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Grow Your Program

Grow Your Program Part 2: Things That Sell Classes

Matt James

July 1, 2015

We’re excited to continue the Grow Your Program series to help our customers and anyone out there looking to sell more classes (see also our previous entry on effective website use).  Today’s focus: Things That Sell Classes.

A lot of thoughts go into helping register more students for your classes, but today we’ll be focusing on a few of the most important: photos, instructors, and location info.

Before we get into that, however, it’s important to note that there is one thing that’s more important than all of those and without it you’re losing about 25% or more of your customers: a simple way to register online.  When people go to your website, they’re not just looking for the class to take, but they want to register right then.  The more steps you put in the way of each student registering for the class, the more of them will walk away.  And the simplest way to make that registration right when they want to sign up is to offer online registration where students can use their credit card.  Even if you don’t use CourseStorm for that online registration — make sure you make it easy for them.  It makes all the difference in the world.

But, I digress.  Let’s get on to the rest of our tips! 🙂



Tip #1: Use High Quality Photos

It can be time-consuming, but it turns out that after simple online registration, the #1 thing you can do to register more students for your classes is to add a nice photo.  If you don’t have an easy way to load in photos, at this point I’m sure you’re probably grumbling “Ugh.. it’s such a pain!  How much does it actually help?”

It turns out: quite a bit.  From our statistics, classes with photos are almost 200% more likely to receive a registration than classes without them.  And, unlike your printed catalog, adding photography to a class on your website doesn’t come with a ton of printing costs — just great photography in full color to really highlight your offerings.

So, if you’re willing to take the time (or have a really nice system that makes it easy to do), we highly recommend putting in a nice photo.  It makes the opportunity much more concrete for the potential registrant (“Oooh!  Look how nice that vase is.  I’ve always wanted to learn pottery…”).



Tip #2: Highlight Your Instructors

Another great way to make your classes more attractive is to highlight the name of the instructor teaching the class.  In some cases, instructors are well known throughout the community as being experts in this field, so their name brings with it a bit of cachè (“Nice!  Looks like Cynthia is teaching Wednesday’s Yoga class.  I’ve heard she’s really good — gotta save my spot.”).  And even if your instructor is a relative unknown, students get a personal connection.  This isn’t just a boating class taught by the school, it’s a boating class taught by Mike.  And when they go into class, they’ll be able to introduce themselves and already feel more acquainted.



Tip #3: Tell Them Where to Go

As we’ve highlighted above, it can be really helpful to make each class more “real” for the student.  One simple way to do that is by including location info for the class.  If I’m a student, I want to know where the class is being held so I can make judgements on all kinds of things:

  • Do I know where this is?  Is it on my way to or from work?
  • Is it a nice place?  Easy to get in to and out of?
  • How far is it away?  I may not be willing to drive that far.

Just the simple act of putting in a location name and address will help me to answer those questions and make a commitment right then, rather than give me the opportunity to put it off.

Bonus tip: If it’s easy for you, we also recommend including links to driving directions to each destination, especially on their receipt email (Google Maps has a great way to include these links on your website).  It makes it that much easier for a student to look up where they’re going when headed to their first class.  (As you might have guessed, we do this automatically for CourseStorm customers.)



Hopefully these tips help you to make that decision to register all the more simple for your students.  Of course, if you have any questions about growth, don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to help — whether you’re a current CourseStorm customer or not!

In the meantime, keep on the lookout for other posts in the Grow Your Program series.  Thanks everyone!

Matt James

Matt has over 20 years of experience in the software industry. As the founder or co-founder of four software companies, he comprehensively understands technology, design, operations, finance, sales, marketing, and customer service. Matt co-founded CourseStorm to connect learners to classes where they can gain education a la carte to enrich their lives through art classes, prepare for a new job, or level up their existing skills.

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