How to Successfully Start and Scale Your E-learning Business

How the E-learning Business Model Works

Given the monetization opportunities this market shows, it’s only natural to wonder how the e-learning business model works. Here are several of the most popular online learning formats:

On-demand E-learning

Today’s world presents itself with awesome opportunities at every turn, so much so that balancing a busy schedule of professional tasks, family time, and personal growth can prove to be a daunting task. Nowadays, learners, like any other modern consumers, are burdened with the usual “places to go, people to meet” framework. That’s where on-demand e-learning comes into the picture.

Subscription E-learning

Like its on-demand counterpart, the subscription model provides ease of access tailored to the availability of the consumer. The difference from the previous model lies in its financing. In the on-demand e-learning model the customer pays per course, whereas the subscription model — as you might guess– implies a necessary recurring payment from the consumers.

E-learning Measured Against Classical Models

There are numerous reasons why today’s consumers may favor an e-learning approach versus traditional education. E-learning frees users of the headaches of commuting, managing a schedule, and even having to put on appropriate office attire. At the same time, educators are no longer confined to teaching to a limited group of individuals at a singular time and can generate their customer base pretty much indefinitely.

Growth Strategies for E-learning Success

By now you’ve probably formed an impression about the industry, how it works, its benefits, and the tremendous opportunities that can arise in this sector in the future. However, you’re likely still far from knowing exactly how to start a successful e-learning business.

Importance of Global Capabilities and Localized Experience

The growth potential of your e-learning business greatly depends on the scale of your operations and on your ability to localize the learning experience. Since the limits of your audience can expand exponentially, why shouldn’t they? Around 1.35 billion people worldwide speak English while slightly more than 1.12 billion are Mandarin Chinese speakers. Add Hindi and Spanish to the math with totals of 600 and 543 million speakers respectively and you’re very close to covering half of the world’s population.

Payments, Checkout, and Onboarding

The way your users experience your online course can make the difference between a successful business and a struggling one. Friction points in the user journey can seriously harm your funnel, and it all starts with onboarding.

Trial Strategies

Offering free trials is an excellent tactic to get your first course sign-ups, allowing users to experiment the product before committing to a purchase.

Customer Engagement

So, you’ve scaled your customer base indefinitely, hooked in your audience with tailored localized experiences, gotten them to sign the dotted line after a well-executed trial strategy, and have gained their trust (and money). Although everything is working great so far, the most critical part is about to start.

Retention Strategies

Some common retention strategies will include price optimization, upsells and cross sells, rewards programs, and strategic placement of offers and discounts. While all these can and will work in some respects, and must be included, they are missing the main point. As with anything in business, it all gets down to knowing your customer and meeting their expectations to a T or as close as possible. Sure, churn is inevitable, and some clients will leave no matter what. However, implementing the right practices will guarantee that many more customers will fall in love and stay.

Data Analytics

Data is the missing link between common anecdotal knowledge and factual reality, and provides the information you need to know everything about your target audience. A subscription e-learning model gives you access to all types of usage and financial data, thus allowing you to make faster business decisions and optimize the experience. Tracking essential metrics like monthly recurring revenue, growth rate, customer lifetime value, churn rate, and customer acquisition cost will shine a light on how you fare in terms of profitability. Tracking metrics like number of hours spent in the learning platform, most-often-viewed categories, or the number of key actions the user takes during the course will help you understand how students are experiencing the learning process.

Learning Management Systems (LMS) — What Functionalities You’ll Need

LMSs are just like content management systems, but for learning. (Think WordPress but dedicated to hosting online courses.) Although these might seem complex, you’ll be amazed by how little you can get away with, if your resources are limited. In fact, e-learning business start-ups or small companies can even opt for one of the many free open-source systems available.



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2Checkout (now Verifone)

2Checkout (now Verifone)

2Checkout (now Verifone) is the leading all-in-one monetization platform for global businesses built to help clients drive sales growth across channels.