Is Your Direct Marketing to Schools Working?

By Matt Ryan – “School Dance Pro”

As this school year comes to a close, you should be working on filling your unbooked dates next school year with new school clients.

Many schools that have dance dates selected for next year have already booked with you, but there are others that will have their dates finalized before summer and will want to book before leaving for the year.

In addition, there are schools that will inevitably be looking for a change for next year after their spring dances this year and may want to take care of it while it is fresh on their mind.

In order to obtain the best response (or any response at all) on your direct marketing efforts to schools, such as direct mail or e-mail campaigns, there are a few important things to remember:

  • Be specific on who you’re targeting. Don’t just send your mailing to the school and expect the person (sometimes a student aide) sorting the mail to know where to direct it. If you have a name of a person, that’s best. Otherwise, send your mailings to the attention of a specific titleholder.
  • Cast a broad net. Sure, you’d love to only work within 20 miles of your home, but realistically there probably aren’t nearly enough schools within that radius to see results from direct marketing. Plan for a 1% response rate on direct marketing, meaning 100 prospects must be reached to obtain a single response.
  • Medium is as important as the message. Be sure your materials are all professional-looking. If you’re not an expert on graphic design, seek help or send a letter instead. Amateur-designed marketing pieces can be detrimental to your efforts. Invest in having your materials professionally designed – your response rate will increase dramatically.

Do you have additional tips for direct marketing to schools you’d like to add?


  • Matt Ryan is a multi-op DJ business owner, radio personality, developer of School Dance Pros, and educator. Matt has been performing school events, along with many other types of functions, since 1996. Currently Matt Ryan Mobile DJ Entertainment performs approximately 250 events per year, with nearly half of them being school and teen events. Matt is well-known as an air personality on WNCI 97.9, a Top 40 radio station in Columbus, OH, and is a middle school teacher and coach. Matt is able to provide unprecedented insight to other DJs about how school dances are organized. To contact Matt, email or visit

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