3 Questions Online Learning Platforms Must Answer for Prospects | Testing the Experience

This podcast dives deep into the world of conversions for online education. In an era where digital learning has become an integral part of our lives, we’re here to help digital education institutions communicate their product to prospective learners and instructors.

Join us as we explore the critical facets of selling tools for online learning, from accessibility and engagement to quality and support. Let’s get started and discover the three key questions that every online learning platform needs to answer for their prospective customers and teachers.

Podcast Highlight

0:00 Intro
2:40 Skillshare
3:46 Memrise
5:52 Sign Up Flow
6:28 Value Propositions


Podcaster 0:01

Welcome to today’s episode of Testing the Experience. This video is for those of you who are spending the time and money to get traffic to your site, but you’re not seeing a return from it. I’m here with our founder and CEO of Experiment Zone–AJ Davis–and we’re gonna talk about a few test examples, but first, let’s cover real quick - why we test

AJ Davis 0:26

Over the years, we’ve seen time and time again that the things we expect to have a big or small impact can surprise us. What we find is that by testing things, we can be clear on what’s going to impact customer behavior and ultimately, the signups or that conversion. We see examples of tests where just an individual test might lift something a few percentage points here and there. Other times we see a 10%, 15%, 20% global increase. By testing it, we know it works, and we learn about our customers.

Podcaster 1:00

All right! And what products are we going to look at today?

AJ Davis 1:04

Today, we are going to focus on companies that are providing online learning platforms.

Podcaster 1:09

All right! Let’s dive right into it and understand how the customer thinks, and what the site should be focusing on to make sure that they’re communicating with the customer. So what’s the first thing that the sites need to look at?

AJ Davis 1:23

These sites need to communicate with their prospective customers. What is the content that’s offered here? What am I going to learn? What kind of skills can I acquire by signing up for an account here? So we’ll get a few examples of that today. Here, we have two search bars in the homepage hero, we also see “What do you want to learn.” In this case, this is appealing to someone who knows what they want to learn and to search for something in particular. They have hundreds of thousands of courses available very prominently displayed under the hero, but there are not a lot of examples given until you get further down the page. An opportunity here would be to give some examples of categories earlier on the list or to talk about some recent skills or new things that have been added.

Further down the page, we see some categories that are shown, these top categories. I’d love to test out just switching these top data categories with those specific courses. It may be in this case that people have a general sense of what kinds of things they want to learn, but they’re not quite ready to pick a specific course. If we look at another example, on the other extreme, a very simple page from Skillshare. They are talking about creativity here, it gives you kind of a sense of the types of courses they may offer, and they are also really heavily depending on these background images to convey it. Now, we’re not seeing anything showing from below the fold, so as we scroll down, we do discover that there is more on this page. A very basic task that I’d like them to explore is just shortening that hero image so that customers can see all the stuff that is below the fold. That will communicate the types of courses and learning available here.

Podcaster 3:19

Okay, making sure that they convey what content is offered is the first thing, then what’s another thing that the site should think about?

AJ Davis 3:28

It’s a competitive space. People want to know, does this work? What’s the social proof of using this particular company to learn and acquire these skills? What’s the payoff? How long does this take? What did people think about the experience of it? Let’s look at a couple of examples of that, with that lens in mind. With Memrise, with this French course, they’re laying out how this is going to work, here are the steps and stages to getting the information and learning French. But there’s not a lot here that’s telling you this is why it works or how it works, that you have a sentence hidden. In that first section, in the second paragraph, it says, “Join millions of people already learning for free here.” That is hidden. I’d like for them to increase the prominence of that, whether it’s highlighting that number in some way with a visual icon, or perhaps showcasing a specific star rating or number of reviews that people have left. So people can understand the social backing that’s available for this product.

Podcaster 4:40

All right! Let’s look at another site and how they do it.

AJ Davis 4:45

On the flip side here, we’re seeing very clearly the 4.5 reviews, over 100,000 ratings, and lots and lots of students, so four times the number of students. These are great data points. It is getting a little bit lost here with all that’s going on on this page. I’d love for them to experiment with simplifying some of the other content, potentially these action items like “wish list,” “share,” and “gift this course.” I’d love for them to explore minimizing some of those calls to action and a test to see if by drawing attention to those ratings, they get more people to ultimately add to the cart and buy.

Podcaster 5:24

Alright! So that’s social proof and making sure that they have that. Then what’s the next thing that these sites should consider?

AJ Davis 5:32

We need to understand, “How am I going to use this?” “What does it look like for me to acquire the skills through the site?” “Do I need to log into the website?” “Are there other platforms I can use?” “Can I access it on my mobile device?” And “what tools are needed?” “Is there a schedule for the classes?” Or “is it asynchronous?” So we’ll look at a couple of the signup flows to see how much information is provided. Here is a very simple signup flow and start learning. I don’t have a lot of context about how it’s gonna work, that might be on the homepage, or it might be somewhere else. The type of information we might need right before making a decision is knowing “How am I going to use this?” “How easy it is to access from anywhere?” Adding a couple of value propositions around that would be helpful, potentially on a signup page like this.

Podcaster 6:27

And one more signup page.

AJ Davis 6:28

Similar feedback here, we see there’s a subscribe, give membership limited offer here. We don’t even know what site we’re on when we get to this signup flow because we don’t even have the brand name or some information about the courses or the learning here. I think there’s an opportunity to highlight the value propositions, what’s going to happen after I get an account? Am I getting a membership at this stage? or is that sort of the next step? So playing around with the messaging of value propositions by signups and calls to action will be impactful to conversion once you get it right. And that’s what testing will tell us.

Podcaster 7:09

Okay, conveying that information is the last one, but there are other things that these sites can do to improve their conversion, right, AJ?

AJ Davis 7:17

Absolutely! It’s really about getting an experimentation mindset. So testing anything that could impact customer behaviour that would lead or prohibit them from converting and signing up for the service. This is something we help teams with time and again, to make experimentation, the driving force for their customers, to learn about their customers, learn what works, learn what doesn’t. And by being very thoughtful in this, our customers get a 10x or greater ROI from working with us.

Podcaster 7:51

Yes, that’s a satisfying ROI to give our customers. Well, thank you, AJ, for walking us through all of those, those are helpful. If you are looking to increase the revenue on your site and your conversions, you can visit experimentzone.com and get your free conversion report card. Three conversion insights can put some immediate fixes into your site, the link will be in the comments. And of course, please subscribe to the YouTube channel for all the upcoming Testing the Experience videos.



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