For any savvy business manager within the private school sector, there is a desire to increase the school’s revenue through enrolments and increased fees. It seems like the schools that are perceived as ‘top tier’ reap the majority of the revenue opportunities, while the rest (which is the majority) are fighting over the spoils. However, there are some key marketing strategies all schools can leverage to increase enrolment numbers.
Accelerating the business brand will create more demand that will keep your school ‘oversubscribed’, allowing you to keep a waiting list for school enrolments.
Marketing strategy 1: Shift the presentation of the school culture
Your school culture and the way it is projected at key events can be a core marketing strategy to increase school enrolment. Does your school have strong leadership through the principal and staff members? Does your school culture promote excellence and provide a sense of pride among students and parents?
Create a belief system that both the students, teachers and parents have a reputation to uphold. The culture should shine through as soon as someone enters the school environment. This should be evident through:
- The students and the pride that they have in their school uniform, manners and conduct.
- The appearance of the buildings that are regularly maintained to project prestige, elegance and excellence.
- The theme of the school instantly tells the school’s story. Can visitors tell if the school is rooted in tradition or is innovative for the modern era? This can be a key consideration for new parents and students.
Marketing Strategy 2: Highlight the benefits of the sporting, academic and cultural programs
Focus on the areas where the school is strongest and demonstrate the school’s expertise in that program.
For example, schools such as Nudgee College are well known for their Rugby Development Program that has seen their former students excel in the professional game.
What is it about your school that produces excellence? Once you identify it, pitch it with proven examples to the parents that are considering to enrol their children into your school.
Marketing strategy 3: Review the benefits that you are pitching to new parents
Understanding the needs of the market and how your school can address them is an important ingredient for any marketing strategy to increase school enrolment. Are you in tune with the educational benefits that modern-day parents are seeking? Always ask questions to find out what is most important to parents and how they can justify the ‘value for money’ should they decide to send their children to your school.
Some of the questions to ask new parents include:
- Does the family have a tradition of attending that school?
- If so, how important is it that their children attend the school?
- If your school is a religious school, how important are religious virtues to the family?
Marketing strategy 4: Enhance the credibility of the school
Ultimately, the perception of the school will come down to the credibility factors. If you boost the credibility of your school, not only will it be easier to increase enrolments, but the increased demand will make it easier to become oversubscribed.
It is recommended that schools implement one or more of the following activities:
- Send regular newsletters and correspondence to current and prospective parents to keep them up to date with the great things that the school is offering and accomplishing.
- Publish and secure features in various media publications - both print and digital.
- Share the success stories of past students from the school.
- Use any celebrity leverage (be it sponsorship deals with businesses or organisations, or affiliations with any celebrities or endorsements) to increase awareness about your school to the general public.
Looking for more tips to increase your efficiency levels and reach your business goals? We've worked with business managers from schools across the country, and have consolidated everything that you need to know - from increasing enrolments, to managing internal disputes - in our Guide to School Management. Download your free copy today.
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