Lead Magnets Are Critical to Private School Marketing and Communications

In our last blog post we shared some powerful strategies and tips for outsourcing private school advertising and marketing. Online advertising – not posting to your own social media accounts – is critical if you want to stay competitive and consistently increase enrollment of best-fit families.

However, there is one key ingredient you must not ignore if you want to run effective advertising campaigns that yield a high return on investment. That ingredient is a powerful lead magnet.

A “lead magnet” is something of value you offer a prospect for free in exchange for their contact information. We share examples from higher ed and independent schools.

One of the primary benefits of online advertising campaigns is that you can turn prospects who sign up for an “offer” into real inquiries. A lead magnet should be intriguing to your target market and attract only those who are qualified. Forsyth Country Day School in Winston-Salem, NC used demographic and geo-targeting to make sure that their ads were displayed to people who had school-aged children and lived within certain neighborhoods.

FCDS offers a guide in exchange for contact information.

When you capture their information by offering something of high value in return, you can then nurture that lead or inquiry over time.

Here are some tips for creating an irresistible lead magnet for your online advertising:

#1: Be specific: When crafting your lead magnet, think of a specific problem you can solve for your target audience with a very specific solution. For example, FCDS offers a guide to help parents set their children up for success. If your ad campaign is targeting students, think of the common problems and questions prospective students struggle with and offer them guidance around that topic.

#2: Be unique: Here’s a lesson from higher ed marketers. They understand lead generation techniques but their lead magnets tend to be overused. Here are just a few of the same basic guides emailed to prospects in 2017/2018:

Not Unique: Seven “How to Choose a College” Guides from Seven Colleges

  • 4 Surprising Ways to Find Your Perfect College
  • 5 Tips to Consider When Choosing Your College
  • 7 Key Questions: Finding the Right Fit in Your College Search
  • Acceptance Starts Today: 7 Steps to Getting Into Any Great College
  • Best and Brightest: How America’s Top Scholars Choose Their Ideal College
  • Leading the Pack: How You Can Stay Two Steps Ahead In Your College Search
  • Make It Happen: Taking Charge of Your College Future Today

#2: Make it easy to consume: A powerful lead magnet should be easily consumed and offer tremendous value within minutes of accessing it. Think “instant gratification”. You want people to feel an instant positive shift. That could be feeling more confident, less stressed, more knowledgeable, etc. Move your prospect closer to a desired result in a short amount of time.

#3: Create a powerful headline: Your lead magnet needs to have a powerful headline to attract attention and entice them to opt-in. Your headline can make or break the conversion rate of your lead magnet. As David Ogilvy, the master of advertising said, “The headlines which work best are those that promise the reader a benefit.” Focus on one key powerful benefit that you’ll deliver.

#4: Package it right: Here’s another lesson from higher ed. Lead magnets can come in many different forms. Make it enjoyable, fun and easy to consume. Go beyond the typical insider guide. In 2016 Ohio Wesleyan used the Pokemon Go game to entice registrations for a campus visit.

Lead magnet appealing to the target market

We hope that this blog post has helped you to see why having a powerful lead magnet is so essential to the success of your online advertising and overall educational marketing strategy.

Looking for a customized marketing strategy? Let’s discuss. Contact me at president@edwardsco.com.

Maria Kadison



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