Here’s a short list of techniques for getting reviews that should help you out.
2.1 Publish Quality Courses in a Series
You can’t successfully market a poor course. Yes, you can give thousands of free coupons away, but this will only sink you via bad reviews if your course is poor. So, produce quality content.
Answer student questions and provide sound support. I know there’s a debate going on over how much support $4.88 per course buys, but providing support will help a lot to get quality reviews.
What will help you to get both students and reviews is to release your courses in a series or niche. Once students have enjoyed one course by you on a topic they are very likely to acquire the next course that you produce on that same topic. You can therefore streamline your marketing by releasing many courses in a series.
2.2 Monitor Student Course Completion Records
My primary technique for getting lots of quality reviews fast is to monitor my course student completion records and send Udemy messages to students to:
o Encourage them to complete the course
o Offer to respond to questions and comments
o Encourage those who complete the course to leave a review
Basically, open a dialog with each student who is actively taking your course.
To find student course completion information:
1) Click the Students tab on a course page.
2) Click the green arrows next to the Progress header twice to sort.
3) Check the course reviews to insure the student hasn’t already left a review.
4) Send a message to the student asking for a fair and honest review.
Note that this method often fails because students don’t even know the Udemy messaging system exists so they never respond. Also note that students who have completed your course are more likely to leave good reviews (dip as deep into the percentages as you dare). Encourage students who have partially completed your course and offer them assistance if they’ve gotten stuck.
2.3 Download and Discover Your Highest Rating Students
It’s important to know which students are providing your highest ratings.
To do this, download and manipulate your review report in Excel:
1) Go to the Reviews tab on the Instructor Dashboard and click Export to CSV…
2) Open the report sent to your email inbox.
3) Use the Data->Sort menu item to sort your reviews by Student Name (Column B).
4) Make note of students who have left multiple 5 star reviews. Maintain a list of student names in review count order.
Note that I use Excel to automatically generate a list of student review counts and ratings but the process is too complicated to explain here.
This is your list of students for which you want to provide an extra level of support. Also make sure they get copies of all your new course releases.
2.4 Broadcast Review Request Announcements
Did you know that you can use educational announcements to request reviews. Neither did I until recently. Now I periodically send announcements asking for eviews. Broadcasting requests like this is likely to produce several reviews of lower quality than a direct request to a student who has completed your course. Be sure to use this technique sparingly and specify an enrollment range for your messages to insure you don’t annoy your students with multiple requests.
2.5 Request Reviews in Course Lectures
Include lectures/articles at the middle and end of your course requesting that the student leave a review. Stress the importance and ease of leaving a reviews, offer support help and thank the student ahead of time for their support.
2.6 Ask for Help From Friends and Colleagues
Get your friends and colleagues to take your course and leave a review.
I’ve read of several instructors accomplishing this through LinkIn but have no experience in this technique.
2.7 Challenge Bad Reviews
Before Udemy I used to write and publish eBooks on Amazon. I learned early in my writing career that you should never respond to a review.
Recently, I received a 1 star review for a new course. I decided to try contacting the student to see what went wrong and ask for advice on improvements. Rather than being a negative experience we had a good exchange. Along the way I picked up several useful points and the student ultimately upgraded his rating from 1 star to 3 — I would assume at least partically based on our pleasant exchange.
New rule: Politely and in the spirit of helping challenge bad reviews by apoligizing for the poor experience, asking for improvement suggestions and asking if the student is open to upgrading their review.
Other instructors reported limited success from this technique.