Looking to Sell Your Coaching Services? The FREE Coaching Funnel Template You Need Is Here

Source: https://www.autogrow.co/coaching-funnel/

Want a bulletproof sales funnel that can sell your professional coaching services without having to lift a finger?

Great, keep reading…

Since we relaunched our Done-For-You Sales Funnel Service last year, we’ve been creating sales funnels for our 20+ clients to date. But today, I decided to show you instead how to create your own and tell you why it can scale your coaching business by bringing in leads instantly. 

No matter if you’re a startup, entrepreneur, life/business coach, personal trainer, high-end agency who does consulting, or a professional selling high-ticket coaching services, in today’s article, I’ll teach you how to craft a sales funnel for your coaching business that’s proven to convert. 

Plus, I’ll share with you the coaching funnels that AutoGrow has created, the strategy behind them, and why they work regardless of your target market. 

I’m doing this for your benefit so you can not only create your own coaching funnel. But you’ll actually get to download AutoGrow’s proven-to-convert Coaching Funnel Template for FREE and start selling your services right away.

Without further ado, let’s dive into it and sell your coaching business services now…

 

If you want to automate your lead gen, save yourself a mountain of time, and scale your coaching businessclick here to download “The 11-Point Perfect Sales Funnel Checklist for Coaches” for FREE.

The Coaching Funnel & the Strategy Behind It

A strategy is a plan of action focused on how we achieve a goal. It’s made of steps and thoughtful conversion tactics. 

When I asked Matt, the founder of AutoGrow, about the strategy behind the coaching funnel he created, he said “the strategy behind a coaching funnel is to create a series of steps that lead people to convert into qualified leads.” 

And this is for people to be qualified before getting into the call with the coach. This helps those leads have the right expectations about what they’d be potentially buying during that consultation call. It’s also a way for the coach to qualify leads and filter out the bad ones and  not invest time on someone who’s not a fit for his service or products.  

For instance, the end goal for most of our clients with their sales funnels is to “cause a permanent increase in sales and leads by attracting the right traffic in front of the right message(s), at the right time.”

You see, consumer and buyer behaviors have made a shift over the years. Their journey through your website is different than it used to be. So, your funnel must reflect that path of least resistance.

It must align with their expectations and anticipate their needs—and do it in a cool, non-salesy way.

You already know that a sales funnel is defined as a series of steps that lead a customer from awareness to a buying decision.

For instance, we at AutoGrow have created proven-to-convert coaching sales funnels. We start with a custom-developed Funnel Strategy Blueprint that we include as part of our Done-For-You-Service to clients. And with it, clients get 3 deliverables:

  1. Two 1-on-1 consulting calls with a Funnel Strategist. 
  2. A customized funnel diagram. 
  3. A detailed, step-by-step plan of action. 

The funnel blueprint includes all steps to take in order to build a solid sales funnel. Its goal is to bring the client’s funnel as fast as possible to a positive ROI (i.e., we work to get you results sooner rather than later without sacrificing quality). We actually always try to launch our clients’ funnels in 20 days.

Now, I will share with you the funnel template that should be your starting point when building your own coaching funnel.

This funnel template sets up the foundations for creating your first funnel from scratch. It’s got all the key elements your coaching funnel needs to bring in leads. And afterall, that’s one of the most important things—to have all core elements in place.

I recommend starting with this simpler funnel because building a more complex one like the one I’ll show you in a second, can take as much as several months to complete. 

And this funnel works with high-priced physical products and services, for entrepreneurs, coaches, personal trainers, startup businesses, and high-end agencies who do consulting for other companies. 

What I like about this funnel is that it’s simple. It puts the focus on a couple of core pages to do the conversion “legwork.” 

So, if you’re looking to build your own coaching funnel to sell your coaching services, that should be your starting point. I won’t go into much detail with this funnel because I want to focus on a little more complex one. Matt created and used the upcoming diagram to build three different successful coaching businesses.

One of the businesses Matt created the diagram above for, is in the real estate coaching industry.

This client is a professional business/life coach who specializes in helping real estate agents earn more, adjust their mindset for success, and improve their quality of life. She helps them reach their true potential by providing reputation-boosting strategies to turn real estate careers into a massive and lucrative success.

She’s one of our best case studies so far. Her lead magnet offer has converted pretty well. 112 people have opted in to download her checklist, and 4 people have requested a consultation with her. 

We’ve seen 18% conversion for this coach since we first launched her funnel 3 months ago. 

I’ll share with you now the secrets that make this funnel successful.

Want a bulletproof sales funnel that can sell your professional coaching services and convert leads like crazy? Click here to download our easy and proven-to-work Coaching Funnel Template for FREE now.

Key Elements that Make this Funnel WORK

Anyway, after downloading the checklist, prospects are redirected to a Thank You page with a video incentivizing them to request a consultation with the coach. We’re basically selling here the consultation rather than the video.

If prospects proceed to book the call, then they’ll be asked a couple of qualifying questions. This is to qualify leads and filter out the bad ones. Then, they’re redirected to a Booking page to select the date of preference for their call with the coach.

This simple funnel has already converted leads by 87% since we launched it. 955 people have opted in to download the checklist we created for our client.

1. Lead Magnet: This is the entry point for your funnel. As you can see in the funnel diagram above, we created a landing page for people to download this real estate coach’s lead magnet. Checklists are perfect for converting leads so ofer prospects any how-to checklists on how to solve or do something. We start with a lead magnet offer because it doesn’t represent a big commitment for the lead. It’s something they get for free that adds value to them.

For example, give a 10-step checklist on how to “go paperless and automate your workflow” in the case of a software agency vendor. Or how to “adjust your diet and lose weight in the first 2 weeks” in the case of a health coach. Or a “7-figure income real estate agent checklist” for real estate agents to earn more, adjust their mindset for success, and improve their quality of life. Or a simple checklist on how to determine their identity to make success their second nature.

When you create your lead magnet offer, aim for 20-40% or higher for the people coming to your lead magnet landing page.

2. Retargeting Ads: Adding retargeting ads make people come back if they don’t convert with the lead magnet offer and tightens the conversion rate.

3. Congrats Page: We used to call it a thank you page but we now refer to it as a congrats page. This is because you want to reaffirm people’s decision to opt in so download the lead magnet in the first place. It’s important to write a copy of 1 or 2 sentences for with a transition statement. Thank or congratulate your website visitors for downloading or requesting your lead magnet. Then, add a video where you (the founder of the business) are on camera. This will help nurture the relationship with the prospect because they’ll see your face, they’ll know who’s behind the brand.

Communicate with your prospects so they can empathize with you and your business. Tell them how the lead magnet offer they just downloaded works, how they can get value from it, and tell them a bit about you and your company. Then, add a clear CTA button below the video to keep moving your prospects through your funnel and convert them into customers.

Here are some examples of congrats pages that you might want to use as an inspiration to create yours…

Treat this page as a sales page. At this point, the people who land here are interested in whatever you’re selling. They’re ready to potentially make a buying decision. So be specific with your offer, clarify their questions.

For instance, offer the different packages of your service. Educate them with your price anchor. Let them know what’s the opportunity cost of doing nothing, what’s the value of their time, what’s included in the different packages. 

When they book a consultation for the next step, they’ll be asked some qualifying questions.

4. Confirmation/Booking Page: You can combine both opt-in form questions with the confirmation and booking page. We’ve actually seen this convert better. For instance, include a booking widget (like Calendly) to schedule a cal. This works because it removes some of the friction of scheduling calls at a time that works for both parties.

Then, make them answer the qualifying questions to affirm their commitment to get into the call with the coach.

5. Thank You Page: After people answer the qualifying questions and book a call, thank them or congratulate them for that step they just took.

6. Email Follow Up: For this step we follow an internal formula that we call VAC. Send these emails if people drop off before booking the consultation. And each email sequence should follow our formula: value (following up, did you see the lead magnet offer?), authority (here’s why clients get results, here’s why I changed their lives), call to action (push them to make a decision).

Examples of Our Clients’ Coaching Funnels Proven to Work

  • Health: We used this funnel as the base for a high-ticket sales funnel for a hyperbaric chamber. This is a type of medical treatment used by athletes and children.
  • Software agency: Another type of business this sales funnel works for is a software agency. Our former client was selling services that helped larger companies to streamline their operations.   
  • High-end agencies: High-end B2B agencies who do consulting for other companies can also benefit from our coaching funnel template. 
  • Startup: Entrepreneurs and/or startup businesses who sell high-value and high-priced products or services can use our template to bring in leads to grow their new business.
  • Coaches and personal trainers: This funnel is working for one of our current clients. He’s a life coach who teaches people how to make success their second nature through some expertly-crafted training programs. And so far, we’ve helped him convert leads by 87%.

That’s pretty impressive, right? It just goes to show that one single funnel can do wonders for a business.

High-ticket Coaching Funnel Example

Here’s an example of a coaching funnel that has worked for a high-ticket coaching business.

