Online learning, or e-learning, has been touted as the future of education for the better part of a decade. Well, that’s no longer the case; it’s very much the present!

Just last year, the industry was projected to be worth $325 Billion by 2025. The events of the past few months have only served to accelerate its growth, with more and more educational institutions moving their lessons online in a bid to maintain the integrity of the school year. 

But away from academia, there has also been a significant spike in the number of consumers signing up for things like online music, language and professional development courses, for example. We’re clearly seeing evidence of consumers looking to use their additional time at home to acquire new skills.

Ukrainian company Preply, which provides online language tutoring, experienced 50% growth from February to March. Self-lead online courses like Duolingo, for example, have also seen their user base expand in recent weeks.

We’ve put together some effective multichannel use cases that will improve any digital learning platform’s engagement strategy. They’re based on automated, personalised campaigns that are easy to set up and can be rolled out quickly.

Engagement use cases for e-learning brands

Automated onboarding journeys

The early stages of a customer’s life cycle are absolutely vital

The quicker you can get them using and enjoying your website/app the better. Your immediate aim should be to intelligently guide them through an automated welcome journey that helps them get immediate value from your product. 

The classic option is to enroll new students into an email workflow, which is triggered as soon as they create an account.  Exactly how that workflow advances might vary depending on whether or not the customer has signed up for a free trial period, or gone straight to billing. 

Either way, it’s crucial that you are communicating intelligently with new users on a daily, or near-daily, basis. They could be as simple as some positive words of encouragement as they complete their first few lessons, or even sending them a record of their initial progress.

Every single touchpoint you can create in those initial few days and weeks will add value to the relationship and increase the likelihood of the customer sticking around long-term.

As you can see in the example below, a detailed customer journey map will help you identify where the drop-off points are so that you can quickly address them. 

Converting trialists to paid subscribers

If you are looking to transition a user from a free trial to a paid subscription, then you will benefit from onsite and in-app channels, which can work in tandem with your email programme.

With in-app messages, for example, you can engage with students as they are using the platform itself. These can be triggered in real time, based on any number of factors. 

So as a user draws near to the end of their free trial you might want to send them an in-app message gently reminding them that they have a limited time remaining. 

Reducing churn/re-engaging lapsed subscribers

It’s important that as normal life resumes, and people naturally slip back into their old habits, that you retain their attention.

Psychologically, it only takes a couple of weeks for consumers to form habits; good or bad. What you want to avoid is a student going an extended period without taking a lesson or being active on your learning platform in some way. This is a clear and obvious indication of someone who is about to churn.

We recommend using a channel like push notification, which is a highly visible and direct way of encouraging students back into the app or onsite. This is a perfect way to send daily reminders or set targets.

In the example here, you’ll see an app push notification campaign that has been set-up to engage a user who hasn’t been active in the last 7 days. The segmentation for this is very easy to set up, and as you can see it can be personalised to include both the student’s name and reference the course they are enrolled in.

By including a visual element and a strong CTA, you can create an inspiring message that reminds the student why they signed up in the first place and what their goal was.

Personalised lesson plans

Using tagged event-hits (essentially any onsite or in-app activity), you can clearly identify which students are falling behind, or progressing slowly. This could be based on their test results or the number of modules/lessons they’ve completed.

You can then segment these students based on the specific areas they need to improve, directing them to the appropriate lesson or simply offer some words of encouragement.

Again, we’d recommend push notifications here as a great way to share this kind of content, but it’s also worth looking at onsite or in-app inboxes. These function similarly to an email inbox, but live on your website or app. Here you can send personalised content, images or video included, that is permanently available for the student to consume at their own pace.

Wrapping up

Make sure you capitalise on the recent boom in digital learning with smarter customer engagement. Feel free to get in touch with us to learn more about our award-winning multichannel engagement platform or to discuss any particular use cases you have in mind.