#1 Christian School Marketing Plan: How To Reach Max Capacity [2023]

Table of Contents

Have you been trying everything to fill those empty seats at your Christian school but nothing is working?

If this sounds like you then you’re in the right place.

In this article, you are going to get a crazy effective Christian school marketing plan that gets REAL results, and we will show you some of our results along the way. 

I’m going to spill the beans about Christian school marketing because, at Clickmill, we believe the world needs more Christian schools that give children a Christian worldview.

By the end of this article, you will be able to implement a Christian school marketing plan that will get your Christian school to max capacity.

Here is what we will cover in this article:

Christian School Marketing Plan Section 1: No More Marketing Ideas For Christian Schools

Christian School Marketing Plan Section 2: Understanding A Real Christian School Marketing Plan

Christian School Marketing Plan Section 3: Value Ladder Marketing For Christian Schools

Christian School Marketing Plan Section 4: How To Fix Your Christian School Website Design – Yourself

Christian School Marketing Plan Section 5: Keywords Are CRAZY Important For Christian Schools

Christian School Marketing Plan Section 6: How & Why To Use SEO On Your Website

Christian School Marketing Plan Section 7: Christian School Advertising That’s Super Profitable

Christian School Marketing Plan Section 8: Designing Landing Pages That Generate Leads

Christian School Marketing Plan Section 9: Christian School Social Media Strategy

Christian School Marketing Plan Section 10: Full Sales Process For Closing Christian School Leads

Christian School Marketing Plan Section 1: No More Marketing Ideas For Christian Schools

There are a lot of Christian School leaders who are searching around online for terms like “marketing ideas for Christian schools”. Maybe this is you. This isn’t particularly uncommon as lots of church pastors are looking for marketing “ideas” too. 

It is nevertheless problematic if you want to get your school to max capacity. 

Marketing ideas seldomly work because marketing ideas are disconnected from one another. 

Trying a bunch of random and unconnected ideas creates chaos, not order. 

There are all kinds of Christian school marketing ideas out there that just don’t get results. Here are a few we’ve come across:

-Send out fliers

-Make use of community bulletin boards

-Make more announcements at church

-Post more on your social media page

-etc.

Some of these may work if an entire marketing plan were in place to support them, but as stand-alone ideas, they can’t accomplish anything. 

The more individual ideas you try, the more overwhelming your marketing attempts become and the fewer results you create. 

You don’t need ideas to fill your Christian school, you need a proven Christian school marketing plan, and that’s what you are going to get. 

Christian School Marketing Plan Section 2: Understanding A Real Christian School Marketing Plan

To properly set up your Christian school marketing system, you have to properly understand how each strategy is supposed to work together to create the final result – lots of new students.

Without this understanding, each strategy just turns into a bunch of unconnected marketing ideas and you will be right back where you started. 

Let’s look at how marketing works on the most basic level and work our way up to your Christian school marketing plan.

Look at the image below: 

Christian school marketing plan

There are three phases of this Christian school marketing funnel. This is the same process that works for churches, plumbers, therapists, doctors, and pretty much every service industry business out there.

Connect 

The connect phase of the marketing funnel is the very beginning of your relationship with a new person. New relationships can begin online, or they can begin in person. This might happen on social media, Youtube, through advertising, or organic website traffic. 

This part of the marketing process is known as Traffic Generation Marketing because sending traffic to your Christian school website is the #1 goal in the connect phase of your marketing system. 

To effectively generate more traffic that ends up on your website you will need to do the following:

  1. Understand who your audience is
  2. Go to the places you can most effectively reach your audience (away from your school and your school’s website)
  3. Send them to your website
  4. Solve a problem for your audience in exchange for their contact information (without creating any new problems in the process).

Relationship Analogy: Marketing is just the act of systematizing relationship-building strategies. If we were to equate the connect phase of the marketing funnel with a similar phase in a dating relationship – we might say this is the handshake phase. It’s the first meeting when you’re trying to get up the courage to ask the other person to go out to coffee (aka, visit your website). Dinner and a movie are probably too much commitment at this point in the relationship. The other person wants to know you can hold a half-decent conversation in public before they commit to anything more. 

People are only willing to commit proportionately to their level of trust in you. When you increase their trust in you they will commit naturally. 

This means you should never try to convince them that your school is right for them, instead just focus on building trust and they will convince themselves. 

The connect phase of the marketing funnel is the very beginning of your relationship with possible clients. 

Convert

Once you have connected with potential clients, the only goal is to send them to your website. 

In the convert phase of the marketing funnel, you have successfully sent a new visitor to your website and you now have only ONE new goal. You need to get the new user’s contact information. Remember what we said just a moment ago about commitment increasing proportionately with trust? 

Well, there is no amount of trust you can build the very first time someone visits your website to warrant them agreeing to spend thousands of dollars with you. The trust just isn’t there for that type of commitment.  

So how do you build this trust? 

Your audience wants you to build trust with them in 3 ways. They want to see a brochure. Your audience will want to talk to someone in the office to make sure this is a real place and not some scam (people actually worry about this stuff). 

Lastly, this is what most Christian schools don’t realize –  your audience wants to see your campus. They want to be sure it’s just like they imagine a school should be – happy kids paying attention in class, chasing each other around at recess. 

These potential clients want to know there aren’t any cages in the basement. You might think I’m joking, but people fear what they haven’t seen, and if they haven’t taken a tour of your school, you’re not going to get many new students. 

It’s your job to root out and overcome all the fears your potential clients have. Of course, there is NO WAY you can do this on someone’s first visit to your website.

This means you need their name, email, and phone number so you can follow up with them after they visit your website. We will discuss more about how to follow up later but for now, let’s just stick to getting their contact information. 

To make it even more challenging, you only have about 30 seconds to get their contact information or they will leave your website and never come back. 

This means your entire website needs to be 100% hyper-focused on speaking to new parents in a way they find meaningful, and then offer to solve a problem in exchange for their contact information.

Relationship Analogy: So you passed the handshake part of the relationship and you got up the courage to ask your potential date to coffee, and they said yes. That’s a big win! If your coffee date goes well, the next step in the relationship is to get down on one knee and propose… right? Wrong

A proposal at this point in the relationship would freak them out and send them running for the hills. Instead, you have to build their trust over lots of dates, meet their family, and become a part of their life. Only when their trust is proportionate to the lifelong commitment of marriage will they say YES when you pop the big question. 

So what do we learn from this? Don’t be the Christian school that plasters APPLY NOW all over your homepage. You’re proposing on your first date and they will go find some other school who can build trust with them in a comfortable way.  

In the CONVERT phase of the marketing funnel, your goal is to ask for AS LITTLE COMMITMENT AS POSSIBLE while still getting the user’s name, email, and phone number. 

When you get direct contact information from visitors, you have CONVERTED them from passive users to active participants. 

Digital marketings call this a CONVERSION and it is the #1 most important function of your website. 

