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Market Your Course: 101

Instructor Communication

Instructor announcements help energize students to explore all the courses you teach on Udemy. AND effective announcements help energize students to explore all the courses you teach on Udemy and engage students in your course material. Udemy’s announcement feature empowers instructors to communicate directly with students. Announcements are written by instructors and delivered by Udemy directly to student email inboxes.

Promotional emails are delivered by Udemy via email to your students. They should only include links to your Udemy courses (external links are not allowed).

Announcements are delivered by Udemy via email to your students, and are also posted in the “Announcement” section of your course. Announcements should only feature free resources related to your course material (Udemy links are not allowed).

Continue reading to learn how to create great promotional emails and announcements.

PROMOTIONAL EMAILS: 

Promotional emails enable you to promote your other Udemy courses to your current student list. Use these emails to let students know about your newly published course or existing courses on Udemy.

New! Understanding your Promotional Email Analytics:
To help you understand the effectiveness of the announcements you send to students, we’re happy to announce some exciting new analytics features for measuring the success of your promotional emails.

For any new Promotional Emails you send, these new analytics numbers will update in the “Communications” section of your course management page, under the Promotional Emails tab:

  • Open Rate. This metric tells you the percentage of students who opened the email, out of all who received it.
    Udemy Benchmark: The average open rate on Udemy for promotional emails is 25%
    If your open rate is below 25% click here to learn how to optimize your subject lines for higher open rates.
  • CTR. Measures the ratio of unique students who click any link within the email, to the number of emails opened.
    Udemy Benchmark: The average CTR on Udemy for promotional emails is 9%

    • If your CTR is below 9% continue reading for tips on how to produce engaging content
  • Unsubscribe Rate. The percentage of students who received the email that unsubscribed from receiving these types of emails from you in the future.
    Udemy Benchmark: The average unsubscribe rate on Udemy for promotional emails is 0.08%

    • If your unsubscribe rate is higher than 0.08%, make sure your content is relevant and engaging to students. Students don’t like to be spammed, so don’t send them information that doesn’t relate to your Udemy courses. Don’t send Promotional Emails to or about courses where you’re not an active instructor. This kind of behavior can lead to up to 5-times higher unsubscribe rates.

Tips for creating great Promotional Emails:

  • Launch your new Udemy course, send an announcement to your existing Udemy student list, and even include a discount if you’re feeling generous
  • Run a seasonal sale or temporary deal for a holiday
  • Quote real students’ feedback (ask for permission!) about the courses you want to promote
  • Use Advanced Targeting to specify who your Promotional Emails will go to:
    • Students in a specific course
    • Students who joined your course during a specific time period
    • Students who have completed a specific percentage of the course

Please note: These emails are only for promoting your Udemy courses. Students want to hear from their own instructors. Don’t send Promotional Emails to or about courses where you’re not an active instructor. This kind of behavior can lead to up to 5-times higher unsubscribe rates.

EXAMPLE: Anthony Alicea wanted to celebrate his new course ranking. Not only did he raise his enrollment by nearly 30% from the previous day, but 74% of new students enrolled due to the following announcement:

“Hello all!

I’m happy to announce and celebrate that ‘Learn and Understand AngularJS’ is currently the number one paid course on Udemy! (see here – [insert a link to your course]).

Just as exciting is, the number two paid course on Udemy is now my new course ‘ Javascript: Understanding the Weird Parts’ which takes a deep ‘under the hood’ dive into the Javascript programming language. It gives you a deep understanding which will greatly help your Angular work, and any other and future Javascript framework you work in. 

In celebration for 24 hours I’m offering a personal coupon to get my 12-hour Javascript course for only $10. 

This is the lowest price I’ll ever offer it for. Get the course at this like [insert course link] or use the coupon code XXXXXX.

This course has 155 five-star ratings with comments like:

“This is the best material I have seen presented on Javascript period.”

“If you think you ‘kinda’ understand JavaScript, watch this…and then, if you’re like me, you’ll realize you had no idea.”

“Best course I’ve taken on Udemy”

“I insisted that all my teammates take this course and now we are significantly more productive. I guarantee you will learn something important by lesson 10!”

…and many, many more. If you like, the first 3 hours are free to preview.

Happy coding, and thanks for being a student!

Tony Alicea”

This email was adjusted to promote the AngularJS course to the Javascript students as well. Make sure to keep your promotions relevant to each course, even if it means crafting a new message!

Take a page from Tony’s book and try a few of these techniques for your promotional emails:

  • Run a temporary deal based on a holiday, season, or other exciting event
  • Loop in real student feedback to encourage students to join the course
  • Promote relevant courses by sending separate announcements to specific courses

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Educational Announcements, now known simply as “Announcements,” are a way for you to give your students updates about a course you teach, share resources related to your course topic, and “re-activate” student interest in your course. We’ve seen inspiring, effective Announcements boost engagement among students by as much as 86%, overnight!

New! Understanding your Announcement Analytics:

To help you understand the effectiveness of the announcements you send to students, we’re happy to announce some exciting new analytics features for measuring the success of your announcements.

