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Hi, there!

 

As a newbie, I am learning as much as my students... My course is new and has only 7 students so far and no reviews yet.

 

The issue: I offered a free coupon to 2 people, one being a family member and one a total stranger who contacted me on my site and was very interested in my course. I wanted to make it possible for him to take it, plus I need students. Of course, I did not ask for any public reviews in exchange for it, that would be wrong. The family member actually won't be leaving a review for sure because I don't want anyone thinking it was fake and not honest (although he truly liked the course).

 

But the other student I am not related to or even know is really enjoying the course and asked me if he can leave a review, he wants to know if the fact that he got the free coupon would prevent him from doing so. I told him I would check and not to worry about it, the feedback he gave me was so helpful, but he is adamant about the review. Even wants to pay just to be able to review, as he feels it is not fair to get the value for free.

 

I learned that these coupons are tricky and won't do them again... but I don't regret helping someone out and I am happy they liked it...

Kindly,
Luisa
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Hi Luisa. Welcome to Udemy and congrats on your first course! Giving away free coupons is GREAT (in my opinion). I give away lots of free coupons, particularly when I first got started, and I still do when I launch a new course. Sometimes a student will ask a question about a course and I'll give them a free coupon just to be nice. Just last month I redesigned one of my old courses and it was a sunny day and I was in a good mood, so I sent a 3-day unlimited free coupon to my 38k students to join that course. I felt good about it 😉

 

As for asking for reviews, it's totally fine. In fact, it's great way to get started. You just have to be clear about the language you're using: You are not giving away free coupons in exchange for positive reviews. This is basically bribing. Instead, you are offering free coupons to get the course going and build social proof, and you ask that the students leave an honest review of the course. 

 

So definitely ask the student to leave a review! Maybe even send them a free coupon link that they can share with a few friends. Getting started on Udemy is difficult and takes a while. My recommendation is to work on building up a student base (free coupons are good for this), and don't worry about sales; those will come in the future.

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Hi Luisa. Welcome to Udemy and congrats on your first course! Giving away free coupons is GREAT (in my opinion). I give away lots of free coupons, particularly when I first got started, and I still do when I launch a new course. Sometimes a student will ask a question about a course and I'll give them a free coupon just to be nice. Just last month I redesigned one of my old courses and it was a sunny day and I was in a good mood, so I sent a 3-day unlimited free coupon to my 38k students to join that course. I felt good about it 😉

 

As for asking for reviews, it's totally fine. In fact, it's great way to get started. You just have to be clear about the language you're using: You are not giving away free coupons in exchange for positive reviews. This is basically bribing. Instead, you are offering free coupons to get the course going and build social proof, and you ask that the students leave an honest review of the course. 

 

So definitely ask the student to leave a review! Maybe even send them a free coupon link that they can share with a few friends. Getting started on Udemy is difficult and takes a while. My recommendation is to work on building up a student base (free coupons are good for this), and don't worry about sales; those will come in the future.

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Hi, Mike! I just wanted to make sure I am following the rules correctly, of course the reviews have to be totally honest, but I wasn't sure if it was ok to have them. Thank you so much for clarifying and sharing your experience! You're right, it is time to plant the good seeds and not worry about the harvest just yet.Smiley Happy

Kindly,
Luisa

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Hello. Is there a way I can prevent non-paying students (who have used free coupons I have put out) from rating my course? I want to do this because a couple of days ago I gave out a free coupon to a junior colleague who is genuinely interested in the course, and then in his genuine enthusiasm for the course he has forwarded the coupon to his colleagues/students and suddenly I have 80+ new course registrants today! Until this I had just about 140+ students over the last few years that I have let the course sit there. While I am fine with the 80+ folks registering for free, my ethics do not allow me to let them review my course even though I don't personally know any of them except the first junior colleague at the beginning of the link. If nothing else, they might feel obliged to leave a positive review just because they got a free coupon or because they got it from their manager/teacher. Please let me know how I can block free reviews.

 

Udemy should really go back to feature where an instructor can create just a handful of coupons instead of the minimum 100 coupons that is possible now.

 

Also, where-ever Udemy shows the number of students in a course, it should separately list the number of paying students and number of free students.

 

I do hope Udemy provides a way for me to block the possible free-coupon reviews. Having written a book on Mahatma Gandhi's ethics (http://mahatmayoga.in) I am squirming at the possibility that I may inadvertantly end up having encouraged positive reviews unless I block the above.

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Is Udemy thinking of an "Audit" option for courses, like some of the other learning platforms offer? The Audit option could be restricted to those who get free coupons from the course instructor.

 

Ideally I would like to push all my free-coupon students into an Audit option where they can watch all the lectures but:

(i) do not show up in the course student count

(ii) can not post course reviews

(iii) can not submit assignments and answer quizzes (or, if they can, their submissions go into a separate Audit bin which I don't have to handle immediately).

 

Thanks.

 

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