How OakHaven Montessori School Transformed Their Admissions Process with the Nido Marketing CRM
About OakHaven Montessori School
Set on four acres of scenic, park-like grounds, OakHaven Montessori School provides children with a refreshing alternative to traditional and popular early childhood education. The nurturing and holistic environment reflects the spirit of every staff member at OakHaven. Each child is celebrated for their individuality as they grow and learn their interdependence with all of life. Exceptional education in an extraordinary environment puts OakHaven Montessori School in a class of its own!
As an AMI school, OakHaven Montessori School offers authentic Montessori education of the finest caliber. Classrooms and materials are designed to meet all the criteria set out by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), a worldwide organization that sets the standards for Montessori education.
OakHaven Montessori currently oversees successful Primary and Elementary programs, providing all of their students with the highest quality Montessori education possible. Their mission is clear, and their goal was to grow their school, impact more families, and have an admissions process that worked efficiently so that they could focus their time and energy on the families they serve.
When they learned about Nido Marketing's services designed specifically for Montessori schools, they reached out to see how a partnership could benefit their community!
Nido Marketing works with schools to automate their admissions process using a CRM. This includes forms that are integrated seamlessly with each school's custom website.
So... What Is A CRM?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Manager, and for Montessori schools, customers are the families and prospective families you serve. Nido Marketing's Montessori CRM is a cloud-based software application designed to facilitate and automate communications with parents.
Nido Marketing works with schools to custom design websites that include general inquiry forms. Using the CRM, the general inquiry form is embedded seamlessly on the school's website. These forms are fully customizable so that each school can decide what sort of information they would like to collect from prospective families.
We sat down with OakHaven Montessori to discuss how they would like to use their CRM...
Automatically Respond to Inquiries
- Once a prospective parent submits an inquiry form, immediately respond via email or text thanking them for their interest in the school and letting them know that they will be in touch soon. This way, the family automatically receives a personal thank you from OakHaven staff. This establishes a great first impression!
- Organize the visitor’s contact information and any other information captured on the form for future reference. When a prospective parent fills out an automated form on their school website, OakHaven receives an automatic insight into what they were looking for and what they were interested in. Contact information is collected and organized automatically into their system so there is no need to enter it manually into a spreadsheet (what a time saver)!
- Tag contacts as a “lead” or a “prospect” - or any tag that makes sense for them! This helps OakHaven stay on track of where each prospective parent is in their admissions pipeline with just a few simple clicks. Tracking their admissions pipeline allows them to check in, follow up, and connect with prospective parents throughout the admissions process allowing them to stand out from other schools.
- Automatically remind OakHaven staff to follow up with prospective parents by a specific date. By setting up check-in reminders, OakHaven is able to follow up with parents regarding school tours and application reminders, allowing no one to fall through the cracks.
With a CRM, automations can be as simple or sophisticated as the school wants! Ultimately, it is up to the unique needs of each school and their admissions process.
Each time a contact is added to the CRM, OakHaven can contact them via email or text, log conversation notes, create an appointment, or create more tasks and reminders regarding this contact. This transformed their admissions process and improved their overall communication with prospective parents.
Schedule Tours and Send Reminders
This is perhaps one of the most important features of the CRM because tours are one of the most important elements of Montessori Marketing. Why? Because seeing the classroom environment and Montessori at work is what is going to ultimately sell parents on your school!
Making tour scheduling easy is the way to go! Parents want to be able to schedule a tour right away, in a few short clicks, and around their schedule. All too often, OakHaven was going back and forth with prospective parents about scheduling a tour. Even the act of having to call the school may have been too much for parents who were not able to call during working hours. Those were leads that they were losing out on.
By having an automated tour scheduling form that works 24/7, OakHaven is able to simplify their tour scheduling and make it more accessible. With the Montessori CRM, they are able to define their tour schedule and then let website visitors schedule themselves based on their availability. They simply selected what dates and times they wanted to offer tours and allowed prospective parents to click on what worked for them! So much simpler.
