Zipwhip for Education

Sylvan Learning Centers

Multi-unit owner Matthew Sullivan’s 4 Sylvan Learning Centers located throughout Texas, struggled in three main areas: Generating new customer leads, simplifying staff workflows, and reducing phone tag with parents and students.

After signing up for Zipwhip, they have been able to drive lead generation, save ample time for employees and simplified customer communications.



Company Size


number of users


Years in Business



Generating new prospects and ultimately customers is always a key area of focus for franchises. The primary difficulty for Sylvan Learning Centers has been getting these prospects on location or online for an assessment. Assessments are the most important way for Sylvan Learning Centers to generate new enrollments and long-term clients. Assessments for Sylvan Learning Centers are upwards of a 70% conversion to new customers, so delivering new prospects for assessment is a sure-fire way to grow the business.

When COVID-19 forced Owner and Operator Matthew Sullivan’s franchises to move to online learning, there was significant confusion around online learning, specifically finding the best way to get Zoom meeting IDs out to families every day. Students log in daily into a Zoom meeting to participate in their online instructions. The teams were finding that parents and students weren’t receiving emails sent from Sylvan with Zoom links in a timely fashion. Often there were situations where old emails were opened, and an incorrect zoom link was accessed for the given day of instruction. There was ample miscommunication between parents and Sylvan staff trying to get students to the correct meeting ID for the right day.

Additionally, staff and parents alike were trapped in an ongoing loop of phone tag where staff would call parents to let them know their child did not log on to the online session or parents calling staff while logged into an incorrect or old session. This created a lot of frustration for parents who are attempting to navigate remote learning with their children, all while likely working remotely themselves. For Sylvan, this created massive inefficiencies resulting in lost revenue for no show sessions as well as substantial administrative time assisting parents and students to log on to their sessions.

Sylvan Learning Centers needed a communication solution that not only cut through the clutter of phone calls and emails, but generated revenue and saved time.
"For the cost of Zipwhip, you get 10x back on your investment in terms of efficiency and productivity, I wish I had started texting my customers years ago"
Matthew Sullivan
Executive Director/Owner, Sylvan Learning Centers, Abilene, Lubbock, North & South Fort Wayne


Sylvan Learning Center Abilene is now leveraging the full power of Zipwhip across all locations as the primary form of communication between staff and parents, as well as a marketing tool to generate over $7,000 in new business through a social media outreach campaign.

Utilizing the group messaging feature of Zipwhip through Facebook posts, Sylvan was able to execute small text campaigns aimed at reengaging customers that have cancelled their tutoring. Through this campaign Sylvan was able to bring back two customers who had cancelled resulting in over $7,000 of revenue for the locations. Sylvan is now highlighting the power of keywords in an ongoing social media marketing campaign targeted at bringing in new customers with a friends and family discount. By texting in the keyword “Learn” new potential customers receive a free assessment and a discount on the first month of tutoring.

Not only has Zipwhip been impactful in generating new business for Sylvan Centers but has also simplified and streamlined communication between staff, tutors, students and parents. With Covid-19 creating new challenges for tutoring and education abroad, the move to online learning posed hurdles for attendance. Sylvan Centers used Zipwhip texting as the means to send out daily texts to both parents and students with Zoom links for online tutoring sessions. Parents were able to text back quickly and easily and make sure their students had the right Zoom link and showed up for their sessions. These Sylvan Centers have shifted their daily communication focus to a “texting-first” strategy, parents are far more responsive and has saved ample time and confusion across all locations.

Shifting to a “texting-first” strategy has also brought significant benefits in terms of workflow efficiencies and time management. Staff at Sylvan are not spending time playing phone tag and writing emails to parents, students and tutors, they are texting. Texting from a single platform across multiple devices allows freedom for the staff to manage multiple conversations at the same time while being hyper-responsive to any inbound inquiries. This has allowed Matthew’s Sylvan centers to not add additional headcount to manage customers as business has greatly expanded.

Zipwhip has enabled Sylvan Centers to win back customers who have since cancelled, providing tremendous ROI, and pivoting to a “texting-first” based strategy has streamlined and simplified communications across the company.

Start texting now with a free trial of Zipwhip