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  • 40 A+ Back-to-School Promotions & Campaigns for Any Business

Back-to-school is a term that’s either music to your ears or nails on a chalkboard (pun intended).

back-to-school campaigns - two types of kids when it comes time for school

Regardless of where you are on the back-to-school spectrum, it’s no secret that it’s a crucial time to capitalize on your business’s marketing opportunities. Today, we’ll help you do just that by covering:

  • Back-to-school campaigns and promotions across industries.
  • Real-life back-to-school marketing examples.
  • More back-to-school promotion ideas for any business.

Cue the bell ring! Our back-to-school marketing masterclass is officially in session.

Back-to-school marketing campaigns and promotions by industry

Looking for back-to-school marketing specific to your niche market? Look no further than our verticalized list of promotion ideas below:

Back-to-school marketing ideas for fitness

Use these back-to-school marketing ideas to promote your fitness business and get your marketing in shape!

1. 10% off classes during the first month of school

Fitness and yoga studios can promote this deal to get out extra energy that students might have once the year starts. Plus, a new semester means people may be open to trying something different, so this could help you to get newcomers to attend their first set of sessions.

2. Teach a class at a school

This can be done by fitness, dance, or yoga studios that want to help the community become more active, while also promoting their business. And, it doesn’t have to be done in person! You can teach a virtual class and give those tired teachers a break.

3. Run a fitness challenge

Transitioning out of lazy summer days never gets any easier. As a fitness business, running a 30-day challenge either at your facility virtually or through social media is a great way to help your customers reorient to a more structured schedule.


back-to-school campaigns - fitness studio back-to-school promotion example


Back-to-school marketing ideas for spas and salons

Everyone wants to look their best for the first day of school–or even for their first days back in the office! Consider these back-to-school marketing ideas for your spa and salon.

4. Offer “first day of school” prep services

Encourage potential customers to show up on their first day (or their child’s first day) looking fresh and refreshed. Offer a package deal with mani/pedi, waxing, and a massage.

5. Promote your new fall styles

The best parts of fall? The gorgeous colors, warm scents, and spiced flavors, of course! Encourage folks to get a new look to match the upcoming semester with fun fall-themed services. For example, a nail salon could offer a special package for fall-colored polishes, while a spa might provide a limited-edition fall-scented face mask.

6. Create a school year package

Whether for students or their parents, come up with a package deal that is paid for up-front and then lasts the school year. It may include one long session plus two half-sessions every month, one session per month + drop-in visits on school holidays, unlimited deals during school vacations, etc.

7. Hook in the whole family

Most children don’t frequent salons or spas, but their parents and relatives definitely do. Another back-to-school promotion you could try is to offer a free service to youth when booked with a regular full service for adults. This way, you’re appealing to new students who may need a one-time back-to-school service, while expanding your regular customer base for more sustainable growth.

back-to-school promotions - salon free kids cuts example


Back-to-school marketing ideas for restaurants

People are ready to go back to restaurants! Try these restaurant marketing ideas to capitalize on the back-to-school season.

8. Free coffee with purchase before and after school hours

Encourage students and parents to come to your restaurant or cafe for breakfast or an after-school treat!

9. Help out busy parents

The toughest hurdle families often face during back-to-school season is dealing with busy schedules. Parents and families tire out quick as they try to keep up with packed lunches and weeknight meals. Promote your restaurant as a safe haven for folks who don’t feel up for cooking on a busy weeknight, or offer a packed lunch snack to-go with the purchase of a regular drink or meal.

10. Cater or participate in a school event

Schools are always looking to supply food for meetings, dances, or fundraisers, so if you’re in the food industry why not make a contribution? This also helps you promote student deals and delivery services you offer! While events may be limited right now, schools might be interested in hosting teacher appreciation luncheons or socially distanced PTA meetings.

