Imagine if you could unlock the secret to fast growth and surpass your next quarter’s targets with ease. Picture harnessing the true potential of online learning, not just to boost your revenue, but to establish your business as a leader in your industry.
Tapping into the power of education at scale could be the key to transforming your bottom line and generating predictable revenue. The online learning industry has exploded into an $8 billion dollar giant with over 220 million students.
Organizations of all sizes are now harnessing the immense power of online learning to unlock engagement for their new income streams. However, a select few are taking it a step further, employing strategic and creative online learning strategies that push their businesses to new heights.
At Thinkific Plus, we work with countless industry leaders, big and small, giving us the expertise to help your organization thrive in the online learning arena. We’ve developed a 6-step proven approach to help businesses create effective programs and drive fast growth with online learning.
Let’s jump into breaking down our winning formula!
Leveraging Online Learning to Drive Fast Growth and Meet Next Quarter Targets
Here’s how you can use online learning to drive fast growth with four proven strategies:
1. Increase Customer Engagement and Reduce Customer Churn
Hosting an online course that educates and empowers your audience during the onboarding process can help your organization engage and retain more customers.
This is especially true regarding features that make your product stand out from the competition, as they might not be as intuitive as your core offering.
How To Engage Customers and Reduce Churn With Online Learning
The most effective strategies for reducing churn with online learning include:
- Developing online courses that cover and explain your unique features to your customers, and how to use them to achieve their goals.
- Educating your audience on the common challenges they face and strategies to overcome them.
- Providing detailed product walkthroughs.
- Creating courses that show how to use your product/service in creative and effective ways.
Take Action Now:
The quickest way to get up and running, engage customers and reduce churn using online learning is to identify your audience’s key pain points during onboarding and design an online course to address those needs.
Imagine this scenario: your onboarding process falls short of retaining new customers as expected. But why? Digging into the data reveals a key insight: your audience disengages with the standout features that make your product shine and help them achieve their goals. They fail to fully grasp the value your platform offers, preventing them from addressing their pain points effectively.
By addressing their needs with an onboarding course that teaches them how to use your platform to solve their problems, your churn rate can reduce dramatically.
2. Generate and Nurture Leads
Online education has the power to generate leads at any stage of the buyer’s journey. However, the best place to begin is at the top of the funnel. By crafting a top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) strategy, you can educate your audiences about product features and the endless possibilities they present. This not only establishes your organization as an industry leader but also transforms your offerings into irresistible lead magnets.
How to Generate Leads Through Online Learning
- Offer courses around your area of expertise and not only about your product. (e.g., teach them about social media not just how to use your social media management platform)
- Gate your content so that your users need to provide their information to review it. This will ensure they’re on your email list so you can continue to nurture them down the funnel.
Take Action Now:
The quickest way to get started today is by leveraging your organization’s talent to create a course that teaches your audience about the industry you’re in and not just your platform.
For example, let’s say your business offers SaaS marketing solutions and you’re trying to attract new customers. By leveraging your in-house marketing experts, you can develop an online academy that teaches your audience how to use marketing to grow their business.
You can generate leads by giving them access to the course in exchange for their contact information. Students may also be interested in signing up for your service after learning how to integrate your product into their marketing flow.
3. Drive More Sales
Online courses position your brand as a trusted thought leader. Establish credibility, attract more customers, and increase conversions as prospects engage with your educational content. Ongoing educational resources foster loyalty and drive sales, unlocking a lucrative pathway for your business.
How to Drive More Sales Through Online Learning
The best strategies to drive more sales through online learning include:
- Develop high-quality, targeted online courses that address specific pain points or skill gaps within your target market.
- Implement persuasive and strategic sales techniques within the educational content to seamlessly guide customers toward making a purchase.
- Leverage data and analytics to continually optimize and personalize the online learning experience, ensuring maximum engagement and conversion rates.
Take Action Now:
If you’d like to get started, you could look at the training you already provide your employees and turn that into a revenue-generating course.
For example, let’s say you own a property management company and want to boost your income by creating new revenue streams. Your HR team already has a curriculum that they use to train new hires. You can use this curriculum to develop an online course that teaches people interested in property management and generates extra income.
4. Increase Team Efficiency
One study showed that roughly 60 percent of employers stated that skill gaps impact their business. By developing an online course, organizations can deliver training and upskilling to employees quickly, effectively, and en masse.
How to Increase Team Efficiency Through Online Learning
To improve your team’s efficiency with online learning you’ll need to identify the areas where your team requires improvement. You’ll also need to develop online courses that focus on developing those skills.
