Online courses are now big business. Celebrity chefs, authors and directors are all getting in on the game. But no matter who you are, at some point, you’re going to have to sell your online courses via a sales page.
Based on our analysis of some of the top online course-based sales pages we’ve identified the five most critical aspects of what makes them high converting, engaging and profitable. Using that analysis, we’re going to show you how to create the most high converting, profitable and engaging sales letter your course-based business has ever used.
100% of your revenue
Sales pages can be responsible for up to 100% of the revenue your online course generates. There are of course other methods to making a sale for your online course. These could be webinars, face-to-face sales, or upsell offers included in a bundle.
However, businesses who want to truly adopt an automated online course sales platform, must adopt at least one sales page for their online course. The biggest roadblock that our customers at MeBox face, is creating a sales page that not only looks great, but also does a good job selling the course.
As online course-based businesses, we struggle to really understand what a customer wants from our course. It’s the difference between us understanding what they need, and the customer knowing what they want. There are five critical components of a sales page for online courses that must be used and adhered to if you want to successfully sell courses online.
The biggest misconception when it comes to selling courses, particularly by using online course sales pages, is thinking that the course will “sell itself”. Online courses can be tough to sell, particularly if you have a “build it and they will come” mentality. Courses can be hard to sell because people understand that courses require two investments.
First, they must invest the monetary amount into the course. If you’re a premium course such as Digital Marketer’s Content marketing Certification. Or the Facebook Ad IQ Academy. You can be looking at $997 or more. Some courses charge in the range of $2000-$3000.
Your sales page has to be the last line of defence against customers not understanding what they are buying. How can we convince leads and subscribers to buy our courses using one sales page?
Time and money
No matter how much value your course delivers, it won’t sell if your sales page is not well written, informative and engaging.
You have to convince leads, subscribers and customers that the investment is worth not only the money but the time.
With the technology available today for building online pages such as Beaver Builder, Click Funnels and Lead Pages, building online pages has never been easier. However, the trap that most online course-based businesses fall into is thinking just because they’ve got a page builder they will automatically get page design that looks great.
Don’t be fooled – you’ve also got to account for mobile traffic and tablet browsers. Pages need to be clearly laid out. The copy and content needs to make sense and captivate the reader.
So with that, let’s look at what you must have in order to craft the perfect sales page for your online course.
Clear headline with what you get
Without a doubt the most noticeable part of any page, when you first land on it, is the interesting and captivating headline. Usually it explains very clearly what you are going to get and why you’re on this page.
For example, if we take Mariah Coz’s Femtrepreneur online course Find Your Niche Masterclass, we can see that the headline clearly says FIND YOUR UNIQUE NICHE FOR YOUR BLOG OR BUSINESS.
It’s obvious that someone landing on this page will understand that this page is going to help them find a unique niche for their blog or business. The headline alone could be strong enough to sell the course.
Your headline serves as the ultimate summary for the benefit of both reading the page and buying the course.
Another brilliant example is Digital Marketer’s Content Marketing Specialist Certification. The first headline that you’ll see is “how to become a content marketing specialist”. Again, without being clever or in your face, Digital Marketer is clearly stating that this page will help you become a content marketing specialist.
Not only does the page explain what a content marketing specialist needs to learn and do, but the course itself ultimately teaches you how to become a content marketing specialist.
The headline is typically the last thing to be written. After all of the copy and content has been written for the page, go back and take a look at the headline. It should state both what the course is going to enable someone to do as well as what the page is about.
Digital Marketer has a second headline which both acts as an intriguing attention grabber and something which almost all businesses desire. Free, organic traffic is not only a benefit but also a desired result that all websites want. The concept of giving someone free, organic traffic is too good an offer to refuse.
Focus on benefits
Focusing on benefits is the most neglected and forgotten copy writing skill for many online course sales pages. There is a misconception that people join courses for the sheer volume, quantity or amount of content. If we had a course designed to help web developers charge higher fees, which of these sounds more compelling?
