Is your association generating as much non-dues revenue as it needs to, wants to, or has the potential to? One great way to do this is to look to your online education and certification programs - with your Association Learning Management System, generating non-dues revenue is easy!
In the current economic climate, member organizations are looking for ways to avoid increasing membership dues to retain members. Not only does eLearning provide a valuable member service, leading to higher member retention rates, it can also generate an important additional source of non-dues revenue.
Here are five ways your LMS can help you to generate non-dues revenue for your association:
Ensure your LMS has eCommerce Capability
A good association LMS should have eCommerce capability, enabling you to create a revenue stream for your organization with full shopping cart support for multiple currencies, languages, tax, and payment options for selling content, webinars, conference registrations, and more. Whether you choose to use the inbuilt eCommerce features, as in TopClass LMS, or choose to integrate with the eCommerce features in your AMS, you should be able to easily use coupons, tokens and multiple pricing options to manage content sales from your public and private catalogs, to members and non-members.
Extend your Reach to a Wider Audience
Unlike traditional classroom based training, where running additional sessions will incur additional staff, facilities, and materials costs, eLearning costs do not increase as you scale up your audience. Your LMS should allow you to open your online catalog offerings to members and non-members, and because you are online, learners are no longer restricted by geography, as they would be with classroom-based learning. Learners can now access your content from anywhere, so begin to promote your content in new areas and to new audiences. Ensure that your LMS supports social sharing of content from your public catalog, to enable your members to share and recommend your eLearning content to their peers via their social networks, further extending your reach.
Exploit the Full Potential of your Course Catalog
When reviewing and curating your content, look for trends and popular courses by examining your LMS reports. Refresh less popular courses by offering a new component or bundled offline resource to create new blended learning offerings. Ensure your descriptions clearly outline how the learner will benefit from taking the course. You may choose to highlight to new members the professional benefits of successful course that continues to provide value to your members. If a course offers CEU, CPD credits or is part of a certification program, ensure that learners can easily see the value for the investment of their time and effort.
For associations just starting with eLearning, offering recordings of your offline learning activities, such as conference sessions or instructor-led training sessions at a reduced price, is an easy way to generate non-dues revenue by re-purposing existing content in new ways. This also offers greater value to members who missed the event, or who want to revisit the session content afterward.
Enable Ease of Access for a Positive Learning Experience
Today’s web users are extremely savvy and have very high standards - they expect simplicity and intuitiveness during any online process. It should be straightforward for your members to access your eLearning content from your website, without having to log into multiple systems. It should be a simple process to search for and purchase courses and resources. They should be able to find relevant training activities by applying comprehensive search filters, and then put their selected content in a shopping cart with a single click.
All of this should be possible, regardless of where the learner is, what time of day it is, or what device they are using to access learning. Your LMS should provide a seamlessly integrated connection with your website and member database, along with fully responsive mobile support. If you create a positive user experience, your members will be much more likely to engage with online learning.
Encourage Participation in eLearning
Encourage participation in your eLearning program by incentivizing your members to take courses. You could use your LMS to offer a promotional price for courses on trending topics for a limited time, which is sure to pique the interest of members and non-members alike and help them to see the relevancy of your eLearning offering. Early-bird registration offers, course bundling, bulk discounts, coupons or tokens will make your eLearning offerings more attractive to learners, and are a great way to entice learners to purchase.
Promotion doesn't have to revolve around price discounts. Making your courses more visible to learners will catch their attention. For example, you could list the top five most popular courses on the LMS dashboard, or create a news feed to promote the newest courses added to the catalog. Encourage learners to buy courses by allowing them to try out or sample a little piece of the course content before they buy. Course teasers, where you give the learner access the first few pages of the content, can be very effective as a marketing tool to encourage purchases. The teaser is free to access but they have to pay to take the whole course.
You can also use your Learning Management System to suggest other relevant courses or offerings to your members that may be of interest during the checkout process. For example, you’ve just put course A into your shopping cart. Members who bought course A also bought course B and C. This is a very effective way of increasing course uptake and maximizing the non-dues revenue potential.
For more tips on increasing your non-dues revenue with eLearning, check out our report, "Getting more Bang for your Buck: 8 Quick Tips to boost eLearning revenue" and our other resources for associations.