Once someone has converted on your Christian school website, they become what is known as a LEAD. A lead is a person you will begin pursuing and building a relationship with in hopes they become a paying client. It’s important that you build the relationship in a way that is most comfortable for the lead. We will discuss exactly how to do this later. 

In the Convert phase of your Christian school marketing plan, your top goal is to get the people on your website to provide their contact information. 

Close

Lastly, in the close phase of the Christian school marketing funnel, your goal is to build trust with each lead so much that when you finally ask them to apply, they are ALREADY SOLD.

Here are the two basic steps in the close phase of any marketing funnel:

  1. Build the relationships with your lead
  2. Close the sale

Here are some strategies that are used to build relationships in a Christian school marketing funnel:

  1. Automated SMS/text follow-ups
  2. Automated Email followup sequences
  3. Online school tours
  4. In person guided tours
  5. Personal Phone call follow-ups
  6. Etc.

Relationship Analogy: It’s generally a bad idea to propose until you’re sure the answer will be YES. The same is true with asking parents to hand over their children to your Christian school. 

Never ask before you know they are ready. 

Below is a more complete version of the Christian school marketing funnel we use here at Clickmill.

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You will notice that there are lots of strategies that can be used to accomplish the main goal of each phase: connect, convert, and close. In the sections below we will go over how to implement each one in a way that gets your school lots of new students. 

Christian school marketing plan

Before we continue to the next section, I want to revisit what we discussed earlier about marketing ideas

Look at the complete marketing funnel and notice that no single marketing strategy brings a new student into your Christian school. 

You can do EVERYTHING right, but if you miss just one step (connect, convert, or close) you will not bring in new students. 

This is often the reason Christian schools don’t get as many new students as they should. 

For example, I have worked with clients who successfully created viral social media posts (one post had over 2 million likes). Unfortunately, the client didn’t provide a link that sent those people to the website where they could be incentivized to enter their name, email, and phone number. 

Can you guess what results they got? 

None.

**NOTE: This explanation of the marketing funnel (connect, convert, close) is an abbreviated version of what you can find in the post below. In that article, I show you how those marketing principles are Biblically sound and look at specific passages where Jesus and the disciples use each one of these principles to influence their own followers. If you would like to better understand this Biblical process, you can see it here: Church Marketing Online: The Biblical Way To Grow Your Church

Christian School Marketing Plan Section 3: Value Ladder Marketing For Christian Private Schools

In this section, you will discover the exact process you should walk your new parents through so that you build their trust and commitment in the most effective way possible. 

This is where we need to understand the VALUE LADDER. 

Christian school marketing plan

The value ladder is how you build trust with your audience One. Step. At. A. Time

The value ladder has the lowest trust/commitment step of your potential client’s journey at the bottom of the ladder and the highest commitment step at the top. Each step in between should progressively increase the amount of trust and commitment required of your potential clients. 

Once they have taken each step on your value ladder and reached the top, they will then enroll their students into your Christian school. 

As we continue, we will refer to each rung on your value ladder as an ACTION STEP

Each time a parent goes up a rung on the ladder, they must take some kind of strategic action step that you have identified with your team in advance.

(If you haven’t defined a clear, step-by-step process for leads to follow with your own team, it’s ridiculous to think that clients are going to figure it out for themselves.) 

To use the value ladder properly there are two things that you must do at all times before a student is enrolled in your program: 

One Action At A Time: Only give potential clients 1 Action Step at a time – not more. Many Christian school leaders make the mistake of taking a shotgun approach right on the home page. They throw 15 action steps out there all at once. 

This not only confuses and frustrates parents on your website (“wait, what are we supposed to do now?”) but it also overwhelms them to see every step all at once. When this happens, they get frustrated and end up going somewhere else. 

It’s your job to hold their hand as your potential clients move up each rung on your value ladder. 

They should only be thinking about the single action step they need to take at the moment. 

The Right Action Step: Each action step on your value ladder should be the RIGHT STEP

Parents have specific mental expectations of how they want to interact with your school before they commit and they want to feel that you care about and understand them. This is how you build their trust.

For Example: Have you ever called your phone service provider to ask a question about your billing statement and ended up pulling your hair out in the process? 

Christian school marketing plan

What always seems to happen when you make this call? First, you are routed through 10 different automated voice machines that can’t ever seem to understand you. Then you sit on hold for 45 minutes. When someone finally answers they let you know YOU have called the wrong number. So you get transferred and sit through a hold for a second time and then get someone who barely speaks English. They half-fix your issue while creating another one you have to call back about 30 days later. 

So why did you feel so frustrated? You had expected to dial a phone number, get a helpful professional who solves your problem quickly (and without creating more problems in the process.) The frustration came in when things did not go according to your expectation. 

Your potential clients also have expectations about your signup process and how it should go. The better you meet those expectations, the more students you will get. 

So what is the correct order of action steps you need to guide your clients through without creating undue frustration on the part of your parents? 

Before we get into the exact value ladder process that works for Christian schools you need to understand what type of business a Christian school is when it comes to marketing.

The marketing funnel is essentially the same for every service industry business – Connect, Convert, Close. In this way, marketing essentially never changes. Every service industry business also has a value ladder that works just as we have described above. 

That said, the rungs on the value ladder are often quite different depending on the type of service business. Clickmill and your school both offer services, but the action steps leading up to each of us getting clients will be somewhat different. 

For example, our top rung for ministry leaders is to sign a proposal, yours is for parents to go through an enrolment process. They are similar, but not the same. 

Understanding the type of business a Christian school is will help you narrow down what the action steps for your leads should be.  

A Christian school, from a marketing perspective, is a VENUE BUSINESS. This means you sell your school pretty much the same way you would sell bookings at a wedding venue or Christian camp. Yep, most people find this a little odd but hear me out. 

To properly market a wedding venue, the bride must tour the actual venue. If she falls in love with the venue during the tour and can envision her perfect day in her mind, the deal is closed. 

The odds of a successful wedding venue booking go up exponentially the moment the bride steps foot on the venue.

The same is true for your school. Mom and Dad NEED (it’s an actual need) to see where their kids will be spending their days. They need to buy into your school and its vision. They need to see kids having fun on the playground and they need to see a clean cafeteria. The moment parents step foot in your school for a tour, your odds of closing the deal skyrocket.

Here are the Christian School Value Ladder Action Steps we have found to be most effective with our clients:

Action Step 1 – Website Brochure Download

Action Step 2 – Phone Call To School

Action Step 3 – Website Tour Booking

Action Step 4 – School Tour

Action Step 5 – Enrollment Process

Here is a brief description of each action step and how it leads to getting new enrollments. 

ACTION STEP 1 – Website Brochure Download: When a website user downloads a brochure, your staff will be notified online and they will follow up with the new leads. 

ACTION STEP 2 – Phone Call To School: If Parents choose to call the school instead of downloading a brochure, the #1 goal of the call is to get them to book a tour of the school. 

ACTION STEP 3 – Website Tour Booking: Whether your website visitors called your school, downloaded a brochure, or just walked into the office, your goal is ultimately to get them to schedule a time to come and tour your campus. 

