3-Day Preschool Marketing Experiment

Jan 27th, 2010 | By | Category: Featured Articles, Teaching Tips

Join us as we prove that even in the dead of winter, even in the crappiest economy, you can still fill up a preschool class in 3 days by following some very simple preschool marketing strategies!

Day 1:

Arose today with a lofty goal in sight: print, fold, and stuff over 1,500 flyers and deliver them to the front doors of unexpecting stay-at-home mothers.  After fine-tuning my most profitable flyer design for preschool marketing, I sent it off to UPS to be printed.

Preschool Marketing Flyers

After buckling in my 4-year-old son and driving only 5 minutes across town, I greeted Mark the UPS guy by name (I swear I keep him in business!) to pick up my flyers.  As I went to pick up the ridiculously heavy box, Mark jumped right over and said, “Huh-uh, pregnant women aren’t supposed to cart heavy things around!”  Right… tell that to my laundry hamper!

Came home to carry the box OUT of the car, and finally looked inside.  Wow.  1,500 flyers looked like a lot of work!  Now, why 1,500 you may ask?  Because with preschool marketing, for every 100 flyers you pass out, only one person will sign up.

And if I’ve ever heard a complaint about not being able to fill up a preschool class, THIS is the reason for the failure: they think that if they put out 300 flyers, they’ll get 30 students to sign up.  And it’s usually not their marketing method that’s flawed – it’s just the amount of preschool marketing that they’re putting out.  Sometimes you have to double, triple, even quadruple your efforts to see an impact.

Now, as I need 10 brand new preschool enrollees, I figured I may as well over-do it to guarantee success.  And I can always use the publicity to help with next fall’s enrollment.

I soon made it into a game with my son where I tri-folded a chunk of flyers (with the wording on the outside so you can immediately see it’s a preschool marketing flyer) and my son took the chunk and threw each individual folded flyer onto the ground.  He was having a blast.  Then I gathered the partially-folded flyers up and flattened them good.  This continued for several hours, with several snack breaks in between.  (After all, if you expect a child to work with you, sugary rewards are the best payment system!)  And then I took each flyer and stuffed it into a plastic doorknob hanger perfect for preschool marketing when you can’t guarantee sunshine and perfect weather.

4 hours later, we were done.  I’m sure there is a better system out there somewhere that does not take 4 hours.  But in any case, we were done.  After that, I put a quick ad on Craigslist for our new preschool class opening up in February –  May and I was all set!

Coming Up Tomorrow: We are all set to deliver the flyers first thing tomorrow morning.  I look forward to hamburgers, fries, and a chocolate-covered ice cream cone to reward us for our hard work when we’re finished!

And now that I’ve given you the run-down of how I tackle a huge box full of flyers, I’d love to hear your comments, thoughts, or tricks of your trade for preschool marketing on what you do that works!

Day 2

This will have to be a very quick post, as I’m headed up to a conference right now.  But my 6 yr. old daughter doesn’t have Kindergarten in the morning, so I took her on the road with me for her to hang out the window and put the flyers on the mailbox flags, as it was a beautifully sunny day outside.

The first mailbox was hilarious, as it took at least a minute for her to figure out a system that worked for her.  But pretty soon she was in the swing of things and could put them on almost as quick as I could.  We got out about half of huge stack of flyers, and I will take to the roads early tomorrow morning to finish off the pile.

I’ve already started receiving calls, saying: You only have 3 spots left!?!  Can I have one!?!  So I’m setting up our interviews for tomorrow night at 7 p.m. and should have a nice houseful of people to sign up!

We’ll keep you posted!

Day 3:

Last day of our experiment!  Who’s excited!?!  I am!

So today my sweet hubby took a few hours out of his schedule today to deliver flyers with me!  We stocked up on licorice, water, and even some Doritos for those lunch munchies!  We set out with our last stack of 600 flyers and were stoked to get them out quickly!

Note: If you’re delivering these flyers via door-to-door, plan on spending an hour to deliver about 100 flyers – but that’s only if you’re jogging and putting all the flyers into a subdivision with homes close together.  You can cut that time in half (or more!) by hanging the flyers on the mailbox flags and driving them around with a partner.

CAVEAT: MAKE SURE YOU CALL YOUR POST OFFICE TO SEE IF IT’S OKAY IF YOU HANG THEM ON THE MAILBOX FLAGS.

So even after making sure it’s okay to do it in my town, I still get a call or two every time I send out flyers from a homeowner who’s not particularly happy to get my flyer.  They’re usually never angry; instead, they typically want to help me out by saying: I don’t know if you know this, but it’s illegal to hang these on our mailbox, and I just don’t want you to get in trouble.  So I thought I’d call.  I got one of those such calls last night.

As I was in a meeting and couldn’t answer the phone, I had to listen to a 2-minute voicemail where a gentleman informed me he hoped I would find different advertising methods in the future (such as direct mail) and that if I had damaged his mailbox flag (which I didn’t) that he would come after me to repair the damages.  But even while he was saying all this, he still sounded like he wanted to help me out.  Interesting!

