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15 Ways to Promote eLearning Programs
|Pre-note: In this article, teleclass is an example used to
illustrate one type of eLearning market. The tips work the
same for other eLearning programs, including, but not
limited to, teleseminars and ecourses.
In the mid-1990s, the teleclass format began and was named,
distance learning. During these early years, learning
institutions, particularly universities, were chief users of
this format. Mainly due to the large equipment investment
needed at that time. Now, due to technology changes and
cost reduction, people can give and attend ePrograms without
leaving their chair or selling their first child. No
parking challenges, auto expenses, or travel time required.
Another benefit to learning by phone is that your listening
skills will reach new heights quickly.
In 2003, technology allowed a single conference line to
expand from 30 to 150 participants per line. Affordable
conference lines were previously only available in certain
states, Florida and Nevada. Now other states, like New
York, are jumping in on this bandwagon with affordable
Currently, a 24/7 conference line, is available to rent
around $600 a year. An alternative is to rent the line by
the hour. This can range between $10 to $20 per hour
depending on the service features desired. You can also
share a line with one or two others to reduce your cost. I
recommend finding line-share partners who are in other time
zones, it makes sharing easier.
Zero-cost teleconference lines at available at
http://www.mrconference.com and by other vendors. Most of
these services have flaws that range from automatic
disconnect if no voice is detected every 8 to 10 minutes, to
being blocked from entering the call because of overstressed
lines. I recommend the leader dialing in 5 to 10 minutes
early to secure the line, however, this doesn't mean that
all participants may not experience over trafficked busy
Actually, teleprograms will not take the place of "being
there" for all people. The skills and experience of the
teleclass leader or host can also make or break the learning
experience. There are just as many teleclass leader styles
as people. If you have never experienced a teleclass, I
recommend attending four or five before deciding if the
format is or isn't for you.
15 Tips To Help Promote Your eLearning Programs
1. If you produce your own eNewsletter, electronic
newsletter, or eZine, electronic magazine, or printed
newsletter, add an eLearning announcement section.
2. Contact other newsletter editors and ask to have your
program announced in their issue. You can swap ad space,
your ad for their ad, exchange ad space for participation,
offer a commission option, purchase the ad, or pay per
click-through. I don't recommend paying for click-throughs
unless excellent tracking systems are in place. In order to
attract, make sure their target market and yours match.
3. You can also use pay-per-click through search engines
like Google’s AdWord program. If you go this route, I
suggest you purchase an ad analyzer software (about $100) or
a service (average $19.95/month) to maximize time and reduce
4. Place notices all over your web site -- especially your
main page -- about the program. Remember: posting
announcement notices is actually passive marketing. You
will still need to pull visitors to the site.
5. Write and distribute Internet articles on the same
subject. Unable to write, hire a ghostwriter. Allow four
to twelve weeks for this process to begin pulling visitors
to your website. The number of articles distributed will
proportionally be your return. My low end measurement has
been: 1 article = 10 visitors or more = 8 new eNewsletter
subscribers = 1 sale. High end: 1 article = 350 new
visitors = 125 new subscribers = 10 sales. This is now one
of the top five Internet promotion building attractions.
6. Since ePrograms don't require people to be physically
present, attendance is now open internationally. Thus, you
will want to distribute information about your eLearning
opportunity globally. Find places in other English-speaking
countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and
New Zealand. If you speak a foreign language, you can even
offer the same program in that language. Spanish speaking
ePrograms are in high demand.
7. Mention your eProgram on other ePrograms you attend.
You can slip it in with a question or when presenting your
personal information to the class.
8. Add a promotional paragraph about the program to all your
outgoing e-mails, called signatures in Outlook. Choose HTML
design in your software and add a picture of the leader/host
along with a link to where someone can register or find out
9. Join market-rich discussion lists, billboards, or chat
rooms. If direct solicitation isn't permitted, sell gently
through your signature or indirect questions.
10. Write a press release for each eProgram. Become a
member of PR Web http://www.prweb.com/. Membership is
fr*e*e. This number one website attracts a very high
percentage of media personnel.
11. Accumulate a list of all the local newspapers that offer
fr*e*e community event announcements. Inquire into their
deadline and submission requirements. You will also want to
ask how can may confirm receipt of your information. They
don't intentionally leave information out, however, they
move at a fast pace and things do get lost in the shuffle.
Special note: Most community list ads are for fr*e* events.
Use a three-ring binder to record the advertising
information. You can also save the information in your e-
mail software, like Outlook, and your Internet browser
software, in a separate "Community newspaper" section.
However, if the hard drive crashes, make sure the
information safe. Due to the value of this information and
the amount of time you spent accumulating it, you still may
want to keep updated printouts just in case. Even a backup
diskette in the binder. Having a paper version also helps
when the computer is off or you need to transport the
information. This is also a great item to delegate to a
12. Add your announcement to your telephone answering
script. Change it whenever you are offering a new eProgram.
Give instructions as to how to register -- and it’s
important to make this as easy as possible for them. Don't
forget some marketing tidbits of "what’s in it for them
(WIIFM)" to register and do it now.
13. Use fr*e*e ePrograms or offers to provide a taste and
attract participants to register for longer paid programs.
Offers can include: ebooks, ecourses, special reports, or
even a professional white papers. Offering a transcription
of the program or an audio copy is another great offer.
14. List your class in teleclass directories. Some
directories require that you attend their particular
teleclass-leading course. A big downfall in time and
expense in the short-run, however, good investment for the
long term. Here are a few directories to get you started:
http://www.Yahoogroups.com -- over 30 places to post your
15. If you give speaking engagements or even when you
participate in other events, seminars, workshops, give out
flyers on your eProgram. Works well in networking groups
too. Take the flyers to the libraries, senior and civic
FYI, names of ePrograms can seem confusing at times,
however, there is a standard for what to expect depending on
the name. A teleseminar usually has very little interaction
between leader and attendees. It is set up to instruct and
participants to solely listen. Sometimes a brief Q&A period
is spaced in-between subtopic changes.
On the other hand, a teleclass provides more time for
participant to participant or participant to leader
interaction. It has a higher ratio of free forming. A
teleclass format copies more of the workshop atmosphere. A
teleprogram, is a teleclass delivered over a period of time,
like a class at a learning institution. The term eProgram
is a compilation, or overview term, of all electronically
delivered learning programs.
About the author:
Catherine Franz, a Business Coach, specialized in writing,
marketing and product development. Newsletters and
additional articles: http://www.abundancecenter.com
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