Back in the day, schools tried to be all things to all people, and that just doesn't work in most markets. - Brendan Schneider

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Our guest today is Brendan Schneider. He is the Director of Advancement at Sewickley Academy.  Brendan is one of the leading minds today in school marketing and admissions, with a strong focus on inbound marketing, social media, and lead nurturing for schools.  

In this episode, Brendan shares how using an inquiry or lead magnet can help to build trusting relationships with prospective parents so that they become direct contacts for the school rather than “stealth applicants” who are likely to be lost before the school’s message is effectively delivered. He gives specific strategies for schools to attract leads, connect with leads, and convert leads. Brendan talks about how the process of “filling the funnel” with potential applicants has changed, and how a school must understand their marketing strategy in order to correctly target their “right fit” prospects.

Listen and take note of how to build relationships with parents in order to move them toward the goal of a campus visit.

In our discussion, we cover:

00.15 Andrew asks, “Why does school marketing start with using an inquiry magnet or lead magnet?”

03:45 Brendan responds to Andrew’s question about the best inquiry magnet for a school to use to find the right prospective parent.

07:50 Andrew asks about the purpose of the “thank you” page that parents reach after providing an email address and how Brendan uses it to convert.

09:50 Brendan talks about how they send traffic to their inquiry magnet page.

19:07 Andrew asks Brendan to talk about what types of emails he suggests sending (and with what frequency) to people who have downloaded the inquiry magnet.

24:15 Brendan and Andrew discuss how personalization fits into automation and the emails that the school is sending out.

29:35 Andrew asks Brendan to discuss the ways that the “funnel” of applicants is changing because of “stealth applicants”.

32:00 Brendan discusses the kind of marketing that schools will need to be doing in 5 years.

36:27 Andrew summarizes the core message about attracting the right type of parent and building a relationship of trust in exchange for providing helpful information to that prospect.

37:35 Brendan and Andrew discuss how the process of purchasing a high-ticket item like a car is not unlike the process that parents go through in researching and choosing a school for their child.


17:10 “Back in the day, schools tried to be all things to all people, and that just doesn't work in most markets.

20:20 “Those emails (to prospective parents) have to include your core message, what you stand for, and what differentiates you.

31:44 “We need to up our game so that we are consistent with what other brands are doing.

Here are some resources mentioned in our discussion:

Brendan’s article: The Traditional Admission Funnel is Broken – Introducing The Enrollment Rings -

Brendan's Inbound Marketing Inquiry System course:

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World, by Gary Vaynerchuk

Every Single One of you is a Media Company -

Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is about Help, not Hype by Jay Baer

Pat Flynn - Smart Passive Income

Chris C. Ducker -

Where to learn more about Brendan Schneider:

Email -

Twitter - @schneiderb and @sewickley

Brendan on Linkedin -

Sewickley Academy -

Schneider B Media -

Where to learn more about Enrollhand:


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