11. Offer timely specials

With consumers operating on a more regimented schedule, you can offer specials for particular times of the day or week, such as lunch break deals, morning commute specials, or free [product] Fridays.

12. Offer discounted or free food delivery for the first month of school

This not only benefits students who might live in a college town, but it can also be helpful for parents with small children who can’t easily pick up an order. Plus, food delivery is a big hit right now!

back-to-school campaigns - restaurant back-to-school dinner promotion tweet


Back-to-school promotion ideas for dentists or healthcare businesses

Dental marketing (or any healthcare marketing for that matter) unlocks plenty of opportunities during the back-to-school season. Make the most of all that your office has to offer during this time with these ideas:

13. Update your hours

It’s no secret that schedules change during the back-to-school season. Accommodate your patients’ busy schedules by offering extended appointment slots for a limited time. To maximize additional back-to-school appointments during these hours, be sure to update your local listings and remind your audience to schedule across various marketing channels.

14. Visit a local school

If you’re able, see if a school nearby will allow you to set up shop for a day on site. Many schools have field days, career days, and other events happening during the back-to-school season. If they allow outside vendors, you could set up a table to showcase to students and families the highlights of your practice.

15. Share out back-to-school health tips

Back-to-school means back to routines, as well as cold and flu season. Provide quick tips to your audience via email, on your website, or on social media that help them to stay in tip-top shape. Whether it be your ultimate teeth brushing routine or fast facts to avoid the spread of a cold, your patients are sure to appreciate the ideas.

Related: Get back-to-school Instagram captions and ideas that will make your profile pop.

back-to-school promotions - dental back-to-school tips on website


Back-to-school campaign ideas for home services

When it comes to executing on home services marketing during the back-to-school season, many businesses are left stumped. Not unless they have these ideas below, that is!

16. Expand your offerings

While your business may primarily work with residential homes, temporarily expand some of your services to local schools. Share out how your brand could help out educational facilities to help drive new business. Or, if you worked with a school in the past, now is the perfect time to turn that story into a case study for all your customers to enjoy hearing about.

17. Remind busy families to book ahead

There may be a home project your prospective customers have been thinking about but putting off. As the school year kicks in, the chances of parents wanting to handle it themselves get slimmer. Offer priority appointments with proof of a student ID within the household to increase your back-to-school bookings fast.

18. Refresh your search ads 

It’s no secret that search advertising for home services businesses can be an effective strategy year-round. However, incorporating your search ads into your home services back-to-school advertising strategies can give you an end-of-summer boost. Try adjusting your ad copy to match the needs of busy homeowners dealing with the back-to-school rush, or leverage ad assets, like image assets, to incorporate back-to-school imagery or text into your ads.

back-to-school campaigns - home services business showing work with school


Back-to-school promotion and campaign ideas for real estate

Real-estate marketing through any season can be a challenge due to the highly competitive nature of the industry. However, with these back-to-school promotion and campaign ideas your real-estate business is sure to stand out:

19. Provide moving service deals

As students are moving into their dorms and new apartments and out of their parents’ houses, moving can be an expensive feat. Ease the financial (and physical) burden of moving furniture and countless boxes by offering a discount for moving services! You can also partner with moving companies in your area so if a customer buys from your company they will get a voucher for 10% off moving services for school. That way, you’re helping out with a back-to-school need that families may have while keeping your real-estate business top-of-mind.

20. Highlight your school-friendly properties

This is the perfect time to showcase any spaces you have that are a fit for students and families. Maybe you offer apartments with great study spaces, or homes just a short walk away from a great school. Take plenty of pictures of your listings’ back-to-school features, and share them out on social media or over email to capitalize on anyone who may be considering a back-to-school move.

back-to-school campaigns - real estate agent posting home with great school location


Back-to-school marketing campaign ideas targeting teachers and schools

Let’s hear it for the heroes of the back-to-school season: our teachers and administrators at our schools! Use these ideas to cater to this audience.

