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You’ve seen it a million times before, “How to launch a 6-figure Course”.

And that’s what you want right? An online course launch that can bring in a whole years worth of income in one go.

But as much as we would love to believe that a 6-figure launch is the norm, you and I both know that it’s not. In fact a 6-figure launch is an exception to the rule.

Launch an online course is a fine art with a lot of moving pieces that takes time, trial and error to perfect. It’s not as simple as just following a launch blueprint.

But I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that because I’m pretty sure that when you first launched your online course you followed the steps of some formula to a tee and then didn’t reach your sales goals.

Or worse, no one bought at all.

It’s the worse feeling right?

You feel like you put in all that time effort and money for nothing.

You feel like your course is a complete failure!

But don’t banish your course to the “failed product” graveyard just yet, because not hitting your sales target doesn’t mean your course is a flop!

On the contrary it’s what you do after the launch that can make or break its success.

Because right after the launch is the best time to capitalize on the launch hype, make more money even after the cart is closed and get prepared for your next launch.

3 Things to Do After Your Online Course Launch

Often we take an online course launch that didn’t go to plan as a personal rejection of us. It’s not.

What you have to understand is that your course launch isn’t about you, it’s about your ideal customer and there could be a whole bunch of different reasons why they didn’t buy your course.

Maybe it just wasn’t the right time.

Ok so they may have signed up to your opt-in or joined your webinar because they were genuinely interested in the topic but it may not be a priority for them right now. But next launch it might be so it’s not as if you’ve lost them as a potential customer.

It could be that they didn’t feel they needed something as comprehensive as your course. The good news is, if this is the case then they’re still interested in your topic.

Or maybe you just didn’t quite know your ideal customer well enough and your launch copy didn’t connect on a deep enough level to convert them.

The good news is, all these things can be turned into opportunities by doing these 3 things:

3 Things To Do After Your Online Course Launch (To Help Boost Sales) @SashaPeakall Share on X

Create a Down Sell

Just because someone didn’t buy you course doesn’t mean they won’t buy from you at all.

It could be that they’re brand new to your community coming in through all your launch list building efforts and would rather dip their toes in the water first before investing a bunch of money with you.

Why? Because they just don’t know, like and trust you enough yet.

And that’s where a down sell offer comes in.

Your down-sell offer is like a taster version of your full product at a lower price point that you pitch to all those that went through your launch sequence but didn’t buy.

Here’s a few examples of a down sell:

1. A self study version of your live group program 

They would get access to all the same modules without the live and support group component.

2. The foundation modules of your course

If for example your course is a six module system the down sell may be the first couple of modules that will help them get started.

3. A coaching call

The downside of so many people launching courses is that sometimes people just get “Learning Fatigue” and really just want some 1:1 advice. A coaching call or a package of calls can be a great down sell option.

Once you’ve decided on your down sell offer now it’s time to send an email out to your list.

Now you want to make sure you send it ONLY to those who didn’t purchase.

Depending on your email provider you can either do this by excluding subscribers who purchased or by creating a separate segmented list with only those who didn’t buy.

Then a couple of days after the launch ends you want to send out a really casual email basically saying, “Hey, I see you didn’t join the course but there’s no hard feelings and I still want to help you out with this lite version to get you started.”

3 Things to Do After Your Online Course Launch | Sasha Peakall

Adding a down sell can add hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to your total launch sales and putting it together really doesn’t take much work on your part.

The easiest thing to do is to just duplicate your Thinkific course, then in the copy remove all the modules/lessons not included in the down-sell.

Or if in the case of offering a coaching call as your down-sell you can set this up in just few minutes in something like Acuity which handles all payments, your schedule, call bookings and reminder emails.

But the sales don’t just stop at the down-sell. If they buy your down-sell offer, you can then always up-sell them to the full course again later after they’ve been able to get a chance to see how awesome your down-sell content is!

Survey Those that Didn’t Buy

So you’ve offered your down-sell but there’s still a whole bunch of people on your list who still didn’t buy and now you need to find out why.

Because in order to make sure your next launch is more successful you going to need to tweak some things and the best people to ask what needs to be improved are the ones who didn’t buy.

