Creating a course is just one piece of the puzzle in creating a successful online course business. The next piece of the puzzle is selling your course – and that’s where a course funnel comes in.

Attracting an audience for your course can be difficult, especially if you don’t already have an established email contact list or a platform with thousands of followers.

But I can just run ads – right?

Sure you can, and if your course is low ticket you may even make some sales. But running ads to a completely cold audience of people who know nothing about you is a little like throwing money away.

Jordan Belfort throwing money away

Which is fine if you’re Jordan Belfort but not so much for the rest of us…

That’s where a funnel comes in.

What is a course funnel?

In essence, it’s a strategic step-by-step process for finding people and getting them to sign up for your course. That’s it.

You’ve probably been in thousands of sales funnels before. For example, let’s say you’re scrolling your Insta feed and come across an ad that says, ‘6 Simple Ways to Lose Belly Fat’. Ooh – that looks interesting you’d like to find out more – so you click on the ad. The ad takes you to a web page that tells you more and offers a digital recipe book for meals that help you lose belly fat. It’s only $5 so you buy it and immediately get the digital recipe book in an email.

Well, that’s a funnel. You’ve now been identified as someone who wants to lose belly fat (I mean who doesn’t, right!). What happens next is that you start receiving emails from the author of the recipe book that share more advice and tips on how to lose belly fat and after a while, you’ll receive an email with an offer to sign up for their 6-week belly blast online course for $397.

Do I need a course funnel?

Well, that depends. Do you have an existing audience you can promote your course to? If you do then you’re probably ok with just making an offer to that audience. If not then yes, you will need a course funnel – even if your course is low ticket. Because the reality is that you need to exchange something of value in exchange for your target audience’s attention and/or contact information.

Now consider this – you’re scrolling your Insta feed and see the ‘6 Simple Ways to Lose Belly Fat’ ad. You click on the ad but this time the ad takes you to a web page that asks you to sign up for the 6-week belly blast online course for $397. Would you be willing to hand over that amount of money to a complete stranger you know nothing about? It’s a lot less likely that you would – but for a $5 recipe book – that’s an easy yes.

How do I create a course funnel?

A traditional funnel consists of 3 parts:

  1. A source of traffic
  2. An ethical bribe to exchange for their attention/email address
  3. An email sequence or engaging social media content to nurture them

Now, I’ve explained a course funnel in its simplest form here. There’s usually a lot more to it especially if you’re targeting people at different stages of awareness ie. Are they unaware they need to lose belly fat vs actively looking for ways to lose belly fat? Or have they never heard of you and your brand vs they’ve bought something from you before. So, funnels can become very complicated very quickly.

Do you use a course funnel to sell your course? I’d love to hear about it.