Why Retention Must be Part of Your Plan

Updated: Apr 17, 2019

Retain this information about retention.

If you keep us--and our parents--happy, we will stay at your school until we graduate...and sing your praises the whole time.

When I started helping market my kids’ school several years ago, we talked briefly about the issue of retention but then decided that was “the school’s job.” It seemed like it was all up to the principal to ensure the school put out a great product and that would, in turn, keep the current families satisfied. I would just focus on recruitment and getting the word out. That was logical to me and was actually a relief (one less thing to think about!).

Sadly, that was wrong. You really must think about retention when considering what you can do to help market your school.

Here’s why:

1. Savings. It costs a lot less time and energy to keep the families you already have.

2. Word-of-Mouth. Happy, satisfied families then naturally and authentically spread the word about your school to others. This means fewer unhappy families spreading negative information about your school. Neat, right? So by fostering retention you are actually helping attract new families, because word-of-mouth is the most effective form of advertising.

3. Everyone Benefits. Intentionally focusing some energy on making sure enrolled families are happy makes for a better school atmosphere for everyone. I would much rather be at a school where I know my presence is valued and an effort is made to keep me happy.

Lots of things can affect retention, some outside our control, but in general, simple terms:

Happy, satisfied parents + good academic program = high rate of retention

So are you wondering what parents can do to help with retention? As you can see, a lot of retention does rest on the the school’s shoulders. If it doesn’t have a good academic program, then retention is doomed, isn’t it? Still, there are a number of things parents can do to help.