I am part of many bloggers’ groups on Facebook, and one of the very common disappointments among new bloggers is when they launch their new course or digital product, and no one buys it.
I totally understand this frustration because It happened to me too.
When I first launched my blog, it was actually after I wrote an ebook on fat loss. I spent literally months writing the e-book and I thought it was going to make me very rich.
The ebook price was $2.99. Two people bought the book. 2 close friends of mine (after I asked them to so they can leave me a review – because Amazon only allows customers who purchased a product to leave a review).
Even people I knew didn’t buy it.
I was so disappointed and I thought maybe Amazon had a glitch in their system whenever I logged in to see zero sales.
My second digital product was a fat loss program that I also spent months creating. I remember sitting at my living room table and spending hours each day crafting the sales page and learning how to design the graphics from scratch.
I think I spent about 3 months of full-time work just working on the sales page. This was about 6 months into building my blog.
I sent an email to my email list to let them know about my program and….1 sale!
I was super excited when I got the sale, but then…nada. Another disappointment. No one wanted my product.
After this, I had a couple more failed launched but let me tell you…I made so many mistakes during those launched that guaranteed I sold nothing.
And It is my hope that this post will help you avoid these mistakes so you can successfully launch and sell your digital course.
Btw, if you’re struggling to even create a course on your website, check out my post here on how to sell your online course on your website (sharing the best membership plugins and the course platform I ended up using)
I believe that launching a new product should follow these steps of the launch process. When you skip a step, you put your launch at risk.
I’m happy to say that now my products online get consistent daily sales without constantly even promoting them to my email list.
So let’s get started to what you should do to make sure your online course or digital products sells.
Never Launch A New Course Before Building An Audience.
When I launched my e-book and even fat loss program, I had no audience. I had no idea if anyone wanted them, especially in a very saturated niche.
I acted on my passion only vs actually doing market research first and asking my audience directly what they wanted me to offer them.
Just because you are passionate about a subject or topic, it doesn’t mean you can just sell that passion. You need to find a need for it.
In addition, even if you feel there is a need for a product, if you have no audience (that trusts you), no one will find it and trust you enough to buy it.
Focus on building your blog first with an audience that loves what you have to offer. Only then you can analyze the top blog posts that get the most readership and figure out what is the main need of your top audience.
If you need to make money from your blog asap and you don’t have a huge audience, you can offer coaching services. Here’s a step-by-step post I wrote on how to become an online coach. Online coaching is a great way to make money as a beginner and you only need 1-3 clients to make a full-time income!
Don’t Rely On Survey Answers
Surveys are a great way to get feedback from your audience about new products or feedback about your existing content. But in my opinion, the two main surveys flaws are:
- You can’t ask your audience for help about creating a new product. Especially if they’re not an expert on that topic. I cringe whenever I see a survey question with “what product will you be interested in”?
- People often don’t act on what they say. I sent multiple surveys to my email list before I launched my services and courses to ask about the price range they’re willing to buy at…
…If they would buy if I would to create the product…
…and choices of product options they’d purchase.
After the launch, all those people who said they would buy never did. I couldn’t understand why but then realized that people don’t necessarily act on what they may say. So don’t trust the answers, just use them as a benchmark when you’re creating your offers.
Surveys are great to get ideas about what your audience needs help with, however. The best way to use surveys in my opinion is to let the person type up their answer instead of giving them options to choose from.
Let people write up what they feel they need help with. You can see through their answers what they really need help with.
And, in addition, you can feel through their language what their real frustrations are. This is gold when crafting your sales page copy. When your prospective customer reads the sales copy, they’ll feel like you’re talking directly to them.
Create A Waiting List
Setting up a waiting list will achieve two things:
- It’ll confirm the people who are interested in buying the offer (if these individuals completed the survey, this is a great way to get confirmation).
- You now have a list of interested customers you can directly contact when you launch.
Getting this information will encourage you to actually finish the course. You can even offer a launch promo to this list to encourage them to purchase before you launch to everyone else!
Run A Beta-Test To Gather Testimonials (And Feedback)
Once you have your product all set-up. Make sure you offer it either for free or at reduced pricing to a select group of people to test your product and get legit feedback, and testimonials.
Please don’t skip this step.
You may even want to offer your product for free. Don’t worry, doing this is actually worth a lot.
The people who take advantage of the beta testing will be more than happy to give back in the form of feedback and testimonials (which you need to increase sales).
So in the long term, this is more than worth it.
Focus on providing your full service. Even though it’s free or sold at reduced pricing. Make sure to provide the full service as if these clients paid in full.
Once your beta clients go through the full course or service offer, ask to have a conversation with them (either through Skype or s phone call). Make sure to ask questions like:
- What hesitations did you have before signing up (these are objections customers may have that may keep them from buying your products or services)? You can address this in the FAQ section of the sales page or even in the body of the sales page.
- What did you love about the product or service and any tangible results (use this as part of the testimonials)?
- What they didn’t like. Express that this is so helpful to you. Many beta clients hesitate to give any negative feedback because they got the product for free. But you need this info so make sure to tell them that this was part of letting them try the product. That you’re looking to improve it.
- Ask them for permission to use the info in their testimonial (anything extra they didn’t give you), and also ask for permission to use an image and any additional info (name, website, etc.)
Your Sales Page Is Your 24/7 SalesMan
You can create the best service, course, or product…But, if your sales page fails to clearly show the value of your product and lead the reader to click the buy button, you’ll fail to make sales.
Below I want to include the top books that helped me improve my sales pages and sales. But before I do, here are the must-have sections of the sales page that you need to put the time and effort to include.
- A headline that captures attention and gets your customer to think “That describes me exactly…I need to keep reading”. Understand that your headline is not meant to sell anything. Only to capture your customers’ attention and lead them to continue reading.
- The copy that describes everything the customer will get (benefits) and how the service will help them improve that area of their life. Make sure that your service or course DOES deliver these benefits (you can confirm this with beta testing), and clearly show these benefits in the copy.
- Testimonials. People need to see others have tried and saw the promised results. This adds a trust factor. Don’t ignore this. Do everything you can to get testimonials and also make sure your service or product or course delivers. If you sell a bad product, you won’t get any good feedback. Imagine getting testimonials without even having to ask for them! This is the best part about selling a product that truly delivers.
- Refund policy. Make sure to have a refund policy if the customer isn’t satisfied. Of course, if you sell a digital product that the customer will download, you can state that you need proof they actually tried and applied the things in the product.
You can have rules surrounding the refund policy. You can have a conditional refund policy (only if you provide proof). But just make sure you have some kind of satisfaction guarantee so that the customer feels that you believe in your offer you’re willing to provide a full refund if it fails.
- Pricing Placement. Place Your pricing at the end of the sales page. You want to build upon your sales page. And get a chance to give your full pitch in the body copy and testimonials before displaying the price.
If the person sees the price first before they read about the product and how it can improve that aspect of their life, they might decide it’s too expensive before even seeing what’s in it.
I personally have been surprised by how inexpensive some courses are after reading the full sales page and seeing how much they include, only to have a nice surprise at the very end to see a price I can afford.
Below are some amazing books that helped me learn how to craft high converting sales pages.
- Great leads
- How to write a good advertisement (must-read). This book contains a ton of headline examples!
- The copywriting handbook
Additional resources to run a successful online course website:
Check out my post here on how to sell online courses on your own website, as well as my post that’ll show you how to get more traffic so you can get more clicks to your blog (and more eyes on your course).