11 Steps to Make Money Selling Courses Online

The knowledge industry is booming, and online learning is especially popular. According to a research report by Global Market Insights, the e-learning market will be worth over $300 billion by 2025. Given recent events, the actual market size is likely to exceed this prediction. 

In early 2020, the COVID -19 pandemic caused many people to shift from face-to-face learning to online learning. In response to this shift, the world has expanded its options and appetite for digital learning.

For the entrepreneur, this has created immense opportunities. Online courses are cheap to design and deliver. The number of students you can serve is unlimited. Through online marketing, you can reach a global audience and influence millions of people while working from home. However, creating courses is not without its challenges. 

The low barrier to entry means that anyone can put together a digital program and offer it for sale. Competition is fierce, and the quality of courses varies. Consumers who have already been exposed to questionable online products and marketing techniques are wary of who they give their money. 

The days when you could be first to market with a new online product are long gone. If you want to profit from your course, you need to be committed to creating and selling the best offering you can. As a course creator, you also have a variety of technical tools at your disposal. While this may seem like an advantage, it can also be overwhelming. Should you create an email course or a video-based program? 

How should you host and deliver your content? What marketing tools and methods are most effective? How can you avoid ending up with crickets with your course? This article answers all these questions and more. 

In this article, you’ll learn exactly how to create an online course that people will want to buy. You’ll also learn how to launch your new product with maximum impact. You’ll have the knowledge to share with the world. With the help of this article, you can be making money with your first course in less than three months.

11 Steps to Sell Courses Online

Having a clear purpose prepares you for success, but motivation is not all you need. You must also follow a process. There are thousands of ways to bring your first product to market. All of them can work, though some are more effective than others. 

The problem is that most new course creators get lost pursuing too many ideas. They spread themselves too thin and fail to gain traction. The answer is to stick with one system. 

This article teaches you one such process. It is based on the authors’ experience in the online space. It isn’t a restrictive formula; you can adapt it to suit you and your audience. But there are some key elements you must not skip. The system is designed to ensure your idea is viable before you invest your valuable time and money. 

You will start by selecting a course topic. Then you test your idea by selling a limited version of your course. We call this your Minimum Viable Course (MVC). Once your first students complete your MVC, you can build and launch the final version of your product.

There are 11 steps in total:

  1. Select a Topic
  2. Define Your Course
  3. Test Your Idea
  4. Pick a Platform
  5. Outline Your Course
  6. Create Your Course
  7. Edit Your Course
  8. Build Your Tribe
  9. Engage Your Tribe
  10. Update Your Sales Page
  11. Re-launch Your Course

In the following sections, we walk through each of these steps one at a time. Follow the directions and complete the action steps. Do this and you will make money from your first online course. This system works, but only if you commit to developing and selling the best product you can. Do you have what it takes to make money as a course creator? Let’s find out.

Step 1. Select a Topic

You do not want to waste time building a product that doesn’t connect you with your audience. Your future students must be at the forefront of every decision you make. So, take a few moments and think about your ideal student.

The following four questions guide you through this process. The first two are generic, designed to help you nail down who you want to help. The second two questions are ones you can ask for each potential course topic. You can answer these questions in several ways. 

The first method is to do online research. Read relevant forums, online groups, Q&A sites, and sites with reviews (Amazon, Udemy, etc.). Be on the lookout for discussions around actual products and services within your topic categories that people are buying. 

The second method is to talk directly to your target audience. Meet people for coffee and ask them about their lives and challenges. Or, if you can’t meet in person, chat with them online or on the phone. Finally, you can create a survey using a tool like Survey Monkey or Typeform. 

Then ask people in your target audience to complete the survey. Circulate your survey via email, in a blog post, and on your social media channels. Aim for at least ten responses so that you can gather as much insight as possible.

Question 1: Who is your ideal student?

To position your course and make a profit, you need to know some basic demographics about your ideal student. Answer these questions to help narrow down your audience:

  • How old are they?
  • What gender are they?
  • What is their marital status?
  • Do they have any kids? What ages are they?

Question 2: How does this person think? 

Demographics aren’t the only similarities your audience has. They also share psychographics. These are points of data that indicate how people think. 

