5 Ways to Increase Private School Student Enrollment in the UAE
5 Ways to Increase Private School Student Enrollment in the UAE
The United Arab Emirates is home to one of the strongest private school markets in the world.
As of 2017, an impressive 76% of all school age children in the UAE attended private schools—the fifth-highest percentage of private school enrollment in the world. In other words, the UAE’s private school market is thriving.
Yet, despite the strength of the market, many schools still struggle to reach their enrollment targets. In this article, The School Agency will provide five strategies for increasing private school enrollment in the UAE.
1. Understand Why Parents Choose Private Schools
Truly understanding your target market means moving beyond intuition and assumptions.
The reasons parents choose private schools are fairly set-in-stone. By understanding these reasons, schools can advertise their ability to exceed parents’ expectations and stand out from competitors.
According to the CATO Institute, the most common reasons parents choose private schools include:
- Better discipline (50.9%): Private schools are held to higher expectations when it comes to student discipline and behavior
- Better learning environment (50.8%): Private schools are known for having higher teacher-to-student ratios and smaller class sizes.
- Smaller class sizes (48.9%): Smaller class sizes often result in more individualized attention and instruction.
- Improved safety (46.8%): Parents who choose private schools want to relax, knowing that their children are safe and secure in their learning environment.
- More individualized attention (39.3%): Private schools often provide personalized attention to each student in order to ensure that they are receiving the best possible instruction.
These are the concrete, actionable reasons why parents choose private schools—and the information you need to craft messaging that drives enrollment. While many schools choose to focus on rigorous academics and standardized test scores, these are less important factors when it comes to private school enrollment.
2. Carve Out a Niche in the Market
The UAE is home to many excellent private schools. As such, schools need to stand out from the competition by establishing a unique identity within the market.
The goal here is to become the go-to school for parents and students who have a specific set of “must-have” requirements for their educational experience. Look for areas of specialization or niche offerings that can help your school stand apart from others, such as:
- Language-immersion or study abroad programs
- Specialized curricula (e.g., sign language, dance)
- Experiential learning (e.g., outdoor classes, field trips)
- Innovative extracurriculars (e.g., robotics, coding)
This niche doesn’t have to dominate your school’s entire educational program. It can exist alongside your other offerings as a unique, value-add for prospective parents and students that drives enrollment for a key segment of your market.
3. Diversify and Optimize Your Marketing to build Student Enrollment in the UAE
Many schools see marketing as a linear game—throw more money at the problem, and you’ll solve it. The reality is that effective marketing requires a far more sophisticated approach. When it comes to private school marketing, focus on diversification and optimization over spending.
Start by diversifying your marketing channels, including both traditional methods (e.g., print publications and billboards) as well as digital campaigns (e.g., social media ads, email campaigns). This will ensure that you are reaching the widest possible audience of prospective parents and students.
Equally important is optimizing each channel for maximum effectiveness. Start by calculating two key metric for each of your marketing channels:
- Lead Conversion Rate (LCR): How many prospective parents and students expressed interest after engaging with your marketing?
- Conversion Rate (CR): How many of those prospective parents and students do you convert into actual enrollments?
Next, compare your marketing metrics to industry benchmarks to see how you stack up against your competitors. For example, the average LCR for a school’s website is 4.68%—if you’re far below this number, it’s time to reassess your marketing strategy.
By diversifying and optimizing your marketing efforts, you can generate more qualified leads and improve your enrollment rate—without blindly increasing spending.
4. Focus on Amazing In-Person Experiences
According to thorough studies, roughly 84% of in-person event attendees leave with a positive view of the school. That’s more than double the impact of any digital marketing tactics—and it’s also why 31% of marketers believe in-person marketing plays the biggest role in driving enrollment.
To create a memorable in-person experience for prospective parents and students, start with a detailed profile of your ideal demographic. From there, you can tailor your event to appeal to that specific audience. Then, make sure you have an overwhelming amount of positive energy at your event, with high-quality visuals, engaging activities and speakers, and deliverables that create a lasting impression.
If you’re looking for inspiration, here are a few examples of creative in-person experiences that will keep people talking:
- Outdoor activities (e.g., geocaching, hikes, field trips, and other outdoor adventures)
- Interactive activities (e.g., cooking classes, photography tutorials, or art projects)
- Service activities (e.g., cleanups, fundraisers, or volunteer opportunities)
No matter what type of event you decide to put on, make sure it’s memorable and that it speaks to the values of your school. When done right, in-person marketing can be an incredibly powerful way to engage with prospective parents and students and drive enrollment.
5. Leverage Automation Tools for Efficient Campaigns
Casting a wide net with your campaigns is a tried-and-tested approach to marketing. The problem is that creating and managing campaigns with massive reach takes time and resources—resources that could be better spent improving your school.
This is where automation tools become especially useful. Automation tools can help speed up every stage of your campaigns, including:
- Content creation (e.g., Jasper, Writesonic)
- Content optimization (e.g., SEOquake, YoastSEO)
- Marketing automation (e.g., Constant Contact, MailChimp)
- Lead nurturing (e.g., Infusionsoft, Autopilot)
Using the right automation tools can save you time and money while allowing you to reach more prospective parents and students. Automation also makes it easier to measure the success of your campaigns, which can help you determine where to allocate your marketing budget in the future.
Boost Enrollment With the Help of the UAE’s Leading Education Marketing Agency
By taking a proactive approach to private school marketing and leveraging automated solutions for efficiency, you can create an effective strategy that will help you reach more prospective parents and students—and ultimately increase enrollment. With the right combination of marketing tactics, automation tools, and amazing in-person experiences, you can make your school stand out in the increasingly competitive UAE education market.
At The School Agency, we specialize in helping private schools and universities maximize their marketing efforts. Our team of experienced professionals is up-to-date on all the latest trends in education marketing, so you can rest assured that our team will craft a custom strategy that meets the unique needs of your school.
Contact us today for a free consultation and start boosting enrollment at your private school!
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