A simple and convenient summer camp registration process leads to higher submission rates, happier parents, and, as a result, higher revenue for your camp.
In this article, we’ll cover six of the best ways to improve the process, from using online registration forms to offering group and mobile registrations.
Keep in mind that each method isn’t just beneficial to your customers. Each one also makes your life easier once it’s set up. That said, let’s jump in.
Create Online Registration Forms
Creating custom online registration forms and hosting them on your website is a great way to streamline the registration process for your campers and your team.
Instead of connecting with your team over a phone call, customers can sign up directly on your website.
The registration form will walk them through the registration process. It’ll tell them which information to submit and how to do so.
And, if you use a form builder with conditional logic, the form will only ask them for the details that pertain to their specific situation.
For example, if a parent selects “no” to the field trips option, the form will hide the field trips selection section that would otherwise be visible to a parent who selected “yes”.
This automatic data collection via online forms makes your job easier as well.
With a camp registration software like Regpack, you can use the drag-and-drop editor to quickly create custom registration forms that include all your necessary fields.
And you can embed these forms right onto your summer camp’s website in just a minute by simply copying and pasting just one line of code.
WIthout even speaking to the families, you’ll be able to collect all the important camper information needed to run your camp, from camper allergies to emergency contact details.
An added benefit of using digital forms instead of phone calls and paper-based forms is that you’ll have fewer mistakes caused by human error.
The forms will catch faulty inputs and prevent customers from neglecting a field.
For instance, you could make it so customers can’t submit the form if they haven’t filled out the email address field.
Not to mention, your team won’t have to spend time deciphering sloppy handwriting or following up with parents to track down the details they left out.
In sum, online registration forms will help your camp streamline registration, save precious time, and give parents the convenience they crave.
Integrate Payments Into Your Forms
Make paying for camp easy for your customers by integrating payments into your online registration forms.
This way parents won’t have to jump to a different website to make the payment. They can do it securely and quickly on your website, which they already trust.
To offer this convenience, use a camp registration software with integrated payments features like payment forms, automatic billing, and custom payment plans.
With the right tool, you’ll be able to create custom payment forms and use them to collect all the payment information you need from your customers to process the payment.
If you wish, you’ll also be able to create and extend personalized payment plans to your customers, like the one below:
Allowing customers to choose to pay over the course of several months, and making it easy to do so, will help you secure more of those parents who are on-the-fence about the cost.
Speaking of payment flexibility, it’s also best to use a tool that supports a wide range of payment methods, from ACH transfers and credit card payments to PayPal and debit.
This ensures that the vast majority of your customers can pay your camp with the method they find most convenient.
Another thing you’ll want is backend reporting, as this feature lets you track your payment collection process and identify weaknesses which you can fix to increase cash flow or reduce late payments, for example.
Overall, collapsing the registration and payments processes into one, and making it all accessible on your website, will improve the registration experience and, as a result, increase camp enrollment.
Allow for Mobile Device Registration
A mobile-friendly registration process will delight those potential customers of yours who use their mobile devices for pretty much everything.
If, on the other hand, you fail to offer mobile registration to these customers, you’ll end up losing some of them to camps that are more technologically advanced.
It’s easy to imagine someone becoming fed up and ditching the registration process because the online form keeps shifting or is too big for the screen.
To make your process mobile-friendly, start by getting a registration platform that allows you to create forms that adapt to the user’s device, no matter which type.
Next, make sure your forms are simple and straightforward.
Explain clearly what information you want your users to submit, and use plenty of white space to keep the form from feeling cluttered.
And take advantage of design elements like the “next” and “submit” buttons, as these help users navigate the process, even on a smaller screen.
Lastly, ensure that your forms are long, not wide. You don’t want both sides of the form to be off the screen. Scrolling left and right to find the next field is frustrating for a customer:
If you’re unsure about the quality of your registration forms for mobile, run a series of tests for the Android, iPhone, and other devices.
Find people in your office with different devices, and preferably an eye for design, and ask them to fill out the form.
Go through the registration yourself and identify any parts of the process that might be aesthetically unpleasant or confusing to the parents.
In sum, using a registration software that has mobile-adaptive forms will make it so that all your customers can register using whatever device they most prefer.
This is just another reason for them to get it done now and stop dragging their feet.
They can do it on the train, waiting for the dentist, any time they have a free moment, not only when they’re attached to their computer.
