App-Style Pop Up Gamification, Email Notifications and Text Messaging: Powerful New Tools for the Online Course Professional

Today I’d like to introduce you to some powerful new features in the free core LifterLMS plugin and a brand new Twilio add-on for text messaging.

So what’s new with LifterLMS 3.8?

You now have a powerful new notification engine!
Notifications are messages that go out to the student, course author, or anyone else that you add to the specific notification.
The notification messages could be emails, on-screen basic pop ups, or text messages (SMS).
These notifications can be personalized with merge codes like you see in the setup of the purchase receipt email notification below:

These are the trigger points that you can set up notifications for:

  • Achievement Earned
  • Certificate Earned
  • Course Complete
  • Course Track Complete
  • Enrollment
  • Lesson Complete
  • Purchase Receipt
  • Quiz Failed
  • Quiz Passed
  • Section Complete
  • Student Welcome

Email notifications

An email notification can go out to the student, course author, or anyone else you would like.
The most classic example of an email notification is an email receipt that goes to the student for their course or membership purchase. Below is an example of what the purchase receipt email looks like in their inbox:

Email content can be easily modified if you’d like more information than what’s in the default email.
Here are 3 other examples of ways you could use email notifications:

  • Email the course author whenever there is a new enrollment
  • Email the website owner whenever a certificate is earned so they can personally follow up and congratulate the student
  • Email a tutor or coach whenever someone fails a quiz so your learning  support system can engage to help the student progress

How will you use notifications?

Basic on-screen pop up notifications

Basic on-screen pop up notifications add a game-like experience to your courses.
For example, an on-screen pop up can display the moment an achievement badge is earned. This visual display of the badge as a pop up on top of the website adds a little fun positive reinforcement gamification to the learning experience.

If you want to see this achievement pop up badge notification in action, head on over to the free LifterLMS demo course and complete the first lesson.
Also, basic on-screen notifications can have an icon like you see in the image below.

You can enable or disable notification icons if you like.
And if you have LifterLMS Pro, that means you have access to the course creator’s graphics pack. The LifterLMS Pro graphics pack now includes some default positive and negative notification icons for you to use. (FYI the negative notification icon is for quiz fail.)

If you are already a LifterLMS Pro or Universe Bundle customer, you can download the latest version of the course creator’s graphics pack from your account here.

What is the difference between LifterLMS engagements and notifications?

Let’s use email to differentiate an email notification vs. an email engagement.
Notifications are more global in nature, whereas engagements are more specific in nature.
For example, when someone enrolls in a specific course, you may want to send an email engagement with a very personalized course welcome email to the student. That’s an engagement. But when anyone enrolls in any course, you may want to receive an email as the site owner regardless of what course the new student enrolled in. That’s a notification.
Here’s another example with achievement badges. You would want to set up a specific graphical achievement badge as an engagement based on a certain lesson completion. But you would want a global on-screen notification for the student to see at the instant they earn it to increase the gamification factor.

What else is new in LifterLMS 3.8 that you can benefit from?

A lot actually.
At LifterLMS we are constantly reinvesting in the product based on new opportunities we see for improving online learning and based on the feedback of the lively LifterLMS community.
Here’s a quick list of some of the other significant new features that you can benefit from in LifterLMS 3.8:

  • Students will automatically receive email receipts when making purchases and when recurring access plans rebill for better transactional email and accounting.
  • Hidden Access Plans so you can create a special deal hidden from public view for a course or membership for a user or group of users.
  • Added a “Purchase Link” view button to access plans so admins can quickly grab the direct URL to an access plan.  This allows you to more easily link directly into the LifterLMS checkout flow with a specific course or membership loaded in the checkout from a custom sales page or from anywhere else on the internet.
  • Notifications history screen on Student Dashboard to review past notifications that have been received, similar to the experience of Facebook notifications.
  • Email templates have been completely rewritten and styled so emails generated by LifterLMS can be more easily customized by you without you needing to know how to code.
  • Updated and rewritten password reset flow for an easier password reset experience for your students.
  • Earned certificates are only accessible by the student who earned the certificate for tighter privacy and security.
  • Order details now display full country name as opposed to the country code for better internationalization.

That’s what’s new for you to enjoy in LifterLMS 3.8, but keep reading to learn about the newest product addition that just rolled out into the LifterLMS family of add-ons…

LifterLMS introduces text messaging (SMS) to the learning management system, online course, & membership site industry

It’s great when your learning platform engages with the student, course creator, website owner, and others through email and through the website itself. But what about the ability for the learning platform to interact with these people while they are on-the-go via text messaging?
You can now use LifterLMS with Twilio to send automatic notifications via text messaging (SMS), create custom SMS engagements, and allow students to enroll in courses by SMS.
You will see the words SMS and text messaging used interchangeably. They are the same thing.
That sounds great, but how would I actually use it?
* Click here to view the LifterLMS Twilio documentation

Text notifications

Text notifications allow you to receive SMS notifications on your phone.
Many website owners requested this feature so that they could be instantly alerted on their smart phones when new sales or enrollments have taken place.
All text notifications can be customized and you get to decide which ones you want to receive.
The image below shows you all the different trigger points on which you can enable text notifications:

Text engagements

SMS engagements are a great way to add a little automated engagement with your students on their smartphones.
For example, you could send a text message one hour after a student passes a quiz congratulating them on their accomplishment.
These types of  “messenger bots” help to scale the human touch with robotics, as we like to say.
Students also have the option to enable or disable receiving text messages on their account.

* Click here to view the LifterLMS Twilio SMS engagements documentation

Text to enroll

Text to enroll is a powerful feature where you can ask people to text a certain word or code to your phone number, and that will enroll them in a specific course or membership.
Text to enroll is perfect for getting people into a course when you are:

  • Speaking from the stage to a live audiance and want to invite them into your course
  • On a webinar and want to quickly invite people into your course from their phone so they don’t have to leave the webinar
  • In person at meeting or in a room full of people when you want to ask people to quickly enroll in your course
  • Speaking to a group live and want to give people temporary free access to your paid course or membership in order to demonstrate the value of your platform so they can decide later if it’s valuable enough to pay to stay.

* Click here to view the LifterLMS Twilio “text to enroll” documentation

This all sounds really exciting, but how do I get rocking with notifications and adding text messaging to my LMS?

The basic on-screen and email notifications are part of the free core LifterLMS software. If you are an existing user, all you have to do is update your version of LifterLMS like you always do.
If you do not yet have your own free copy of LifterLMS, click the big blue “Download” button at the bottom of this website.
If you’d like to take advantage of text messaging integration with your learning platform click here to buy the LifterLMS Twilio add-on.
The LifterLMS Twilio add-on is also included in the Universe Bundle of plugins made by LifterLMS. So you could also gain access by purchasing the Universe Bundle. If you are an existing Universe Bundle customer with an active license, simply log into your account here and you will see LifterLMS Twilio has been added to your Universe Bundle suite or products and is available for instant download.

“LifterLMS is here to help you build the most engaging learning platform in your industry on the internet”