Winning International is a coaches-to-coaches service that assists leaders in growing their businesses.

The company was created in 2014 by Ryan Magdziarz. He works with dating, finance, fitness, health, life, and business coaches.

This company’s sales funnel relies heavily on paid Facebook ads. These drive people to their website where they can then opt in and become customers.

For this funnel, their Facebook ads promoted a free fitness-related report.

Let’s take a look at this high-ticket funnel…

1. Landing Page: When prospects arrive on this page, they’re encouraged to download their lead magnet that is a template.

2. Free Consultation: On the top right corner prospects can see a call-to-action button that invites them to check out the “Free Training”. After clicking, people are redirected to a landing page with outstanding CTAs to book a free call.

3. Thank You Page: After downloading the lead magnet, prospects are taken to a thank you page. On that page, there’s an offer for a free call along with a CTA to watch a video. The end goal here is to convert the prospect into a paying client.

Their lead magnet offer is what makes this sales funnel so unique. Because it then leads to an offer to become a coaching client, which is a great upsell technique.

Want a bulletproof sales funnel that can sell your professional coaching services and convert leads like crazy? Click here to download our proven-to-work Coaching Funnel Template for FREE now.

Conclusion

Now tell me something quickly, is it worth implementing the right sales funnel to sell your coaching services after reading this article?

When you download our coaching funnel templates, the next step is to go level by level in the funnel, take action, and launch. 

But remember, building a sales funnel takes time and expertise. Even if you don’t see results right away, it’ll work. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results immediately.

Our funnel templates will help you:

  • Understand your customer’s journey. 
  • Empathize with your prospects (what do they need, not what they want) and present your offers in a logical order. This order needs to anticipate the customer’s or client’s needs—tailoring the message based on where they’re at.
  • People will drop out of your funnel (that’s normal) so take action. Get quality targeting for your ads (traffic), along with thoughtful on-page copy, design, and of course, follow-up via retargeting and email automations.

We’re seeing already great results for clients who are using these funnels to sell their coaching services. And I’m sure it will bring results for you too now that you know the “why” behind each element of your funnel. This will help you better understand your prospects and customers’ needs and give them what they’re looking for.

And to craft the best possible sales funnel for your coaching business, you have some options to consider. 

  1. Do it yourself. But do you have the time for that? If your answer is yes, then downloading our templates sounds like a good idea. And if your answer is no, then you’ve got option 2 below.
  2. You can hire someone to create the coaching funnel for your business. And that “someone” happens to be AutoGrow

Feel free to reach out to our full-stack marketing team. We make building your high-converting coaching funnel easier than ever. 

Now tell me something, have you ever created a coaching sales funnel before? 

Let me know in the comments below.

And by the way, congrats! By downloading our funnel template you’re one step closer to converting leads like crazy!

Keep funnelin’, stay focused,

Mariana

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The short answer is maybe. That’s because generally results are in the eye of the beholder, and in this case, it’s you, the client.

Whether you should be worried or not is 100% dependent on what you expected, what you discussed with your agency and what they told you to expect.

Today, there is a lot wrong with the way agencies work with clients.

The retainers are wrong, the team models are wrong, the investments are wrong, the communication is wrong and what’s wrong most of the time are the expectations around when results will start impacting the business.

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Automatically Sell Online Courses with AutoGrow’s Proven Sales Funnel Template

Source: https://www.autogrow.co/how-to-sell-online-courses/

We’re living in what’s known as the Information Age. 

With just the click of a button, people from across the globe can access any kind of information they want. From capitals of countries and local weather reports. To in-depth studies into physics and pre-historical theories. 

The Information Age also opened up the door to online courses you can use to learn practically anything you can imagine. But if you’re selling an online course, that also means that the competition you’re facing is always on the rise too. 

The question is, how do you sell online courses these days? And how can you automate that selling so you have more time to focus on other areas of your business?

Today, I’ll show you the process of how to sell online courses automatically with a sales funnel. I’ll tell you what kinds of elements you need to include as well how your prospects should flow through your funnel.

Plus, I’ll share with you AutoGrow’s tried and true online course funnel template that you can download right now for FREE. And with it, you can start building yours today. I’ll also give you a point-by-point breakdown of what to include in each step of your funnel for maximum conversions and to keep your visitor’s carts packed full. 

And with that, let’s get started showing you how to sell online courses with sales funnels!

What is an Online Course Funnel? 

If you’ve been following AutoGrow for at least some time, you definitely already know what a sales funnel is. But if you haven’t and you’re landing here for the first time (welcome btw!), let’s talk about what the heck a sales funnel is. 

First off, the technical definition of a sales funnel: A sales funnel is a series of steps designed to guide visitors towards a buying decision. The steps are composed of marketing assets that do the work of selling, like landing pages and emails.

Sounds simple, right? 

Well if you’re still lost, think of the Panama Canal (bear with me…). To explain, the Panama Canal is made up of a series of locks and dams. These are sections of the canal where ships can be raised or lowered by filling up or draining out water. Check it out below. 

Image Source: US Army Corps of Engineers

And with enough locks and dams, you can slowly elevate a ship 10s, 100s, or even 1000s of feet! 

So, how does this relate to funnels, you say? 

Well, each part of a sales funnel is meant to get your lead one step closer to buying. Maybe it does so by building trust. Or maybe by answering a prospect’s questions. Or maybe by showcasing a demo of your product. 

No matter how it does it, each step inches your prospects ever closer to buying. Kind of like how ships on a canal are raised inch by inch to get to the height they need to be at on the other side. 

Makes sense? 

So when you’re trying to sell your info product or online course, a sales funnel helps bring in leads, better qualify those leads, and push them ever closer to buying your product. 

Why Do You Need an Online Course Funnel? 

So now that you know what a sales funnel is, why do you need to know how to sell online courses with a sales funnel? 

And the answer here is simple: it saves you an ocean of time. 

See, once a sales funnel is set up properly, it practically automates your lead generation. All it takes is starting up your ads (or whatever your funnel fuel is) and leads start moving through your funnel, getting ever closer to buying what you’re selling.  

And for online classes, in particular, that can be a huge deal. In fact, this ability to fully automate the sales process is what attracts most people to this business model in the first place. 

So once you learn how to sell your online courses automatically with the right sales funnel, you can streamline your customer acquisition so that it qualifies and converts leads without you

And what does that mean for you? You can put your energies into other activities instead. Like running your business, developing new products, creating new courses, or even taking a hard-earned vacation—finally! 

So, why wouldn’t you build a sales funnel to help you sell online courses on auto-pilot? 

The 3 Essential Elements of Any Online Course Sales Funnel

No matter what you’re selling, every single sales funnel has 3 core elements: fuel, foundation, and follow-up. 

We’ll get into more of the specifics of each later on in this article. But for now, you can get a better idea of each element in the online course and info product funnel below. 

Let’s take a look at why these 3 core elements are so important for your sales funnel. 

  • Fuel: A funnel only works when it has traffic moving through it. And that’s what the fuel part of your funnel is for—to drive traffic to your site. There are tons of different traffic sources to fuel a funnel you can choose from. Most of the funnels we build at AutoGrow are fueled either by paid traffic through Google, LinkedIn, or Facebook or they come from a client’s existing email list. But these are definitely the most common. 
  • Foundation: This is where the bulk of the prospect conversion and qualification happens. Lead magnet landing pages attract the right kinds of customers as long as the core offer adds value to them. Your lead magnet offer should give prospects what they need rather than what they want and this will build immediate trust. For instance, 2-step optin boxes let you collect your prospects’ contact information so you can keep nurturing the relationship. On the other hand, your sales page educates visitors on what it is you’re selling. And your checkout page is where the sale finally takes place. 
  • Follow-Up: Not every online course funnel is going to be perfect (i.e., every lead turns into a customer). And sometimes, leads just aren’t ready to buy today. So they drop out of your funnel. But don’t worry! That’s where the follow-up elements come into play. Made up mainly of retargeting ads and email sequences, these parts of your funnel are designed to bring leads back into your funnel after they’ve dropped out. 

Which is Better: Keep It Simple or Get Complex?

So now that you understand the basic elements of an online course funnel, you’re ready to start building yours. And the first step is creating an online course funnel diagram. 

This is the blueprint you’ll use to map out how your prospective customers flow from one stage to the next in your funnel. We create a funnel diagram like this for each one of our done-for-you sales funnel service’s clients. 

Now, one mistake that a lot of people make when first starting out and creating the funnel themselves is trying to get too complex too quickly. 

Let me show you an example. 

This is a great funnel example. It’s got all the core elements an online course or info products funnel needs to bring in leads. And on top of that, there are plenty of added bells and whistles to increase conversions. 

This is the funnel you should aspire to create when selling online courses. 

But it’s the wrong funnel for just starting out. 

Why? Because of the same thing that makes it great: it’s complex. And that complexity means that it takes time to create. Lots of it in fact. 

Building an online course funnel like this can take as much as several months to complete. 

