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Training Officer Tip Archive

November 7, 2006 - How to Get More Responses from Your Revamped Course Advertisements

In October's Training Officer Tip, we gave you some suggestions about how to spice up your course advertisements to make them more appealing to your employees. In this issue, Benchmark Training offers some tips about how to take your revamped ads and make sure everyone receives them at a reasonable time and responds positively to your enrollment requests.

Build Alliances With Managers and Supervisors

As a training officer, you serve as an intermediary between the vendors whom you've hired to deliver training and the employees of your organization. Sometimes employees are not self-motivated to enroll in classes that will improve their skills and further their careers. So, they need to be motivated by others - namely their managers and supervisors - to make the effort to sign up for an open-enrollment program.

See the rub? Before you begin advertising for a class, you need to establish alliances with managers and supervisors by reaching out to them, educating them on your offerings, and showing them how the trainings will benefit their employees and align with their individual development plans. Demonstrate to them the value of the trainings and ask them to talk up the programs to their employees. Their employees might ignore a course advertisement for a training sent to them by the training office, but with a little bit of prodding from their supervisors, they will be eminently more motivated to attend and will enroll more quickly and more often in the classes you're marketing.

Send Course Advertisements On A Schedule

The most common reason for low training enrollment is that your target audience (the employees) do not have enough time to respond to the ads. The second most common reason is that they have not seen the ad enough times to spur them on to making a decision.

When you schedule a class, send the first advertisement at least 8 weeks prior to the start of the training. Send a follow-up ad two weeks after that. If you have not filled the class by the second ad, wait another two weeks (one month prior to the training) to send a final reminder and give them a DEADLINE. It is very important to live and die by your schedule, as your message will become ingrained in the recipients' consciousnesses. It's just like TV advertising; you must repeat the message again and again, because not everyone is paying attention the first time the ad appears.

Also - schedule your ads to run on either Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, preferably in the morning or right after lunch. Many people take vacation days on Monday and Friday, so they might gloss over your ads when they return to the office with a full inbox.

Make The Rounds To Each Office To Gain Support

Email and the web have made your job of getting your training message out to employees a lot easier, right? Well, it has made distribution easier, but the downside is that technology can obviate your personal touch.

How do you get around this? Visit five to ten offices within your organization personally and meet with them about your programs. Explain the features and benefits of the trainings and ask them (especially the managers and supervisors) to support your office by sending employees to your trainings. And don't forget to hand-deliver the ads and course descriptions of the programs you're marketing. While you're there, ask people to sign up. If you can get one or two people from each office you visit to enroll, your extra legwork will have already paid huge dividends.

If you can get any of the managers and supervisors to sign up, you've done everyone a favor because their participation provides an excellent role-modeling opportunity for their employees.

Not only will these strategies boost enrollment, but it will increase your standing in the agency as a proactive training officer. If you have thought of additional strategies, go for it!

If you have strategies for getting excellent responses to your course advertisements that you'd like to share, please send an email to jgorman@benchmark-training.com.

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