7 Best Swim School Software (In-Depth Comparison)

Olivier Rousseau
29 June 2024 Swim 2 min read

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re in the market for a new swim school software, or at least exploring options.

Maybe you’re frustrated with your current system. You might feel like it hasn’t adapted well to meet the current needs of your swim community.

We’ve put together a guide to the best modern swim school management tools to help you find the ideal fit for your needs.

Every Swim School Software on the list has its own set of features, so we’ll focus on how they provide more than simply taking online registrations.

What we’ll discuss:

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Author’s note: Olivier shares tips and tricks he’s learned over the past decade as the owner of a children’s sports program. Today, as co-founder of Activity Messenger, he helps hundreds of swim schools across Canada and the US automate and streamline operations and increase revenue.

DISCLAIMER: Activity Messenger is our product. We created it because we struggled for years as operators with the shortcomings of existing Swimming Software and believe that most Class Management Softwares are broken.

List of features you should expect

Before looking at best options for Swim Schools on the market, here’s a list of important features you’ll likely want in your software.

1. Email Marketing:

Create and send newsletters to keep your swim community engaged. Ensure you can effortlessly segment and personalize your marketing outreach based on registration status, age, level, or any other segmentation critical to your operational and marketing needs.

2. Start/End of Session reminders:

Automatically notify families when swim sessions begin and end, eliminating the need to manually send and personalize class start and end reminders.

3. Integrated MailMerge:

Personalize your communications by integrating swimmer-specific information into emails and SMS messages, such as their name, level, activity, start date, and more.

4. Waitlist Automation:

Automate waitlist notifications to ensure sports are filled as soon as they become available. This is crucial to help manage high-demand programs and increase your profitability.

5. Financial Reporting:

Access comprehensive revenue, expense, and profitability reports to gain insight into your swim school’s financial health.

6.Waivers with Digital Signature:

Securely collect required legal consents and include your digital waivers within the registration process. Replace SmartWaiver to also collect liability waivers outside of the registration process (for events such as birthday parties, free trials, drop-ins, etc.).

7. Ticketing for your swim meets:

Simplify selling swim competition tickets with an integrated ticketing system, making event organization easier for athletes, parents, and staff.

8. Client Experience Surveys:

Collect valuable feedback directly from your community to continually improve your offerings and client satisfaction. Replace tools like SurveyMonkey and automate timely survey distribution via email or SMS based on the end of the session date.

9. Online Class Registration:

Provide a mobile-first, easy-to-use online registration process that makes it easy for parents to enroll in the swim lessons that works for them.

10. Staff Management:

With payroll, scheduling, onboarding documents, and communication tools all in one integrated platform, you can efficiently manage your team.

11. Data and Analytics:

Use comprehensive analytics to make informed decisions about class offerings, marketing outreach, staffing needs and more.

12. Bulk Certificates:

Add a personal touch to student recognition and achievement by automatically generating and distributing mass certificates for course or level completion.

13. Attendance Tracking:

Improve swimmer engagement and accountability by keeping accurate attendance records with an intuitive digital system.

14. Mass Texting:

Communicate urgent information or last-minute changes quickly and effectively with mass text messaging.

15. Swim Progress Report and Report Cards:

Track and share swimmers’ progress through customizable report cards to promote a transparent and supportive learning environment.

To loom more in-depth into each of these features, here’s an in-depth analysis of the top features you should have in your swim school management software.

7 Best Options for Swim School Registration Softwares

Here’s a quick guide on the top Swim School Management Software you may be considering for your swim school.

We’ve included a brief demo video, direct links to the software’s website, details on pricing, key functionalities, and a link to client reviews.

1. Activity Messenger: The One-Stop Solution for Swim Schools across North America

While other platforms may cover the basics, Activity Messenger is designed to consolidate all of your swim school’s operations into one streamlined solution, eliminating the need for multiple tools and cumbersome workarounds.

It includes all the essential features found in traditional swim school management software, but goes even further by seamlessly integrating with your favorite apps like Canva, ChatGPT, Zoom and Stripe.

We understand the challenges of managing different tools like SurveyMonkey, MailChimp, JotForm, EventBrite and SmartWaiver. That’s why we’ve developed features to replace them and ensure that we meet every operational need of a swim school.

