A few ideas for marketing your learning center and distance education to potential students

1. We need to make our messages understandable.
Keep in mind that our product is fairly new and can be intimidating to many potential students. Most people are still unfamiliar with terms like distance education. We need to explain what we do in everyday language so that people will begin to feel comfortable with the ideas of distance education and learning centers. People wont respond if your ad or flyer intimidates them or makes them feel inadequate.

2. Our messages need to be relevant to potential students lives. Know who your audience is and know why those people need your learning centers programs. Emphasize your audience members needs at the beginning of any promotions you do so that theyll be interested enough to read or listen to the rest of what you have to say. Once they are interested, assure them that your learning center and distance education can help them attain their goals and overcome their current problems.

3. Our messages need to be credible. Distance education and learning centers are new to many people in our communities, and some folks may be skeptical about the quality of our programs. Reassure them of our credibility by linking our programs with the names of participating higher education institutions. Mentioning the actual names secures instant recognition and respectability for us among potential students. Providing student/alumni testimonials, statistics, and credentials of presenters also supports our credibility.

4. Give your audience a call to action. We must ask our readers and listeners to respond to us and make it convenient for them to do so. When possible, make the call to action specific and include a reason to respond; for example, To register, call by August 15 to ensure that youll meet registration deadlines. Make their response easy and non-threatening by giving your audience members multiple ways to respond to your message. Include information about responding by phone, fax, email and mail. You can increase response by including coupons to clip out and reply cards for people to mail. Online, people are more likely to fill out a form than to respond with an email.

5. Consistency and repetition are keys to familiarity, which increases response. Strive for consistency in the look and tone of your promotions so that people will begin to recognize your centers messages and feel comfortable contacting you. We also need to increase familiarity through repetition; studies show that a person needs to hear your message or see your ad at least three times before they feel comfortable responding.