Here are a few great ways to incorporate demonstrations into your child care marketing campaign:
1. Create a powerful demonstration by installing a flat panel TV screen in your lobby and playing photos and videos of children participating in the previous week’s classroom activities. When families come in for a tour they will be captivated by this and will see the fun things that are happening in your classrooms. Learn more about other ways to use videos in your marketing here.
This demonstration also serves to remind your existing parents and staff of the fun that is taking place in your center. This is a wonderful way to establish your school as a high quality, fun, and caring environment the moment someone walks through your doors.
2. Another great demonstration is a one page flyer or marketing piece that lists the names of your teachers, their education, the number of years of experience in early childhood education they have, how long they have been working for you, and a short testimonial or interesting personal fact about them.
You can include this sheet in your prospect packet and hand this information to your families during the tour. When you have a piece of paper that highlights why your teachers are wonderful it is powerful and will increase your credibility in the minds of your prospects. Post this demonstration on your website as well, so that families searching online for child care will see how amazing the teachers are at your school.
3. You should also make it a priority to market the characteristics of your program that are special and unique. You can do this by creating demonstrations highlighting these qualities.
For example my very first client, the TLC Academy in Hudson, Ohio, wanted to advertise that they had much lower child to teacher ratios than the state requirements. We created a table illustrating TLC’s ratios compared to those of the state, provided it to potential clients, and posted it online. They still use it today and it is located on their website under “Unique Benefits”. Visually demonstrating that you have a 1:3 ratio in your infant room compared to the state’s 1:6 is very compelling and not only sets you apart from your competition with numbers but also illustrates the unique philosophy of your program.
I hope these tips will help you brainstorm some different ways to incorporate powerful visual demonstrations into the marketing materials for your school!
Do you know what the Zero Moment of Truth is and why it is changing how and when you market?
Devin discussed this major change at last years Child Care Success Summit is Atlanta, GA. If you want to continue to have a full early childhood education program, or want to fill the program you already have you need to start educating your prospects earlier than ever before.
Credibility is key to growing your enrollment and being able to charge more. You must take the time to grow the trust your customers and prospects have in you.
Want an easy, time effective way to manage the waiting list at your child care center?
Here are some simple steps to help you save hours and hours on call-backs and follow up. This will help you get your child care center full and maximize your profits, allowing you to spend time on the important things.
Step 1: Communicate to the parent about your waiting list, get her contact information, and ask her desired start date.
If a parent calls in to your child care center inquiring about a room that is full, communicate openly on the phone before booking the tour that there is a waiting list in the room, along with the expected wait time. Have a very up-to-date wait time for every room on hand so you can best communicate this to the parent.
Make sure to still get their name and contact information so you can follow-up with them whether they are booking a tour or not. Get their child’s name, date of birth, phone number, email, and desired start date. I have phone scripts to help you easily get the information from the parent.
In this particular situation I would recommend using a phone script such as:
I really want you to come in for your tour and I look forward to meeting your children. I just want to let you know that our toddler room is on an average six-week waiting list. We do believe that we’ll have an opening in mid-August for you but we would still love you to come in and see our school as soon as you can. What is your anticipated start date?
You want to get clear data on her and what her desired start date is so that you can use that information in managing your list.
Step 2: Maintain a spreadsheet of leads or input the information into a CRM (customer relationship management) system.
Keep an updated spreadsheet of leads or put all the information you gathered about a parent into a CRM (customer relationship management) system such as Child Care CRM. This will save you time when it comes to the next step.
Step 3: Automate your communication out to parents when you do have an opening at your child care center.
The final step is to use some sort automation to save you time in follow up. You can do automated voice blasts and automated follow up emails very easily.
One automation system you can use is called Phone Burner. With Phone Burner you can upload a spreadsheet of contacts and send out a voicemail blast with a customized message, letting all the people on your list know that you have an opening coming up, with the touch of a button.
