Offering discounts can be an effective tool for many businesses seeking to increase earnings from a particular product or service. 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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
For example, do you receive lots of sign-ups from the custom Outschool flyer you placed at the local library? Consider expanding your flyer distribution to more local venues. Do coupon codes posted to Instagram consistently perform worse compared to those posted on Facebook? Think about shifting your efforts towards running more Facebook coupon campaigns.
Coupon Ideas & Outcomes
The example above illustrates only one of many approaches to using coupons to achieve better outcomes for your business. Let’s go over a few other discount strategies used by educators on Outschool to increase enrollments, profits, or awareness for their classes.
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 1:1 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 1:1 classes
Coupons may only be created to offer a set amount off of a particular class. However, some educators have found success offering bulk discounts (like “Buy 3, Get 1 Free”) by personally messaging families enrolled in 1:1 tutoring classes. In the case of “Buy 3, Get 1 Free,” parents may enter a coupon code when registering for their 4th 1:1 class.
You may promote this discount via a private message to families who have expressed interest in a 1:1 class (or to those you think would benefit from 1:1 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.
Easily provide make-up classes without refunds
Sticking with the theme of using great customer service to grow your business, coupons make it easy to offer make-up classes without having to process a refund. If a learner misses class due to illness or travel, you may choose to send them a coupon code for a make-up class.
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 educator training course on The Four Ps of Marketing.