How to build a stronger and more engaged waitlist

Childcare conversion ratesIn this day and age, every childcare centre needs a website to engage and build trust with their families and prospective families. The content on your website is critical to help prospective families consider whether they will entrust their precious child in to your care. Remember, the content on your website will often be the first exposure that a new family has to your service…. 28% of families who waitlist via EnrolNow indicate that an online search led them to register . Even those families who discover your service via a different means (such as word of mouth) will generally visit your website to learn more and affirm their decision to visit your centre.

So, assuming the families like what they see on your website, the primary conversion goal for your website must be to collect relevant and useful information that allows your centre to continue the engagement with this new prospect and encourage their attendance at your service.

book a tour, join waitlist, enquire nowThe “enquire now” , “book a tour” or “apply now” button should be considered by childcare services in the same way that an online retailer thinks about their shopping cart. “Apply Now” at childcare centre is synonymous with “buy now” on your favourite online retail site.

Much research has been published around how to improve the abandonment rate for shoppers for online retailers.

In the case of online shopping, the cart abandonment rate is over 65%. That is, two thirds of customers who progress through the selection process, have products in their cart ultimately abandon their cart at the completion of the sale.

Research shows us that the key drivers of abandonment are:

  1. Customers don’t want to open an account (14%)
  2. They are asked for too much irrelevant information (12%)
  3. The process is just too difficult (11%)

Childcare is no different. Whilst a family is in the decision making phase and considering multiple options it is absolutely necessary that you maintain a simple process with as low barriers to completion as possible.

  • Provide alternative call to actions (CTA’s) for families, whilst some are ready to enrol and take the first available place…others are considering options and would prefer to ask a question or book a tour before committing to your waitlist
  • Ensure your CTA (enquire, book a tour or apply now) is boldly displayed on your website.
  • Allow prospective families to contact you on their terms at a time that suits them.
  • Ensure your site and forms are mobile friendly (Remember: 56% of families use a mobile or tablet when submitting a waitlist)
  • Collect relevant and useful data, so you can use it to convert prospects through your acquisition funnel.
  • Require customers to register and create an account in order to simply join your waitlist
  • Request complex information from families that will inhibit them from being able to complete your form
  • Require customers to leave your site (eg. find a link in an email) to complete the process






Finally, remember that language matters. Conversion can be considerably impacted by the choices you make with regards to the CTA’s on your website. Consider whether “Join our Waitlist”, “Apply now” or “Enrol Now” will drive the best conversion. The words “Enrol Now” on a button may discourage those who do not feel they are ready to commit from completing the process. However “Join our Waitlist” may imply that families will be waiting a long time before being able to access much required care. Our preference is for “Apply Now”, although a simple AB test on your website could prove the case.

We’d love to chat to you about how EnrolNow can help you continue to nurture and engage your waitlist. Using data related to your waitlist in an effective way to automate communication will ensure that you are well positioned to convert leads to customers when the time is right.

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