This post was contributed by Stella Mikraki at LearnWorlds.
Creating your online course is just the beginning of a successful course business.
What’s equally important to creating an online course is selling the course. So, if course creation is step 1, then step 2 is promoting your course through a sales funnel. Without a sales funnel, your promotional efforts are going to suffer. Your entire income depends on the effectiveness of your sales funnel.
But if you invest your time in building a sales funnel, gradually, you will start getting the attention of potential customers and encourage them to enroll in your courses.
And that’s exactly what your business needs.
How does an online course sales funnel work?
A successful sales funnel informs, attracts, and converts customers.
While there are many ways you can motivate people to enroll in your course, the best strategy follows this order:
- Create highly valuable content (Awareness stage)
- Send out targeted emails (Relationship-building stage)
- Encourage people to buy your course (Sales stage)
Each initiative serves a purpose and helps you build a dedicated audience who reads your blog posts, opens your emails, and makes a conscious decision to buy from you.
What tools do you need to build an online course sales funnel?
To make your sales funnel work across all 3 stages, you need to:
- Drive traffic and build an audience
- Build your e-learning website
- Choose an email marketing platform
- Pick a payment processor
1. Drive traffic and build an audience
While you bring traffic to your website, you need to build up your audience and mailing list to keep them coming back for more and getting your updates. The most effective way is through a good lead capture.
A lead magnet is usually free content offered in exchange for the visitor’s email address and other contact details. Generating leads is the start of building an audience. Then, you need to keep in touch and nurture the relationships with your leads.
2. Build your e-learning website
Before you can turn leads into customers, you need to have your course built, hosted, and the sales page ready. This is something we do at LearnWorlds, an all-in-one course platform. Once you finish building your online school, you can start marketing to your audience.
3. Choose an email marketing platform
You will need a place to keep your audience and set up your email sequences. This is why you need an email marketing automation platform.
ActiveCampaign is an excellent tool to do this. Collect the emails, build your audience, and start marketing to them. It’s also effortless to set up automations to sell your courses for you!
4. Pick a payment processor
Last but not least, you will need a way to collect payments. The payment processor you choose is very important. A payment process like PayPal or Stripe can be connected with your course platform to collect payments through your sales page. Make sure you check possible transaction fees and choose the processor that works for you.
Once you connect the payment gateway with your sales page, you are ready to start reaching out to your audience.
If you are not quite sure how to do this, the following email templates can help you nurture your email subscribers the right way, encouraging them to enroll in your online courses.
7 email templates for your sales funnel
For the purposes of this article, let’s suppose that you are a career coach sending these emails to your audience to prepare them for your course launch.
Feel free to copy & edit the emails for your own use. Here are 7 emails you can use in your online course sales funnel:
- Making the initial contact
- Encouraging people to check out your blog
- Informing your audience that course enrollment is open
- Asking for feedback
- Reminding your audience that enrollment is open
- Offering an incentive to join your course
- Thanking your audience
Email #1: Making the initial contact
Email Subject: [Customer’s Name], I have some great news to announce.
Date: 11 March 2020
Hi [Customer’s Name],
After spending years on finding the right job opportunity, you may have concluded that no amount of job interviews can get you close enough to what you have dreamed for.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Being a job seeker can become an exhausting process, especially with the added burden to impress employers every single time. I know exactly how you feel. I have been there, and somewhere in the process, I decided to put an end to that.
After spending months job searching myself, I have decided to create a career-changing course that will help you land your dream job through winning techniques that can help you stand out from the crowd.
[Image & link to your video]
Today, I am excited to introduce you to my new course ‘How to Ace Your Next Job Interview’ that is starting in 3 days, on May 13th at 12:00 pm to be exact!
So, keep an eye on your inbox to see the course opening soon!
Talk soon! 🙂
Email #2: Encouraging people to check out your blog
Email Subject: I think you might like this.
Date: 12 March 2020
Hey [Customer’s Name]!
I get it. You are tired of not getting the attention of employers.
But what if I told you that I created an exceptional amount of information through my blog posts regarding job interviews that can help you get the job?
Here are some tips and advice I give out on my blog that can prepare you for the real thing…
[Button with link to the blog]
I am glad to introduce to my new course ‘How to Ace Your Next Job Interview’ that will finally help you land your dream job.
In the course you can learn:
- How to prepare for the job interview
- How to strategically use your body language during the interview
- How to ensure you have given your 100%!
So, I have to say, I am really excited about this course! I hope you are too.