21. Discount tutoring services for the first month of school

Or offer year and semester-long tutoring packages. These different options allow you to reach a wider audience and students of all ages, and these services can still be offered virtually.

22. Run a “get ahead” or “survival guide” night

Preschools or daycare centers can offer a workshop for parents of first-year students where they offer tips for surviving the first month of school or the school year itself. This workshop can cover a variety of topics like what to pack for lunch, how to answer common and difficult questions, and resources for health or behavioral challenges.

23. Give special discounts to teachers

There’s no better time for a teacher appreciation campaign than the start of the school year. Give them a certain percentage off, include a freebie with their purchase, or create a “for teachers only” menu or offer. Great for coffee shops, salons, and spas.

back to school marketing ideas teacher appreciation


Back-to-school campaign and marketing ideas geared toward students

You can’t forget the students! Try these back-to-school marketing ideas to reach this wide audience and make this transition a little easier for them.

24. Offer part-time positions for students

If students work at your location and you’re safely able to hire them, not only will they get money and experience, but their friends and family will visit your location and increase your business’s overall visibility. Employees are the perfect people to help your business grow through word-of-mouth marketing.

25. BOGO deals for roommates or new friends

Encourage roommates and (a small circle of) new friends to visit your location and bond with each other by taking a class or sharing a meal together. This is helpful right now as students ease back into socializing and venture out to make new friends.

26. Offer future-use coupons

Create or offer coupons that customers who are buying from you now can use at a later date. This is a great way to encourage repeat business after the “rush” of back-to-school is over. Learn more about future-use coupons here.

27. Create a shareable study playlist

As students get back into the groove with studying and homework, your business can stay top-of-mind through a shareable playlist. You could create a playlist on a public streaming platform, like Spotify or Soundcloud, and include relaxing songs students can listen to as they work. You could share the playlist out using a QR code or spread the word on social media. Be sure to include your business name in your playlist title or your small business logo on the playlist cover photo. That way, your target market will think of your brand as they listen!

back to school marketing ideas - branded playlist example

28. Target college students with special discounts

If you live near a university, you can offer college students special discounts by showing their student IDs. College students love a discount, and you can build a loyal customer base this way.

back to school marketing ideas college student special

29. Hold a video or photo contest for students

Students aren’t usually jumping for joy over their new homework loads. Make it fun for them and drive engagement on social media by asking students (or parents) to submit videos or photos of how they do homework at home—share the pictures and videos on your social sites, and award the person who submitted the most-liked post with a special prize.

More back-to-school marketing ideas for any business

It doesn’t matter what type of business you own or manage–you can take advantage of this season with some unique marketing ideas or special promotions.

30. Launch a customer loyalty program for students, parents, or teachers

Once school starts, there are endless reasons for someone to say they’re too busy to shop, so it’s up to you to give your customers a reason to keep coming back. Read about how to run a customer loyalty program here!

31. Release seasonal products to gear up for the first day of fall

Bakeries can bring back their pumpkin and cinnamon-themed goods, and salons and spas can light some autumn-themed scented candles for their customers.

32. Update your displays to reflect the colors and feelings of autumn

Try lifting the look of your office or store with back-to-school décor. Buy fall-themed signs and decorations to hang around your store or purchase fall-colored shopping bags to wrap items in at the register.

back-to-school promotions - grocery store with back-to-school decorations

This grocery store decorated its displays for a back-to-school promotion.

33. Free school-related gift with purchase

Purchase school supplies with your name and logo printed on them that you give to your customers when they make a purchase.

34. Partner with a local organization

People are looking for ways to show support for their local communities. Partner with a local organization and donate a percentage of sales from a certain day to benefit that organization.

35. Reward students who get good grades

Almost any business can take advantage of this idea. The trick to getting people in the door now is to have a rewards program that students must enroll in at the beginning of the school year! If you’re a salon or spa, offer discounts on services, or free makeup or manicure for senior pictures. If you’re a coffee shop or restaurant, you can offer students a free or discounted meal.

