Helping people get started

In order to help people get started, we are planning on doing two things.

  1. Having a series of 5 or 7 emails go out when someone signs up. Each message should be short, and will be translated into the learner’s language.

My question is: What should the short messages say? What would help and encourage people to get started. Please note that most people who sign up at LingQ do nothing. Try to think of what would persuade a friend that you may have referred to LingQ to actually start using LingQ.

  1. Have an introductory lesson or lessons for newcomers. Beginners would get a series of 3 or 4 short lessons in simple language in the language they are learning, with translation. Intermediate and advanced learners would get one longer lesson.

What should these lessons be about?

I am looking forward to your ideas. Thank you.

We need to build up our user base so that LingQ can get better and better.

Please do not hesitate to answer in your native language. We all can use Google translate to understand what you want to say.

is that really a good idea? most people don’t really like getting automated emails they specifically didn’t ask for, if you are gonna do so better make like a checkbox or something so people can enable/disable it and also clearly explain to them what it is they will be receiving

I think newcomers must be convinced that LingQ is the best tool to help people become fluent in a foreign language. So in order to convince them, we have to impress them. Don’t you think they would be impressed if they got testimonials from students expressing themselves in newcomers’ native languages? We could take the opportunity to record a discussion between students in each language available at LingQ or something like this.
I also proposed to offer a ten or fifteen-minute conversation to every newcomer, depending on their subscription level - free or basic - or a one or two-hundred word correction. (I’d personally do that for free).
A series of 3 or 4 lessons tailor-made for each level ranging from very beginners to advanced could also be a good incentive. It’d be better if one of them were free of charge. I’m sure we can find out some of them in the current library.

What Steve’s talking about sounds very similar to the ‘The 7 Rules for Excellent English’ you get from when you sign up for the newsletter. I signed up for it because I thought I could forward it onto my students in Spain for their benefit.

It’s essentially 7 emails with 7 tips about what you can do to improve your level of English, and it also tells you how you can most effectively use Hoge’s materials.

I agree with Yuriy in that you could have a check box just above the ‘Create Your Account’ button where users agree to receive the user tips.

Another idea would be to have a video introduction to the site that automatically plays when people create their account. Of course the video should be in the user’s native language, but to start out, it could just be in English for everyone.

I, like Serge, would also be willing to offer a free conversation to newcomers as an incentive for them to continue to use the site.

As to content of messages and content of lessons, I have no new suggestions at the moment (months ago I suggested an improved, highly-visible-on-the-site, tutorial). I like the idea of the initial, perhaps optional, short e-mails. I’d also like to be able to opt in or out of seeing the translation at the beginning stages. I, for one, would like puzzling things out for myself at the beginning. One of the advantages of LingQ is the Forum, amazing what you can learn here.

I agree with yurly. At least when they sign in let them decide if they want to receive those emails.

And like DavidMartin I agree that adding tips on how to learn a language alongside with the lingQ instructions, that would be more catchy.

You can actually decide if you want to receive emails on your profile!

I’m not sure if offering FREE conversations is a good idea. There are a lot of members who would try this and they have no money to continue. Maybe LingQ should offer to buy the first conversation for $5 with a FREE membership. People with a high interest would invest such a small amount. People who don’t do this have no money, or no interest in my opinion.

Steve: I think it is important to keep the messages short. A brief instruction what a learner should do is the best. No blablabla what is important for language learning. This is boring. Maybe there could be some short instructions “How to use LingQ”. It is important that these messages are in the learner’s language. There should be screenshots included because a lot of learners like visualisation. Each email should explain another issue. For example the first lesson is “Choose a lesson (including some suggestions for suitable collections)”. Second lesson is “Working on a lesson”, than follow “Reviewing LingQs”, “Importing content”, “Community and Forum” etc. Than there could be at least an email which explains the idea behind LingQ and why learning with LingQ works.

Video instructions are another great thing. They should be placed on the site.

You know that I created a document for beginners of German. Maybe this could inspire you. Also I create a lot of documents with other helpful information. You find the links on my profile. I have more ideas and more documents follow soon. The existing documents will be expanded. I think it would be great to have this for each language and written in a lot of languages.

The idea of a series of emails is good in my opinion. A learner should order it after signing up and should have the opportunity to unsubscribe at any time.
These mails won’t bother someone who really wants to learn a language. I don’t believe you can attract people who don’t have a firm intention to do it.

But Steve asks about the contents of the mails.

If I try to persuade friends to learn by LingQ, I say them:

  • online learning is in general much more effective and many times faster as traditional class rooms.
  • the chance to speak to native speaking tutors is crucial- from my personal experience I don’t believe you can achieve fluency and confidence only reading and listening.
  • free timing, littlest routine work (the system makes a lot)
  • the costs are reasonable compared to the other hosts and learning methods