ACTION STEP 4 – School Tour: Once your leads are taking your guided school tour, you should give them every reason to fall in love with your school.

ACTION STEP 5 – Enrollment Process: At the end of every school tour be prepared to call your leads to action. Ask them to fill out an application with your school right there and then. 

We will get into exactly how to apply each of these action steps at the end of the article. I will give you lots of practical tips, but first, let’s look at the marketing strategies that bring in new leads.

Christian School Marketing Plan Section 4: How To Fix Your Christian School Website Design YOURSELF

Christian school marketing plan

This Christian school marketing plan is 100% based on your website being able to entice people to hand over their name, email, and phone number. 

If your Christian school website design isn’t accomplishing this now, it’s a HUGE problem and you need to get it fixed ASAP. 

Before we can fill your Christian school website with new visitors, it has to be able to successfully fulfill its role in your Christian school marketing plan; it has to convert new visitors (get name, email, and phone numbers). 

To increase your website’s conversion rate (the percentage of people who give you contact information on your website), you need to INCREASE CLARITY and DECREASE COMPLEXITY

Before we go over exactly how to do this, you must understand what FRICTION is and how it affects your website viewers. 

Christian school marketing plan

Design elements that hinder your audience from taking your Action Steps increase friction

These elements make your website hard to understand.The more friction that exists between your audience and your website, the less likely they will be to take your desired action. Your website visitors should know the following within 5 seconds of looking at your web page (and without scrolling down the page):

  • Who you are
  • What you do
  • When the thing is done
  • Where it it is done
  • Why you do it
  • How they get involved

If they don’t get all of that information from the top of your homepage (or landing page) the likelihood that they leave and never come back is about 100%. 

Friction creates resistance that inhibits your audience from taking action. 

Your goal is to REDUCE FRICTION ON YOUR WEBSITE TO ZERO

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Have you ever gone bowling and stepped past the line and found yourself slipping and sliding uncontrollably down the bowling alley? This happened to me once. Besides being embarrassed, I didn’t even know what had happened. How did I get from here to there so fast? It took no effort on my part. The friction was so low, I just kept moving toward the pins. 

Christian school website design

Christian school website design works the same way.

The friction on your website should be so low that your website viewers should enter your website and be taking their first action step before they even realize what happened.

So let’s go over some practical steps you can take to make this happen. 

If you want to see this in action, Clickmill is also a service-based business. We follow all of the rules in this article. Take some time to look around at the design elements on our website to get some inspiration for how to implement it yourself. 

Let’s talk about how to tweak your website to reduce friction. 

Website Copy: The first friction-reducing strategy is a tall order if you haven’t done copyediting before. Keep the message on your website intact while cutting down your word count by half. Then do it again. 

The more text you have on your website, the more friction your users will experience. If your viewers had it their way, your website would teleport the information right into their brain so there was no reading at all. People on the internet generally don’t read, they skim. If your website isn’t skimmable, your potential customers are going to get bogged down, bored, and frustrated. 

The reason we don’t do this at the outset is because WE don’t understand what we’re trying to say. The act of cleaning up your website text not only creates clarity for your visitors, but it also creates clarity for your team. 

Have your team review the site and revise your copy. In another week, have them do it again. Repeat this process until your messaging is crystal clear. 

Calls to action: Christian school website design is often cluttered with way too many calls to action (or sometimes none at all). Read the list below and ask yourself how many actions you are asking your audience to take:

  • Links to social media (recall the marketing funnel – social media leads to your website, not the other way around.)
  • Social media posts
  • Heart-touching stories about kids that won some award
  • Buttons that take users to pages that aren’t relevant to your initial action steps (Brochure, Call, Tour Booking). This could be links to the About Us page, etc. 
  • Links to other websites like an associated church. 
  • Links to things that are high commitment actions – like applications. 
  • Links to entirely unrelated events/ services. (like church services, bible studies, etc)
  • School events (missions outreach week)

Remember, the ONLY GOAL of your home page is to appeal to new visitors. This means you need to get ruthless and start cutting out the clutter. If you’re not selling your school to new parents at the upcoming missions outreach event, take it off the homepage. Everyone else can have a page somewhere else on the website, but the home page, about page, contact page, etc, is where new visitors show up and look around. 

Your website should have 3 calls to action at the VERY MOST. Ideally, 2 is better, but in the case of Christian schools, it seems that potential clients are split between preferring a phone call or a brochure download as their first action step. If you find out that one of these is much more effective for your school, keep the more effective one and partner it with a “Schedule My Tour!” button. 

Example: After testing a few calls to action for a year, we found 2 that are very effective for us here at Clickmill. 

If you look around the home page, you will find there is nothing else to distract visitors from taking one of these two actions. Download My Ebook or Schedule My Free Strategy Session. There is little or no friction, the only question is if our website viewer wants to take the next step with us. The same should be true for your Christian school website. 

Color Pallet: Your website should have a fairly neutral color pallet, with one bright color. The bright color should match well with the rest of your color pallet but be much more eye-grabbing than everything else on your website. The ONLY thing you should use your bright color for is your call to action buttons. This is called your ACTION COLOR because your audience will begin to realize that if they want to know more about your school, all they need to do is look for that bright color. This requires little conscious thought on behalf of your website visitors and so it reduces friction

If you have lots of bright colors on your website, or you have no bright colors, your visitors will have to consciously search for what they should do next. This takes effort and attention and will ultimately wear them down until they quit trying to figure out what to do next. 

If you’re not sure how to choose a matching color palette, check out Coolors. It’s a really helpful color palette generator that you can keep refreshing until you get a beautiful set of colors.  

Matching Font Pairs: Your church website should only have 2 fonts. Both should be very easy to read. One font is used for your heading and the other is used for your normal text. 

Be aware that some fonts match well giving your Christian school website a professional look and others look bad when paired together. If your fonts don’t match, your users will feel like something is off. They may not be sure what it is but it will take their attention away from what you want them to focus on. 

To find a great matching font pair just do a Google search for “Matching font pairs” and you will have tons of options at your fingertips. 

Website Images: Hire a professional photographer to take pictures of your school and use these on all the pages that potential clients will see (home page, about page, contact, etc). 

For other pages on your website, custom photos are always best, but you can also use images of high-quality paid stock photos.

If you are really on a budget you can get no-cost, royalty-free photos at Pexels or Unsplash but I wouldn’t use this option if you can avoid it. 

Navigation Menu: Like everything else, simplify your navigation menu as much as possible. A good rule of thumb is to keep the number of buttons in your navigation menu to 6 buttons or less. Keep the drop-down tabs as simple as possible as well. 

Each additional menu option you have is another thing your website viewers have to think about, which increases friction.

One of the easiest ways to reduce unneeded menu tabs is to consolidate them. 

For example Location, Directions, About Us, Meet the Team, and many other tabs can all be included on the About page. There is no need to have a page for all of these because when someone has only 6 options to click on – HOME | ABOUT | ACADEMICS | ATHLETICS | RESOURCES | SCHEDULE MY TOUR | -It’s pretty clear that all of that information falls under the about page. 