$997 for a 57 hour course for web developers.
$997 to teach web developers how to charge higher fees, generate more revenue, and become happier with their development business.
Online course businesses, through their sales pages, must focus on the benefits for their customers. What are the benefits that your course delivers?
Sell Your Service is an online course and coaching platform for marketing funnel builders. They deliver the benefits to their online course immediately. They state this is how marketing funnel builders become the most exciting and profitable funnel business in their market.
It’s critical that we focus on the benefits that the customer WANTS and not the benefit or result we think they need. A benefit, very basically, is a reason why someone should buy. You should keep asking yourself, “why else?” when selling your course. Why else would someone invest in this course? Why else would someone buy this course?
Consistently Create Wildly Profitable Facebook Ads, is clearly a benefit focused and desirable sentence. The Facebook ad IQ Academy, clearly wants to help me create wildly profitable Facebook ads. Who wouldn’t want wildly profitable Facebook ads?
Their second headline even states “I hope you’re ready to make some serious bank emoji/money emoji” (which I love). Everything about the first two sections of their online course sales page is focused around the benefits that clearly anyone, particularly those interested in Facebook advertising, would want. Just as Facebook ad IQ Academy does, your course must also create extremely compelling benefits.
A benefit would be categorized as something that makes their life better. A result is something which is both measurable and repeatable. For example, increasing profit, increasing traffic, or losing weight. Benefits and results both have the same impact. But it’s important to balance the results and benefits that your course can offer and what you promote.
If your course is more focused on less tangible results, then focus on the benefits. How does this make someone’s life better. Why would someone’s life be better after they buy this? What would somebody else be jealous of now that they’ve bought this course? How is someone’s average day changed and made better after buying this course?
Social proof, also called testimonials or quotes, are one of the most compelling pieces of content that you can create. First of all, they’re not only free to get from customers (which is why you should be collecting them as soon as possible) but they also have a proven impact on conversions.
People want to read stories and quotes from other human beings. It even helps if the language and the structure of the copy is different from your usual writing style.
WPSessions, which provides online courses to WordPress developers and designers has a social proof testimonial as the second section on their VIP sales page.
“I don’t want to learn something twice, I want to learn it right the first time.”-WPSessions member
First, I absolutely love this testimonial. It not only shows that someone trusts WP sessions’ content quality, but it’s also something that one of their members has said positively about WP sessions.
WP sessions also uses quotes at the very end of their sales page to summarize and wrap up the page.
The quotes and testimonials on WP sessions’ VIP sales page range from positive benefit and life changing quotes to explaining what you get in the course and why you should buy.
Testimonials, quotes and social proof should be gathered from customers as soon as possible. The big stumbling block with testimonials is when customers don’t know or can’t think of what to say. You have a couple of options: either writing a quick testimonial for them and asking if they’re happy to attribute this to them, or send them a couple of questions such as what was your life like before my course and how is your life better with the course?
You can also ask what was your favourite thing about the course, would you buy again, or what would you say to someone who is on the fence about my course?
Recently a new form of social proof is proving to increase conversions as well as be popular with new leads and customers. Companies like Use Proof can create tiny little pop-ups in the corner of a webpage which show when someone has converted or signed up.
It shows their location, their name and what they downloaded. It’s a really interesting way of adding a real-time testimonial and action metric. Many businesses use Use Proof on sales pages as well as lead capture and opt in pages or squeeze pages.
Obvious call to action
Without a doubt, the single biggest mistake that your sales page can make, is neglecting the call to action. We are staggered by how many businesses make it hard to sign up and buy the course.
We’ve even seen people call up course businesses and ask them “I really want to buy your course, but I can’t see the checkout button!”
Making sure that your call-to-action button, checkout button or buy now button is clear, well positioned and repeated throughout the page is critical to the conversion rate. It might sound like the most obvious piece of advice, but it’s amazing how many course-based sales pages completely forget to put a “buy now” button on their sales page.