That’s why we recommend starting with a simpler funnel like the one discussed in the previous section. 

This info product/online course funnel has a couple of very important benefits over the more complex one. 

  • It takes less time to complete, which means you can start seeing results much faster.
  • It’s a less resource-intensive proof of concept. If leads are falling out at different stages here, it’s much easier to plug that leak and remove bottlenecks in a simpler funnel than a more complex one.
  • It sets the foundation that you can build on over time. Once leads start moving through your funnel and converting, you can add complexities along the way to further increase your conversion rate or the lifetime value of your clients. 
  • It lets you validate your market early on instead of spending thousands on a giant funnel for a dry market.

In the end, then, simplicity is the way to go when first building your funnel. 

As such, I’ll be looking more closely at the simpler funnel design as we go through the 5 steps of building a high-converting online course sales funnel. 

Now, let’s get to it. 

Want to start building out your online course sales funnel but don’t know where to start? Download our tried-and-true Online Course Sales Funnel Template (pictured above) to get started right now!

Step #1: Lay Your Foundation

The first step of automating your online course sales through a funnel is by developing your funnel foundation. 

This includes all the core aspects of your funnel: the lead magnet, the lead magnet landing page, the 2-step opt-in, the congrats + video + sales page, and the checkout page. 

Let’s take a closer look at how to create each and a few tips to help you keep prospects flowing through your funnel. 

The Lead Magnet

What is a lead magnet

Well, this is typically the first element of most sales funnels. 

And as the name implies, it’s meant to attract new leads and bring them into your sales funnel. 

Basically, it’s a small piece of irresistible value that you offer to prospects in exchange for their contact information. 

Lead magnets are meant to be high in value, easily consumable, and especially relevant to the audience you’re targeting with your online course. 

With a good lead magnet, everyone comes out a winner. Your prospects learn more about a topic they’re interested in. And you benefit from getting their contact information (usually an email) so you can continue to nurture them until they become a customer. 

This contact info is also essential for retargeting ads and follow up email sequences in case your prospect falls out of your funnel. 

How to Create a Lead Magnet for Your Online Course

So, now that you’ve got the basics about what a lead magnet is, it’s time to come up with some ideas for creating your online course sales funnel. 

The key elements here are being relevant and being easily consumable.

So no 100-page ebooks. No free 5 week courses. No 3-day 1-on-1 training program. 

A lead magnet is supposed to be a quick win for both you and your prospects, so keep that in mind when brainstorming. 

There are tons of lead magnet examples to choose from. But here are a few specifically for online courses to get your creative juices flowing. 

A Few Examples of Lead Magnets

Free Workshops

The QC makeup academy offers a variety of paid courses where students can learn the finer points of cosmetology and makeup application. 

Course prices range from several hundreds of dollars to thousands for the full tuition. They’ve chosen to create a number of free workshops where visitors to their site can get a taste of the teaching quality that QC provides. 

Image Source: QC Makeup Academy

After the workshop is over, attendees are continually nurtured so that they return and purchase a full course. 

Coupon

Of course, there’s also the almighty coupon. Internationally known guitar creator Fender also sells online guitar training courses—makes sense, right? And in order to bring prospects into their funnel, they offer a one-time 20% off coupon for any annual plan. 

Image Source: Fender

Offering an immediate discount to any of their packages is a great way to capture contact details and help prospects see the value of their courses. 

2-Week Free Trial

Free trials are a great way for your prospects to directly see the value of your course because they’re getting an actual snippet of what you’re offering. 

The Family Handyman DIY University offers a 2-week free trial of their courses right at the top of their homepage for maximum visibility. 

Image Source: Family Handyman DIY University

And once the trial expires, leads receive follow-up emails to get them to come back and make a full purchase. Great idea!

The Lead Magnet Landing Page

Alright, so you’ve got your lead magnet ready. Now what? Well, now it’s time to get people to actually use your lead magnet with a bit of salesmanship using a landing page. 

A lead magnet landing page is essentially a page that’s designed to sell your prospects on the benefits of downloading your lead magnet. 

And in order to do that, you’ve got to have:

  • Copywriting that’s designed to persuade your prospects that they need your online course-related lead magnet.
  • Eye-catching design that keeps them on the page long enough to be enthralled by the copy. 

We at AutoGrow have written before about what makes a landing page great at converting

But here are just a few elements that most landing pages should have to create sky-high conversions. 

  • Enticing headline that’s clear about the value your lead magnet is offering
  • Definition of the problem your prospects are facing (be sure to hit those pain points!)
  • How your lead magnet helps solve that problem
  • Testimonials and social proof 
  • Direct calls to action to get your prospects to click

The 2-Step Opt-in Box

What is a 2-step opt-in? Basically, this is when the form fields for putting in contact info (name, email, etc.) only pop up after clicking the CTA button. 

Here’s how it looks on an Instapage webinar.

And after prospects click the play button, they’re brought to this page:

This simple extra step helps ensure that visitors are committed to attending the webinar. On top of that, it also ensures your emails have a lower chance of being marked as spam. 

But be sure to use action-oriented copy that’s clear about what to do next. This is pretty important. And in fact, we’ve seen conversions jump by as much as 152% just by changing the language on an opt-in to be more action-oriented.

Check out the example below from our Proven Sales Conversion Pack to see what I mean. 

Before:

After:

See the difference? With just this small change, this realty company saw a massive 152% increase in conversions!

The Congrats + Video + Sales Page

Your next step to sell online courses with sales funnels is the creation of a congrats + video + sales page. 

Now, up until this point, your prospects have only engaged with your free content. They’ve downloaded or signed up for your lead magnet thanks to your high converting landing page. But they still aren’t ready to completely buy from you yet. 

And that’s okay! Because facilitating that transition is what this page is all about. 

This is the page your leads will head to next after downloading your lead magnet offer. Here, you should create a few lines of copy that accomplish 3 things in particular. 

  • They congratulate the lead on downloading your lead magnet (“Great job taking the first step!” or “You’ve made a smart choice!”)
  • They imply that while the lead magnet is great, it isn’t the entire solution to their problem (“However, there’s so much more you can be learning” or “But the journey has only just begun.”)
  • They point to your online course as the ultimate solution to their problem (“Now it’s time to take the next step” or “Let’s take it to the next level”)

Then, it’s time to get on camera! Yup, not many people like to do it, that’s true. But adding a human element (like your face!) to your page can really help boost conversions

In your video, try to hit each of the 3 points mentioned above (congratulate, say there’s more they can be doing, introduce your online course as the solution). And if you’re looking for guidance on how to create a winning video, there are 4 points, in particular, you should consider. 

After that, it’s time to get to your sales page. After a bit of trial and error, we found that putting our sales pages directly on our clients’ congrats/video pages is a fantastic way to reduce funnel friction and keep leads from dropping out. 

On top of that, we also use our patented 10-point sales page template. This template helps us hit all the necessary points for creating maximum conversions. We can’t give away all of our secrets but here’s a quick look at what your sales page should include to get leads enrolling in your online course. 

  1. Eye-catching yet clear headline that defines your course’s value
  2. Identifying pain points in your target audience 
  3. Presenting your course as the solution they’re looking for
  4. Outlining the features and benefits
  5. Social proof and testimonials
  6. How does it work
  7. FAQs
  8. Price anchor
  9. Risk reversal
  10. Hard CTA

The Checkout Page

Last but not least in the foundation is your checkout page. After leads are sold on your online course being the solution to their problem, they’ll head to the checkout page to make their enrollment official. 

But don’t be fooled: your job isn’t done yet. 

If your checkout page is confusing, unappealing, or just plain annoying, leads can still drop out. 

Added to that, there are a few other tweaks you can use to increase conversions even more. In fact, we even use them on our own checkout pages. See if you can pick them out below. 

Do you see them? Let’s see if you caught them all. 

  • Testimonials – Adding testimonials to your checkout page helps keep your leads trusting you up through their enrollment. And adding faces (as we’ve seen) gives even more credibility. 
  • Trust Badges – See the two trust badges below the “Get Started” button? They may not seem like much right now but in reality, trust badges can go a long way towards making your leads feel secure. Here are just a few to consider using for your checkout page.

Image Source: ConversionXL

  • It’s all one page – This one is a biggy. The more friction you add to your funnel, the more likely prospects will be to drop off. One example of friction is forcing leads to go through multiple pages before buying. It’s actually why we’ve started combining our sales pages and congrats pages (remember?). But it’s also a valuable lesson for checkout pages. 

Step #2: Plug Your Online Course Funnel Leaks With Follow-Ups

Alrighty, now that you have your core foundation for your online course sales funnel solidified, it’s time to optimize it and plug up a few leaks. 

Now, while nailing the foundation of your online course funnel is crucial, the follow-up can be just as important. Because a lot of the time, leads simply aren’t ready to buy right away. 

It takes a bit of nurturing. A bit of finessing. And a bit more work on your part to convince them that your online course is the one they’ve been looking for. 