Take Action Now:
The quickest way to get started today is to work with your HR department and conduct a skills gap analysis, also known as a training needs assessment. Once you’ve identified the gaps in knowledge, your organization can create an online course that aligns with those objectives.
Here’s a scenario to think about: Your organization spots a skill gap in your employees’ cybersecurity knowledge. The result? Loads of cybersecurity breaches over the past year, giving your IT team major headaches. Your company is experiencing fast growth, and your in-house experts are struggling to keep up with all the new hires.
By creating a training course for your current employees and new recruits, you can save your IT leadership hundreds of valuable hours.
Not sure how to perform a skill gap analysis? Check out Thinkific’s Training Needs Assessment Guide and leverage our free resources to get started.
The 6-Step Proven Success Path:
Meet With Your Launch Specialist and CSM
With advanced customizations and scalable infrastructure to exceed your high growth targets, Thinkific Plus has got it all. But our best feature? Our people. We’ve supercharged Thinkific Plus to deliver an experience like no other. Join us and unleash the power of collaboration and connection!
If you’re on a Thinkific Plus Plan you’ll have the full support of a Customer Success Manager (CSM) and a Launch Specialist to work with. Both are key support roles to help you in your online learning success journey.
The Power of Working with Launch Specialists
Launch Specialists have unrivaled expertise in the platform and an uncanny ability to craft winning courses.
In the first 90 days, they become your knowledge powerhouse, helping you feel confident using the platform’s finest features and practices, all while guiding you to build a stellar 12-month business plan.
In your initial encounter, your Launch Specialist delves deep into your motivations, unveiling the very essence of why you embarked on this online educational journey.
By asking thought-provoking questions, they gain profound insights into your aspirations, while also expanding your horizons to the untapped potential your program holds.
In subsequent meetings, your Launch Specialist will continue to meet with you to help you:
- Fine-tune your business plan
- Identify any potential launch gaps
- Create a content outline for your course
- Recommend best practices to ensure your students have an exceptional learning experience right from the start
Continued Support From Your Customer Success Managers (CSMs)
Congratulations on completing your first 90 days! 🎉 Get ready to meet your dedicated Customer Success Manager (CSM) every week. They’ll be your trusted partner, guiding you towards a successful Thinkific Plus journey.
Together, we’ll steer clear of common pitfalls, launch with lightning speed, and achieve early success. With the expertise of our Thinkific team, you’ll unlock the full potential of online learning for your organization.
Launch Courses & Content Fast
In the race for fast growth, every second counts. The business world is a fast-paced and ever-changing realm that demands agility and adaptability.
With generative AI, creating a course at record speed has never been easier. Using AI prompts is a fantastic way to streamline your course. That’s why we also crafted a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to leverage the power of AI to expedite your launch process.
Need help creating and launching your first online learning program/course fast? Learn more about Thinkific Plus and what our services have to offer.
Set Up Analytics and Start Measuring
Set your organization up for success and ignite fast growth with the help of your dedicated Customer Success Manager. They’ll guide you in establishing a clear measurement strategy and getting acquainted with your Thinkific Analytics reporting dashboards.
By harnessing the power of a strategic measurement approach and tracking analytics, you’ll have the ability to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to steer your ship in the right direction.
Thinkific Analytics and your Reporting Dashboards
Thinkific Analytics is the ultimate tool for making data-driven decisions to supercharge your online learning program and business. In a landscape where data is king, your analytics dashboards empower you with the right insights for strategic decision-making that aligns your learning program with business goals and boosts ROI.
Thinkific Analytics boasts several dashboards that are instrumental in crafting a data-driven, high-impact online learning program:
- Course Engagement Dashboard: Uncover which courses are captivating students, and leverage this data to refine your content strategy.
- Student Engagement Dashboard: Monitor individual student trajectories, and use these insights to personalize learning experiences.
- Revenue Dashboard: Keep tabs on your financial progress and analyze revenue trends to make informed business decisions.
- Orders Dashboard: Scrutinize orders and sales patterns to optimize your selling strategies.
- Quiz Dashboard: Evaluate the efficacy of your quizzes, and pinpoint areas that could use a boost.
- Expanded Roles & Permissions (Thinkific Plus exclusive): Enable collaboration through shared analytics access with your team and B2B partners.
The metrics that you should pay the most attention to depend on the goals that you have for your online learning program.
Just like any other business initiative, you’ll want to have clear, well-defined goals. SMART goals—those that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound—can give your program the direction it needs to yield real, impactful results.
Setting SMART goals for your online learning program
Setting a SMART goal for your online learning program helps you set clear and actionable objectives for your projects or initiatives.
SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
SMART Goal Formula
- S: Start by specifically defining what you want to achieve with your online learning program
- M: Make sure your goal is measurable, meaning you can track progress and determine when it is accomplished.
- A: Ensure that the goal is achievable and realistic within the available resources.
- R: Align your goal with the broader objectives and priorities of your business or project.
- T: Finally, set a specific timeframe or deadline to create a sense of urgency and focus.
By setting SMART goals, you can increase your chances of success, stay focused on your objectives, and track your progress effectively. Here is an example of a SMART goal you can track with Thinkific Analytics depending on your business goals:
Example: Business Goal for Online Learning Program – Increase Customer Product Knowledge and Usage
- Specific: Improve customer product knowledge and usage.
- Measurable: Achieve a 25% increase in customers completing the introductory product tutorial course within the next 6 months.
- Achievable: Create engaging content and send targeted email reminders to customers.
- Relevant: Enhanced product knowledge and usage contribute to customer satisfaction and retention.
- Time-bound: Within the next 6 months.
- Example SMART Goal: Within the next 6 months, achieve a 25% increase in customers completing the introductory product tutorial course by creating engaging content and sending targeted email reminders, which will enhance customer product knowledge and contribute to customer satisfaction and retention.
Figuring out the right metrics and how those pair together with your goals can be time-consuming and complex. But with Thinkific Plus you can leverage our human expertise and build a customized strategy with the help of your CSM. It also helps to set SMART goals for your learning program.
The idea is that even if you’re not a numbers or data person Thinkific Analytics still makes it really easy to understand how your business is doing.
Measure and Prove ROI (Return on Investment)
Once you define the data you want to track and set up your reporting cadence, it will enable you to gain insights into the behaviors and preferences of your audience.
You can use these new insights to tie them down to your program’s bottom-line business metrics like average revenue per user, customer lifetime value (LTV), churn, and much more.
This will help you prove the ROI of your program and demonstrate its impact on your organization’s success.
Your organization can also leverage these insights to see what areas of your business have the opportunity to grow.
Create a Plan For Success
You can regularly monitor key metrics right from your dashboard and gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of your online learning program by exporting your data in the format that works best for you and merging it with your internal business data.
Some of the most important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track include:
- Student engagement
- Completion rates
- Time to complete.
Setting Benchmarks for Key Metrics and Business Results
Finally, you should establish benchmarks that can serve as reference points to compare and measure your performance against your goals.
Analyzing your performance in relation to your benchmarks can help you pinpoint areas that require improvement and make strategic adjustments to optimize your course.
For example, you might want to set your engagement rate benchmark for your top-generating clients at 90%. If your course falls short of the goal, then you can use that to identify areas that might need improvement and pivot from there. Based on what your use case is, you would identify what you want to achieve at a high level and break it down into SMART goals.
Learn, Optimize, and Pivot Quickly
You’ve set up your metrics and identified which data points to measure and adjust—great! Now it’s time to fine-tune those metrics to ensure your course reaches its full potential. To achieve that you’ll need to:
Monitor your metrics in real-time
The key to driving growth in online learning at record speed is agility and responsiveness.
With Thinific’s intuitive analytics dashboard, you can keep an eye on your metrics in real time. It’s a great way to learn from your audience and make quick strategic adjustments for success.
Having a real-time analytics dashboard is an exceptional advantage to driving fast growth as it provides useful data without delays. This allows course creators to optimize and improve the learning experience for their students quickly and effectively.
For example, a live dashboard can allow course creators to maximize their launch momentum by closely monitoring the progress of your launch. This will enable them to make quick strategic changes in their course or their marketing as they learn about their audience’s behaviors.
Optimize and Pivot by Making Quick Strategic Adjustments
As you gain insights from your metrics, be ready to make quick adjustments to optimize your course and meet your learners’ needs.
This may include:
- Modifying your lessons
- Improving clarity
- Enhancing your course’s multimedia
- Including gamified quizzes
For example, let’s say you want to reduce your churn rate by offering an online onboarding course. But after launching the course, you quickly realize by tracking the completion rate as a weekly engagement metric that most of your audience drops at the fifth lesson.
By identifying lessons or topics with low engagement, creators can quickly pivot and optimize their content to boost engagement and improve student retention.
Don’t waste time delivering courses and content that doesn’t resonate with your audience. At Thinkific Plus we can help you quickly identify what works and what doesn’t so that each lesson or quiz delivers its intended value.
