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5 Ways Your Childcare Center is Losing Money and Opportunities

In 2020, 56% of open childcare centers lost money every single day.  

While some of the damage has been reversed since then, many childcare centers are still losing family leads and wasting valuable staff time due to manual enrollment tasks. This leads to decreased revenue for owners, staff, and teams.  

It’s vital to find a solution to stop losing leads and better prioritize staff time. Setting up a childcare business and running it may result in you leaving money on the table. Read on to see how to fix these issues.

Problems to Avoid in Running a Childcare Business

Across 4 states, issues in childcare management led to a $479 million-$3.47 billion annual loss for their economies. To avoid these problems in your own organization, there are 5 revenue-wasting problems that you should be aware of: 

1) Letting Leads Slip Through the Cracks 

When enrollment staff are asked to collect lead information from multiple places like email, text, phone calls, voicemails, Facebook, websites, and more – leads fall through the cracks. And if they do manage to find all the leads who have recently inquiried for care, they still have to manually enter family lead data into spreadsheets, notebooks, and binders. This contributes to incorrect contact information and missed enrollment opportunities.  

Save staff time, reduce data errors, and stop digging through paper files. Ensure no lead is misplaced or forgotten with a childcare lead management system that organizes family information in a central hub. Look for a solution that automatically captures leads from your website, emails, phone calls, and Facebook – even when you’re away from your desk. 

2) Delayed or No Follow-Up 

30-50% of consumers purchase from the companies that respond to their inquiries first, indicating that fast follow-up is vital to enrollment success.  

The likelihood of enrolling a new family drops 21 times if you respond to parents in 30 minutes, compared to 5 minutes. But when center directors are busy caring for enrolled families, it can be difficult to respond to messages from parents during the work day. Don’t give your competitors a head start on enrollment. Follow up fast on new inquiries with automated emails and text messages to stay top of mind with potential families. 

But remember, follow-up doesn’t end after a family's initial inquiry. In marketing, there’s a communication guideline called The Rule of 7' that states a prospective family needs to hear, see, or read about your childcare program an average of seven times to become most likely to enroll. So, your staff should follow up with families at every enrollment stage to ensure maximum conversion success.  

How to Implement the Rule of 7 at Your Locations:

Did you know only 1 in 4 centers follow up with families and 80% of childcare providers give up after the third attempt to engage with a family? 

For optimal conversion success when implementing The Rule of 7, follow these tips: 

  • Repetition is key. Use similar messaging, imagery, and contact information in your marketing so that people become more familiar with you each time they see or hear about you. Consistent communication helps to build your brand and establish a reputation with families. 

  • Respond faster with workflow automation. 63% of companies that use automation software outperform their competitors. Parents have an overwhelming number of childcare options. Workflow automation allows your teams to automatically send and schedule your follow-up communications and other marketing emails or texts, so your center remains top of mind. 

  • Nurture and guide families through your enrollment pipeline. The ideal range to properly nurture families through enrollment is 5-10 workflow automations. 

LineLeader workflow automations

Example workflow automation sequence 

3) Lack of Personalization and Customization 

Impersonal content generates 83% lower response rates in an average marketing campaign than personalized messages. Today’s parents prefer communicating with businesses that humanize their communications. 

Increase response rates with custom drip campaigns. Drip campaigns are behavior-based automations that allow your staff to communicate with prospective families based on how they interact with the content they’re sharing- ensuring your brand is always sending the right message at the right time. 

Build Personalized Marketing Campaigns that Convert: 

Drip campaigns can be used throughout the entire prospective parent’s journey to enrollment and are also powerful tools for re-engaging families.  

For example, in a typical drip campaign, you might send out an email to all prospective parents who haven’t yet completed enrollment forms. Those who opened and clicked through could then be given a task in your CRM for a staff member to follow up with them by phone. Those who did not open the email could automatically be sent a text reminder. Drip campaigns tailor your enrollment experience to each parent. 

email drip campaign

Example email drip campaign sequence 

Use Variable Tags to Add a Personal Touch to Messages 

Deliver emails and text messages that are personalized to fit parents’ needs – using variable tags in an automated lead management system. Childcare centers can highlight unique program benefits and features according to age groups or the specific interests of a group of people.  

With the right childcare experience platform, easily store communication templates and automate personalization, allowing franchise teams to build meaningful connections with families without lifting a finger.  

Variable tags like [Lead First Name] or [Location Name] can be used to automate messages to parent segments that speak to their unique needs. 

Email Template Product Image

Email template with variable tags 

4) Wasted Staff Time 

Between hosting tours, building waitlists, and picking up enrollment packets – there’s not a lot of time for franchise teams to complete their daily enrollment to-do lists. 

70% of workers say the biggest opportunity of automation lies in reducing time wasted on repetitive tasks. Find a solution to manage tasks across franchise locations, while allowing corporate teams to help out with tasks from a distance or run reports on how franchises are performing. See current and upcoming tasks (monitor their completion rates), decrease manual work, and automate assigning follow-up tasks or sending reminders with a childcare experience platform.

Plus, a timeline of tasks can be maintained for each family in your childcare experience platform and accessed at the franchise or corporate level, allowing your entire team to remain in the loop on what’s been completed and what needs extra attention. Franchise staff can easily see which phone calls need to be made, emails/texts need to be sent, or who is coming in for a tour so that they know how to plan their daily, weekly, or monthly schedules. 

5) Not Tracking Performance  

Without tracking performance, it’s tough for you or your franchisees to know which advertising channels are working, how staff is performing, and where families are falling out of the enrollment pipeline.  When your entire enrollment process is manual, there’s no easy way to identify what’s contributing to won or lost revenue

Enrollment reporting allows you to gain real-time insights across individual, regional, or corporate levels to make data-driven decisions. For example, the Source of Families report in LineLeader by ChildcareCRM identifies all the channels where leads are coming from and how many families came from each one – allowing you and your franchise owners to make important decisions about their marketing and advertising efforts. 

Standard Reports Product ImageSource of Families report in LineLeader

Plus, with a childcare experience platform easily monitor the conversion success rate at each stage in the parent’s journey. With this information, you can make changes to existing processes and campaigns to increase enrollment and revenue.

LineLeader Prevents Lost Money and Wasted Revenue - with Less Work

Marketing is the growth engine for every childcare center. But missed leads, slow response times, a complex parent experience, and lack of reporting make marketing difficult. Busy and overworked staff often don’t have time to complete every manual-but-necessary marketing activity, so childcare business growth opportunities are lost.  

Get more from your marketing while saving staff 10 hours every week with LineLeader Automate everything from lead capture to reporting—all from one place. 

Schedule a demo to take the next step and effortlessly increase revenue across your childcare centers.

Schedule a Demo

And if you aren't ready to schedule a demo, allow us to help you understand where you're leaking revenue and how a tool like LineLeader can help you drive value within your multi-site childcare business. 

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Meet The Author

Hope Dasher is a marketing professional with years of SEO content writing and social media strategy experience. Hope had a Bachelor's degree from The University of Texas at Dallas in Psychology and Child Development and an emphasis on language. She has extensive knowledge of the childcare system, effective marketing strategies, and copywriting. Hope serves as a Content Specialist for the Marketing team at LineLeader by ChildcareCRM.

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