Our approach is simple: Replace manual tasks with automated workflows to simplify operations and free up valuable time.

You can also take a look at Activity Messenger’s Capterra profile to see what people are saying about us.
(We’re proud of our 4.8-star rating an 100% likelihood to recommend.)

Many swim school platforms offer a mix of registration, communication and scheduling features, often supplemented with other features like email marketing, event ticketing and progress reporting. However, most simply integrate with tools like Mailchimp, SurveyMonkey and Eventbrite, rather than offering a full suite of features within their software.

Discover why Activity Messenger is the preferred software for Swim Schools

 

Activity Messenger’s 3 Key Differentiating Features

Activity Messenger differentiates itself from traditional Swim Software in 3 ways.

#1. Personalized registration process for each client

What It Is: Activity Messenger guides families to find the ideal swim class quickly and efficiently. Based on initial preferences such as day, age, class type, and level, the registration process adjusts to display the most suitable class options tailored to their specific requirements.

Why It Matters: Most swim school software displays all class options to every web visitor, which can be overwhelming, especially on smartphones, and may not address their specific needs and preferences.

Extra Perks: No parent enjoys creating yet another online account for their kids. Activity Messenger eliminates the need for account creation, making registration hassle-free. Rest assured that your customers have seamlessly created an account during the process and can log in at any time.

Moderne & customer-centric registration process

 

#2. Powerful marketing tools

What It Is: Imagine doing all of your marketing tasks seamlessly without having to switch between tools. With Activity Messenger, you can send newsletters, create marketing automations, and even retarget customers who abandoned their shopping carts before completing their purchase.

Why It Matters: Think about your newsletter workflow. Typically, you have to manually export subscribers from your subscription software to a newsletter platform like MailChimp or ConstantContact. This process is tedious, error-prone and costly.

Extra Perks: With Activity Messenger, you can create email marketing campaigns seamlessly without leaving the platform, using our integrated Canva feature to design your emails. You can also retarget abandoned carts. An analytics dashboard provides clear insights into your marketing efforts, conversion rates, and how they directly enhance your registration numbers.

#3. Automations (like having an extra employee that never calls in sick).

What It Is: Task automation in Activity Messenger isn’t just a buzzword, it’s a fundamental reality. Our system includes a wide range of automations tailored for swim schools, from sending reminders for unsigned waivers to automating marketing for kids parties.

Here are just a few examples:

  1. Session start notifications
  2. End of session reminders
  3. Automated surveys
  4. SMS to people who have not opened an email
  5. Texting parents who have not signed waivers
  6. Party marketing email
  7. Welcome email automation
  8. Waitlist Automation

Why It Matters: For example, to ensure that every swimmer attends a lesson, camp, tryout or event with all necessary safety protocols in place, automated reminders can be sent for unsigned waivers using a class list. This precise and targeted automation not only increases efficiency, but also improves the safety and operational ease of your swim school.

Automate repetitive tasks for swim school

Extra Perks: Automation is integrated with the mail merge capabilities of Activity Messenger. Personalize your swim class reminders before the first registrations comes in which ensures that every email is sent at the ideal time and tailored to each recipient.

Now let’s explore some of the other great options on the market.

2. Jackrabbit Swim

Jackrabbit Swim has long been a cornerstone in class management software especially for swim schools and aquatic centers. Its robust feature set includes everything from attendance tracking to seamless online registration and billing.

Jackrabbit swim reviews

Benefits of JackRabbit Swim:

  • Offers a wide array of features tailored for complex swim schools.
  • Excellent customer service with a supportive team.
  • Customizable to any program, big or small
  • Provides robust online registration and parent portal services.
  • Easy to keeping track of enrollment and class openings.

Cons of JackRabbit:

  1. Navigating and finding specific tools can be challenging, impacting usability.
  2. Email/communication features could be more robust.
  3. Managing multiple classes of the same level can complicate tuition charging.
  4. No the most reliable communications tools
  5. Adding schedules, especially for one-on-one classes can be tedious

How JackRabbit compares to Activity Messenger

JackRabbit Swim offers solid registration features and basic communication tools. However, Activity Messenger has advanced features that offer a modern interface and enhanced functionalities. Key advantages include Canva integration for consistent branding and advanced communication tools that track engagement metrics and automate tasks such as session emails and surveys.

