Let’s say you have a course you want to sell, whether you’ve created it from scratch or used a brandable, done-for-you course kit from Content Sparks.
How are you going to convince people to buy it?
Unless you have a group of students waiting to open their wallets, no questions asked, you need to create a sales page for your course. This is the page online where you persuade your ideal student that your program is exactly what they want and need. And then you give them a place to register and pay for the course.
Sounds simple, right? Actually, creating your sales page is one of the most difficult challenges most course creators face.
That’s because you already know your program inside and out. You know what you’re going to teach people, what resources you’re going to provide, and what results students can expect. So, it’s easy to find yourself spending time explaining all the amazing features of the program.
The biggest mistake course creators make when it comes to their sales page is focusing too much on ‘what’ the program covers, and not enough on ‘why’ students should care.
The other mistake people make is assuming that your prospective students will just take your word for it. You know your course is going to help them, but you need to walk them through a story that leads them to the same conclusion.
[tbpquotable]When structured and written correctly, your course sales page is a learning experience all on its own.[/tbpquotable]
Your visitors start out knowing nothing about your program, and as they learn more and more, your ideal student reaches the decision to sign up.
So, where do you start?
I’m going to take you through 3 important steps to creating a high-converting course sales page:
Step 1: Identify Your Target Students
Step 2: Create Your Sales Page Content
Step 3: Apply Best Practices for Sales Page Design
Our brandable, done-for-you course on How to Create Sales Pages that Convert goes into detail on these areas for any product or service sales page. And you can use that course to teach others, when you purchase a license.
However, for this article, I’m also going to include a few things that are unique to a sales page for a course or program.
First, to give you an overview, here's an infographic that summarizes the key points in this article:
Step 1: Identify Your Target Students
Before you start writing any copy for your sales page, you need to drill down into your ideal student profile.
Who is your course aimed at and who is it not for?
This is something you should have done when you first created your program, but it’s important to revisit your target audience and get in touch with them at an emotional level. Consider all of the following:
- What is the primary pain or problem that your course addresses?
- Why is this an issue for your audience? How do they feel about it?
- How will their lives be different when the problem is gone?
Depending on the topic of your course, it may not be a ‘pain’ you’re addressing. But there always must be some driving, emotional reason people want to achieve the outcome you’re promising.
Drill down on the emotion. Feel what your target students feel. Find out the language they use when they talk about your topic.
Do all that and you’ll be able to write sales copy that truly resonates with your audience.
If you can’t answer these questions, then you have some research to do before writing your sales page content. Talk to your target students and really listen to what they say. If you’re still uncertain or need more information, use social media to find out what your target market is saying about its problems and challenges.
Step 2: Create Your Sales Page Content
Now that you have an emotional perspective on your target student, it’s time to put together the content for your sales page.
I’m going to go through each of the main elements to include and why they’re important for converting prospects to students.
Want a template to fill in with your own course information?
Starting from top to bottom, here’s the content you need to create for a high-converting sales page:
Your headline needs to be short, enticing, descriptive, and benefit-driven. You only have this sentence to catch people’s eye and convince them to read more. Tell them exactly what benefits they will get from what you’re offering and use emotion to entice them in
Danny Iny captured the benefits and the pain points of his audience for Stand Out Guest Posting all in his Headline and the sub-heading underneath:
Videos create instant engagement on a more personal level. And when it comes to courses, it’s particularly important to include a video of you speaking, even if you don’t have your face on camera. That’s because people are paying for your knowledge and expertise. If you want the highest number of sales possible, then you need to let people know who you are and why they should listen to you. However, a good introductory video on a sales page is no longer than 2 minutes, so keep it concise.
Take a look at the video in Danny Iny's page at Stand Out Guest Posting (above). Or the introductory video from Pat Flynn for his Power-Up Podcasting. Pat's is quite a bit longer, but the first couple minutes are what really capture people:
Problem – Agitate – Solve
This is the part of the sales page where you show your prospective customers that you understand their problem.
