If you’ve got a list of leads with email addresses of potential child care enrollees, you can leverage those leads as a powerful tool to increase your child care enrollment.
In my experience as a child care business owner, I’ve found that there are several things to know about email marketing prior to clicking that all-powerful send button. In this article, I’ll provide several strategies to help make sure you’re sending effective emails that get results!
The golden rule of child care email marketing
Before we get into the content strategies, let’s start with email etiquette. As you may have guessed, the golden rule of child care email marketing is very similar to the golden rule of life: Treat others as you want to be treated. In other words. Be respectful of people’s inbox.
In my childcare business, we treat email addresses as an asset that should be handled with respect and care. Think of it this way: People have voluntarily opted-in to receive your information — so before sending any type of email, put yourself in the recipients’ shoes and evaluate if what you’re sharing has these two components:
- Relevancy – This means that the email relates to their situation specifically. For example, you don’t want to announce an opening in the Infant room to a family whose child is two years old. This is where audience segmentation comes into play (we’ll discuss segmentation in more detail below).
- Value – The contents of your email must provide valuable, useful and interesting information to the family.
Segmentation — email marketing’s other super power
In most cases, when you’re sending marketing emails, you don’t want to send the same message to the whole list. One of the great things about most email marketing providers is that they allow you to “segment” which means to send email to specific people in your list based on selected criteria.
You wouldn’t want to send news about your infant room to your preschool parents, right? So this is where segmenting by the child’s age becomes really useful. Segmenting allows you to send emails specifically to parents of the age groups you’re targeting. Once you’ve got your segmentation skills down, it’s time to dive into some effective topics that are sure to grab parents’ attention.
Impactful child care email topics to send to your list
Information that makes your program unique
Do you offer yoga? Music? Etc… Chances are parents want to know about the special things you offer. By showing pictures of children in your program having a blast, it will make your school more desirable to parents and give you a chance to stand out.
Here’s where your email list becomes one of your most amazing enrollment tools. When you have your next vacancy, you’ll be able to fill those spots in no time by contacting those on your list to advertise your opening.
By segmenting to only those who fit the age criteria for that open enrollment slot, you’ll make sure it only lands in relevant inboxes.
News of community involvement and charitable endeavors
In our schools, we have a unique program called “Charity Tots” where we teach kiddos about a new charitable organization each month. Then, we pass around a decorated collection bucket and allow the children to donate money to the cause. In some cases, our staff volunteers at the charity as well.
Sending an email with pictures of your school in the act of giving is a simple idea that gives you a meaningful way to remind parents of your values and community involvement.
Discounts and promotions (Use sparingly)
Many people make the mistake of thinking email marketing should mostly be used to blast promotions, deals and discounts. As you’ve probably learned from your own experience as a consumer, this can get quite irritating and can have the opposite effect of increasing your unsubscribe rate.
While I understand that it’s important to advertise discounts and promotions from time to time, be sure to make your offer compelling. A good example of this would be Nordstrom’s half yearly sale. As the name implies, these deals come around only about every half a year which creates tremendous interest and demand.
I’m not saying you need that long in between promotions, but in my experience, offering discounts and promotions more than quarterly can diminish the value of the message.
New rooms or age groups
Parents always want to know when a new room or age group is added to your daycare program. If you plan on making room changes, make sure to get the word out ahead a couple of months in advance to allow time to build enrollment.
Share positive reviews
It’s ok to brag about your business once in a while… After all, you deserve some credit. You are tirelessly loving and caring for parents most valuable assets: their kids. When you receive five stars and praise on Yelp, Google, Facebook, or another listings and reviews site, there’s nothing wrong with taking a compilation of screenshots of those reviews and emailing them out periodically.
In fact, aside from making you look good, those positive reviews are very reassuring to parents. Hearing other parents gush about how well you take care of their children with warmth and attention is welcome news to parents.
Just remember — if you’re sharing a review from a current parent, run it by them first as a courtesy so they aren’t surprised to see themselves in your next email campaign.
TIP: Learn more about how to claim and manage your business’s listings and reviews.
New programs or offerings
I’m always trying to think of exciting and beneficial programs to enhance families’ experience with us. One example is our Claynguage Club. Claynguage Club offers an opportunity for children to engage in clay activities to develop creative forms of artistic and verbal expression. The activity is run by a speech & language pathologist. As you can imagine, parents love to hear about the added enrichment services we offer.
When we added a new program called Hopping In, which allows us to display our empty spots on a calendar for parents to book extra care when they need it, parents were happy to learn of the enhanced benefits they could now utilize.
Another offering we emailed parents about was during the 2020 pandemic. When many daycares were shut down, we created a “Childcare at Home” website. The site had tons of videos, projects and other content to assist our at-home families make the best use of their time with their kiddos.
As you can see in the image below, we made sure to make the graphics in the announcement about our Childcare at Home program appealing so that we could engage families.
Special events or open houses
When we host a special event such as a party in the park or an open house, we’ll leverage our email list to announce the event and build attendance. This helps us market the event without the expensive costs associated with graphic designers, flyers, snail mail, etc… It also allows us to quickly and easily provide a respectful cadence of reminder emails as the event gets closer.
Set yourself up for email marketing success
Increase enrollments and keep families informed with expert advice and all the tools you need, in one place.
Most childcare providers are super busy. But email marketing is something that should not be overlooked. Set up your list for success because email marketing can be one of your most important and cost-effective marketing tools.
As long as you take the time to deliver relevant, valuable messages, you’ll have an easy-to-use marketing platform that will help elevate your child care business and ease your marketing and enrollment efforts.