Welcome to Part 1 of our Grow Your Program series. The goal: to give you some tips about how to make the best use of digital tools when marketing your classes.
Today’s topic: using your website!
Use Your Website
In this day and age, it sounds obvious that you should use your website to market your classes, but you might be surprised how often programs are missing a step or two that would help them to reach students more effectively.
To start, let’s review what makes a website so great.
It’s easy to take it for granted, but unlike your program, your website is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It doesn’t close for holidays and it never sleeps. Parents and students across the country are busy people. They’re often only available early in the morning or late at night after the kids go to bed. So having an effective, always-on presence can be huge for them.
Supports Your Brochure
Although more and more students are discovering classes online, websites make a great backup for your brochure. You can keep far more information online than you can ever print out and with today’s printing costs, who would want to? Use your brochure as a way of bringing students to your site where they can find out everything they need to know.
A study from the Pew Research Center identified ‘Internet Search’ as the leading method adults use to make decisions about their educational options, and that was more than 5 years ago. Since that time, use of computers and mobile devices has skyrocketed, further entrenching the web as the greatest information source on the planet — a trend that will absolutely continue.
Hopefully you all agree that a website is a wonderful thing to have. So let’s talk about the best way to make use out of it.
1. Make sure they know where to find you.
With such a great website, it starts with making sure everyone knows how to find it. And that means listing your website address in as many places as you can.
Places to list your website address:
- Your email signature line
With every email you send, make sure your address is easily clickable so folks can jump right to it for more info.
- Your brochure
It sounds obvious, but some programs still forget. Make sure to include your address throughout your printed brochure so students know where to go for more information. If you take registrations online (and you should!), make sure to let people know that they can register online 24/7 and use their credit card.
- Social Media
Make sure your website is included in all social media profiles. The last thing you want is to have someone find you on social media and not know where to go next. Make it easy for them.
2. List all classes on your site
Almost every program we work with has a printed brochure and many of them take the PDF of this printed material and link to it online. While that’s certainly easier for you, it’s not really easy for students. Although many computers have the ability to read these files, they are difficult to navigate and it’s often hard to search for students looking for classes.
The key to the web is making things super clear and the best way to do that is by listing all of your classes right on your website. Your students will thank you for it.
3. Make it easy to register
Granted, we’re biased when it comes to simple online registration. But — there’s a reason for it. It’s one of the most effective ways to grow your program. It’s a super convenient way for students to find the class they’re interested in and take action on it right away. With a printed brochure and mail-in registration, it’s far too easy to set it aside and say “I’ll come back later.” The inside secret: fewer people actually do come back later.
By making it easy for them to register right then by registering with their credit card, programs increase enrollments. Period.
4. Use photos for classes
Everyone knows that a picture is worth a thousand words, but did you know that it’s also worth money? We know from experience that all things being equal, a class with a photo is more likely to generate a registration than the one without. The higher quality the photo, all the better.
Do your best to bring high-quality photos into your site, showing off the great educational opportunities you have to offer. It makes all the difference in the world. (Side note: that’s why we built a high-quality, copyright-free image library right into CourseStorm.)
There are lots of other great things to list here that make for a great program website / catalog, but we don’t want to talk your ear off. If you’re interested in learning more about growing your program online, don’t hesitate to contact us.