Every daycare owner that we speak with has the same question.
How can we get more enrollments, or at least tours, without an honest marketing budget?
There is no simple answer as I am sure you know by now.
Or is there…
This post is going to introduce you to using one of the oldest, yet still effective, marketing tactics around. The flyer.
The only costs associated are the printer, paper and ink. I’m sure all of us have those though. The rest is just your time.
So it isn’t technically free, but darn close to it.
A daycare flyer can actually come in a variety of different styles. There are brochures, postcards, simple paper flyers (like you might find under your windshield wiper) and more.
Another option is the one I am going to discuss in this post.
We have all seen this type of flyer on corkboards just inside our local grocery and convenience stores, among other possible places.
The main content area of this flyer style is just like all the rest. It consists of your branding, your message, and hopefully some attention grabbing imagery.
I will discuss daycare flyers from a design perspective later in the post.
What makes this type different?
We are going to have “tear off tickets” on the bottom. You know the type I mean. Maybe you have seen one for a lawn mower or boat for sale. The phone number tears off so you can take it with you.
I apologize for the blurry image, but I wanted to preserve anonymity of a bunch of people, including a congratulation to our new Police Chief (yeah, they are worth capital letters – they protect our kids!) while still making my point. I left the pull tabs a little cleaner to show you that it still exists and works. 3 tabs are gone behind the yellow, that is why the owner slipped that part behind there, it is basically gone.
These flyers work great for a couple reasons.
The first, just like all the rest, it gives someone your contact info. They can call you on the spot or maybe take a picture of the flyer for later. It gives you a nice spot to show off your product or service. In the shot above, they used all the space to show images of a product they are attempting to sell.
The second reason is better though.
What if they don’t have their smartphone or a pen & paper? They have to try to remember your contact details, which is doubtful.
I suppose they could go inside and ask for a pen and paper to get the number, but that seems even more unlikely.
The only way they contact you is if they can steal your flyer. That of course, is the worst case scenario for us. Now nobody can see it, and they may not even become our customer. Plus, we don’t know it’s gone unless they actually call and inform us.
That is why I love the tear off flyers. Even if the tickets are gone, the rest still stays for a while anyway.
Additionally, I like to make a note for the person who takes the last ticket or sees it empty to contact you for a replacement. It’s no guarantee but it is better than nothing. In the case of some small town restaurants and stores, the owner will likely call you when they disappear if you take the time to build a relationship (buy a lunch there for crying out loud!).
I did already mention a couple of the best spots you can find.
Convenience and grocery stores.
People walk right by the display cases every time they enter or exit in a lot of instances. Some people don’t even realize they exist. A person that needs something though, knows where to look.
This is a great opportunity because it is usually a free spot to advertise. After all, even a grocery store owner might have kids and knows all about daycare.
Another awesome spot is a restaurant. In the places where it is dominantly displayed, you can catch the right eyes.
Some other options might include community centers, local schools and churches. There are of course many, more public places to slam one up, but I’m not going to condone something of question legality.
Being a former “We Buy Houses” real estate investor, I know the feeling of the law asking you to take down signs from telephone poles.
Not fun. I’m not saying that wouldn’t work in big cities, just saying I would steer clear.
This tip is the bomb…
Talk to your local Real Estate Agencies.
Think about it. They are the best source for newcomers to town. The brokers or agents often have kids, and since prospects are new to town, maybe they haven’t investigated the daycare situation yet.
The broker wants to make their transition to the new home and town as seamless as possible to earn a lifelong client. If you do the research, school system/daycare options (child care) is in the top 10 questions on every major real estate site when concerning a relocation situation for a family.
You can make it that much easier for him or her.
It’s a win-win with no effort on the broker’s part. Obviously they aren’t selling your services.
Rather, providing a simple solution that happens to be right at hand. Your marketing material can sit in the corner of the office as part of the “extra” closing material.