This reduces friction. 

If you implement all of the suggestions we just went over and guide every first-time viewer clearly defined call to action, your website will begin to generate more leads.

Christian School Marketing Plan Section 5: Keywords Are CRAZY Important For Christian Schools

In Section 4, we looked at how to make targeted changes to your Christian school website so that it is capable of incentivizing new viewers to give you their contact information. 

Once you have plugged the holes in your Christian school’s website, it’s time to start filling it with traffic. 

If you recall, traffic generation strategies live in the connect phase of the marketing funnel. 

These include advertising, social media marketing, Search Engine Optimization, content marketing. Traffic generation marketing also includes other less commonly used types of marketing like mailers and cold calling.

In the following sections, I will show you the fastest and most effective ways to send potential clients to your website. 

Before we can get to that, you need a good understanding of what keywords are and how to use them on your Christian school website. 

Many ministry leaders overlook keywords when they attempt marketing because they don’t realize that using keywords properly is the foundation of digital marketing. 

If you get your keywords wrong, nobody will find your school on Google, Youtube, through your blogs, etc. 

So what is a keyword?  

A keyword is a word or phrase that a user types into the google search engine. 

keywords for Christian school websites

Some keywords are searched for on Google tens of thousands of times each month. Other keywords are searched for 0 times a month. Take the image below of Christian school-related keywords. This shows results for the United States.

keywords for Christian school websites

On the left-hand side of the image, you will see keywords, which are the specific words and phrases people are using to find your school every day. 

On the right-hand side of the image, you will see Volume, which is the number of searches that happen each month. This image shows the volume of searches within the United States. 

On the most basic level, when someone searches one of these keywords, search engines like Google just match them up to websites that include the same keywords. So, if your website doesn’t include the correct terms, nobody will find your website.

Maybe you noticed that this article is chock-full of keywords related to “Christian school marketing”. That’s why this article appeared to you on Google instead of some other article.

Keywords make or break your ability to show up for people searching for your school locally, nationally, and for your digital advertising efforts. 

I have already done some in-depth how-to’s for ministry leaders on this subject, so to avoid re-writing the same thing over again, I will refer you to two resources. 

These resources include in-depth explanations of what keywords are, how to do professional-level keyword research for your school and how to use them in your marketing efforts. 

I go over this in our article: Digital Marketing For Churches: The World’s #1 Church Marketing Guide. The link will take you directly to the section on keywords. 

We also have a 200+ page ebook on Amazon titled, The Digital Ministry: Reaching The Ends Of The Earth Without Leaving Home. I commit the first chunk of the book to show ministry leaders how many people are looking for their ministry with keywords, and how to use those keywords to reach your audience. The book also includes access to bonus videos that will give you step-by-step instructions on how to do keyword research for your Christian school. 

the digital ministry

Once you get a handle on keyword research, it’s time to begin using those keywords to fill your website with new visitors.

Christian School Marketing Plan Section 6: How & Why To Use SEO On Your Website

The first way we will be looking at increasing website visitors is by getting your Christian school website to show up first when people in your geographic area search for keywords like “best Christian school near me”.

Marketers call this “organic ranking” – which means that Google thinks your page is the best and they show your website first on Google when someone searches a particular keyword.

Google determines what website shows up on the top of Google by analyzing several factors we will explore below. 

When you understand what Google is looking for and you begin to change your website to make Google prefer your website over others – you’re doing what marketers call Search Engine Optimization (or SEO for short). 

Every so often, Google sends “spider bots” to your website. These bots crawl every page of your website and read them to determine the quality of your website. They then determine how high up on Google you will be ranked and how often you will be shown. 

Christian school SEO

Think of it like this. Google makes billions of dollars a year on advertising and will continue to do so as long as people keep coming back to Google to find their answers. This means Google wants to make sure their customers (people searching Google) get the highest quality content out there. 

Below we’re going to look at some of the factors Google considers when deciding whether or not to put your school at the top of their search results when parents go searching for Christian schools.  

Let’s get to it.

Page Headers: Google looks to see if they can find keywords in your main page titles and headers. If you have a few specifically chosen keywords showing up on each page, Google will understand what type of searches your page is created to address, and it will begin to show you to those search terms more often. 

If instead, there are a bunch of subjects, words, and phrases that Google can’t make sense of, it will never put your website on the search results page when parents are looking for Christian schools. 

keywords for Christian school website

In the image above, the keyword “Private Christian school near me” has 5,400 searches in the U.S. every month. If you choose to target this keyword on your website, be sure to include the keyword in your page title. Your page title may look like: #1 Private Christian School Austin TX (Google understands that “Austin TX” is relavant to people in your area searching “near me”)

Page URLs: Google also checks your page URL for meaningful information about your keywords. This means you should also use your keyword (Private Christian school near me) in your URL.

In this example, the URL of your page should be:

www.christianschool.com/private-christian-school-near-me

Keyworded Text: Google is looking over your page to find uniformity. If you target the title and URL of your page to a specific keyword but then talk about something else in the content of your page, you may not show up on Google. Make sure you use your keywords a few times throughout the normal text on your page. Don’t jam in your keywords unnecessarily, but be sure to use them where they make sense. 

Time On Page: Another key ranking factor Google is looking for is how long users stay on your page once they click on your website. The goal here is to implement the website suggestion we discussed above which will have the effect of keeping people on your website longer. When people experience less friction on your website, your users don’t feel frustrated and engage with your content longer. 

Page Engagement: Google wants to see people taking action on your website. If everyone Google sends over to your site leaves without doing anything, Google knows people don’t like what they see. Because of this, Google will recommend your site less often. If users are spending time engaging with your website, you’re going to rank higher on Google. 

The easiest way to get people to engage with your website is to identify and test every one of your value ladder action steps until your website visitors are consistently taking action. Make sure you always have the next step clearly defined for your new user and remove EVERYTHING that might keep them from taking that next step with your Christian school. 

Meta Title & Description: Your page’s meta title and meta description are what show up on the Google Search results page. You can see an image of this below:

Christian school website design

If your meta titles and meta descriptions don’t entice Google users to click on your links, Google will show your links less often. 

Take some time to craft custom, enticing headlines that will grab the attention of parents looking at your school. It’s also important that you use your targeted keywords in your meta title and description. 

If a user searches “private Christians school near me” and your meta title says #1 Private Christian School Houston, you have a high likelihood of showing up for more searches because you are giving the Google user EXACTLY what they were looking for. 

Page Load Speed: Google wants to see that your website loads quickly. Studies show that 50% of your visitors will leave if your website takes longer than 2 SECONDS to load. That’s a lot. 

If your pages are loading slowly, you guessed it, Google will show your school less frequently on the search results page. Here is a great online tool called GTmetrix that will test your website loading speed for free and also give you suggestions on how to improve it. 

