Balancing lead capture while also trying to improve your current enrollment journeyis a challenge. Not to mention the added pressure of meeting your enrollment goals. Fortunately, you’ve already got an exceptional lead generation tool at your disposal - your website. Optimize your website for childcare lead capture to increase the quantity and quality of your inquiring families.
Importance of Having a Website for Lead Generation
Missing a few leads from online inquiries is (unfortunately) common when you have a website that’s not optimized for lead capture. To combat this, it's important to know your #1 parent demographic. Millennials make up80% of today’s parents to children under the age of 12 and are one of the first generations who grew up in the digital age. This makes providing a convenient, online experience more important than ever - from shopping to banking to childcare services.
1) Design a Website that Attracts and Captures New Leads
Millennial parents want streamlined online processes that make the most of their time. ChildcareCRM found that 51% of users’ new leads came from online sources and the best converters completed tours with those new leads within 24-hours. Since many Millennials prefer shopping online, having an effective website and digital marketing strategy is essential to generating leads. Without valuable, eye-catching copy to interest prospective families and quickly direct them to your landing page or website, they’ll drop out of your pipeline. One way to optimize your website is by creating a powerful call-to-action. A call to action (CTA) is a marketing term that refers to a “next step” task that a business wants its target audience to do. The CTA can be a direct link instructing the prospective family to click, sign up, or fill out a form for inquiry. Either utilize a CTA to direct a prospective parent towards care at your childcare facility, use it to get them interested in what your centers have to offer, or for a specific program/event your childcare business wants to advertise.
How to Build Strong Calls to Action
A CTA can be used in a variety of different mediums, depending on what digital media or platform you’re using to advertise your center and relevant information. For example, adding a “request for care” CTA in the form of a button directly onto one of your website’s single landing page request forms clearly states your marketing message and what the next action to take is. A softer, less direct CTA example would urge/nurture your prospective family to “learn more” or “sign up for the newsletter,” to allow them to get more informed about your childcare centers, while maintaining consistent communication as the parents consider multiple childcare providers.
Best Practices for Designing Lead-Generating Calls-to-Action
Give your prospective families a reason why they should perform the action you’re suggesting
Use numbers when possible
Get creative with your word choice, but keep it concise – use alliteration, etc.
Use only one type of call-to-action per piece of content to keep your marketing message and the next action for your families’ clear.
How to Build Attention-Grabbing Web Forms
Did you know that 70% of childcare owners and directors leverage web forms and landing pages to capture the most leads? Without quick ways to inquire online, your prospective families will search for care elsewhere.Web forms allow you to collect and manage information easily and efficiently. They’re embedded into your website’s pages where prospective families easily provide their information. Once a lead completes a form on your website, you still have to assess what program or classroom they’re most interested in. Web forms are great tools for businesses to capture web visitor information and obtain the basic information they need from prospective families.
Best Practices for Designing Eye-Catching Web Forms
According to LinkedIn, the most common types of lead generation forms include contact forms, registration forms, quick inquiry, and simple sign-up forms. Check out the web form design practices to grab the attention of your prospective families for higher tour conversions, interaction, and engagement rates.
Place one on every page, making the forms easy to find
Above the fold on your ‘contact us’ page
Design – the form should be visually engaging and grab the user’s attention
Easy-to-read fonts and colors to improve scanning speeds and submission rates.
Straightforward headers and CTAs with clear instructions: “contact us”.
How to Optimize Landing Pages for Lead Capture
Prospective families are deterred from confusing content, copy, or information. With a CRM, you'll leverage unlimited landing pages with clear, specific purposes to keep your information brief and direct. A landing page is a single webpage with a specific purpose. The goal is to convert the prospective families that are visiting your page into quality leads that are interested in pursuing childcare enrollment within a specific program or classroom at your facility. There are many types of landing pages, but the intent stays the same – capture more high-quality leads. Landing pages contain web forms for prospective families to input their information in exchange for an offer, but they are a standalone page created for a particular enrollment goal and are often promoted through digital advertising platforms, such as a tour scheduler.
Best Practices for Designing Optimized Landing Pages
Common uses of landing pages include: capturing interested families from google or social ads, creating a place for prospective families to join your waitlist, to schedule a tour, and inquire for care about a very specialized program such as winter camps, summer camps, potty training, etc. Take a look at the landing page design practices to optimize lead capture and generation for increased enrollment and tour conversions.
A landing page holds a specific objective – to convert visitors into leads, depending on the action you want these users to perform.
For example, if one of your centers that needs to convert more leads decides to throw a holiday event for prospective families, you may find a landing page with center contact information, directions, and a relevant inquiry request form useful for getting families to convert to signing up for your holiday event.
Optimize for search
Prospective families often find landing pages from google or social ads, using specific keywords.
2) Monitor Your Website Performance to Make Data-Driven Decisions
What happens after optimizing your website for lead capture? Often, childcare organizations put in all the hard work enhancing CTAs, creating specific landing pages for each childcare centers’ events, and building web forms with five or fewer fields, but forget to track the performance of new website updates. However, it’s beneficial for your childcare business to use data to figure out what’s working in your advertising efforts and optimize the marketing budget by weeding out lead sources and platforms that aren’t capturing much interest. Also, it’s good for you and your childcare staff to take the data as a guide for understanding your families better.
