About Donita Bourns Douglas

Donita Bourns Douglas is Executive Vice President of Client Success. She has held the position as director of educational programs for the Oklahoma Bar Association, where she developed one of the most successful CLE programs in the United States. Donita has also served as an instructor at the Oklahoma City University School of Law, is an emeritus member of the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Inn of Court, and is past president of the Association of Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA). She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Southern Methodist University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Oklahoma College Of Law.
1505, 2017

Referral Marketing – Your Opinion Matters

By |May 15th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

How many of you buy a grocery product because your Mom or Dad told you a certain brand was the best?  If you are like me, you didn’t do any independent research to verify your parents’ recommendation.  You trusted them and acted on it.  You’re welcome, Tide.  In its simplest form, this is referral marketing.

Referral marketing is defined as a “method of promoting products or services to new customers through referrals, usually word of mouth.  Such referrals often happen spontaneously but business can influence this through appropriate strategies.”  Studies and surveys have proven that referral marketing is powerful, and it is one of the most effective forms of advertising when it comes to sales.

A Nielsen online survey found that 84% of global respondents, across 58 countries, said referral, also known as “earned advertising” is the most trusted of all advertising.  A mere one percent of millennials trust traditional advertising and not only purchase based on referrals but also share referrals.  Gen Xers fall into this category too.

Another powerful characteristic of referral advertising is that it is extremely targeted.  After all, the goal is to create a personal recommendation to a family member, friend, or colleague.  Trust drives the effectiveness of referrals too.  Almost all people trust a person’s opinion over standard advertising.  Last, with social media, an average consumer can reach many people within seconds!  These benefits make referral marketing an attractive way to drive new sales.

The InReach product has features that support referral marketing.  If you are not using these features, please consider doing so!  If you have any questions on these options, please contact your Client Success Manager.

Add a ratings and reviews tab to your course description by publishing your evaluations results.
Activate the “Customer Who Bought This Item Also Bought” feature.
Encourage your staff, program planners, speakers, and registrants to use the social media choices in the product description: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus, and email.  It’s an easy post.
Include evaluation comments on your catalog landing page.

Other ways to use referral marketing:

Develop a referral campaign for a limited time frame and purpose. Use InReach’s sales survey and discounting options to make this work.

For example, include in your generic advertising on an upcoming webcast that registrants will receive a discount on a future program if they refer a new learner to the webcast, and the learner registers. The criteria can be of your choosing—a new learner to that program only, or a new learner overall that has never purchased an online course.
Email last year’s batch of new lawyers and offer them a discount if they refer a brand-new lawyer to buy anything in your online catalog.
If you have a mandatory course that is also made available through another provider, ask the past registrants of your mandatory course to refer someone that still needs the mandatory offering.

Include evaluation comments and ratings in all your standard adverting. This works especially well for those programs that are done year after year.

InReach continues to work on other product features that help market and merchandize for you.  If any ideas about features that support referral marketing, if you have effectively used referral marketing, or you have some lessons learned to share, pleases contact me.  I’d love to hear from you.




2610, 2016

The Price is Right: CE Products

By |October 26th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

For continuing education (CE) providers that are “nonprofit,” there is a healthy tension when it comes to pricing your CE products.  Many organizational objectives influence the pricing decisions and many of the objectives are competing.  In addition to dealing with competing objectives, some of you have to deal with annual changes in leadership and with […]

2908, 2016

Training to Be the Best!

By |August 29th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

The Olympics are now over and the medals distributed. Winners and “losers” have packed their bags and gone home to cheering crowds or supportive friends and family. If you are like me, you admire the hard work that goes into competing. Qualifying for the Olympics doesn’t just happen. The opportunity to compete and win is […]

2306, 2016

Video Killed the Radio Star* but Sure Adds to My CE Online Program

By |June 23rd, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

When online professional education was first made available to lawyers, doctors, nurses, accountants and other professionals, end-users’ expectations were modest. If the learner could connect, stay connected, and hear the presentation, it was an online educational success!  Several decades later, learner expectations have changed dramatically.

Expectations have changed because technology has improved significantly over the years […]

2504, 2016

Get to Know the InReach Staff

By |April 25th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

We like to highlight one of our staff members so you can get to know us better! Today we’d like to turn the spotlight onto Nathan Vaut.


What do you do at InReach?

I manage the Client Success team so that puts me in touch with every single InReach client in one way or another. Most of […]

2504, 2016

The Long and Short of It: Microlearning for Professionals

By |April 25th, 2016|Blog, Online Continuing Education, Professional Association CE|0 Comments

Microlearning courses are short, interactive, and targeted, addressing a single educational objective.  Micro course offerings are an expectation of young professionals, given they grew up consuming short and direct online content like Ted Talks.  Micro course offerings are effective for all professionals because it is easier for learners to identify and receive content that is […]

303, 2016

Jazz, Leadership, and Continuing Education

By |March 3rd, 2016|Blog, Online Continuing Education, Professional Association CE|0 Comments

Recently, the Harvard Business Review sent an email promoting a book called “Yes to the Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons from Jazz” by Frank J. Barrett. The title alone grabbed my attention, and then I remembered a few Jazz musicians I knew, who talked about improvisation and experimentation as key elements of creating music. Not only […]

2202, 2016

The Concept of New Year

By |February 22nd, 2016|Blog, Online Continuing Education, Professional Association CE|0 Comments

Now that it is February I just have to ask: How are those New Year’s resolutions coming along? No doubt many of you are still plugging away and achieving success, but for most folks that go through the resolution exercise that is not the case. The concept of New Year’s resolutions has always been a […]

2601, 2016

Join Our Product Tour Tomorrow!

By |January 26th, 2016|Blog, Online Continuing Education, Professional Association CE|0 Comments

When is the last time you made a significant purchase without looking at the reviews, or testing it out? These days we don’t even go to the movies without first seeing a preview. And now’s your chance to get a preview of the InReach continuing education management system. Join our Product Tour tomorrow at 2pm […]

2105, 2015

Course Design for the Modern Learner

By |May 21st, 2015|Blog, Financial, Healthcare, Legal, Online Continuing Education, Professional Association CE|0 Comments

As Neil recently pointed out in his blog, learners have changed, and their learning preferences have changed. The question then becomes, how do you develop courses that will engage, stimulate, educate and excite the modern learner?

Here are some course design tips we thought you might find helpful:

Make it bite-sized. Over-loaded schedules and frequent interruptions makes […]