Now, let’s look at the two main types of follow-ups: retargeting ads and email follow-ups. 

Ready to get started building your very own online course sales funnel? Download our free Online Course Sales Funnel Template now! It’s simple, effective, and we at AutoGrow use it all the time (so you know it works).

The Retargeting Ads

Retargeting ads are one of the best ways to get your prospects back into your online course funnel. 

Here’s how it works. 

  • A visitor arrives on your website, and a cookie is set on his or her browser
  • The visitor leaves the website without taking action
  • While browsing other websites, like Facebook, Youtube, or any other website that serves banner ads, ads from your website will be shown to that cookie’d visitor, hopefully drawing them time click and come back to your website.

Sounds pretty cool, right? 

There are a few tips you can follow to ensure your retargeting ads are bringing the right leads back to your page. Below are 3 of the best we use for each of our done-for-you sales funnel clients. 

  • Retarget users that spend the most time on your site to maximize ROI
  • Offer unique discounts
  • Cross-sell with similar products or upsell with a higher tier course

The Email Follow-Ups

Then there’s the email follow up. Email is without a doubt the most effective form of marketing. 

How effective, you say? Well, in a survey from Smart Insights, marketers chose email marketing as the most effective channel for converting leads into customers. 

Image Source: Smart Insights

And despite what some have claimed, it most certainly is not on its way out. In fact, email marketing has held steady literally for decades as one of the most powerful weapons in a digital marketer’s arsenal. 

The purpose of email follow-ups is to educate prospects about the value of your product while enticing them to come back and check out your online courses. 

And at AutoGrow, we use a specific formula to accomplish just that. We call it the “VACuum 3-email sequence.” Each of the 3 emails tackles a different goal. 

  1. Value – This first email is meant to communicate the value that you and your online course offer. How, you ask? Well, that is up to you. What does your course cover? How does it address your audience’s specific pain points? What are some of the main takeaways from the course? 
  2. Authority – The second email should demonstrate to prospects why they should trust you. This email is ripe for testimonials and social proof stats (20K students, 15 years of experience, etc.). But it’s also where you really hammer in the idea that you are an expert
  3. Call-to-Action – This last email is the hard sell. Forget about the frills and pleasantries here. It’s time to tell prospects exactly what you want them to do: enroll in your online course. Urgency, scarcity, and clear CTAs are key for getting your audience to respond here. 

Step #3: Find Your Funnel Fuel

Last but not least, it’s time to fuel your funnel! As I mentioned before, without any traffic, all the work you’ve put into perfecting your sales funnel doesn’t mean a thing. 

So the question is, how do you bring traffic into your funnel? And even more to the point, how do you bring the right traffic into your funnel?

Well, there are two ways in particular to consider: paid ads and using an existing email list. 

The Paid Ads

When it comes to paid ads, there are ups and downs. 

Ups

  • Paid ads let you immediately send traffic to your website or landing page. With other funnel fuel sources like content marketing, it takes a while to get your systems in place and start seeing traction. But once you turn on ads, the effect is almost instant. 
  • Second, there are a lot of different platforms to choose from, each with their own perks and pitfalls (we’ll get into those in a sec). And that means you can use the benefits of each to your advantage. 

Cons

  • They cost money! The price varies between platforms of course. But no matter which one you choose, you’ve got to shell over a bit of dough to get started. 
  • It can be tough to master these platforms to target the right prospects. 

Now, let’s quickly go through the main platforms you can use for paid ads. There are plenty of others to consider. But these are what we at AutoGrow consider the main 3. 

  • Google – The unquestioned King of Search, Google is by far the most popular paid search platform. Hubspot points out that this platform alone receives an estimated 70,000 queries every single second. Every second! There are a few things you can do on this platform specifically to generate leads on your first try.
  • Facebook – Facebook is the king of social media advertising right now. It’s especially cost-effective compared to other platforms, it has super powerful targeting abilities, and it boasts literally more than a billion active users. 
  • LinkedIn – More of a professional environment and feel than the other social media platforms, LinkedIn is great for free organic B2B traffic. Sponsored ads are also available for businesses looking to get in front of the right people. 

The Existing Email List

And finally, there’s the option of using your existing email list as the main source of fuel for your online course funnel. 

If you’ve been following digital marketing best practices, you know that building a robust email list is key for selling your online courses. 

Why? Because email marketing has one of the best ROIs in the industry.

How high of an ROI? Well, just check out the graph below. 

Image Source: Lyfe Marketing

That’s right! Email marketing has a whopping 400% ROI! That’s $40 earned for every $1 spent.

That’s higher than any other marketing channel. 

So, why this huge disparity? Well, email marketing is the most direct channel to your prospects. You can place ads. You can create great content. And you can hope that someone stumbles across your page. 

But only with email marketing are you able to speak directly to your leads. Some listen, and sure, some don’t. But in the end, it’s a much more intimate and personalized way to reach out to your online course’s future enrollees. 

Conclusion

So there you have it! 

I hope these 3 steps have shown you how to sell online courses using a sales funnel. First and foremost, make sure that you have the right sales funnel structure in place (choose simplicity over complexity when first starting out). 

After that, start building out your sales funnel’s…

  • Foundation
  • Follow-Ups
  • Fuel 

After you’ve started seeing some good results, you can add in layers of complexity to optimize further. You can even add tripwires, upsells, or higher-tiered courses with a higher price point once you’ve built up enough trust with your prospects. 

The sky’s the limit!

And don’t forget! You can download your very own Online Course Sales Funnel Template now for free. See for yourself the massive conversions you can get with just a little bit of work!

So now go forth, and start selling your online course automatically with a sales funnel. 

And of course, if you need any assistance along the way, we’d love to help you build yours too. Just check out our done-for-you funnel marketing team packages and we can get started today!

Do you have any other sales funnel building tips for online courses? Have you come across any other online course sales funnel tips that have helped you get results? Let us know in the comments below!

And as always, 

Keep funnelin’, stay focused. 

Alex T.

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Looking to Sell Your Professional Coaching Services? Here’s the FREE Coaching Funnel Template You Need to Download Now

Source: https://www.autogrow.co/coaching-funnel/

Want a bulletproof sales funnel that can sell your professional coaching services without having to lift a finger?

Great, keep reading…

Since we relaunched our Done-For-You Sales Funnel Service last year, we’ve been creating sales funnels for our 20+ clients to date. But today, I decided to show you instead how to create your own and tell you why it can scale your coaching business by bringing in leads instantly. 

No matter if you’re a startup, entrepreneur, life/business coach, personal trainer, high-end agency who does consulting, or a professional selling high-ticket coaching services, in today’s article, I’ll teach you how to craft a sales funnel for your coaching business that’s proven to convert. 

Plus, I’ll share with you the coaching funnels that AutoGrow has created, the strategy behind them, and why they work regardless of your target market. 

I’m doing this for your benefit so you can not only create your own coaching funnel. But you’ll actually get to download AutoGrow’s proven-to-convert Coaching Funnel Template for FREE and start selling your services right away.

Without further ado, let’s dive into it and sell your coaching business services now…

If you want to automate your lead gen, save yourself a mountain of time, and scale your coaching business, click here to download “The 11-Point Perfect Sales Funnel Checklist for Coaches” for FREE.

The Coaching Funnel & the Strategy Behind It

We got to the fun part!

If you’re reading this, you probably need help attracting leads. 

You need to build a sales funnel that converts. You need someone to do the hard work for you because you’re a busy business owner looking to grow your business. You simply want to sell your services and see $$$ coming in.

Well, you came to the right place. 

Whether you’re a coach looking to sell your high-ticket products, an entrepreneur, or a high-end agency who does consulting, you’ll be able to create and launch your own coaching funnel by the end of this article. I’ll show you how a coaching funnel’s structured and the key elements that make it work.

And best of all, you get to download our template for FREE.

But before downloading the FREE template and modeling it for your business, a few things to keep in mind. 

I know you’re a professionally trained mentor with a background in certain areas of business who assists, trains, and guides small business owners in developing, improving, starting, and growing their business.

I know how much you love helping your clients identify and clarify business goals and objectives. You’re looking to help them acquire and develop the skills, resources, and mindset needed to operate and grow a successful business.

You—professional coach—reading this article, want to keep clients motivated, growing, and thriving too. But who helps you? 

You’re looking for help too. Right?

I know, and that’s exactly why I wrote this article, to give you the resources you need for selling your professional coaching services.

And before diving into more details, remember that the best way to help your business succeed is by designing and implementing the right sales funnel—you probably already know that. Good.

But it’s not only about creating a funnel and launching it. 

You must understand the strategy behind it. Why is it structured that way? Which elements make a funnel successful? If you don’t understand the “why” behind it, your sales funnel may not serve its purpose.

A strategy is a plan of action focused on how we achieve a goal. It’s made of steps and thoughtful conversion tactics. 

