How to Write Course USPs That Capture Student Enrolments

Claudia Reiners
September 28, 2022

How to Write Course USPs That Capture Student Enrolments

4bf428ed6af9ff680b7ac8b24b046f3d?s=50&d=mm&r=g Claudia Reiners
Head of Strategy

Course USPs help you stand out above your competitors and connect with users, as you demonstrate your ability to offer them something that they can’t get anywhere else.

Finding ways to present and leverage your unique selling propositions can make a huge difference when it comes to converting potential students. Showing students what makes your courses special can allow you to become a leader in your space and break ground where your competitors haven’t so far. 

In this article, we’ll go into some of the key ways you can do this and get immediate results.

What are USPs?

USP stands for unique selling proposition and can be used to describe any exceptional quality of a course, product or business. Whether it’s in marketing, manufacturing, or education, understanding and communicating unique selling propositions is an effective way to get through to customers the reason why you’re the best fit for them.

An example of this outside the education sector could be a small business that targets customers with relevant marketing messages that highlight strong, unique selling propositions which alleviate pain points they may have experienced with other retailers and solve customer needs. Overall, this could help to improve customer experience and create a business model that focuses on longevity and durability that bring in new customers in the long run.

In the education sector, course USPs could cover a variety of areas within your marketing strategy. For some providers, their prestige and reputation within the education sector can be a USP in itself. If you’re a smaller provider, unique selling propositions could be around flexibility, course delivery options, or learning tools that are unique to you as a provider. Spend some time brainstorming common themes within your courses, as you may find that there is a common mission statement that you can build on.

A good way to treat your company’s USP and courses is to think of it like an elevator pitch that shows what specific benefit there is for potential customers and which pain points you hope to alleviate for your target market.

The key defining feature of a USP is that it should answer the key question posed by your target audience: “Why should I choose this course and provider?” It should show the qualities that make you special and the best choice possible.

Do USPs make a difference?

You might think that your courses speak for themselves, and students will see the benefits of your courses easily. However, it’s good to consider making your course USPs as obvious as possible, as students might not be willing to give you the time needed to scroll through lots of information. 

Our student sentiment index found that students’ urgency to study is currently at an all-time low, with 71% of students saying that they planned to study within the next 12 months, a drop of 8% from 2020. This means that students need more convincing reasons than ever to study, which are put before them in a way that captures their attention and makes an impression straight away. 

As providers are now catering to students who are less likely to take a step towards studying, effective USPs are vital for communicating course benefits.

Identify what makes you special as a provider

One of the simplest ways to write course USPs that capture student enrolments is to determine the key attributes your courses offer that allow you to stand out from competitors. 

These attributes should be present and clear in your digital marketing efforts, as well as in your content marketing, social media, and site landing pages

Below are some examples of unique selling propositions that can be used as effective templates or jumping-off points.

Is your course delivery different to competitors?

How your course is delivered can be a key differentiator you should communicate to learners. This can be a make-or-break factor for many learners, as the way in which a course is delivered heavily impacts the accessibility students have to learning. 

Suppose you can offer hybrid or fully online courses. In that case, this could be an essential factor for your potential learner base to consider and be the perfect area to build unique selling propositions around. This is backed up by recent data from the Voice of The Online Learner Survey 2022, which found that 94% of students now have a positive view of online learning, an increase from 86% prior to the beginning of the pandemic. 

But it’s not just about telling learners you offer unique course delivery options, such as hybrid or online learning. It’s also important to think about how course delivery could fit into your learners’ personal lives, as this is a great way to find brilliant USPs and improve your marketing campaigns

Does your course delivery allow for maximum flexibility? Do you have case studies to back up your USPs that demonstrate how your course delivery was the perfect fit for a large portion of your previous students? Starting with questions like these and working backward to find the perfect USP that sums up the benefits of your style of course delivery could give you the chance to capture far more student enrolments in the long term.

Do your payment plans reflect the needs of your students?

Another potential area to focus on building USPs around is how students actually pay back course costs to you. 

Sometimes, the fact that a course is lower cost or better value can be a USP in itself, however, having a unique approach to repayment can also be a unique selling point to potential learners. 

With average earnings down and a worsening cost of living crisis, giving students peace of mind when it comes to repayment can be a solid area to focus on. If you have a repayment model that allows for flexibility and takes individual needs into account, you can build out USPs around this. This approach can help to boost enrolments, not least because it positions you as a provider who genuinely cares about its students and wants them to see learning as a blessing and not a burden, 

Remember that unique selling propositions are designed to help a potential learner understand what makes you special. If you feel that your repayment system is set up in a unique way that might be kinder or more flexible than your competitors, let your learners know.

What outcomes and results can you offer?

When you’re aiming to craft USPs that make an impact, focusing on outcomes and results is an excellent way to connect with learners. 

If you’re aiming to find leads for premium courses, focusing on how your courses can lead to lucrative career opportunities, professional development, and open up new and exciting job roles can be an effective value proposition.

If you don’t have case studies or data to back this up, suggesting typical paths or career opportunities that come after completing a course can be enough of a foundation to build a solid USP on. This works especially well for accreditations or certificates that are required to start certain job roles. 

If you do have data to back up your unique selling propositions, this is a powerful way to cut through the noise and stand out. Building up skill sets and becoming qualified is a proven method to advance career opportunities and increase earnings.

USPs help you stand out from the crowd in your marketing efforts and attract high-quality students that are likely to convert. 

Spending time understanding the benefits you offer and knowing what makes you special as a provider is the best way to craft genuine and strong USPs. These can drive up student enrolments and help you to get a competitive advantage and higher market share within the education sector.

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Claudia Reiners
Head of Strategy
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