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Advertising: What we DON’T do

In Part 1, we explained our current advertising methods.

This is what we have previously tried (or not tried) and our thoughts on the effectiveness of those methods.

1. FLYERS in Mailboxes. Worth doing if you need students / just starting out.

In the early days of our school, Dave spent many cold, dark nights posting flyers whilst Amy nursed our babies. Posting was essential to get our message out. Boring, but essential work. Bright, colorful flyers might work for you. You will soon become expert on houses containing your demographic. A glimpse of a hula hoop in the driveway will have you reaching for a flyer to stuff in the mailbox.

2. FLYERING: Not our style. We never tried giving out flyers at schools (because we think it is wrong to give flyers to children on the way home from school) or at the station (our schools draw people from the neighborhood not the station).

3. NEWSPAPER INSERTS: Not recommended. Our flyers most likely ended up in the recycle bin with all the others. (Your flyer will be with 15 others in the middle of the Sunday newspaper. If your like most, you just take the whole wad and throw it away)

4. FREE LOCAL PAPERS (such as PADO): Maybe OK once or twice. We used PADO for years. And it did work. We got a flurry of phone calls soon after the ad went out and people said we saw you in PADO. But with the dominance of the internet / google / smartphones… , we think PADO’s effectiveness has gone down significantly. And, it’s EXPENSIVE. We haven’t use PADO for years and won’t use again.

5. GOOGLE ADS: Maybe OK. We’ve tried it, but we’re not sure of its’ effectiveness. Our hits didn’t seem to increase that much.

6. FACEBOOK ADS: Not recommended. Most 30 – 40 year old Japanese Moms don’t use Facebook. They use LINE.

7. BILLBOARDS: Not needed. Our school signs act as our billboards–they are big, bright, colorful and easily seen from the platform/ street.

8. TRAIN ADS: Not for us. Our schools are near 4 stations. The train runs 60 kilometers north and south. It wouldn’t make sense to advertise on the train because most people on the train live nowhere near our school. Most of our customers are local and arrive on foot or by bike.

How about you? What have you tried? What has / hasn’t worked?

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