Create high converting promo images for your online course

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How your course looks and feels for students goes a long way in creating a lively (or empty) community.

Students typically feel more comfortable, valued and encouraged to contribute within courses that feel warm and inviting.

On OpenLearning, students will view a course thumbnail image in the course discovery page and a promo image inside the course’s landing page before deciding to join.

course discovery_openlearningcourse landing page

These images will be the first contact between you and your potential students.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to select a high converting image to attract students attention and encourage them to sign up for your course! 


How to create a high converting promo images for your online course

According to OpenLearning’s Course Quality Criteria, a high quality course promo page:

  1. Has a relevant and enticing course title
  2. Has a relevant and enticing course thumbnail image
  3. Has a relevant and engaging course promo video/image
  4. Has an inviting and relevant course banner image that includes the course title
  5. Contains key information that students need to know to enrol
  6. Is well-written in an engaging manner

Three out of six points above have a focus on visuals.

In this blog post, we will share three tips you can use to create a high converting course thumbnail and promo image.


Tip #1 – Use a fitting image

The content of your imagery is very important to show potential students of what your course would offer.

You can create your own imagery by taking your own photos, or use free tools available on the internet to design and edit your images.

If you don’t have the time or resources to create your own images, finding stock photos can be a convenient option. You can read our post about copyright along with a list of resources you can use to find the perfect image!

If you choose to use photos for your promo images, ensure that the photos that you picked is aligned to the course’s topic.

Found an image that you like, but still doesn’t quite fit with the tone of your course? Don’t be afraid to edit it! A few small adjustments can take a photo from good to great.

uts course image example openlearning

You don’t have to use a photo for your promo image. Using illustrations and icons can also be an option. This can work well when it is difficult to find appropriate imagery for your course.

icons course thumbnails example openlearning

Tip #2 – Incorporate text

You can add text to further enhance your course promo images!

There are two aspects of texts that every course creators need to be aware of:

1. Positioning: It’s very important to crop and position your image to work with your text. Make sure that your text and image are not fighting for attention!

openlearning_list of courses
2. Overlaying Text: If you want to use a busy image, you can overlay a box or shape in a solid or transparent colour to put your text on to make it legible. Don’t forget to pair your text and image well, so that the message is both legible and interesting.

list of courses 2 openlearning

If you are from an organisation with set branding colours and style guide, the course imagery and text is a great opportunity to reflect your company branding.

Tip #3 – Get the sizes right

A recommended size for a course thumbnail is 600 x 400 pixels.

A recommended size for a course promo image inside a landing page is 1200 x 800 pixels.

Sizing your images to fit these dimensions correctly is important for ensuring your beautiful design is not stretched or skewed.

These three tips will definitely help you to create images that will grab students’ attention.

To change your course thumbnail and promo image, go to Course Setup > General.

Once you’re done designing your course’s thumbnail and promo image, you can continue to create course banners that students can’t miss!

Have other tips that can be used when designing a course thumbnail or promo image? Share it in the comment sections below!

2 Replies to “Create high converting promo images for your online course”

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