Marketing Plan for Private Schools

marketing plan for private school

Creating a School Marketing Plan

Hey there, all you marketing-savvy school superheroes! 🎉

In a world filled with educational choices and bustling competition, schools face an epic challenge—how to make a lasting impact and stand out among the rest. Gone are the days of relying solely on whispers in the hallways and carrier pigeons to spread the word. It’s time to unleash your marketing powers and create a school marketing plan that will captivate hearts, engage minds, and skyrocket your school’s success!

marketing plan for private school

Topic featured in Ep 67 of The Private School Marketing Minute Podcast

Picture this: your school is the talk of the town, with a queue of right-fit students and parents lining up at your doorstep, eager to join your dynamic community. Sounds like a dream, right?

In this blog post, we’ll unlock secret strategies and sprinkle some magical marketing dust to create the independent school marketing plan that will help you transform your school into an unstoppable force.

Whether you’re a daring school administrator, a marketing wizard, or a passionate educator with a penchant for creativity, this guide will equip you with the superpowers needed to create a marketing plan that will have everyone chanting your school’s name.

We’ll explore the wild terrain of identifying your target audience, unearthing your school’s hidden gems, harnessing the power of digital platforms, rallying your community, and even mastering the art of measuring your marketing victories. Buckle up, because this is going to be one exciting ride!

But hey, remember—marketing isn’t a one-time thing; it’s an ongoing quest for greatness. By staying ahead of the game, keeping an eye on the latest trends, and having a little fun along the way, your school will conquer new horizons and rise to the top of prospective families’ consideration list.

So, grab your capes, sharpen your pencils, and get ready to unlock the secrets to crafting an A+ marketing plan for schools. Together, we’ll unleash the power of marketing and create a buzz that’ll make heads turn and hearts skip a beat. Are you ready to embark on this epic journey? Let’s dive in and make some marketing magic happen! ✨🚀

How to create a marketing plan for a school

How will a private school marketing plan help me?

marketing plan for private school

A good marketing plan should act as a definitive guide. Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or confused about your school’s marketing consult the guide. When you’re making a decision about allocating marketing resources, consult the guide.

When you need to prepare for a marketing meeting with the board of directors…  you guessed it, consult the marketing plan. It will keep you on the straight and narrow which will give your markeitng efforts the time that they need to work. 


There are at least a dozen ways to market a private school. That number is multiplied by the different objectives you’re trying to achieve. New enrollment, student retention, alumni donations, keeping staff, hiring staff, etc. All of these objectives have at least a dozen marketing strategies. Your marketing plan will outline each of your goals and the specific marketing items that will be done to achieve them. 


In other words, it’s a foundational (if not THE foundational) piece to your private school marketing

What is in a private school marketing plan?

Private school marketing plan goals

marketing plan for private schools

The first piece of a marketing plan for schools is the goals section. You’ve got to know what you want to achieve in order to achieve it right? But how many goals?

Your marketing plan should have ALL of the goals that you can reasonably achieve within a year period. The number of goals will be determined by things like budget, staff, time, etc. Only you know what that number will be. For some schools, there will only be one goal, student retention, for example. Other schools with more resources will be able to achieve multiple goals within a year. Listing those goals is the very first step. Here are a few goals a private school might want to achieve;

  • Increase student retention
  • Increase student enrollment
  • Increase referrals
  • Increase alumni donations
  • Increase staff retention
  • Hire more or better qualified staff
  • Build awareness for a new location

School Marketing Plan Template

After you’ve identified the goals you’d like to focus on, it’s time to create a marketing strategy to hit those goals. Check out this post for a list of unique marketing strategies you can use to create your marketing plan. Since there are so many marketing platforms, and each is so specific to your goals, we’ll list what you should include for each strategy portion. Below you will find a template that you can follow to create your education marketing plan.

  • Goal of the campaign 
  • How the campaign will function
  • Why you think this strategy will work
  • How much money will be allocated to the campaign on a monthly and yearly basis
  • The KPI’s that will be tracked to measure success
  • What you would need to consider the campaign a success and worth continuing on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis

Marketing Plan Examples for Schools

Here is an example of what this might look like for an increased student retention goal

Goal: Increase student retention

Strategy: Utilize a CRM system to keep track of data (like interests) of our students and parents. Use that data to deliver emails specific to their interests and to send consistent messages geared towards keeping students enrolled during key transitions phases. 

Why: We believe that if we do a bad job at effectively communicating our schools mission, beliefs, and why we are a good choice overall, than parents and students begin to form their own narrative. By controlling the conversation through consistent email marketing we aim to better tell our story which we believe will lead to an increase in student retention. 

Platform: Email Marketing (Active Campaign) 

Budget: $200/month

Time commitment: We will commit to this strategy for one year 

KPIs: Email open and response rates, overall parent and student sentiment, student retention rates

Success: open rates of 40%+, increase in student retention by 10% 

You would then go on to follow this structure for each strategy that you’ll be using for that specific goal. For example, you might also want to utilize direct mail marketing to increase student retention. You would fill out each of these subpoints for that specific marketing strategy. Make sense?  

You can see how creating this plan allows you to get these abstract ideas down on paper with actionable steps, which is helpful in and of itself. Follow these steps and you’ll have a healthy marketing plan that will guide you through your school marketing this year. 

What a Marketing Plan is Not

marketing plan for private schools

It can be easy to over complicate a private school marketing plan. If you’re anything like me you’ll have to remind yourself to keep it simple! So, let’s talk about what a marketing plan is NOT. 

A marketing plan is not;

  • A to do list
    • Rather, it’s a reference point. You should refer to the guide to come up with your to do list. Not list all of your to do’s in the marketing plan. 
  • A place to list all of the steps you need to take to execute the strategy
    • Create a separate sheet that breaks down all of the steps you need to take to execute the strategy. Using our earlier example of email marketing you’ll need to
      • Find, populate, or utilize an existing CRM/Email marketing software
      • Create the topics for 5 initial emails
      • Write the emails 
      • Schedule the emails
      • Etc. 
    • That is the information that you would include in you task management system, or whatever you use to prioritize your to do list.   
  • A document that is so thick your eyes glaze over 4 minutes into reading it 
    • It should be simple enough that someone who doesn’t understand marketing (probably a board member) could read it and understand the overall concept. 
  • Set in stone
    • Your marketing plan should, and probably will change as the year goes on. As you learn more about what is working and what is not working, new objectives pop up, or budgets get shifted, so to should your marketing plan.

Let’s Recap

Marketing plans are a fundamental part of any private school marketing strategy. If done correctly, they will act as a simple guide that you should reference often to keep your marketing on the right track.

They’ll help you explain, quickly and with detail, the overall goals of the marketing and how you plan to achieve them. Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be.

Follow the template that we provided in this post and you’ll have everything that you need to create a simple and effective marketing plan for private schools. 

If you’re looking for help with your marketing we may be the right agency for you.

Was this post helpful? Let us know how you plan on using the information to create your marketing plan. Leave a comment or send us a DM on our social channels (linked in the footer). 

Looking forward to hearing from you! 

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