There are several types of emails that a registered learner on FutureLearn may receive.
Sent to learners, on Monday mornings, during a course run at weekly intervals based on when the learner enrolled. Enable weekly emails for your course and choose to write your own copy, or if you do not write your own copy a generic email will be sent. Alternatively, you can disable weekly emails so that no email is sent. The end-of-course email is sent on the Monday following the final week of the course. Weekly emails are sent with the name and job title of the primary educator listed within the team tab in Course Creator.
Manually scheduled by partners and are used on an ad-hoc basis to send important updates to learners, for example, a reminder of an upcoming live event. Additional emails can be sent to the following groups of learners:
- all learners
- fully completed learners
- fully participated, but not completed learners
- fully participated learners
- learners who have not visited a step
- learners who have visited a step
Fully Participated learners are learners who have marked at least 50% of the steps on the course as complete.
Don’t use additional emails to send an ‘end of week 1 email’ or similar because some learners will be in week 1 while others week 2 which creates a confusing learning experience.
Automated intervention emails
Sent to learners based on their progress learning on an open course. They are not sent to learners on invite-only (private) courses. A description of what is stated in the intervention emails can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.
If a learner unsubscribes from the automated intervention emails they will also stop receiving any other emails related to the course run (all the emails described on this page).
Use marketing emails to promote your other FutureLearn courses. They are only sent to learners who have opted-in to receive marketing materials relating to your course or other relevant courses or products.
- Populate the email in the emails tab in Course Creator, within your course run. Select the fourth section ‘marketing emails’. Any email sent for marketing purposes must be sent via this tab to ensure GDPR compliance.
- Send one promotional email to learners per quarter, per on demand course run.
- Send one promotional email to learners per run for a limited run course.
- You may mention specific commercial and non-commercial events or products that relate to the FutureLearn course.
- Marketing emails must not be used to send surveys or questionnaires to learners.
If you wish to send an email to learners as part of a research project, a targeted email is required. See our research survey guidance.
Top tips - do’s and don’ts
1. Comply with GDPR
- Do not add any text about upgrading on the course.
- Do not include promotional copy or links to any other FutureLearn or non-FutureLearn courses; even if the course is invite-only. This is marketing. If a learner has not upgraded their course, but has opted to receive marketing from FutureLearn a prompt encouraging them to upgrade will appear below the email signature automatically.
- If the course is part of an ExpertTrack you can acknowledge this. Be clear and informative not promotional.
- Do not add any survey links - create a targeted research email instead.
- Link to resources and websites where the main visual element is educational provided that learners can access the site without needing to create an account, subscribe, or provide personally identifiable information (PII). Do not link to resources or websites where the main visual element is promotional.
- Do not include any direct contact information, such as educators' personal email addresses.
2. Submit weekly emails on time to be approved
- Populate and submit your weekly emails by 16:00 UK time (GMT) the Wednesday before the course start date. Be sure to click submit. Author or organisation admin permission is required to submit emails.
- If your emails are not submitted on time we cannot guarantee that they will be sent.
3. Reap the benefits by making them great
- Great emails continue the educator presence and ‘voice’ from within the course. Include additional top tips, links for further learning, or personal stories. Use markdown to include subheadings to improve readability and appearance.
- Copy our template weekly email text or take a look at some example weekly emails that focus on continuing educator presence.
- Courses are designed in weeks to encourage learners to pace their learning. Weekly emails encourage learners to begin or continue their learning. Build suspense, include some teasers about what is coming up. In week 2 or 3 remind those who have not yet joined that it is not too late. Keep it short, be encouraging and supportive. Consider your desired audience. Keep each weekly email relevant to the related week.
- Put the most important information at the start of the email.
- Preview the activities in the upcoming week of the course. Make learners aware of any new types of step (e.g. exercises, peer reviews) they may not have encountered so far.
- Don’t include too many links they can be distracting.
- Avoid acronyms, abbreviations, colloquialism or slang - global audiences may be unfamiliar with.
- Explain if the course will be unfacilitated, encourage peer to peer learning. Avoid language that implies the course will be facilitated i.e. “I look forward to reading your comments’
- Include course hashtags and links to social media profiles directly relevant to the course subject.
- Link to Educator/s' FutureLearn profiles.
4. Populate automatic welcome email for on demand courses
- The Week 1 email is only be sent to learners that have enrolled before the official start date. Learners who enrol after the start date will receive an automatic welcome email.
- On demand courses remain open for learning continuously. In Course Creator they are set to have a 250 week extended enrolment period. This means the majority of learners will not receive the week 1 email.
- Forward copy to email@example.com to have your ‘after course start date’ and ‘during extended enrolment’ automatic emails populated. This would be very similar content as your week 1 email minus any time stamped information.
- If no signature is entered into automatic emails, your partner name and logo will not appear on the email.
- Partner logos are automatically displayed in the bottom right-hand corner of weekly emails. This displays adjacent to the email signature. If you wish, we can remove the logo from these emails.
- Co-creator and supporter logos etc do not appear on weekly emails and cannot be added.
- See our re-run checklist for guidance on populating emails for reruns.
- If your course contains sensitive course content, remind learners in your weekly emails that any personal information they have disclosed in their comments, as well as their FutureLearn profile, will be visible to all other learners on the course for the duration of the course run.
Draft and submit weekly emails
Organisation admins and authors can draft and submit emails by going to the relevant course run and clicking on the emails tab in the top right of the screen.
- Select a weekly email to edit under the title 'scheduled weekly'.
- Select edit and preview to populate and review your emails.
- Click save at the bottom of the screen. This will leave your email in draft.
- Once finalised click the pink button ‘submit’ on the manage course emails page.
Org admin permission allows you to unsubmit an email if you spot an error, or would like to make further edits. But only if it has not yet been approved. This reverts to draft state but must be submitted again on time for approval.
- Approved - Your email has been reviewed and approved by FutureLearn.
- Submitted - Your email has been submitted and is awaiting approval by FutureLearn
- Draft - Your email has been edited but not submitted - any emails not approved by before their send date will be sent out with the default template
- To do - Your email has not yet been edited
Schedule an additional email
Click on the emails tab when in the course run in Course Creator. Select 'additional emails' and ‘create additional email’. If you have sent additional emails on a previous run, the existing copy will have been transferred over. You can edit and resubmit.
Write a subject line for the email. Specify which recipients will receive the email:
- all learners
- fully completed learners (have completed 90% of steps in a course)
- fully participated, but not fully completed learners (have completed more than 50% of the available steps)
- fully participated learners (have completed at least 50% of the available steps)
- learners who have not visited a step
- learners who have visited a step.
Select a date and time when you would like the email to be sent:
- Times are displayed in UTC (Coordinated Universal Time).
- If you select send immediately this will be sent as soon as it is approved by FutureLearn. Please give one week's notice for this. If urgent forward the email link to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for it to be approved.
- If you would like the email sent on a Saturday, Sunday or Monday submit it no later than 16:00 GMT on the preceding Thursday.
Add a pink button to an email
The following code will allow you to add a pink button to the course email with some custom text and a link to your course.
<table class="six columns">
<a href="YOUR LINK HERE">YOUR TEXT HERE</a>
Select the emails tab in the top right of your course run, you will see this page:
Educator presence and explanation of facilitation within a weekly email:
Schedule an additional email:
Terminology on this page that you aren’t familiar with? Check out our glossary