Or, they’ll make the buy now button blend in with the rest of the sales page. Which is another classic, but frankly avoidable mistake.
Sell Your Service has “ENROL HERE” at the very top of the page. And yes, before you ask Sell Your Service is an English company and in England they spell enrol with one l, not two.
It’s not only the first action someone can take, but it’s also the most frequent and it stands out. Their colour scheme is a aquifer/coral green. The call to action button is a golden orange. It’s designed to stand out in stark contrast against the black, white and green colour scheme.
That same button is repeated throughout the page under each section and sometimes under each paragraph. “Click here to enrol” is repeated throughout the page and occasionally the button colour changes to contrast the background of where ever the button is.
It’s obvious that the Sell Your Service team really want you to sign up and they’re going to make it easier for you.
Make sure that your call to action is extremely clear and explicit in what someone should do when they’re on your page. If you want someone to buy, make it easy for them.
For Digital Marketer’s Content Marketing Specialist Certification, they offer multiple chances to buy and enroll within their course.
The buy now button is repeated throughout the page, stands out and the font is slightly larger than the regular text.
Make sure that your buy now button both stands out compared to the background that it is on as well as the overall colour scheme. Do not fall into the trap of thinking your Buy Now button has to look pretty with the same colours as the rest of the page or your brand; because that has been proven to reduce conversions.
Deliverables and features
Finally, you’ll want to explicitly state what the deliverables and features are of the course. We talk a lot about benefits and results, but often customers want to see what they are getting and the structure or layout of the course. This is not necessarily to do with the amount of content or the volume of content, but speaks to the fact that courses with a clear curriculum come across as more reputable than a course that doesn’t have a clear curriculum.
Customers want to see what modules, topics and lessons they’ll be learning. It’s often important to people for them to break down and visualise what skills they will be learning.
Benefits and results will often convince someone whether this is the right product for them and may even make the sale, but deliverables and features will often close the deal.
If you don’t take the time to explain the benefits and results to the customer, when you display the price to them it will be much harder for them to decide whether it is a good deal, too expensive or too cheap.
The same thing happens with features and deliverables. If you display features and deliverables too early, the customer has nothing else to compare it to.
For example, the WP sessions VIP package has a very clear list of six points for the features and deliverables. They range from savings and discounts, to future and past recorded sessions and over 78 hours+ of training content.
The Digital Marketer content marketing Specialist certification spends over 50% of the page, listing out the deliverables and features. They are even repeated further down the page during the pricing stage with a more granular module breakdown. It lists out the number of core modules, how many video lessons, how many handouts and whether you get a printable certificate and displayable badge.
Some online courses must explain clearly what the customer is going to get. For things like continuing professional education points, personal development hours or certification, there needs to be a tangible result at the end of it.
So there we have it, the five most critical aspects to an online course-based business sales page:
- Make sure you have a clear benefit or result driven headline.
- Make sure that you have benefit and result focused copy and content throughout the page. It has to be clear what the customer’s life is going to be like after they buy.
- Use social proof and testimonials to back up your claims and demonstrate that previous people have bought and love this course.
- Make your call to action, Buy Now and Add to Cart buttons stand out and repeated throughout the sales page. Add features and deliverables to the page for the customer to understand the tangible “thing” they’ll get once they buy.
- Our favorite part in creating sales pages is writing up benefits and results. The idea that the course could make someone’s life better is what we’re all about.
“Should I include a frequently asked questions section in my sales page?” It’s a great question and would have made this list if it were important. FAQs are a fantastic way to turn and close objections for people reading a sales page. It’s a really easy way for you to answer objections and questions that someone might have about the course and disguise them as frequently asked questions. But its not critical.
Make sure to download our Online Course Sales Page Checklist to increase your conversions and profitability of a sales page easily and fast.