The strategy, or plan, for how you get there is part of what I’m covering below in the funnel templates. These are the most commonly used sales funnels we’ve used for our client accounts. 

For instance, the end goal for most of our clients with their sales funnels is to “cause a permanent increase in sales and leads by attracting the right traffic in front of the right message(s), at the right time.”

 You see, consumer and buyer behaviors have made a shift over the years. Their journey through your website is different than it used to be. So, your marketing funnel must reflect that path of least resistance.

It must align with their expectations and anticipate their needs—and do it in a cool, non-salesy way.

You already know that a sales funnel is defined as a series of steps that lead a customer from awareness to a buying decision.

For instance, we at AutoGrow have created proven-to-convert coaching sales funnels. We start with a custom-developed Funnel Strategy Blueprint that we include as part of our Done-For-You-Service to clients. And with it, you get 3 deliverables:

  • Two 1-on-1 consulting calls with a Funnel Strategist. 
  • A customized funnel diagram. 
  • A detailed, step-by-step plan of action. 

The funnel blueprint includes all steps to take in order to build a solid sales funnel. Its goal is to bring the client’s funnel as fast as possible to a positive ROI (i.e., we work to get you results sooner rather than later without sacrificing quality). We actually always try to launch our clients’ funnels in 20 days.

Now, I will share with you the most popular coaching sales funnels that we’ve used for our clients. 

Sales funnels work with high-priced physical products and services too. It doesn’t have to be complex either.

It can work well for entrepreneurs, coaches, personal trainers, and startup businesses. Also, it works for high-end agencies who do consulting for other companies. 

What I like about this funnel is that it’s simple. It puts the focus on a couple of core pages to do the conversion “legwork.”

Want a bulletproof sales funnel that can sell your professional coaching services and convert leads like crazy? Click here to download our proven-to-work Coaching Funnel Template for FREE now.

Key Elements that Make this Funnel WORK

  1. Lead Magnet: Offer any how-to checklists on how to solve or do something. For example, give a 10-step checklist on how to “go paperless and automate your workflow” in the case of a software agency vendor. Or how to “adjust your diet and lose weight in the first 2 weeks” in the case of a health coach. In the case of some of our clients who are coaches, we’ve created a “The 7-Figure Income Real Estate Agent Checklist” for real estate agents to earn more, adjust their mindset for success, and improve their quality of life. In the case of our other client who’s a coach too, the lead magnet offer we created for him is “The SLOW or GO Identity Checklist” to determine their identity—which happens to be a critical factor in people’s failure or success.
  1. Confirmation + Tripwire: It’s important to write a copy of 1 or 2 sentences for the confirmation page. Thank your website visitors for downloading or requesting your lead magnet. Then, upgrade them to buy the tripwire.
  1. Checkout Page: The checkout page must have a CTA to book a call with the trainer, coach or Nutritionist. 
  1. Embedded Booking Widget: If you’re looking to optimize your high-ticket sales funnel, include a booking widget to schedule a call since it will convert better. This works because it removes some of the friction of scheduling calls at a time that works for both parties.

Examples of Our Clients’ Coaching Funnels Proven to Work

  • Health: We used this funnel as the base for a high-ticket sales funnel for a hyperbaric chamber. This is a type of medical treatment used by athletes and children.
  • Fitness: This funnel works for those in the fitness area too. We created a $7 tripwire niche case study for a former client in the fitness industry. This case study explained how they had helped one specific client to succeed. They also offered a bonus one-on-one call.
  • Software agency: Another type of business this sales funnel works for is a software agency. Our former client was selling services that helped larger companies to streamline their operations.   
  • High-end agencies: High-end B2B agencies who do consulting for other companies can also benefit from this template. 
  • Startup: Entrepreneurs and/or startup businesses who sell high-value and high-priced products or services can use this template to bring in leads to grow their new business.
  • Coaches and personal trainers: This funnel worked for a business who was a coach and was looking to work with other trainers. In fact, we helped him make $36,000 in sales with this template.

That’s pretty impressive, right? It just goes to show that one single funnel can do wonders for a business.

And here’s another sales funnel we created for a client who’s in the coaching business.

This is one of our best case studies so far. This client is a life coach. He teaches people how to make success their second nature through some expertly-crafted training programs. 

As you can see in the diagram above, we created a landing page for people to download his lead magnet. Checklists are perfect for converting leads and that’s this client’s lead magnet offer.

When you create your lead magnet offer, aim for 35% or higher for the people coming to your lead magnet landing page.

Anyway, after downloading the checklist, prospects are redirected to a Thank You page with a video incentivizing them to request a consultation with the coach. We’re basically selling here the consultation rather than the video.

If prospects proceed to book the call, then they’ll be asked a couple of qualifying questions. This is to qualify leads and filter out the bad ones. Then, they’re redirected to a Booking page to select the date of preference for their call with the coach.

This simple funnel has already converted leads by 87% since we launched it. 955 people have opted in to download the checklist we created for our client. 

Below is another coaching funnel we created for a client in the real estate industry. It’s very similar to the one above with some small tweaks.

This client is a professional business/life coach who specializes in helping real estate agents earn more, adjust their mindset for success, and improve their quality of life. She helps them reach their true potential by providing reputation-boosting strategies to turn real estate careers into a massive and lucrative success.

If you compare both funnels, one of the differences is the source of traffic and that the end of the funnel is the confirmation page (no email sequence after this step here).

For this client, the lead magnet offer has converted pretty well. 112 people have opted in to download her checklist, and 4 people have requested a consultation with her. 

We’ve seen 18% conversion for this coach in the real estate industry since we first launched her funnel 3 months ago.

High-ticket Coaching Funnel Example

Winning International is a coaches-to-coaches service that assists leaders in growing their businesses.

The company was created in 2014 by Ryan Magdziarz. He works with dating, finance, fitness, health, life, and business coaches.

This company’s sales funnel relies heavily on paid Facebook ads. These drive people to their website where they can then opt in and become customers.

For this funnel, their Facebook ads promoted a free fitness-related report.

Let’s take a look at this high-ticket funnel…

  • Landing Page: When prospects arrive on this page, they’re encouraged to download their lead magnet that is a template.
  • Free Consultation: On the top right corner prospects can see a call-to-action button that invites them to check out the “Free Training”. After clicking, people are redirected to a landing page with outstanding CTAs to book a free call.
  • Thank You Page: After downloading the lead magnet, prospects are taken to a thank you page. On that page, there’s an offer for a free call along with a CTA to watch a video. The end goal here is to convert the prospect into a paying client.

Their lead magnet offer is what makes this sales funnel so unique. Because it then leads to an offer to become a coaching client, which is a great upsell technique.

Want a bulletproof sales funnel that can sell your professional coaching services and convert leads like crazy? Click here to download our proven-to-work Coaching Funnel Template for FREE now.

Conclusion

Now tell me something quickly, is it worth implementing the right sales funnel to sell your coaching services after reading this article?

When you download our most popular coaching funnel template, the next step is to go level by level in the funnel, take action, and launch. 

Our funnel template will help you:

  • Understand your customer’s journey. 
  • Empathize with your prospects (what do they need, not what they want) and present your offers in a logical order. This order needs to anticipate the customer’s or client’s needs—tailoring the message based on where they’re at.
  • People will drop out of your funnel (that’s normal) so take action. Get quality targeting for your ads (traffic), along with thoughtful on-page copy, design, and of course, follow-up via retargeting and email automations.

We’re seeing already great results for clients who are using these funnels to sell their coaching services. And I’m sure it will bring results for you too now that you know the “why” behind each element of your funnel. This will help you better understand your prospects and customers’ needs and give them what they’re looking for.

And to craft the best possible sales funnel for your coaching business, you have some options to consider. 

  • Do it yourself. But do you have the time for that? If your answer is yes, then downloading our template issounds like a good idea. And if your answer is no, then you’ve got option 2 below.
  • You can hire someone to create the coaching funnel for your business. And that “someone” happens to be AutoGrow

Feel free to reach out to our full-stack marketing team. We make building your high-converting coaching funnel easier than ever. 

Now tell me something, have you ever created a coaching sales funnel before? 

Let me know in the comments below.

And by the way, congrats! By downloading our funnel template you’re one step closer to converting leads like crazy!

Keep funnelin’, stay focused,

Mariana

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All Hail The Mighty Octothorpe

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheWebinarBlog/~3/7S7Hd-mzRP0/thewebinarblog~All-Hail-The-Mighty-Octothorpe.html

You used an octothorpe last week. You’ll use one again this week. Maybe you’ll see a tweet with an octothorpe inviting you to a webinar, then when you log in, you’ll dial a phone number and enter your entrance code using an octothorpe.

Figured it out? It’s the name that Bell Laboratories engineers applied to the tic-tac-toe crosshatch symbol: #

The derivation and use of this humble little symbol is fascinating. Every few years, someone happens across the trivia associated with it and breathlessly writes up an article about it. This week it’s my turn. Of course, as with all other human knowledge (both factual and apocryphal), it’s now available on Wikipedia with footnotes. So go look it up if you want more details. You can have a lot of fun following connected facts that will lead you from Isaac Newton to early telephone systems to ASCII codes to typewriters, bookkeeping, and accounting.