Answering these questions can help you get further into the mind of your ideal student: 

  • What limiting beliefs or fears are they facing? 
  • What are their interests? 
  • What opinions do they hold? 
  • What do they care deeply about?

Question 3: What problems does this person have? 

Now that you know a little more about your ideal student, dive deeper into their struggles. What keeps this person up at night? What would they happily pay someone to “fix” for them? 

These are your potential course topics. Note that people are best at answering two types of questions: questions about past behavior and questions requiring them to voice an opinion on something.

Question 4: Can you offer real solutions? 

Make sure you can provide a solution to whatever problem you pick. Write down the course ideas that you believe can help your audience. Then take a few minutes and brainstorm the solutions you can offer. 

Don’t limit yourself to solving complex problems. Many successful courses deal with bite-sized problems that are nevertheless urgent to the target audience.

Step 2: Define Your Course

Your goal is to quickly test your course idea by asking people to buy it. And to do that you need to describe your solution. In the action steps, you will define a Minimum Viable Course (MVC). This is the smallest offering that will serve your target audience. 

Let’s look at an example. Say your audience consists of moms with young children and your idea is to build a course that helps them look and feel the way they did before they had kids. You know that new moms need a flexible solution. 

They don’t want to spend hours at the gym. Your MVC might be a six-week workout plan for busy moms. You could deliver lessons via pre-recorded video, live online training, or even email. We discuss course format and delivery options in chapter five. 

So, don’t worry about the technical details right now. Instead, focus on describing the result you want to provide to your students. Your MVC should fulfill the following criteria:

  1. There’s demand for the course and you want to create it. 
  2. You have the resources and knowledge to provide the solution.
  3. You can create a minimum version of your course in less than two weeks.

Some people get stuck at the idea of creating something in less than two weeks. But you shouldn’t build a complex course at this stage. You must move through the testing phase as quickly as possible. 

Don’t spend months designing something only to discover nobody will buy it. You can even develop your content as people are taking your course. In the six-week workout example, you might create the first week’s training now. 

Then produce the remaining lessons over the next five weeks, dripping the content out one week at a time. This way you always stay at least one week ahead of your students. There are other ways to quickly create course content without compromising on quality. 

For example, instead of pre-recording a video course, you could deliver training via live workshops. These need less preparation and your students benefit from having live access to you. 

Remember, your MVC is the first version that you intend to improve in the future. You are asking people to buy the beta version of your product at a discounted price. They will receive additional support from you and access to the final version of your course once it’s created. 

This is a win- win. You prove your course idea and make some money upfront. Your students get early and exclusive access to the expert (you). Finally, if the product you want to sell is too big to create quickly, you can still test your idea by pre-selling or pre-launching it. 

Both these terms are described in the next chapter. So, if you have a course idea but you can’t create it in less than two weeks, don’t let this stop you from moving forward.

Step 3: Test Your Idea

Most of us don’t want to risk rejection. This is normal. As humans, we’ve evolved to avoid rejection at all costs. Thousands of years ago, being cast out of the tribe meant death. The primitive part of your brain works hard to help you avoid any form of failure. 

However, having people reject your idea is not life-threatening. In fact, it’s not even failure. View this next step as an experiment. If people don’t take you up on your offer, that’s okay. This is feedback and nothing more.

Create a Simple Sales Page

There are many online options to help you create a sales page, such as LeadPages, SamCart, ClickFunnels, and Kajabi. These tools provide templates for your sales page and typically integrate with a payment processor. 

Also, many learning management systems have built-in sales pages and a means to collect payment. We discuss some of these platform options in the next chapter. However, all these solutions do have a price tag associated with them and some are easier to set up than others. 

If you’re not comfortable learning new technology or don’t want to make an investment yet, you can create a simple page on your website. 

Copy your sales letter onto a new page and add a PayPal button. If this feels too complex, you could even write a social media post. Invite people to email you if they are interested in buying your course and invoice them directly. 

Select whichever option is easiest for you to implement right now. Don’t let technology slow you down. Your goal is to share your course idea and see if anyone wants to buy it. Once you’ve picked a platform, build your basic sales page. Then move on. Don’t worry about making it perfect.

Recruit Students

Your first group of paying students will go through your MVC and provide feedback about the content and delivery. Selling a beta version of your course is the fastest way to test your idea. 

