Marketing continuing education with the AIDA principle

Tue, Aug 13,2013 @ 12:45 PM
by Kathryn Lynch-Morin |

Catch attention and keep it with the AIDA principle in your continuing education marketing plan. When designing your next brochure, or even when you're revamping your website, it's important to think of the AIDA principle every step of the way.

Never heard of it? Not to worry! It's easy to learn and it's quite possible you're already applying some of these techniques.

The AIDA principle was developed to respond to the way people read and react to promotions, and maximizes your chances of meeting the 3-30-3 rule, meaning you have just three seconds to gain someone’s attention, if you do, the reader will devote another 30 seconds to read on. If you keep their attention, you have another three minutes for them to get through the entire page of your website or brochure. 

A: Attention

Attract the attention of prospective participants to pick up your brochure or stay on your website. For all brochure covers or website main pages, keep the number of words to a minimum and keep the focus on a need or want of your audience. 

For continuing professional education brochures or websites, the cover or main page often contains an eye-catching image that generates an emotional response that promotes ideals like success, respect and career advancement. 

For community class brochures or websites, a photograph usually works best. 

I: Interest

The next challenge is keeping the interest of your readers or visitors. 

For continuing professional education, create copy that focuses on the reader's interest in outcomes, benefits, results and why the person should attend your programs. You should also focus on why someone should attend your program and not another program by focusing on how your organization is unique, the exclusive benefits offered, and why your instructors are the top experts or authorities on the subjects they are teaching. 

For community program brochures or websites, it's important to create copy that showcases your program's interesting array of offerings. Separating courses into categories or creating a table of contents page that breaks offerings into different groups is one way to show this, and allows readers or visitors to easily find what they are looking for. You also want to share why someone would want to participate in your program, and this can be done by sharing testimonials from past participants.

D: Desire

You've captured their attention and gained their interest, but now you need to create a desire in the reader to participate in your programs and register. 

For community program brochures, your course descriptions create that desire, so it is important to spend time perfecting these. Create an interesting and informative title and a 40- to 120-word description that includes outcomes, results and benefits of the course. Don't forget to include logistical, price and instructor information as well. 

For continuing professional education, the formula for courses is the same. For one-time events or seminars, include more detailed descriptions and even an agenda if one is available. 

Don't diminish desire by hiding your registration information or making it difficult for people to reach you. 

A: Action

For continuing professional education and community programs, action means registering with your program. For brochures include a registration form and information on other ways to register, such as by phone or online. For websites, offering online registration is key. Successful programs generally offer at least four ways to register. 

Even if you have limited resources, it's important to spend time and money on your brochure. For a majority of LERN's members, most registrations come from the brochure. Updating your program's website costs very little, if anything at all, and is an important aspect of meeting the AIDA principle. 

Download the final  2013 LERN Annual Conference brochure



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