How to get more clicks for your e-learning courses

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Written by Issy Nancarrow on 23 February 2017

How does the ‘meh’ factor impact on course clicks? Is there more we can do at the point when the learner reaches the ‘start course’ button, to give them the incentive and motivation to click?

In marketing and sales, we use the pleasure and pain principles often to prompt buyer decision-making. This approach is quite far removed from the principles covered in effective engagement or learning delivery. However, the objective of gaining ‘buy in’ is just as relevant for the learner as it is for the customer.

The pleasure and pain principle gives the learner a reason to act

The pleasure and pain principle gives the consumer (or learner) a reason to act and to change their behaviour. By fear of non-compliance and the consequences, a learner may adopt new codes of practice. Alternatively, in order to make their lives easier and their projects more manageable, they may decide to learn in order to become more effective or change their approach.

This principle is relevant to the whole learner journey, as an incentive to take up the course as well as change behaviours later down the line. My research takes me to focussing on the ‘click’ to access an e-learning course.

At the point of clicking to start the course, an incentive is already in play, they have a reason to do it. However, with a considerable dropout rate at this stage in the process, it is worth exploring how reminders of these incentives may be beneficial.

Tip one:
Digital shops use a number of tactics to provide these timely incentives. Some are pre-planned such as reminders and well-placed ‘click to purchase’ buttons near relevant information.

Tip two:
Other, simpler tactics include tailoring course titles and descriptions to highlight these incentives. These are not complex principles and are worth further exploration in the e-learning context.

These are just two small elements you can look at and learn from the way that other industries entice us to click.


About the author

Issy (Isobel) Nancarrow
 is the Managing Director at Campaign Learning and founder of Nancarrow Partnerships and Campaign Learning. You can contact Issy via


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