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2019 is here, prompting us to think about resolutions and goals for this year—if we haven’t already! This is the year that I will finally get into shape, or I will lose 10 pounds. But what about setting those 2019 goals for your school? Setting new year’s resolutions for increased success with your charter school marketing efforts might be high on your list of things to do.
But, whether personal or work-related, inevitably by the end of March we all look back and wonder…what happened? Don’t feel bad, according to US News, approximately 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February.
But why do they fail? Often the reason is that we set lofty goals and then when we don’t see progress, it is easy to get disheartened and give up. I have found that breaking my resolutions into smaller, more attainable steps is the best way to make progress. Even if I don’t achieve the full resolution, I have at least taken some steps to achieve my goals.
At the outset, thinking about improving your charter school’s enrollment marketing program can seem like a huge undertaking with multiple considerations. However, simply by taking some small steps, you can start seeing the results you’re after.
Here are some resolutions that you can actually keep – so you can start getting some quick wins towards achieving your charter school marketing goals this year!
Hopefully, this article can help you achieve this goal, but there are a lot of other resources out there for you to improve your skills in marketing your school. One of the biggest challenges that I hear from my charter school clients is that they never received training on how to market their school.
You don’t need to go back to school to get your degree in marketing. There are a lot of great, free resources that you can tap into to improve your marketing acumen, and ultimately, drive more enrollment for your school.
Resolve to get your in-bound certification from HubSpot, download some helpful content, and sign up for two to three school marketing related newsletters. With a small investment of around four hours, you’ll be taking a great first step into becoming a more effective school marketer.
Regardless if you are school with a long waiting list or one that is struggling to fill all your seats, your school will benefit from understanding how your current parents and staff view the operations of your school.
Related: The What, Why, and How-to for Designing a School Satisfaction Survey for your Charter School
If the prospect of writing a comprehensive survey fills you with dread, do a very short, five-question survey. Ask the following questions:
These simple questions give you a lot of information: you know which channel is most effective in your marketing; you have a quantifiable number for your satisfaction levels that you can track over time; and you have identified areas that families like and areas where they feel you need improvement.
This gives you a lot of visibility and helps to form your improvement plans for the upcoming year.
There are a lot of survey platforms out there like SurveyMonkey, QuestionPro or you can even just make this survey in Google Forms.
A brief survey like this won’t cover everything, but if you aren’t doing one right now, it is a huge step forward.
Sometimes gathering all your enrollment data together into an easy-to-analyze format can seem like a daunting challenge. The data might reside within multiple different spreadsheets and across different groups and people within your school.
But keeping with the theme of quick wins, there are two valuable steps you can take that will provide the valuable data needed to help inform your recruitment efforts:
This small exercise is going to give you the most important metric in enrollment marketing: your “yield rate”.
Related: How to Use Data to Improve Your Charter School’s Enrollment
Knowing what percentage of students convert after a tour is one of the most actionable pieces of data that you can have. It allows you to understand if your challenge is in the attraction stage (getting families to come to the tour) or in the conversion stage (getting families to enroll). Once you have this information, you can focus on improving that particular part of your enrollment marketing program.
When was the last time you evaluated the effectiveness of your school tour? If you are like most schools, this is not something that you spend a lot of time analyzing. It can be easy to fall into the trap of just doing the same thing again and again. But what if your tour is not effective? If you looked at your conversion rate, you probably know the answer, but how do you fix it?
Ask a friendly parent or a faculty member to pretend to be a prospective parent and run them through your typical school tour. Kind of like a “secret shopper”. I’m sure that they’ll point out things that you might have missed that are the best attributes of your school and perhaps some areas that need attention. Sometimes we are too close to a task to realize that there are ways that we could get better. And they might have some great ideas about a certain program or feature of your school that would resonate more with prospective parents in your community.
Achieving these four goals can make a big difference in your school recruitment efforts. Though they might seem small, if you do them this year, you will start to become a better charter school enrollment marketer and bring more students into your school. Best of luck for the New Year!
Since the company’s inception in 2006, Charter School Capital has been committed to the success of charter schools. We help schools access, leverage, and sustain the resources charter schools need to thrive, allowing them to focus on what matters most – educating students. Our depth of experience working with charter school leaders and our knowledge of how to address charter school financial and operational needs have allowed us to provide over $1.8 billion in support of 600 charter schools that have educated over 1,027,000 students across the country. For more information on how we can support your charter school, contact us. We’d love to work with you!Learn More