The CRM automatically confirms the appointment, adds it to their Google or Outlook calendar, and sends reminders to prospective parents either by email or text message. It also allows them to reschedule or cancel the appointment, automatically, without having to call up the staff! This proved to be a huge time saver for OakHaven.
Deliver Information Directly to a Parent’s Inbox
Each Montessori School has valuable content that they want to share with prospective families.
Some examples include your tuition rates or an informational article. In Marketing, we call these lead generators - compelling information that requires the visitor to enter their contact information to access. By offering valuable content via a form request, the school can deliver it directly to their inbox. And in return, the school gains important contact information and builds a valuable email list.
OakHaven decided to gate their tuition (which is a great marketing move)! This is the most requested information a school has to offer prospective families. Nido Marketing worked with them to build a form to collect contact information so that the CRM could deliver tuition information automatically via email. It is KEY to deliver the tuition form immediately... not a few hours or days later. This builds trust and provides immediate value to the prospective parent.
There are several lead generators throughout the OakHaven website so that prospective parents can get important valuable information, and OakHaven can get in touch with leads to grow their enrollment!
The results have been amazing. Here is what Elizabeth DeMoulin from OakHaven had to say:
“We have seen a HUGE increase in tours since we started using Nido. We have recently started a monthly campaign with all of our potential enrollees. We look forward to seeing that come about as well!”
Thanks to the Nido Marketing CRM, OakHaven has been able to collect contact information and utilize email campaigns to encourage prospective parents along the admissions pipeline! The results have been amazing. This brings us to the next advantage of the CRM... email nurture campaigns.
Send a Series of Educational Emails
Once a school captures an interested parent’s email, the school can start sending them a series of emails over several days or weeks. This gives schools an opportunity to introduce themselves, describe what sets Montessori apart from other educational models, and encourage them to schedule a tour. In marketing, we call this an email nurture campaign.
All of these emails are completely personalized and sent automatically based on a schedule that the school defines. OakHaven continues to utilize email nurture campaigns to educate prospective families on the benefits of Montessori and to help grow their enrollment!
Market to Your Email List
As a school continues to collect contacts and grow their email list, email campaigns of all sorts can begin to take shape. You can select an email template and create beautiful emails in minutes. Here are some great ideas:
Do You Host an Open House? Design a compelling email invitation and send it to a designated list of contacts. Include an RSVP link, track who is coming, and send out reminders.
Do You Have a School Blog? Automatically send out an email to let parents know your blog’s topic and encourage them to read it on your website. While they’re there, your well-designed website will encourage them to engage further with your school.
Do You Send Out a Newsletter? Design an email newsletter in the CRM and schedule it to send to a list of your prospective parents automatically so they can gain insight into life at your school.
The opportunities for connection are endless!
How Easy Is The Set Up?
If you're a Montessorian, it's not likely that you enjoy spending hours in front of a computer screen. It's also likely that your expertise is geared more towards education than marketing! That is why Nido Marketing has really focused on onboarding clients properly and efficiently so that they can learn the system quickly and spend less time on it! Our aim is to make it simple, straightforward, and to offer responsive support throughout the entire process.
When a school partners with us, we make sure that one of our amazing client managers is with them every step of the way. We offer video tutorials to help you get started. If you need help, you'll be talking to an actual person, not an automated bot!
Here is what the client at OakHaven, Elizabeth DeMoulin, had to say about using our CRM:
“When I was first learning to navigate the CRM it was very confusing. Please also take into account that I have a teaching degree, not a marketing degree. Ha! After playing with it a lot, it has become a very useful tool for our school. The tutorial videos are so helpful. Also, Montessori Thrive’s weekly Town Hall meetings really give you some great insight on the less known features of it. Anytime I have a question, I reach out and it is answered!”
OakHaven Montessori Looks Forward to Another Year of Growing Their Enrollment!
Nido Marketing looks forward to continuing a partnership with OakHaven and providing them with a highly effective Montessori website and CRM so that they can continue to provide the highest quality education to those within their community. The possibilities with Nido Marketing's CRM are really endless!
A special thank you to OakHaven Montessori School for sharing their experience with us and their story. We can't wait to see your amazing school grow and provide children with the highest quality Montessori education.