The description one of your courses is essentially a tiny window into the content you intent to provide, and it’s the only information prospective customers have at the moment they first encounter your learning product. The description needs to effectively communicate not only the goals and benefits of the content, it also needs to create a desire to buy or join. Bland course descriptions will not inspire a customer to buy, so unless you are a world-renowned authority whose content sells thanks to your reputation, it will benefit you as a Moodlepreneur if you can craft course descriptions that learners feel compelled to click on.
Even the driest subject matter can be made more appealing by following these seven steps:
Step #1 – Focus on a single thought
Let’s build an example course description for guitar lessons. Start by focusing on a single vision. Instead of a dry opening to your description like “Start learning now. In module 1 we look at chords …” you could say:
Play the blues in 1 day with just three notes.
Step #2 – Connect your single thought to a benefit
Play the blues in 1 day with just three notes, and impress your friends!
Step #3 – Get more specific
Play the blues in 1 day with just three notes, and impress your friends! You just need a pick and two strings on your guitar.
Step #4 – Clarify the benefit
Play the blues in 1 day with just three notes, and impress your friends! You just need a pick and two strings on your guitar. You can sound like a real blues man with these three simple riffs.
Step #5 – Add an introduction that speaks to a desire, fear, need, or simple curiosity
Always wished you could play guitar? Play the blues in 1 day with just three notes. Impress your friends! You just need a pick and two strings on your guitar. You can sound like a real bluesman with these three simple riffs.
You could equally start with a fact that attracts attention and whets the appetite, such as “B.B. King learned his first three chords from his local Church Minister.” Whatever your subject matter, a simple, engaging fact can make a description more snappy. If you provide safety training, you could start with an impressive or arresting fact like “68% of workplace accidents are caused by clothing.”
A simple definition also works well to draw readers in. “Blues guitar is soulful music from the American Deep South” is something that everybody knows, but which sets the tone for the course content like the opening sentence of a documentary film. Readers are more likely to settle in and read the rest.
Step #6 – Include a clear call to action
Always wished you could play guitar? Play the blues in 1 day with just three notes. Impress your friends! You just need a pick and two strings on your guitar. You can sound like a real blues man with these three simple riffs. You can sit there wishing, or you can grab a guitar and play the blues in one day – guaranteed.
Step #7 – Polish and test
Re-read your description twenty times. Are there any excessively repeated or unnecessary words? Read it out loud and test it on friends and colleagues. Does every word contribute to building an image of a desirable course? Are you speaking directly to learners’ inner desires?
This example is personalized and interactive. It uses ‘you’ a lot. A personalized description is better than a factual description, e.g. “Learn blues guitar. Module 1: three introductory blues riffs,” because it forces the reader to put themselves in the equation. Another way to do this is to also emphasize the end result of the course… “The blues greats: B.B. King, Eric Clapton … and you.”
Less effective opening sentences include: “The aim of this course… “This class will… “Topics covered are… “Participants will… “Fred Smith will show you…” Not only are these boring, they don’t ask the reader to see themselves becoming something different after the course.
This Moodle Practice related post is made possible by: Course Merchant, the leading provider of eCommerce, Training Management and Digital Marketing software for the Education and Training industry. Click here to learn more.
How do you write course descriptions entice people to buy or join? Tell us in the comments below!