Your message could say something like:
Hey there, we saw you have August as a hopeful start date in our toddler room and I wanted to reach out to you and let you know that we’re going to have an opening in two weeks. We have a first come first serve policy and we blast out to all our families that want the same start date. The first one or two families that book with us and enroll will get those spaces so please give us a call back.
This will save you lots of hours of time in terms of following up with your list. You won’t waste it spending time on the phone with families who have found care somewhere else or may have had a situation that has changed. It also creates a sense of urgency for the families that are still looking for care.
I hope this helps with managing your list. If you don’t have a CRM in place and you need an online resource to manage your list one system you can use is called Daycare Waitlist. Procare also offers an online service that integrates directly into their software.
Do you use direct mail to market your child care? Do you know how to tell if the campaign has been successful? Do you have a way to compare it to other marketing campaigns you’re using for your child care? If not, then you are wasting your marketing dollars.
Direct mail can be a powerful way to grab the attention of prospects for your child care that you aren’t able to reach any other way. I’ve seen great success from my child care coaching clients who take a highly targeted, multi-step direct mail approach.
First, you can target the lists for your direct mail campaigns and find 500 to 1000 of the best families that match the demographics of the ideal clients for your child care. Then send multiple pieces in a time frame of two to three weeks to this list. I do this when I promote my Child Care Success Summit training conference. I usually narrow down my list to my best clients, and then send this targeted list a succession of mailings to get them to take action.
When you send out a couple mailings in a multi-step campaign, you want to send follow-up mailings, saying something like, “I didn’t hear from you the first time…..” This will typically double the response rate, so it really can be worth your while. Including some sort of lumpy mail or 3D mail is also a great way to get the attention of the prospects for your child care and can boost your success in enrollments.
Pinterest is a great social network to reach prospects for your child care and the company has just announced that they are rolling out promoted pins. This platform just happens to be one big social media where all the Moms are hanging out. So let’s dig in and talk about a new way to reach the prospects out there that could be your next enrollment.
The new promoted pins in Pinterest are fairly similar to promoted posts in Facebook (which we can help you figure out if you’re still stuck.)
Promoted pins blend in with the other non-paid pins, so it’s fairly hard for the user to tell which pins are being promoted (which is good for you!)
The ads show up on the web and in mobile and the majority of the parents you want to reach are on mobile.The promoted pins can be CPM (cost per thousand impressions) or CPC (cost per click), similar to any Google campaign you might be running.
Clueless about Pinterest? It’s simply a website offering an image based way to “scrapbook” photos, videos, products, and objects to a relevant digital board and share these with friends. It is a powerful, growing vehicle.
Many users generally interact with products by pinning items they want to buy and collecting information about services they are interested in. If you want to learn more about how to use Pintrest to market your child care I can show you how.
So give promoted Pinterest posts a try and make sure to experiment with different pins to see what gives you the best results!
Summer is just around the corner. Now is the time to create, market, and promote an attractive and unique summer camp for your client families to ensure that your summer enrollment is maximized. In most communities, parents have lots of options to consider, so delivery of your marketing message is best when it is timely, enticing and creatively competitive.
Whether you scramble for ideas and struggle to fill your summer program whenever this time of year rolls around, or are new to child care marketing, early and effective spring planning can pay off in profitable rewards. Even the smallest providers benefit through timely communication of your summer program plans. If you want an in depth system to fill your summer camp look here.
Many parents prefer that children maximize outdoor time, water play and nature activities in the summer, while minimizing time spent indoors. Summer camp is the best way to do this! Seasoned providers can gain insight from past summer program experiences and feedback from parents.
Try some of these creative theme ideas as you plan your own summer program or camp experiences for 2014:
- Around the World – ‘Travel’ to different countries with local field trips and outdoor-themed experiences that relate to each country.
- In the Garden – Plant a garden with your theme tied to all the things you grow there throughout the summer.
- On Stage – Put on themed dress-up plays and shows in a backyard mini-amphitheater or puppet theatre, and invite the parents to watch the results.
- Outdoor Art – Organize weekly creative projects – such as painting clay pots, sheets/banners hanging on the fence, or t-shirts/aprons – and then exhibit the products.