Create a Winning Marketing Strategy
Through the art of tailored marketing, you have the power to craft authentic and impactful opportunities that deeply resonate with your target audience. By making them feel heard, seen, and truly understood, you can ignite accelerated growth for your product or service.
According to a recent McKinsey study, companies that truly ace personalization drive revenue growth at lightning speed, leaving their competitors behind. In simpler terms, the better your organization gets at leveraging data to tailor your marketing strategy, the bigger the rewards!
The Power of Personalized Marketing
There are several ways in which you can apply personalized marketing to help your organization fast-track growth.
Some of these could include:
- Segmenting your audience
- Sending personalized email campaigns
- Offering personalized course recommendations
- Creating custom landing pages
- Post-course recommendations
Imagine this: you can spark excitement among customers who haven’t explored the platform by crafting tailored email campaigns that break down barriers. But hold on, it’s not just about the high-risk groups.
How about celebrating your most engaged audience by showering them with personalized emails? It’s all about making them feel connected and special.
So why wait? Leverage the power of marketing and data to captivate your customers, strike up conversations, and deliver top-notch support at every turn.
Report & Reinvest
The 6th step is the unsung hero of our proven success formula. It puts the spotlight on reporting and re-investment—two crucial components for sustainable growth.
Armed with the valuable results data, you’ll pinpoint the areas that could benefit the most from additional investment, propelling you towards even greater achievements. Let’s not overlook this vital step, often missed by teams.
Reporting isn’t just about showcasing the impact and success of your online learning program to yourself, investors, key stakeholders, B2B partners, and senior leadership. It’s about gaining measurable insights and constantly fine-tuning your approach, surpassing your previous performance.
Follow these simple, yet powerful steps to prove your ROI and discover where to reinvest. The journey to success starts here.
Assess Financial Resources
To kickstart your program’s growth, it’s crucial to first evaluate your financial resources strategically. Allocate your funds where they can make the greatest impact!
Precision allows you to make informed and exciting decisions. Explore running captivating marketing campaigns or leveling up your customer support with an expanded team!
To measure the success of your program, you need to calculate ROI (Return on Investment) and the payback period. To achieve this, you need to assess the financial impact of your course and determine how long it takes to recover your initial investment.
For example, let’s say you invested $10,000 in developing and marketing your course and generated $50,000 in revenue within six months. Your ROI would be 400% ($50,000 – $10,000 / $10,000 * 100%).
By understanding the ROI and payback period of your investment, you can better assess the potential impact of future decisions and invest where you can receive the most yield.
To calculate the ROI (Return on Investment) for your e-learning program simply divide the net profit by the initial investment and multiply the result by 100 to express it as a percentage.
The formula looks like this:
ROI = (Net Profit / Initial Investment) * 100.
For example, if your net profit is $50,000 and your initial investment was $10,000, the calculation would be ROI = ($50,000 / $10,000) * 100 = 500%.
Calculate Payback Period
The payback period represents the time it takes to recoup your initial investment.
To determine the payback period, you simply need to divide the initial investment by the net profit generated per unit of time (e.g., per month, quarter, or year).
The formula looks like this:
Payback Period = Initial Investment / Net Profit per Unit of Time.
For example, if your initial investment was $10,000 and you generated a net profit of $5,000 per month, the payback period would be 2 months ($10,000 / $5,000 = 2 months).
Identify Opportunity Areas
Now, let’s delve into new horizons and uncover untapped potential. Begin by brainstorming and making note of areas that require reinvestment for future growth.
Ever thought about venturing into another market? How about crafting courses in foreign languages to broaden your audience? The possibilities are endless!
Other examples of how reinvesting might be valuable include:
- Investing in more marketing campaigns
- Developing new content or expanding your online learning offerings with more courses, bundles, and memberships
- Training instructors
- Expanding your customer support team
- Investing in R&D
- Exploring new target markets
- Implementing new engagement strategies
Rinse & Repeat
Finally, you’ll want to rinse and repeat, making sure your organization spends enough time each quarter analyzing the performance of your program and setting a plan for moving forward.
As your business evolves, your strategies will need to continuously change and adapt to ensure your fast growth remains sustainable in the long term.
The Bottom Line on Driving Fast Growth with Online Learning
By following our 6-step proven success path, your organization can achieve fast growth with online learning. Our agile and data-driven formula can help you create a winning program that captivates your audience and delivers a positive impact to your ROI in record time.
Looking to drive fast growth and meet next quarter’s targets? Thinkific Plus makes it easier to launch courses quickly and effectively that can help your organization fast-track growth by offering high-value education at every stage of the customer journey. It’s so simple to use, that you can focus on growth—not worrying about technology.