Marketers understand the importance of the “magic hour”: that unicorn-like time zone where users open their emails, watch ads, and otherwise engage with the latest campaign. It’s clear that certain times of the day are more popular than others for increasing engagement rates, which is why you don’t usually get special offers at midnight.
But what if the same logic and analytics applied to make a marketing campaign more effective was applied to eLearning? By taking human behavior into consideration and offering some common sense solutions for your learners, you could increase engagement rates (and give users something other than marketing emails to open).
A Day in the Life
While everyone is unique, most professionals follow the same patterns of activity throughout the week and day. It’s why marketing campaigns rarely go out on Monday morning or Friday afternoon: Both are times when most working individuals are disinterested and either gearing up or slowing down. Marketing pros will tell you that the best days of the week to capture interest and engagement are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Now that you’ve narrowed down the best day to push out new eLearning, consider the behavior of your learners throughout the day and you can time training to those habits:
First Thing’s First: In the morning, users are inundated with tasks and emails, so anything you try and deliver will probably be lost among the noise. Avoid sending anything but clear basics between the hours of 9 a.m. and 12 p.m.
News Hour: Between the hours of 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., people are most likely to use their lunch break to peruse the news. If you want to capture learner attention, try styling eLearning like a news brief or bring them something they’ve never heard before to capitalize on their lunchtime thirst for all things current.
In the Zone: Act fast: The hour between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. is when professionals are the most focused on their current jobs. That means they’ll be the most receptive to eLearning that helps them with their current position. Product specifications, compliance training, and safety notes all make sense when learners are already thinking about their roles and jobs.
Afternoon Apathy: Most workers start to feel a little tired and apathetic between the hours of 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., but you can use it to your advantage by using this time for succession and leadership training. A wistful employee hoping for a new opportunity will be much more likely to open material that helps him get ahead during these hours.
Entertain Me: Don’t just consider the hour, but the delivery method. After work hours, employees still have room for engagement on their mobile phones. What’s more, they want to be entertained in the hours between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., so it’s the perfect time for a quick, entertaining video delivered via mobile phone or a game-like training session accessible via tablet.
You could have the most clever and responsive eLearning available, but if learners can’t be bothered to click a link or start a module, it’s all for naught. Think like a marketer to increase learner buy-in and make sure that the time of day or day of the week doesn’t derail your best efforts.