Introduce the problem that your course solves, then ‘agitate’ it by going into more detail. Maybe you have been their position before and you know how terrible it can be. Your own story can be powerful and add emotional impact to the page. Spell out for your readers how you can solve their problem with your product/service.
As an example, let’s take a teacher who wants to get students to sign up for their online course in basic car maintenance for women. Here is one approach using the Problem – Agitate – Solve formula:
Problem – Do you own a car but don’t know where to start when it comes to taking care of it? Are you at the mercy of your mechanic because you have no idea what he’s talking about? Are you nervous and intimidated about asking questions so that you can even begin to learn?
Agitate – I was in the same situation. I have been patronized, laughed at and been over-charged all because I didn’t know the basics. Like everything else, cars need to be maintained to keep them in good condition. We aren’t talking about hours of manual labor here, just little checkups you can do every few months to keep your car in tip top shape. Without knowing the basics and performing checks, your car will suffer and eventually have problems and additional expenses that could have been prevented.
Solve – but fear not! After learning all this the hard way, I have compiled all the most important information in one basic, easy to learn (no jargon!) online course just for you. Learned and designed by a woman, for women! Don’t get caught out at the mechanics again! After years of learning myself about how to maintain my car, I was finally comfortable walking into a mechanics garage. Now, you can too.
Here's how Pat Flynn quickly connected with the exact audience for his podcasting course and how he will address their challenges. He goes on after this to tell his story and build even more credibility:
By this point, your ideal student has recognized that your course could be a great solution for them. But, they want to know what they would be getting.
It’s very important to let your prospective customers know EVERYTHING they will receive when they buy your offer. Tell them the course overview, the main outcomes and learning objectives, all the module topics, and features of what's included. These could include things like templates, checklists, videos, live webinars, coaching, and more.
It’s also a great idea to list the value of each part of your offer so they can see what a great deal they are getting when you offer them a price that is lower than the full value of everything included.
Here is an example from Teachable's The Profitable Teacher course:
TIP: For your Content Sparks programs, you can pull the learning objectives and benefits from the beginning of the Course Book. You can even separate out the benefits, which are typically written as part of the objectives. Tailor that text to emphasize the benefits in bullet points on your sales page. Then use a combination of the learning objectives and your Cheat Sheet to write your module overviews. The Cheat Sheet has a high level overview of Key Takeaways, Key Points, and Action Steps for each module.
Again, you can look at our sales page for that course to get ideas for writing your own. But remember to edit them for your audience. Don't just copy!
Your prospective students don’t know you personally, so how do they know you can deliver? You have to create trust on your sales page and one of the easiest ways is to use testimonials from existing customers. Even better, gather case studies of how you have delivered on your promises, whether it’s for previous times you’ve run this course or for other customers.
The idea is to be as clear and transparent as possible. So, ask your existing customers if they would mind giving you a testimonial including a headshot and their details. Don’t forget that videos always perform better than text.
Here is an example of a testimonial a student offered that I then used on our Creativity and Innovation Boosters course:
Here is a screenshot from a video testimonial from Pat's Power-Up Podcasting:
CTA button (with price/plans)
Tell your prospective customers what you want them to do. If you want them to buy, tell them. If you want them to subscribe, tell them.
In your first CTA, also include pricing and plan options. For example, you can offer multiple methods of payment, different levels of pricing for different levels of your product/service, or even payment plans. Make it as easy as possible for your prospective clients to say YES!
Here is an example of a CTA from Jessica Sprague's course on Photo Editing 1:
Here is an example of a CTA using instructions and payments plans from Pat's Power-Up Podcasting:
Offering guarantees is another great way to create trust. You are so confident in your product/service that you will offer a money-back guarantee if any customer is not happy with your product/service.
Don’t forget to clearly state the conditions and time frame, so people feel comfortable buying from you. If they aren’t happy, you wouldn’t want to take their money!
