16 Proven Strategies to Boost Your Online Course Subscriptions


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16 Proven Strategies to Boost Your Online Course Subscriptions

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16 Proven Strategies to Boost Your Online Course Subscriptions

In the quest to amplify online course enrollments, we’ve gathered proven strategies from CEOs, founders, and marketing experts. From showcasing social proof to building an online audience, explore the diverse tactics in these sixteen answers that could skyrocket your subscription rates.

  • Showcase Social Proof
  • Guest Blog for Visibility
  • Entice Subscribers with Exclusive Offers
  • Streamline the Customer Journey
  • Implement a Tiered-Pricing Strategy
  • Use a Webinar Funnel
  • Leverage Partnerships and Collaborations
  • Offer Free Trials
  • Incentivize Referrals
  • Invest in PPC Advertising
  • Engage with Targeted Content Marketing
  • Launch Email Marketing Campaigns
  • Create Limited-Time Promotional Discounts
  • Collaborate for Affiliate Marketing
  • Start a YouTube Channel
  • Build an Online Audience

Showcase Social Proof

One way to boost your course subscriptions is to show social proof, like a star rating and reviews around each course. We found that over 90% of people look for reviews before they buy a product, so it makes sense that this strategy would translate to more subscriptions. When new visitors see that other people have paid for your lesson and found value, they’re more likely to take action.

If you want to try this for yourself, I suggest reaching out to existing customers and asking them for feedback. Explain that it helps you improve future lessons and helps people decide which course is right for them. I also suggest adding a review section to each product so users can quickly and easily share their thoughts.

Daman Jeet SinghDaman Jeet Singh
CEO, FunnelKit

Guest Blog for Visibility

One effective method I used to increase subscriptions for my online course was guest blogging. By contributing articles to well-established blogs within my niche, I not only enhanced my backlink profile but also significantly increased visibility for my course.

Each guest post included information relevant to the course topic and a direct link to the course page, inviting readers to explore further. This strategy can be replicated by identifying relevant blogs in your field and offering valuable content that naturally leads readers to your courses.

Marco Genaro PalmaMarco Genaro Palma
Freelance CMO and SEO Consultant, SEO Coach

Entice Subscribers with Exclusive Offers

Offer something valuable that users will receive upon subscribing to the online course. You can entice them with a discounted rate for the first 100 subscribers or an exclusive discount for those who can get a friend to sign up as well. It can also be free lead magnets upon subscription, such as templates, e-books, whitepapers, free tool trials, and the like, as long as it is something that your target readers will find valuable.

Baidhurya ManiBaidhurya Mani
Founder, SellCoursesOnline

Streamline the Customer Journey

Nailed the customer journey. Made it easy for leads to convert. Mapped out each touchpoint. Understood their needs. Gave them exactly what they wanted. Personalization is key.

Others can replicate it. Document your customer journey. Identify roadblocks. Remove friction. Give customers a clear path to purchase. Tailor your messaging. Segment your audience. Deliver relevant content at the right time.

Casey JonesCasey Jones
Founder, Head of Marketing, CJ&CO

Implement a Tiered-Pricing Strategy

One effective method I used to boost subscriptions for our online courses was implementing a tiered-pricing strategy. This approach involves offering different levels of course access and benefits at varying price points, catering to a broader range of customers with different needs and budgets.

For example, we offered a basic tier that included access to course materials and recorded lectures, a standard tier that added live sessions and community access, and a premium tier that provided additional one-on-one coaching sessions with instructors. This strategy allowed potential customers to choose a level that best fit their learning preferences and financial capability, making the courses more accessible to a diverse audience.

To replicate this method, other course providers should analyze their target market to understand the different customer segments and their specific needs. Based on this analysis, they can create tailored tiers that offer real value at each level. It’s crucial to clearly communicate the benefits of each tier, ensuring that customers understand what they gain as they move up in price. This transparency helps in building trust and convincing potential customers of the value proposition at every level.

Additionally, by monitoring which tiers are most popular and gathering feedback, providers can continuously refine their offerings to better meet the needs of their audience, further enhancing subscription rates and customer satisfaction. This tiered approach not only maximizes revenue potential but also improves accessibility, making it a powerful strategy for scaling online courses.

