As you are embracing the last blissful days of the January holidays, it’s time to start getting excited about the school year ahead, and focus on the residual challenges…“how will you get new enrolments up even higher?” Now is a good time to recap and ensure you have covered all bases to stop any enrolment leaks.

It may be helpful to think of this process as a funnel, where it’s your role to achieve three key tasks: Attract, Engage and Delight.

1. Attract
At this early part of the decision-making process, your future families are considering all the school options available to them. As a general rule, prospects need to be made aware of a school at least eight times before they will make a connection, so the focus really needs to be on quality inbound marketing efforts, which enlist a range of the below communication tools:

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Relevant content such as blogs/videos/webinars
  • Quality website with clear calls to action
  • Targeted social media advertising: Facebook, Twitter, WeChat
  • Future enrolments database

The goal of the communication is to create enough awareness to transition future families to the consideration stage. Remember to be authentic and produce engaging content with clear calls to actions. Carefully plan your landing pages to capture personal details so that you can connect on a more personal level and leave your future family with enough meaningful takeaways (videos, presentations, brochures) to help them transition into the decision-making stage.

2. Engage
Good work! You have done all the ground work, and provided your future family with enough conviction to progress through to the decision-making stage.

It’s time to finally meet face to face! To make the school visit a positive and memorable one, you need to make sure your admission staff are highly trained at personally connecting with parents.

Make sure your message is authentic and consistent, from your hallways and classrooms, right through to the tone and language used. As famous American financier Bernard Baruch once said “Most of the successful people I’ve known are ones who do more listening than talking.” By understanding what is important to your future parents, you can better articulate your answers and address their needs.

As the visit draws to a close, and you feel like you have ‘wowed’ your future parents – your job is still far from over. Chances are your future family is still evaluating several options, and there is a yet a big financial commitment to be made. You need to continue to prove that your school is worth the investment. Nurture your future families and continue the communication. Follow up with phone calls, answer any questions, send personalised emails, make them feel a part of your community by giving them access to your school app, and share your stories. All these steps will help transition your future parents through to the enrolment stage.

3. Delight
Congratulations! All your hard work has come to fruition, and your future parents have now become a part of your community. Your work however does not stop here either… now it’s time to delight your new parents to turn them into loyal advocates who will spread positive word-of-mouth.

Nurture your new community students and parents with extra care. Provide them with dedicated support to guide them on their way to build meaningful connections with fellow students and parents. Introduce them to class/parent representatives, provide them with avenues where they can talk with leaders, and give feedback.

Remember to measure and evaluate your efforts so that you can improve year on year. Show your gratitude for the investment they made to aid future re-enrolments. Continue to build on the strength of your connection to make them want to be a part of your community for a lifetime to come, and continue to delight them as they make the transition to your alumni to continue to keep filling the enrolment funnel.

See Also: 5 quick tips to a more engaged school community.