A Website Built to Impress: Community Montessori School
- Montessori Website Transformation
- Montessori CRM
- Admissions Process
- ADA Compliance
A great school website has the power to wow and impress prospective families and help a school grow its enrollment. In this case study, we'll explore our partnership with Community Montessori school and how we were able to transform their website into one full of great Montessori content, automations, and the ability to make conversions and grow their admissions.
About Community Montessori School
Community Montessori School (CMS) has been providing authentic Montessori education since 1981, with more than 40 years of experience educating the whole child. Located in Georgetown Texas, CMS students enjoy ample time outdoors on our spacious, 18-acre campus. As an AMI-recognized school, CMS has been offering quality Montessori programs for children aged 12 months to 15 years.
The mission ofis to provide authentic Montessori education in a nature-rich environment that cultivates collaboration, curiosity, love of learning, and respect for oneself, others, and the world.
CMS is focused on ensuring all students receive a great education and Montessori experience and was looking for a Marketing agency that could help them reach the right families so that they could grow their programs and run them at the best capacity. It became clear that a great website powered by a Montessori CRM (Client Relationship Manager) could help them achieve their enrollment goals. The Nido Marketing team was thrilled to enter a partnership with CMS in June of 2023 to help them build a new website and integrate a Montessori Admissions CRM that would streamline their admissions process and make it easier for parents to book a tour.
A Montessori Website Transformation
Before working with Nido Marketing, CMS had a functional homepage.
The original homepage had some effective elements, such as good photography, imagery, and graphics. From a marketing standpoint, there were a few areas of opportunity. Here are a few changes we decided to make to the homepage:
- More imagery and less text: Focusing on a variety of high-quality photographs invites prospective families to take a peek into your programs. We felt that the CMS homepage could use more photographs of children working in their environments. We made sure to include a variety of photographs of children working, the beautiful campus that CMS had to offer, and the environment.
- A purposeful layout: We felt that the CMS website could use a small layout re-design that would make the content more dynamic. It's great to break content up into steps and sections so that it's more approachable to website viewers. This also makes content easier to navigate across devices such as a smartphone or tablet.
- Calls to Action: A great school website should have a clear CTA that invites parents to take the next step in the enrollment journey. On the homepage re-design, we made sure to include a clear CTA so that parents could reach out to the school directly rather than be invited to "learn more". This allows more conversions to take place.
- Mission Statement: We wanted to include the CMS mission statement clearly on the homepage. A clear mission statement will help schools find more mission-aligned families.
... Let's take a look at the new CMS homepage:
The admissions page is highly important. This is a space for schools to lay out the admissions process from start to finish. It's crucial to be clear and concise to not overwhelm prospective families and manage expectations. This is where creating steps and designing a dynamic layout can make all the difference. Here's what the admissions page at CMS looked like before working with Nido Marketing:
While the original admissions page was effective, we found a few areas of opportunity to improve it and make it more efficient.
- Beautiful Design: We felt that the design should be more dynamic than black text on a white background. In the re-design, we decided to block off each step. This makes the content more appealing and easier to navigate across devices.
- Branding and Color: We decided to use shades of green true to the CMS logo throughout the website. This consistency of color and branding makes the website more cohesive with the CMS brand.
- Community Focus: CMS has a strong presence on social media platforms. We included a fifth step that invited families to continue their admissions journey by following CMS on social platforms.
...Let's take a look at the new CMS admissions page:
CMS wanted families to fill out an inquiry form as their first step into the admissions process. They felt this was better than automated tour scheduling directly on their website so that they could have a more personal approach with each family that got in contact with the school. Nido Marketing felt that there were many opportunities for a good CTA that could lead families to fill out an inquiry form. Let's take a look at the original inquiry form on the CMS website:
CMS wanted to add a few more fields to the contact form so that they could gather more information about each lead coming in through their website. This allows them to take a more tailored approach.
We also wanted to make the contact form more accessible throughout the website so that prospective families could access it at any time. Not only is the CTA front and center on the homepage, but it is also available for parents to click on straight from the navigation bar.
