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You’ve worked hard to build out an exceptional learning management system (LMS). You’ve tested your courses and are ready to go. Now, all you need are members to login! Marketing your online education options to your members requires skill and the creativity to explain the coursework in terms of benefits gained at the end of the course. While there are any number of options for online training, you’ll need to focus both on the ease of use of the platform as well as the long-term gains that learners can expect. See how you can maximize attendance to your LMS without spending a fortune on advertising.

Get Social

Social media is one of the key ways that people are learning about new opportunities, and this includes eLearning! If your organization has a Facebook page, try launching an inexpensive ad targeted to your audience that describes the benefits of the course. While you don’t want to get too sales-y, it doesn’t hurt to have a post on a fairly regular basis — perhaps once a week or a little less often — about your training options. Get creative with the messaging! There’s no need to have every post be a hard sell. Instead, ask your members to submit a review. You may be surprised how many current members are ready and willing to tell others about your organization — all you have to do is ask!

Be Generous

One of the best ways to increase attendance in your courses is to whet the appetite of your audience. How? Through offering short courses or blog posts as a thought leader on a particular topic. Potential learners want and need to know that their selected organization has a deeper knowledge of the topic, and that there’s something more to be learned by paying for a course. A free intro course gets people engaged with the platform and with the topic and provides an easier path to purchase.

Nurture your Members

Sure, no one really loves a hard sell — so why not focus more on your overall membership journey? Determine where you’re most likely to receive new members, and focus your efforts on that area. Create a sales funnel for key courses that helps interested members move step-by-step through the sales cycle instead of immediately hitting people with a purchase decision. Nurturing your members through ongoing (free!) education allows them to become comfortable with your brand and your offerings without spending a dime. However, don’t forget to have visible ways to sign up with every communication. One problem some marketers have is that they focus so much on the education aspect that they forget to add a targeted CTA (call to action) to every communication and webpage.

Offer Added Value

Building your list can be the most challenging aspect of cultivating a prospect, but offering free downloads and webinars is a great way to get updated email addresses and contact information from your members without a lot of pain on either side. When you’re pursuing this tactic, there’s a fine line between not offering enough content and giving away the entire course. If someone is engaged with a particular course topic, try creating a download that is tangential enough to add value without culling too much course material. Webinars in particular are valuable, as they allow your potential learners to interact with other members in your organization or the faculty themselves. This adds to the comfort level when it’s time to make a purchase. Again — don’t forget to create a CTA at the end of the course as well as social sharing options so people can encourage others to register!

Grow Your Advocates

Find like-minded individuals who have influence in your learning space, and see how you can partner to support each others’ business. This could be in the form of cross-promotion on blogs, co-produced webinars or even endorsements that can be shared with your current audience. Shared Facebook advertising and posts can be particularly beneficial as you’re reaching two audiences for the price of one! Creating a solid base of advocates helps quickly spread the value of your training program without a lot of additional cost.

Any of these tactics will help drive additional traffic to your online portal. Used together, these tactics will truly help maximize the attendance for your online training portal.

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