As we’ve certainly made my own mistakes in spending lots of money on advertising, we want to make sure you don’t make the same preschool marketing strategies mistakes we did! So, before we give you some great techniques, we want to share those mistakes with you so you can judge for yourself if it will work for you (even though it didn’t work for us).
We figured advertising cost money, so in theory, the more money we spent, the more sign-ups we would get. We had never advertised a home business before, so we were a little gullible. We bought ads everywhere! And unfortunately, the more money we spent, the more money we lost. These are the 5 worst preschool marketing strategies we did that were NOT a good return on our investment.
1. Marketing in a Phone Book
We bought an ad in our local directory/phone book. This is even after phone books went out of style! There were local directories that our town made and dropped off at every door for free. If you wanted to be in that directory, though, you had to pay. We figured, “Great, that’s an easy way to get in front of every eyeball in our town!” Unfortunately, we didn’t receive a single phone call from that ad in the five years we paid for it.
2. Marketing in Magazines
We also bought ads in our local newspaper and magazine publications. We figured, “If other preschools were advertising there, it must work, right?” Wrong! Just because a bunch of other businesses have their ads in newspapers or magazines doesn’t mean that the money they spend each month directly equals the number of additional sign-ups they will get.
If you had a business without contracts (e.g. restaurants, dentists, financial services), we can see how you would want to continually be in front of people’s eyes to get them back into your business. But you only need to capture your audience once with preschool, and then you’ve got that family until their last child goes to kindergarten.
3. Marketing in Newspapers
Newspapers were also a poor choice because we was advertising in places our target market wouldn’t see. If our target market is 25- to 40-year-olds, then I made a poor choice putting an ad in a newspaper whose target market was 35- to 65-year-olds. Obviously, neither ad led to any sign-ups.
4. Not Delivering Marketing Materials
Another poor choice we made (and made it frequently) was to print a bunch of flyers and not deliver all of them. Delivering flyers is a lot of work, but if they don’t get into your future parents’ hands, they are a waste of money. To ensure we deliver all our flyers every time we market, we put a date on the coupon which forces me to deliver them all!
5. Marketing on Yelp and Yellow Pages
We also bought ads on online websites. While Facebook is a good choice because you can target your ads to your local market, the websites we advertised on were only helpful if people randomly came across those sites and saw our ad. It was a poor choice again that led to no sign-ups.
We hope learning our 5 worst preschool marketing strategies was helpful so you don’t make the same mistakes we did!