6 Enrollment Marketing Strategies for Your School in September
The excitement of a new school year is in the air.
Throughout my admissions career, there was always one day that I looked forward to—the first day of school. This day is the reward for your hard work during the year recruiting and enrolling new families when you see them on your campus.
It also is a time that closes out one recruitment cycle to begin a new one.
September is here and so are some key priorities for your enrollment marketing effort. For this month, I highly recommend implementing the following:
1–Assess your Results and Set Goals for 2024-25 – Whether you took the time to do this in August or you are just getting to it now in September, the beginning of a new season is always a great opportunity to begin with an assessment. By assessing your processes and strategies—identifying what worked and what didn’t—you can determine what you need to do in the new year. In addition, it is important to set recruitment and retention goals for the next school year. You need to know what you need to accomplish in this new cycle. Whether it is more students or a healthier enrollment, you and your team should know what you are striving to accomplish in the year ahead.
2–Head of School and Principals Should Personally Call all New Families – While the first week of school often includes many opportunities to welcome families, September is an important period to make sure each new family is adjusting to your school community and to ensure that the transition is going well. A personal phone call from the head of school and respective divisional principal can make the difference. This initiative can also jumpstart your retention work with new families as you work to keep them enrolled for years to come.
3–Make Plans to Launch your Word-of-Mouth Program – Word-of-mouth is the primary way that your new families just discovered your school. Most school leaders know this but do so little to implement a plan to inspire more word-of-mouth. Because of this, I always recommend that a FAN program is implemented. A FAN is a parent who is passionate to inspire more word-of-mouth by being more intentional with nudges, stories, and reviews. If you are interested in online training, you can check out my School Ambassador Program. Regardless, you need a word-of-mouth marketing plan to reach your community.
4–Develop a Lead Magnet – Downloadable content is an effective strategy to generate leads. By providing an e-book in exchange for the parent’s personal information, you can begin the process of nurturing a new lead. This strategy can be utilized on your school’s website, as well as online paid search and social media ad campaigns. North Star Marketing provides customized solutions to meet your needs and to increase your lead generation. Many of the schools I have partnered with have been successful with increasing their leads through this key initiative and partnership.
5–Update the Admissions Section of Your Website – Your admissions section on your website is the go-to source for prospective parents when they are reviewing your school online. It is critical to make sure your content, events, deadlines, and key admissions information is updated. In addition, take a look at your admissions section and determine if you need to add some additional content, such as a relocation page (see Mounds Park Academy) or a page to target key family backgrounds (see Trinity Christian School).
6–Register for the November 15-17 Geeks on the Road Workshop – Jenna Dutton, Director of Admissions at Illiana Christian High School in Dyer, IN, said, “Attending the Geeks on the Road conference was one of the smartest decisions I’ve made for professional development, hands down.” If your team has struggled to develop a comprehensive enrollment marketing plan, or if you’ve got a plan that just sits on the shelf, the Geeks are going to help you get “unstuck.” During this workshop, you’ll develop a plan using the Family Journey framework as you affirm what you’re doing well and close gaps in your marketing, admissions and retention process. This workshop will take place at the beautiful Disney World Dolphin Resort in Orlando, FL. Take advantage of our early nerd discount by using the code GOTR23 and take $100 off per person when you register before October 15. Click for registration information.
I hope that you will join us this year and you will agree with Jenna that this is one of the smartest decisions you will ever make.
And, I hope that you have a great September implementing these six strategies!