Educator coupons were designed to help you encourage enrollment in your Outschool classes. By creating custom coupon codes, you can target specific audiences (such as new or returning learners) with special promotions that may increase the number of sign-ups you receive. As an educator entrepreneur, you may choose to use coupons as a part of a marketing strategy to boost enrollments – and therefore profits – from your teaching business.
Let’s take a look at how coupons can drive interest in your classes and fit into an outcome-driven marketing strategy.
Step 1: Set a goal
Before racing over to your dashboard to make your first coupon, take a moment to consider how a coupon code may benefit your business in the short or long term. Without a set goal, it will be difficult for you to measure the outcomes of a specific coupon campaign.
We recommend establishing a clear objective for each coupon you create so that you’re able to make adjustments to your strategy based on results. Think about these common outcomes that educators may be able to achieve with a custom coupon:
- Expand your learner and parent base by attracting new learners.
- Boost enrollments for a new class or class type
- Increase the number of re-enrollments you receive
- Increase the net profits of a class or your business as a whole
Once you establish a goal for your coupon, you can create a plan for how you’ll promote the discount and what benefits you’ll advertise. Keep in mind that your existing families may have a negative reaction to pitches that appear too “sales-y” or impersonal, so sincerity and subtlety can be your friend when marketing to that audience. This may look like sending a personalized message instead of a template or sparingly posting promotions in your classroom.
Here are a few ideas to get you started as you consider how you may use coupons to build your business:
Attract new learners
One way to get the word out about your classes is to offer a one-time discount to new learners. Creating a larger pool of existing customers increases the likelihood that you’ll boost your overall enrollment rate. A few ways you can advertise a discount code to new learners are:
- Use the Flyer Generator under the Marketing tab on your educator dashboard to advertise classes and coupons in your local community.
- Post it in your class description. If offering a discount for an ongoing class, it may be helpful to phrase your coupon code as “$X off your first class” to avoid confusion down the road.
- Promote your coupon code on social media via a dedicated educator business page, your own personal profile, or paid ads.
- Publish the code on your teaching business blog or website.
Promote repeat enrollments
Statistics across industries indicate that returning customers drive significant profits for businesses large and small. Rewards for loyalty to a business or even a small “thank-you” benefit can help secure repeat business. With Outschool’s guidelines for messaging families in mind, you may choose to use coupons to:
- Offer a discount to returning learners only by posting in your classroom or sending a personalized message to enrolled families.
- Convert successful group classes into 1-on-1 opportunities by offering a discount on a learner’s first tutoring session.
- Promote enrollment in longer-term classes (like ongoing or multi-day classes) to learners who have only enrolled in a one-time class.
Offer sibling or family discounts
Some educators on Outschool choose to offer sibling discounts to encourage families to sign up multiple learners in the same household for a class. This can be a great strategy for delivering great customer service by accommodating your families’ needs, all while increasing the number of learners, reviews, and profits for a single class.
Create bulk discounts on 1-on-1 classes
Coupons may only be created to offer a set amount off of a particular class. However, some educators have found success in offering bulk discounts (like “Buy 3, Get 1 Free”) by personally messaging families enrolled in 1-on-1 tutoring classes. In the case of “Buy 3, Get 1 Free,” parents may enter a coupon code when registering for their 4th 1-on-1 class.
You may promote this discount via a private message to families who have expressed interest in a 1-on-1 class (or to those you think would benefit from 1-on-1 instruction) as an incentive to sign up for tutoring. It’s important to note that this type of discount does require a level of trust between you and the parent that they will only use their coupon code once, so this method should be used with caution.
Step 2: Create coupons
You can create as many coupons as you’d like right from your educator dashboard. When creating a custom coupon code, you’ll be able to decide the amount of the coupon, which class(es) it will work for, and the start and end dates of the discount. You can even make enrollment in a course free if you set the coupon value equal to the price of the class.
Step 3: Share your coupons
Once you’ve got your shiny new coupon code in hand, it’s time to share it with either prospective or existing learner families – or both! You may share your coupons by posting in your Outschool classroom, sending a direct message to parents, or posting on social media.
After you create your coupon, you’ll notice we’ve included a text template that you can cut & paste to easily advertise the coupon code:
Get [$ amount] off of [class name] with coupon code [code] until [end date]. Get started at [class url] and enter the coupon code at checkout.
Step 4: Track your success
Coupons are most effective when they are created to reach a defined goal and when results are measured against that goal to establish the coupon’s rate of success. For example, you may have a primary goal of increasing profits in a new class that currently has low enrollments. You choose to try using a coupon to increase revenue from that class. Here is what monitoring that coupon to evaluate its performance may look like:
- First, you publish an “early bird” coupon code for an upcoming section to try and secure a few additional sign-ups. You note that the coupon code will only be valid for learners who enroll before a certain date.
- Next, you receive 5 enrollments from learners who pay a discounted price, and then receive 3 more enrollments after your “early bird” deal ends.
- After the class enrollment period ends, you compare the net profit you earned from the class to what you would have earned if you had only taught the 3 learners who paid full price.
- Finally, if your net profit is higher with the addition of the learners using coupons, then you have achieved your goal of increasing revenue from the class.
After completing this test for whether or not a coupon is helping you achieve a goal, you can make an informed decision about how this type of coupon may fit into your marketing plan going forward. Perhaps you set a secondary goal of retaining those new learners who signed up with a coupon by encouraging them to enroll in another, full-price class. In this instance (where using a coupon successfully met your goal), you may use similar coupons to attract new learners and employ different strategies to encourage re-enrollments.
On the other hand: If your coupon did not meet your established goal, then it’s time to rethink your strategy and run another test.
Step 5: Identifying trends
Come up with a process that works for you to keep track of your coupons’ performance. One method we’ve heard educators use is a custom spreadsheet (either in Excel or Google Sheets) that includes columns like coupon code, amount, class, dates used, # of signups, net profit, and posting location (such as Facebook, class description, or flyer). We’ve made this template to get you started!
By tracking your data, you can begin to identify trends that may help you create more successful marketing campaigns. One way to make sure you’re able to distinguish data trends is to use different coupon codes in different locations, even if they’re for the same class. That way, you can see where your enrollments are coming from.
Final thoughts on coupons
Teaching on Outschool gives you the opportunity to decide which marketing strategies are right for you. We hope these tips will help educators interested in coupons run successful campaigns that help build their business. If you’d like to learn more about different marketing techniques recommended by Outschool, check out our professional learning course on The Four Ps of Marketing.
Coupon codes offer an excellent opportunity to set a business goal and use your Outschool resources to help you get there. Head over to your dashboard to create a coupon now, and explore more business coaching opportunities designed specifically for educator entrepreneurs.
Looking for more Outschool marketing tips? Check this out.