The holiday season is a time for connecting with loved ones and it's also a great time for schools to strengthen relationships with prospective families, alumni, existing parents, and the wider community in the nearby town or city who support the school or maybe are curious to learn more about it through social media. A CRM system can be a valuable tool for managing and enhancing these relationships at a time of year when many people reflect on the importance of relationships.
The holiday season presents schools and other educational institutions with an opportunity to build on existing relationships and personalise interactions. Effective and relevant streamlining of outreach communications can help enhance admissions prospects by leveraging the capabilities of a CRM system.
Here are 3 top tips for using a CRM system to strengthen relationships during the holiday season:
Segment your lists: Segment your lists of prospective families, alumni, and community members so that you can send them targeted messages. For example, you could send one message to prospective families about upcoming events, another message to alumni about upcoming alumni events, and another message to community members about opportunities to volunteer, or just send a holiday greeting to the full community.
Track your results: Use your CRM system to track the results of your holiday outreach efforts. This will help you to determine which messages are most effective and make sure that you are making the most of your time and resources.
Make it personal: Personalise your messages as much as possible. Use your CRM data to include the recipient's name, interests, and past interactions with the school. This can be done by using personalisation tokens in HubSpot.
By following these tips, you can use your CRM system to strengthen relationships with prospective families, alumni, and the community during the holiday season.
Here are some ideas for what you can use your CRM system for:
- Targeted holiday greetings:
Use your CRM data to send personalised greetings to prospective families (as well as many others that are part of your wider community) by addressing recipients by name using personalised tokens. This can help build rapport and demonstrate the school's commitment to nurturing relationships.
- Develop and share engaging holiday-themed content: Make sure that it is appropriate and engaging for your target audience. This could include blog posts, social media updates, and maybe a video message from the head or senior leadership team! Tailor content to address the specific interests and concerns of prospective families, highlighting the school's unique offerings and the benefits of being part of the school or educational institution.
- Pre-recorded events: Make available recent online events to prospective families, alumni, and others on your CRM system. Send out recordings of concerts, links to virtual tours of the school, and recent workshops – maybe even target them to the relevant age of the child. These provide accessible and enjoyable platforms for families to experience the school's breadth of activities, atmosphere, and culture.
- Personalised Admissions Guidance: Use your CRM to identify prospective families at different stages of the admissions process and provide tailored guidance. Offer personalised support for completing applications, scheduling interviews, and addressing any specific questions they may have.
- Holiday-themed social media challenges: Host interactive social media challenges that encourage prospective families to share their holiday traditions and festive creativity, creating a sense of community engagement whilst gaining valuable insights into their values and interests.
Holiday-themed alumni spotlights: Share stories and achievements of alumni during the holiday season. Highlight how the school has impacted their lives and career paths. This reinforces the school's reputation and inspires prospective families.
- Holiday-themed staff profiles: Showcase the personalities and expertise of staff through holiday-themed profiles. Share their holiday traditions, favourite books, or insights into their interests.
- Holiday-themed student artwork and performances: Demonstrate the school's commitment to fostering creativity and talent by featuring the creative works of current students over the holidays. Include student art, notable musical performances, and literary works.
- Holiday messages: Share holiday messages on social media to express your school's thanks to the school community and their support over the year. This is a great way to connect with the community and build goodwill.
These efforts can strengthen wider community relationships with the school/institution and may well enhance the admissions process by establishing a foundation for trusting and supportive connections that extend beyond enrolment.
Send alumni newsletters: Use your CRM data to keep alumni up to date on school life. Include updates about current and former students, news about events, and present opportunities to contribute to the lives of existing students (such as careers workshops)
Plan or host alumni events: These can work well during or after the holiday and are a great way to reconnect with alumni and build a stronger sense of community. Meeting somewhere local when many alumni may be ‘back home’ often works well.
- Alumni donations: Use CRM data to reach out to alumni if your school or institution is planning a 2024 fund-raising campaign. A simple personal goodwill message engages them gently for future support. Fundraising is initially about friend-raising and this is a good time to make contact.
- Alumni Auctions: Maybe you already hold a festive auction to build on the sense of community and raise funds. If not, maybe consider this for next year and start early to secure donated gifts.
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