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15 Ways To Promote Elearning Programs
Pre-note: In this article, teleclass is an example used toillustrate one type of an eLearning market. The tips work thesame for other eLearning programs, including, but notlimited to, teleseminars and ecourses.
In the mid-1990s, the teleclass format began and was named,distance learning. During these early years, learninginstitutions, particularly universities, were chief users ofthis format. Mainly due to the large equipment investmentneeded at that time. Now, due to technology changes andcost reduction, people can give and attend ePrograms withoutleaving their chair or selling their first child. Noparking challenges, auto expenses, or travel time required.Another benefit to learning by phone is that your listeningskills will reach new heights quickly.
In 2003, technology allowed a single conference line toexpand from 30 to 150 participants per line. Affordableconference lines were previously only available in certainstates, Florida and Nevada. Now other states like NewYork are jumping in on this bandwagon with affordablerates.
Currently, a 24/7 conference line, is available for rentat around $600 a year. An alternative is to rent the line bythe hour. This can range between $10 to $20 per hourdepending on the service features desired. You can alsoshare a line with one or two others to reduce your cost. Irecommend finding line-share partners who are in other timezones, it makes sharing easier.
Zero-cost teleconference lines are available athttp://www.mrconference.com and from other vendors. Most ofthese services have flaws that range from automaticdisconnect if no voice is detected every 8 to 10 minutes, tobeing blocked from entering the call because of overstressedlines. I recommend the leader dialing in 5 to 10 minutesearly to secure the line, however, this doesn't mean thatall participants may not experience over trafficked busysignals.
Actually, teleprograms will not take the place of "beingthere" for all people. The skills and experiences of theteleclass leader or host can also make or break the learningexperience. There are just as many teleclass leader stylesas people. If you have never experienced a teleclass, Irecommend attending four or five before deciding if theformat is or isn't for you.
15 Tips To Help Promote Your eLearning Programs
1. If you produce your own eNewsletter, electronicnewsletter, or eZine, electronic magazine, or printednewsletter, add an eLearning announcement section.
2. Contact other newsletter editors and ask to have yourprogram 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 perclick-through. I don't recommend paying for click-throughsunless excellent tracking systems are in place. In order toattract, make sure their target market and yours match.
3. You can also use pay-per-click through search engineslike Google’s AdWord program. If you go this route, Isuggest you purchase an ad analyzer software (about $100) ora service (average $19.95/month) to maximize time and reducemistakes.
4. Place notices all over your web site -- especially on yourmain page -- about the program. Remember: postingannouncement notices is actually passive marketing. Youwill still need to pull visitors to the site.
5. Write and distribute Internet articles on the samesubject. Unable to write, hire a ghostwriter. Allow fourto twelve weeks for this process to begin pulling visitorsto your website. The number of articles distributed willproportionally be your return. My low end measurement hasbeen: 1 article = 10 visitors or more = 8 new eNewslettersubscribers = 1 sale. High end: 1 article = 350 newvisitors = 125 new subscribers = 10 sales. This is now oneof the top five Internet promotion building attractions.
6. Since ePrograms don't require people to be physicallypresent, attendance is now open internationally. Thus, youwill want to distribute information about your eLearningopportunity globally. Find places in other English-speakingcountries like the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, andNew Zealand. If you speak a foreign language, you can evenoffer the same program in that language. Spanish speakingePrograms are in high demand.
7. Mention your eProgram on other ePrograms you attend to.You can slip it in with a question or when presenting yourpersonal information to the class.
8. Add a promotional paragraph about the program to all youroutgoing e-mails, called signatures in Outlook. Choose HTMLdesign in your software and add a picture of the leader/hostalong with a link to where someone can register or find outadditional information.
9. Join market-rich discussion lists, billboards, or chatrooms. If direct solicitation isn't permitted, sell gentlythrough your signature or through indirect questions.
10. Write a press release for each eProgram. Become amember of PR Web http://www.prweb.com/. Membership isfr*e*e. This number one website attracts a very highpercentage of media personnel.
11. Accumulate a list of all the local newspapers that offerfr*e*e community event announcements. Inquire into theirdeadline and submission requirements. You will also want toask how can you confirm receipt of your information. Theydon't intentionally leave information out, however, theymove 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 advertisinginformation. You can also save the information in your e-mail software, like Outlook, and in your Internet browsersoftware, in a separate "Community newspaper" section.However, if the hard drive crashes, make sure theinformation is safe. Due to the value of this information andthe amount of time you spent accumulating it, you still maywant to keep updated printouts just in case. Even a backupdiskette in the binder will do. Having a paper version also helpswhen the computer is off or when you need to transport theinformation. This is also a great item to delegate to avirtual assistant.
12. Add your announcement to your telephone answeringscript. Change it whenever you are offering a new eProgram.Give instructions as to how to register -- and it’simportant to make this as easy as possible for them. Don'tforget 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 andto attract participants to register for longer paid programs.Offers can include: ebooks, ecourses, special reports, oreven professional white papers. Offering a transcriptionof the program or an audio copy is another great offer.
14. List your class in teleclass directories. Somedirectories require that you attend their particularteleclass-leading course. A big downfall in time andexpense in the short-run, however, good investment for thelong term. Here are a few directories to get you started:http://www.seminarannouncer.comhttp://www.teleclass4u.comhttp://www.teleclasslive.comhttp://www.teleclass.comhttp://www.thefeelgoodplace.com/freetele.htmhttp://www.Yahoogroups.com -- over 30 places to post youreProgram listing.
15. If you give speaking engagements or even when youparticipate in other events, seminars, workshops, give outflyers of your eProgram. Works well in networking groupstoo. Take the flyers to the libraries, senior and civiccenters.
FYI, names of ePrograms can seem confusing at times,however, there is a standard for what to expect depending onthe name. A teleseminar usually has very little interactionbetween the leader and the attendees. It is set up to instruct and forparticipants to solely listen. Sometimes a brief Q&A periodis spaced in-between subtopic changes.
On the other hand, a teleclass provides more time forparticipant to participant or participant to leaderinteraction. It has a higher ratio of free forming. Ateleclass format copies more of the workshop atmosphere. Ateleprogram, is a teleclass delivered over a period of time,like a class at a learning institution. The term eProgramis a compilation, or overview term, of all electronicallydelivered learning programs.
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