Feb 15, 2023

Maven Insights: One-day workshops versus full-length courses

By Gagan Biyani
Co-founder & CEO of Maven
Maven studies the effectiveness of low-cost and free workshops in converting students into full-length paid courses.

Back in November/December, Maven ran an experiment to test how one-day workshops resonated with students. The instructors who participated announced that they’d be running a one-day workshop, which we promoted to the Maven student email list.
The goal with this experiment was to see if offering shorter, more affordable courses converted more students & could replace longer courses as the default.
We’ll be doing similar experiments constantly. Many will not succeed. However, we always want to share the results and include you in these tests in case they can make a major difference for your course.
Some takeaways from our workshop experiment:
1. One-day workshops should not replace full-length courses.
They simply didn’t make enough revenue to justify the cost. We priced them at about $200-500, as opposed to $700-$3,000 for full-length courses. The level of marketing effort and preparation for instruction was very similar, but the revenue fell off.
2. Low-priced or free workshops work well as lead generation.
We had many instructors sell free or low priced (<$100) workshops and then convert those students into their full-length, paid courses. One instructor charged $19 for their workshop and saw 11% conversion rate from the workshop into their full course. Another instructor hosted a free workshop, bringing in 1,000 email leads with a 2% conversion into their full course (20 students). Other instructors who have run free workshops report 5-10% conversion rate on average into their full-length course.
Results of this experiment: 
In the next few weeks, Maven is launching “lead magnet” functionality into the product. This will let you host free workshops or share gated content that provides an incentive for students to share their email. This is a lead collection strategy that we see working for many instructors already. We’ll start with a “resource” lead magnet and then add workshops later on.
We highly recommend instructors use free and low-priced workshops as a way to get leads in advance of their cohorts. This is often a top 5 marketing tactic for those who do it, so we’re glad to have validated that with this experiment.

*Update as of March 2, 2023: Maven launched lead magnet functionality to help you share free resources and gather more leads.
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