Course Selling & Marketing

How to Create a Pre-Launch Marketing Strategy for Your Online Courses

6 min

Want to ensure your next online course will be a success? Then do a pre-launch.

Even though pre-launching your course needs a lot of time, preparation, and effort on your behalf, at the early stages, it is hugely beneficial for your business in the long run.

The advantages attached to creating a pre-launch marketing strategy are many.

Besides having a strategic plan to stick to, it offers the opportunity to build interest in your product – your online course, to increase the chances of acquiring new leads, build a successful sales funnel, and secure those first key customers you need.

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If you want to have a successful online course launch, you will need to learn all there is to know about pre-launch marketing. And, this is all that this article is all about.

What is a Pre-launch Marketing Strategy?

In industry terms, a pre-launch strategy is a marketing strategy that helps to raise brand and product awareness prior to the official launch or release of a new product or service. It is used to gather interest, build excitement, and create anticipation in the audience you are targeting.

A pre-launch may last from a few weeks up to months, and within this time frame, you will need to reach out to potential customers methodically to build on loyalty so that when the course launch happens, you are ready to sell.

Why Pre-Launch Your Course?

A pre-launch marketing strategy can help you:

With a pre-launch marketing plan in place, you can pre-sell your course to students before it launches at a discounted price. Also, you get to test which marketing approach, channel, or tool works best to engage your target audience.

7 Steps to Create a Winning Course Pre-Launch Strategy

To build a course pre-launch strategy from scratch, you will need to:

Step 1: Start building your audience

There are many ways to build an audience but you will need to decide which is best for your business.

Out of the most effective ones is using an email list, building on your blog traffic, and going on social media. These are primarily the best channels since they make it easier to gather engagement.

With an email list in place – more on this later, you can start bringing in the audience and then segment that audience into smaller groups to identify your ideal buyers. You can also create sub-lists and VIPs and work your way from there.

Through social media, create a LinkedIn or Facebook group, to communicate with your audience directly in a more casual manner, and then share content to warm up those leads.

Step 2: Create and grow your email list

Email marketing plays a huge role in a pre-launch and to get the best results, you first need to build and grow your own email list.

Email can help you develop a relationship with your prospective customers. You can do this by regularly sharing content that resonates with them. If you already have a blog, use content marketing and feature your own articles, newsletters, news, and insights into your industry, or other types of resourceful content.

If you don’t know what your customer needs are, explore their pain points and experiment with different content to see which they engage with the most through email metrics (open, click and unsubscribe rates).

Offering quality content will keep your customers coming back, and once you are ready, you can introduce your course offer. Eventually, they will develop trust and interest in your course and pre-enroll for it.

Step 3: Come up with a pre-launch course landing page

Without a landing page in place, it is impossible to get people to sign up for your email list.

To make sure you are getting more students as your email subscribers, create a dedicated online space for them where they can find the information they need. A landing page can prepare them for your course launch, and offer them the opportunity to buy your course before its launch date.

On your landing page, let people know when you expect the course to be launched, what it entails, and give them some reasons they should join.

Create lead magnets, pop-up forms, or opt-in forms using templates, checklists, or any other type of content as incentives and encourage people to subscribe.

Use LearnWorlds powerful page builder to create these, add your own countdown timer, effective call-to-action buttons, and start counting the days until the release!

Step 4: Pre-sell your online course

Once you build enough interest through your blog and email list, it’s time to pre-sell your course.

This provides you with the perfect opportunity to crowd-fund your course and test it out before it goes live. Even if your online course isn’t 100 percent ready yet, you can start the enrollment process, offer a discount and the chance for learners to join as early birds.

However, since your learners will expect to gain access to the course content, it’s best to prepare parts of it – let’s say 20 percent of the whole thing, in advance.

The pre-sale can start at any point before your course launch. This way, your early birds will run your course, test it out as beta users and come back with valuable feedback that you can work on as you go.

To get better results and drive more pre-sales, use discount coupons, FOMO, and a sense of urgency by introducing a limited-time sales window for learners to save their seats.

Step 5: Work on your course content

If you haven’t yet started creating your course content, this is the best time to do so. If this is your first course, you will need to go through the process of course creation:

Going through these points should ensure that your course has everything it needs to provide learners with the best online learning experience.

If you don’t have the time or resources to create course content from scratch, consider repurposing existing content – blog posts, videos, presentations, using content writing services as additional help, or looking for ready-made content for online courses.

Need more help? Check out our complete guide on how to create a course.

Step 6: Feature your online course content

Before learners can buy into your course, allow them to take a peek at some of its contents.

A teaser that offers course content can build more excitement for the launch of your upcoming course. The teaser content can:

You can present this content in a format of your choice e.g. screenshots, video, webinar, ebook, or any other medium but it’s a good idea to use visual content prospects can engage with more easily.

Announce the course enrollment to your audience via email, and combine the teaser with your time-sensitive offer to get them on board with your new course. Preparing an email sequence for it will come in handy as it will help you monitor your email campaign performance effectively.

There are many ways to do this, but if you need help, check out the following video from successful blogger and online course creator – Adam Enfroy, to get more ideas:

Step 7: Promote your course and gather feedback

Once everything is ready, you can send out the launch email and let people know about it.

After this, you will need to invest in all marketing efforts to promote your course to more potential customers. Also, take the time to conduct a post-launch campaign.

This provides you with the perfect opportunity to gather feedback, create some cool testimonials and social proof for your course and future course launches. It will also give you a chance to follow up with your new subscribers and re-engage those who didn’t buy.

Ready to Pre-Launch Your Online Course?

Any online course creator and entrepreneur behind a successful online business knows that the earlier they bring their course in front of the public the better results they will get.

So make sure you plan well ahead for your upcoming online course and go through the necessary steps to pre-launch your online course. Whether or not this is your first time, you will never know if it works for your course business unless you try it out.

To get those online course sales, start building your email marketing strategy, engage with your audience purposefully and use a reliable course platform that can make it happen.

Ready to pre-launch your online course? Get your free 30-day trial with LearnWorlds today!

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Content Creator at LearnWorlds

Kyriaki is a Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team writing about marketing and e-learning, helping course creators on their journey to create, market, and sell their online courses. Equipped with a degree in Career Guidance, she has a strong background in education management and career success. In her free time, she gets crafty and musical.