Ready to Grow Your Online Education Business? Referral Marketing Is Your Most Effective Marketing Tool

Your current students and existing customers are the best way to reach more customers and grow your online education business.


Online education – also known as e-learning – is a rapidly growing industry. After all, over 5.5 million American students attend online school on a part-time or full-time basis, and that number keeps climbing. With so many e-learning platforms for prospective students to choose from, you’re probably wondering how to make your program stand out from the rest. 

The solution is referral marketing. 

So, what is referral marketing?

Think of referral marketing as word-of-mouth marketing for the digital world. Because consumers are more likely to trust a product their friends already know and love, referral marketing helps you reach more engaged, qualified leads. Your engaged customers who have opted in to act as your referral marketing Ambassadors receive a unique link that they can share with their friends, family, and personal networks to promote your online education business. For every sale completed with their unique link, your customer receives a small cut, and you save money on marketing and advertising. You also enjoy the benefits of a “post-transactional” marketing spend; you pay only after a sale has been completed, using the revenue from that sale to pay out your referral marketing Ambassadors.


How can referral marketing help grow your e-learning program?

Research suggests that prospective customers are more likely to engage with educational organizations if those organizations are suggested to them by someone they trust. Here’s an example from one of our own online education customers, Learner’s Edge. 

Learner’s Edge is a Minneapolis-based e-learning company that provides graduate-level courses to teachers all over the United States. Although 64% of their customers found the company through customer referrals, Learner’s Edge knew they still had room to maximize their customer referrals. That’s when they came to Ambassador. 

After working with Ambassador to scale their referral marketing program, Learner’s Edge saw a 90% conversion rate for their customer referrals and a 2.5x ROI on their investment with Ambassador. Learner’s Edge is just one of many e-learning referral marketing success stories. Yours could be the next. 

How to make referral marketing work for your e-learning business: 

Leverage your loyal customers

Identify your most faithful, returning customers. Customers who have used your services for years or taken multiple courses through your e-learning platform are the most likely to share your product with their family, friends and colleagues. 

Set up a referral rewards system 

Rewards are a fantastic way to foster loyalty with both your referring customers (your Ambassadors) and the customers they refer. By offering discounts on tuition or credits toward future classes, you encourage your existing customers to share your product with their friends, and you motivate those friends to complete their purchase and enroll in your program. Everybody wins when you use a robust referral rewards program. 

Simplify, promote, and personalize

Make it easy for your customers to know where and how they can refer their friends. Advertise your referral program on your homepage, on social media, in email blasts and more. 

One of the most powerful aspects of the Ambassador platform is that your referral marketing Ambassadors are able to personalize the messaging they use to talk about your product or service.  Equip them with content about your brand, but encourage them to make it their own.

Empower your referral marketing Ambassadors to share their praise for your online education program in their own words. Genuine testimonials can convert prospects into faithful customers. 


Your e-learning program can be a referral marketing success story

Ambassador has helped online education businesses like Strayer University, Aceable, Learner’s Edge, Kumon, and more drive enrollment and meaningfully drive revenue through referral marketing; the proof is in the customer conversions. Contact us today to learn more about how Ambassador can help grow your online education enrollment figures in 2023 and beyond.

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