With the real estate approach, I would use a different style flyer, more like a brochure or magnet since only one person will acquire it.
This won’t be a print from home solution though, you would be best off choosing something like Vistaprint for ease of design and affordable printing.
As I mentioned before, people walk right past these display cases all the time, generally oblivious to their existence.
The reason, aside from the obvious not paying attention, is simple.
The items in the case are bland, too similar, and not attention grabbing.
Generally they are too wordy, maybe with a small image. The text is clearly written by somebody desperate to sell something, rather than crafted to entice someone to take action.
How do we break from the norm?
Make your flyer grab attention in the right ways.
Let’s take another look at the example before, with a different section highlighted. It happens to be the congratulation to our new awesome Chief Jon Doe.
When you walk past the board, it honestly is the only thing to grab you, despite being in the worst spot to do so. It is in the far bottom corner upon arrival, and nearly behind the door you open to leave.
For a daycare, have excited or interesting kids as big as you can.
Scream trust and stability, since that is what a potential parent will want in order to choose you as the caregiver of their babies.
Make it hard for them to not remember you. That is why I like the tear offs when possible.
Even if they don’t need daycare, they might remember a friend or new coworker asking if they knew of one.
Make sure your phone number is easy to locate.
Ensure that the address of your website is also present for those that don’t use QR code readers.
Don’t expect them to read a novel while walking out with a handful of groceries or a couple crazy kids in the cart.
Make every word count. Make them bold and big.
Finally, on the actual pull tabs, place your website address AND phone number.
That way they can research you online and then make the call right away too. You number is on the website of course, but let’s make it easy.
Want another top notch tip?
ALWAYS add a qr code to your printed advertising materials!
Smartphones are everywhere. And people will want to research you online.
By adding the QR code, they can just scan it and your website will pop right up. Now they can carry on and check you out later.
You already made life easy for them again. They didn’t have to hunt to find you. They didn’t even need to type in your website address.
Actually, building the design for a flyer is pretty simple for those that are experienced with simple tools like Microsoft Office. Word will work just fine. If you don’t pay for office, Open Office will work just fine and is free.
For this post, I am going to do what I recommend you should do. Utilize your free Google account and create a Google Sheet.
That way you always have it and can’t lose track of the file on your computer.
There is one caveat to using Google Sheets though. They always implement margins to the page that you can not circumvent. It just means your design can’t bleed to the edge of the paper.
Not a big deal, we get 2 less pull tickets.
Essentially, once you log into your Gmail account, you just click the 9 boxes symbols (apps). Then choose Sheets.
From there, you just create the layout for your flyer and then print it.
Remember that I said there is always a border around the printed page. Play around with the size to get everything how you like it.
If you Google it, you can find a bunch of flyer generators where you add your own data.
You can also use tools like vista print, but I hardly find that necessary for something that can be free.
Another drawback is that your flyer could end up using the exact same template as the daycare down the street.
I will do you one-up.
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Not only will you be the first to hear about tips, systems and promotions we may have, but you will also get access to a pre-built pull tab daycare flyer.
Plus, you can save a copy for yourself and edit it all you want.
It is perfect for those that don’t know a lot about editing spreadsheets or have no clue what to add to their own.
You fill in some boxes with your information and the next sheet adds your data.
Then you change a few of the text fields to your own message and font/color choices, swap out the images for your own or use these, and push print.
Then just cut your tabs on the tear away bottom and it’s ready to display and provide contact info on the go to 22 people minimum.
Another thing that makes sense is to create a couple different copies with different images, text, colors or even layouts. That way you can see which locations and designs generates the best response.
As I mentioned earlier, this method of marketing doesn’t truly fit into the free category, although I don’t think anyone would argue if it were. Everyone has Gmail, thus Google apps and a printer with paper.
Hopefully you can apply this tactic and generate a call quickly. You would be surprised what that one little win can do for your confidence. Your flyers would be all over town in no time.
If you have any questions, holler at us below in the comments.