Attracting non-members to purchase your premium courses and CE offerings is a challenge for most organizations. Review tips from Part 1 here.
Selecting Content Delivery Methods
When choosing how you want to organize and present your content, you need to consider who is it intended for. Your member and non-member personas should encapsulate how they prefer to consume content. As 2020 has proven, the virtualization of in-person learning can be adopted and, in many cases, preferred by several generations. Depending on the persona you are targeting, some non-members may prefer self-guided and on demand learning. Other learners may want a live session, with discussion and Q&A. To ensure that you are hitting multiple non-member personas, you may want to test some of these different delivery methods and scale the content to each one.
- On-demand courses
- Live instructor led training (ILT)
- Synchronous hybrid courses
To offer a wider scope of content delivery, having a learning management system that is robust enough to offer various formats is a key factor. There should be set criteria of what types of programs you plan to offer when evaluating an LMS. In addition to considering the content types, you will also want to ensure that a new LMS will fit into your other systems, such as your website, AMS and payment processing solution.
Marketing and Pricing
When trying to recruit non-members to absorb your premium content, it is crucial to segment your content to retain the value of the more sought-after content. This means that if you have a flagship certification or credentialing program that most of your members need for their profession, this is not the content worth discounting. However, to bring non-members to your content you may want to offer intro courses, or related topics that can bring them to your flagship offerings. Many CE providers will follow a certain $/credit or hour depending on what the topic is, however, you also need to consider the popularity, and uniqueness of the content to find the proper price.
Marketing content to non-members should follow a general outline, to ensure you are best using your resources and marketing budget to the best of your ability. Your marketing campaigns should follow this order:
- Start with the personas are you looking to attract for each campaign
- Assign a certain piece of content, or bundle offering that aligns with them
- Choose the promotional offer and pricing should be for this offer
- Select the channels that these personas interact with
- Deploy, measure and fine tune as you start to see results
After a non-member has completed a course, or digested multiple courses within a bundle, it is crucial to start marketing your membership, as well as additional content. As for all marketing, be sure to attribute the correct ROI (return on investment) to each unique campaign.
Incentivizing Member Referrals
While marketing efforts can drive a significant percentage of non-members to your content, there simply is no marketing vehicle more powerful than word-of-mouth. A recommendation from a respected peer is one of the most trusted sources of information and can help drive non-members to your doorstep. Many organizations have member referral programs that can include a discount on their membership, access to events and content, as well as prizes and monetary gifts. This same method can also be applied to individual piece of content. When marketing a new course to members, try offering a “bring a friend” discount that incentivizes them to reach out to a colleague to take the course with them.
At the end of all online or in-person courses, you should be offering an evaluation on the presentation, organization, and delivery of the content they just absorbed. This can also be an excellent time to ask the members for a referral for this course. Timing a referral inquiry to a positive experience your members just received can be far more effective than a routine request. These programs are virtually cost-free and can yield a heap of new members.