How to Pre-Launch Online Courses
Pre-launch online courses is indicated to ensure the sales success that the course will have when it is officially launched.
This is a pre-sale to a selected audience, which will be responsible for helping you attract an even larger audience.
Why pre-launch online courses?
Pre-launching online courses is a strategy you can incorporate into your sales funnel to ensure your course sells before it’s even finished.
It is a warm-up, where you create expectations about the product and use marketing actions focused on attracting potential leads to reach your target audience.
You may have noticed several professionals selling “launch formulas” on the internet, and the vast majority talk about the importance of pre-launch for sales success. They are not wrong.
Typically, when it comes to selling online courses, the general perception is that once the course is published, sales start to happen. It doesn’t work like that.
Demand has to be created so that people know your content exists, understand its value and sales happen. For this, the best way is to pre-launch online courses.
In this pre-launch, your course does not need to be completely ready, it is just a pilot, a sample that serves to, in addition to attracting leads, validate your idea.
If you still have doubts about whether this effort is worth it, here are some benefits it brings to your business:
- Time and resources savings: When pre-launching online courses, you test audience interest and make sure your course has a market. Making sure you have a real chance of success is the best way to avoid wasting time and money.
- More investment resources: You can use the revenue generated by this pre-sale to finish developing your course and bolster your marketing investment.
- Email List building: When you start pre-launch online courses, you also start building your mailing list of potential customers. When your course is ready, simply email this list to get your first students.
- Build excitement and anticipation: One of the main benefits of organizing a pre-launch is generating the engagement that comes from anticipation. When you start talking about a new product that will be launched and all its advantages, your audience starts to wait for it, which generates motivation to buy (even impulse purchases) and interest in following your news and content.
- Feedback: Getting feedback on your idea before you finish developing it is a masterstroke. The sooner you can get validation from your target audience, the sooner you can create a course based on their actual wants and requests (rather than creating what you think they want).
5 Steps to Pre-Launch Online Courses
Pre-launching online courses allows you to gauge the market reception of your product.
This is very useful to determine if your effort and investment is being applied to something with real chances of success, or if you need to make adjustments to your product and strategy.
See a simple step-by-step guide to pre-launch online courses and optimize your sales!
1. Determine the goals and expected outcomes of the course
The first thing you should do is make a clear list of the objectives of your online course and the results it delivers to students.
Showing the user what he earns, what transformation your course can cause in his life, is your first strong sales argument, and also the moment when you select your audience, since that will only stay to find out who is really interested in the goals you’ve listed.
Be precise, objective and truthful. Don’t bullshit the customer (remember that online attention spans are short!) and don’t promise what you can’t deliver.
These goals and results are the beginning of the sales pitch that will be used in your online course pre-launch campaign. When they are defined, you already have content to start attracting leads through your main relationship channels, such as social networks and email.
2. Sell your idea
It’s time to move on to a more direct sales strategy, that is, put a face to it, show who you are, what your product is and why people should buy from you.
For this you can record a video, organize a webinar or a live streaming on your social networks. At this point, you present the course title and outline to your target audience.
Talk about your goals and advantages, the pain you want to solve , and why you are the right person to do so. Then wait and analyze the results of that first release.
Was there interest? What did people say? If the results weren’t so good, don’t give up just yet, keep promoting your pre-launch via email, social media, YouTube and your other channels.
Give more people a chance to find out about your idea before discarding it. Deliver free content and prove you’re an authority in the field. Sometimes people don’t necessarily dislike your product, they just don’t know if they can trust you.
3. Launch a pilot course
Another approach is to create a minimum viable course. It is a pilot, a first test version that you intend to improve. Or even a mini-course or just a module of the complete course that you will create.
Pre-launch online courses is all about creating a pilot course to prove that people are willing to pay to learn about your chosen topic and get feedback and testimonials from your students.
With this feedback, you make the necessary adjustments, acquire important social proof for sales, and take the opportunity to improve your content, adding additional resources to it.
Sell your pilot course for a price lower than what you intend to charge, after all, in addition to not being finished, it is fair to offer your first group of students a reduced price.
You can even call these students a beta test group and put a limit on the number of people who can apply. This helps create a sense of urgency and makes your proposal more attractive.
4. Create a landing page
A landing page is different from a regular page on a website, it is designed with a conversion goal, that is, to convince the visitor to take an action.
All of your marketing and outreach efforts should lead the user to this page, where again the objectives of your course and what benefits it brings to customers will be listed.
Use strong, catchy headlines, video, social proof, and CTAs that can lead to a purchase or at the very least a subscription to your mailing.
If possible, put a sample of the course there, or its curriculum, so that the user has a better idea of what will be delivered and feels more confident to make the purchase.
Remember copywriting! The content must be written in a persuasive way that makes the visitor think, “I can’t miss this!”
5. Price your online course
Pre-launch online courses is important to help you define what your product is worth.
Determining this amount can be quite complex, so we advise you to start by setting a sales target that justifies the creation of the course.
For example, if you have an initial cost of $1,000 to create your pilot course, start by charging $100 on the pre-launch and try to sell to a minimum of ten people.
This will shed light on the sales potential of your course and whether your revenue goal is achievable.
If you can’t acquire 10 customers, it’s a good idea to reevaluate your course idea, marketing strategies, or make adjustments based on the feedback that comes in. Make these changes and see what happens.
If the first round of sales is successful, move on to developing the full course and increase your value to what you actually expect to earn.
As you improve your course and collect more positive student testimonials, you can increase the price.
If you sell your online course before you create it, be prepared to actually deliver it within the timeframe you promised your customers. Otherwise, complaints started to come in and they could ruin your reputation and the chance to make money in the eLearning market.
Pre-Launch Online Courses with Coursify.me
Pre-launch online courses to promote your course and find out if it will be successful or not.
But even if the results aren’t as good as expected, don’t give up. Instead, keep working on it and improve it with all the feedback you’ve received during this pre-sale.
The secret to success is to involve students in the creation process. That way, when you release the enhanced, full version of your course at a higher price, you’ll know it will be well-received because you’ve created it based on feedback and wishes from real customers.
To finish, our advice is: create the best course possible and host it on a platform that is easily accessible to your customers.
Complete eLearning platform, Coursify.me is the ideal solution for anyone who wants to create, sell and promote courses on the internet.
Serving companies and professionals in more than 60 countries, Coursify.me is a dynamic and customizable Learning Management System (LMS).
To know more, visit our website, do a free trial and understand why we are the best option for your online course.