Christian school website design

If you want more information about how to implement SEO for your Christian school, check out our post: Top 15 Church Website SEO Tips To Increase Visitors 

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Christian School Marketing Plan Section 7: Christian School Advertising That’s Profitable

The next way to fill your website with new parents who are already looking for your school is by using proven Christian school advertising techniques. 

Here are the 2 fundamental rules of Christian school advertising:

  1. Don’t lose money
  2. Make Money

The biggest risk you will be taking when setting up your new Christian school advertising campaigns is in the first few months. Ideally, you can stick to rule 1 and at least break even during the initial months of your advertising campaign. 

Depending on the complexity of your advertising account build and the amount of data you need to figure out what is profitable, it may take a few weeks to a couple of months to really find the right vein where you start to see the results you want.

We suggest beginning with Google Ads and then moving over to Facebook Ads once you can show that your ads are profitable. With high-end services like Christian schools, it’s very possible to see 5x, 10x or even higher returns on your advertising spend if you set up your advertising accounts correctly. 

To show you what I mean, here is an image of the projected revenue generated from 60 days of a Christian school ad campaign we recently set up on Google Ads.

Christian school marketing plan

If you take the value of the leads and divide that number by the cost of the ads ($143,460/ $2,232.49) you will find that this account has a 64X return on ad spend. That means, for every $1 this school spends on ads, their school should bring in about $64 – and these are conservative calculations. This just goes to show that your advertising can be very profitable if you set up your accounts correctly. 

It’s worth the extra cost to get someone with a lot of experience to build your Christian school advertising accounts right, or you may spend a lot of money on ads and see little or no results. 

Here is a second example but this is a Christian school ad campaign we run on Facebook ads.

Christian school advertising

I’ll let you do the math yourself this time, but safe to say it is worth the investment. 

The Advertising Process

So how do we accomplish these results? Let’s take a look: 

Step 1- Keyword Research: To set up a profitable Christian school advertising campaign, you will want to begin by doing in-depth keyword research to find what people are searching for in your area. 

When you do a professional Google Ads account build, you will want to spend at least a few hours doing keyword research to be sure you know how your audience is trying to find you.

Here is an image of some keywords to refresh your memory. 

keywords for Christian school websites

If you need a keyword tool to use, we enjoy SEMRush or KWfinder.

When you find the keywords that show strong indications of someone looking to enroll a student in a Christian school, add these to an excel sheet. Once you have around 50 keywords, break them up into similar groups to build your ads with. 

Within Google Ads, you will then want to create 1 advertising campaign with multiple ad groups within that campaign. Each ad group will target a different set of keywords. 

For example, suppose you have two ad groups, each group of ads hyper targets a specific group of keywords:

  1. Adgroup one: Christian school near me
  2. Ad group two: Private school near me
  3. Ad group three: Preschool near me

Each ad group should have at least two ads competing against each other. 

Here are some additional settings you will want to be sure are configured correctly: 

Geo-Targeted Ads: Your ads should only be shown within a reasonable driving distance from your school – say 10 miles. 

Conversion Tracking: The most tricky part of digital advertising is probably making sure you have conversion tracking set up properly. 

Conversion tracking gives you the ability to track when people take action (like scheduling a tour) and how much it’s worth to your school. 

Without conversion tracking, you will be flying blind and you WILL LOSE MONEY so don’t skip this when it gets technical. 

Website Conversions: The most effective way to track conversions on a Christian school website is to track them with a Google Tag Manager Account. Once you have your Google Tag tracking properly, you can send these conversions to Google Analytics and Google Ads from Google Tag Manager. 

**Be aware that this part of the advertising process can be very technical and often takes someone who has specialized training in digital advertising, if not specifically in conversion tracking. 

Phone Call Conversion Tracking: For phone call conversion tracking and call recording, we love CallRail. I won’t go into the specifics, but CallRail allows you to track conversions and send that data into your Google Ads account where you can assign a value to calls that come in. You can also send your conversion date to any number of other places as well. 

Calendar Conversion Tracking: We use the Calendly booking tool which we will discuss more later. Calendly allows you to embed your school tour calendars right on your website and track conversions which can be sent to Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Google Analytics, and other important places. 

Tracking Your Christian School Advertising Profit

To track whether or not your Christian school advertising campaigns are profitable, you need to identify how much a new lead is worth

Let’s go over how to do this now.

The first thing your team will need to do to identify how much a new website lead is worth is to calculate the lifetime value one student brings into your school.  

Calculating Student Lifetime Value: 

Christian school ad

Yearly Revenue Per Student: You will first need to understand how much revenue each student brings into your school per year. Let’s say it’s $8,000 per student per year

Average Number Of Years Per Student: Next, you will want to look at your enrollment data and find the number of years your average student stays with your school. Let’s say it’s 2 years

Close Rate: Lastly, you will need to know the percentage of leads you close on average. This is known as your close rate or sales rate. For example, if you get 100 leads, how many will become students? 

Let’s just say out of every 100 leads (phone calls, brochure downloads, tour bookings) you know that about 30 will become students. This means you have a 30% close rate. 

Note: If you have a close rate below 10%, it might be very useful to bring in someone who can watch your sales process, identify where the weaknesses in your process are, and provide training to improve the team’s performance.

Now that we know how much a student is worth to your school, it’s time to figure out how much a lead is worth. Remember, not every lead will become a student, so that must be accounted for in your calculations. 

To find the value of your leads, follow the formula below: 

Christian school advertising

Take your average yearly revenue for 1 student ($8,000) and multiply it by the number of years the average student stays with your school (2 years). 

$8,000 X 2 = $16,000

So bringing one new student into your school is worth $16K. That is your Average Student Lifetime Value. But this still isn’t the value of a lead. Remember, in this example, you only close 3 in 10 leads. 

Calculating Your Average Lead Value: 

To find your average lead value, you will take $16,000 and multiply it by a 30% close rate. 

$16,000 student lifetime value X .3 close rate = $4,800 lead value

Once you have your lead value established and agreed upon by your team, you will want to ascribe this value to each of your conversion events so that your Christian school advertising campaigns will do all the math for you from this point forward. 

In the picture below, you will see that Google Ads allows you to add the value of each conversion into the conversion settings. 

In the image, you will see that the brochure download is valued at $8,400 for this Christian school. (This particular school has a 30% close rate, $7,000 yearly revenue per student, and an average student lifetime value of 4 years. The conversion value comes to $8,400 per lead).

Christian school advertising

What does the average lead value tell you? 

Suppose you get 50 new leads and you valued each at $4,800. 

50 leads X $4,800 = $240,000 projected lifetime revenue

The number $240,000 is a projection of the gross revenue you can expect those 50 leads to bring into your school over the 2 years students stay with your school. 

To see step by step videos on how to build your Google Ads account, we have a full course that goes through every single step we have discussed here: Google Ad Grants: The Ultimate Guide To $10,000 Of Free Monthly Advertising

The article focuses on the google grant, but setting up a Google Ads account is exactly the same as setting up a Google Grant account, they are both done within the Google Ads platform. (Just keep your daily advertising budget low so you don’t go spending $10,000 a month by accident!) 

