Young Rembrandts started off in Bette Fetter’s house in 1988. Her goal was—and continues to be—to teach children the kinds of creative skills they can use throughout their lives.

Today, there are close to 100 Young Rembrandt programs, both in the United States and abroad. Since the core students of any Young Rembrandts program are pre-school and elementary school children, every franchisee has to communicate with four different groups: kids, parents, school staff, and corporate executives.

Here are three ways they use Constant Contact Email Marketing to help grow their business and build relationships.

1. Exclusive email offers

Megan Henkel, founder of the Young Rembrandts program in the Greater Cleveland, Ohio, area, uses email to keep in touch with her customer base offering them a little something extra.

“Emails give me more direct communication with parents, and sometimes I’ll send out exclusive invitations to art shows or other events,” she says.

It’s clear that putting exclusive offers in emails has worked, too. Megan says she’ll often send out a newsletter at noon and, by 5pm, 25% of her list has already opened it.

“It pays for itself—a month of service is half of a student’s monthly enrollment, so if you can get one more enrollment from it, you’ve made a profit,” Megan explains.

2. Sign-up forms

 

Lynne Turke , director of Young Rembrandts in Will and Kendal Counties in Illinois, oversees relationships with 106 different schools in the region. Each week, around 2,000 students attend the sessions hosted by her location.

With that many people coming through the program, the last few days before a sign-up deadline are always the most stressful. Before using email marketing, she never knew quite how many people would sign up, and parents often lost the flyers that got sent home with children.

“Now, I can send out flyers in an email just two days before a session is going to start and tell people, ‘Don’t forget to sign up!’” she says. “I’ll usually get three to five more sign-ups in each account just from those reminders, and that really affects my profit margin.”

Lynne estimates the emails add about 100 new students per session. “The emails we send out three weeks before class and then one week before class have been huge for us.”

3. Targeted updates

Diane Adamonis oversees the Young Rembrandts program in the south suburbs of Chicago.

In less than two years, her business has quadrupled.

“I can’t attribute all of that to Constant Contact,” she laughs, “but it definitely played a role.”

For Diane, email marketing has proven to be a great way to send last minute updates to parents, too. “Last year, there was a blizzard and I had to cancel a class. Rather than getting on the phone with a few dozen people, I could just send one email.”

Diane carefully tracks the open rates for different emails, too. “Just by seeing how many people opened certain newsletters or clicked on different links, we can tell which programs are more popular.”

To further learn about her audience, she uses Constant Contact’s Online Survey tool, which gives her feedback about Young Rembrandt’s classes so she can make changes to improve the program.

“I love the ease-of-use of the email program, and the survey feature was just as user-friendly. It really helps me target my audience,” she says.

Communication is key

Being able to reach out to your customers is an advantage for every business, but franchises have a unique obstacle whenever thinking about marketing—balancing the personality of the local franchise with overall branding.

The biggest benefit of email marketing for any business is creating a broader sense of community. While Megan, Lynne, and Diane send out emails on their own much of the time, the Young Rembrandts corporate office  supplements those communications with a “Monthly Touch” newsletter that showcases artwork from programs across the country. There is also a quarterly “Drawing Points” newsletter that goes into detail about the benefits of art for children.

For Young Rembrandts, this also means a broader sense of the franchise as a whole. By allowing franchisees the freedom to do their own email marketing and simultaneously sending out uniform emails each quarter and each month, Young Rembrandts ensures each program stays autonomous, and there’s a sense of unity, too.

In the end, by being able to easily communicate with the schools, parents, students, and corporate headquarters, franchisees are able to achieve their top goal: making art a priority in children’s lives.

How have you used email marketing to grow your business? Let us know below!