- When I Grow Up – Feature a different professional theme each week, and tie in visits from themed guests or field trips to their occupational settings.
With these and your own ideas for summer programming, you’ll then want to take the next step to fill your summer camp by taking a look at what has happened for your programs in the past.
Look at past revenue trends to help you determine your summer camp policies, promotions, and marketing in order to fully maximize your summer revenue. Look at the ups and downs throughout the weeks.
If you have a 95% full summer camp because parents are taking all thirteen weeks you are doing extremely well! But that’s usually not the case. Most child care center summer programs have pockets of really full weeks and then some weeks that are not so full. So take a look at when this is and adjust both your policies and marketing to fill these gaps.
A few ideas for maximizing your revenue this summer:
- Reach out to alumni families who have been to your summer camp before, asking them to bring a friend or refer.
- Create an early bird promotion. This could be something like, “when you enroll for at least ten weeks of summer by April 15th you will save 10% off the entire summer.”
- Create an incentive if someone signs up for all thirteen weeks, such as savings on activities fees.
- Or roll activity fees into tuition and make it sound like you’re eliminating the activity fee. You can reduce the activity fee by doing free field trips and getting creative with activities.
Then you’ll want to develop a strong marketing campaign with these promotions.
Target key marketing elements to effectively communicate to current client families and to the larger community:
- Website – Highlight your summer program and feature it in your parent newsletter.
- Press release – Send one to all local media outlets a few times between now and the end of April to maximize your program’s exposure.
- Flyers – Deliver descriptive program information in your neighborhood and community with incentives for early enrollment, such as a free week of care (see below for more).
- Referral Reward Program – Reward parents for any enrollment referrals they bring or send to you, clearly outlining this benefit up front. Want ideas?
- Testimonials – Include great testimonials from last years’ pleased parents in your promotional materials to leverage this year’s success. Don’t know how?
- Advertisements – Well-placed ads in local summer camp publications can be very worthwhile. Contact all local media to inquire on deadlines for these special issues.
Those are some thought starters but I have also developed a highly effective training system that shows you how to create, promote and fill your own wildly successful summer program or camp. Childcare leaders from around the country have used these exact strategies to grow their summer enrollment quickly and easily, often working less than they did before.
Have you had a parent book a tour at your child care center, only to not show up when it’s time for the tour? It happens a lot in our industry; parents are busy and forget, or decide on another child care option. However, it is a big time waster for you and your business, and there are actions you can take to prevent this from happening.
I have two strategies you can use to virtually eliminate enrollment tour no-shows.
First is to choose the closing language of your phone conversation very carefully. In my Child Care Success Academy coaching programs I provide my clients with a whole phone script on inquiries. This includes how to close the conversation so that you create a verbal contract with the parent.
I recommend saying something such as, “Now we realize emergencies happen and things can come up in your schedule. Could you please do me a favor and give us a call if something comes up so that we can reschedule.”
Give them the chance to say yes and create a verbal contract with you. They will be much less likely to no-show if you frame it right from the beginning that they are expected to call you if their plans change.
You can also say something along the lines of, “We have a lot of parents calling us to book tours and we’d love to be able to provide that slot to someone else if your plans do change.”
This creates a sense of scarcity at your program and makes it all that more desirable. Just this one strategy will help you reduce tour no-shows by at least 30-40%.
The other strategy is to send a reminder to the parents. Towards the end of the conversation you can let them know you would like to offer them the service of a text reminder or an email reminder that you can send an hour before the tour.
This also provides the opportunity to get or verify their phone and email if you haven’t done so already. Then you also have permission to text the parent which also provides another opportunity for follow-up after the tour.
Don’t forget – get the parent to make a verbal agreement with you on the phone and, second, send them reminders. These two strategies will reduce no-shows and help you to better manage and maximize your time!
In this Podcast Video Learn Why:
- Social Proof is so important
- Why you should look at your day-to-day processes
- Discover where elements of trust are being stretched
- How to create a strong sense of trust with your prospect
- Find areas of your program where trust can be strengthened