Now that you understand the major elements of advertising your Christian school, it’s time to go over what to do when you turn on your Google Ads and begin to get people clicking on your advertisements.

Christian School Marketing Plan Section 8: Designing Landing Pages That Generate Leads

Let’s talk a little bit more about strategy before we get into designing your landing pages. 

There is one particularly HUGE BLUNDER CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS MAKE when running digital ads that costs them thousands of dollars.

When you make this mistake you are pretty much guaranteed to break Rule 1 of Christian school advertising – “don’t lose money”.  

I’m going to save you some crazy money in the very next sentence… Are you paying close attention? 

NEVER EVER EVER send people who click on your ads to your home pageEVER. 

Christian school advertising

How ineffective is sending paid advertising traffic to your homepage? I’d rather just come and help you light your advertising money on fire and cook up some hotdogs while we’re at it. 

This is a very common mistake that untrained ministry workers make all the time.

Always send your advertising traffic to keyword-targeted landing pages. 

A Landing Page is a specific page on your website that you send people to after they interact with one of your advertising campaigns. 

Any effective landing page intentionally limits the user’s options to only 2:

  1. Take action
  2. Leave

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Many ministry leaders find this approach odd because their goal is to appeal to everyone, but this strategy gets excellent results. 

By offering fewer options, you increase the clarity of your page and your lead capture rate. This increases the profitability of your ads by extension. 

If you are able to bump your lead capture rate (the number of people who convert on your landing page) from 1/100 to 2/100, you will DOUBLE THE PROFITABILITY OF YOUR ADS. 

This means that an effectiveness increase of just 1% can double the number of students your ads bring into your school. Of course, implementing all of the landing page strategies we review below can result in much higher landing page conversion rates than 2% if done correctly.

Here is an image of the landing page conversion rates and cost per leads we’re currently getting for a Christian school client. 

Christian school advertising

By setting up landing pages as we describe below, this Christian school now gets new leads for around $20 each. Remember, this school values EACH LEAD at $8,400.

So let’s get into the specifics of your new landing pages. 

Each landing page should only be used with one specific ad group. 

For example: when we were discussing your Google ads, we talked about creating three ad groups where each one targets a specific type of keyword. 

Here they are again:

  1. Ad group one: Christian school near me
  2. Ad group two: Private school near me
  3. Ad group three: Preschool near me

When someone searches Google for the keyword, “Private school near me” and clicks on your advertisement, they should immediately be taken to a landing page that uses this keyword in the title.

Be aware that Google’s algorithm knows their user’s location and will replace “near me” with your city name. So here is what your landing page title might look like. 

Landing Page Title Example: #1 Private School Houston TX 

When your page headline matches the keywords in your Google Ads account, Google will show your ads more often and may even charge you less because they trust that users will find what they want. 

Users also know instantly that they have found exactly what they are looking for because the words at the top of the page are exactly what they search for in Google. 

Of course, your secondary headline can offer additional information and clarity, your school name, etc, but keep it as short as possible. 

Now that we understand that all of your paid ad traffic should be sent to a keyword-targeted landing page, let’s look at some of the other elements of a highly effective landing page. 

I am going to use one of our landing pages here at clickmill as an example we can work from. 

Look over the landing page below and we will go over what makes this page unique and profitable afterward. 

Here are the elements of a landing page that incentives advertising traffic to leave behind their name, email, and phone number. . 

Header & Footer: If you take another look at the landing page example, you might notice that there is no navigation menu or footer on the landing page. The #1 goal of a landing page is to get your user to take action at all costs. 

This means there should be ZERO things for your user to do, except to take your specified conversion action step. In this case, it’s “Schedule My Free Strategy Session”. We have also removed our free ebook offer from the bottom of this page because we found that the ebook is less effective on people who click on an advertisement. 

Keyword Targeted: Our own advertisements here at Clickmill are targeting the keywords you see below and sending them to this landing page:

  1. best Christian advertising company
  2. Christian advertising company 

Notice the title of our landing page above, “Best Christian Advertising Company”.  We’re not bragging about how awesome we think we are, we are strategically using a keyword we know our audience is already looking for, and that Google wants to see on our page. 

Be sure to keyword target your page title and use the keyword in your text a few times too. 

URL: Be sure the URL of your page is also keyword targeted. 

You can’t see it in this image, but the URL for the landing page above is clickmill.co/best-christian-advertising-company

Social Media Icons: There is nothing quite like paying for advertising, only to send all of your traffic over to Facebook. Once people leave your page, there is essentially no chance they will come back. Remove ALL social media icons, share buttons, etc. These are distractions and will reduce the performance of your ads. 

Colors: Notice in the image above that the brightest color on the page corresponds to the action steps we want users to take. Everything else is fairly neutral. Make sure you do the same on your landing pages so users intuitively know what they should do next if they like what they see. 

Testimonials: The landing page above is a sales page, and the #1 thing you need to know about sales is that nobody trusts a salesman. Instead, we trust other people who purchased from the salesman. This means you need to get your best testimonials and add at least 3 – if not 5 or more right to your landing page. This lets your users know they can trust you enough to take that next action step. 

Don’t be afraid to put the star emojis in there too, your audience has already been conditioned by Amazon and every other website to look for 5 Stars. 

Trust Builders: Badges, logos, publications, awards, certifications, and anything else like this can be used to build trust with your audience. They want to know that you have received that best school award 5 years in a row. Your users want to know that your school sponsors include Chick-fil-a and Hobby Lobby and that you are state hop-scotch champions. All of these little things add credibility to your school and make it stand out at first glance. 

Notice how we use our client’s logos on the landing page above to let our viewers know that they are not the first people to work with us. Nobody wants to be the first person to hand you a child, so show them that other people already trust you. The bigger the name or brand, the better. 

Call To Actions: On our example page, there is only ONE CLEAR CALL TO ACTION. No user has ever looked at this landing page and been confused about what to do next. Keep your word count low and your call to actions simple. Here is how quickly they should be able to understand your enrollment process.

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3: 

  1. Download your brochure
  2. Schedule Your Tour
  3. Apply Today

If you would like to go even deeper and get over an hour of additional video training on how to structure your landing pages, check out the article I linked to above: Google Ad Grants: The Ultimate Guide To $10,000 Of Free Monthly Advertising. This article has over an hour of video content specifically showing you how to structure your landing pages. 

If you implement all of the landing page suggestions above, you will be well on your way to creating a profitable Christian school advertising campaign. 

Christian School Marketing Plan Section 9: Christian School Social Media Strategy

Christian organizations put a shockingly disproportionate amount of effort and energy into social media. Because of this, there are a lot of common mistakes ministry leaders make when putting their marketing resources toward social media. In this section, I am going to focus on what not to do with your Christian school social media. 

The Real Role Of Social Media Marketing:

Many ministries think that social media marketing IS marketing. This is incorrect. This belief is why there is such a strong push for ministries to perform well on social media. For some reason, we feel that if our ministry is cool enough or relevant enough, then we will generate growth.