3. Team Unify

Team Unify has established itself as a leader in software for swim teams and aquatic centers. Its robust suite of features includes everything from comprehensive attendance tracking to seamless online registration and billing.

Team Unify reviews

Benefits of Team Unify:

  1. Simplified billing and fee collection processes, freeing up time for other club management tasks.
  2. Simple website creation with robust support
  3. Great customer service with quick responses
  4. Easy social media sharing along
  5. User-friendly practice planning and sharing capabilities.

Cons of Team Unify:

  1. Lacks a comprehensive retail feature for online sales.
  2. Challenges in members understanding their financial obligations
  3. Difficulty for clients in independently managing account cancellations and reactivations.
  4. Need for improved functionality to manage volunteers and officials effectively, including certification management.
  5. Complexity for less tech-savvy users, impacting ease of teaching and navigation for volunteers and administrators.

How Team Unify compares to Activity Messenger

Team Unify (TU) provides solid registration capabilities and communication tool. However, Activity Messenger offer a modern user interface that integrates fully with Canva to ensure consistent branding across all communications and forms. Activity Messenger allows you to streamline swim report wards directly and includes advanced communication tools that track engagement metrics and automate tasks like session emails and surveys.

4. Sport Engine

SportEngine is a good online registration software, especially for team sports and leagues. It also acts a a registration software for swim schools with simplified online registrations, communication tools, financial reports and more.

Sportengine review

Benefits of SportEngine

  1. The interface looks great and is easy for administrators to use.
  2. Allows parents to see a daily snapshot of their children’s schedules in user-friendly manner.
  3. The team keeps improving the product, listens to feedback, and makes the necessary updates.
  4. Parents and players love the team stats feature, and the mobile app and reporting tools are user-friendly and efficient.
  5. Cost-effective to switch over with high levels of communication within the tool.

Cons of SportEngine:

  1. Getting data out of the system and setting up leagues can be more difficult compared to other providers.
  2. Users sometimes face problems during registration
  3. Communicating with non-members needs to be improved.
  4. The accounting function needs so work. Hard to track and drill down on accounts and accounts receivables are difficult to track.

How SportEngine compares to Activity Messenger

SportsEngine offers a good mobile-app that parents enjoy and great tools to manage swimmer progress and share it with parents, but Activity Messenger goes above and beyond with advanced features that have a modern look and feel. Canva integration keeps your branding consistent across all touchpoints. Sell tickets for swim meets directly from your website and benefit from advanced communication tools that track open rates and automate many of your manual tasks, such as start-of-session emails and end-of-session surveys

5. IClassPro

Designed to reduce administrative tasks, iClassPro helps swim schools focus more on coaching and swimmer development. It offers features such as class and staff management, skill tracking and party booking, all designed to simplify your operations. Custom branding options and a dedicated support team ensure that iClassPro supports your club and strengthens your brand every step of the way.

IClassPro Reviews

 

Pros of IClassPro foe Swim:

  • Attractive parent portal improves overall user experience.
  • Includes attendance tracking, merchant services and reporting.
  • Expands system capabilities with regular updates that introduce new features.
  • Users especially praise the skill tracking feature.

Cons of IClassPro:

  • Certain menus are difficult to navigate for some users.
  • The trial lesson and introductory offer process is cumbersome and could be made easier to use.
  • Punch Pass and Pro Shop are considered lacking in usability by some users
  • Customer support is highly rated, but the lack of phone support is a limitation for some users.

How IClassPro compares to Activity Messenger

iClassPro offers a dependable system for managing swim class schedules, billing, and your employees. Activity Messenger sets itself apart by providing a more comprehensive and modern approach to communication, marketing and registrations from a smartphone. It allows you to fully integrate the registration process on your website (instead of redirecting your customers to a portal), ensuring that your branding is consistent at every point of contact with your prospects.

6. Amilia

Amilia is a comprehensive management tool developed for swim schools. It improves the overall customer experience by simplifying registration, staff management and administrative tasks. Class scheduling, drop-in sessions, and payment processing are efficiently handled by the platform.

