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An Online Learner’s Customer Journey

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Every learner is different, whether it’s the topics they’re interested in, the medium of learning distribution they prefer, their goals, or what stage they are in their careers. As such, you need effective strategies to guide your learners through the customer journey.

Get To Know The Learners of the Digital World

This journey, however, isn’t linear. There is no clear-cut and universal series of stages that all learners undergo before they sign up for your course or enroll in your program. They might start with researching for online courses or they might convert right away without going through the funnel.

The graph by Class Central below shows just how huge the MOOC market has grown in just a single year, measured through website traffic. Without a properly laid out customer journey, it will be hard to identify areas where you can improve your strategies.

When we think about what actions these learners take when they’re looking for online courses, we first need to identify what their needs and goals are. Examples of typical goals students try to achieve are:

  • For K12 students: To supplement and solidify what they’re currently learning in class.
  • Undergraduates and graduates: Developing skills that align with the industry they’re trying to break into.
  • Employees: Enhancing their current skill sets to use in their everyday work and acquiring credentials needed to move up their careers.

Besides these broad categories for learners, you can further group them according to demographics and learning goals or create personas, which ensures a more personalized targeting when advertising.

Map Out Your Weak Areas in Your Learners’ Customer Journey

Traditional educational organizations typically map their students’ journey to pinpoint where exactly students are in their enrollment process. Some of the stages included are:

  • Discovery phase where students become acquainted with education institutions and what they have to offer them
  • Evaluation phase where students conduct research in order to find out more about these said institutions.
  • Application phase where these institutions are put in comparison with one another, in order to narrow down the choices for students.

The same can be said for online learning. In a way, these stages are much more accelerated online, especially with the abundance of new and free courses available. Research for these programs typically consist of learners interacting with various digital touchpoints.

Maximize Your Digital Touchpoints

Digital touchpoints are the interactions individuals may have had with your company. Keep in mind that each target audience will have different sets of expectations and engagement with these touchpoints.

With the right strategy, these can further ignite interest for learners to consider whether or not they should enroll in your programs. Some of these touchpoints include:

  • Company Website
  • Social Media Sites
  • Display Ads
  • Reviews

Although some of these touchpoints like blogs and in-platform reviews can’t be controlled, others can be improved upon in order to maximize the activity generated by the channels. In doing so, it’s crucial to identify pain points learners might encounter in their journey that haven’t been addressed by competitors yet.

An example would be your website not providing sufficient information to get prospects to convert. By smoothing out this friction, you lose fewer potential students along the way. Check out our article on conversion rate optimization to drive higher sales to your website.

Ultimately, these touchpoints should widen your reach and boost excitement for your learners along their customer journey.

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