It all starts with people writing about weights in scientific texts. The preferred terminology was the old Latin phrase “libra pondo” for “pound weight.” That’s a lot to write out every time you want to indicate a weight in an experiment, so they created an abbreviation. Instead of the perfectly obvious “lp,” some genius decided on “lb” instead. Don’t ask me why.

There was a convention of adding a horizontal crossbar on the abbreviation. I have read one account saying this was a common way of connecting two letters to show that they were an abbreviated form of something longer. Another account says it was merely a way to clarify that the lowercase L was not a number 1 or an uppercase letter I. Our writing system has a lot to answer for in terms of disambiguation.

Anywho, when you are writing that symbol over and over again in your logbooks and journals, you can get a little lazy and not bother lifting the pen off the paper to make everything perfect. Here’s how Isaac Newton wrote the libra pondo abbreviation somewhere around the late 1600s or early 1700s:

Isaac Newton's abbreviation for libra pondo

Aha! Tighten up those vertical loops, flatten out that rising line that goes up to the crossbar, and squint. We’re approaching the general shape of a crosshatch. With more time and laziness applied to the evolutionary process, people eventually started just writing the two vertical and two horizontal lines as the abbreviation, often forgetting where it came from in the first place.

This is why it’s funny when people who grew up with a UK-based English language education get so hot and bothered by Americans calling it a pound symbol. It literally is the symbol for pounds as a weight measure. Of course, the English language being such a mess, the Brits had to go and use the same word for their currency, and then the ₤ symbol took over primary duties for indicating pounds sterling. So they had two different symbols competing for use of the same terminology. Money always wins in those situations. Americans avoided that little conflict by inventing the dollar with its own currency symbol, so we were free to continue using the original “pound symbol” designation for the crosshatch abbreviation.

Now we come to the strange question of how the symbol got conscripted into use for designating numbers. I have not found an authoritative answer. But I can make an educated guess. People were doing bookkeeping for many years with the # symbol indicating how many pounds of an item were bought or sold or shipped or stored. If you start keeping track of some goods in one-pound units, the number of pounds equals the number of units. It wouldn’t be hard to start thinking of the # symbol as a way to indicate how many of something were being recorded. And voila! Two competing use cases.

By 1917, a secondary school manual in the US was advising students that the # symbol indicates a “number (written before a figure) and pound (written after a figure).”

Enter the telephone. I’ll assume you know that phones didn’t always work like they do today. If you are young enough to not remember a time before handheld personal multifunction devices, you might want to take a trip through the history of voice-only communication, operator-assisted switchboards, and rotary dials that emitted clicks or electrical pulses on the line. That’s not immediately relevant to our story.

What is relevant is that by the 1950s, telephone numbers were getting longer. In the US, dialing three digits for an area code, followed by a seven-digit phone number was time consuming and exhausting on a rotary phone. Engineers knew that push buttons would be much more efficient if they could figure out a way to make them practical and cost effective. While most members of the development team were working on switch technology and pulse-code modulation, a small group led by John Elias Karlin started thinking about the way that humans would interact with the buttons. They did quite a few studies (check out the arrangement alternatives they considered, taken from an excellent article by Francesco Bertelli).

0_sWNqzhXtGHKYcu-Y

The 3-3-1 format was the most practical on saving space, and that was the main reason it was selected. The advantage over the other formats was negligible (and others might have done slightly better!). The same is true for why they flipped the design from calculator mode (with 9 at the top right) to having 3 at the top right. We know it was not because they wanted to put alphabet letters on the keys… That came later. It seems that people who had NOT used calculating machines preferred seeing the 1 at the top, while accountants got confused. The non-accountants won.

Whatever the case, the engineers were now left with two blank spots on either side of the 0 down in the last row. The first push button phones had nothing in those spots. But nature and engineers abhor a vacuum, especially when it ruins a lovely symmetry and consistent design context. So they decided to add a couple of extra buttons to fill out the grid.

We’re in the period of the 1960s at this point, and computers were coming into use in large businesses (and the space program). Forward-thinking engineers concluded that people might someday use telephones to enter numbers into computers remotely. What if we gave them a couple of symbols to use? But what symbols? It was somewhat arbitrary, but polling seemed to indicate a slight preference among business users for the # symbol (which they were used to seeing in logs and reports and scientific use cases) and the asterisk (which they were used to seeing as a footnote symbol). Bingo! The modern telephone layout was born.

But wait… The Bell engineers realized they had one last problem. Terminology. The same old confusion that had existed for years was now spoiling the beauty and usability of their lovely invention. What instruction and education were they to give users of the new keypads? “Press the number button?” (But they’re ALL number buttons!) “Press the pound key?” “Pound the pound key?”

We’re never going to know the real story. There are at least three sworn and competing histories, and I have a strong suspicion that copious amounts of alcohol were involved but left out of the formal narrative. Don MacPherson says he combined “octo” for the eight lines sticking out of the crosshatch and “thorpe” because he liked the athlete Jim Thorpe. This is a little weird, as Jim Thorpe’s time had come and gone many years earlier. Howard Eby and Lauren Asplund claim that they coined the term originally as octotherp, with the trailing syllable made up as a gag to stand for the “th” sound that other languages find hard to pronounce.

Doug Kerr (who worked on the design team for the keypad) writes that his friends John Schaak and Herbert Uthlaut came up with the “octatherp” designation (note the “a” in the middle!) purely as an inside joke meant to chide the team for throwing out some good suggestions earlier. They wanted a term that was obviously terrible and impractical. Kerr went along with the gag and would include a footnote in his memos to the field when he would mention the # key (“sometimes called octatherp.”)

They were all amused when other publications started picking up the term as if it were a real word, often changing the spelling or providing their own made up derivations, such as “therp” being a corruption of the German word “dorf” for village. He says many publications changed the prefix from octa to octo just so they could claim it came from the eight prongs of the crosshatch.

Whichever account you believe, it is definitely a made up word, with no real linguistic meaning. But for some reason it has stuck around. I most often see it as written in my headline, but if you want to spell it without the trailing “e” or in its original “octa” form, I won’t argue.

So the next time you feel like getting into an international argument in some comment thread about whether the # symbol should be called a number sign, pound sign, crosshatch, hash mark, or hashtag – I suggest you buy a round of drinks for everyone involved and lift a glass in glorious unified appreciation of the octothorpe!

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Automatically Sell Online Courses w/ AutoGrow’s Proven Sales Funnel Template

Source: https://www.autogrow.co/how-to-sell-online-courses/

We’re living in what’s known as the Information Age. 

With just the click of a button, people from across the globe can access any kind of information they want. From capitals of countries and local weather reports. To in-depth studies into physics and pre-historical theories. 

The Information Age also opened up the door to online courses you can use to learn practically anything you can imagine. But if you’re selling an online course, that also means that the competition you’re facing is always on the rise too. 

The question is, how do you sell online courses these days? And how can you automate that selling so you have more time to focus on other areas of your business?

Today, I’ll show you the process of how to sell online courses automatically with a sales funnel. I’ll tell you what kinds of elements you need to include as well how your prospects should flow through your funnel.

Plus, I’ll share with you AutoGrow’s tried and true online course funnel template so you can start building yours today. I’ll also give you a point-by-point breakdown of what to include in each step of your funnel for maximum conversions and to keep your visitor’s carts packed full. 

And with that, let’s get started showing you how to sell online courses with sales funnels!

What is an Online Course Funnel? 

If you’ve been following AutoGrow for at least some time, you definitely already know what a sales funnel is. But if you haven’t and you’re landing here for the first time (welcome btw!), let’s talk about what the heck a sales funnel is. 

First off, the technical definition of a sales funnel: A sales funnel is a series of steps designed to guide visitors towards a buying decision. The steps are composed of marketing assets that do the work of selling, like landing pages and emails.

Sounds simple, right? 

Well if you’re still lost, think of the Panama Canal (bear with me…). To explain, the Panama Canal is made up of a series of locks and dams. These are sections of the canal where ships can be raised or lowered by filling up or draining out water. Check it out below. 

Image Source: US Army Corps of Engineers

And with enough locks and dams, you can slowly elevate a ship 10s, 100s, or even 1000s of feet! 

So, how does this relate to funnels, you say? 

Well, each part of a sales funnel is meant to get your lead one step closer to buying. Maybe it does so by building trust. Or maybe by answering a prospect’s questions. Or maybe by showcasing a demo of your product. 

No matter how it does it, each step inches your prospects ever closer to buying. Kind of like how ships on a canal are raised inch by inch to get to the height they need to be at on the other side. 

Makes sense? 

So when you’re trying to sell your info product or online course, a sales funnel helps bring in leads, better qualify those leads, and push them ever closer to buying your product. 

