The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Your New Term Classes
As the new term nears, ensuring that you fill all the spots for your classes can be daunting. Here’s our top tips to help you market your new term.
Having a plan to reach new and existing customers is a priority. Below we map out some of the most effective ways to ensure that when the new term begins, your classes will be full.
Before you begin any marketing activity, always try to calculate how much you can afford to pay for a new customer, so that you have a clear value of how much you can afford to spend to attract someone new.
For example, if after all your costs associated with running a class, you’re left with £6, then for each class you have up to £6 to spend to convert a new customer. If the average customer attends five classes in a term, then a new customer is worth £30 to you, which gives you a clear sense of how much you can afford to invest in your marketing activity to convert a new customer.
Step 1: Announce Your New Classes
Ahead of the new term starting, plan out when you’ll get in touch with your existing customers about the new term dates and programme. If you have email subscribers, map out the dates and times that you plan to email your existing base of customers, and coordinate these with other social posts and supporting marketing activities.
Getting the basics right is essential. Try to clearly communicate:
The dates your class is running.
Start and end times.
Any special requirements in relation to your class.
Always include a clear call to action button to book or next steps on how they can confirm their spot for the class and pay.
From sending millions of emails at Hoop, we’ve learned that families are most likely to engage with your newsletter at the start or end of the day when they’re not working or caring for children, so aim to schedule your emails for early morning (for those 6 am wake-ups) or in the evening (after bedtime). These are the times when parents are browsing online, and you’re most likely to have success in converting customers.
When you build your communications plan, think about the situation of your customer at each date that you send your email. For example, if you have a new class starting in early September, you might choose to send the following series of emails:
Early August: New Term Dates. Introduce all the information parents need to know about the class, and any improvements and changes to your programme.
Mid August: Announcement. Reveal something special about your new term, what’s going to make it even better this term and why families can’t afford to miss out. This email is your opportunity to really sell the best of what your class has to offer.
Late August: Final Spots Remaining. Create some urgency, as the final spots are about to sell out. Reminding customers that the class starts in a couple of days and if you don’t book now, you’ll miss out! This is your last chance to create buzz and fill those final spots before the new term starts.
At each stage remember to remove customers that have already booked a spot from the next email to avoid contacting customers that have already booked.
Hoop Tip: Make sure you’re only getting in touch with customers who have chosen to subscribe to your emails. Under GDPR regulations, remember you can only email market to customers that have explicitly opted-in to receive emails from you.
Step 2: Promote Your Classes on Social Media
To complement your email newsletters, turn to social media to communicate similar messages, confirming when the new term starts and what’s going to make this term worth the investment.
Social media is a crowded space and making your posts stand out is a challenge. Use the relationship you have with your customers to your advantage, name-checking the special experiences they will have enjoyed in the last term to make your posts really resonate the customer that follow you.
Each social media platform uses a different algorithm that determines the posts that you will see in your feed. The upshot is not everyone that follows your account will necessarily see your post. A Facebook post with low engagement might only reach 2-5% of the people following an account.
It is often tempting to post up stacks of posts promoting your new classes, but in doing so, you’re likely to dilute the quality of each post and reduce the chances of someone seeing your messages.
Social media platforms try to show the most relevant and engaging content to a user, which so if your posts don’t get positive engagement regularly, subsequent posts are less likely to be shared with your followers. This is a trend that has accelerated in recent years as each platform tries to ensure that their users only see the most engaging content intermixed with advertisements.
With this in mind, your time is best spent posting fewer high-quality social media posts, not bombarding your followers with information. Not only will your customers value the posts more highly, but there’s a better chance that your audience will see what you’re sharing.
To promote your new classes and encourage engagement you could:
Share ideas around how they can do parts of your class at home to entertain their kids.
Run a competition for families to win a free class.
Show-off videos and photos of the best bits of your class.
Talk about your team’s experience and background, and why they care so much about what they do.
Share testimonials and experiences of your customers to share why your class is so special.
For more ideas on how to optimise your social media profile, read our guide: 7 Essential Tips for Family Activity Organisers On Social Media.
Step 3: Reach Out to the Local Community
There are thousands of incredible local parenting networks online, from local Facebook groups to nearby micro-influencers, and working with people in your area can be an effective way to spread the word about your classes ahead of the new term.
Introducing your classes on local Facebook groups is a simple way to share your activities within the local community. Before posting on a Facebook group, always check the group’s guidelines. These will typically be set out by the group’s administrator and will indicate the type of commercial post that are permitted and when you can post.
As with your own social media posts, the more engagement (comments, likes, shares) you can get on your posts, the more people it will reach. With this in mind, think about what you can post about your classes that will engage local families the most. For example, running a competition to attend your class.
While local influencers may seem beyond your budget, it is worth contacting people you feel would have a strong following with potential local customers. You could offer to run a one-off experience for their children, or simply invite them to attend your first class in return for promoting your activities. Just because an influencer works with bigger local companies or national brands, doesn’t mean they won’t consider working with you. The key consideration is whether you can offer them an experience that will impress their family.
Word of mouth is still one of the top channels for attracting new customers, so encouraging the families who regularly attend your classes to tell the people they know - other parents at the school, NCT friends, neighbours with similar age kids - is a great way to get the word out.
Step 4: Use Discounts to Nudge your Customers
Used wisely, discounts can be a smart way to nudge customers to book, but used without thought can damage the profitability of your classes.
Before you issue any discount promotions, always have a clear picture of what your profit margin is on a new and existing customer. Once you have a clear picture of how much you can afford to pay to attract a new customer or encourage a previous customer to rebook, then you can start to think strategically about how you use discounts to get them booking your new term. Here are some successful approaches to using discount codes:
Offer an early-bird discount to nudge customers when you first announce your class. Ensure that this offer expires fast, to incentivise customers to book early.
Offer a referral code to existing customers to encourage them to promote your classes. The most effective approaches for referral codes is to reward both parties, so the existing customer gets a discount as well as their friend. For example ‘Give £5, Get £5-off’.
Offer a discount for customers to encourage families to book a full term, or multiple sessions. If you run single sessions, offering an incentive to customers to book a full-term of multiple sessions will increase the chances of a customer committing beyond a one-off booking.
Hoop Tip: Organisers who use Hoop’s Boosted Listings to take booking for their activities can easily set up discount codes using Hoop for Organisers. Learn more here.
Step 5: Drive Sales with Hoop
No guide to marketing your classes to families would be complete without ensuring that your activity listings are up-to-date and bookable on Hoop.
Hoop has the largest audience of families looking for kids activities in the UK and is the most effective way to reach new customers. Unlike all other marketing channels, all of Hoop’s audience are proactively looking to find and book kids activities. To stand out from the crowd on Hoop we recommend that you:
Ensure that all your listings are up-to-date with correct information. Login here to update your listings
Make sure your listing has an eye-catching image, concise, helpful descriptions and all additional information about your class is filled out to give families lots of context to your classes.
Boost your listings to get 6x more view in the app and to make it easy for families to book your class. Learn more here.