Selling Online Courses Conference

16-17 September 2020

We are delighted to be planning our first IH Conference for Selling Online Courses.

This conference is intended for anybody in an IH school who is involved in selling online courses - from front office and marketing staff to management teams.

We will be live and online on Zoom. Link will be mailed to IH staff. This is an IH only conference.


Wednesday 16th September 2020

The themes of today are  Knowing your Customers and Generating Leads

9-10am (BST)

10-11am (CET)

What does the Customer want?

Introduced by Beccy Wiggs, IHWO

What do potential customers look for when they buy online language courses? Let’s ask them.  We have assembled a panel consisting of real language learners and we’ll be listening to what attracted them and clinched the sale.

Beccy has been a member of the IHWO team for six years now and has been lucky to visit more than 50 IH schools. This year, she’s looking forward to adding some more virtual visits to that list!

10-11am (BST)

11-12am (CET)

Differentiating your Product: Get Better than the Competition!

Lucy Horsefield and Giuliana Faldetta, IHWO 

To differentiate your online language learning products you need to know what your competitors are offering and how they are presenting their offer. With online, the extra challenge is that a competitor could be a global provider, an online school, or a language school round the corner - though this lack of geographical limitation is also a huge opportunity. In this session we take inspiration from some of the large providers selling online courses and see how they are differentiating and selling. We will also outline how you can analyse your local or known competitors offer and use this to refine your product and ensure what you offer is better! 

Lucy and Giuliana work tirelessly on behalf of all IH schools to market your courses. Lucy’s taken up construction in lockdown – she may show you her recreation of London’s Tower Bridge!

11-12am (BST)

12-1pm (CET)

The Customer’s Journey from the Online ad to their Registration for an Online Course

Ludolf Schnittger, IH Hamburg

Our presentation shows the journey of a potential customer from reading an online ad to signing a contract via booking a free online course.

Ludolf Schnittger, CEO of our school – and skilled metalworker! Competencies aside from management: SEO, online marketing, usability Harald Behrens, English teacher - studied English and German literature and art history - other competencies: business correspondence, marketing, copywriting.

2-3pm (BST)

3-4pm (CET)

How to Market Online Courses

Herbert Gerzer, Language School Digital Marketing

In this session, language schools will learn how to fill their pipeline with qualified leads and increase direct course enrolments with targeted paid ad campaigns. We will cover:

  • How To Create Scroll-Stopping, High-Converting Facebook And Instagram Ads 
  • How To Achieve Omnipresence And Stay In Front Of Potential Students
  • Real Case Studies And Examples Of Effective Ads

This session is particularly useful for language schools that already have a strong online presence (i.e. invest time and resources into social media/content creation) and are looking to leverage this by running paid ad campaigns to drive student enquiries and direct course enrolments.

Herbert runs a highly-creative, results-driven Digital Marketing Agency for language schools and education providers around the world. He has over 13 years of experience in the language training industry with previous roles as Training & Development Manager, overseeing a team of 120 teachers in three countries and as Key Account Manager, personally handling the language training budget for some of Europe's leading companies. Herbert now helps language schools around the world attract new students and sell more language courses through targeted paid advertising campaigns.

3-4pm (BST)

4-5pm (CET)

5 Ways to Convert Leads into Sales when Selling Online

Daniel Saron, IH Madrid

Daniel shares his five top tips for converting leads into sales.

Daniel is Director of Language Teaching Centres and In-Company Training at IH Madrid.

Thursday 17th September 

The themes of today are  Nurturing Leads and Closing the Sale

9-10am (BST)

10-11am (CET)

Hybrid Classes - Offering the USP Of Confidence & Flexibility in Uncertain Times

Peter Hayes, IH Manchester

To see hybrid lessons in action is really exciting. However, looking beyond the novelty of this innovation there are so many more advantages to adopting this approach. The disruption caused by Covid has unfortunately not yet gone away for good. Wherever we are in the world, the threat of a local spike or a second wave remains. The threat of sudden travel restrictions, quarantine and lockdowns remains a significant worry for study travel agents, parents and students alike. I aim to show that when coupled with a strong online offer, hybrid teaching can offer seamless contingency and give the buyer the confidence and security to commit, even in these uncertain times.