You can also use the information from your early students to refine your course before launching it to the masses. We recommend asking your students to pay for your course instead of offering it for free. Purchasing a course (even at a no-brainer price) gives people “skin in the game.” 

They’re more likely to work through it since they paid for it. And, of course, charging people tells you whether there’s a market for the solution you’re offering.

Pre-Selling and Pre-Launching

Pre-selling is where you ask people to pay for your offer before you create it. This is the concept behind crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Writers and creators can also use Patreon to find supporters who will pay for their creations. A previous client of mine even pre-sold her children’s book with only a rough draft in her hand.

Pre-launching is where you collect email addresses from people interested in your idea. It allows you to build an audience while you build your course. It’s a valid strategy, but less effective than collecting money for your idea. 

People give away their email addresses more easily than their cash. By having a waitlist, you can see how many people are interested in your course and get early feedback on what to include or leave out. 

You can create a waitlist between one and three months prior to your launch. Just make sure you keep in contact with people so they don’t lose interest before you launch.

Step 4: Pick a Platform

There are marketplaces dedicated to hosting and selling online courses. You may decide that adding yours to one of them is the best move. Udemy is a popular platform in this space. Skillshare is another. 

Marketplaces are easy to use. Most of these systems are intuitive and you can set them up with step-by-step directions or tutorials. You’re not responsible for the technology, collecting payments, or customer privacy. 

The biggest advantage of a marketplace is that you get access to an existing group of course buyers. This may be desirable if you haven’t yet started to build an audience of your own. Online course marketplaces aren’t for everyone. Here are some important points to consider before selecting this option. 

You have no access to student emails, so you can’t add your students to your email list. Also, there is typically a commission for this service, which means you give up a percentage of your profits. You don’t get much say in how your course looks or is delivered. In some cases, you can’t even set the price for your own course.

Some people use an all-in-one LMS to deliver their course content. Podia, Teachable, Thinkific, and Kajabi are all options in this category. Unlike course marketplaces, these platforms provide you with a bit more control. 

You get to set the pricing for your course and collect contact information about your students. Students are familiar with these platforms. They are quick to set up and use. You don’t need to integrate several different tools and are not responsible for student data or collecting payments. 

Many all-in-one course platforms include more advanced features like affiliate programs or the option to sell a membership program. While these solutions can be a great option, they are not for everyone. 

Typically they have a higher monthly fee for access. If you are just selling one course at this time, it may not be worth the cost. The features may not be a great fit, either, and you may find yourself paying for features you don’t need. You also have limited customization options.

Step 5: Outline Your Course

You now have a simple sales page and you know how you want to deliver your course. You may even have your first paying students. With this foundation in place, you’re ready to start creating your course content. An outline defines your course scope so that you can create it more quickly. 

During this stage, you decide what information you want to include, and what you want to leave out. A strong outline also ensures you create the best experience for your students. By considering the individual journeys of your students, you can decide how best to deliver the promised solution to their problem. 

There are four steps in the outlining process: 

1. Define your start 

Write down a few sentences about where your ideal student is and what they need to learn next. Here are three examples to help you with this step: 

  1. My students already have their own blogs, but they’re having trouble growing traffic and generating income. 
  2. My students are trying to work from home and they have children. They have no idea where to find the time, but they want to start a business. 
  3. My students want to plant a garden this year, but they don’t know what zone they’re in, how to prepare their soil for maximum yields, or what plants are good for beginners.

Notice how these hypothetical examples narrow down your focus in just two sentences. You can’t design a solution for everyone. Instead, pick your ideal audience’s starting point, and go from there.

2. Plan your end 

How far are you going to take your students? What specific things will they learn by the time they reach the end of your course? What result do they most desire, based on where they are now? Write down a couple of sentences about the outcome your readers can expect from taking your course.

3. Brain dump 

Now that you have a start and endpoint, let’s see what else is hiding in that mind of yours. You need to do a brain dump to get all your ideas for your course on paper. There are many brainstorming techniques. One popular technique is mind mapping. A mind map is a big circle in the center of the page with lots of connecting circles in which you’ll write down ideas.

