How Sylvan Learning's Marketing Team Sets Franchisees Up for Local Success
The leading supplemental education brand shares all the resources and hands-on training and support franchisees receive to change more students’ lives.
Over the last 40 years, Sylvan Learning has continued to broaden its services, innovate engaging technology and perfect personalized learning to deliver real results for students. Sylvan’s long track record of success is a result of the hundreds of franchisees who market their centers locally. After all, the first step to watching a child’s confidence grow is getting them into a Sylvan Learning Center.
Sylvan Learning offers franchisees a flat all-in royalty rate of 16% of monthly gross revenue that covers all fees and costs associated with running their business, including national marketing expenses. While Sylvan routinely runs national marketing campaigns, a key piece of the company’s strategy is to allocate plenty of support and helpful resources for local grassroots marketing.
“Sylvan supports franchisees in so many ways, especially when it comes to local marketing,” said Sylvan Learning franchisee Sarah Miller, who co-owns 11 centers in Indiana with Kent Kolbow. “Having a local marketing representative that we can contact at any time has been one of the biggest benefits for us.”
Sylvan’s marketing representatives give individual franchisees individual attention—Sylvan is in the personalized tutoring business, after all. These representatives give owners all the tools they need to run their own local campaigns.
“She listens to ideas we have for local campaigns, and she helps us work out the details,” said Miller, explaining that her representative lets her know what resources are available from the corporate team, as well as what other franchisees in the system are doing locally. “We are grateful to have such a supportive corporate team behind us, and they feel like true partners.
For its 40th anniversary this year, Sylvan has encouraged franchisees to celebrate in a way that works for them, from hanging up posters to running promotions to hosting events. “We are getting ready to have a big 40th-anniversary birthday bash, and our local marketing person is helping me coordinate that,” said Carolyn Staats, Center Director in Brantford, Ontario. “She will send out emails on my behalf to promote it, and she also offers great insights when it comes to the timeline of organizing an event. I really appreciate that help.”
Sylvan Learning franchisees are empowered to create local marketing campaigns best suited for their own communities. This builds a sense of trust and lends credibility to centers while raising awareness about what services they offer students and their families.
“We do a lot. A lot a lot,” said Emily Smith, Executive Director of four Sylvan Learning centers in Iowa, of her grassroots marketing efforts. Smith’s centers regularly set up a presence at small-town festivals, such as a local Sweet Corn Festival, and forge small business partnerships, such as with a pumpkin patch owned by a parent of a Sylvan student. Smith’s team offers small goodies to draw people over to their booths, gift certificates for STEM classes, fun games and robotics sets to spark imaginations and conversations.