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Online Learning Platforms: Here’s Your Cheat Sheet for Reducing Churn

No need to study! Here's one way to optimize marketing performance for E-learning platforms (there's more to download)

As the old saying goes, there’s plenty of reason to “learn something new every day.” This time around, we did the homework for you, though.

While various online learning platforms (providers) differentiate between students and instructors (users) in their marketing efforts, they’re not always able to reach a granular level of segmentation within each group.

That’s what we’re here for – we can teach you how!

Let us begin by writing this on the blackboard: With the rising costs of acquiring new users, you need to find ways to optimize their retention. Batching and blasting communications without appropriate segmentation and personalization will bring to unnecessarily high costs, irrelevant marketing efforts, and churned users.

Today, we’ll focus on the final segment – churn users.

The Homework – Finding the Churners

With Optimove, you have the tools to take an individualized approach to churn. A leading online learning platform found a unique way to reduce churn by identifying engagement frequency.

Here’s how they passed the test.

A student’s engagement frequency is a clear indicator of their likelihood to churn. You can reveal two types of students who are at risk of churn:

  1. Students who missed several regular engagements
  2. Students whose frequency is too high and are at risk for burnout

It is common for churn prevention communications to offer more substantial incentives that can cut into profit margins. That’s why it’s imperative to discover when each student is actually at risk of churning.

For example, for some students, missing two engagements won’t necessarily be a cause for alarm and shouldn’t warrant churn prevention communications. While for others, it should, as every student truly is different (just like in a physical classroom).

What you can do to achieve this is to assign a specific churn and burnout factor to each student. To deliver the relevant communication strategy, you must accurately predict a student’s current state.

The Formula for Success

At Optimove, we calculate a student’s churn factor by dividing each student’s time since last engagement by each one’s activity frequency.

For example – in “how often the student has taken a lesson,” the burnout factor is calculated by the student’s average number of lessons per week divided by each one’s individual number of lessons in the past week.

In the table below, you will find a sample marketing plan for churn and burnout prevention:

It is important to note that the higher the churn factor or lower the burnout factor, the more likely the student is to churn. Creating customized communications using multiple email templates can easily account for both types of students.

For example, for some online learning platforms, a churn factor above two or a burnout factor below 0.8 could indicate a higher propensity to churn.

The Churn Factor and Burnout Factor Flow:

Key Notes

E-learning is more important than ever before. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic as students continue to turn to online learning platforms. Whether it be to invest in personal development, increase their career opportunities, or broaden their horizons – online learning providers need to find ways to ensure that their platform is top-of-mind when taking another course.

Providing positive student experiences increases student lifetime value while decreasing churn – but it also increases the likelihood that a student will recommend the platform to their friends and colleagues.

This is just one way to score an A+ on your churn reduction test. Read more here on E-learning platforms and how to optimize your marketing flow.

For more information on how to get good grades on your CRM marketing report card, download the Optimove use case for online learning platforms.

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Gabriella Laster

Gabriella Laster is Product Marketing Manager at Optimove, responsible for prospect marketing and product messaging. Gabriella holds a B.A. in International Relations and English Literature and an Executive MBA from Hebrew University.