In today’s marketing saturated world, personalization has become one of the most effective tools for reaching through all the clutter and connecting with your audience. For school marketers, personalization is even more important, because parents expect more from their school than they would for any other business just selling simple goods and services. Your school has their children’s education in its hands, and so your communication with parents needs to show that you understand their needs, and that you’re school is the right fit for their family. In this article, we’ll explore personalization tactics and tools to help your school build better relationships with its families.
What is personalization?
Personalization is all about creating touch points for families, so they feel like you're talking directly to them, and that you have their wants and needs in mind. A personalized message will take into account your audience’s demographics, and will be crafted to catch their interest.
The aim of the game is appealing to families with the right information, at the right time, packaged in the most personalized way possible. By personalizing, you can attract the best possible students for your school. If you have a great music program, then you can attract great musicians(if you know how to speak to a musician’s heart, that is)!
Importance of personalization
Education is one of the biggest investments parents have to make for their children, so showing that you understand their specific needs is the best way to build strong connections with them and stand out from other schools early in the admissions process. Personalization helps you to cut through all the other marketing clutter, and if you’re a school with high fees, personalization can also be expected from your families.
Using data to personalize
When it comes down to it, data makes all the difference for your personalization efforts. Trying to craft personalized messages for families without the relevant data is a bit like trying to cook a meal without the ingredients!
If you don’t already have one, you need to put into place a data collection strategy so you’re always supplied with the information you need. While you’ll already have names, you should focus on collecting entry year, grade level, and special interests of the student (e.g. swimming, music, mathematics, etc).
Once you have collected the relevant data, you can begin to cluster the data into groups. A cluster could be as simple as all the students who are starting grade 4 in 2025, or all the students interested in signing up for the chess program. These clusters will make your life so much easier, and simplify the whole process.
Using a school CRM like Funnel to personalize admissions
From surfacing your data to organising it in clusters, the process can be quite tedious for school marketers and admissions pros. This is especially true if you’re a small team (or a team of one). However, technology can make all the difference, making life much easier and more efficient for small teams. For example, Digistorm Funnel allows you to use all the information collected from families (such as their names and special interests) to build meaningful connections as they’re nurtured along your school admissions pipeline.
Let’s look at 5 examples of how our school use Funnel to personalize a future family’s experience during the admissions process:
- Personalized birthday messages for children on the waitlist
- Invite clusters of special interest future students to non recruitment events (E.g those with an interest in music are invited to music recitals)
- Personalize messages to recruitment events and interviews based on special interests, or year levels
- Use names, entry year, and special interests to build out personalized nurture emails like invitations to open days, or introducing a new recruitment video.
- Creating tasks and automations in Funnel to trigger a personal interaction after a specific online action was performed. For example some schools might trigger a task to the admissions officer, to give a future family a call if they’ve not completed all the steps in an application form, to see if they need further help or information
Personalizing your messages to your school’s families will help you to build stronger connections and ongoing relationships, and assist you with nurturing them along the admissions pipeline. You already have a lot of useful information you can get started with, but by incorporating the right tools and strategies, you’re best setting yourself up for success.