36. Create a marketing calendar for fall to keep customers engaged

Both in your store and online, let your customers know of any special promotions or product launches that are coming up and encourage your customers to keep checking in and visiting your store, website, and social media channels. This is the perfect type of information to share on your social media sites to engage customers.

back to school marketing - september marketing calendar

Our free marketing calendar can help you plan your business’s back-to-school campaigns.

37. Discounts for customers that interact with you on social media

Hold a promotion where, for a limited time, you give a discount to customers who post on social media and tag your business! If a customer tags you on Instagram, you can direct message them a one-time use promo code that can be applied to the next purchase. Or, for back-to-school advertising, you could run a Facebook ad that links to a special discount page just for users who click on your ad.

back to school marketing ideas social media engagement

38. Bundle packages

If you’re holding fitness classes, promote a discount or a special price if a customer participates in multiple classes. If you’re in the food industry, offer back-to-school lunch packages or to-go meal deals. For home services businesses, you could bundle two popular services that consumers might want to take advantage of like power washing and lawn care services.

39. Run a “last chance” sale

The start of the school year is a pretty significant shift in our lives. Use this time to run “last chance” deals. This could be your customers’ last chance to lock in soon-to-rise summer rates or to enjoy an in-season-only product or service.

40. Back-to-school Instagram or Facebook giveaway

Raffle off a free class at your studio, gift basket, free service at your salon or spa, or a week of free coffee before school hours to keep bringing students and teachers into your location! You can ask customers to follow up on social media or tag your location in a picture on social media to enter and choose a winner at random. Get more tips on how to run a Facebook contest or Instagram giveaway here!

back to school marketing - example instagram giveaway


Back-to-school means back to marketing like a pro

With these ideas, your marketing ROI will be booming during the back-to-school season. Regardless of your marketing budget or industry, our big list of back-to-school promotions and campaigns proves that there are opportunities for every business out there during this time.

If you’re still looking for ways to keep busy during this time, try preparing for the next peak season by taking a look at some ways to get ahead while business is slow. Class dismissed!

For homework, review this recap of all our back-to-school campaigns and promotions below:

For fitness businesses:

  1. Discount first-month classes
  2. Teach a class at a school
  3. Run a fitness challenge

For spas and salons:

  1. Offer “first day of school” prep
  2. Promote new fall styles
  3. Create a school year package
  4. Appeal to the whole family

For restaurants:

  1. Free item with purchase before or after school
  2. Market to busy parents and families
  3. Cater or participate in a school event
  4. Off timely specials
  5. Offer discounted or free food delivery

For dental and healthcare practices:

  1. Temporarily expand your appointment hours
  2. Visit a local school
  3. Share out back-to-school health tips

For home services businesses:

  1. Expand your offerings to schools (or recap past work with schools)
  2. Offer book-ahead options for busy families
  3. Refresh your search ads

For real eastate businesses:

  1. Provide moving service deals
  2. Highlight school-friendly properties

To market to schools and teachers:

  1. Discount tutoring services
  2. Run a “survival guide” workshop
  3. Offer teacher discounts

To market to students:

  1. Hire students
  2. BOGO deals for roommates or new students
  3. Offer future-use coupons
  4. Create a shareable study playlist
  5. Target college students with discounts
  6. Hold a photo or video contest

More back-to-school marketing campaigns and promotions for any business:

  1. Launch a customer loyalty program
  2. Release seasonal products
  3. Refresh your store displays or office décor for back-to-school
  4. Free school-related gifts with purchases
  5. Partner with a local school organization
  6. Reward good students
  7. Create a back-to-school marketing calendar
  8. Discounts for customers that interact on social media
  9. Bundle packages
  10. Run a “last chance” sale
  11. Back-to-school Instagram or Facebook giveaways

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