4. Chart your path 

Now you have everything you need to successfully outline your course. You know where you’re starting and stopping, and you have a mass of ideas for the main content. It’s time to organize everything into a logical order. 

This is the course outline that shows the journey your students will take from beginning to end. You can’t magically move your students from where they are now to where they want to be. You must guide them along the journey through a series of milestones. 

This improves their journey by giving them a sense of progression as they take your course. Sometimes, there are multiple ways to organize your ideas and you can agonize over finding the best outline. Try not to let your inner perfectionist prevent you from finalizing your course plan.

This step doesn’t have to take long. You can outline a short course in an hour or two. Larger courses may take longer but there’s no reason why you can’t have a solid outline done today. Doing so will save you many more hours during the content creation phase.

Step 6: Create Your Course

The best approach is to slowly release the first version of a course. This way, you can gather feedback as you create and adjust your outline as needed. For example, if students struggle in one area, you can create extra material for them before moving on to the next lesson. 

The main disadvantage of this approach is that students who want to move faster through your content may get frustrated waiting for the next lesson. Pick the fastest creation method that works for both you and your students. 

Then be open to adjusting your path as you go. Always keep the end point in mind. You will want to constantly work toward delivering the promised outcome for your students. It can also help to outline each lesson before you create it. When you plan the content in advance, you don’t need to think about what to include while you’re writing or recording it. This frees your mind to focus on getting the information out of your head. 

Follow the system you used to outline your course. Brainstorm the detail of each lesson, then organize your ideas into a logical sequence. If you need a refresher, refer to chapter six for a deeper discussion on how to outline using a mind map. 

Also, avoid editing your work as you go. Resist the temptation to go back and re-read your words or re-watch your video. You can improve your lessons and fill in any gaps later. Every time you stop to edit, you interrupt your creative flow. 

This slows you down. Don’t let your inner perfectionist derail you. Keep going and finish the first draft. This is your MVC. It doesn’t need to be flawless. Creating your first course takes persistence. It may take a while to find your rhythm. Keep an open mind and don’t give up. You can do this.

Written Content

Written content typically takes longer to produce than video or audio. However, it is easier to edit, so you can go back and make changes as needed. If you decide to create a text-based course, it’s essential to build a writing habit so you finish your course on time. When you form a habit, you train your brain to repeat an activity until you reach the desired endpoint. In this situation, the goal is to finish your course.

Video Content

When you create video content, it should appear natural. This means you don’t want to look like you’re reading from a script. Instead, take time before recording to jot down your opening and closing lines. 

This will give you a solid starting point, and help you remember how to end so you don’t ramble. In between the two, write down bullet point notes about what you want to cover. You can use the outline process described earlier. 

The goal is to write down enough information to easily bring your listeners from point A to point B, without reading it verbatim or going off-topic. When you’re ready to record, pay attention to the background around you. Take a test shot and examine it. 

Do you have a bookcase sticking out from behind your head? Are there any awkward items on your desk? Look at it from the eyes of your viewer. If there’s anything distracting, they will notice it. Listen for a moment. Are there any background noises? If you have kids, make sure they’re engaged in a quiet activity or sleeping. 

Listen for neighbors mowing the lawn, trains going by, or any other sounds that could make it hard for your viewer to listen to you. There are microphones you can invest in that can help improve the quality of your sound.


Your course doesn’t have to include quizzes or tests. If creating them will slow down the delivery of your MVC, then leave them out. For the first version of your course, a simple checklist to summarize the key learning points for each lesson is sufficient. 

But, if you do want to include quizzes, make sure they are useful to your students. Don’t throw in trick questions to try to “get” people. The purpose of testing students is to solidify their learning and provide a sense of completion. 

As a teacher, your job is to equip your students with the knowledge they need to succeed in your course. 

That means your lessons should prepare them for the questions on the quiz. Make sure you are testing what you teach. In other words, each quiz needs to directly correspond to the content of the course. Otherwise, your students won’t have the information they need to succeed.


While quizzes are optional, encouraging action is not. Worksheets with specific action steps for each lesson help your students get the most out of your course. They ensure people put what they learn into practice and integrate it into their lives.

If you want your students to succeed and achieve the promised outcome, it is your role as a course creator to provide plenty of incentives to act on your teaching. 

