Open Days are one of the best marketing tools a school has. They are a chance to show off your selling points, engage your community and drive enrolments.
Here are some things you should consider before, during and after your Open Day to ensure you get the most out of the experience.
Before Open Day
As with any event, pre-event marketing activities are key to its success. Step one is to get the word out by leveraging the data you already have.
Using address data is a great way to optimise your marketing efforts and inform your advertising strategy. By taking a deep dive into your existing enrolled student data, you can gain insight into your target audience and create location-specific campaigns.
If analysing data sounds like a nightmare to you, then maybe a visual approach is better suited. Some address tools allow you to visualise your data using geocoding, so you can clearly see which locations drive the most enrolments.
These insights help your school’s marketing team make informed decisions regarding Open Day advertisements, such as billboards, street banners, mail-outs and even localised Google Ads. This allows you to make effective use of your budget and improve the quality of your leads.
In the weeks leading up to the event, ensure you are sharing valuable updates and reminders via email, social media, and your school’s website. Get people excited by giving them early access to resources that will be handed out on the day, such as an agenda and or activities list.
It may also be a good idea to share your COVID-19 safety plan to reassure visitors that proper precautions will be taken.
On the day
Seeing the school facilities in person is one of the most beneficial experiences for families on Open Days. A great way to encourage visitors to walk through the grounds is to strategically spread activities throughout the school. Use common areas to drive enrolments by building highly visible booths or spaces.
Ensure that all your facilities are accessible, clearly signed and that staff are identifiable and ready to help answer questions.
But what about those who are unable to make it on the day?
Consider running a parallel ‘virtual Open Day’ alongside your in-person Open Day for people to connect to online. You may wish to run virtual tours of your facilities, live streams of any seminars and offer one-on-one meetings with staff, so online visitors have an opportunity to ask questions.
Schools invest a lot of time, resources and effort into the planning, promotion and execution of their Open Days, so it is important to take steps post-Open Day to keep your school at the front of your prospective families’ minds.
Once Open Day is wrapped up, consider sending your attendees a thank you email and direct them to ‘where to next’. This email could be the first in a lead nurturing email campaign. Each email should have a specific purpose or goal; look for ways to keep them engaged in the community, such as inviting them to induction days, charity or extra-curricular events.
After you’ve won the families over and they have enrolled their student/s into your school, continue to engage them with a dedicated online facility.
Overall, Open Day is what you make of it. If you leverage your data, make informed marketing decisions and communicate efficiently, you are bound to make the absolute most out of the experience.