...Let's take a look at the new, re-designed contact form:
When a parent or caregiver fills out this form, the information is automatically organized on the CRM (client relationship manager) admissions software that now powers the CMS website. This makes it easy for CMS to keep track of new leads and create personalized responses to each prospective family. This has allowed them to streamline their admissions process and keep a steady stream of new leads coming in through their school website.
The programs page is also an important part of a great school website. It's crucial to curate the content so it's consumable and approachable to new eyes. Imagery is also critical as parents will want a sneak peek of what the programs a school is offering look like. Here's the CMS new program page:
There is lots of purposeful content for families to explore. A website visitor can click on a video to see the classroom environment in action and read about how each element of the Montessori approach can benefit their child. We also made sure to include testimonials and success stories from each program.
Community Montessori School was thrilled when its new website was launched and running. They could instantly tell that the re-design was going to help them communicate more effectively with families and make conversions that would lead to future enrollments.
"I'm having a bunch of people review the website right now and the reviews are amazing! Everyone loves it. We are so happy!"
- Rachel Chamberlain, CMS Enrollment and Outreach Director
Montessori CRM: Automations That Streamline the Admissions Process
A Montessori CRM (client relationship manager) is software that is used to manage interaction with current families and prospective parents. Our CRM has been a huge help in keeping communications organized and maintaining relationships with interested prospective families for CMS since they started working with Nido Marketing.
We custom-designed all of CMS' forms using the Montessori CRM and then integrated them into their school website. With the CRM they can:
- Intake new leads directly from their website through inquiry forms
- Respond automatically via email or text thanking the visitor for their interest and letting them know that they'll be in touch soon.
- Organize the visitor’s contact information and any other information captured on the form for future reference
- Tag them as a “lead” or a “prospect” - or any tag that makes sense!
- Send reminders automatically to follow up by a specific date.
- Track them through an admissions pipeline process designed by their admissions team.
There is usually a bit of a learning curve with using the Montessori CRM software, but once the admissions team learned how to use the features, it saved them time in the long run.
We make sure to offer one-on-one guidance and a smooth onboarding process to all of our CRM clients. We will answer all your questions and offer support when needed. The CMS team worked closely with one of our talented Client Success Managers, Patricia Ponce. This way, CMS always had a point of contact for support that understood their school and their unique needs.
"I worked with Rachel throughout and her hands-on approach inspired me to craft their website. Every detail was fine-tuned to seamlessly integrate the CRM as well, optimizing backend configurations for a smooth internal workflow and an inviting experience for prospective parents. Seeing the result go live was gratifying!"
- Patricia Ponce, Nido Marketing Client Success Manager
It became much easier for CMS to track their admissions! They were able to customize their admissions pipeline to fit their process so they could track all their leads on their way to enrollment. Patricia, the Client Success Manager they worked with, helped them understand this software thoroughly and offered her support.
CMS can even send SMS messages and emails automatically through the CRM to confirm tours and follow up with prospective families who showed interest in their programs and filled out a form. This means less manual entry for their admissions team, which will be a huge time saver! Here are all the features that CMS can now utilize with the Montessori CRM:
When you don't make your website ADA-compliant, you are missing out on families that cannot access your website due to a disability. It's important to make your website a place that celebrates inclusion and allows any family to take part in engaging and connecting with your school. If your website isn't accessible to everyone, you’re effectively shutting out up to 61 million people, or one in four U.S. adults living with a disability. Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires businesses to make “reasonable modifications” to serve individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including the Internet.
What are the Benefits of ADA Compliance?
- Reduce your legal risk of an ADA-related lawsuit
- Improve your search optimization
- Improve your overall user experience
- Position your school as one that values inclusivity
- Reach a larger audience
Nido Marketing builds every school website with the option to include Userway ADA-compliant software at no additional cost. CMS now has an accessible website!
A Lasting Partnership
We are thrilled that CMS has a website that reflects the amazing quality of their Montessori programs. We feel confident that with their new website, CMS will be able to grow its admissions and create a stronger community. We hope to continue partnering with CMS as they grow and expand their school programs.
Thank you to Community Montessori School for all that you do for your community and future generations!