Why Do You Need an Online Course Funnel? 

So now that you know what a sales funnel is, why do you need to know how to sell online courses with a sales funnel? 

And the answer here is simple: it saves you an ocean of time. 

See, once a sales funnel is set up properly, it practically automates your lead generation. All it takes is starting up your ads (or whatever your funnel fuel is) and leads start moving through your funnel, getting ever closer to buying what you’re selling.  

And for online classes, in particular, that can be a huge deal. In fact, this ability to fully automate the sales process is what attracts most people to this business model in the first place. 

So once you learn how to sell your online courses automatically with the right sales funnel, you can streamline your customer acquisition so that it qualifies and converts leads without you

And what does that mean for you? You can put your energies into other activities instead. Like running your business, developing new products, creating new courses, or even taking a hard-earned vacation—finally! 

So, why wouldn’t you build a sales funnel to help you sell online courses on auto-pilot? 

The 3 Essential Elements of Any Online Course Sales Funnel

No matter what you’re selling, every single sales funnel has 3 core elements: fuel, foundation, and follow-up. 

We’ll get into more of the specifics of each later on in this article. But for now, you can get a better idea of each element in the online course and info product funnel below. 

Let’s take a look at why these 3 core elements are so important for your sales funnel. 

 

  • Fuel: A funnel only works when it has traffic moving through it. And that’s what the fuel part of your funnel is for—to drive traffic to your site. There are tons of different traffic sources to fuel a funnel you can choose from. Most of the funnels we build at AutoGrow are fueled either by paid traffic through Google, LinkedIn, or Facebook or they come from a client’s existing email list. But these are definitely the most common. 

 

 

  • Foundation: This is where the bulk of the prospect conversion and qualification happens. Lead magnet landing pages attract the right kinds of customers as long as the core offer adds value to them. Your lead magnet offer should give prospects what they need rather than what they want and this will build immediate trust. For instance, 2-step optin boxes let you collect your prospects’ contact information so you can keep nurturing the relationship. On the other hand, your sales page educates visitors on what it is you’re selling. And your checkout page is where the sale finally takes place. 

 

 

  • Follow-Up: Not every online course funnel is going to be perfect (i.e., every lead turns into a customer). And sometimes, leads just aren’t ready to buy today. So they drop out of your funnel. But don’t worry! That’s where the follow-up elements come into play. Made up mainly of retargeting ads and email sequences, these parts of your funnel are designed to bring leads back into your funnel after they’ve dropped out. 

 

Which is Better: Keep It Simple or Get Complex?

So now that you understand the basic elements of an online course funnel, you’re ready to start building yours. And the first step is creating an online course funnel diagram. 

This is the blueprint you’ll use to map out how your prospective customers flow from one stage to the next in your funnel. We create a funnel diagram like this for each one of our done-for-you sales funnel service’s clients. 

Now, one mistake that a lot of people make when first starting out and creating the funnel themselves is trying to get too complex too quickly. 

Let me show you an example. 

This is a great funnel example. It’s got all the core elements an online course or info products funnel needs to bring in leads. And on top of that, there are plenty of added bells and whistles to increase conversions. 

This is the funnel you should aspire to create when selling online courses. 

But it’s the wrong funnel for just starting out. 

Why? Because of the same thing that makes it great: it’s complex. And that complexity means that it takes time to create. Lots of it in fact. 

Building an online course funnel like this can take as much as several months to complete. 

That’s why we recommend starting with a simpler funnel like the one discussed in the previous section. 

This info product/online course funnel has a couple of very important benefits over the more complex one. 

 

  • It takes less time to complete, which means you can start seeing results much faster.

 

  • It’s a less resource-intensive proof of concept. If leads are falling out at different stages here, it’s much easier to plug that leak and remove bottlenecks in a simpler funnel than a more complex one.
  • It sets the foundation that you can build on over time. Once leads start moving through your funnel and converting, you can add complexities along the way to further increase your conversion rate or the lifetime value of your clients. 
  • It lets you validate your market early on instead of spending thousands on a giant funnel for a dry market.

 

 

In the end, then, simplicity is the way to go when first building your funnel. 

As such, I’ll be looking more closely at the simpler funnel design as we go through the 5 steps of building a high-converting online course sales funnel. 

Now, let’s get to it. 

Step #1: Lay Your Foundation

The first step of automating your online course sales through a funnel is by developing your funnel foundation. 

This includes all the core aspects of your funnel: the lead magnet, the lead magnet landing page, the 2-step opt-in, the congrats + video + sales page, and the checkout page. 

Let’s take a closer look at how to create each and a few tips to help you keep prospects flowing through your funnel. 

The Lead Magnet

What is a lead magnet

Well, this is typically the first element of most sales funnels. 

And as the name implies, it’s meant to attract new leads and bring them into your sales funnel. 

Basically, it’s a small piece of irresistible value that you offer to prospects in exchange for their contact information. 

Lead magnets are meant to be high in value, easily consumable, and especially relevant to the audience you’re targeting with your online course. 

With a good lead magnet, everyone comes out a winner. Your prospects learn more about a topic they’re interested in. And you benefit from getting their contact information (usually an email) so you can continue to nurture them until they become a customer. 

This contact info is also essential for retargeting ads and follow up email sequences in case your prospect falls out of your funnel. 

How to Create a Lead Magnet for Your Online Course

So, now that you’ve got the basics about what a lead magnet is, it’s time to come up with some ideas for creating your online course sales funnel. 

The key elements here are being relevant and being easily consumable.

So no 100-page ebooks. No free 5 week courses. No 3-day 1-on-1 training program. 

A lead magnet is supposed to be a quick win for both you and your prospects, so keep that in mind when brainstorming. 

There are tons of lead magnet examples to choose from. But here are a few specifically for online courses to get your creative juices flowing. 

A Few Examples of Lead Magnets

Free Workshops

The QC makeup academy offers a variety of paid courses where students can learn the finer points of cosmetology and makeup application. 

Course prices range from several hundreds of dollars to thousands for the full tuition. They’ve chosen to create a number of free workshops where visitors to their site can get a taste of the teaching quality that QC provides. 

Image Source: QC Makeup Academy

After the workshop is over, attendees are continually nurtured so that they return and purchase a full course. 

Coupon

Of course, there’s also the almighty coupon. Internationally known guitar creator Fender also sells online guitar training courses—makes sense, right? And in order to bring prospects into their funnel, they offer a one-time 20% off coupon for any annual plan. 

Image Source: Fender

Offering an immediate discount to any of their packages is a great way to capture contact details and help prospects see the value of their courses. 

2-Week Free Trial

Free trials are a great way for your prospects to directly see the value of your course because they’re getting an actual snippet of what you’re offering. 

The Family Handyman DIY University offers a 2-week free trial of their courses right at the top of their homepage for maximum visibility. 

Image Source: Family Handyman DIY University

And once the trial expires, leads receive follow-up emails to get them to come back and make a full purchase. Great idea!

The Lead Magnet Landing Page

Alright, so you’ve got your lead magnet ready. Now what? Well, now it’s time to get people to actually use your lead magnet with a bit of salesmanship using a landing page. 

A lead magnet landing page is essentially a page that’s designed to sell your prospects on the benefits of downloading your lead magnet. 

And in order to do that, you’ve got to have:

 

  • Copywriting that’s designed to persuade your prospects that they need your online course-related lead magnet.

 

  • Eye-catching design that keeps them on the page long enough to be enthralled by the copy. 

 

 

We at AutoGrow have written before about what makes a landing page great at converting

But here are just a few elements that most landing pages should have to create sky-high conversions. 

  • Enticing headline that’s clear about the value your lead magnet is offering
  • Definition of the problem your prospects are facing (be sure to hit those pain points!)
  • How your lead magnet helps solve that problem
  • Testimonials and social proof 
  • Direct calls to action to get your prospects to click

The 2-Step Opt-in Box

What is a 2-step opt-in? Basically, this is when the form fields for putting in contact info (name, email, etc.) only pop up after clicking the CTA button. 

Here’s how it looks on an Instapage webinar.

And after prospects click the play button, they’re brought to this page:

This simple extra step helps ensure that visitors are committed to attending the webinar. On top of that, it also ensures your emails have a lower chance of being marked as spam. 

But be sure to use action-oriented copy that’s clear about what to do next. This is pretty important. And in fact, we’ve seen conversions jump by as much as 152% just by changing the language on an opt-in to be more action-oriented.

Check out the example below from our Proven Sales Conversion Pack to see what I mean. 

Before:

After:

See the difference? With just this small change, this realty company saw a massive 152% increase in conversions!

The Congrats + Video + Sales Page

Your next step to sell online courses with sales funnels is the creation of a congrats + video + sales page. 

Now, up until this point, your prospects have only engaged with your free content. They’ve downloaded or signed up for your lead magnet thanks to your high converting landing page. But they still aren’t ready to completely buy from you yet. 

And that’s okay! Because facilitating that transition is what this page is all about. 

