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The secret to getting more bookings
You could use a number of platforms to advertise your school holiday program, but many can be daunting (and expensive). The key is to motivate your customers to take action, and one of the most effective ways to do that is through email.
A clear email structure boosts your program bookings from the outset, reduces program-related questions at reception and inspires more customers to take action sooner.
Swim schools that have followed this email structure have seen bookings increase by up to 400.
The graph below clearly indicates success; the red shows bookings from an earlier school holiday program that lacked email structure, while the blue was a later program that had a clear email strategy in place.
These stats were obtained through the 'booking statistics by course' report in Udio.
The school holiday program checklist
We've developed a quick checklist to help you plan and implement your own email strategy. Here are our top recommendations to boost your program bookings:
- Set a booking release date to drive demand and create a sense of urgency
- Create your program and classes in Udio
- Send a pre-release email to let customers know exactly when programs will be available to book
- Prepare three emails reminding customers to book in
- Send you emails at set intervals as per your schedule
Let's look at the checklist stages in more detail:
Set booking release date
Create your program then choose a date (and time if you wish) to release it - a good benchmark is to release availability 3–6 weeks before the first class starts; that way, you can send one email per week/fortnight.
Release your program availability on a specified day to:
- Drive demand so customers take action
- Encourage parents to sign up to your customer portal where they can book holiday programs online
Generate a pre-release buzz with an email like below:
Create your email templates
This is something you can do in advance and have ready to send on your set dates.
If you’re opting for a three-week timeframe, prepare three emails and plan to send one per week. Here are some templates that you can adapt:
Email 1 - Send on launch day (three weeks before first class)
Email 2 - Send a reminder two weeks before first class
Email 3 - Send a final reminder one week before first class
Best practices when creating your email strategy
The great thing about this email and checklist combo is that you can repurpose it for every school holiday program moving forward. Here are some top email tips to consider including:
- Use your brand colours for links/bold text to strengthen your brand identity (and inspire familiarity among customers)
- Emojis are optional but when used sparingly are visually appealing to the reader; you can add them to the subject line and body of the email in Udio
- Emphasise that spaces are limited to create demand and prompt customers to book now
- Include a couple of links to your booking page (including 1-2 at the start) so that people have plenty of options as they scroll through your email
- If you have any testimonials from previous holiday programs, include a couple - if you don’t, consider asking customers after they’ve completed the program for feedback so you can include quotes in your email next time
Send emails as per checklist schedule
Spacing your emails out 1–2 weeks apart maintains build-up by sending regular reminders to customers without bombarding them.
It’s good practice to send when your customers are most active - one of our swim school clients found that school pick-up times are generally best for achieving higher email open rates.
Get your holiday program off to the best start
As swim school software providers, we understand the importance of finding a simple solution that yields results while taking as little time as possible.
Since COVID, there has been an increased demand for local activities which means marketing your holiday program to your entire audience base is crucial to creating FOMO (fear of missing out).
You don’t need to have a paid email platform to implement this strategy; they generally provide email stats and have advanced features (like email scheduling) but the basics can be just as easily completed via a school management system like Udio, which has inbuilt email functionality that integrates with your customer database. Get started by downloading the checklist which you can bookmark and use again for future school holiday programs.