Use Google Analytics as a Digital Marketing Tool to View and Track Lead Behavior
A google analytics account is a digital marketing tool to organize, view, and track various digital media (websites, mobile apps, devices, socials) and different KPIs (key performance indicators) that matter for your business. Each user has access to at least one analytics account and individuals have the option to create an account for themselves or on behalf of someone else. This is especially important for those operating under a team where multiple people need access to one account. It allows you and your marketing team or staff to enhance personalized communications by tracking online traffic and user behavior to improve your website or landing page ranking. Also, Google Analytics gives more insight into your prospective families and helps find your target audience. Use it to determine which platforms are popular for your families and make data-driven decisions about your childcare business.
How to Get Started with Google Analytics
To start collecting basic data from a website, create an analytics account or sign in to yours (visit google.com/analytics).After accessing your account, set up a property – landing page/website/app, data-collection point in analytics. Then, set up a reporting view within your property to create filtered data reports and add a tracking code to your landing page/website to effectively collect the data within your property.
Use Google Search Console to Rank Higher in Online Searches for Childcare
What is Google Search Console and how do you use it to collect data about each of your childcare centers as a multi-site organization?
Google search console is a free digital marketing tool that helps measure landing page traffic, view keyword performance, gain feedback to find solutions to landing page issues, and understand where you rank in Google searches. As 51% of new families came from online sources last year, it’s essential that your website is near the top of the search results when families look for care in your local area. Otherwise, prospective families will never even view your childcare organization's name.
Unlike Google Analytics which gives information on other types of traffic (direct, ads, site referrals), Google Search Console only provides insight on how your website is doing in organic search - or how optimized your landing page or website is for search engines. With an optimized website, more prospective families will search for, find information about your childcare business, and request care easier. The higher your web page ranks on Google, the more prospective families are seeing and inquiring at your childcare organization. This leads to greater enrollment success so you will grow your childcare organization.
How to Get Started with Google Search Console
Go to Google Search Console and verify site ownership to get access to all the information Search console. Then, read an overview of the index coverage report to view what data was analyzed and review mobile usability error solutions Google offers. From there, submit a sitemap to monitor performance and related information (metrics/KPIs).
3) Utilize a Childcare CRM Solution to Nurture Your New Leads and Ensure Enrollment Success
What happens when you don’t have a CRM to capture leads and organize them for every location? You lose leads and enrollment conversions drop because there’s no way to organize their information and follow-up promptly. Plus, you miss out on valuable family information that could’ve been used to understand your most popular lead sources. Without lead tracking, you’re unable to view how each center is performing to optimize your marketing spend.
The best CRM will allow you to analyze custom reports on enrollment status conversions (you choose to filter by inquiry type to specifically see online lead conversions) and much more based on your centers’ KPIs. Plus, with that data, you’ll leverage multiple personalized landing pages to fill in information gaps or simply to engage with families more, based on what your most popular lead sources are for enrollment conversion. Using that data, create more landing pages and web forms to supply your prospective families will all the information, relevant content, and easy contact (through forms, CTAs, listed phone number and email) that they need to consider registering with your childcare business for care. Since you’re relying on data to make marketing and communication decisions, this will increase lead generation through the optimization of your website.
Invest in a CRM to Nurture Leads through Consistent Communications
Without a CRM to automate communication across center locations, there will be slow follow-up with leads, fewer families converting to enrollments, and an overflooded waitlist that gradually churns because of delayed or no communication leading to decreased parent satisfaction. Further, your brand visibility will decrease - when you’re not staying top of mind with your leads as they search for care and not considering the online contact, they prefer the most, your childcare business is likely to appear in less searches due to lowered parent satisfaction.
Enroll Leads and Automate Follow-Up with Workflow Automations
ChildcareCRM found that 5-10 workflow automations are the ideal number to guide families through to enrollment, saving staff more than 40 hours of work every month. Leads are automatically enrolled in workflow automations. Workflow automations allow you and your enrollment team to automate your initial follow-up, post-tour follow-up, lost-lead follow-up, and marketing communications to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and convert more families into enrollments. Automating your advertising and sales processes saves you and your childcare staff time. It minimizes the number of manual tasks you need to complete daily by automating text reminders about tours, registration forms, and general follow-up communications.
It’s suggested that you follow up with new leads no later than 24 hours after their initial inquiry. Regardless of if you receive communication from a lead via email or text message, schedule automated follow-up confirming that you received their message. Follow-up post-tour so you remain top of mind with families on multiple waitlists. With automation, build text and email templates in advance and schedule them to send personalized information to prospective families after the tour.
According to ServiceBell, “82% of prospective leads expect responses within 10 minutes or less.” Using automatic follow-up communications for new inquiries is a great way to respond quickly, so parents don’t look for childcare elsewhere. Plus, workflow automation helps reduce your marketing and staffing costs while increasing your business’ efficiency.
Your website already serves as a centralized location for center and program information, but it’s time to start utilizing your website as a lead capture tool for your business. Rather than asking parents to call or email your centers, use ChildcareCRM’s unlimited landing pages and web forms to simply collect and organize significant information about prospective families in a single centralized hub. From there, you and your enrollment or marketing teams automate follow-up and nurture communications.
Hope Dasher is a marketing professional with years of SEO content writing and social media strategy experience. With a bachelor's degree from The University of Texas at Dallas in Psychology and Child Development and an emphasis in language, she has extensive knowledge in the childcare system, effective marketing strategies, and copywriting. Hope serves as a copywriter for ChildcareCRM’s marketing team.