This is the page your leads will head to next after downloading your lead magnet offer. Here, you should create a few lines of copy that accomplish 3 things in particular. 

 

  • They congratulate the lead on downloading your lead magnet (“Great job taking the first step!” or “You’ve made a smart choice!”)

 

  • They imply that while the lead magnet is great, it isn’t the entire solution to their problem (“However, there’s so much more you can be learning” or “But the journey has only just begun.”)
  • They point to your online course as the ultimate solution to their problem (“Now it’s time to take the next step” or “Let’s take it to the next level”)

 

 

Then, it’s time to get on camera! Yup, not many people like to do it, that’s true. But adding a human element (like your face!) to your page can really help boost conversions

In your video, try to hit each of the 3 points mentioned above (congratulate, say there’s more they can be doing, introduce your online course as the solution). And if you’re looking for guidance on how to create a winning video, there are 4 points, in particular, you should consider. 

After that, it’s time to get to your sales page. After a bit of trial and error, we found that putting our sales pages directly on our clients’ congrats/video pages is a fantastic way to reduce funnel friction and keep leads from dropping out. 

On top of that, we also use our patented 10-point sales page template. This template helps us hit all the necessary points for creating maximum conversions. We can’t give away all of our secrets but here’s a quick look at what your sales page should include to get leads enrolling in your online course. 

  1. Eye-catching yet clear headline that defines your course’s value
  2. Identifying pain points in your target audience 
  3. Presenting your course as the solution they’re looking for
  4. Outlining the features and benefits
  5. Social proof and testimonials
  6. How does it work
  7. FAQs
  8. Price anchor
  9. Risk reversal
  10. Hard CTA

The Checkout Page

Last but not least in the foundation is your checkout page. After leads are sold on your online course being the solution to their problem, they’ll head to the checkout page to make their enrollment official. 

But don’t be fooled: your job isn’t done yet. 

If your checkout page is confusing, unappealing, or just plain annoying, leads can still drop out. 

Added to that, there are a few other tweaks you can use to increase conversions even more. In fact, we even use them on our own checkout pages. See if you can pick them out below. 

Do you see them? Let’s see if you caught them all. 

 

  • Testimonials – Adding testimonials to your checkout page helps keep your leads trusting you up through their enrollment. And adding faces (as we’ve seen) gives even more credibility. 

 

  • Trust Badges – See the two trust badges below the “Get Started” button? They may not seem like much right now but in reality, trust badges can go a long way towards making your leads feel secure. Here are just a few to consider using for your checkout page.

 

Image Source: ConversionXL

 

  • It’s all one page – This one is a biggy. The more friction you add to your funnel, the more likely prospects will be to drop off. One example of friction is forcing leads to go through multiple pages before buying. It’s actually why we’ve started combining our sales pages and congrats pages (remember?). But it’s also a valuable lesson for checkout pages. 

 

Step #2: Plug Your Online Course Funnel Leaks With Follow-Ups

Alrighty, now that you have your core foundation for your online course sales funnel solidified, it’s time to optimize it and plug up a few leaks. 

Now, while nailing the foundation of your online course funnel is crucial, the follow-up can be just as important. Because a lot of the time, leads simply aren’t ready to buy right away. 

It takes a bit of nurturing. A bit of finessing. And a bit more work on your part to convince them that your online course is the one they’ve been looking for. 

Now, let’s look at the two main types of follow-ups: retargeting ads and email follow-ups. 

The Retargeting Ads

Retargeting ads are one of the best ways to get your prospects back into your online course funnel. 

Here’s how it works. 

 

  • A visitor arrives on your website, and a cookie is set on his or her browser

 

  • The visitor leaves the website without taking action
  • While browsing other websites, like Facebook, Youtube, or any other website that serves banner ads, ads from your website will be shown to that cookie’d visitor, hopefully drawing them time click and come back to your website.

 

Sounds pretty cool, right? 

There are a few tips you can follow to ensure your retargeting ads are bringing the right leads back to your page. Below are 3 of the best we use for each of our done-for-you sales funnel clients. 

  • Retarget users that spend the most time on your site to maximize ROI
  • Offer unique discounts
  • Cross-sell with similar products or upsell with a higher tier course

The Email Follow-Ups

Then there’s the email follow up. Email is without a doubt the most effective form of marketing. 

How effective, you say? Well, in a survey from Smart Insights, marketers chose email marketing as the most effective channel for converting leads into customers. 

Image Source: Smart Insights

And despite what some have claimed, it most certainly is not on its way out. In fact, email marketing has held steady literally for decades as one of the most powerful weapons in a digital marketer’s arsenal. 

The purpose of email follow-ups is to educate prospects about the value of your product while enticing them to come back and check out your online courses. 

And at AutoGrow, we use a specific formula to accomplish just that. We call it the “VACuum 3-email sequence.” Each of the 3 emails tackles a different goal. 

  1. Value – This first email is meant to communicate the value that you and your online course offer. How, you ask? Well, that is up to you. What does your course cover? How does it address your audience’s specific pain points? What are some of the main takeaways from the course? 
  2. Authority – The second email should demonstrate to prospects why they should trust you. This email is ripe for testimonials and social proof stats (20K students, 15 years of experience, etc.). But it’s also where you really hammer in the idea that you are an expert
  3. Call-to-Action – This last email is the hard sell. Forget about the frills and pleasantries here. It’s time to tell prospects exactly what you want them to do: enroll in your online course. Urgency, scarcity, and clear CTAs are key for getting your audience to respond here. 

Step #3: Find Your Funnel Fuel

Last but not least, it’s time to fuel your funnel! As I mentioned before, without any traffic, all the work you’ve put into perfecting your sales funnel doesn’t mean a thing. 

So the question is, how do you bring traffic into your funnel? And even more to the point, how do you bring the right traffic into your funnel?

Well, there are two ways in particular to consider: paid ads and using an existing email list. 

The Paid Ads

When it comes to paid ads, there are ups and downs. 

Ups

  • Paid ads let you immediately send traffic to your website or landing page. With other funnel fuel sources like content marketing, it takes a while to get your systems in place and start seeing traction. But once you turn on ads, the effect is almost instant. 
  • Second, there are a lot of different platforms to choose from, each with their own perks and pitfalls (we’ll get into those in a sec). And that means you can use the benefits of each to your advantage. 

Cons

  • They cost money! The price varies between platforms of course. But no matter which one you choose, you’ve got to shell over a bit of dough to get started. 
  • It can be tough to master these platforms to target the right prospects. 

Now, let’s quickly go through the main platforms you can use for paid ads. There are plenty of others to consider. But these are what we at AutoGrow consider the main 3. 

  • Google – The unquestioned King of Search, Google is by far the most popular paid search platform. Hubspot points out that this platform alone receives an estimated 70,000 queries every single second. Every second! There are a few things you can do on this platform specifically to generate leads on your first try.
  • Facebook – Facebook is the king of social media advertising right now. It’s especially cost-effective compared to other platforms, it has super powerful targeting abilities, and it boasts literally more than a billion active users. 
  • LinkedIn – More of a professional environment and feel than the other social media platforms, LinkedIn is great for free organic B2B traffic. Sponsored ads are also available for businesses looking to get in front of the right people. 

The Existing Email List

And finally, there’s the option of using your existing email list as the main source of fuel for your online course funnel. 

If you’ve been following digital marketing best practices, you know that building a robust email list is key for selling your online courses. 

Why? Because email marketing has one of the best ROIs in the industry.

How high of an ROI? Well, just check out the graph below. 

Image Source: Lyfe Marketing

That’s right! Email marketing has a whopping 400% ROI! That’s $40 earned for every $1 spent.

That’s higher than any other marketing channel. 

So, why this huge disparity? Well, email marketing is the most direct channel to your prospects. You can place ads. You can create great content. And you can hope that someone stumbles across your page. 

But only with email marketing are you able to speak directly to your leads. Some listen, and sure, some don’t. But in the end, it’s a much more intimate and personalized way to reach out to your online course’s future enrollees. 

Conclusion

So there you have it! 

I hope these 3 steps have shown you how to sell online courses using a sales funnel. First and foremost, make sure that you have the right sales funnel structure in place (choose simplicity over complexity when first starting out). 

After that, start building out your sales funnel’s…

 

  • Foundation

 

  • Follow-Ups
  • Fuel 

 

 

After you’ve started seeing some good results, you can add in layers of complexity to optimize further. You can even add tripwires, upsells, or higher-tiered courses with a higher price point once you’ve built up enough trust with your prospects. 

The sky’s the limit!

So now go forth, and start selling your online course automatically with a sales funnel. 

And of course, if you need any assistance along the way, we’d love to help you build yours too. Just check out our done-for-you funnel marketing team packages and we can get started today!

Do you have any other sales funnel building tips for online courses? Have you come across any other online course sales funnel tips that have helped you get results? Let us know in the comments below!

And as always, 

Keep funnelin’, stay focused. 

Alex T.

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