September 2018 is just around the corner. This is probably the busiest period for your admission office this year. And If you have a dedicated line for your prospective parents’ enquiry, you may have to invest in a ‘power bank’ so your phone does not go off.
As the list of prospects grows, you begin to figure out the percentage of these parents that will finally make it to the final line – the Enrollment. Typically, for an average school, it is 10% and could be far more or less in some schools.
In order to increase this number, It is important to understand the various steps/stages parents go through in their journey to finally enrol their wards in your school.
The stages are called ACE: A for Awareness, C for Consideration, and E for Enrolment.
This is the stage with the highest number of prospects. Depending on what works for you – your advert budget, class of parents you are targeting, etc. there are different tools you can use to create awareness to more prospects. They include but not limited to
- Your website
- Social media – Facebook Instagram
- Dedicated sites for school marketing like schoolscompass and others
- Google AdWords
- Flyers and billboards
- End of year events that attract more families especially neighbours
- Branded schools bus
- Your brand and reputation as a school
After the awareness, the next step is the consideration. Parents prefer to visit the school for a first-hand view. They can even go further to write your entrance examination depending on how they got to learn about your school and of course, their need.
Your goal here is to push them to the next and final stage and this is where the bulk of your job is. Truthfully, a lot of factors determine your success here- some are beyond your control, some are not.
Here are some of the tools you can also use (in no particular order) to increase your chances:
- Make sure you address their needs whenever they call for an enquiry or pay you a visit
- Have a well structured but personalized strategy for your prospects
- Let them know your strength as a school and try not to cover up where you are not good at. A lot of parents understand that you can not have it all
- Use 3rd party to speak about your school – this is called Multi-level marketing (MLM)
This is the finishing line where the holy books say ‘many are called, few are chosen’. If you get them to this stage, you sure deserve a cup of coffee. Available data shows that less than 2% of those who start from awareness get to this point. The rule of thumb is not to attempt to increase this percentage, rather, strive to increase the value of your 2% by increasing the number from the awareness stage and retaining some at the consideration stage using some of the tools highlighted plus the ones you know that already work for your school
For the purpose of illustration, let’s work with 2% conversion rate which means that if 100 parents know about your school, only 2 of them would eventually enrol their wards. The number reduces as they cascade through your ‘sales funnel’. I know the statistic is scary but that is the reality.