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This article is the fourth article in a five-part series that details exactly what you need to market your pet store and make it a success.
Getting the word out about your daycare takes more than simply printing postcards and launching a website. You have to get the right message in front of the right audience, at the right time.
Here are some tips for daycare marketing distribution:
Direct mail is the best way to reach your clientele. A calculated direct-mail campaign represents an investment in profit and should be approached with dedication. Consult a list broker or use the mailing list building tools available at PsPrint, and develop a database of your own customers and define a mailing list comprised of likely prospects.
Repetition is key: Instead of one postcard campaign, develop a strategy that incorporates multiple direct mailers during a six-month period. This contributes to your daycare branding efforts and allows you to develop long-term relationships. By the time you launch your incredible offer, you'll have established trust and credibility and will yield a higher response rate.
Week one: Send a brochure introducing your potential clientele to your daycare. Offer a personal tour at their convenience. Add value by including a panel with tips for choosing a daycare provider or developmental needs of children of a specific age.
Week six: Send a flyer or newsletter that highlights recent news about your daycare. Include photos (with permission) of children engaging in activities or showcases your children's artwork, experiments or other creations. A "Meet the Staff" section, complete with photos and qualifications, can lend trust and confidence.
Week 12: Send a booklet about daycare safety and childhood learning principles. Include a statement about your daycare's philosophy and approach. Do your research to identify documented facts you can reference to your advantage. The booklet should be educational in nature, but should also be a branding exercise. Include tips parents can use at home, not just what you do in your daycare, so that the booklet becomes a bookshelf references.
Week 18: Send a calendar with stickers children can use to mark special dates or complete a scene. Highlight important dates, tips, advice, reminders and other daycare-branding tidbits that parents will take note of.
Week 24: Send a direct-mail postcard inviting parents to your open house or other special event. Include an offer, as described in Daycare Marketing: Copywriting.
Week 30: Send a follow-up greeting card to everyone who attended your daycare. Include a voucher or gift coupon to express your appreciation and offer to personally answer any questions parents might have. You should also consider sending greeting cards to families who received the postcard but did not attend: "We're sorry we missed you ... Can we answer any questions for you or schedule a private meeting?"
You can deploy advertisements online or in the yellow pages, newspapers and magazines; as well as on the radio, television, billboards and any number of published mediums. You can also take your ads street side by placing flyers and posters on community bulletin boards, and university, office and industrial social hot spots. Word of mouth is the most powerful advertiser, so make sure friends, family, and colleagues know what you do and are prepared to spread the word for you. You should consider handing out stickers and business cards to everyone you know for distribution.
Test, track and tweak: These three Ts will help you develop winning daycare marketing campaigns. Always test different variations of your marketing materials on small portions of your mailing list before launching the full campaign. Sometimes a single word change can make a big difference in return on investment.
Track your response rates and record who responds so you can further define your target demographics. Tweak your subsequent marketing materials to cater to this audience. Keep a database of customers and respondents, and evaluate recognizable trends so you can customize your offers. This is just another form of knowing your customers, but from an analytical perspective it allows you to make intelligent business decisions based on honest, proven statistics.