When you create a worksheet, don’t try to cram too much information into it. Keep it simple and cover just one key aspect. You can always create additional pages if you need to.

Step 7: Edit Your Course

Once you’re done updating your content, it’s time to self-edit your course. Your students deserve a professional, polished product. Editing smooths out any rough patches and ensures you’re using proper grammar and spelling. 

Good editing also cuts out unnecessary material. It provides a final check on the content, making sure your lessons deliver what you said they would. Start by working through your updated content as if you’re a student. 

Get into the mind of your ideal student. Imagine you are viewing this material for the first time. Watch the videos and read any written material out loud. Take your time. Look for vocabulary discrepancies. Are you using words a beginner wouldn’t understand or terminology your audience doesn’t use? 

Make sure your language matches that of your students. If you are using keywords that may not be common, make sure you have a glossary or another aid to help. Also, review how your course flows. 

Do you present every piece of information in the most logical order, or does one section need to be shifted? Finally, make sure you use a consistent and authentic tone throughout. Are there places that are overly technical, wordy, or too complex? Does your natural voice shine through? 

Make sure the course is a tone match for your students. One word of caution: The self-editing process can go on forever if you let it. 

If you have video or audio components in your course, you will need to work through these edits as well. This can include clipping the beginning and end, adding text overlays to videos, or inserting transitions. 

Always review each piece of content through the eyes of your student. During the video and audio editing phase, you may realize that your recording skills improved over time. This means you may think some of your early lessons need to be re-created. 

Only you can decide if that is the case. But don’t give in to your inner perfectionist. Your lessons need to be good, not perfect. To edit video, you will need some video editing software, such as Adobe Premier (paid option) or HitFilm Express (free option). No matter what software you use, there will be a learning curve. 

So, pick one that fits your budget and start playing with it. There are many video tutorials online that will help with just about any program. 

Audio files may also need clipping to prepare them for use. You might have some dead space to cut at the beginning, or an error to remove in the middle that you can splice in a new recording to fix. 

Your lesson endings may also need clipping. Audacity is a common audio editing software. Another is Adobe Audition. If desired, you can get creative with your audio and video by adding sound effects or intro music. Just make sure you have permission to use any third-party audio. You don’t want to violate copyrights as you create your course.

Step 8: Build Your Tribe

Your true fans are the ones who comment on your blog posts, watch your videos, and open your emails. They follow you on social media and interact with you. Only a small proportion of your email subscribers will become true fans, but you’ll never know which ones. Your goal is to treat every subscriber as if they are your most special customer, even if they have never purchased from you. If you can do this, you will quickly build a loyal fanbase. 

Think of it this way: Your email list is your tribe, the group of people who resonate with your message and are searching for the outcome or solution you offer. Your true fans are the sub-set within your tribe who will buy anything you create.

They will also share your course with other people, and they will become your biggest advocates. People other than your true fans will buy your course. However, the more dedicated your fans are, the faster your online business will grow and the greater the impact you will make.

You will want to provide free value to your target audience to invite them into your world, and you do this by offering an email opt-in or freebie. This is where someone gives you an email address and you give them a free resource in return. In the digital marketing world, a freebie is often the first step in your sales funnel.

Offering a freebie on your site allows you to do two things: 

  1. Collect email addresses of people who may be a great addition to your tribe. 
  2. Send them something that provides value and helps them get a better sense of who you are and what you do.

If you have an existing website or a blog, you may already have a freebie (or several). But does it relate directly to your course? If it doesn’t, that’s okay. You can still keep using what you have, but you also need to develop a new freebie—one that correlates to your online course. 

This way, you can easily guide people along the path from your free version to a place where they want more. 

A place where they are ready and eager to buy your course. That is your funnel. We cover exactly how to build a funnel that engages people in later chapters. For now, let’s start with designing your perfect freebie.

Step 9: Engage Your Tribe

You need to engage your subscribers more deeply. All the following methods allow your subscribers to get to know you at a more personal level. The four strategies are:

1. Video or podcasting

Video and audio are powerful mediums. They engage more senses and help people get to know you by seeing your face and hearing your voice. If you want to experiment with creating videos to engage your tribe, you can start a YouTube channel or go live regularly on Facebook or Instagram.

