How to Keep Participants Engaged In Your Education Program
1. Know your audience
The first rule when you’re formulating any part of your education program is to always keep your audience in mind, whether you’re designing program elements or a marketing message. If it’s helpful to you, keep profiles of your target audience members (real or fabricated) near you as you work to keep yourself focused and on track.
Aside from knowing the demographics of who you’re targeting, think about what motivates your audience—their passions, their goals, and their inspirations. Know that they’re most likely busy people with full schedules, so keeping things concise is key. Keep these top of mind when designing your education program elements and marketing plan.
2. Keep things relevant
Once you’ve identified your audience, make sure everything you create for them is relevant to their lives. Ask yourself the following questions while you work: How will this program allow participants to achieve their goals and objectives? How will this program translate into their everyday lives?
Even though your program is one of the most important things in your day, remember that for most of your participants, it won’t be. A valuable program is one that fits seamlessly into their already busy lives. Find the intersections between your audience’s goals and motivations and their everyday lives—that’s where you’ll create something that’s relevant.
3. Offer immediate feedback
Nothing keeps participants engaged more than immediate feedback—and that can be as simple or complicated of a system as you want. It could be a simple automated email or text saying, “Congratulations! You have completed x, y, and z!” or a system that sends notifications to the user through their mobile device or really anything that demonstrates to the participant that their work or participation is being acknowledged. Whether it’s something they can count on every time or a nice surprise occasionally, your participants will feel good about being a part of your program and will be encouraged and motivated to keep going and stay engaged.
4. Provide support
Providing superior customer service is one of the best ways to build loyalty to your program—and failing to do so is one of the quickest ways to lose it. Everyone has issues or questions at some point, and it’s up to you to provide the support necessary to help your participants overcome their problems and stay engaged.
There are several ways to provide good support. A help desk—virtual or otherwise—is a good idea. You can also set up member-to-member support through online chats, social media outlets like Facebook or LinkedIn, or even an area of your own website for members to post to one another and troubleshoot together. If you do choose to set up some online areas for member-to-member support, it’s still a good idea to have it moderated, or checked on regularly, by one or more of your team members.
5. Offer incentives, rewards, and recognition
Who doesn’t love to be recognized for their accomplishments? When you recognize your members, you are connecting with them and keeping them engaged. Send a monthly email or create a social media post that acknowledges top scorers or participants. Offer rewards like a discount on a month of your program. These are all great ways to incentivize participants.
If you need ideas to keep your participants engaged in your education program, call MMS Education. We have been helping companies and nonprofits for more than 40 years!
Call us today at 866–382–6116 or fill out this form to see how MMS Education can help you reach, engage, and measure impact in the pre-K–12 education market.