Unfortunately, neither coolness nor relevance has much impact on growth in and of themselves. 

The truth is that social media marketing is JUST ONE WAY TO GENERATE WEBSITE TRAFFIC. Any professional marketer worth their salt understands social media marketing is just one traffic generation strategy.

Traffic generation marketing strategies live in the connect phase of the marketing funnel. Here is the image to refresh your memory from earlier. 

Christian School Marketing Plan

The role of Christian school social media (in the vast majority of cases) is to send traffic to your website. That’s it. 

Now that you understand the appropriate use of social media marketing, let’s look at a few things you shouldn’t do with social media marketing. 

Go All In: Your Christian school marketing plan exists for one reason – to get you more students. That means that every piece of that plan (connect, convert, close) should also focus entirely on that goal. 

Never go ALL-IN on one strategy because it’s the hot new thing. Social media is not a marketing silver bullet. If anything, ministries have wasted more time on social media than anything else. 

Social media doesn’t work for everything, and it may not work for your school. Here is how to know if social media is serving your Christian school. 

Step 1: Identify the goal of your social media marketing efforts. (Increase brochure downloads & schedule school tours). 

Step 2: Set up a way to track your social media marketing efforts. (Landing pages and conversion tracking)

Step 3: Run a 30-day test and see how many conversions social media is generating for your Christian school. 

Step 4: Compare your results to other marketing efforts like your Google Ads, Facebook Ads, content creation, Website SEO, etc. 

Run a few tests like this with your social media efforts. Learn from each test and try something a little different each time. 

If you continuously find that other marketing efforts outperform your social media, or that your social media doesn’t generate any results- cut it. 

Social media marketing is only useful to your school if it creates measurable results.

Reallocate all that wasted time, energy, and effort into something that does get results, and make that better instead. 

Here at Clickmill, we have found that content marketing (like this article) results in more leads than social media marketing – so we don’t do social media marketing. 

This strategy of cutting out everything that doesn’t produce fruit keeps your school’s marketing workload simple but super-efficient. 

Remember, never go all-in on one marketing strategy. 

Your Audience Isn’t On Social Media: 

Another common misconception is the belief that having a large following on social media means you have an audience. This is also false. 

You may have access to somebody’s audience on social media, but it isn’t yours. 

You only have an audience online when you have a direct line of communication (name, email, phone number) with the people in the audience. This is not the case with your “audience” on social media audiences.  

Facebook, Google, Youtube, Pinterest, and all the other social media platforms have the direct contact information of the people on their platforms.

The reality is that you have very little control over your access to these people that follow, like, or subscribe to you. As soon as a platform’s server goes down, an account accidentally gets wiped, or they just outright ban you because of the ideas you promote – the “audience” you spent years building goes to zero. 

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If you had sent all of those likers, subscribers, and followers to your website where you captured their contact information, what social media does or doesn’t do won’t matter. If you keep a backup of their information, it won’t even matter if your own website goes down, gets hacked, etc. You still have full access to your REAL AUDIENCE. 

Professional marketers have a name for likes, subscribers, and followers. We call them VANITY METRICS. It looks cool but it ultimately has little or no impact on how many leads you bring in

Your audience isn’t on social media, it’s in your contact lists. Do everything you can to get your social media followers over to your website, and get their contact information. 

Get Away From Your Social Media Page: 

The initial reason service businesses go over to social media is because they don’t have enough people on their website. So they create a “page” or “profile” in hopes of finding people who want their services there.

They then proceed to post an untold number of times on their “page” or “profile”, but guess what, the people looking for your school aren’t on your page either. This means you have just recreated the problem you began with when you had no people on your website. 

Christian School Marketing Plan

To get attention to your brand, you need to use hashtags that other users will see in THEIR FEED. You need to take some of your blog posts links and drop them in groups where your audience hangs out. 

To make social media marketing get your school results, you need to go where OTHER people are on social media, not where you are. If your audience is on one social media platform and not another, then go to the one that has your audience. 

If your audience hangs out in a particular Facebook group, find a way to add a lot of value to that Facebook group and then invite them back to your website. 

If your audience is using a particular hashtag, use the hashtag they love. 

Get away from your social media page, and spend time in the areas of social media where your audience can be found. Add value to them and invite them back to your website. 

That brings us to the end of this section of social media strategy. 

In the last section, we will be discussing how to sell your school. 

Christian School Marketing Plan Section 10: Full Sales Process For Closing Christian School Leads

As you may have discovered by this point, all of your marketing efforts should result in more visitors signing up on your website for a brochure, calling in via phone, or booking a school tour. 

We have also discovered that the vast majority of first-time visitors will not be comfortable with filling out an application the first time they see your website. 

In this section, we are going to look at a sales process that will get the largest possible number of students into your school once they have converted on your website.  

Here are the Christian School Value Ladder Action Steps we briefly discussed at the beginning of this article. We will now go into each one more thoroughly.

Action Step 1 – Website Brochure Download

Action Step 2 – Phone Call To School

Action Step 3 – Website Tour Booking

Action Step 4 – School Tour

Action Step 5 – Enrollment Process

ACTION STEP 1: The first and least intimidating thing your new website visitors can do is download your brochure. Be sure it’s professionally designed and easy for them to access once the user has submitted their name, email, and phone number. Ideally, the brochure should download automatically, without taking them to other screens, windows or asking them to take more steps to get it. 

The brochure itself should promote Action Step 2 and Action Step 3. “Call Us Today: (555) 555-5555” or “Schedule Your Campus Tour Today”. 

Once your team receives the notification that a lead has downloaded your brochure, you will want to follow up with them as soon as you can. Make sure at least two people receive the notifications, one person is the primary and the second person is a backup if the first is sick, etc. 

Marketing studies have shown that following up within 1 hour of a lead converting on your website can dramatically increase the likelihood of that lead moving further up your value ladder. 

(Basically, people forget what they were doing and lose interest as time passes, so get back to them quickly).

Now, nobody likes being called by telemarketers. Telemarketers try to get people to commit to something that hasn’t first won over their trust.  

The great news is that you are not a telemarketer! You are just passionate about your job and you want to be sure they got what they already wanted. They wanted your brochure, so you are only calling to be sure they got their brochure downloaded okay. 

It doesn’t matter whether or not they got the brochure, the goal is to build more trust during the call. If they say they couldn’t figure out how to open it, you’re there to hold their hand and help them get it open. If they got it fine, that’s great too. 

When you feel they are satisfied with what they already wanted, you have built their trust enough to take Action Step 3. Open up the conversation with some small talk and ask them why they were looking into the school.

Genuinely listen to their story and once they finish telling it, offer to set aside some time to give them a tour so they can feel it out a little bit more. Remember, this is not a sales tactic, you should really want them to discover if your school is right for them. (Of course, since you have an amazing school, they will fall in love when they arrive.) When you approach it this way, your new lead feels very understood, cared for, and THEY NEVER FEEL PRESSURED.