2. Online community

When you create an online community, you form a space in which people can come together and grow. You can have two-way conversations with your audience, where you listen to them and respond directly to their questions. 

This creates engagement faster than blasting content at people. If your audience is on Facebook, you can host your community in a Facebook Group. Or you can create an online discussion group using a service like Slack or Discourse. 

When you pick a platform for your community, consider your tribe and what they will be most comfortable using. 

Make sure you establish community rules for your group. For example, prohibit spam and self-promotion, and make sure you have a process to remove anyone who violates the rules. You want your community to be a place for connection and not a junkyard of self-promotional posts.

3. In-person meetings

If people in your local community are a great fit for your tribe, they are worth investing in. You can use a site like Meetup.com to establish local events. Before your first event, get clear on the purpose of your meeting. Why should people show up? Make sure the purpose relates to topics your course covers so you attract the right people. 

Also, decide on a format for your meetings. Will this be like a lecture, hands-on class, networking event, or Q&A session? 

Create a profile on whichever site you use, so people can learn more about you and the event. Then, pick a meeting schedule you can commit to. You need to build connections with your members over time, and to do this you must keep showing up on a regular basis.

4. Online events

Meeting in person isn’t always feasible. If it’s not for you or your audience, consider hosting virtual events instead. For example, weekly training webinars or a monthly live coaching call. 

These formats let people get to know you by seeing your face and hearing your voice. You can also have two-way conversations to learn more about your tribe and respond to their most pressing questions.

Step 10: Update Your Sales Page

A compelling landing page comes from understanding the needs and desires of your ideal students, then matching your solution to show how it provides exactly what they want. Your sales page has six main elements: 

1. Problem and solution 

Your audience is looking for answers to their problems. A powerful sales page speaks to your ideal student. It shows that you understand their struggles and desires, and it promises a solution they want. 

Now, you shouldn’t make any promises you can’t deliver on. But by now, you should already have created results for your students. Don’t be shy about sharing the dream with your audience. If you have a solution they need, you owe it to them to tell them about it. Paint a picture of your student’s life now. 

Describe the challenges they are struggling with and use language that resonates. Then reveal how their life will look after they finish your course. Show them what the path looks like a month, one year, or even ten years down the line.

2. Benefits 

Benefits are not features. This is not the place to list the number of lessons, videos, or bonuses your course includes. People typically don’t buy a course because of those things. Instead, focus on what students will be able to do once they complete your course.

List benefits in bullet point form and use powerful language. In the following example, benefits are listed for each module. If your course is shorter, then you can have a single set of benefits. Aim to describe at least seven compelling outcomes the student will get from taking your course.

3. Social Proof 

Potential buyers want to know if what you say is true and if your solution works for real people. That’s where social proof comes in. It shows your success and provides a layer of trust.

Your job is to collect some social proof for your sales page. At a minimum, make sure you gather testimonials from your students and include those on your page. 

A strong testimonial addresses your potential student’s objections and anxieties about taking your course. It also shows customers that they need your product to resolve their problems.

4. Features and bonuses 

When deciding what to buy, some people will use this information to make a final decision. They feel more confident in their purchase when they see a list of exactly what’s included. 

This is also where you can include any bonuses you offer your students. Bonuses catch the people who are still undecided as to whether they want to buy your course. You might also offer limited-time bonuses to add some sense of urgency.

5. Call to action 

So many people leave one important thing off their sales page. They forget to ask their readers to make the purchase. When you ask, you are using a call to action (CTA). It shows people what to do next. 

A short sales page should have at least two CTAs. If it’s longer, you may have five or more. For maximum benefit, your CTAs need to be compelling and in the right place. Don’t be wishy-washy in the language of your CTA. Don’t give customers too many choices. Instead, be direct and clear in telling people what to do. Here are some common terms: 

  • Buy now 
  • Buy today 
  • Add to cart 
  • Get your copy 
  • Act now

6. Guarantee

Decide what type of guarantee you’re comfortable with. You may want to ask students to demonstrate that they did the worksheets in your course before you give them their money back. Or you can simply offer a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee—if they don’t like what they get, you will give them their money back. Typically, a guarantee will have a time limit on it. You might give people one month to try your course.

