Wouldn’t your eLearning or digital training program work better if your learners are already interested in it, even before you launch it?
Yes, that’s a dream that many L&D professionals enjoy, but execution is tougher than envisioning it. Or so it appears.
The advantages of engaging your learners even before the digital training program is launched are:
Increased learner enrollment
Better knowledge retention
Increased learner feedback about their needs
A culture of learning and development
So how do you interest your learners in digital training before it even starts?
Place an Emphasis on The Benefits of Active Participation
Why are online courses selling like hotcakes, but your course is tanking? The simple reason is because successful online courses do a good job at placing an emphasis on the benefits of enrolling in their course. Whereas chances are you are not doing enough to market your course as an advantageous proposition for your learners.
A common question before enrolling in any course is – is it really worth it?
The answer to this question should be provided by you to the learner in advance. One way to do this is by informing them about what to expect and how it will directly assist them with their current work profile.
Find Out What Motivates Your Learners
Every decision to train and learn is driven by the motivation to do so. Now the question here is are you working hard enough to motivate your learners? Or rather are you giving them a reason to be motivated? To know what motivates your learners, you need to ask them. Use surveys to find out what gets them going or what does it take to get them going.
A consistently motivated learner will ensure that they get through the course. While a sporadically motivated learner will display signs of discontinued engagement.
Involve Learners During the Development Stage
Your learners are stakeholders in the training and development initiative and so it is important to include them or at least some of them during the development stage. Their ideas and viewpoints are probably the best feedback that you can get with regards to building a training program that benefits them.
Involving them also gives them a sense of ownership because they played a part in determining what is built.
Share the Incentives of Training with Them in Advance
Honestly, the only reason why anybody will spend their energy to train is so that they get something from it. You may think that training and development is important because it helps your employees work more efficiently. However, that is only thinking from your point of view.
What does the employee get for spending the time and efforts to learn and work more efficiently? Many organizations get this bit wrong and that is where their training program fails.
Let your learners know what they stand to receive, and they’ll be more than ready to accept your training long before your launch it.
Create a Communication Funnel
You know how companies market their products and services through a series of messages either written or in video format way in advance? This is so that people are consistently reminded that something new is about to arrive so that they do not forget and that they are compelled to at least check what is happening.
This is something that you’ll have to do as well. Market the arrival of your new course to your learners. Send them a series of emails that talk about how it is made for them. Advertise the incentives of enrolling and successfully completing it.
Communication is key here. You’ll realize that programs which are successfully marketed in advance always have better enrollment and completion rates. Why? Because the marketing activity successfully presented a case to your learners about why the course is needed and that drove the interest and need to learn and develop.
Give Your Learners a Sneak Peak of What is About to Come
This is another type of internal marketing and very similar to product sampling or movie teasers. It’s about creating a teaser of the complete program and releasing it to your learners in advance. The promo should contain the what’s-in-it-for-me aspect in the minds of the learners.
Reveal the name of the courses, tell them the objective of the course, show them how it will look, tell them how they can enroll, and so on. Don’t reveal too much or you may lose the element of surprise and mystery which can also drive learners to enroll.
Be Transparent About the Course Deliverables
Be very clear about what your learners can expect.
It is important to be transparent and clear about the goals and objectives of the course with learners as some of them may have already taken an eLearning course and might have come across some surprises, which they would not want here. This can help trainers to avoid disappointing learners and set their expectations right before the commencement of the eLearning course. Learners should be made aware of what they must do to make the most of the course. Giving them a gist of each step in the course will help them prepare for it ahead of time. Specify how much time they should invest in each course module or topic, how often they should have group discussions, and how should they go about learning by themselves at their own pace.
These seven simple ways to engage with learners can help trainers to get more participation from their audience. It is important for trainers to reach out to their audience on a regular basis and also remain fresh in the minds of their learners to make their training a success.