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Delivering a course is like telling a story. As every good story-teller knows, a great narration creates anticipation and sparks the interest in the readers. The more effective story-teller you are, the better you will manage to guide and encourage people to follow you whilst getting on-board your learning journey.
As a teacher/learning instructor, sometimes you have to slow down or speed up the storytelling process, as this can help to control the timing, the reader’s excitement and the flow.
So every instructor needs to be in control of how her course is being delivered. This means that you need to be able to regulate the quality – but also the quantity, of the learning content you provide to your learners. An excellent way to do this is using drip-feeding, a technique that allows you to gain better control of the learning materials you share with your students online.
But what exactly is drip-feeding and how can it help you out? This article goes into much detail explaining what this revolutionary content strategy has to offer… So, let’s find out!
What is Drip-Feeding?
As the term implies, drip-feeding refers to ‘introducing (fluid) drop by drop’. In the marketing world, this describes the constant supply of information provided in small quantity. Essentially, it explains the process of the way course-related information can be shared with your students.
Drip-feeding is all about scheduling the delivery of your online course. With it, your learners get the course material in stages. This means that they don’t get the content all in one go, but gain access to it at a set-specific time.
What is not Drip-Feeding?
Drip feeding is very different to self-paced learning. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. A self-paced online course or else ‘online course’ is when your student has access to all of the content of your course immediately after purchasing it. This means that they get all the available information at once without having to wait.
If you are in doubt of what you use as both have their advantages and disadvantages, think of the complexity or the level of difficulty of your course material. Ask yourself whether it is complex material that your student will need more time to digest. If that’s the case, drip-feeding is your best option.
Alternatively, if the content is simple and easy to understand, you can make it self-paced.
What are the benefits?
There are many benefits to drip-feeding that are worth mentioning. In terms of e-learning, it offers huge possibility towards investing in the value of your online course. As a powerful content delivery model, it can help to increase your course sales revenue as a whole. But let’s look at the benefits drip-feeding has in more detail:
1It is time-saving:
Drip-feeding automates the process of lesson/course scheduling providing a quick and easy way to deliver your content. This way your students receive the learning material as they complete each stage of the lesson delivery and it goes on without the need of re-rescheduling.
2It provides alternative purchase options:
Instead of selling the lessons of your course individually, you can offer them at packages differentiating them in terms of ability and level of knowledge e.g. beginner’s level, intermediate level, expert level. This adds more credibility and provides more options which are better suited to the learning needs and existing knowledge of your students.
3It builds student/customer engagement:
The gradual delivery of lessons allows students to follow their own pace on learning instead of overwhelming with course materials all at once. This way you help to maintain your customer lead as it gives students another reason to keep coming back – or better yet, something to look forward to.
4It creates more trust:
A school that offers learning materials offered in stages may be considered as more valuable as opposed to one that offers all the course materials at one go. This provides proof that your online school is well-thought out and provides a professional service with a plan-out schedule on lesson delivery.
5It protects you from money-back guarantees:
With drip feeding you protect yourself and your content from money back guarantees because it allows enough information to students to see and try the product, but you don’t give them everything right away. This way you force them to work at your own pace without allowing them to speed through the course.
Drip-feeding definitely has its benefits, but now it’s time to go one step further and find out how you can make it work for your school.
How does it work?
Using drip-feeding as part of your content delivery strategy is really easy. This can be done in the three steps:
1Create a course:
Before you do anything, you need to create your course materials and have them ready for students to use and access. Once you do this, you can customize – either add or remove platform features that work the best for you and your customers.
There is a range of learning tools you can use to engage and educate your students. Useful learning material includes videos presentation, webinars, workbooks, learning games, puzzles, quizzes etc. At this point you can decide how you will divide your course and how many sessions you want to include in it.
3Determine when you want these lessons to become available:
You can set up the delivery date once, and then ‘the clock starts’ and the lesson is scheduled to be delivered on the same day to every student, no matter when they first signed-up for the course. So if you scheduled for it to be delivered after 3 days or a week after the sign-up, then it will be delivered to each student with the appropriate timely delay.
From there on, you decide how you want your lesson to be delivered. Until today, the most frequent way to drip-feed was through auto-responders which sent informative emails about a new lesson or a course becomes available. However, more increasingly recently, people are turning to full-course platforms that allow you to both build your online course and schedule your course delivery.
A course delivery strategy when using drip-feeding more or less could be something like this:
Day 1 – Unlocks upon registration and sign-up
Lesson 1-3 delivery: 3 videos, 1 workbook, 1 quiz/examination
Day 5 – Unlocks 5 days after purchase
Lesson 3-6 delivery: 4 videos, 2 workbooks, 2 quizzes/examinations
Day 10 – Unlocks 10 days after purchase
Lesson 6-10 delivery: 6 videos, 3 workbooks, 2 quizzes/examinations
Another example would be to schedule your course delivery in the duration of let’s say 10 weeks and have one section unlock every week. You can even come up with a engaging call-to-action title for your course, to entice your learners e.g. “10 Weeks to Marketing Success’. Every week students get a nice email telling them that another step (content section) has been unlocked and thus are gradually nudged to completing the course.
Using Drip Campaigns
An excellent way to plan out your drip-feed strategy is through drip campaigns. According to Zapier, drip campaigns are a set of pre-written and personalised emails that you can send out on specific timelines or user actions. With this tool, you can engage your learners better by giving them what they need at the right time. You can use it to educate your users and provide relevant course information, reward them or encourage them to check out new products.
Research finds that drip email campaigns can be a powerful marketing tool as they get a high click-rate, even at a 119 percent increase. Also, relevant targeted emails produce 18 times more revenue than generic and globally-broadcasted ones. In order to get the best results for your marketing strategy you need to target your audience, craft your message, plan out your campaign and consider things like frequency, volume and success metrics using Google Analytics and UTM parameters.
If you are new to this, there are many apps that can help you manage your drip campaign better. This should depend on the learning management system you use and the characteristics it offers, since not every LMS drip-feeding – though this is not the case with LearnWorlds which offers a built-in option.
There is no doubt that drip-feeding offers immense potential in terms of marketing your course and engaging your students. If you are using an online learning environment provided by LearnWorlds, you can set it up for specific days or dates just as quickly as lightning! The only thing you need to do is enable the feature on the e-learning platform.
Drip-feed courses are increasingly popular and LearnWorlds offers full built-in support for drip-feed courses. Not only can you design a beautiful course, but you can also schedule the content delivery (either by day intervals or on specific dates), and you can even write down the specific emails that will be sent along with every new section. So you don’t just send a boilerplate message when a new section is drip fed but you can design a unique accompanying message for every lesson of your online course.
Kyriaki is a Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team writing about marketing and e-learning, helping course creators on their journey to create, market, and sell their online courses. Equipped with a degree in Career Guidance, she has a strong background in education management and career success. In her free time, she gets crafty and musical.