What language schools can learn from crime fiction

You do not need to kill for good marketing for your language school, but you can learn a lot from crime fiction on how to capture the interest of your potential new language students.

Nothing is more boring than looking at outdated stale websites that provide nothing entertaining or really exciting besides listing language course descriptions and pricing options.
The key to attract and keep potential language students and turn them into paying customers is to truly get them excited about their own possibilities in studying with you.
The most important element in crime fiction that makes bestsellers stand out is that they want to you turn page after page after page. Good crime fiction gets you inside the book by making you curious and wanting to know more and from there is no return.

The art of the cliffhanger – of leaving the audience constantly with incomplete story endings wondering what will happen next is the most important element that you need to apply for your language school marketing.
Your language school website needs to be like the introduction to an exciting adventure that someone wants to take. Explaining and showing the adventure, how it will open you worlds both personally and for your career, and giving a lot of important details and information.
But the most important part is that there needs to be this element of “wanting to know more”. A website should not answer all the questions and needs to make a potential language student need to contact your school to satisfy curiosity and the desire to experience that language school adventure themselves.

Like in a good novel or TV series the potential language school student should always feel like they want to know what is next. “How would it be to study at this school?” By getting answers about this they should ask themselves “How would it feel to live with a guest family or work as an Intern there?”, “How is the weather there in June?”, “Do they still have courses I can book for June and July this year?”
Your language school website needs to interact and tease your audience like a crime fiction scenario in “I want to find out whats next” style.
Too many websites give complete and overall information that is so satisfying that many customers do never feel the need to contact a company. In fact here is what often happens: online browsing customers often go into a store and buy products that they did research online. Or the other way around they go into a store where they get all information needed and then go online to buy products.

With a service based website like your language school, it is important to create a picture in the customer’s mind and then add a cliffhanger – a missing detail that they can only get by personally getting in touch with you.
Like if you own a language school in popular travel destination it is not good enough to describe the popular local specialties that anyone could gather themselves on Wikipedia or specific travel sites.
It is not enough to describe the beautiful environment. You need to make students curious about specific things only your language school has to offer. Do you have your swimming pool? You have your own private access to a museum off-hours when all the busy tourist streams are gone? Do you have a special tour through the city that you can not book with any other travel agency?
While your language school website should not leave many questions unanswered about how someone will obtain official language diplomas and show the certifications your school has, you have to always keep in mind to show all information in a way like a crime fiction story develops.
Most website visitors do research on multiple websites and they will find generic and repeating information about what kind of language level tests they are.
Highly interactive websites let students do a language test directly on their website and then again use the cliffhanger method. They will not tell you right away what skill level you have and will send you an email with the results. This will generate some excitement and expectation to get this email from your school.

And then is when your biggest chance is to send series of emails that give interesting bits and pieces about your school that want potential customers to come back to your website to learn and read even more before they finally call you or submit their application online with a confirmation payment. (see also the article: Forgotten Marketing Gold: How Good Is Your Email Follow Up)
Think of your language school like a good crime novel, in order to find out who-dun-it you need to buy the book, turn page after page and then… buy the next book of the sequel.

Maybe “the end” of a student taking a language class vacation with your language school is just the beginning of greater things…

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