Make Group Registration Possible
Another excellent way to simplify your summer camp’s registration process is to offer group registration, when one person can sign up multiple people simultaneously.
For example, if you offer this feature, a father can register and pay for all of their children at once.
This sure beats signing each child up individually and filling out the same fields over and over again.
If the father already filled out the family’s contact information, he doesn’t have to do it for all the other children. It’s already saved in the form.
For each new camper he’s registering he only has to add the information relevant to that specific child.
Overall, this can save your customers a lot of time, and reduce any frustration caused by the monotonous repetition that is filling out the same registration form multiple times.
Without group registration, customers who want to sign up multiple campers may start to feel like they’re being asked unnecessary questions, and that the form is too long.
These are both common causes of form abandonment:
Note that it isn’t only families with multiple children who will use this functionality.
A parent might take the reins for registering an entire friend group, thus relieving the other parents of this responsibility.
Sometimes this can actually increase your enrollment numbers because you win over those super busy parents that wouldn’t have signed up had the parent of their child’s friend not offered to register for them.
Not to mention, this extension of convenience on your part will also convince parents that your summer is detail-oriented, innovative, and always looking for ways to improve the customer experience.
And when customers feel you have these traits, they’ll continue trusting you to watch, educate, and entertain their kids, summer after summer.
Save Time for Returning Campers
Consider using a registration tool that has a user information porting feature. It’ll help your users submit forms quickly and accurately.
This feature saves last year’s information about returning customers, from the camper’s allergies to the parent’s phone number, and then populating the form with it automatically when the parent begins registration.
Parents will love how much time it saves them.
Rather than re-submitting the information they typed in last time, they can simply identify the fields that have changed, and update them accordingly.
Once again, what you’re giving them with this functionality is convenience, and time back in their day, something busy parents will accept with open arms.
It’s great to start typing in your name and see all your information flood the empty fields.
Not only will this ensure that more returning customers decide to register once again. It will also cause them to associate your brand with a sense of ease.
They will likely keep coming back, year after year, sending their children to your camp.
Not to mention, it’s often the little details that make people obsessed with something, whether it’s a film, backpack, car, or company.
Even something as small as a streamlined registration process will grow your customers’ desire to happily sing your praises to others in the community, thus helping you attract new families to your camp.
Parents will say things like, “They’re professionals. They make everything so easy.
They’re thoughtful. They think of everything.” And this will cause other parents to check out your website.
Automate Your Email Communication
It’s important to communicate with parents regularly about a variety of things — registration, payment confirmation, their child’s progress, next year’s sessions, to name a few.
Keeping them in the loop not only keeps them happy. It also helps you secure them as customers for next summer, especially when you’re using email marketing techniques off-season.
Of course, all this communication can be burdensome. So you want to automate as much of it as possible, while still maintaining that element of personalization.
Many camp registration platforms come with automated email functionality, which will allow you to set up trigger-based email automations.
This means that certain emails are connected to certain events. When that event occurs, the email is sent automatically.
That way, customers get the right email at the right time, every time. No communications fall through the cracks. No one feels like they’ve been left hanging.
For example, you could make it so that whenever a parent submits a payment, they receive a payment confirmation email.
Or whenever a camper’s session is a week from starting, the parent receives a welcome email explaining all the things they need to do, pack, and know to get ready for camp.
The best part is that the emails are auto-personalized to the recipient.
They’ll feel as though it were written directly to them, and it won’t include any extraneous information irrelevant to their situation.
A camp registration software solution will draw their information—name, payment amount, child’s camp session, etc.—from the database and fill it into the email template that you’ve designed and saved in the platform.
Even if a parent knows that the email is automated, they won’t mind as long as it’s personalized to their specific situation.
In sum, it’s inefficient to write and send hundreds of emails per week to parents. You’re better off using some sort of email automation to speed up the process.
This will also make running email marketing campaigns a whole lot easier.
Summer camp registration should be fast and simple for your customers. And the information they give should be accurate and up-to-date.
If you use the tips mentioned in this article, you’ll ensure these outcomes.
An added benefit of streamlining the registration process is that you’ll improve your enrollment numbers. More people will finish the forms because it’s so darn easy.
However, this is just one of many ways to boost enrollment.
Check out our ultimate guide on summer camp marketing to learn the best tactics for attracting new families to your camp and keeping current ones loyal.