing processes and strategies. It is important to understand how your new parents selected your school and the process that they used to make their decision. A new parent survey can provide helpful insight for you as you continue to refine your enrollment marketing plan in the new school year. Enrollment Catalyst can conduct this survey for your school as a stand-alone survey or as part of its School Survey Solutions Program.

4—Prepping for the First Day of School – You only get one first day of school every year to make an impression on your new and continuing families. Several strategies should be considered including:

  • Present a workshop to your faculty and staff about their role in the enrollment marketing effort for the year as well on the first day of school
  • Provide a giveaway on the first day (car magnets, water bottles, etc.)
  • Utilize banners and balloons to create a festive environment
  • Host a welcome reception for parents after they drop their children off at school
  • Implement first day picture booths/signs for parents to take of their children
  • Use a unique hashtag for first day picture posts
  • Make sure that all new students have a mentor to guide them during the first week
  • Post a social media video welcome message from the head of school
  • Roll out the red carpet for students to walk down when they arrive at the school
  • Send home a first day of school email newsletter
  • Create a video montage from the first day of school set to music

5—Assessment and Plan  – While your time is focused on getting ready for the first day of school and wrapping up the enrollment process for families, don’t forget that you need to be ready for the next cycle. August should be a key month for you to complete your assessment and to develop your enrollment marketing plan for the next year. If you need help, follow the five-step process that I featured in a recent blog post. Once you get through the first day of school, you will need to hit the ground running for 2024-25.

What strategies are you planning to implement in the month of August?