Welcome back from a relaxing winter break! January is a busy month getting back into the office routine. Creating an effective marketing strategy for the new year can feel overwhelming - especially when you have a lot of other competing demands and daily tasks. How should you determine where to invest your time? Focus on your school’s end of school year goals:
- Do you want more website traffic? Focus on SEO.
- Do you want more conversions? Focus on website improvements.
- Do you want more community engagement? Focus on email outreach.
- Do you want to rebrand your school? Focus on messaging.
Once you have identified and prioritized your school’s 2023 goals, you can build and execute effective marketing initiatives that will impress your board in Q1.
Project #1: Website Landing Pages
A landing page is a standalone web page on your school’s website created specifically for a marketing campaign. The content on your landing page should match the content of your marketing campaign. For example, if you are sending an email about making a donation, the email should link to a landing page with a specific call-to-action (CTA) pertaining to the donation you are asking for. This creates a distraction-free environment for your audience, and encourages them to complete a simple action before moving on with their day.
Examples of landing pages your school should have:
- Inquiry form
- Annual Fund donation page
- Specialty fundraising campaigns
- Accepted Students page
- Summer Programs registration
Users come across hundreds of landing pages throughout their week so it’s important to make your landing page stand out from your competitors. With a modern design, ease of use and a prominent conversion form, your new landing pages are sure to increase inquiries for your school.
Project #2: Refresh Your Email Templates
New year, new look! If you haven’t updated your school’s email templates in a while, the new year is a good time to introduce a new look and feel to your audience. Similarly to landing pages, users come across hundreds to thousands of emails in their inbox all week long. When they click on your school emails, you want to wow them from the start.
How do you know what changes to make? Use email analytics to see what’s working and what’s not. Review which emails in 2022 had the best open rate and click-through rates to determine what resonated with your audience the most. Ask yourself the following questions about the best emails you sent in 2022:
- Was the button at the top or bottom of the email?
- Was your subject line short or long?
- Did you include a lot of images or videos?
- Was the email personalized?
The simplest changes can make the largest difference in engagement with your email campaigns.
Project #3: Video, Video, Video
Springtime is a beautiful time on your campus. Video is a highly engaging form of media that will impress your existing community members and excite newcomers to your school community. While springtime is still a few months away, January is a great time to prepare for a spring video shoot.
- Contact local videographers to get a cost estimate and get on their schedule before they fill up.
- Prepare interview questions with key faculty and staff members so they are fully prepared to be on camera.
- Plan out the best spots on campus for filming.
- Include your students! Plan the video schedule around the classes, clubs, sports and co-curricular activities you want to include in your video clips.
- Bonus Tip: It’s always better to film more b-roll than you need. It can be saved for later use.
Doing the prep work before the video shoot will get you the most out of the money you are spending. It will keep the day organized and ensure nothing gets missed while filming.
Project #4: Accepted Students Packages
Acceptance Day is fast approaching and it’s never too early to start preparing. Adding more flare and personalization to your acceptance letters and packages builds more excitement for new students, and helps your school stand out from the rest. Here are some ways you can plan ahead:
- Write and design the acceptance letter template (print & digital).
- Order acceptance students package swag.
- Draft acceptance emails.
- Create an accepted students landing page for quick access to all the resources they need to enroll, learn more about welcome day and more.
- Plan Accepted Students Day on campus.
An Accepted Students Day is an opportunity to welcome families to campus to see the value of your school, meet other incoming families and talk to current families who’ve been a part of the community for years.
Project #5: Summer Programs Prep
It’s winter, so why does your school need to start preparing for summer programs already? Google sees a massive spike in searches around traditional summer programs and camps every winter. As families shift from holiday plans to the start of a busy year, they start to plan their summer vacations, and other necessary plans to fill their children’s summer schedule.
Summer camps, programs and other events are an effective way to introduce your school to new families, retain current families and bring in additional revenue. Before opening up registration, here are some ways to prepare for launch:
- Build a landing page on your website.
- Write out descriptions of all the programs and activities offered.
- Be prepared to answer common questions with a FAQs section on the webpage.
- Gather testimonials from campers and parents. Share pictures, too!
- Promote registration opening on social media.
- Draft an email campaign promoting registration opening and follow-up reminders.
The spring semester gets busy fast, and search trends show summer programs should not be put on the back burner during winter months.
Blue Baden is the only marketing and consulting agency specifically designed to help boarding schools reach their potential. We can help your school launch effective marketing strategies in 2023. Contact Blue Baden today to get started.