Three pieces of advice that will help increase customer retention rates and generate value that exceeds your customer acquisition costs.
Grow your business, Not your inbox
Stay up to date and subscribe to our daily newsletter now!
5 min read
The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.
Most course creators focus primarily on getting a course off to a successful start. Who can blame them? "The Launch" has considerable anticipation. When the numbers crack, however, something surprising emerges: the start is not the decisive factor for the success of a course. Rather, it is its lifetime value. FieldBoom statistics show that the cost of finding and engaging a new customer can be up to five times the cost of reselling to an existing customer. This means that if you want to keep profits high, maintaining (or in) your current customer base, the student base is the way to go.
Maintaining an existing customer base should be more than half the focus of a course creator when developing and continuing an online course or series of courses. But how does it work? While every course and customer base is different, the following pieces of advice will help keep your current students informed and focused, thereby increasing the retention rate and creating lifelong value that exceeds your customer acquisition costs.
Related: 10 Online Courses Under $ 11 to Make You a Faster, Smarter Entrepreneur
1. Prioritize the user experience
There's one big problem that can ruin your course even after a student has already bought it: the attention deficit. It's one thing to buy a course that is excited about the results. Taking an online course in your spare time is something entirely different. Michal Kyselica is the founder of FORLOGIS, a custom membership platform that helps writers, coaches, and course creators add the lifetime value of their product by emphasizing the user experience. "People don't pay for information," explains Kyselica. "There is a wealth of information they need on the internet. What they pay for are results, and their user experience goes straight to their ability to get results from your course."
Their process is based on research and they have found that one of the factors that determine the quality of the user experience is ease of navigation. For example, if a student starts a class, then gets distracted, and returns there in the next week, how easy will it be for the student to pick up where they left off? These little details produce big results. The easier it is for a student to complete the course and secure the results, the higher its lifetime value.
2. Create a natural evolution of the products
Create products that support your customers' journey and encourage them to buy from you again. For example, maybe your flagship course is Social Media Influence 101. What is a natural evolution from this first course that the student might be interested in? Perhaps a second course in this case could be How To Monetize Your Influence On Social Media. If they have learned a lot and see results from the first course, they are more likely to buy the second, third, fourth, etc. because they trust you now.
You can track the first group of students using email sequences. Power Digital Marketing calls this type of email sequencing the win-back sequence. "Win-back streaks are used to encourage expired customers to re-engage," they advise. “You know the time frame that is best for your audience. However, if your product is not seasonal, you will most likely want to reach out to customers who haven't engaged in the past four to six months. "
This should be a reasonable timeframe to assume you have completed the first course, but also how closely you can keep track of who finishes and who doesn't. These email sequences can also be used to "push" students who have not yet reached the finish line.
3. Offer discounts to loyal students
To further encourage students to continue their customer journey, combine the trust you've built with them with an irresistible proposition. This could be something like "For students only: 50 percent off course # 2 for this week only". That way, the student feels part of something that gives them loyalty benefits, and the urgency of the discount period prompts immediate action. This also promotes their quality of life, because the more they buy from you and the more they achieve through you, the more likely it is that they will also buy from you in the future – even without a discount.
Related Topics: 4 Important Points To Consider Before Creating An Online Course
Be creative about your grooming, but also reflect on the most important basic need that will help the consumer build trust in you: How to deliver results. This directly reflects the quality of the information you shared, the action items and results you suggested, and the user experience with which they are sufficiently busy to complete the course. It's like building blocks: once you have that first solid foundation of trust, you can continue to build and nurture loyalty. This is preferable not only for your profit margins, but also for the reputation of your course and the real impact your students are having on you.