Would you marry your school after the first date?

Randy Vaughn: Would you marry your school after the first date? -

OK, that’s a strange headline. Let me explain.

In the world of marketing, too many admission folks tend to dream up this idea that if we just spend the right amount of money on the slickest ad in the fanciest magazine, then enrollment will increase.

Rarely does that happen. And even if we offer a few exceptions, it is certainly not the rule and most likely you know it.

In marketing circles (and I have also adopted this concept as a Certified Duct Tape Marketing Consultant), you will often hear marketing folks talk of this phrase:

KNOW . . . LIKE . . . TRUST

But in schools, admission folks tend to think like this:


Again, going back to the very unusual title to this article, would you marry your school after the first date?

When I talk with schools about this KNOW-LIKE-TRUST, I liken it to the typical “dating” relationship. When I dated my wife, we got to KNOW each other. We subsequently spent a considerable amount of time together the next 18 months really LIKING each other (but not yet talking long-term commitment). But as we learned to TRUST one another, it became obvious. We then sealed that trust in a covenant of marriage (we celebrate 22 years this December).

Another way I have described this relationship nurturing effort is to use the alliteration of the letter “A” (I did this in a previous article with the alliteration of the letter “P”).




Perhaps this helps give you talking points with your marketing team.

Ask yourself, “how are we helping potential prospective parents become AWARE of us?”

Then ask, “if they are AWARE we exist, how are we building AFFINITY?”

Then, “what evidence can we show them that will offer them assurance that we are truly the best solution for the education of their children?” This will lead to AGREEMENT.

Here’s another article on this topic, “Why I Love My School”.

This is what I talk about with clients from Maryland to Mississippi, Atlanta to Alabama, Tennesse to right here in Texas – I would love to help you, too!


FREE 30-MInute Phone Consultation with Randy Vaughn, Christian School Marketing Consultant

Better Magazine Advertising Practices for Schools

Better Magazine Advertising Practices for Christian Schools

As your marketing and admission season ramps up, you will likely place advertisements in local magazines and newspapers (and for some of you, you may also pay to advertise on Facebook as well.)  Here are 5 tips to make your advertising more effective: (more…)

The 3 Rs of School Marketing [FREE REPORT]

The 3 Rs of School Marketing [FREE REPORT]

When consulting with Christian schools, private academies and independent preparatory schools, we consistently find the three most commons struggles schools have are in the areas of gaining new students, keeping the ones you have, and getting current families to lead you to their friends.

In this free download, we discuss specific examples in each of the 3 Rs of school marketing:


I think you’ll find this book filled with practical ideas you can implement right away.

Click here to download your free copy of “The 3 Rs of School Marketing”!

Click here to download your free report - "The 3 Rs of School Marketing"


3 Rs of School Marketing – Retention (Pt 2 of 3)

Retention Marketing:  Keeping Families Coming Back for More to Your Private School

NOTEIf you missed any of the posts in this 3-part series, click here.

In the 2nd of this 3-part series, I begin focusing on how your school can transform your retention efforts!  In addition, we will explore in this 3rd post of this series how your referral strategy works together with your retention strategy to cultivate “LOYAL AMBASSADORS.”

The first word of that phrase reminds us all that loyalty helps ensure retention!  This is a common consideration in small businesses, but something often overlooked in private schools.  As one school administrator told me once, “when we retain even one family, it is our best fund raiser.”  So if your school’s financial solvency rests on the keeping your ideal families coming back year-after-year, then what are you doing to intentional cultivate loyalty?

First of all, in the first part of this series, we focused on recruiting the idea family (unless you know what makes someone an ideal family, you’ll be fighting your own efforts at retention).   Cultivating loyalty is made much easier when your ideal family is matched with your school’s excellent performance.  When an ideal family finds a suitable solution to the academic, spiritual or moral challenges facing them, they are more likely to stay year after year.   If at any time, this family feels taken advantage of, or taken for granted, their eyes may be lured elsewhere.

Here are 7 tips on ensuring your ideal families sign on year after year for your private school: (more…)

3 Rs of School Marketing – Recruiting (Pt 1 of 3)

3 Rs of School Marketing - Recruiting (Pt 1 of 3)

When it comes to announcing any list, you’re bound to leave off something.  Nevertheless, I start a 3-part series talking about the importance of the 3 Rs of private school marketing.

I guess I could have included any of the following:

  • Real-time search results
  • Relationship building
  • Reaching out
  • Real results

Any others I missed?

But for me, every school must have a sound marketing strategy focused on the following Rs: (more…)