/p>

A marketing funnel is a concept that can help you a preschool owner focus your marketing efforts and increase enrollment.  It starts with understanding that the goal is to get as many prospective clients into the top of the funnel as possible and then guides them to the bottom where they become and remain long-term clients.  This is accomplished by asking the parent to do something at the end of each stage.  Those who are interested will stay in the funnel.  Those who are not will drop out.

Defining a Market Funnel
Picture an actual funnel with a wide mouth at the top.  The top is made up of a wide audience that may or may not be truly interested in the services offered.  However, preschool owners can narrow this field down by capturing the names of these people and then engaging in email marketing to funnel the most promising clients into choosing their preschool.  Phases in the marketing funnel may include awareness, interest and evaluation, commitment and referrals.
Awareness
Creating awareness is the first phase of the marketing funnel.  You a Preschool owner must cast a wide net to reach as many potential clients as possible.  This can be done by targeting large employers in the area, creating content on the web that is heavily laced with SEO, or offering events such as fire safety programs.  Once the parents are made aware of the preschool, the owner needs to capture their names with sign-up sheets or offers of opt-in newsletters.
Interest/Evaluation
Once parents have entered into the interest stage, the preschool owner must keep their interest high and provide them with reasons to commit to the preschool.  An email marketing campaign can help by repeatedly drawing the parents back to the website with informative articles and information necessary to make a decision.  The emails will also engage the parent in a two-way dialogue that can build trust.  At this point, you need to offer to schedule a visit or offer a special promotion.
Commitment
During the commitment stage, you need to go out of your way to make the process as easy as possible for the parents.  You must provide the parents with special promotions and with all of the necessary forms and information necessary to enroll their child.  You must also encourage the parents to remain frequent visitors to the site and to remain engaged in a dialogue that can strengthen the relationship.
Customer Loyalty
At the bottom of the funnel are those parents who have enrolled their child and whose needs are being served by the preschool.  However, many preschool owners make the mistake of thinking that once the parents have signed on the dotted line, they can shift their marketing focus.  Not true.  Email marketing that targets these parents can strengthen customer loyalty and should be used to actively seek customer referrals.
As a Preschool owner, you must strategically use the power of the marketing funnel.  A campaign can generate awareness and can help to capture leads that can then be targeted through email marketing.  Once interest has been established, the funnel can then gently nudge the parent into making the commitment and help customer loyalty to stay strong, generating future leads.