The ability to directly communicate with learners’ families is a powerful tool for every educator on Outschool. Let’s take a look at the communication options available to you, how you can effectively use them to promote your classes, and what policies you’ll need to keep in mind to protect everyone’s safety and privacy.
Keep it on Outschool
This may already be ingrained knowledge for our veteran educators, but it’s always worth repeating: all communication with families must be done through the Outschool platform. This aligns with our commitment to create a safe environment for both learners and educators. When using the Outschool classroom, you can choose from tools such as:
- Learner messages
- Parent messages
- Classroom posts (including learner @mentions!)
Customize your messaging
Generic template messages can be a turn-off for many parents. Based on feedback from Outschool families, we’ve learned that class promotions that feel too “sales-y” or are impersonal can be less effective than a well-placed, personalized message that addresses a specific learner’s wants, needs, or skill development.
Encourage “following” your profile
One effective strategy for keeping the lines of communication open with currently or previously enrolled families is to encourage them to “follow” your profile. Keep in mind that if a family has enrolled in one of your courses, they will automatically be “following” you unless they choose to stop. Once a family is following you, they’ll receive e-mails from Outschool whenever you create a new course. This means less work for you and more of a likelihood that a family will explore your new listings.
To keep families aware of this feature, you could say something as simple as: “To hear about my future classes, make sure you’re following my educator profile and look out for e-mail notifications from Outschool that will let you know when I’ve posted a new class section!” in a class wrap-up post or direct message.
Create a messaging funnel
Direct parent communication can be incredibly powerful for driving repeat enrollments. Towards the end of a class section, let your enrolled families know what classes you’re teaching next and where their learner could shine. These types of conversations stand out from generic messages by including personalized language, such as:
- Reflections on the learner’s performance in their current class
- Acknowledgment of the learner’s expressed goals or interests
- Customized recommendations of future classes
Here’s an example of a direct parent message that we’ve written as inspiration for your next class promotion:
It’s been a pleasure to have Tomas in my Beginning With Clay class this month. He excelled at our final project (I loved his bust of Charles Darwin!), and he seems to truly enjoy creating with clay.
I wanted to let you know that I’ll be offering a new class where learners who’ve learned the basics of sculpture can begin to work on more detailed projects, and I think Tomas would be a great fit. The class is called Intermediate Clay Sculpture and starts on October 12th. I’m also offering a special coupon to returning learners for $5 off the course fee – just use the code CLAY5 if you choose to enroll.
I’d love to continue helping Tomas develop his skills if he’s interested and the class works with your schedule. Please let me know if you have any questions!
Take note of how this message is unmistakably written for this family. When planning how you’ll approach promoting your classes to current families, consider how you can use surveys to learn more about your learners and provide the best recommendations, or how larger group classes could lead to multiple 1:1 teaching opportunities.
If you’re getting ready to send a marketing message to a parent, think: “What would I do if I received this message? Would I appreciate it? Or would it be intrusive?” If all the boxes are checked and you feel confident that you’re building positive relationships with your families, then hit that send button! To continue building your teaching business, check out these marketing tips or enroll in our business coaching program.