Fear can be a great motivator.
The fear of putting on weight can make you want to workout. The fear of mice can motivate you to get a cat. And the fear of being yelled at by your boss, can make you give 200% during a product launch.
That was me. Afraid and motivated.
The product in discussion was a WordPress theme. Not a generic theme, an e-learning theme. But to put things into perspective, this product was up against 3,000 free and 12,000 premium themes. And my task was to make it popular.
I didn’t know where to begin. How was I supposed to compete? Do people really care about themes? Was I set up to fail?
I had my doubts.
The WordPress themes market has existed ever since WordPress was launched — well, a few versions later — but for quite some time now.
In the themes ecosystem, established players, like Avada, Divi, have captured the market share. Their reviews have been plastered all over the web. For e-learning themes in particular, you have different sites talking about which theme to pick, the best theme for your LMS, or the best education themes of the year, etc, etc, etc. There are endless posts.
And it gets tougher. Unlike plugins, where more than one can be activated on your WordPress website, you can activate only one theme.
This means, for a theme to be successful, not only should new users buy it, but existing users should migrate to it. That was the expectation.
Selling and making one theme popular was a mammoth task. But not an impossible one — what we needed was a unique theme that stood out from the competition.
The question, of course, was… was eLumine up for the challenge?
eLumine — The Idea
The idea of eLumine cropped up about a year after the launch of our first theme – Pathshala. The goal was to create a one-of-a-kind theme and not repeat the same mistakes we made when we launched Pathshala.
Pathshala failed at being different. It offered all the features every good theme offers, but nothing out of the box. It was a theme that was specifically built for LearnDash. But was it different from any other theme LearnDash was compatible with? – No.
We discussed creating a new, better theme. A theme that would provide something 99% of LearnDash themes don’t – unique layouts for the LMS.
The thing is, almost all LearnDash themes or themes compatible with LearnDash offer a mere skin over the LMS – they style the layouts provided by LearnDash but do not have their own layouts for say the course content, lesson or quiz – which makes the theme replaceable. It doesn’t matter which theme you choose, LearnDash would look like LearnDash.
With eLumine, our goal was to blend in every step of the learning process, to a point that you don’t realize you’re looking at LearnDash. That’s because you don’t need to. You’re looking at an e-learning website and every layout is part of the brand. There is no brand dilution, no loss of concentration, no realization of different sections – one continuous experience.
The focus on eLumine was going to be on learning content and the success of your learning business.
Our target was set.
eLumine — The Theme
Since eLumine was going to be built for LearnDash, our target audience was narrowed down to a fairly nascent segment – but one, with whom we had been working for a while.
We were competent with LearnDash, a trusted LearnDash service provider, and of course, we had experience dealing with theme buyers and their requirements. We collected all of this data, analyzed it, discussed it, broke it down – to come up with our idea of an ideal theme.
The theme design took time. Development was smoother this time around. And the theme was ready to be launched.
While the theme underwent rounds of testing, we started out pre-launch campaigns. We got some early backers, which meant that we had some marketing money to work with.
Come launch day — I was pumped. The theme had turned out great, it had a solid USP, there were some teething issues with the demo, but nothing which couldn’t be fixed. It was now my turn to get the theme the attention it needed.
- Custom layouts for LearnDash, WooCommerce
- Dynamic Sidebars
- Custom Color Schemes
- Drag and Drop page builder
- One-click Demo Import
We sent out newsletters, put out ads, some great social media posts, but… *crickets*.
There was traffic, we could see people coming to the site, but not enough sales. What was wrong? Every day with low sales added to my stress. eLumine was the only LearnDash theme to change LMS layouts completely; was the messaging not right?
A couple of refund requests from early buyers indicated that there was some ambiguity on the theme’s landing page. The content was too technical. We worked towards improving it and redid the landing page design.
The thing is, all this while, we stressed on how the theme changed the design, how unique each layout was, how it changed the look of LearnDash quizzes — when what we should’ve done was kept it simple — all we needed to do, was explain how eLumine made it easy for students to learn. And that was the essence of the theme right from the start – to put the focus on learning.
- Focus on Learning
- Improved Readability
- Branding Control
- Collaboration Friendly
With our newfound wisdom and changes on the landing page and some helpful content across the web, we say purchases pick up the pace.
From support queries and initial few dissatisfied customers, we moved towards more happy customers.
eLumine — The Success Story
It’s been 6 months since the theme’s launch and we’re making sure it meets the needs of every LearnDash owner. We’re participating in forums, carefully working with the feedback we get from our existing customers to extend the theme’s feature list.
Latest eLumine Features:
- Multiple Demo Import options
- RTL Support
- Compatibility with major page builder plugins
- Import/Export option for Settings
- Easy migration option to eLumine
- Support for a Global audience
- Built for all kinds of LearnDash admins