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Over the past four years, there has been an upward-moving trend that has shown a significant uptick in reliance on the web, making utilization of features like self-guided tours and marketing automation essential to long term growth in enrollment.

Web Leads Continue to Increase

ChildCareCRM recently released our sixth annual report of enrollment benchmarks, where we provide insights into industry trends we expect to see in 2020, allowing you to compare your own performance against up-to-date benchmarks. Data from our existing client base showed web leads accounted for 54% of leads versus 48% last year. Phone leads accounted for 25% of our clients' inbound leads this year, down from 31% last year.

What we’re seeing is a continually upward trend of potential prospects reaching out over the web. So much so, in fact, that we found there was a 12% increase in web originated leads over offline channels in the last year. There are a number of things we can take away from this, especially when we consider that the sole source of our reduction in leads came from reduced inbound phone calls.

It serves to highlight how an online presence is an important facet to both growing and successfully managing your company’s funnel of inbound leads. The continued increase of inbound web leads also underscores the importance of multiple entry points within your website. What this does is it eliminates friction in the buyer's journey, in this case the enrollees, and ensures you're capturing as many of them as possible.

Online Channels Are Performing Better Than Many Traditional Channels

As the child care industry increasingly modernizes, so too does its need to find adaptable solutions. As an organization, if you’re not leveraging all available channels, you’re losing out on potential prospects, and the prospects you do lock down come at a higher cost to enroll, especially if you're not actively marketing to current enrollees (i.e.churn). This goes a significant way towards negatively affecting your long-term revenue stream.

These incremental costs have much larger implications when stretched across quarters or even years. One of the most effective ways to minimize the overhead costs of new enrollees is by utilizing digital channels that streamline enrollment and automate some of the manual processes you probably handle day-to-day currently, such as directly emailing leads.

Just Because It's Online Doesn't Mean It Has to Be Impersonal

Automated nurture streams, self scheduled tours, and SMS/text communication are just a few methods that can be a effective tools for online lead management. You can set emails to respond to leads based on criteria or behaviors your prospects take. A web based CRM tool keeps you in touch with leads even when you don’t have time to reach out to them yourself. In this way, you keep building a relationship with your lead so that by the time they become an enrollee, you feel like you already know each other.

The purpose of this relationship building is that it allows you to provide and demonstrate both current and future value to your leads. Sustaining that relationship through digital channels allows granularity of reporting, increased personalization, and the immediacy of digital execution. While it can feel a bit daunting at first, any significant CRM will allow for easily scalable programs, meant to alleviate your workload, not exacerbate it.

To view the full results, download our 2019 Data-Driven Enrollment Benchmarks.

About the Report

In this report, we included 359 organizations comprised of 2,724 locations from our customer base. We required that the organization started using ChildCareCRM actively by January 1, 2019. For those organizations that did not have a full year of activity, we prorated those stats based on the number of months of activity between 7 to 12 months.

With ChildCareCRM in place, our organizations are staying on top of follow-ups even with this increase in leads. Our user-friendly CRM system helps them quickly sort their follow-up tasks, automate email and text communication and help their directing staff get back to prospects in a more timely, efficient way.

Brian Strauss

Written by Brian Strauss