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5 steps to convert enquiries to enrolments

Updated: Nov 18, 2022

The new dance year is just around the corner which means it's the perfect time to overhaul both your enrolment and onboarding systems to maximise conversion.

As enrolment season for the 2023 dance year hits us here in Australia and New Zealand (the first in a few years without the shadow of Covid hanging over us), studios across the region are getting ready to welcome a brand new cohort of students to their studio families.

But in the crazy busy end-of-year period with concert prep and general exhaustion on all fronts, sometimes those new enquiries can quickly become "just another thing" you have to deal with on days that are already full of countless other tasks.

If you're completely honest with yourself, exactly how effective are your systems for handling enquiries and enrolments at your studio? Do you actually have any systems in place or is it more of an ad hoc type of situation as enquiries for 2023 start rolling in?

Even though the majority of studios are taking enrolments year-round, very few have a procedure set in concrete for handling new enquiries. True, the nature of our business relies on personalised attention for clients but there are definitely systems you can put in place to ensure enquiries aren't falling through the cracks and that you're maximising your enquiry-enrolment conversion.

Yes, the true secret to converting enquiries to enrolments is systems!

Many studio owners have plenty of new enquiries coming through the door but they see them once and they never come again, or they book a trial and never turn up. If this sounds like your studio, it's time to put a solid enrollment process in place immediately.

Want to make sure you're not missing anything when enrolling new students? Click here to download our FREE Enrolment Checklist today and take the guesswork out of setting up this important studio system.

Step One: Come up with a tracking system for enquiries (and we don't mean Post-It notes!)

When a new enquiry calls, emails or messages the studio on social media, what happens to their details? How do you keep track of which team member has spoken to which lead, what information they've been given and any next steps that need to be taken?

When I had my studio, I tried a few different systems but the one that was most effective (and easy to use) was a Trello board which had columns representing each step of the process.

Once an enquiry was received, a card with an attached checklist was created for the student and as they moved through the process (enquiry received, trial class booked, followed up etc.) the card was shifted along so everyone could keep track of where we were with each lead.

Not only is a workflow like this a lifesaver when you're working with an admin team but it's also perfect if you're managing your enquiries yourself.

Step Two: Get yourself a killer lead nurture email sequence

An effective lead nuture email sequence will do most of your heavy lifting for you - which can be a godsend at busy times of the year.

A good sequence will look after new prospects with a series of emails (around 4-5 is perfect) answering common questions about your studio, details about timetabling, fees & next steps, and follow up.

Above all, make sure your sequence includes clear information about how potential students can book a trial class with you.

Once a trial is booked, you should have a separate, shorter email series with information about what they can expect at their trial class, what they should wear, parking information and any other special instructions.

For ease of use, set both sequences up in your email marketing program (if you don't already use one, I recommend Mailer Lite or Mail Chimp) and sync with your studio management software or enquiry booking system using Zapier for ultimate automation

Step Three: Create an easy-to-understand enrolment pack

This is especially important at this time of the year when (we hope) you'll be receiving a lot of new enquiries but a well-designed enrolment pack will also be an asset year-round and you'll wonder how you ever answered enquiries without it.

Presenting potential clients (especially if they have no experience in dance) with your full timetable and complicated fee structure is a sure-fire way to confuse them so remember to keep things as simple as possible.

I recommend designing individual PDF documents for each age-group with clear and concise information about relevant class times and fees plus links to your registration form and student handbook.

Your student handbook should including information such as uniform requirements, your studio calendar and FAQ about your studio. Consider creating this as an online hub for easy navigation by both current and potential clients.

Step Four: Segment your email list

Consistently emailing leads (both old and new) is a simple way to up-level the marketing at your dance studio. With email, you have a much better chance of reaching your ideal clients than on social media and email readers are much more likely to click on your links and visit your website.

Get in the habit of adding every single email address you collect to your list (make sure enquiries are aware that they'll be added) and use your email marketing program (if you don't already use one, I recommend Mailer Lite or Mail Chimp) to create label or tag that identifies that contact.

For most dance studios, the only labels you need are “current family” and “lead” (a mix of previous customers and leads) but after you find your groove, then you can start playing with more advanced tags AND start sending more customised emails.

Step Five: Remember it doesn't stop when they enrol

Effective onboarding is vital to the ongoing success of your studio. Did you know it only takes 6 weeks for a newly enrolled student to make the choice to stay or go?

Enrolling a new student isn’t always easy – regardless of how automated and quick it may be, it still costs you time and money to get a new student through your doors and enrolled in your classes.

The last thing you want to do after this expense is to have your students slip away in the first few weeks. But it does happen, and this is why perfecting your ‘new student onboarding’ process is so important.

Creating an effective onboarding system should absolutely start with an email series that runs newly enrolled families through essential information such as communication, uniform & other frequently asked questions about your studio.

Click here to check out our 'done for you' Onboarding Email Series - an easy-to-use set of templates with seven intentionally-written emails (plus a video training) that you can copy & paste straight into your email marketing program to effectively onboard students to your dance studio.

Added touches such as postcards, recorded messages or even a welcome goodie bag are great additions to your onboarding but it's always a good idea to start with the basics and build from there.

Keep your eye on this blog for more 'out of the box' onboarding ideas


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