The Easy Way To Convert Prospective Parents To Your School
Published on 07/06/17
As you already know, open day season is upon us and prospective parents will be beginning their decision making process in choosing a school for their children. So what should you be doing to convert prospective audiences and turn them into ambassadors of your school?
- Website: When it comes to deciding on a school, many parents will begin their research phase online. This is where they can get an initial look and feel of the school to decide whether it appears to be the right fit for their children.
Be intelligent with the content on your website. Your website's purpose isn't solely to attract new audiences - but also communicating with existing parents, pupils, staff and alumni - it is wise to have dedicated areas for prospective parents to find the information they'll be looking for.
This will avoid prospective parents becoming irritated, confused or 'lost' in your website's navigation.
- Prospectus: Another great way of providing prospective parents and students with information about the school is via your prospectus. Think about the questions prospective parents and students will be asking and answer them throughout.
At this stage they are still getting to know your school and familiarising themselves with your ethos, what you have to offer and whether it is in line with what they are looking for in a school. You're not going to appeal to everyone 100% of the time - so focus your message and maintain this approach throughout. This level of consistency will reassure your audience that you are genuine and true to your values.
- Social Media: Many parents may come across your school via social media. One of their friends could already have children at your school and they may have shared or re-tweeted a post from one of your channels. This is not only great exposure in terms of brand awareness for prospective parents, it also shows that you have brand ambassadors in your existing parents.
By sharing posts from your social feeds, existing parents are acting as a sound board for your school, pushing on your messages, values and beliefs.
- Calls-To-Action: A call to action is an image, button, or message that calls your website visitors to take some form of action. When it comes to lead generation, this action is to navigate to a landing page. Disperse calls to actions in relevant places across your website and be sure to consider where your prospective parents might be in their decision making process.
- Landing Pages: A landing page is designed for a distinct purpose; usually to capture information from your prospective audiences via forms. The difference between a landing page and any other page on your website is that it will usually have little or nothing in terms of navigation, to avoid deterring attention from the action you want them to perform.
- Forms: A great way of capturing information about your website visitors or prospective parents is to get them to fill in a form. BUT be careful not to ask for too much too soon as this may put people off filling it in. So when they come to requesting a prospectus from your website, all you should be asking for is name, home address (to send the prospectus to) and their email (if you want to send a digital copy of the prospectus). Bear in mind that people are reluctant to give out their mobile numbers.
- Open Days: There is no better way for prospective parents and students to get a feel for your school than by visiting it in the flesh. A first hand experience will provide more impact than your website and prospectus put together.
This is the final frontier. If you have managed to persuade your prospective stakeholders to physically visit your school, all that's left to do is to convert them. Place the metaphorical cherry on top by showcasing your school in its best light.
- Subscriptions: Once your prospective parents have filled out the form to either receive your digital prospectus, or enquired about an open day - you should have their email addresses in your records. By adding a subscription box onto your forms, you will then have the appropriate permissions to provide your audiences with follow up emails after they have downloaded your prospectus or visited your school with the appropriate correspondence. Ask them if they have any questions or if they would like to enquire further about something they have seen in your prospectus or from their recent visit to your school.
- Emails: Once your prospective parents have visited the school, your communication with them shouldn't stop there. It's important to keep in touch with them for a number of reasons; to instil a sense of excitement in light of the first day of term, to keep them informed on what they can expect from your school community, and most importantly - to ensure they maintain an open channel of communication with the school.
Once you have converted your leads (potential parents and students) into 'customers' (existing parents and students) from then on it's all about delighting your stakeholders and turning them into ambassadors of your school. This will hopefully result in existing parents, pupils and staff spreading their positive experiences of your school; the most powerful marketing platform of all.