In this post I am going to show you how to create a sales funnel for an online course. I will start by explaining what a sales funnel is and show you how to use that information to create many different types of sales funnels.

Why You Need A Sales Funnel

When you are in the planning phase of your online course, you will want to get as many eyes as you can on your online course. The right kind of eyes, preferably. A sales funnel is created to draw people in and then turn those leads into buyers. Having a sales funnel helps people find your product. Not everyone that goes into the top of your sales funnel will become a buyer, but that is expected. That is why you need to attract as many leads as possible and then work them through your sales funnel.

What Is A Sales Funnel?

To start designing your sales funnel. The first thing you have to know is what a sales funnel is. A sales funnel is a simple way to guide your potential customers in a direction to have them become customers. Sales funnels take many forms. To keep it simple for our purposes, we’re going to have four sections. This is a common sales funnel used for many types of products.

Sales funnel awareness graphic

Create Awareness For Your Online Course

The top level is the widest and is to create awareness. This is where you are spreading your message to let everyone know what you’re doing. This can be a social media campaign, or even an email campaign, if you have a good-sized email list. You want to go where your target market is and get noticed. Getting noticed is the goal here.

In this section, you can also use influencers and affiliates that will help you drive awareness of your online course to their followers. As you start to build awareness and get noticed. This is where you want to move people down the sales funnel to the next level.

sales funnel interest slide

Create Interest In Your Online Course

The next level is interest. You want to build interest and get those people that are interested to show it. To get them from awareness to interest, you need to make sure you have a call to action for them to follow. This can be jumping over to a landing page and signing up for a lead magnet related to your online course, or clicking on a link to your website to learn more. This can also be signing up to be on a list to be notified when your course goes on sale.

Create A Sales Funnel For An Online Course

All of these things show that your student is interested in the online course that you’re creating. The big difference between awareness and interest is the type of engagement you are getting. Awareness is people liking your post on social media. Interest is them clicking on your link to learn more and get your lead magnet. There are varying degrees of both awareness and interest. The fewer steps you have between these two levels, the more likely you are to be able to move people from one to the other quickly.

sales funnel nurture graphic

Nurture Your Potential Students

Now that you have your students interest, you want to move them down the funnel to the next level. This is called the decision phase. I like to call it the nurture phase. Now you have their interests and have them on a list, you want to start nurturing them.

If your course still has some time before you launch, nurturing your students and building that excitement is important. The more excited they are about your launch, the more likely they are to purchase it when your online course goes live.

sales funnel purchase graphic

Asking Your Student To Purchase

The last and bottom level of this funnel is purchase. This is where you make an offer to your students to purchase and welcome them to your online course. Congratulations to you and your students for making it this far.

But what about the people that didn’t purchase your online course? This is where you can send them through another nurture sequence. Maybe the time was not right for them. Possibly they’re interested but they have other commitments. It happens. When you’re building out your funnel, go ahead and create an email nurture sequence that will continue to be valuable to them until such a time as they are ready to purchase.

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Fixing Your Sales Funnel

Now that you know the basic layout of a funnel, you will need to make sure your funnel is working properly. All funnels sometimes take some tweaking now and then. Watching your analytics to see the conversion rate is very important here. Depending on the conversion rate of each section of the funnel, you may need to make some adjustments.

If people are clicking over to sign up for your lead magnet, but don’t go through with it, you may need to look at the copy on your landing page. If they are not even clicking over there to take a look at it, this may be a good time to look at your lead magnet and see if it is a good offer for your potential students. I have seen many graphics showing what the conversion rate should be at each level, but they can vary wildly depending on the industry.

Online Course Creator Community

Looking For A Little Extra Help?

There is a place where online course creators can go to get the help they need while working on their online course. We call it the Insider’s Community.

Price can also have an impact on your sales funnel as well. If you are selling a high ticket item to cold traffic at the top of your funnel, the conversion rate will be much lower than a low priced item at the bottom of your funnel. This is why I see so many people offering a free lead magnet and then a low cost item to start. Once you build trust with your students, it will be easier to sell those high ticket items.

Now that we’ve spoken about all the different levels and the purpose of the funnel, you should be able to create a funnel that leads people down the path to purchasing your online course. Remember, this is your funnel. You can add levels or take levels away depending on what works for you. You may even want to have several funnels depending on your target market and where they are in their relationship with you.

If you are looking for more help creating your online course, consider joining my group coaching community. I jump in there daily to answer your questions and help you get your online course launched.

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