Updated: Jan 27
by Trevor Waddington, Principal, Truth Tree
Since websites became a thing all schools needed, they have evolved. I shudder thinking about the info dump geared to current parents with a scrolling ticker 😝. I smile and ogle the strategically curated site focused on storytelling to emote prospective families to take action.
We've come a long way. However, some schools have come a little farther in the quest to compel parents to inquire.
One of the biggest differences we see at Truth Tree is where parents are sent once they click on an ad.
If ads get parents interested, it's the landing pages that get them excited.
I don't have precise data for private school conversion rates, aka landing page effectiveness, but according to Unbounce, 2.6% is the average for higher education.
Here's the catch, though.
Colleges and universities are not competing with FREE. And, while on the decline, most professional occupations require a college degree.
Flip the coin over, and there are free public and charter schools, and while K-12 is compulsory, private education is primarily a want, not a need.
Can you think of an industry where there's a huge difference between the free and paid version when it's not a necessity? If you can, put your comment down below.
The thing is, when a parent clicks on your landing page, here's how it usually goes down.
Types: Private school near me for middle school.
Clicks on a desirable ad (probably a Truth Tree ad 😉).
Skims the information.
Opens a new tab and goes to a private school review site. Also looks at other school reviews.
Goes to social and asks friends. We are looking at school X. Does anyone have info on them?
Concludes your school is worth pursuing.
Goes to Google and types in your school's name and calls, emails, signs up, or fills out a form.
This is not a one-day process. It normally takes days and weeks (that's why remarketing is so important).
But Trevor, if landing pages convert less than 3% of visitors, what's the point?
The point is, at least allow them to reach out but stop telling them how awesome you are and pressuring them with a form-focused squeeze page (unless it's close to the start of the school year and their Google search terms scream, 'we need a school, pronto').
Instead, tell them how awesome they would be for pursuing your school and give them something of value in exchange for their information.
First, it starts with the ad. Sure, you want it to be ultra-clickable. But that begins with compelling, differentiated copy that speaks instead of dictates to them.
Think of it as your once upon a time.
Once upon a time, a school near me had an excellent STEAM program and Mandarin as a foreign language offering.
The next part of the story is told on your landing page.
The STEAM program included two innovation labs for maximum hands-on learning, and the Mandarin language program has a 67% fluency rate after 4 years.
All of the above sounds great to the parent, and they like what you offer. However, an inbox inquiry received email doesn't come through.
But wait, savvy landing page designer, you're not going to let them get away that easily, are you? Because you have an offer for them, right?
The download rate for this should be between 7 and 14%, depending on how relevant it is to the persona and where they are in the admission funnel or enrollment cycle (how helpful will it be for them right now?).
So for the greater than 85% of those ready to leave your landing page and click out of the window...BAM...they get a popup with an even better offer.
An interactive quiz that gives them essential feedback.