Bruno GavinoBruno Gavino
Founder, CEO, CodeDesign

Use a Webinar Funnel

One method I’ve used to boost course subscriptions is with a webinar funnel. A 45-60 minute video presentation is one of the most effective ways to tell your story, uninstall limiting beliefs, and sell your course, especially if it costs $500 or more.

Here’s how to structure it:

PART 1: Your Origin Story

– Where were you before?

– Where are you now?

– How did you get here?

PART 2: Your Content

– 3-5 actionable takeaways

– Share the ‘what’ (not the ‘how’)

– Include case studies or social proof

PART 3: Your Special Offer

– Desired outcomes

– Modules & bonuses

– Pricing, terms, & deadline

Start by doing it live once a week. Then, once you get a recording that converts, automate it with paid ads so you can drive course sales on autopilot.

Jim HamiltonJim Hamilton
Co-Founder, Persuasive Alchemy

Leverage Partnerships and Collaborations

A unique and powerful way to boost subscriptions to online courses is by leveraging the power of partnerships and collaborations. Consider partnering with influencers or industry experts who have a relevant audience.

By offering them complimentary access to your course in exchange for promotion to their followers, you can tap into their credibility and reach a wider audience. You could also work with complementary businesses or organizations to cross-promote each other’s offerings. For example, you could guest-host a webinar or workshop for their audience, with a call-to-action to join your course.

To replicate this strategy, start by identifying potential partners whose audience aligns with your target demographic. Reach out to them with a clear proposal outlining the benefits of collaborating and how it can be mutually beneficial. By leveraging the networks and audiences of your partners, you can effectively increase visibility and drive more subscriptions to your online course.

Syed BalkhiSyed Balkhi
Co-Founder, WPBeginner

Offer Free Trials

To boost our online course subscriptions, we offer free trials to give potential customers the opportunity to try our course for free. This strategy works well for us because our product is stronger than our competitors’, and we take care to ensure that the free-trial-accessible pages are very attractive and contain videos when possible.

Free trials create a risk-free experience for new users so that they can explore our online course material before making a purchase. This decreases the barrier to entry for trying the product at all, which is usually the biggest barrier for online course subscription sales. Our implementation of free trials displays a strong sense of confidence, effectiveness, and quality of the online course content.

Andrea CuevasAndrea Cuevas
Marketing Coordinator, Achievable

Incentivize Referrals

I almost always default to trying to figure out how to leverage a word-of-mouth approach! By incentivizing current students to refer friends and colleagues, we leveraged word-of-mouth, which is often more trusted and persuasive than traditional marketing methods. Each referrer received a discount on future courses, and the new subscriber got a discount on their first course, creating a win-win situation.

Others can replicate this by setting up a simple referral system that tracks referrals and rewards both the referrer and the referee. It’s important to make the referral process as easy as possible, perhaps by providing a unique referral link that customers can share. Also, clearly communicating the benefits of the referral program can significantly enhance participation. This strategy not only increases course enrollments but also strengthens customer loyalty and creates a community around your offerings.

Andrew Lee JenkinsAndrew Lee Jenkins
Owner, Catalyst RVA Marketing Agency

Invest in PPC Advertising

Don’t be afraid of PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, even if you have a freemium option. It can be expensive, but it works if you have the right strategy and the right product.

Travis SchreiberTravis Schreiber
Director of Operations, Erase Technologies

Engage with Targeted Content Marketing

A good strategy to increase subscriptions to your online course is targeted content marketing with strategic partnerships. By creating valuable, interesting content within the field of your course, you can acquire an engaged audience.

It will be made up of potential students who care about what you’re writing about. This content can be blog posts, tutorials, or webinars. The important thing is that it should be useful to your intended audience.

It should focus on the needs and challenges of your future students and be created with the goal of solving their problems, providing them with as much value as possible, and making them proud to have found you.

Puneet GogiaPuneet Gogia
Founder, Excel Champs

Launch Email Marketing Campaigns

To effectively boost online course subscriptions, a highly successful method we’ve employed at my software house is the strategic use of targeted email marketing campaigns, enhanced by a compelling value proposition. Here’s a streamlined approach that others can replicate for similar success:

Step 1: Audience Segmentation

Begin by dividing your email list into specific segments based on users’ previous engagements with your content, such as interactions with earlier courses or participation in webinars. This segmentation enables you to tailor your communications to match the distinct interests and requirements of different user groups, thereby increasing the relevance and appeal of your messages.

