Q: What's your follow-up process for enrolling potential new students? I need an efficient system so that I can easily see where we're at and determine who needs a further follow-up.
A: Our process has four steps: connect, capture information, invite and follow-up. Every Facebook ad, e-mail marketing campaign and invitation on our website directs a potential student to our “Try a Class" page. This page has a friendly message that lets parents know how to select a class from our schedule, based on the dancer's age. Here, they complete our simple trial-class inquiry form, which is connected to a web-based spreadsheet that notifies us anytime someone completes it. (You can use a free form creator like Google Forms to create one for your website.)
We then immediately add these trial-class inquiries into our studio management software as “leads." At this point, we customize a prewritten e-mail with the dancer's name and selected class. It's a welcome message with a reminder about what they can expect when they come to the studio. We keep our trial-class spreadsheet handy (it's updated weekly). It lists the dancers who are trying an upcoming class as well as their current status in the process—whether they've registered or not.
Since we've already added this student to our studio management software, it's easy for parents to register online or in-person with us after they try a class. They remain “leads" in our software until they register, and this report can be generated and reviewed regularly.
We recommend you create two standard follow-up e-mails: one that thanks them for coming to class and registering, and one that has additional information—an expanded schedule or tuition information—with an invitation to register. If a dancer doesn't register immediately after their visit, follow up again by phone or e-mail to see if there are any further questions you can answer and to thank them again for coming.
Kathy Blake is the owner of Kathy Blake Dance Studios in Amherst, New Hampshire. She and Suzanne Blake Gerety are the co-founders of DanceStudioOwner.com.