Here is a script that will help your team with the first phone conversation: 

You: Dial number…

You: Smile in real life (people can hear if you’re smiling when you speak, it affects your voice.)

Lead Doesn’t Answer: If the lead does not answer, hang up – Do NOT leave a message. Call back after one more hour. (More on this after the script)

Lead Does Answer: Hello?

You: Hey there, is this Mindy? (Be purposely informal as this keeps people from putting up their defenses. Don’t say, Hello, my name is Mary and I’m calling from XYZ school to follow up on your brochure download – this will ruin your rapport every time).

Lead: Yes, this is she.

You: Oh hi Mindy, I just saw that you tried to download a brochure from our website and I just wanted to be sure you were able to get that downloaded okay? 

LEAD Says No: No I thought it downloaded but I can’t seem to get it open. 

You: No problem, I can just email you over a fresh one. (While getting it emailed to Mindy, begin small talk). What was the reason you were looking into the school? 

Lead: Mindy shares a story. [Insert Mindy’s story here].

You: You know, I hear that all the time. Now that you mention it, we do offer campus tours for parents who are considering Christian schools. I would love to get one set up for you if you would like to see our campus. 

(Your campus tour shouldn’t come off as a rigid, structured response. Work it into the conversation naturally and make the invitation sound PERSONAL and INFORMAL. You’re asking this person on a date, not a business deal.) 

LEAD Says Yes: Yes, I got that download fine and was just looking it over.  

You: Oh that’s so great to hear. A few people have been having problems with it recently so I just wanted to check-in. If you don’t mind me asking, what was the reason you were looking into the school? 

Lead: Mindy shares a story. [Insert Mindy’s story here].

You: You know, I hear that all the time. Since you mention it, we do offer campus tours to parents looking for a school. I would love to get one set up for you if you would like to see our campus. 

After reading the phone script, you should begin to notice that every element of your strategy leads people to schedule a tour. This includes your website, your phone calls, and if someone walks into the office to ask questions. Build your relationship with them and call them to action. 

If you want to know more about why it works so well, I review the 5 steps Jesus used to powerfully influence his audience to take action in this article: Church Marketing Online: The Biblical Way To Grow Your Church

Let’s go back and discuss why we hung up when they didn’t answer. There are a few reasons:

  1. Millennials and younger generations don’t check their messages – they only text.
  2. If someone calls you back from a message, it puts you at a disadvantage. They have time to prepare and you do not, giving you more opportunity to botch your first impression. (If the coffee date goes poorly, your odds of getting married decrease dramatically.)
  3. Once you leave a message it’s considered rude to call back, so you have eliminated your ability to continue following up to get the result – a conversation. 

Instead of leaving a message, wait an hour and call back one more time. Most likely, they are not answering because they don’t recognize your phone number and assume you’re a spam call. 

Christian School Marketing Plan

Run a one-month test where you try calling each person back twice (once immediately, and once after one hour). Then run another test where you call back leads immediately, after one hour, and then the next day and see what is more effective at getting leads on the phone. Remember to actually track the results of your tests. 

Once it’s clear you won’t get through to them via phone, send a follow-up email and a follow-up text that says exactly what you would have said over the phone. 

Your Text & Email: 

“Hey there Mindy, I saw that you just tried to download a brochure from our website and I just wanted to check and make sure you were able to get that okay. 

Please feel free to reach out with any questions. 

Your Name

Your position

School name”

Again, you will get a lot of callbacks or texts after you send out this text because people assume every unknown number is spam. 

ACTION STEP 2: Parents searching for a school are often comfortable with just calling and asking some questions.

This is great news because now you don’t need to try to get them on the phone, they did it for you. The reason a phone call is Action Step 2 is because it requires more trust and commitment for them to call you than what’s required to download a brochure.

Begin by answering whatever questions they may have. The ultimate goal of this conversation should be to guide them to Action Step 3, which is to offer to set aside time to give them a campus tour.

You may remember that the script we just went over does exactly this. If someone first interacts with your school by calling in, answer their question, and then begin the script above by asking what they were looking into the school for.  

ACTION STEP 3: Just a few people will choose to go ahead and book a school tour right from your website. People who jump straight to a tour booking aren’t trying to waste time – they know what they are looking for and they want to know if you can offer it to them. 

These are your most valuable leads. 

Be sure to only allow people to book 2 weeks in advance on your calendar or they will start to forget they even booked it. Once you get a tour booked, whether it’s through your website, advertisements, via a phone call, or just because they found your website, be ready to follow up with them. 

We have used Calendly with our Christian school clients and our own strategy sessions and it works great. Your Calendly calendars allow you to track conversion and they embed right into your school’s website which makes for a great user experience. Here is an image of a Calendly calendar on our website. 

Christian School Marketing Plan

We suggest having automated texts and emails ready to go out to these leads to continually remind them of their upcoming tour.

Calendly also lets you set custom email and text messages that go out at a designated time to remind your leads to show up for their tour. 

ACTION STEP 4: Anyone who shows up for a tour means business. If a parent shows up for their tour and doesn’t choose your Christian school, they WILL choose another school, so put your best foot forward. 

Have bottles of water ready for them. One school we work with even has a small gift bag ready with school mugs, hats, key chains, a brochure, etc. This builds rapport with potential clients. 

If you want them to say “I DO!” you need to give them the VIP experience. Answer every question, alleviate every anxiety, and show them the ideal school they have in their minds. 

At the end of EVERY tour, you need to have a specific time where you sit down with the lead(s) to answer any remaining questions they have. You must call them to Action Step 5. 

At this point, they should have everything they need to make a decision, and you have earned the right to ask for their business. If they agree here, then you help them begin the enrollment process. 

ACTION STEP 5: Action Step 5 is asking the lead to begin the application/enrollment process. 

This can be somewhat tricky because there is a lot of paperwork involved and information you will need. Create a step-by-step checklist for parents to follow so they don’t get overwhelmed with a cluttered process and make sure you are available for any questions they have along the way. 

The goal in this step is to keep the FRICTION as low as possible. 

Make sure everything is clearly labeled so they don’t get confused and NEVER ask for more than you need. Make sure your documents let them know the exact place they should send completed documents to (Do they submit it to an online portal, do they email it, they need to know).

Simplify the process if you are currently collecting anything unnecessary. If you can consolidate some forms, do it. 

The last thing you want is them telling their friends “well we’re so far in we’re just going to go ahead and do it, but this enrollment process is a nightmare.” If this happens, you can kiss your referrals goodbye! Do everything you can to keep the enrollment process clean and simple.

Once you accept your new applicant, you have successfully implemented your new Christian school marketing plan. 

That brings us to the end of this article on Christian school marketing. 

Let’s give a brief summary: 

  1. Send people to your website with traffic generation marketing strategies. 
  2. Create a website that captures leads efficiently with the use of a brochure, phone calls, and tour bookings. 
  3. Build relationships with your new leads through text and email follow-up, and on their tour of your campus. 
  4. Close the deal.

What else would you like to know about Christian school marketing? 

Let us know in the comments!

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