Does a shopkeeper ignore their customers when they walk into their store?
Likewise, you would be a fool to ignore what your web traffic and data analytics are telling you. If you sell courses online then you need to pay attention to the key metrics for growing your learning business.
We understand that running your own online training business is no easy feat, so we have developed this valuable resource for learning professionals who want to know how to utilize reports for course improvement and growth.
We will recommend to you:
- Top Sales Reporting Metrics
- What to expect from LMS reporting
- How to use data to improve the course content and sell more
- What reports one should measure for growth in learning business
Data analytics plays a major role in improving how to sell online courses and it all starts with reporting.
Why is Data Vital to my Learning Business
According to Report Linker, the Learning industry is expected to grow by 110% by 2026, with companies wanting to train their employees making up the majority of the growth. A report by Finances Online says that 93% of companies globally plan to adopt online learning to advance their organization's core objectives.
With such massive growth, competition is fierce and you will need every edge you can to carve out your niche to create and sell online courses.
You do not need to be an analytics expert to understand what the data is telling you. Analytics, whether from Google, your LMS, or another source will provide you with pre-determined reports. This will allow you to create and customize your own reports based on your goals, as well as ad-hoc reports for day-to-day use. These reports will display data using a variety of visual graphics.
When you adopt a metrics-based approach to your learning business, you can make data-driven decisions to improve course content and sales.
But which metrics are important in growing your business?
Analytics Reports for Measuring Growth in Learning Business
Google Analytics will provide you with a plethora of reporting metrics, however, your LMS should also have an assortment of analytics and pre-built reports specifically developed for online learning. More importantly, you must ensure that your organizational goals align with the reporting being offered by your LMS.
If you do not have a formal business map that outlines your organization's core objectives, as well as departmental objectives and goals, then you must develop one before getting started. When choosing a new LMS for your online course, be sure that your LMS aligns with your goals, rather than fit your goals into their LMS box.
There are a basic set of analytical metrics that you need to understand. If you pay attention to them, they will provide insights that you can use to make adjustments across all departments to improve your learning business and sell more courses online.
What to Expect from Google Analytics
How much time do learners spend on your LMS?
While it is true that every student learns at a different pace, by reading your analytics you will determine if your learner is engaged in the course material. If your reports are showing that some learners are spending less and less time (often displayed as a line graph) on your platform, less engaged in the community and the course contents, then it would be time for interjection. Noticing a drop-off in time spent online is only one of many improvements you can learn and adjust from this metric.
Abandoned Sessions and Lessons
Why do learners abandon their lessons? How frequently does this happen? Which courses in your catalog does this happen the most?
The answers to these questions are easily found and displayed visually for you in an easy-to-interpret format. If this is a problem that you have experienced, you can set up alerts for instructors when a student needs a nudge. Beyond that, your metrics can trigger further automations designed to immediately engage your learner using a variety of tactics from gamification to quizzes, to bring them back into the fold. This works towards keeping the student happily engaged for lifelong learning.
Gone are the days when you threw money at advertising in hopes of connecting with a minuscule percentage of a wider audience. Having insights into metrics such as where your user is directed from, and understanding the behaviors, demographics, and level of engagement leads to more precise marketing and will sell online courses from your website.
What to Expect From Your LMS
Tracking Learner Progress
The learner’s journey is a map and the learner experience plays a sizable role in their progress. In addition to identifying if the learner is falling behind, the opposite is equally true. If an abnormal number of students are routinely ahead of the course, it could tell you that the course may not be challenging enough.
You can track learner progress in real-time, and make any number of adjustments to engagement tactics, course material, delivery, or whatever pain points that may arise.
Having the core and departmental objectives often mean that not all of your goals fit nicely into any of the pre-design reports offered by Google or your LMS. Be sure that you can customize the metrics that will advance your specific goals.
The reason a user enrolls in a course and becomes a learner is to fill a knowledge gap. For one reason or another, they have determined that this course will improve their life and well-being. Because students learn differently, test results alone do not always show the whole picture. A student may know the content, but have difficulty applying what they have learned. With analytics, you can review performance every step of the way along their journey. This allows you to interject early on, and reengage the student.
What to Expect From Your Sales Report
Not unlike metrics, there are a basic set of analytical reports that are universally recognized across the learning industry and designed to sell courses online. If you do not have these vital instruments, then your competition likely will.
Top Analytics Reporting Features for Any Learning Business:
Maximum selling course - This is the most purchased course in your catalog
Completed order - When a user or learner successfully registers for a course
Bundle sell - This displays your bundled course sales
Unit sell - Single course sale
Renewal - Primarily used to update an expired certification
Cancellation - When an enrolled student cancels and deregisters
Cart abandonment - When a user considered enrolling adding one or more of your courses to their cart and backed out before completing the buying process
These metrics will be instrumental in determining which of your courses should be promoted to sell more, which ones simply require small improvements to sell better, and which of the lowest performers need to be discontinued.
How to Use Data to Improve the Course Content and Sell More
By regularly reviewing your analytics report you can easily determine which students are on having difficulties. This enables you (or the instructor) to take necessary action before the learner becomes further disengaged. Keeping students engaged is the key to operating a successful learning business and is vital to selling courses online. Learners that are engaged continue their learning journey.
One of the best outcomes of routinely reviewing course analytics is the ability to improve the course content. By looking for and identifying patterns in learners' behavior, you can improve your content. With a great learner experience, an engaged student will continue to return.
To begin with, those student evaluations that are sent out at the end of the course are chock full of great data. This can provide you with both individual and overall student satisfaction.
Student activity logs offer precious insights into learner behavior. Some LMS will provide very detailed reporting and provide their instructors with insights into:
- Which links does a learner click on?
- How long did they spend with a resource?
- What elements in the course material did they access?
- What elements in the course material did they fail to access?
- How do these metrics compare to the average student?
This will tell you if your learners are spending too much, too little time on a resource, or not at all. Furthermore, patterns and trends will inform you what areas of course material should be improved.
Actionable insights that you can use may include:
- Improve UX
- Being more clear with your instruction
- Highlight discussion forum requirements
- Emphasis on the resource and its importance to the course
- Ensure that the assessment aligns with your learning objectives
Every course must be constantly put under the microscope to determine how improvements to the content can be fostered to maximize sales. For every problem, there is a solution and an action that can be taken to rectify.
A happy learner is a lifelong learner.
Understanding that data is vital to your learning business, not only improves all aspects of your business but will increase overall learner satisfaction while increasing sales. Worldwide online learning sales will continue to increase and you need every advantage you can afford.
Proper reporting will measure your growth in areas that align with your corporate goals. Use the metrics and reports we have outlined to make informed, data-driven decisions to make improvements across every part of your business.
“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.” -Sherlock Holmes
If you require any assistance with determining your required analytical reports and how they align with your organization's objectives or simply have questions about our Lambda Suite, one of our associates would gladly help you. Book your friendly, no-obligation consultation today and let Lambda mentor you into success.