This is where a survey comes in handy. You can set up a survey in as little as 5 minutes using platforms like Survey Monkey.

Then you want to send out the survey in an email to everyone who didn’t buy your core course or your down-sell offer about a week after the down-sell email goes out.

There are three KEY things you want to find out from surveying those who went through the launch so that you can improve your launch next time around.

1. What is your biggest challenge regarding [INSERT YOUR TOPIC HERE]?

The purpose of this question is to see if your launch messaging and positioning was focused on their biggest challenge. If the answers are overwhelmingly the problem your course was trying to solve then the good news is you attracted the right people into your launch sequence.

But, if their answers are really different then you need to have a look at your positioning and a possible disconnect between your launch lead magnet and your course topic.
If your launch lead magnet wasn’t closely related to the core challenge your course was solving then it’s likely it attracted the wrong people into your launch sequence.

2. Which of the following BEST describes you? 

The purpose is to see what type of people, in what situations you’re attracting so that you can really hone in on that messaging later.

For example, if your course was for working Moms your categories might be:

a) I have a baby at home
b) I have a toddler at pre-school two times per week
c) I have kids in school 5 days per week.

Then come next launch you can tailor your messaging more to what situation and struggles they might be facing.

3. What held you back from joining the course?

This is where you can get to the real route of the problem. Was it the price, was it timing, was it they just signed up for your webinar out of curiosity?

3 Things to Do After Your Online Course Launch | Sasha Peakall

Setup a Sales Funnel

Just because you do a live launch doesn’t mean you can’t sell your course year round with a sales funnel and make money month in and month out.

The great news is if you’ve already launched then it means you have most of the pieces of a great sales funnel ready to go.

All your have to do is adapt your content to an evergreen setting and tweak it based on the results of your survey. You could have the whole thing set up to sell evergreen in as little a a week.

1. Turn Your Webinar into an Automated Webinar

If you ran a live webinar for your course you can take the best recording and future course content. Or if you ran a challenge you can set it up as an automated email sequence that drips out a new email each day.

2. Add Evergreen Scarcity to Your Sales Page

Scarcity is one of the best way to increase sales and just because you don’t have a LIVE cart closing date doesn’t mean you can’t add scarcity to your evergreen funnel.

There are a couple of ways to do it. Have an evergreen cart closing which means that outside of the time period you specify (48-72 Hours) they can’t sign up to your course.

Or you could have a limited time discount.

So how do you get this evergreen scarcity? Well by using countdown timers that automatically redirect to another page once the time is up.

Now there’s a couple of ways you can do this with your Thinkific course. The first is to build your sales page on your website using the sales widgets and then use one of the many free WordPress plugins to add a countdown timer. Setting up your website for the first time? Check out Mailchimp’s guide to your website launch checklist.

Or you can use a platform such as Deadline Funnel that works with your existing Thinkific Sales Page.

Now if you’re worried about people being able to access your course outside the evergreen cart opening and closing or getting the limited time discount outside of the time period, don’t.

Most countdown timer plugins and platforms use cookies to track who’s been and hasn’t been on the page which means once the time is up, they won’t be able to access the special deal provided you set up a redirect URL which either goes to a full-priced version or a cart closed page.

3. Setup Your Automated Email Sequence

Use what you learned from your survey results to update all your launch email copy to make it even stronger.

Add in your new scarcity deals and links then set up an automated email sequence following the approximate timing you used during the live launch. For example daily emails over a period or a week.

Now you have to get out there and promote your new evergreen opt-in and course!

Remember, if your launch doesn’t go to plan it doesn’t mean your course is a flop. Do these 3 things after your launch and not only can you increase your launch revenue but bring in more next launch!

Are you ready to troubleshoot your course launch and turn it into an evergreen sales funnel?

Check out this FREE email course Launch to Sales Funnel

Sasha Peakall is The Sales Funnel Strategist, copywriter and metrics nut. She helps creative, purpose driven business women troubleshoot their course launches and turn them into profitable sales funnels that sell their courses on autopilot. You can learn how to go from launch stress to passive income success in her FREE course Launch to Sales Funnel.

This post was originally published in 2017. New content was added in October 2023.