Tips and Tricks for Back To School:
After our annual summer slow down, Back to School signals BACK TO WORK for Cardies! Here are some tips and tricks for Back to School success:
1: Back To School Promotions
Consider running a promotion getting your community excited for back to school – and increasing brand awareness for your company. You will capitalize on the BTS excitement, and solidify your reputation for proactive thinking and community involvement.
Option 1: School Spirit Campaign
Donut you love a great promotion that brings your community together and gets you social clout?! Check out the resources below to see how you can modify the materials to work for your own business!
Download Resources:Donut Social Post Content
Donut Social Graphic
Donut Printable Flyer
School Spirit Social Graphic
School Spirit Social Example
Option 2: Tag A Teacher Campaign This is a Social Media promotion that you can use to expand your reach, and get more customers through the school! Check out the resources below to see how you can modify the materials to work for your rental business!
Teacher Social Post Content
Teacher Social Graphic
Option 3: School Supply Giveaway
- Grab a backpack and STUFF it with all the good things a kid might love for school.
- Set up a yard card in the back with school theme, take a photo of your awesome backpack.
- Post your backpack pic, and instruct your social media audience to TAG THE PARENT of an awesome kid who deserves to win. BONUS: tell them they cannot nominate their own child. People will love sharing all the good things about a friend or neighbor.
- Pick a winner & have them meet you (at a safe location) to pick up their prize
***request permission from the parent to take a pic of the child w/their prize for use on social media!
2: CONTACTING SCHOOLS/PARENT ORGANIZATIONS
When working with schools it is very important to respect the responsibility the administration has for the safety and security of their students. This means it is NEVER a good idea to set up at a school without their knowledge and consent. Don’t let “official communication” intimidate you! We’ve got the info you need to get started.
Email the Principal – Assistant Principal – Office Manager (Secretary/Administrative Assistant):
Example Email: We are so excited for back to school on [DATE]. [Company Name] is ready to welcome back your students with a Yard Card! Yard Cards are available for $____ (Or) Yard Cards are FREE for schools!
Please let us know which greeting you prefer:
3-5 days following your initial email contact the front office to confirm delivery date and set up time. This will help in two ways:
- You will confirm the office staff received your email
- You will confirm approval of the set up
Follow up in writing to original email
Example: Thank you [mascot] for allowing [company name] the opportunity to serve your school. On [date] we stopped by the school and had the pleasure of speaking to [name]. [Name] confirmed your design choice, location, and set up time. [Company name] staff will be on campus [date/time] to set up your display, and will return [date/time] to pick everything up. We look forward to serving you!
3: Back To School Set Ups
Setting up at schools you may encounter unique challenges vs setting up at a residence. Schools often have security features to protect the campus such as entry gates, fencing, and security. Here are some things to consider when making your arrangements for set up:
- What is the earliest time your company can access the campus
- Will the display area be accessible, or will you need an escort
- When does parent drop off/pick up begin and end (you’ll want to be set up at least 30 minutes prior)
- What are the ground conditions (make sure you test the grounds during dry weather – most schools do NOT have sprinkler options)
When working through back to school with MULTIPLE LOCATIONS – spread out your set up days. If school is starting on a Monday utilize the weekend to set everything up. Monday morning set out early to check your displays. Make any adjustments required, and then enjoy the show.
4: SCHOOL PRICING
The opinions and policies on pricing for schools vary greatly. Some cardies offer discounts, others charge full price, and others charge nothing. Here at YCS we consider school set ups an excellent marketing tool. You have a captive audience, focused attention, and an opportunity to show your audience that Yard Cards are for MORE than birthdays and graduation.
Things to consider when establishing your policy:
- Number of Schools in your area
- Available Inventory
- Staffing required
If the cost of back to school is prohibitive to your business consider charging a low fee to cover your operational costs. In future years you will have the inventory you need, without dipping into your savings. If you have a large inventory and are able to serve schools for free consider it an investment in marketing. If, however you choose to charge schools – be sure to have a detailed service invoice prepared for the book keeper 😊.
5: MAINTAINING RELATIONSHIPS
As our industry grows you will have competition for school set ups. Consider getting involved with your local schools in other ways such as:
Investing in your local schools is a great way to build a strong reputation with your target demographic. Take your time, be professional, and enjoy serving!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jinger Brinkley is a founding owner of Yard Card Supply, and is the owner of Big B's Yard Cards, a yard card company in Yulee, Florida.