Amilia reviews and alternatives

Benefits of Amilia for Swim Schools:

  • Easy-to-use interface for administrators, staff and customers.
  • Customer support that is responsive and helpful.
  • Ongoing updates and commitment to improvement in response to feedback.
  • Makes it easy to register and manage activities online.
  • Can be integrated with other tools such as Constant Contact, League Source & Evolia

Cons of Amilia:

  • Some features, such as contract management, are in need of improvement.
  • The mobile app could be easier to use according to some users
  • Getting started can be complex, time-consuming, and costly.
  • The reporting and financial tracking capabilities may be limited.

How Amilia compares to Activity Messenger

While Amilia simplifies class registrations and memberships for swim schools in North America. Activity Messenger takes this a step further by giving users the ability to send out beautiful, customized newsletters and mass text messages that are specifically targeted to parents. Additionally, Activity Messenger’s form-building capabilities rival those of Jotform, providing an easy and intuitive way to create customized forms for various purposes beyond registration, such as digital waivers, surveys, event ticketing, and more.

7. Uplifter

Uplifter Inc. stands out as a great choice for swim school nationwide, streamlining registration, attendance tracking, financial transactions and customer interactions into one integrated platform.

Benefits of Uplifter for Swim Schools:

  • The support and development teams are responsive and work quickly on solutions that meet the requirements of the company.
  • Registration and financial reporting are possible with Uplifter.
  • Provides accessibility and ease of use with cloud-based solution
  • Saves time by efficiently managing tuition calculations.
  • Accessible support when needed.

Cons of Uplifter:

  • Some users find certain menus difficult to navigate and suggest improvements for customization.
  • Email creation and campaign functionality could be more robust.
  • Deleting multiple families from the system is not user-friendly.
  • Customer portal experience could be improved, especially for mobile users.
  • Attendance tracking and other reports are not as straightforward as desired.

How Uplifter compares to Activity Messenger

Overall, Uplifter is a reliable choice for managing a swim school because of its robust features and dedicated support. But Activity Messenger offers a more comprehensive solution, combining advanced class management with powerful communication and marketing tools that make clubs more effective.

2 critical things to consider before making your final decision

When looking for a modern swim school management platform, there are 2 critical aspects to consider:

1. Simple registration process (especially on mobile devices)

Customers, especially new ones, may feel intimidated by sifting through traditional client registration portals . This level of complexity can often cause potential clients to give up and abandon the process altogether. However, modern class management softwares offer a solution that mimics personalized phone assistance by fully customizing class selection based on each family’s needs.

By moving to an intuitive registration process, swim clubs can help customers quickly find the classes that meet their needs, increasing the likelihood that they will convert to paying customers. And in today’s world, your software should be mobile first, not only mobile friendly.

2. Reduce the number of tools you need to run your club.

With a streamlined and easy to use registration journey, Activity Messenger is all about simplicity, efficiency, and forward thinking. The platform is designed to consolidate functionality. It eliminates the need for separate services like Mailchimp, SurveyMonkey, BambooHR and SmartWaiver.

And it’s not just the financial benefits that really resonate with our users. It’s the convenience of centralizing all their needs-from registrations and communications to waivers and marketing campaigns-into one holistic view of their swim club.

Interested in learning about Activity Messenger?

Sign up for a free trial or book a 20-minute demo with Olivier; we’ll show you how Activity Messenger might be able to help modernize your Swim School.

Not ready to switch right away?

No problem. Many Swim Schools use Activity Messenger as they slowly transition from their current class management software. Activity Messenger can be an add-on to your current solution for email marketing, bulk SMS, event ticketing, swimmer progress reports and report cards, bulk certificates, digital waivers, party booking, surveys and much more.

Read more about other specific features for Swim Schools

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Written by Olivier Rousseau Olivier is a kids sports programs owner who has been operating for over a decade with locations in Montreal, Quebec city & Ottawa. He also helps Gymnastics Club, Swim Schools and Dance Studios streamline their operations. He is the co-founder of Activity Messenger an online registration platform for the sports & leisure industry.

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