Moving on…

We put on some tunes and started knocking out those flyers!  Boy do I love the track subdivisions that installs everyone’s mailbox in the same place with the same type of flag and it’s super easy to speed along and knock out 100 super quick.  Always be careful to not run into garbage cans, mailboxes, and parked cars!  I know it sounds obvious, but it’s so easy to misjudge the mailbox when you’re trying to get close enough for your partner to hang that flyer!

I’ve changed my interview day for tomorrow at 10 a.m. to hopefully get a bunch of people to sign up at the same time.  And now, all our flyers are done, and I am off to take a long hot bath and soak my aching knees (you have to prop yourself up on the passenger side seat to reach all those mailboxes, and after a few hours, your legs can start really hurting!)

Stay tuned tomorrow for the results of our 3-day Preschool Marketing Experiment!

Experiment Results:

Success!  I was a bit nervous at first with all the rainy weather that had delayed our flyers, but once the sunshine came out I knew we were going to have a great turnout!  We filled up the spots in our brand new class and today was their very first day!  Because I now accept “Independent Almost 3-Year-Olds” that allows me to get a child into the preschool for almost 3 full preschool years.  This is a great way to ensure the continuity of your preschool program without much effort on your part to get new enrollments each year!

And now that I’ve filled up this class, I have 10 new families that will continue on with us in the Fall/Winter session next year as well!

I wish you all the best in your own marketing pursuits, and keep me updated on your preschool’s progress!

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16 comments
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  1. Sounds like you’ve been busy! What a great idea to make it a fun mother/son event – I like bringing my children along when I deliver flyers. This way I can drive and my 10 yr old can hang flyers on the mailbox flags. Good idea to put them in the plastic sleeves in inclement weather.

  2. Love the flyer design – where did you get it?

  3. How did you know the homes where stay at home moms live? Did you get a mailing list for that?

  4. Great question! I actually target specific subdivisions based on their “look.” That’s how technical my marketing is! lol. I look for subdivisions that look like they’re either for starter homes all the way up to middle income families. You’ll find your best success there for reaching the stay-at-home moms.

  5. Where do you order the sleeves to put the flyers in?

    Also what is the most important information to include to make you more marketable?

    Thanks!

  6. Great Idea, THANKS! I’m in the final stages of my business plan and this will help. Unfortunately I am unable to have a home program because of being a foster parent, god forbid you “double dip” from the state! It’s all about the money with them, so I’m just going to open a seperate center! Just a few dozen more hoops to jump through! Do you have a basic template that you used or program?

  7. This is fun. I think I like this motivation! I sat down right away and made a flyer. It’s like working with a team.
    I have past out flyers before, probably just 150 and received 1 student so this is right on.
    My tip is to offer a coupon at the end. I put on the bottom a box that says “Bring this coupon to receive $10 off first month” or “Bring a friend! The friend receives $10 off also and you will receive $20 off the second month for referring… basic idea.
    What do you think?
    I am also curious about the sleeves. I couldn’t find anyone that offered them.

  8. Hi again,
    I have been calling around and searching for the bags today. The only place I have found them is ULine.com
    It looks like you can get alot of them sz 4×12. Has anyone found any cheaper then $17 – 19 per 1000?

  9. Hi Holly! Uline is definitely the place to go for those bags! Great job for finding them. I actually get them at my local UPS for $15 for 1500, but that’s only because he has some local distributor who gets them cheaper. If you don’t have a local connection, then ULine.com is definitely the best place to get them! Thanks for the link for everyone.

  10. I did have this experience, and I can tell it works!!!

  11. Hi Joy, Congratulations on getting your class filled! Where I live, however,
    all new and newer developments have “group” mailboxes – just one gaint box with locks. No flags, nothing to hang anything on. It’s a matter of going up to each house and handing them on doorknobs! I know you could pay a service to deliver your flyers for you and hang them on doorknobs (along with other advertisements). I’m guessing that’s too expensive…? Have you ever looked into that?

  12. Hi Joy,

    Fellow micro-continuity student here. There are such things as paper folding machines that will do tri-folds and so on quite quickly. My church had an older model that was a bit cantankerous but worth the time and effort that it saved. I bet you could find one on eBay or Craig’s List. Good luck!

  13. Hi girls,
    I just purchased bags from associated bag online. It’s an even better price then I found on uline. I got the 6×12 bags and I only have to fold my flyers in half and they got the bags to me in 2 days. Enough time to print and fold the flyers.

  14. Hi Joy!

    Im from Manila, Philippines. I’m really interested to start my own preschool because I love staying at home and i love kids. But to get your free cd i should have a credit card. I don’t have one. Is there any way I can avail your cd?

    I hope you don’t mind if you reply thru my email. Thank you so much! Looking forward to hear from you soon!

  15. Every time I come to http://www.startapreschool.com you have another fascinating post to read. A friend of mine was talking to me about this topic a couple weeks ago, so I think I’ll send them the url here and see what they say.

  16. Hi Ms. Joy,

    I like your item…
    Please share some more.
    Thank you.

    Helen

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