Step 2: Creating a Compelling Offer

Develop an enticing offer that is difficult to ignore. This might include a time-sensitive discount, bundled course offerings at a special rate, or exclusive content available only to early registrants. Such offers not only create urgency but also foster a sense of exclusivity and value.

Step 3: Personalized Email Campaigns

Leverage the insights gained from your audience segmentation to launch personalized email campaigns. These emails should clearly articulate the benefits of the courses, emphasizing features like expert-led instruction, interactive elements, and opportunities for practical application. Focus on articulating how these courses address specific user challenges or help in skill enhancement.

Step 4: Engagement and Feedback

After the initial campaign, engage your audience with follow-up emails that remind them of the limited nature of the offer and solicit feedback from those who showed interest but did not enroll. This feedback is invaluable for refining future campaigns and tailoring offers more precisely to meet audience needs.

This method not only nurtures potential customers through a personalized journey but also significantly enhances enrollment rates by aligning course offerings with the specific needs and motivations of the audience. This strategy can be effectively replicated by any organization looking to amplify their online educational offerings through precise, data-driven marketing strategies.

Shehar YarShehar Yar
CEO, Software House

Create Limited-Time Promotional Discounts

One effective strategy I employed to increase online course subscriptions for one of my clients was offering limited-time promotional discounts or special incentives. By understanding the target audience and their motivations, I crafted compelling offers such as percentage discounts, free trial periods, or bonus content.

Setting a clear deadline created a sense of urgency, prompting potential subscribers to act quickly. The promotion of the offer utilized diverse marketing channels, including email campaigns, social media, paid advertising, and partnerships with relevant influencers. Tracking and analyzing metrics such as website traffic, conversion rates, and subscriber feedback helped assess the promotion’s impact.

Based on the results, adjustments were made to optimize future promotions, refining offers, adjusting duration, or targeting different audience segments. Replicating this approach involves careful audience analysis, creative offer development, strategic promotion, and continuous optimization based on performance metrics.

Alexandra VaughanAlexandra Vaughan
Strategic Marketing and Communications

Collaborate for Affiliate Marketing

As someone who recently created my first online course, I relied heavily on affiliate marketing because I’m still working on building a wider audience.

If you’re in the same boat, I’d recommend collaborating with brands and influencers who have larger audiences that may be interested in your online course.

This could look like an affiliate partnership: you build out your email campaign and provide assets and a percentage of the revenue to your affiliate partner in exchange for them promoting your course to their audience or email list.

Alternatively, you can pitch yourself to be a guest on a podcast and, once again, offer the podcast host an affiliate arrangement for your course, meaning they would receive a percentage from sales generated through their affiliate link.

Affiliate partnerships allow you to tap into a wider network of people who already trust the brand or influencer you’re partnering with.

Tetiana Furmanchuk
Creator, Supercharged Content System

Start a YouTube Channel

One of the best methods to market your online course is by starting a YouTube channel and regularly publishing long-form videos that relate to the topic of your course. Creating video content gives you an advantage over text-based content because many people nowadays prefer to learn via video or audio formats, which allow for on-the-go learning.

Additionally, YouTube is a searchable platform, meaning potential course buyers will find your videos while seeking solutions to their problems on Google or YouTube itself. To naturally invite your YouTube viewers further into your ecosystem, offer an in-depth guide or resource in exchange for their email. By obtaining their email, you gain permission to nurture relationships with them and offer your course and other products.

Jonny Havey
Co-Founder, eLearning Partners

Build an Online Audience

The key is to start building your online audience before you launch a course. I started building my presence on LinkedIn and grew to 50,000 followers before I did a big launch for my public-speaking bootcamp.

That ensured that I had an engaged audience who trusted me and wanted to work with me. That’s not to say that you can’t launch before hitting a specific follower number, but it’s the best way to get inbound leads and traction instead of having to chase prospects.

Nausheen I. ChenNausheen I. Chen
Public Speaking Coach, Speak as a Leader

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