Santa Fe Christian Schools

How a Local School Managed a 40% Increase in Quality Website Traffic & a 77% SQL Conversion Rate in Only 3 Months

SFC A place of Worship and Growth

A Place of Worship and Growth

Santa Fe Christian Schools (SFC), a private Christian school in San Diego, CA, thrives on its mission to prepare global leaders while making a difference in the world for Christ. 

Believing that teaching is their calling, each faculty member is committed to guiding individual students to discover new interests, develop and utilize their talents, and deepen their faith in the process. 

A small school with significant opportunities allows for countless choices–as an Upper School student is digging into a college-level math class, they may also be performing in the school musical while playing a varsity sport. 

SFC stands apart as a pillar in the Christian community in San Diego through their commitment to providing every opportunity for students to grow their Christian faith through Bible study, chapel, small groups, spiritual retreats, community service, and mission trips.


SFC knew they needed to invest in content to attract prospective families to the advantages of private Christian education, nurture them with the school’s mission and values, and evangelize their current families. 

With tuition ranging from close to $14,000 to over $21,000 annually, families need to be sure their children will have the absolute best access to a quality faith-based education experience possible. 

SFC has a small team of dedicated marketing professionals who, like most businesses, wear many hats in their day-to-day. Said Dawn Saunders, SFC Director of Marketing Communications, “I tried to do inbound myself and realized that I was so short-handed. There’s no way that I could do what my brain wanted to do with the resources we had. No matter what I did, even if I hired another inbound professional, we weren’t going to be able to keep up with the content that I wanted to produce.”

Goals and Objectives

We focused on the school’s two most lucrative personas, kindergarten and middle school families. Santa Fe Christian Schools wanted to achieve the following through inbound content marketing efforts: 

  • Increase in tours booked for kindergarten parents 
  • Increase in tours booked for families of children entering middle school
  • A mechanism to engage and retain current parents

Inbound in Action

Our Beacons Point Strategy team set out to conduct extensive persona research through interviews with current and prospective SFC families to learn about their challenges before SFC, goals for their children’s education, preferred media consumption methods, and research habits. 

Using data derived from competitive and persona research, we understood that prospective parents would be attracted to content that specifically addressed the limitations of the public school system and educate them on an alternative. 

We created a comprehensive, ungated pillar page to convince curious parents that there is an alternative to public schooling that, through smaller class sizes, increased personalized learning opportunities, etc., would set their children apart. 

From there, we learned that these parents see the decision to change their children’s educational direction very seriously, as one would expect. The emotional nature of this “purchase” decision necessitated as much of a “personal touch” as possible throughout the lead nurturing process. For families to learn more about the school and vice versa, we constructed a “Kickoff Questionnaire” that further educates a lead on what specifically SFC can offer, and allows SFC to gain valuable insights into the leads that they can later use to grow the relationship with a family. 

With the main traffic driver and lead capture mechanisms set, supporting blog and video content ideated, and automation initiatives planned, the only goal left to address was family retention. 

Through our persona research, we learned that it was practically impossible to overshare. Parents wanted to have as much information as possible regarding school events, athletics news, teacher profiles, etc. By producing a steady stream of content aimed at engaging current parents, SFC can keep parents engaged and demonstrate the ROI they’re achieving through their children’s educational experience at SFC. With this in mind, we developed a weekly podcast to dive deeper into parents’ topics of interest. These 20-30 minute episodes would recap a recent missions trip, or interview top-performing students, student-athletes, and coaches. The idea was for parents to not only stay abreast of the happenings in the school but especially dive into what makes SFC a special place, reaffirming their investment with each episode download. 

Initial Goals

Our team surveyed past website data to project campaign performance over a 3-6 month time span as follows:

Goal #1 – Website Visits

Increase average month-over-month website traffic by 30%.

Goal #2 – Marketing-qualified Leads

Convert 2.5% of visitors into marketing-qualified leads (MQLs), equalling a total of 156 MQLs.

Goal #3 – Sales-qualified Leads Conversion Rate

Nurture 30% of marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) into sales-qualified leads (SQLs).

Goal #4 – Sales-qualified Leads 

Connect approximately 47 sales-qualified parents (SQLs) with an admissions officer for an appointment.

Key Results

[They] had great ideas for different content pieces to target each group, and I think more than anything, it permitted us to just target a group instead of trying to be everything to everybody. It focused us and was a change from the blanket approach we had taken in the past.

- Dawn Saunders, SFC Director of Marketing Communications

40 %

Increased average month-over-month website traffic through targeted outreach and strategic content development

Acquired 98 %

of the original MQLs
goal of parents showing
a legitimate interest in SFC

Converted 77 %

MQLs to SQLs
ready to speak to an
admissions officer

118 SQLs

parents meetings
booked on an admissions
officer’s calendar

140 %

above goal

Where We Go From Here

Santa Fe Christian Schools has bought into the promise of content marketing from the start, accelerating their time from campaign launch to seeing positive results.

“What we learned about our personas turned out to be invaluable to the early success of the campaign,” said Dawn Saunders, Director of Marketing at SFC. By offering general information about Christian private education through in-depth and ungated content (pillar page), parents were quickly able to move to an MQL level offer (kickoff questionnaire) to learn more about their family’s fit with the school itself.

With very few preliminary questions left to answer about the school, the campaign’s automated progression took MQLs to an opportunity to schedule virtual meetings with admissions counselors.

Through a strong working relationship like the one fostered between SFC and Beacons Point, each side can continue to optimize this specific campaign by adding supporting content to answer even more questions families ask. Additionally, SFC and Beacons Point are both excited to push into new persona targets (Upper School, Pre-K) with unique lead capture, and campaign offers in the months to come. 

Interested to learn how inbound marketing can drive quality traffic and huge MQL conversion rates to your business? Schedule a consultation with a Beacons Point strategist today.

Let's assess your current marketing efforts.

Have questions or want to learn more? Complete the form below and let's see how we can work together.