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How Member Reminders Help Keep CME Learners on Task

No one, especially not a busy medical professional, truly enjoys an email reminder. At best, it might underscore their lack of time to complete a CME activity that they may have enjoyed. At worst, it could add to their frustration with a less-than-satisfying learning experience they may be on the cusp of abandoning. As a CE administrator, finding the right way to address the reasons why a CME learner may have gotten off track—while gently encouraging them to return to their activities—can be a challenge. In this post, we will show you how to use member reminders to keep your learners engaged.

Why Learners Ignore Multiple Reminders and How to Get Their Attention

As any marketer—or parent of a teenager—may tell you, repeating the same message over and over may actually decrease the likelihood of your listener paying attention. That is why the content and delivery of your email reminders are so important. Poorly timed or written reminders may not only sabotage member response rates, but they can also add to an already frustrated learners list of poor experiences—sometimes leading them to abandon your platform altogether.

That means the ability to customize automated email reminders is critical. A one-size-fits-all reminder email is unlikely to meet the unique needs of your audience. One easy solution is to choose a CME platform such as EthosCE which allows you to craft and automate email reminders which are appropriate to a range of contexts, as well as send individualized reminders to learners with specific course completion issues. If you are sending your reminder emails manually, the following will help you fine-tune your copy.

How to Write a Reminder That Gets a Rapid Response

The first rule is to avoid stating the obvious. “We have not seen you in a while” isn’t news: “You only have three more quizzes to go: you can still complete your course by November 1!” is useful information that may earn a clickthrough.

A second point to note is in some cases, a user is unhappy with their experience and needs to be asked why they aren’t coming back. Few learners will send you an unsolicited email, explaining why they don’t want to finish their activities. One way to discover what is delaying their return to your course is to offer them a link to a member poll within a reminder, allowing them to give you instant feedback on what isn’t working for them, allowing you to craft a follow-up email to address their concerns.

A third reason why your learner might have interrupted their progress is they simply have no time. If your learner showed timely progress through their activities and then suddenly slowed their pacing, this could be the case. In these instances, a short email offering a few ways to get back on track, with suggestions of how much time per day or week is needed to complete the course by a specific date can be highly useful. For a harried professional who may feel overwhelmed by an overflowing inbox and the host of obligations competing for their attention, your reminder should represent a solution, not another item requiring a response.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you create your reminder:

  1. Create a purpose-driven headline.
    Don’t rely strictly on humor or wordplay to get your message across. Think of your reminder like a map: make it relevant to your learners’ immediate circumstances, easy to understand, and simple to act upon. “Complete three more lessons to finish your course this week” will resonate more than a “What did we do?” headline.
  2. Use language which shows off your knowledge of your learner’s needs.
    Your members are learners, but they are also consumers. With that in mind, it’s important to personalize your communications with them. Highlight the fact you welcome their feedback (“Did you find this video helpful?”), you know where they are in their course (“Congrats! You’ve completed your first activity!) and are willing to help with the challenges they may be facing in completing it (“If you need a little help with Activity 3, head over to our FAQ”).
  3. Segment your reminders based on their purpose and use timing wisely.
    Make certain your email reminders match their context. If your learner has just finished a quiz, you don’t want to send them a generic reminder minutes later. Instead, a congratulatory email with a reminder of how they can meet their goals by their desired date will encourage their engagement without appearing to rush them along.

The ability to keep users on track will impact everything from learner outcomes to your program’s growth. Since improving learner outcomes is also an essential part of ACCME standards compliance, the success of your email reminders plays a significant role in meeting your CME benchmarks.

How an Enterprise-Grade CME Platform Can Automate Critical Administrative Tasks

As a CE administrator, your ability to multitask is honed over the years, but you also know how to delegate when appropriate. Managing email reminders is one of those critical tasks which can be time-consuming and a bit tedious, but are also too important to leave to the intern.

That’s where an enterprise-grade CME platform can help. The EthosCE platform makes repetitive (but essential) administrative tasks effortless through automation, providing simple controls to allow CE administrators to customize reminders based on their learners’ unique needs.

That means you can craft a series of email reminders, schedule them, and let the platform do the rest. There’s also an option to provide instant feedback to learners from within the LMS platform or via email when they reach a particular milestone in their course or when they’ve left an activity without completing it.

As a CE administrator, you’re responsible for helping your team make your association’s CME goals achievable, with as little friction as possible. With EthosCE, you can outsource time-consuming tasks to our robust platform, without sacrificing your ability to monitor and control how they are completed. We’ve helped associations of every size achieve and exceed theory CME mission. If you’re ready to make email reminders and your other administrative tasks, virtually effortless, we’re ready to help.

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