Let’s look at three different ways to advertise your upcoming open house, whether it’s online or on campus. There are some pros and cons when it comes to traditional marketing (direct mail and signs) to keep in mind.

The major cons are:

  • It’s more difficult to measure the effectiveness of traditional marketing compared to digital marketing. However, there are ways to learn how people heard about you, such as providing an offer code on marketing materials.
  • It’s harder to target your audience with traditional marketing than digital marketing which can make it more expensive because it requires a larger quantity of materials.

The major pros are:

  • Traditional marketing is a sure-fire way to reach everyone in your area. No one can escape direct mail or a sign at the intersection.
  • Traditional marketing gets results and can be cost-effective when executed strategically.

Click here for more on virtual tours.

Mount banners or signs at large intersections

Put up banners and signs in the busiest intersections of your city. The signs don’t even need to be right next to the school—it should be on the intersections that get the most traffic. Many people drive through your area on their commute to work and may not realize there is a school nearby.

Make sure your sign has a clear call-to-action (CTA). In this case, it would be something like, “Join our virtual open house this Saturday at 10:00 am!”

Door hanger for promoting your school's open houseDirect mail and door hangers

We recommend conducting direct mail with postcards. Unlike an enveloped letter, a postcard doesn’t have to be opened for people to understand what it is and it’s easier to consume. The chances are high that parents will at least skim your postcard and thus be made aware of your open house.

Be sure to include the following in your postcard:

• Your school logo should be large.

• Your CTA should be clear, and front and center. In this case, you can’t go wrong with, “Attend our open house!”

• Be sure to include a time, date, and location.

• Bonus points if you include a picture of someone who will greet attendees at the open house.

• An RSVP web address. Note about RSVP tracking: this is where we mix traditional promotion with digital techniques. Include a special website address on your postcard that allows parents to RSVP, something like www.exampleschool.edu/open-house-RSVP. This also functions as a tracking method.

A door hanger is a card that hangs on people’s front, which is impossible to miss when they come home. Because they can be expensive to produce and distribute, we suggest you mobilize school volunteers to distribute them. Here’s how to make that happen:

1. Segment your city into zones of about 100 houses each, where your ideal family is likely to live. Evaluate neighborhoods where your school’s current families live and focus on similar ones.

2. Assign a number to each zone.

3. Make a sign-up sheet so that volunteers can sign themselves up to distribute door hangers to a specific zone.

4. Next to the sign-up sheet, have the door hangers in bundles of approximately 100.

5. Send them on their merry way and have them let you know when they are all finished. That’s it!

Car window paintPaint your car rally

Another great way to get the word out is to have students’ parents write it on their cars with window paint markers. You can get these at craft, party or office supply stores.

It’s a great attention-getter. Plus, it’s a way to build camaraderie and school spirit among your families. It gives them an opportunity to tell the world about the very special school community they belong to.

After promoting your school’s open house, you’ll want to do your best to make a great first impression. Be sure to read the next blog in this series to learn four ways to do just that.

Another way to improve your school is with a better student information system. If yours is lacking in some area, then take a look at Gradelink. Watch a demo to see how your school can save time, improve enrollment and fulfill its mission.

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