It has rather been a mixed bag for academies and training institutes this year. On one side, several of them were able to go from strength to strength as a good number of working professionals enrolled for upskilling and reskilling programs during the COVID-19 lockdown. But on the other side, many academies – including dance studios, martial arts academies, and language schools – lost several of their students and had to suspend their operations. In fact, they are still left in limbo on when and how to restart again.
These contradicting fortunes for academies and training schools indicate that maintaining the student strength might be tricky during these times. Bu at the same time, if these institutions follow some smart strategies, they could increase their student enrollment owing to the recent demand.
The current situation has made it imperative for all types of educational institutions to have the option of conducting online lectures. But just offering online programs would not mean success. There are several other things that academies – be it a sporting academy, a language school, a skill training center, or a career academy – should get it right to increase student enrollment.
In this blog, let us see five strategies to increase student enrollment at academies and training institutes.
Get your loyal students to talk about you online
Making your loyal students – both present and past – talk positively about you online is one of the most effective and organic ways of marketing your academy. It increases the demand for your programs and eventually the student enrollment. According to experts, getting a positive word of mouth is a must in the present scenario, and academies should provide all sorts of avenues for their students/ customers to write testimonials and positive reviews about them. And it is an academy’s duty to ensure that the platform they provide their students to write/ shoot video of their testimonials is easy to use. They could also give them a default set of questions to answer so that writing testimonials get easier. Not only this, but the academies could also get their students to write good reviews on Google and other relevant platforms.
Do not underestimate lead nurturing
According to studies, on average, it takes about five engagements with potential leads to make them from being completely unaware to being totally aware of your academy. But in several cases, it could need several more engagements with the leads. Constant engagement with a large number of potential leads, though, might be a very exhausting process. Say you need to run a successful dance studio, you would regularly need to engage with the potential future students. But to get in touch with every lead, that too, multiple times may be practically difficult. This is where an efficient customer relationship management (CRM) software would come in handy. Through this, you can automate the engagement process and start and do an email campaign successfully. This way, you can also segregate your leads into groups and make the email content personalized. This is one of the most effective ways to increase enrollment.
Adopt a data-driven approach to increase enrolment
By now, we are all aware of how important data has become in our day to day life. Most of the decisions that we take or the choices we are provided are based on data analysis. To run a successful academy too – and to increase the student enrolment there – data could play a deciding role. Right from identifying the potential leads to understanding them better by studying their online patterns, everything is possible through data. For this again, CRM is an effective tool. Possessing a good CRM software will help academies to identify exactly the right kind of students they are looking for and could help them develop a good strategy to make them understand the benefits of enrolling in their academy.
Follow the blended learning model
As we had mentioned in the beginning, it is now imperative to provide online classes irrespective of what kind of academy you run – be it a martial arts school or a language training school. By this, we do not mean that the physical classes are important. But offering blended learning – which is a combination of the online and traditional classroom and teaching – a particular program/ course could instantly become more attractive. And most importantly, the course would become more flexible. If a particular student is going through a busy phase personally or professionally, he/ she could always resort to online classes during those periods. Offering online classes just for the sake of it though could be counterproductive. But if an academy could opt for a good learning management system (LMS), it could make its online classes as interactive and immersive experience as a traditional classroom.
Make your programs flexible
This isn’t a direct strategy to increase enrollment. But offering programs/ courses at your academies that are flexible and personalized could majorly help in making a potential lead choose you over your competitors. Customization and personalization have become the norm in almost every customer-oriented business. Similarly, if academies could offer the exact program that a student wants, they would stand a very good chance at increasing their enrollment. Hence, academies could do several outreach programs and social media campaigns about how flexible their courses are. This could even turn a non-lead into a potential lead.