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How to Play the Long Game in Today’s E-Learning Market

Demand for e-learning has grown significantly over the past decade as people and companies increasingly look to upskill online.

According to Business Wire , the global corporate e-learning market is expected to be worth US$49.87 billion by 2026. The US and Europe make up over 70 percent of this , while Asia Pacific is the fastest-growing region, with an anticipated growth rate of 20 percent a year . Some of the big players in the market include Udemy , SkillShare , and Coursera.  

Despite the positive prospect, what do e-learning providers need to do to play the long game in this thriving market? The answer lies in smart strategy and advanced technology like artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning.     

The Rise of E-Learning

This growth in the e-learning market is being driven by several factors: A glut of new e-learning technology, the need for talent enhancement and retention, and a desire for more convenient and cost-efficient ways to learn.

The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated this growth by pushing people to spend more time online. However, competition in the e-learning industry is increasingly fierce, and there are still several challenges providers need to overcome.

The mental hurdle is one. E-learning is still a relatively new concept and some business leaders still see in-person learning as a better way. There is also the notorious lack of motivation to upskill independently plus not knowing what skills will be needed in the future. 

Achieving Long-Term Success in E-Learning Business

To overcome some of the challenges, e-learning brands can design engaging courses with bite-sized modules that deliver proven value, or offer a variety of courses based on current work trends. You can also provide support through community forums and real-time chat.

Another crucial element to driving a successful e-learning business is being able to market it successfully. You can have the greatest e-learning courses in the world, but if you don’t market it in the right way to the right people, you will struggle to thrive. And your focus should never be only the short game. You need to look at how you can keep delivering desirable offerings into the future.

Here are five actions to help achieve long-term success:

1. Define your audience for retargeting

Being sustainable means growth and to grow your e-learning business, you need to look beyond your existing customer base. Real-time bidding (RTB) is an effective way to get seen by more prospective e-learners and tap into a wider audience pool.

To ensure more promising results, you can use deep learning to analyze your data and segment this audience based on massive behaviors and interests, and then combine the best segments based on massive rules. Finally, deep learning can rank the segment combinations based on value .

With these insights, you can retarget your most valuable segments with relevant ads to drive more conversions, with improved return on investment (ROI).  

2. Up your social targeting efforts

Social media can be an extremely effective tool for growing your e-learning business. However, as the cost of social media advertising increases, you need to be asking yourself: “How can I effectively optimize my segmentation to get the best ROI?”

While AI can help improve and expand your ability to target and segment social audiences by identifying correlations in interest, best possible keywords, and preferences, it can also help you identify and avoid overlap in audiences, so you don’t end up bidding against yourself and creating inefficiencies.

3. Anticipate audience needs to better upsell

The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70 percent, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5 to 20 percent. So, it is critical to have a robust retention strategy for your e-learning brand.

Upselling is a great retention tactic that can help you grow your revenue faster and more sustainably.  

By combining your own data, such as sign-ups, learning behavior and popular courses, with legally-compliant third-party data, you can discover what else your existing customers are interested in beyond your own channels, and gain a 360-degree customer view. You can then more accurately recommend courses or products for upselling – and sell more.

4. Create personalized learning experiences

Personalization is key to commercial success – and the e-learning market is no exception. Delivering highly-customized courses that provide specific content based on a learner’s past performance and individual goals can really set you apart.

This level of personalization at scale is possible using AI and big data. By taking into account a learner’s past behavior, learning preferences, and knowledge gaps, machine learning enables you to present people with the right content, at the right time, in the right place.

Apart from the course content, things you can customize and optimize also include your course structure, format (video, written, quizzes), length of modules, and even learning platforms. You can even omit modules a person has already covered – reducing training time. 

5. Justify your pricing

Setting the right price isn’t easy in the e-learning market. You need to be competitive, but at the same time, you don’t want to devalue your offering by swinging the ball too low.

Freemium offerings with appealing short-term subscription pricing can be a great way to acquire new customers and build a larger customer base. However, to keep learners interested and drive sustainable growth, you need to make sure your content is innovative and engaging, not just good value.

Top-rate content and continuous investment will not only make the learning experience more enjoyable, but it will put a premium on your e-learning offering – something people will willingly pay for.  


To grow a successful e-learning brand and find long-term success, you need to ensure you are delivering the right mix of content, value, and marketing – and taking advantage of today’s technologies. The need for continuous learning and online courses will only increase – and focusing on long-term success should be the goal.  

* Want to know more about how to leverage AI and deep learning to achieve long-term success in your e-learning business? We are here to help! Contact us today for an exclusive consultation.

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