Make sure to keep an eye on your inbox to see the course opening soon! And if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask me.
Email #3: Informing them that course enrollment is open
Email Subject: ‘How to Ace Your Next Job Interview’ is NOW open!
Date: 13 March 2020
Three days ago, I announced that my online course ‘How to Ace Your Next Job Interview’ is going to be released, and it is now live! Already 50 participants have reserved their seats, and more than 200 have signed up.
Here’s what a reviewer wrote about the course:
“I can’t describe how excited I am to be part of this course. My only concern is acing that interview and impressing employers. I am feeling good about this, and I believe it’s going to help me get the job!”
Remember, I’m offering you the chance to learn how to successfully pass the job interview that will help land your next job!
Join our community of 200+ people who are learning the same thing and become employed in only a matter of days.
Be sure to claim your spot on this course while the enrolment period is open – until March 18th!
Email #4: Asking for feedback
Email Subject: What are your thoughts [Customer’s Name]?.
Date: 14 March 2020
Thanks for being part of our community! I just wanted to ask you a question regarding the course.
Without your feedback and reviews, it is impossible for me to improve your learning experience.
If you have completed the course and get value out of it, I would really appreciate if you could please provide me with some feedback here:
[link to external site]
I want to thank you for being one of my students personally. Stay in touch because there is more coming your way!
Email #5: Reminding your audience that enrollment is open
Email Subject: [Customer’s Name], what are you waiting for?
Date: 15 March 2020
My course on ‘How to Ace Your Next Job Interview’ is out and open for enrollments!
Are you considering joining? – [Link to course page]
If yes, thank you!
If not, I only have to tell you one thing: If you don’t get called for an interview within a month after you have taken the course, I will give you your money back!
That is a guarantee!
If you are still hesitating, here are your top questions answered:
Q1: How long does this course offer last?
The course is open until March 18th and you may enroll by following this link – [insert your link]!
Q2: Is it possible to talk to you directly? I need some advice.
Yes! Call us at XXX XXX XXX and will be more than happy to talk to you!
Q3: Do I need to be a jobseeker to enroll in the ‘How to Ace Your Next Job Interview’ course?
No. You may be an already established professional, a student or a graduate who wants to learn a thing or two about job interviews.
This course will get you from jobless to employed. No matter who you are, where you live, or what you want, ‘How to Ace Your Next Job Interview’ is t going to get you right where you need to be!.
Email #6: Offering an incentive to join your course
Email Subject: I almost NEVER do this, but I’m doing it for you, [Customer’s Name].
Date: 16 March 2020
I want to take a moment and thank you, [Customer’s Name].
Thank you for being part of this community and contributing your time to it. To show my thanks, I wanted to do something special for you:
I’m giving you a gift…
Here’s how you get access:
For the next 48 hours, when you claim a spot at my online course, you will get exclusive access to the following:
Gift: Request your free of charge 40-minute 1:1 coaching session to discuss your current career goals and future plans.
Just call us at XXX XXX XXX and we will arrange this at a dedicated time that suits us both!
The offer ends Wednesday on March 18th at 11:59 PM ET, so claim your gift now before you miss out…
Email #7: Thanking your audience
Email Subject: Thank you, [Customer’s Name]
Date: 17 March 2020
I have no words to thank you, [Customer’s Name]…
I’ve been feeling especially grateful lately for your support! There is nothing that brings me more joy than helping incredible people like you realize their full potential and advance in their professional life!
These are just a few of the kind words I received as an appraisal:
[More examples of testimonials]
Words like these make me who I am today. So I am always looking to add value to your life in whatever way possible.
I look forward to continuing our journey together! I will continue working to help you make the most out of the career opportunities that come your way.
While there is no one way of planning your sales funnel, there are certain methods that seem to work better than others, especially in online education. These emails may be a perfect fit for a career professional but you can use them with any variations you want to add or make your own changes.
For example, instead of sharing a testimonial with your audience, you can prompt them to visit your Instagram or Facebook and encourage them to register from there.
Alternatively, you can share a link to your landing page that guides them to the checkout. Or perhaps you want to offer more incentives and gifts to entice them to buy.
Either way, your choice is entirely yours, and you are good to go as long as your sales funnel works.
Now, it’s your turn!
For a successful sales funnel, you will have to invest in the relationship you build with your audience. Remember, people become customers once they feel they can trust you.
So, if you choose to use this dedicated series of emails, make sure that you’re honest and that you create real value for your potential customers. Good luck!