If you're encountering issues or warning notifications while you're attempting to send an announcement or promotional email, then these troubleshooting steps should help. In addition, this article includes steps you can take to help avoid formatting and delivery errors.
Troubleshooting Announcement And Promotional Email Delivery Issues
If you're encountering a warning notification regarding links, please note that external links are not permitted in promotional emails, and Udemy course links cannot be sent in announcements. Please remove these links and try again.
False External Link Warnings
If you don't have any external links, the announcement and promotional email editor may be mistaking a string of text with a period in the middle as a link. Removing any unnecessary punctuation, and ensuring there's a space after every period, may resolve this. For example, the text "Here's a great deal.My course is only $15." could trigger the external link warning, because of "deal.My".
Occasionally false warnings for links can also occur when a promotional email or announcement is copied and pasted from another source (Microsoft Word, Google Doc, etc.). We recommend instructors compose the notification using the text editor, as embedded formatting may cause unexpected issues. Pasting the copy into the announcement and promotional email tool with no formatting intact, may also resolve the issue.
Sending Promotional Emails to Free Courses
Ensure that you are not attempting to send a promotional email to any free courses you're teaching. Promotional emails are not permitted to be sent to free courses.
If you continue to encounter issues sending your notification, please contact Udemy support and include its text, and any images you're including, so we can trouble shoot the issue further. Sending a screenshot of the error sign you're seeing will also help the support team.
Are You Listed as a Visible Instructor?
In order to send a promotional email or announcement, you must be listed as a visible instructor for the course. If you're not listed as visible instructor, then the Create icon will not be active on the Communications page.
Attempting to Send Emojis in Your Message
The announcement and promotional email text editor does not support emojis, so do not include emojis in your message. Doing so will cause formatting and delivery errors.
Formatting Issues in Sent Messages
As noted above, we recommend creating your message in the announcement and promotional email text editor, rather than copying and pasting in your message, to help avoid unexpected formatting issues.
For more information on instructor permissions and how to edit them, please click here.
A clear and compelling subject line for your promotional emails can draw the attention of your students, and prompt them to open and read your messages. On the other hand, if a subject line sounds too "salesy" and cliche, it can turn students away and they are likely to unsubscribe from your promotional emails.
Here are some best practices to help you get the attention of your students.
- Keep subject lines short and concise
- Data shows that students often ignore emails with long subject lines.
- Avoid subject lines with exclamation marks, phrases in all capital letters, or very splashy and spammy language
- Subject lines with exclamation marks and in all capital letters often perform poorly with students. Students may unsubscribe from emails, which will prevent them from receiving your future notifications.
- Give your students a compelling reason to open the email but avoid overused words like ‘free’, ‘sale’, ‘% off’
- Overused words like free can often trigger spam filters and make your promotional emails sound cliche, so when crafting subject lines, consider creating an occasion around your promotion. The occasion could be the time of year, a birthday, a personal achievement, etc. For example, you could offer a special promotion on your course during the week of your birthday. The subject line to the promotional email could be “Celebrate with me this week”.
- Consider framing subject lines as questions
- For example, you want to send a promotional email about your new course on the common mistakes beginner entrepreneurs often make. The subject line framed as a question could be “Why do the majority of all entrepreneurs fail?”.
- Test different subject lines
- Testing will help you determine which subject lines resonate most with your students. If you keep using the same subject line, students can quickly lose interest and are likely to not open your messages.
Check out some examples of subject lines below:
√ Recommended X Not Recommended √ Announcing new courses X Buy my new course for the lowest price ever √ My new course, Pastries for Beginners, is open X Don't miss these amazing discounts √ Impress your friends with this new skill X Super sale: 50 courses for $1 each!!! √ New content: 3 things to remember about gardening X Claim $500 in Udemy Promos NOW! √ What are students saying about this course? X Very Important 2017 Announcement
- Keep subject lines short and concise
Announcements can be used to reignite engagement in your course. Did you recently find an interesting article about your course’s subject matter? Or maybe you want to let students know about the new lecture you’ve added? Crafting and distributing a great Announcement could help you activate the student base and regain their interest!
Here are some things instructors do to create great Announcements that drive engagement within their course:
- Include a contest or call to action and challenge students to finish certain lectures or sections of the course.
- Inspire your students with news from the field and keep them engaged on the subject matter.
- Let students know when you’ve updated or added content. Your investment in the course will grab their attention!
- Remember, announcements are meant to activate and re-engage your students and bring them back to your course. Don't direct students to promotional material, on or off-site. That’s a violation of our policies.
Instructors who send out useful Announcements can see a significant increase in the number of students engaging with your content, (like Seth: as much as an 86% increase in students consuming his content). See below for examples of people who have done this well.
A few days after Seth launched his course, he sent out an inspiring announcement that boosted visits to his course page by 86%! Check it out:
Send this type of announcement shortly after your course launches or after any large waves of enrollments. Here’s the recipe for success:
- Craft a strong introduction:
- “Welcome to the course that will…”
- ...change your life with the power of your keyboard!
- ...give you the tools to build your confidence and start your own business!
- ...(enter your specific mission here!)
- “Welcome to the course that will…”
- Offer advice for getting started:
- Advise students to take the course with a friend or Udemy colleague, post on the discussion board, ask questions, stay involved, and keep learning.
- Let students know that you and their classmates are there to help and support each other!
- (optional) Link to free resources:
- You can provide free resources within your supplemental materials sections of your lectures, or you can let your students know about updates in the field continuously by linking to an article or blog post
- Remember, if you’re going to use external resources, don’t link to paid content, “squeeze pages,” or other non-educational material. Announcements should not be used for promotional purposes.
- Seth Godin’s “Go make a ruckus” echoed through his course. Motivate students with your own words of wisdom!
Having trouble with engagement? You may want to try a contest to incentivize course completion. Sometimes students need an extra push to get them to the end of the course! Check out how Silviu holds his contests:
Here’s how you can hold a successful contest within policy:
- Offer a prize to one lucky winner or up to five students
- Reassure students that you do not collect their personal information, and ensure that you can deliver the prize through an alternate safe channel if needed.
- Have one or more measures of participation such course completion, questions, or discussion posts. Make sure that you don't ask them to leave a review in order to win a prize. That would be considered against Udemy policies, since it would be considered an exchange of reviews for goods or services.
News From The Field
Gregory Caremans sends short but useful Announcements to let students know about the neuroscience and behavior articles that he’s found:
Above, Gregory has linked to an article in “Psychology Today,” gaining insightful comments from students. We’re sure that you keep in touch with news in your topic area, so feel free to share the knowledge with your students! Again, it must be free, accessible, and educational. Try The New York Times, WIRED, BBC, or any public website about your course’s subject matter.
Updates And Revamped Content
Adding new content (or replacing old content with something better) shows students that you’re invested in the course and their learning experience. Take a look at Tim Buchalka’s announcement. These announcements receive lots of comments and generate more discussion posts from students (Tim consistently has over 100 student posts per month). If you’re engaged with the course, the students will often return the favor!
The recipe for this one is simple: Upload new material, write the announcement, and be open to feedback and suggestions!
Don’t Do This
Some people like to learn from counterexamples, so here’s a very bad announcement that you should NOT replicate!