Today’s topic is all about the metrics from a marketing and business standpoint that you should be tracking for your childcare center. 

We’re going to kind of dive into the metrics and you’re going to start to learn about this concept that I like to call marketing math. That is when you really have a great handle on the metrics, a lot of your marketing or strategic decisions tend to get to be a lot easier because you’re able to make data-driven decisions. 

Before I jump into the metrics and things like that, I wanted to start with that because if there’s any kind of “stuff” going on around you, whether you saw a dip in enrollment due to life or global events, world events, the economy, or COVID-19 — it doesn’t really matter what the situation is — that often your decision-making ability starts to be clouded, because the way that decisions tend to be made or that gut reaction and kind of how you’re feeling and your brain (without getting too deep into the psychology of this) is designed to kind of protect you. You might be thinking that you need to do some things to expand and get things rolling. However, your brain’s kind of telling you to hold on a second. That you just lost 10 enrollments and $8,000 a month, how could you do anything when you need to start cutting expenses and things like that. Basically, the way that you avoid making some of those mistakes is that you practice data-driven decision making, and the only way that you can do that is by having the right metrics and the right data in front of you. 

If I look at the marketing metrics that I want you to make sure that you can track, we’re going to walk through each of these. 

The first metric you want to be tracking is your leads. A lead is anyone that has raised their hand whether they called you, sent you an email, sent you a Facebook message, a text message, dropped in, or filled out a form — anyone that’s filled out any kind of inquiry is a lead. That’s going to be the first basket. 

The second basket you’re going to want to track is your opportunities. How many of these leads then convert into an opportunity? More often than not, the opportunity would be done via a tour. Whether that’s a virtual tour or in-person tour, an interview process — they’re basically going from raising their hand and saying they’re interested in, to they’re moving forward in the process. Usually, this is the part where you’re tracking the number of tours. From there, I want you to be tracking your closing percentage — of those people that you do a tour with, for example, how many of those are closing into a new enrollment? 

So, if you look at just those three, it’s how many leads? Let’s say, if you look over a course of a couple of months, you’ve got 100 leads. Look at that same time period, and you want to see how many tours you did — those are the opportunities. Let’s say you did 50 — that would mean that the first percentage that you would be tracking is your lead-to-tour percentage, and that’s 50%. Then what you’re going to want to track is of those 50 people, how many turned into an enrollment? Let’s say you are able to convert 50% of those. So, that would be 25 new enrollments, which would be a 50% closing percentage there. Now that you’ve got a simple set of three metrics, you can then start to look at how you can improve, and that is where you start to make data-driven decisions. 

Looking at the first metric, if you drive 150 or 200 leads, does that mean that you are still able to keep pretty close to that 50%? And now you don’t have 50 tours, but you’ve got 75 or 100 tours, then from there, if you’re still closing at 50%, at the next metric, you would have doubled those new enrollments. 

You’re able to make those data-driven decisions. And if that’s not the case, what happened? What changed? You can now start to look at improving the process. Can you improve the lead to tour percentage? Maybe that’s doing different phone scripts, different languaging or psychology, and aiming to convert people a little bit better. A 50% closing percentage on a tour is not that great. I would love to see that at 70%, 80%, or even 90%. So, do you need to improve your script on the tour? Is it the right person doing the tour? 

You need to have a different offer or a different script to end up closing that particular enrollment. From there, you’ll start to see that you can be making data-driven marketing decisions based on those metrics, as you improve things and invest more money, it becomes clear as day.  — those are the first three. 

The next set of metrics I want you to really look at extensively is “what is an enrollment worth to you?” Let’s say that they’re paying on average $800 a month. but I want you to look at the LTV or lifetime value. And even if initially you don’t have a perfect metric, this is a metric that you can continue to tweak so that it gets more and more accurate — that one enrollment is going to be worth a lot more than $800. 

Often, they’re going to stay for two or three years. If they’re not doing summer camp, let’s say they’re staying for 10 months, over the course of three years — so 30 months — that enrollment isn’t worth $800 a month, that enrollment is worth $8,000 a year. If they stay for two years $16,000, and if they stay for another third year, so that’s $24,000. You’re able to start to make more strategic decisions knowing that if you’re adding a new enrollment over the course of the next three years, that’s going to add $24,000 in revenue. That’s not even factoring in if they have another child or going to refer people to you. There’s a lot of other ways that that lifetime value number can rise drastically. I’ve seen it as high as $50 to $75, or even $100,000 for one enrollment because the center knew that they were staying three or four years. They were referring three people on average and one of those three people would do summer camps. It takes some time to track this metric, but you want to be tracking how long the average enrollment is staying with you to generate that lifetime value —that number is critical to understand and to track. 

The next metric I want you looking at is something similar to a net promoter score, but I want you to be tracking how many reviews you’re getting. Do you have a 4.3 and you’ve got 50 reviews. I want you to track the number of reviews that you have across all the different platforms. I want you to track that score, and you can do that by obviously looking at reviews and things like that. You also could do a net promoter score, which is simply looking at how many times someone is willing to refer. What is their propensity to refer another family to you? You want to have a good pulse on not just those marketing metrics, but you want to make sure that the program that you’re delivering is up to par, people are happy, and they’re going to stay. They’re going to refer people because that will just continue to drive your center, up and up and up. 

Those are kind of the main metrics. I mean, some of the other marketing metrics I like to look at are just social media engagement. If you’re putting a lot of content, are you getting engagement? You can obviously track the raw numbers of followers and things like that, but I prefer to track engagement. You want to be tracking your Google search engine rankings and how many page one rankings do you have? How many page one map listings do you have, but those are a little bit harder to track unless you have an agency like ours. But really, I want you to be tracking meticulously leads, tours, enrollments. 

Those are the top three in tandem with that lifetime value. You can pivot your activities because as you get these metrics dialed in, it’s then just pivoting the activities to continue to grow. As always, I welcome your comments, questions, feedback. Have a wonderful rest of your day. 

Get out there, make a change, and take some action.