Launching an E-Learning platform: The digital marketer’s checklist

Launching an e-learning platform can be a daunting task. As well as the educational content, you need to consider website copy, newsletter texts, social media posts and PR communications. With so many deliverables to be ticked off, it’s tough to know where to begin. 

In this article we’re going to give you a workable checklist to help you get started and easily plan your e-learning content creation.

These insights were gathered first hand by Words On Blog when creating the content for mobile growth e-learning platform Phiture Academy

Why E-learning?

In a recent study published by the Pew Research Center, three quarters of American adults consider themselves lifelong learners, with 74% of those surveyed saying they have already participated in self-motivated learning.

E-learning is not a new topic in higher and professional education. However, since the spring of 2020 education providers have had to seriously reconsider how they deliver value to their learners. 

Whether a university creating a hybrid learning model, single person business exploring a new revenue stream, or a private company offering remote training for employees, e-learning is something we should all consider implementing, if not already.

Identify a niche and audience

Knowing what your niche is and understanding your target audience is critical to the future success of your e-learning offer. Don’t bite off more than you can chew to begin with. Think only about your first collection of lessons and your initial cohort of learners. Here are a few questions to get your mental wheels turning:

  • What is your e-learning offer trying to achieve? E.g., making your industry more accessible for others.
  • Who is your course for? E.g., those new to your industry or those already inside looking to develop further skills.
  • Why do they want to learn? E.g., retraining, further education, refreshing existing knowledge.
  • What are the most important pieces of information they need to know? E.g., an introduction to basic motor mechanics or App Store Optimization.

Commit to a launch date

Connect with all the relevant people in your organisation and make sure you have a launch date everyone is on board with. As soon as this is locked in, put it in the calendar and don’t move it. This is your e-learning platform’s due date, race day, ideal weight and wedding day all rolled into one.

Reserve social media handles

Before you start building out the sub-brand for your e-learning platform, make sure the relevant social media handles are available. Changing your social media account names later can be a real pain. It’s best to choose a name which is fitting, consistent and available across all platforms right from the start.

Create a community

This is certainly easier said than done. However, if you begin to create a community early around your niche and lesson subject matter, it will pay dividends later on when you come to test your product.

Popular community building avenues to explore include creating a dedicated Slack channel, building a newsletter list with exclusive content, or developing a podcast series where topics featured in your lessons are discussed in more detail.

Develop course materials

There’s no way around it, working on the content of your lessons and future courses will be the bulk of the writing work. That’s why collaboration is key. Create your e-learning lesson content alongside a pool of industry experts to get peer-reviewed and up-to-date insights. Then work with a professional content writer to synthesise the expertise into digestible lessons.

Run these synthesised lessons back by your pool of experts to make sure no value has been lost and no fact misunderstood by the content writer. Optionally, you can then send it back to the content writer for proofreading.

While you may already have a strong idea of what your lessons and first course will be about, it doesn’t hurt to think about the following questions:

  • What will your first course be about?
  • How many lessons will it be?
  • What level should learners be at the start and where will they be at the end?
  • What motivations do your target audience have to learn?

Answering these questions will stand you in good stead when creating further promotional resources, such as…

Build a landing page

Your website will be the flagship of your e-learning platform and the place most learners will visit before registering for your courses. So, you should have a very clear idea of what your lessons contain before starting work on the website.

The good news is most e-learning platform providers like Kajabi will have a built-in landing page solution. Unless you have clear reasons not to utilise the out-of-the-box solution provided by your chosen e-learning platform provider, we recommend taking the path of least resistance here.

Create website content

For this to go smoothly you will need to know a few basic things first:

  1. What the main hook of your offer is;
  2. How many lessons you want to start with;
  3. Who you are speaking to and how;
  4. What your lessons contain.

Knowing how many pages your website will have is also very important. It is also worth making a note of how many words (approximately) you would like to appear on each page. This will make the scope of creating the page content much clearer later on. 

Script an explainer video

Now you know exactly what your course will be about, how learners will transform and in which way your audience wants to be spoken to, it’s time to script a life-change inspiring explainer video.

Make sure you plan this out carefully with your videographer and content writer working hand in hand on the storyboard and the copy. 

Best practice is to create one ‘evergreen’ explainer for your entire e-learning offer and a course-specific one for each new course you launch.

Prepare social media posts for launch

Get together with your content marketing team and discuss the best way to tease this new self-paced learning experience to the world.

You’ve spent a lot of time getting it ready, so don’t blow it all in one go. Spread it out over a couple of weeks, first hinting at the arrival of ‘something big’, then ask your network to guess what you’ve been up to.

Consider breaking your explainer video down into teaser videos, working with your contributing experts for film shorts, or releasing more information about the lesson content every few days.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you have a structured communications plan and stick to it as closely as possible.

Automated Emails

Similarly you will want to have all your pre-launch automated emails ready to go and scheduled well in advance. Be sure to also create automated emails for different events in the learner journey. For example: learner enrolled but didn’t start, learner dropped out, learner finished but didn’t leave a review, and so on. 

Identify a lead magnet 

A lead magnet is the free sample you’re going to hook your first learners with. It’s one of the most effective ways to garner initial interest and identify warm leads for future lessons. Think about how you could get creative with your initial offer and turn it into a PR or social media opportunity.

Pick an aspect of your offer you are happy to release to the public for free in order to generate interest in your content. A classic approach to this would be to offer your first course of four to five lessons for free.

If you have a subscription based model, perhaps you would like to give one month’s free access. The most important thing is to be consistent and deliver on your promise.

Invite a test cohort

Of course you’re not just asking a group of people to test out your e-learning platform and provide feedback, this is a marketing exercise.

Make sure each person you invite has some influence in the target market you are trying to break into. Ask them to share on social media how excited they are to be testing your product. Remember to feed them the official launch date and pre-enrollment links in advance.

You can also tap into your community of early adopters we mentioned earlier in the blog post. This is an excellent way to gather early feedback from those most likely to use your product. Be sure to give them all early access and think of ways you can say thanks for being part of the early adopters group.


Building out an e-learning solution is one of the most effective ways to establish yourself as the industry leader in your field. Although it may be time consuming and require some financial outlay at the start, individuals, universities and enterprises alike should recognise the magnificent opportunity self-paced learning solutions can offer.

If you need assistance building and promoting your e-learning solution, Words On Brand are here to help.

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