Here is an example of a guarantee from Lee Wasilenko's VR Dev School:
And look at how Teela Cunningham was very specific about refunds in her Brush Lettering class:
Instructor Bio and Headshot
This next section is another way to inspire trust. Include a paragraph about yourself and your experience as it relates to the topic of the course, including a headshot. Show people you are a real person. Prospective customers want to see who they are buying from. If you can make a video bio, even better!
Here is an example bio I put on our Creativity & Innovation Boosters sales page:
If you can, continue inspiring trust by putting in another case study or testimonial about how your product/service has helped someone solve their problem.
Another CTA Button
After inspiring trust with your testimonial section, add in another CTA. Again, make it as easy as possible for prospective students to say YES! Appeal to their emotions by using a statement in the first person like ‘yes, I want to spend more time with my family’
Prospective customers are always going to have reservations so now it’s time to add in a section for your customer question’s.
Put yourself in their shoes and write down what you think people will want to know and that people have already asked you. Relieve their concerns here and don’t forget to include/reiterate your information on your guarantee and the access terms/length, etc.
Here is an FAQ section from Teela Cunningham's Fantastic Flourishes course:
Final CTA Button
You’ve just relieved their concerns by answering their questions in your FAQs section, so pop in another CTA.
Change up the wording a little on your CTA buttons. For example, give the last one some extra urgency.
Here is a final CTA button using urgency on Teachable's course:
Here is an example footer we put on our course sales pages. Notice how we kept it simple to prevent distractions:
Step 3: Apply Best Practices for Sales Page Design
You have the content and structure for your sales page now. But design is also critical. One easy way to ensure you have a professional design is to use templates in various sales page builders. We use LeadPages, for example, for our main sales pages. We also use the built-in sales page builder in Teachable, which has elements specific to courses, such as a Curriculum overview.
But no matter what tool you use, follow these proven, best practices for designing a high-converting course sales page:
Color – Use 3 to 4 colors maximum. Use 2 to 3 for the main colors and 1 accent color. Use your brand colors to keep your branding and advertising consistent.
Easy to Scan – Make your page easy to read! This might sound obvious but it’s important to break up text and use subheadings, bullets, and lists. Otherwise, people get overwhelmed by the prospect of taking ages plowing through thickets of text.
Big Images – Make your sales page easier to read and visually attractive by using images that are relevant to your topic, representative of your product/service/features and consistent with your branding.
Headshots – Your own picture, as well as headshots of people giving you testimonials, are essential for inspiring trust. People instantly trust others more if they can see what they look like.
You can see below how Teachable kept their course sales page simple and easy to read, with plenty of white space and strategic use of images and graphics:
And you can click on the image below to see what one of our own sales pages looks like for a brandable, done-for-you course. In this case, we're selling the ready-to-teach materials to course creators like you. Therefore, the flow is a bit different than if you were selling it to your own students. Grab the template further down this page for ideas for your own course sales page
Your sales page will determine if you have students flocking to register for your course, or if your class is empty.
But if you include the elements and tips from this article, you’ll be well on your way to a high-converting sales page for your course.
Ready to create your course sales page?
We’ve created a course sales page template that follows the outline in this article, so you can fill in the blanks with your own details. We've even included sample content from our course on How to Create Sales Pages that Convert, so you can see how to use the template with our Content Sparks' ready-to-teach programs.
Click on the box below to request your FREE Course Sales Page Template:
Want to learn more and teach others how to create a high-converting sales page?
When you purchase a license to our brandable, done-for-you course kits, you get the ability to:
- Edit the content any way you want (including transforming it to other media or languages)
- Put your name and branding on it
- Share with prospect and clients, or sell for 100% profit
You can quickly create your own online courses, self-study ebooks, video series, live workshops, eCourses, and more. We've done the hard work for you.
All you have to do is customize it to your market and add your own language and additional insights.
Let me know if you have any questions!