9 Marketing ideas for your Soccer Academy

Olivier Rousseau
19 June 2024 Soccer 2 min read

In this article, we’ll discuss our favorite soccer academy marketing strategies for increasing enrollment. We’ll also provide actionable tips you can implement right away and how using the right Soccer Academy Software can help optimize your marketing.

We’ll explore the following marketing ideas for your Soccer Academy:

About the author: I’m Olivier, co-founder of Activity Messenger, a modern soccer management platform. I also run a multi-location business focused on non-competitive sports for young athletes ages 2-9. Over the past decade, I’ve invested over $200,000 in digital advertising through Facebook, Google and countless email marketing initiatives. My hands-on experience is rooted in the active research of a variety of marketing strategies that are specifically designed to increase enrollment.

1- Email Marketing for a Soccer Academy

You might be surprised by how simple sending a monthly newsletter can. be, yet it remains the #1 underutilized marketing strategy for soccer academies.

Many will simply use Email Marketing to connect with existing clients or athletes.

While this is a great start, it only targets past and current participants.

More importantly, many operators don’t allow for opt-ins on their website so new customers to subscribe to their newsletter.

In our experience, when we introduced a newsletter signup option, we were amazed by the number of potential customers who provided their email to receive our newsletter.

Create a Newsletters for your Soccer Academy

Segment by Past, Current vs Potential Clients

Three things happened when we started segmenting our list based on registration status:

✅ The unsubscribe rate decreased significantly
✅ The open rate increased
✅ Registrations increased

How to grow your number of subscribers:

  • On your website, include an opt-in feature.
  • Make it easy to sign up for the newsletter by displaying a QR code at events.
  • Encourage people to sign up during local soccer tournament, or at the end of soccer clinics.

📌 Pro Tip: At our Academy, many parents come to our site through paid advertising or through a search. It is often the case that their children are too young or that the family is not available for the current season. These parents are interested but can’t register yet, so staying in touch could turn them into future customers.

2- Early bird-discount

One of the most effective marketing strategies in driving our sales to seven figures was amazingly simple.

As early as possible, we start taking registrations.

Well ahead of the competition.

We also offer early bird discounts as an incentive for early registration. This helps to increase our cash flow and simplify staffing. It also gives us better insight to help us fine-tune our advertising spend, add more class options if we need to, or even vary what we offer to maximize our revenue.

Early bird-discount

 

📌 Pro Tip: We’ve been using this marketing strategy for years, and we typically reach 25 to 30 percent enrollment before most of our competitors have even started. And by knowing which summer programs need more visibility, I can target my digital, social and email marketing campaigns where there are more spots left to fill out.

3- Social Media Marketing

A great way to get the word out about your soccer academy is to advertise on Facebook and Instagram.

You can see a significant increase in traffic to your website with even a small daily budget.

I usually create one set of ads per session. This tends to produce better results and broader reach, as it’s less time-consuming than trying to manage social media and try to grow organically.

With each additional player contributing directly to your bottom line, this small investment can quickly fill empty spots in your clinics and camps and significantly increase your profit margins.

Social Media Marketing for soccer academy

Promoting Your Soccer Academy on Social Media:

  • Share photos, videos, or stories of how your players have improved during clinics, featuring testimonials from satisfied parents and players.
  • Post visuals of players in action, whether during a tournament, in training sessions, or just hanging out at your facilities.
  • Use relevant hashtags in your posts related to soccer, youth sports, and fitness to connect with potential customers.
  • Engage your audience with polls and questions about soccer skills, training tips, and game strategies.
  • Offer incentives such as discounts or free trial lessons to those who mention your soccer academy in their posts.

 

📌 Pro Tip: Over a 7 day period, I typically see $7 to $10 spent per sign-up using Facebook Ads, which is very effective. But the real value is more than that. Even after the initial 7-day window, many people sign up without directly clicking on the ad. We also see opportunities for ongoing engagement as a significant percentage of people sign up for our newsletter.

4- Testimonials & online reviews

The use of testimonials and online reviews should always be part of any soccer academy marketing plan. By encouraging students and their parents to share their positive experiences on your website and social media platforms, you can greatly increase your swim school’s visibility.

Maximize Your Online Reviews

Online platforms like Yelp, Facebook and Google are where prospective students and families research reputable Soccer Academies. It’s important to make sure your school is well represented with positive reviews.

Ask for reviews: Be proactive and ask for reviews from students and their parents online. The amount of testimonials your soccer academy collects can increase dramatically with a simple request. And more reviews is usually seen as more credible to prospective families.

Testimonials & online reviews for soccer academy

How to make good use of testimonials

To build your reputation, turn positive reviews into testimonials on your website or marketing materials.

  • Display testimonials: Share outstanding reviews on your website, newsletters and promotional content. Highlight the positive experiences of your community.
  • Respond to reviews: Demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction and continuous improvement by responding to all feedback, good and bad.
  • Personal follow-up: Reach out to the individuals who have provided positive feedback in a survey. Send them a thank-you note and ask them if they would be willing to share their thoughts online.
  • Simplify the review process: To make it easier for parents to leave reviews, include direct links to your preferred review platforms in your follow-up communications.

5- SMS Marketing for Soccer Academy

SMS marketing for soccer academies can be a powerful tool for nurturing customer relationships.

