As a course creator, juggling sales alongside developing your courses are difficult to balance. Especially if marketing is not your strongest suit. However, if one can learn how to presell an online course, that's already half the job done. This guide will take you through a step-by-step process of preselling your online courses.
Usually, one has a linear understanding of the process of developing a product and introducing it to the market. You start with product development, then you market it, and lastly, you sell it. However, that is not always the case. The most successful businesses always start with 'soft launches' to gauge their product's market viability rather than making a big jump into the market.
Soft launch, pre-launch, and pre-selling all are terms to describe the same concept. Which is that one can market and sell their product well before it is fully developed. It works in a simple way: you offer buyers an incentive such as discounts or free educational resources in exchange for purchasing your course in advance. It combines urgency and marketing strategies to increase customer conversion rates.
Also, you can launch ad campaigns, make videos on them, and tell and ask people's opinions on your product to know how well the audience reacts to it. Not only does it save you time in marketing your product later but it also provides you with some cash flow. Moreover, it lets you test out the waters before the big jump.
Benefits of preselling an online course
In case you are wondering that between working on your online course, to work on its presale is too much work, then don't worry. These benefits of preselling your online courses will definitely take away the burden on your work.
- Saves time: By launching a presell campaign, you will be able to reach out to your target audience more efficiently. Moreover, starting well before the launch will give you more time to market your course.
- Secure cash flow: As people will be buying your course in advance, you don't have to wait till the full launch to start making sales. This will also help you in analyzing the interest of the audience in your product
- Beta test your product: With a soft launch, you can test out in advance which features of your course stand out and which need improvement. It will give you much-needed feedback without taking any risks.
- Build your email list: Another useful thing about preselling an online course is that it can contribute to your email list. As people will be signing up for your course, you can collect their emails and update them on your new products.
Step-by-step process to presell an online course
While working on your presale strategy, keep one thing in mind. Do not forget about the actual deadline for the launch of the product. Remember it and prioritize your product. After all, the success of your pre-sales is dependent on how well your product - in this case, your online course - delivers on the expectations of the buyers.
1. Outline your product
Outlining your product is about setting out its notable features. What does the course offer? How does it resolve the pain points of the target audience? What goals are you trying to achieve with this course? Etc. It is like creating a blueprint that will let you and your buyers know what the course is about. This will work as a foundation for their buying decision. So pay special attention to this step.
From things such as course content to course structure, an outline will tell people what to expect from the course. Think of it like a trailer before a movie. If the trailer is uninteresting, people will not see the movie.
2. What makes it special?
If you wish to stand out and fight the market competition, then you will need to focus on making your online course distinctive and unique. It is the uniqueness of your product that will attract the right people to your course. But keep in mind that uniqueness should coincide with usefulness. You cannot expect to successfully presell your course if it is of no real value to people.
3. Create a presale page
This is a course landing page for one of Ali Abdaal's online courses. See how this has a signup button, and an instructive video on the course details for visitors to check out. A course page is a must to presell an online course. It is the primary page where visitors decide to convert and become subscribers.
To create a presale page for your course, here are some of the things you will need to focus on:
- Have a catchy headline. How else do you expect to turn heads and grab their attention? Just like with any book you pick up, it is the first line that builds your interest in the rest of the book. Such attention grabbers are the deciders. To make effective headlines, keep them short, catchy, and specific.
- Give a brief course overview. This is where you put that outline you made earlier to use. It should include a summary of your course and how it will address the expectations of the audience. Make sure to make it zesty, interesting, and no more than a paragraph or two. You can also make a video like Ali Abdaal did and add a little something.
- Pitch using a promising call-to-action. This acts as the final sentence of your sales pitch. Therefore, it must have convincing power and urgency in it. You need to make people feel FOMO about your online course to make them act. An example of such a CTA is - "Pre-order today to get a special discount".
- Feature your testimonials. Whether you are trying to presell an online course or simply making the big launch, any sale requires trust. If people don't trust your product, they will not buy it. To avoid this and to build trust with your audience, feature previous testimonials on your page. They will make your product and your skills appear credible.
4. Launch an email campaign
Remember the time you were busy working on your email lists? It is time to put it to use. By diving into your email lists, your task now is to reach out to your existing and trusted subscribers and inform them that you have some exciting things in line for them. These are the people who have been with you before and have remained with you. Think of them as your fans and so you must inform the first and prioritize. Your vast share of presales is also likely to be from this lot.
For this, you will have to strategize your email. Build an email chain starting with informing them about the product. Then send special limited-time purchase offers to create FOMO. Send reminder emails and finally, end the chain with a last-chance email.
5. Share on social media
Since everyone is already on social media, it serves as an effective mode of marketing products. You can reach out to people using your social media accounts and host interactive Q&A sessions to know more about their opinions on consumer choices. You can also feature short reels about the courses. Make sure to link your course's presales page for buyers to follow.
Close up the offer
Once you are done with all of the steps mentioned above, it is time to close the offer. You cannot keep the presale going till the actual launch as it will take away any sense of urgency in purchasing the product. Think carefully regarding when you close the signup page. While you might think that the presale bracket is tight, see also that it allows you to bump up prices for people who buy your course later and generate more revenue.
One final takeaway from preselling an online course is that do not overlook your existing subscribers in the search for newer ones. Keep their expectations in mind when designing your presales campaign.