Grow Your Program

  1. Creating Brag-Worthy Student Experiences

    A couple of weeks ago we talked about the importance of loyal students. Now we want to delve deeper into how you can attain that student loyalty by using a thought experiment first developed by Airbnb called Seven Star Design.

    These days giving something a rating of five stars no longer holds the same importance it once did. Where once, a five star rating meant that the company went above and beyond, these days five stars tends to mean that there’s nothing wrong with the experience. That’s a pretty low bar.  So Brian Chesky, the CEO of Airbnb, set their goal to go beyond five stars. As he put it, “We wanted to build a product where you loved it so much you would tell everyone about it.”

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  2. Loyal Students

    Customer loyalty is a buzzword in many businesses. As an educator, you may not think in business terms all the time, but in some instances, it can be valuable to take a page out of the business playbook. Focusing efforts on increasing student loyalty is one of those instances. When you work in education, however, it can be hard to know what a loyal student looks like or why they’re important. If you’re teaching professional development courses, for example, you may not expect repeat students in your classes as they may achieve their educational goals quickly. This can make it feel like there’s no point in working to keep individual students happy once they’ve enrolled and paid for your classes because they’ll be gone so soon.

    Despite the challenge of students who may only ever take one or two classes through your program, student loyalty remains an important factor in keeping enrollment rates high. Even if a student never comes back to your program, they will remain a part of your community.

    Imagine you want to take an art class but don’t know where to go. The first thing many people do in this circumstance is to ask friends, family, and coworkers if they know any programs nearby that offer good art classes. The experience your students had in your program will directly impact who they think of when they are asked these sorts of questions and what they say in response. If you have done the work of ensuring student loyalty, it’s your name they’ll think of when recommending programs. This is how you grow your reputation in your community and increase enrollment.

    So how do you develop loyal customers? Here are some quick and easy tips!

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  3. Outgrowing Google Spreadsheets

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: It’s a motto many of us live our lives by. Unfortunately, sometimes we get so used to doing things the same way we’ve always done them that we don’t notice the cracks and tears in the system. Think of that old swelling front door that you have to kick to close or the upstairs toilet that you have to remember to wiggle the lever on to keep the water from running. While this solution works for a while, over time the problem gets worse. At first, you tell yourself that you’ll hire a repairman or look up how to fix it yourself, but you get busy, and then you grow so accustomed to the inconvenience that it can be easy to overlook the fact that it’s costing you time and money.

    The same may be said your current strategy for managing enrollment. It’s working okay–it’s been working for years–but is it still the most efficient, cost-effective solution for your needs? It’s easy to add registrants to a Google spreadsheet at first, but as your program grows, that spreadsheet grows as well. You start to lose track of who has paid and who hasn’t, and what started out as a simple solution has become complicated.Read more

  4. How to Make Your New Year’s Catalog Launch the Best It Can Be

    The new year is right around the corner. For many, January 1st is a time for reflection and hope for the new year, but educators have an additional item on their docket: launching their new class catalog. We want your catalog launch to be easy and successful this new year. To make that possible, follow these four easy steps.

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  5. Get Started With Email Marketing For Educational Orgs In 5 Steps

    There are plenty of marketing options available for educational organizations:printed brochures, take home flyers, newspaper inserts  and more. The challenge is that these options and time consuming and for a budget-strapped organization, are usually out of reach. Rather than spending a large amount of time and resources on a big ad campaign, education providers  should consider email marketing. According to Campaign Monitor, email marketing returns $44 for every $1 spent – that’s an amazing return for your time and money!

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  6. Automatic Reminders for Abandoned Registrations

    We recently had the fortune of presenting nearby at the MAEA Conference in beautiful, Portland, ME. It was a great event and a wonderful time to connect with some of our customers here in Maine. It was also a chance to preview a brand new feature we’ll be launching soon that will help effortlessly increase enrollments.

    To get started, I’d like to share an interesting stat with you. If you had to guess how many online transactions across the entire web are abandoned part of the way through, what would you think? 20%? 30%? More?

    It turns out that the number is around 70%. That’s right. Out of all online transactions, almost 7 out of 10 are abandoned midway through. When we came across this number, we were stunned. And it got us thinking: how often does this happen in CourseStorm?

    So we did some digging and found that, interestingly enough, registrations through CourseStorm complete 2x more often than average! That’s definitely encouraging, but in our mind, there’s always a way to be more helpful. And, thankfully, there’s a simple solution to this problem that’s also rather helpful: just remind those students that they were interested in registering.

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  7. 4 Simple Ways Instructors Can Help You Attract More Students

    Running classes, managing enrollments and trying to market all at the same time can seem overwhelming. However, you can get help filling your classes from an often overlooked resource — your instructors! Don’t forget your instructors are usually just as interested in filling classes, especially if there’s a minimum needed for the course to run. When they become your partner in the effort to promote their classes, everyone wins in the end.

    Here are 4 simple – and free! – strategies that your instructors can use to promote classes and attract more students.

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  8. A $2,000 “Grant” In AWS Cloud Services Credits Available For Nonprofits

    Most of the nonprofits we work with are constantly on the lookout for ways to reduce costs and grow their programs. That’s why we had to share the news that Amazon Web Services (AWS) has recently partnered with another company called TechSoup Global (TSG) to connect nonprofits and public libraries with up to $2,000 worth of select AWS products and services.

    TechSoup is a nonprofit technology network that connects nonprofits with discounted or donated tech products and services. That list now includes the AWS Credits Program for Nonprofits.

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  9. Automating Class Enrollment – Comparing Google, Excel & CourseStorm

    Whether you work for an adult education center or plan summer courses at a library, you know one thing for certain: course planning and management is challenging enough without having to juggle dozens of paper registration forms and spend hours entering data into a spreadsheet.

    Automated enrollment streamlines the registration process, saving you time and reducing errors. Additionally, automated enrollment often increases enrollment by making the registration process easier for your students, who might pass on a class rather than mail in the registration form and payment. With the Millennial generation quickly becoming the average consumer, having the ability to register for classes, workshops or training seminars online is becoming increasingly more important.

    Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of some of the popular automated enrollment tools we find program managers are using.

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  10. Increase Class Signups With Summer Camp Software

    Summer camp season is here! The school year is ending, the weather is finally getting warmer, and kids everywhere are getting anxious to head off to camp.

    For camp administrators, the busy season is already in full swing. Fielding phone calls, answering emails, tracking registrations, following up on cancellation lists – just getting the campers registered is a full-time job in and of itself. Many camps still require parents to fill out a paper form and pay the registration fee by check. Others use email registration or Google forms, which simplifies the process a little but still requires time and effort on the part of the administrators and parents.

    Instead of spending hours on paperwork, wouldn’t you prefer to use that time to develop new programs, talk with parents, or work on marketing?

    We hear this a lot, and that’s why we decided to make tracking and managing camp sign-ups impossibly simple.

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