Advantages of SMS for Soccer Academies

Text messaging is a quick and effective channel for sending practice reminders or event notifications directly to customers’ phones. You can set up targeted campaigns to get families excited about upcoming events or clinics at your soccer academy.

Mass texting is incredibly useful for communicating important updates, such as canceled practices or rescheduled matches.

Sending regular SMS updates keeps your customers engaged, ensuring they stay informed! Since texts are typically read within minutes and have a 98% open rate, it can one of the best ways to improve your bottom line.

SMS Marketing for Soccer Academy

 

6- Improve Online Registration Process

Improving your online registration process can have a significant impact on the customer experience. Families now expect a seamless and customer-centric registration process.

How to Improve Your Registration Process

  1. Mobile-first approach: Make sure your registration form is easy to navigate on mobile devices. Streamline the process, minimize text entry, and optimize visuals for smaller screens.
  2. Customer-centric: Implement conditional logic in your forms to customize the registration experience by displaying only relevant fields based on the user’s previous responses.
  3. Multiple payments: Offer multiple payment options, including credit cards, bank transfers, and structured payment plans.
  4. Confirmation Email: Send detailed confirmation emails with key information such as session dates, times, payment confirmations, and next steps. Effective post-purchase communication can help reduce buyer’s remorse.
  5. Integrated registration system: Integrate the registration process directly into your soccer academy’s website. Keeping potential registrants on your site (and not on some software’s client portal) helps maintain brand consistency and builds trust.
  6. Waitlist Management: Notify prospects of available spots with automated waitlist management. When a spot becomes available, customize the SMS notifications to increase the likelihood of conversion.

📌 Pro Tip: An complicated registration processs can deter potential clients. By prioritizing a smooth user experience especially on mobile, you can facilitate a quicker transition from interest to enrollment.

7- Soccer Lesson Surveys

You can gain valuable insights into your soccer programs and identify areas for improvement with the use of an end-of-session survey. Activity Messenger allows you to set up an automated email sent 2-3 days before the last soccer session of the season so you don’t have to remember to do it.

How to use surveys as part of your marketing strategy:

  1. Leverage Positive Feedback: Encourage players and families who complete your survey to share their experiences on social media. This will increase your online presence and help you include social proof to your marketing efforts.
  2. Boost Retention: Include a link back to your soccer academy’s website to encourage people to sign up for upcoming classes.
  3. Foster Word-of-Mouth: Include a personalized certificate that recipients can print and share on their social media. This not only celebrates their progress but also helps spread the word to potential new families.

Surveys for soccer academy

 

📌 Pro Tip: As an operator, the collection of feedback was a tedious task that was often neglected. Now, with Activity Messenger, we’ve streamlined the process by sending automated messages when a session ends so you don’t have to do it manually.

8- Customer Referrals

Personal referrals are a highly effective marketing strategy for soccer academies because of the trust and credibility associated with them.

In the same way that a friend’s recommendation for a great restaurant carries weight, people trust the recommendations of friends and family for a soccer academy.

Soccer Academy Customer refferal

Leverage customer referrals effectively:

  • Referral program: Encourage your former players to spread the word by offering incentives such as discounts on camps, branded merchandise or special gifts.
  • Promote positive experiences: Your best advocates are happy customers. Encourage them to share their positive experiences with others both in person and online.
  • Make it easy: Provide tools such as referral cards, personalized links or mentions in your soccer academy newsletter to make it easy for your players to refer friends and family.

 

📌 Pro Tip: Before selecting a soccer academy for their kids, most parents do two things: They ask for recommendations. And they check online reviews. In order to increase enrollment, you need to have a local soccer community that is talking about how great your lessons are and an online presence on review sites so that people can find you without having to interact directly with your current satisfied clients.

9- SEO for Soccer Academy

Search engine optimization (SEO) should be an important part of your marketing plan to increase your soccer academy’s online visibility. You can improve your search engine rankings by optimizing your website and creating engaging content.

Understanding SEO for Soccer Academies:

  1. Optimize Your Website: Ensure your site is mobile-friendly, loads quickly, and has high-quality inbound and outbound links.
  2. Relevant Keywords: Use keywords such as “soccer academy near me” or “kids soccer camp” that potential customers might use when searching.
  3. Focus on Local SEO: To increase visibility, target local keywords such as “soccer academy in [city or neighborhood name].”
  4. Local Backlinks: Aim to get backlinks from respected local websites to strengthen your local SEO.

Soccer Academy SEO tips

Ideas for Content:

  • Start a Soccer Blog: Engage your local community by sharing soccer tips, tutorials and successes from your camps.
  • Video Content: Create videos showing soccer clinic or going behind the scenes at your academy to connect with your audience on a more personal level.
  • Short-form Video: Share short clips of player highlights or instructional content on platforms like YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, and TikTok.

 

📌 Pro Tip: Focus on long-tail keywords and local search terms to quickly improve your ranking before your site builds more authority on Google.

Streamline your Soccer Academy or Camp Management

Activity Messenger can do much more than help you market your Soccer club or Academy. It’s an all-in-one tool that can help you replace your current online registration software. Activity Messenger can also help you replace a bunch of other tools like JotForm, SurveyMonkey, SmartWaiver and Mailchimp.

If you would like to meet an Activity Messenger Expert to learn more, click here to book a demo.

 

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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