August 30th, 2018 Business

How to use Zapier to nurture leads and offer better learner support.

You’ve probably heard a lot about marketing automation without knowing how to implement it for your course. Fortunately, LearnDash supports integration with the popular automation tool Zapier.

Zapier allows users to create workflows that automate actions in response to certain user behaviors. The behaviors, or “triggers,” can be as simple as a learner registering for a course or signing in as a new user. All you need is their email address, and you can create a carefully-balance system of action and response to better serve your learners.

It’s a great tool, and very user friendly. If you’re wondering where and how to use it, try out these workflows and see how your learners respond.

1. Trigger: Someone signs up for your newsletter. Response: Add them as a new lead to your CRM.

If you have a CRM, you probably already have some workflows set up for handling new leads. But, if your CRM doesn’t already integrate with your automated email platform, Zapier can bridge the gap. You can even choose different workflows to add them to based on which newsletter they signed up for (if you have more than one).

2. Trigger: Someone signs up for your newsletter. Response: Send them a sample lesson.

Newsletter sign-ups indicate a lead with high interest in your course. Sending a sample lesson can give them just the taste they need to remove their final hesitations and sign up.

3. Trigger: Someone enrolls in your course. Response: Transfer them to your course mailing list.

The mailing list you use to market to prospects shouldn’t be the same as the one you use for enrolled students. While you may have a general mailing list for all your learners, you should also have ones based on the courses they’re enrolled in.

4. Trigger: Someone enrolls in your course. Response: Send introduction packet.

Someone signing up for your course is the perfect time to send them a friendly introductory email with some of the key resources they’ll need to succeed in your course. This might include a syllabus, a code of conduct for the forum, or instructions for how to complete a team assignment.

5. Trigger: Someone enrolls in your course. Response: Invite them to a shared Google Doc.

Speaking of team assignments, course enrollment can also trigger an invite to a collaboration space so that leaners can meet each other and get started as soon as possible. Slack is one such space, but even something as simple as a shared Google Doc can be enough.

6. Trigger: Someone goes X days without signing in. Response: Send them a support email.

How many days do you expect a learner to go without signing in? A few days is usually unsurprising, but if your learners are absent for over a week, they may need a gentle reminder to sign in and keep going.

7. Trigger: Someone fails a test. Response: Send them a support email.

A failed test can be discouraging for many learners—enough that they will sometimes drop out of the course entirely. Forestall this conclusion by proactively offering help and support.

8. Trigger: Someone fails a test. Response: Send them some extra review material.

Another response to a failed test is to reach out with review materials. Maybe your learner is struggling to grasp a certain concept, and a few extra practice problems will help the idea sink in.

9. Trigger: Someone completes a lesson. Response: Invite them to comment in your forum.

Completed lessons are another important trigger. Use this opportunity to encourage discussion while the material is still fresh in your learners’ minds.

10. Trigger: Someone finishes a course. Response: Send a congratulations email.

Reaching the end of a course is a big moment, and one worthy of celebration. Send your learners and email with a congratulations note, along with a few words about what to do next.

11. Trigger: Someone finishes a course. Response: Transfer them to new mailing list.

Just as you should move a learner from a prospects list to a course list once they enroll, when a learner has completed a course it’s a good idea to move them to a graduate list. You can use this list to keep in touch, but it’s also a great way to guide learners toward more advanced course. Keep them coming back!

Be careful about over-automating.

Marketing automation obviously saves you a lot of busy work, and it’s even beneficial for your learner if it means they receive more timely support. However, there is a danger with automation in that once a process is set up, it will keep going exactly as you designed it. This can lead to a massive propagation of messages to learners that can be overwhelming.

For instance, if you automatically add a learner to a new mailing list but fail to take them off another, you could have learners receiving emails from a half dozen different segmented lists. Or, if you set up very similar triggers with very similar responses, you could end up with redundant automation.

To avoid this, simply test your automation systems regularly, either by monitoring learner responses to messages, or by creating a test profile for yourself and poking around your system as if you were a new learner. You’ll gain a better sense of how your system works, and you may even think of a new workflow to add!


4 responses

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Hello, I would like to implement the 6th automation you propose (6. Trigger: Someone goes X days without signing in. Response: Send them a support email)… but the Zapier plugin do not propose that trigger…

How did you implement that part ?

Avatar Maxence

Unfortunately the Zapier integration does not support that trigger yet. However, the Notification add-on does have this trigger and could be used for that purpose (send email when user hasn’t logged in).

Hi there,

how do you implement the 3th automation? (Someone enrolls in your course. Response: Transfer them to your course mailing list) using Mailchimp. There’s no tutorial for all this cool suggestions.

Avatar Charly

Hi Charly!

I suggest you check out our original announcement about Zapier integration, which you can find here:

On the LearnDash side, you should be able to set “enrolled into course” as a trigger event. You can then use Zapier to interact with MailChimp to create a desired action on that end.

Avatar Laura Lynch

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