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October 22, 2020

Boost your online course’s sales with these 5 marketing strategies

You built a training course, you optimized it for the web and you put it all online.

So what? Are you able to sell it?

Having good content or a great platform is not enough to generate a good income! You also need to think about the distribution of your product.

What sells your training is your marketing strategy. What makes people complete the course and refer to it is the quality of the content.

I say this because the last thing you want is to focus solely on sales targets. Being a relevant and effective trainer is essential for the success of your business!

Let's still talk only about strategy for now. 

There are several approaches and methods of selling online courses and you should make a choice. Trying to do everything dilutes the impact of each action. 

So focus on 2 or 3 ideas and make sure you put them into place.

To help you in your efforts, I present to you 5 marketing strategies to propel the sales of your online training!

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Outline of the article

  1. Hold a presale
  2. Offer subscription packages
  3. Suggest a product structure
  4. Teach in limited cohorts
  5. Distribute promotional coupons

Reading time: 4 minutes

A person in front of a laptop holding a credit card in their hand

1. Hold a presale

Who says you need to have completed online training to start selling it? There are so many benefits to borrowing an upstream marketing strategy! 

I am thinking, among others, of the following:

  • Testing the market's enthusiasm for your training
  • Checking if your marketing approach is effective
  • Generating income to finance your project

A presale is the best way to confirm that you are talking to the right person in the proper way.

To organize an effective upstream promotion, you must allow registration to your course, for which the content will be blocked. I advise you to use the same platform on which you plan to make your normal sales to avoid data transfer. 

Until the launch date, keep your future students informed of the advancements and benefits that await them. Use a newsletter or your social networks to communicate with them regularly and create a commitment to your course.

On the day of the launch, you will already have several people registered to discover your training and follow it!

If you motivate them enough, your participants can also become spokespersons. Write especially to those who complete the course to get their feedback and use their testimonial as a promotional tool.

2. Offer subscription packages

Do you have several training courses published on your platform? When you have a lot of content, it can get overwhelming knowing which one to promote!

Rather than dividing your resources to sell pay-per-view courses, focus your efforts on packages.

By creating subscriptions, you can offer a price for full or restricted access to your set of courses. This reduction on the cost of a subscription becomes interesting for your client if it is compared to the cost of each training purchased individually.

For your participants, this is a great situation that gives them a reduced price for more content. They can take several courses and thus be more and more exposed to your brand. 

For you, this is an opportunity to strengthen your expertise, make your marketing initiatives more profitable, and retain your customers.

Everybody wins!

3. Suggest a product structure

Do your future customers know you?

Buying online courses from someone you've never heard of turns many off. That's why you need to build trust between your business and your target customers.

A good way to do this is to offer a product structure at different price points. Although you can create as many levels as you want, I advise you to bet on 2 or 3.

The first level could be free content that requires a subscription, such as a newsletter for example. This is a low engagement way for your future customers to discover your brand without buying a product right away.

The second level can be a basic offer, either an ebook or a short training course. The goal is to allow your prospects to validate your expertise and test some of your tips.

The third level is your premium service, the one that maximizes your customer's satisfaction thanks to the quality offered. This is your flagship course, the one you want to sell the most since it generates a good income.

Your structure can change! The important thing is to create large enough price differences between each one to keep their perceived value distinct.

4. Teach in limited cohorts

Have you thought about creating demand thanks to the scarcity of your service?

By limiting the number of registrations for a class, you generate a feeling of exclusivity with your target clientele. This sense of urgency can encourage them to register more quickly to reserve their place.

The creation of cohorts also fosters participant engagement through peer motivation. 

Encourage your students to help each other and share their experience in your course!

You can even monitor their progress in the lessons so that they evolve at the same pace. It will be easier for your follow-ups, but it will also allow them to put into practice the concepts learned.

The other big advantage of a progressive release cohort is the ability to merge teaching styles. 

You can integrate into your lesson plan one or more live sessions to interact with your students. This will give you the chance to humanize your pedagogical approach and create a more solid relationship with your customers.

5. Distribute promotional coupons

Can a discount be a good way to attract buyers?

Yes and no.

If you use promotional coupons strategically, it can become a powerful lever to generate sales! Just be careful not to abuse it.

Above all, you don't want the value of your course to be diminished because of too many discounts.

It's still a great way to thank current customers, create a limited-time campaign, or convince a prospect. I recommend that you think about the best time to use this tactic so that it continues to support your strategy.

Also, think back to the concept of exclusivity that we discussed with the cohorts! 

A targeted and specific promotion generates a feeling of importance within your potential student. Add to that a time limit to create an emergency, and bingo: you will have a winning recipe.

So what do you think you’ll use?

What idea would you like to apply to your marketing strategy to increase your sales?

Without a doubt, my advice is to be consistent and think further. Don't limit yourself to creating one course and putting all your eggs in one basket!

Think about your overall strategic plan and all the other products and services that you can push alongside. Develop new complementary content and retain your student by offering them more and more courses.

For more tips and tricks to help grow your online training business, subscribe to our newsletter!

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Marie-Hélène Couette

Marie-Hélène Couette is Head of Sales and Marketing at Didacte. She is also very passionate about entrepreneurship and human development. She specializes in content creation for growing companies looking to better support their teams in this great adventure!