A well-considered communications strategy can have a huge impact on the initial adoption your learning platform receives from your audience when it launches.
Creating a robust digital environment filled with compelling content and engaging journeys is an essential component of building and launching your platform.
But building excitement and attracting users to log in on launch day and continue to engage thereafter is vital to your platform's long-term success.
Whilst there is no one-size-fits-all approach you should be able to utilise the following in some way:
Waiting until the day of or the week before you launch means you miss out on an opportunity to build excitement and awareness of your new platform.
Utilise the weeks or months beforehand to announce the new partnership with your platform provider and build anticipation through a series of communications.
Ideally, your users should know a lot about the platform long before they gain access.
Check out this Netflix documentary inspired launch announcement video from Learn Amp customer Checkmarx.
Start with “The Why”
Your first communication should explain your mission.
This should include the background story that has led you to this point and exactly why you’re implementing a learning platform. Think of around 2-4 statements here and make sure they feel relevant to your users.
Consider your Audience
Think about who you will be communicating to as well as what’s important to them.
Consider exactly how much detail they will need to get the most value from each communication. Think back to previous communications you’ve used and replicate what worked well and avoid what didn’t.
Diversify your channels
Consider what channels you use to communicate to your users and try to use all of them.
This gives them more opportunities to hear about the new platform. Think email, intranet, Slack, Teams, Zoom, Newsletters, Social platforms, texts, meetings, notices in physical office spaces, etc.
Mix up your assets
Email and text-based communications will get the job done, but do you have the time, skills, and resources to create a mix of different assets?
Using videos, PDFs, merchandise, images, and other assets like screen savers or even QR codes are all worth careful consideration.
Send little and often
You may think that using all the suggestions above can seem daunting and even time-intensive, but this doesn’t have to be the case.
After communicating The Why, gradually reveal the value your platform offers through a series of small teasers and sneak peeks showcasing functions, content, and even the platform interface.
A final thought
If your communications person or team has not played a leading role in acquiring your new learning platform, make sure they are fully briefed!
If they don’t understand why the platform is important to your organisation and employees, how will they be able to portray the message clearly in your communications?
Launch day is the most exciting milestone of the project.
It brings together all the efforts put into building the platform, creating and curating content and executing a carefully designed communications strategy.
All of this should drive excitement for great initial adoption, however, don’t overlook the opportunity to further amplify results by utilising these tips to make your launch day a big deal:
Treat it like a birthday!
You’re planning a celebration!
Think branded cupcakes, bunting, and posters. Or for mostly virtual organisations, sending out merchandise or edible treats in the post are all brilliant ways to create a sense of celebration.
Plan a Launch meeting
Think about holding a company meeting to launch the platform. This way your users have an allocated time to activate their accounts and use the platform avoiding the “I’ll come back to that email later”. This could be paired with a guided tour of the platform from a project stakeholder.
For larger or multi-national organisations, meetings could be split up by department or location.
Use the competitive nature of your employees to drive the adoption of your platform.
Consider giving away prizes to the 50th and 100th person to activate their accounts.
Alternatively, use your platform to deliver an exercise or quiz where the winner receives a prize. Who doesn’t love a voucher?
Get users to stay a while
Once users have activated their accounts and logged in try and avoid them logging straight back out again. Consider several small activities to help your users familiarise themselves with the platform’s features. Adding details to their user profile, exploring the search functionality completing a quiz. Do try though do try to keep it light and fun though, It is launch day after all!
Make sure to offer additional support on launch day for users who have questions or who are experiencing technical difficulties.
Expect different levels of digital competency, and remember, a bad experience could deter users from coming back to the platform.
Negate this with a dedicated email, Slack, or Teams channel, or name a platform champion whom users can seek out if they need assistance.
Maximising initial adoption and engagement of a SaaS learning platform requires a well-thought-out multi-layered approach that should combine user-centric strategies.
Communicating your platform should follow a strategic plan that starts as soon as you acquire a platform, and your launch day should mirror the excitement and enthusiasm you want to see from your users.