Peter is the Director of IH Manchester, and has been very successful in selling both online and hybrid classes for his students. You may also know he does a good turn at abseiling down hotels!

10-11am (BST)

11-12am (CET)

Running High Impact B2B Sales Meetings

Fiona Thomas, Net Languages

Daniel Pink said “B2B sales is not sales, it’s management consultancy”. When moving through the sale funnel, how do you get beyond being seen as a sales person to being seen as a management consultant? Why is this important? Running effective meetings (online or face-to-face) with potential corporate clients can make all the difference in this sense. Importantly, it can make the difference between making a sale or not. This session will cover some of the things to bear in mind when running these meetings to help you persuade these potential clients to buy your online courses. 

Fiona is Chief Operating Officer of Net Languages based in Barcelona.  Her work currently involves strategic planning, operational management and client management. 

11-12am (BST)

12-1pm (CET)

Agents' Views of the Online Sales Process

Martijn van de Veen, VP Business Development, ICEF

Martijn will introduce this panel session with a small group of agents who are positive and active with selling online courses. Look forward to solid input and insights from the agency world!  

Martijn’s career has predominantly been within the student & youth travel sector, including an 8-year tenure as global director of the International Student Identity Card (ISIC). Currently he is VP Business Development for ICEF. Martijn studied Japanese and French, has lived and worked in Frankfurt, Paris and Tokyo. Now based in Amsterdam, he speaks 7 languages.

8-9am (MEX)

2-3pm (BST)

3-4pm (CET)

Turning Creativity into Sales

Orlando Delgada Mata and Ariel Lopez, IH Mexico

Orlando will share his inside and outside the box thinking about new product development, and Ariel will focus on selling processes – distribution, channel design and the use of a CRM. 

Ariel is Director of IH Mexico City, and Orlando is Director of Teacher Training Operations.

3-4pm (BST)

4-5pm (CET)

How to use AI to Improve the Placement Test and Attract more Students

Iñaki Letamendia & Emma Heyderman, IH San Sebastian

We will present a case study where members of different teams (marketing & sales, education, IT…) in our school worked successfully together to improve our enrolment process and placement testing. We moved it online with the aim of improving the user experience and also the conversion rates. In presenting our new process, we’ll focus on three key stages of its development:

  1. initial feedback from an external market research team and how it helped us shape the rebuild, in particular by placing the customer at the centre of the experience.
  2. the redesign of the actual test with the help of IT and AI specialists.
  3. our reflections so far and next steps
Lacunza – International House is a large school in the north of Spain with a student population of just under 6,000 students. It has branches in San Sebastian and four towns in the province. Iñaki Letamendia is the Director of Sales and Marketing. He has worked in marketing departments in companies such as San Sebastian Tourism City Board, the regional train company Euskotren and he is now responsible for the marketing and sales strategy in IH Lacunza. Emma Heyderman is the Director of Education where she is responsible for the academic programme and teacher training.

4-5pm (BST)

5-6pm (CET)

Online Onboarding , Level Testing & Signup Sheets

Tanya Harn, IH OTTI and Justine Hince, IH Arezzo

Post-payment, Pre-course – building your course participants’ engagement and preparing them for online learning. Tanya will take us through a brief look at what we do at the IH Online Teacher Training Institute once a person has enrolled for one of our courses to best prepare them for studying online.  We will look at the pre-course materials we send them and our online Common Room that guides them through some of the skills they will need to navigate our online learning platform.

IH Arezzo have ditched paper sign-up sheets and switched to a digital form allowing students to self-enroll. In addition, this online form streamlines the communication chain and sends the Zoom code directly to the student upon submission of the form. Get some practical tips!

Tanya and Justine will answer any of your questions together after the session.

Tanya has been a valued member of the IHWO team for six years. She is a CELTA teacher trainer, and has taught for IH and the British Council in schools from Poland to Japan.

Justine originally comes from California but has been living in the Tuscan hills of Italy for 5 years. Entering her third year of teaching, Justine also heads up the YOUtheatre course and manages the social media, marketing, and website for the school.