The Goddard School Gives Email Marketing an A+


The Goddard School uses the most current, academically endorsed methods to ensure that children have fun while learning the skills they need for success in school and in life. Serving children from infant age to before- and after-school care, the Goddard approach emphasizes the collaboration between teachers and parents to nurture children into respectful, confident and joyful learners.

Each Goddard School is independently owned and operated under the Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), franchise. There are more than 400 schools in cities large and small across the United States.

GSI’s corporate offices offer comprehensive marketing support to its franchisee schools, including branded collateral, newsletters, interactive materials and more to help each school promote itself and keep in touch with both current enrolled families and prospects.


GSI knew that email needed to play a significant role in their franchisees’ marketing strategies, especially since the cost of email marketing was substantially lower than traditional direct mail. But GSI had no formal email marketing structure or system in place for their franchisees to use.

“Brand consistency did not exist in regard to email,” says Ashley Betzendahl, GSI’s interactive media manager. “Some were using VerticalResponse to send their email campaigns, some were using other providers. Each school’s electronic communications would look different and often was not branded. We knew this wasn’t the best presentation of our brand.”

GSI needed an email marketing system that all their franchisees could tap into, so that the Goddard brand was communicated consistently and professionally across all 400 schools. The system had to be both robust enough to support GSI’s large network and easy to use for franchisees with varying levels of technological expertise.


“In 2009, we knew that email was growing and was going to be a huge part of our marketing efforts,” says Ashley. The ability to easily customize email marketing templates was the initial draw to VerticalResponse for GSI. But it was the customer support they received from the VerticalResponse partner team throughout the sales and implementation process that cemented their confidence in their decision.

“The entire process was very smooth,” adds Ashley. “The overall experience has been great.”


Now with a fully connected email marketing platform in place, GSI can offer more marketing resources and support to its franchisees, and ensure consistency across its entire network.

“Of course, there’s training and a certain learning curve that takes place when you’re introducing a new system,” says Ashley. “But I can say with confidence that it’s been incredibly powerful for our franchise system.”

Learning how to use the VerticalResponse email system is now part of all training and onboarding activities for new franchisees. GSI also holds regular training on the system and email marketing with both existing franchisees and on-the-ground operations representatives who work directly with the schools.

Since the initial implementation, GSI also has connected its lead management system to VerticalResponse through the VerticalResponse API. Franchisees can now go into their database management system, select who they want to email and sync it seamlessly with the VerticalResponse email creation application, with full reporting on opens, click-throughs and more.

“It’s a huge selling point when we talk to franchisees because they don’t have to upload any lists,” says Ashley. “Overall, we’ve been very satisfied with our VerticalResponse partnership.”

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