Online courses are not exactly tough sellers but there is a lot of competition on the learning market so the best way to make sure you get as many students as you can is to incorporate several tested marketing tools.
Setting it all up may take some time but in the long run, you’ll find it’s worth it. The majority of online searches for a product will result in a purchase. Getting customers to your page and convincing them to buy your course and come back is going to be a lot easier with a few good tools in place from the get-go.
Here are six e-commerce hacks for getting higher sales on your online courses:
1. Build a community and offer discounts
A very good way to have an engaged audience is to work at getting the attention of people in your niche and get them talking – both to you and among themselves. You can then take it one step further and set up a membership system so that they get an even stronger sense of community.
Offering special discounts or other perks for those in your ‘club’ will help them feel truly important and will act as great incentives to enroll and pay.
One mistake a lot of marketers make is to go all out in order to attract new customers while ignoring existing ones. These should be encouraged to remain loyal and act as product ambassadors.
2. Offer flexible buying options
The modern learner wants content to be accessible and to offer options. Microlearning has already become a favorite so when you design your course you might consider breaking it into modules and giving your public the possibility to choose exactly what is relevant to them.
Think about several ways of marketing your content – as a bundle, a la carte, buy as you go, subscription-based or a pass for everything you have on your site. Furthermore, including special offers and promotional codes is a sure way to drive in more traffic and increase sales.
3. Recommend learning paths
If you are offering several courses, it’s best to organize them in clusters and offer your customers the possibility to take them in a certain order or randomly to acquire a complete set of related skills and competencies.
Again, it’s a good idea to offer discounts and promotions to those who choose this multiple-module option. In case you are just starting out and have only one course on sale, you can either reach out to friendly competitors and offer to unite your efforts or curate valuable free content that is available online. The point is to extend the spectrum of what you initially have on sale.
Read more: How to curate content like a pro
4. License your courses
Licensing course content means that other people (or, more likely, organizations) are paying you on a yearly basis for your courses. They surely already have an LMS in place so they only need to buy the content and your promise to keep it relevant and updated as needed.
As a freelancer, you should definitely consider this option because it guarantees a reliable stream of revenue and gives you a certain visibility in the organizations that choose you as a learning vendor.
Needless to say, when your sales are business to business instead of business to consumer, you can also charge higher rates.
5. Employ blended learning
You may think your course is already very diverse and that you have included various means of teaching in it. If true, that’s excellent because today’s audiences want variety.
A blended learning approach takes things even further than that. It turns the learner’s interaction with your material from an event to an experience.
And the best part is that in taking this approach you get the opportunity to sell pre- and post-event content to maximize both the learning and your profit.
When you mix the actual course with videos, interactive content and other related experiences you greatly expand the selling opportunities as well.
6. Collect sales data and use it to sell more
There is no doubt that once you set up your online site, you monitor how traffic and sales look like. You may even be using some software to collect data and make predictions and offer you valuable financial analytics.
Once you see what people are interested in and what does not seem to catch any attention, you can plan better. If you correlate the data from your own site with current trends and expert predictions, you can come up with the best course of action for driving sales up.
Looking at the data you collect from blended learning will also indicate both positive points and aspects that could use improvement.
All in all
None of the hacks I have listed above have the quality of being revolutionary. When it comes to sales, however, you want to attract numbers, not singularities, so going with what the crowd is doing (and enjoying) at certain points in time is your best bet for increasing sales.
INDIE White Paper: How to build a great site for selling online courses
Raluca Cristescu has over ten years of experience in corporate training, focused mainly on soft skills for customer service and direct sales.