For new Announcements you send, these analytics will begin to update in the “Communications” section of your course management page, under the Announcements tab:

  • Open Rate. This metric tells you the percentage of students who opened the email, out of all who received it.
    Udemy Benchmark: The average open rate on Udemy for Announcements is 26%

  • CTR. Measures the ratio of unique students who click any link within the email, to the number of emails opened.
    Udemy Benchmark: The average CTR on Udemy for Announcements is 5%

    • If your CTR is below 5% continue reading for tips on how to produce engaging announcements
  • Unique Views. Since these Announcements are posted in the “Announcements” section in the course itself, this counts the number of unique students who viewed the Announcement within the course taking experience.
  • Unsubscribe Rate. This is the percentage of students who received the email that unsubscribed from receiving these types of emails from you going forward.
    Udemy Benchmark: The average unsubscribe rate on Udemy for Announcements is 0.13%

    • If your unsubscribe rate is higher than 0.13%, make sure your content is relevant and engaging to students. Students don’t like to be spammed, so don’t send them information that doesn’t relate to your Udemy courses and don’t include Udemy links in your announcements, these should be sent in your promotional emails.

Tips for creating great Announcements:

  • Include a contest or call to action and challenge students to finish certain lectures or sections of the course
  • Inspire your students with news from the field and keep them engaged on the subject matter
  • Let students know when you’ve updated or added content, your investment in the course will grab their attention

Remember, announcements are meant to activate and re-engage your students and bring them back to your course. Don’t direct students to promotional material, on or off-site. That’s a violation of our policies.

Instructors who send useful Educational Announcements can see a significant increase in the number of students engaging with your content.

EXAMPLE 1: Warm Welcomes
A few days after Seth launched his course, he sent out an inspiring announcement that boosted visits to his course page by 86%! Check it out:

“Welcome and thanks for taking the freelancer course. I’m thrilled to be helping you move up – more and more people are realizing just how capable they are.

A few suggestions as you dig in: 

If you possibly can, find someone to take the course with, or find someone who’s already in the course to discuss your challenges with. It’s easy to post in each section of the class, and you’ll be delighted to see how open your fellow students are to hearing from you. This is the first and best step to getting the most out of this course–learning from other freelancers.

If they audio or video ever stops, go ahead and restart your browser. This happens rarely, but I’m told a restart helps.

I wanted to give a public thanks to Winnie Kao, Michele Daoud and everyone else who has helped me bring this course to you. And thanks to Keller Williams for his extraordinary music.

Photographers, if you get a chance, check out Dane Sanders’ writing and podcasts. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t point you to Bernadette Jiwa’s work on telling a story and Dan Pink’s on selling. [All links are to free content…(Seth included links to free content in his message)]

PS If the course resonates with you, I’d appreciate it if you would post a review, and please, feel free to invite your friends to take it as well.

Go make a ruckus.

Send this type of announcement shortly after your course launches or after any large waves of enrollments. Here’s the recipe for success:

  • Craft a strong introduction: “Welcome to the course that will…”
    • …change your life with the power of your keyboard!
    • …give you the tools to build your confidence and start your own business!
    • …(enter your specific mission here!)
  • Offer advice for getting started:
    • Advise students to take the course with a friend or Udemy colleague, post on the discussion board, ask questions, stay involved, and keep learning.
    • Let students know that you and their classmates are there to help and support each other!
  • (optional) Link to free resources:
    • You can provide free resources within your supplemental materials sections of your lectures, or you can let your students know about updates in the field continuously by linking to an article or blog post
    • Remember, if you’re going to use external resources, don’t link to paid content, “squeeze pages,” or other non-educational material. Announcements should not be used for promotional purposes.
  • Inspiration!
    • Seth Godin’s “Go make a ruckus” echoed through his course. Motivate students with your own words of wisdom!

EXAMPLE 2: Contests
Having trouble with engagement? You may want to try a contest to incentivize course completion. Sometimes students need an extra push to get them to the end of the course! Check out how Silviu holds his contests:

“What are the rules of this Contest?

In order to be eligible, you need to be as active as possible inside the 10x Your Potential – How to Become a Top Performer course. For that:

  1. You need to watch at least 80% of this course
  2. You need to be as active as possible inside the Discussions Section of this course. Open Discussions and ask questions, share your experience, be critical, make suggestions. You need to challenge me as I want to truly help you succeed. The more discussions you open, the higher the probability it is to be memorable and Win!!!

Duration of the Contest: September 6th – September 13th 2015

What are the criteria for choosing the winners?

-The quality of the interaction(s) inside the Discussions Section

-The percentage of the course watched

On September 14th, I will choose the 4 winners of one Amazon.com Gift Cards worth $10/per winner. The lucky ones will be revealed on September 15th with the next Educational Announcement.

So, what are you waiting for? Start watching the video lectures, Be involved inside the Discussions Section and Make a Difference in your life!

Disclaimer: I don’t collect personal information from students. As an Instructor, I hold the contest using your Udemy username, so I will not ask you for your email or anything like that. I will contact the winners through the Udemy direct messaging system. If the prize winners will prefer to have their prize delivered through another channel, I will work that out with them at their own choice.”

Here’s how you can hold a successful contest within policy:

  • Offer a prize to one lucky winner or up to five students
  • Reassure students that you do not collect their personal information, and ensure that you can deliver the prize through an alternate safe channel if needed.
  • Have one or more measures of participation such course completion, questions, or discussion posts. Make sure that you don’t ask them to leave a review in order to win a prize. That would be considered against Udemy policies, since it would be considered an exchange of reviews for goods or services.

Start creating announcements now by visiting your instructor dashboard.

Take Me to My Instructor Dashboard