Wondering which marketing strategies you can use to increase sales for your online course?
You’re not alone!
Creating a course is a ton of work, but the work doesn’t stop there. Once it’s ready to go, you still have the task of attracting students and promoting your course.
In this post, I’m going to walk you through some proven marketing strategies to increase your online course sales.
Implement these strategies consistently and you’ll never have trouble finding students again!
1. Use Testimonials in Your Course Marketing
Using testimonials on your sales page, on social media, and in your emails is a GREAT way to boost course sales.
People want to know that others have taken your course and have benefited from it. This “social proof” reduces the risk people feel in signing up for your course.
According to research done by BrightLocal, 88% of consumers trust online testimonials and reviews as much as they do personal recommendations…this is HUGE!According to research done by BrightLocal, 88% of consumers trust online testimonials and reviews as much as they do personal recommendations…this is HUGE!Click To Tweet
Use this to your advantage by collecting and using testimonials – especially video testimonials – as often as you can!
2. Hold a Free Challenge
Have you ever seen these free 5, 7, or even 30-day challenges being promoted online?
A free challenge can be a FANTASTIC way for business owners to gain the trust of their audience and to promote their course in a non-spammy way.A free challenge can be a FANTASTIC way for business owners to gain the trust of their audience and to promote their course in a non-spammy way.Click To Tweet
Create content that you’ll share with your audience on each day of the challenge, and then deliver it via a Facebook group or email.
At the end, be sure to offer an exclusive discount for anyone who wants to buy your course!
For more on creating your own challenge, check out my post, How to Prepare, Plan and Launch a 7-Day Challenge.
3. Offer a Money-Back Guarantee
Offering a 30-day money-back guarantee can be a great way to boost course sales.Offering a 30-day money-back guarantee can be a great way to boost course sales.Click To Tweet
When Neil Patel implemented one, he immediately saw his course sales jump by 21%!
Unfortunately, some people will use this as a way to get a free course – buying it, but knowing full well they’re going to request a refund.
To protect themselves against this, some course creators require students to prove they’ve done all the course work before getting a refund. While not a foolproof strategy, this can definitely reduce refund requests.
4. Offer a Free Trial of Your Course
Another proven strategy is to offer a free trial of your course so people can try it out before buying the whole thing.
Typically, this would involve offering access to a portion of the course for a limited time.
After a set period of time – usually 7 days – users will be automatically charged the full price of the course (they’ll have given their credit card info at signup).
Remember how Neil Patel got such good results from his 30-day guarantee? Well, offering a free 7-day trial earned him 15% more sales than the guarantee did!
5. Offer Tiered Pricing
Tiered pricing is a strategy often used with digital products and services. It basically involves offering different packages with different price points.
For example, you might offer a basic version of your course for $129 and a premium package for $250. Typically, the premium package will include perks like one-on-one support, maybe some live Q&As, access to a private community, etc.
6. Create a Shorter Course on Udemy
While Udemy isn’t the best platform if you want to sell a higher-priced course (most of their courses sell for around $15), it IS a great way to get exposure through their extensive marketplace.
Offer a shorter version of your course on Udemy, and then tell students how they can access your full-length, more in-depth course.
This will give people a way to try out your stuff before they invest in the whole she-bang!
7. Get Affiliates for Your Course
Struggling to reach people in your niche?
Reach out to bloggers or influencers in your field and see if they’re interested in promoting your course as an affiliate.
This means they’ll promote your course to their audience via their website, social media and email list, and get a portion of each sale made through their affiliate link.
An affiliate program is a great way to reach your ideal students with little to no risk on your part!An affiliate program is a great way to reach your ideal students with little to no risk on your part!Click To Tweet
8. Create a Marketing Funnel for Your Course
This is a strategy you can (and should!) use with all of the other strategies on this list.
Have a funnel in place to move people from social media, Udemy, your website, etc. to your course.
Through offering free products and content (e.g., a challenge, a webinar, etc.), you’ll be able to get people onto your email list and build relationships with them over time.Through offering free products and content (e.g., a challenge, a webinar, etc.), you’ll be able to get people onto your email list and build relationships with them over time.Click To Tweet
And of course, you’ll also let them know about your course!
9. Offer a Transformation
Via Erin Palinski
I’m going to let you in on a secret. People won’t buy your course in order to learn something. They may not even buy your course in order to solve a problem.
They want a transformation.I’m going to let you in on a SECRET. People won’t buy your course in order to learn something. They may not even buy your course in order to solve a problem. They want a TRANSFORMATION!Click To Tweet
They want to know what their life will look like before and after they take your course.
For instance, which sounds better to you?
How to Lose Weight in 30 Days,
Lose Weight and Love Your Body in 30 Days?
Think about what transformation your course provides, and make sure you articulate this in your course title and marketing content!
10. Write Blog Posts About Your Course Topic
Some course creators are afraid to create too much free content on their course topic. They worry that people won’t buy the course if they get too much free advice or help!
However, in my experience, the opposite is actually true. Content marketing is all about providing HUGE value through your content…so that you can show your audience that you know what you’re talking about.Content marketing is all about providing HUGE value through your content…so that you can show your audience that you know what you’re talking about.Click To Tweet
And believe it or not, this actually makes it MORE likely that they’ll buy your course.
And since your course will obviously be much more in-depth and involved than your blog posts, your students will still get plenty of new info and lots of value from your course!
Bonus: As you write more content about your course topic, you also have a better chance of ranking for related keywords. This means more search traffic and more opportunities for people to find your course!
11. Offer a Payment Plan
If your course is more than about $200-$300, you may want to consider offering a monthly payment plan.
For instance, if your course sells for $399, you could offer the option to pay in 4 monthly installments of $99.
This can be a great option for students who either can’t afford to make a lump sum payment or who simply don’t want to pay it all at once!
12. Sell a Process
With so much free content available out there, some entrepreneurs wonder WHY anyone would pay good money for a course.
The key is the process. If people can save time and money by having all the relevant info in one place and can learn a step-by-step process to accomplish their goals, this is worth a LOT.If people can save time and money by having all the relevant info in one place and can learn a step-by-step process to accomplish their goals, this is worth a LOT.Click To Tweet
Make sure when you market your course you explain the process you’ll be taking your students through, and how it will help them meet their goals!
13. Have a Powerful Email Sequence
Via Zen Courses
I already talked about the importance of getting potential students into your marketing funnel.
A KEY piece of this funnel will be your email marketing; and in particular, your email sequence.
Typically, this will be a 5-day sequence of emails that help your audience get to know you, and ultimately…hopefully to buy your course.
A sample sequence might look something like this:
- Deliver a free eBook, guide or other digital product on a topic related to your course
- Tell your story – why you do what you do, and why you serve the audience you serve
- Share valuable tips/strategies/info
- Share another valuable tips/strategies/info
- Let them know about your course (and offer a limited-time discount, if you like)
Now, this is just an example of a typical sequence…you may need to tweak it to make it work for your audience. Once you figure out an email sequence that works, you’ve just created your own automated course sales machine!
As you can see, marketing to increase sales for your online course isn’t all that different from other types of marketing: offer value, build relationships, and be clear about what you’re selling.
As long as you’re following these basic guidelines, you really can’t go wrong!
Looking for more help with creating and marketing your online course? Check out these other posts I’ve written:
Which of the strategies above are you going to use to increase your online course sales? Share in the comments below!