Step 11: Re-launch Your Course

We suggest sending 12 emails during your launch. This might seem like a lot. But people need to hear about a product many times before they buy, and not every person reads every email you send. Don’t be scared to spend a lot of emails promoting your course. 

You have a solution to people’s problems. You owe it to your tribe to tell them about it. Having said that, you must make sure every email is useful to your audience. Your goal is to provide value that demonstrates your expertise and builds excitement.

One tip that will help you craft the best email sequence is to imagine you are writing to someone who can’t wait to buy your course. This is your ideal student, the person who needs or wants your solution. 

What can you write that will surprise and delight them? Always have this person in mind as you prepare your emails. And never write to the person who needs persuading, because they aren’t your ideal student.

Email 1: Tease your course 

Announce the launch of your online course and the date and time the cart will open. Tell your audience what your course will be about, who it’s for, and what it helps them do. Finally, give a valuable tip related to your course, such as a short video lesson. 

Email 2: Provide more details 

Give a second valuable tip or lesson. Describe what your course includes, both benefits and features. For example, provide the basic outline including the number of modules and lessons. Focus on your value proposition by explaining what makes your offer unique. 

Email 3: Share price and guarantee 

Provide another helpful tip or lesson. Then share the price of your course and your money-back guarantee. Explain why your course is worth ten times the investment. 

Email 4: Follow-up and cart opening tomorrow 

Ask if people have questions on the three tips or lessons you have shared. Then let them know that your cart opens tomorrow. Tease any early bird bonuses or discounts. 

Emails 5 and 6: Open cart 

Send two emails letting your audience know that they can register for your course. Provide a link to your course sales page. Create urgency to join your course with a specific closing date if you have one, and/or early bird bonuses. 

Email 7: FAQ email 

Study your feedback and provide answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Remind your audience about you guarantee and the closing date (cart closing and/or bonuses expire). 

Email 8: Case study #1 

Share a specific case study or testimonial from one of your students. Describe their situation before taking your course and focus on one struggle or challenge that’s relevant to your audience. Then describe their life after taking your course, showing how your course helped them realize the desired outcome. Remind your audience about your guarantee and the closing date. 

Email 9: Case study #2 

Share a second case study that addresses a different challenge or concern your potential students might have. Then, remind people about your guarantee and that the cart closes tomorrow. 

Email 10: Your cart is closing (email #1) 

In the early morning on the last day, explain why this is the best time to buy. Remind your audience that they have limited time left to buy your course. 

Email 11: Your cart is closing (email #2) 

In the middle of the day, send another short reminder of the closing cart. 

Email 12: Last chance (email #3) 

Send a final reminder two hours before the cart closes saying that this is the last chance to buy.

Other Places to Promote Your Course

If you’ve followed the process in this book and built a tribe of loyal followers, then most of your sales will come from your email list. However, there are other ways you can promote your course during launch. The following is an overview of some effective strategies to spread the word further afield.


  • Change your bio link to your course’s waiting page or sales page. 
  • Take a selfie of you in course creation mode and share. 
  • Post a reveal for your course cover. 
  • Share problems and solutions in IG stories. 
  • Go live and do a video tour of your course. 
  • Run paid ads to your course sales page. 


  • Create at least two different pins leading to your sales page. 
  • Make the first lesson of your course free, and send people directly to it with a pin. 
  • Run a paid ad campaign the week you launch. 
  • Create a video pin to catch the eye of your potential students. 


  • Do a Facebook Live teaching one lesson that relates to your course. 
  • Post polls with course cover options to increase interest. 
  • Find related memes to share, and in the comments mention how your course can help. 
  • Run an ad campaign targeting your audience that links to the course sales page. 

Guest Posts and/or Podcast Interviews 

  • Research five influencers and pitch guest posts or podcast interviews. 
  • Create high-value guest posts with actionable steps. 
  • Explain why the influencer’s audience will benefit from your guest post or podcast interview. 
  • Rewrite your bio to include a link to your course sales page and present yourself as an expert in solving this problem. 
  • Share guest posts or interviews with your audience as they go live. 

You need to have multiple strategies for each channel. Your entire audience doesn’t see everything you post, so it’s better to share too much than not enough. Build excitement so that people are eager to buy your course when it opens for registration.

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