How to Up-Sell Your Online Courses for More Profit?

Online education is a continually growing market, but with all the tough competition, earning considerable profits from it can get quite challenging. Many educators these days wonder whether it is possible to make their mark in the almost-saturated industry.

But if you are looking forward to creating your courses and selling it to make as much profit as possible, then lose hope, and instead follow the course marketing tips:

  • Charging beforehand
    Often educators set up a recurring payment instead of a one-off fee charged at the beginning of a course. Learners can get confused with this, and implementing it also becomes complex. As it matches with the payment process of offline education, we can all relate to it. If you charge your learners every month, some might hesitate to pay thinking that they have already cleared their dues. But an upfront fee will set clear expectations from the very beginning, and you learners will understand their sum of investment.
  • Offering for free at first
    The idea is to offer the course for free and then give the option to pay to learners only if they want certification. This model helped the industry leader Coursera to earn chunks of revenue, and therefore you can implement it as well. You will also attract enthusiastic learners this way because the learning part would be free. It also builds trust because learners would not hesitate to be part of your community, thinking that the investment might be wrong. The revenue-generating part is the certification which owns professional value, and therefore most learners will end up paying for it.
  • Charging a subscription
    Although most of us are comfortable paying up beforehand for courses, some might not like the idea of making a significant investment all at once. Suppose it is a musical course or a private tutoring one where the success of the course depends solely on the instructor. Most learners are willing to pay recurring fees for these courses as long as they can derive value from it. Also, since our interest quotients vary, learners may feel comfortable not paying everything at the beginning and instead of paying as long as they wish to. This would lead to more commitment generated from your learners, and therefore you would be able to retain more customers, which matters most at the end of the day.
  • Offer free introductory courses.
    If you haven’t yet started selling your course or your eLearning business is yet to reach a broad customer base, you can go for this option. For instance, you can opt for a subscription plan where you can keep the initial modules to be free and then charge for the premium modules, which will contain some essential content. Alternatively, you can also offer completely free short introductory courses consisting no more than a few modules. Once you can get loyal learners into your customer base, you can charge them more for the advanced courses.

How to Up-Sell Your Online Courses for More Profit?

If you are not upselling, then you are not fully utilizing the resources and potential of your business. Upselling means driving your customers towards the most expensive option by encouraging them to either buy a pricey product or add ons with their actual purchase. According to Groove, the chances of selling your courses to a new customer is 5-20%, whereas, the probability of selling your courses to your existing customers is around 60-70%.

Putting the right upselling products at the right time to the right customers is an essential marketing tactic because product recommendations are responsible for 10-30% of your total revenue. Here are some of the ways you can apply to make money selling online courses by the tactics of upselling.

Understand Google Analytics Better

Regardless of the type of business you have or the kind of products/services you sell, google analytics is a must. When it comes to upselling, you cannot just recommend any course coming to your mind to any learner, nor can you approve every learner to buy one particular course. Because let’s face it, although your courses might be high-end not every learner would be interested in all of your offerings nor will they find it to be relevant. That is why every marketer is recommended to make the most of Google Analytics to track the right audience for upselling opportunities. You can learn about the buying behaviour of your learners and only after analyzing it you should recommend them to buy an additional short but advanced course highly relevant to the course they are purchasing. Alternatively, you can also lure them with courses on their favourite topics and term it as ‘limited period offer’.

Retarget your Audience

Through the many marketing campaigns you are running, many customers would visit your website and check your products and then leave! The worse would be when they would pick a few courses, keep it in their cart and then not proceed with the transaction. Then should you let this end on a wrong note and lose out on revenue? You should retarget customers who although are pretty much interested in your stuff didn’t end up on buying your courses. Well, you will have to remind them about your courses which they have found relevant but didn’t purchase it yet. When your learners see your ads on platforms where they are hanging out, for example, Facebook, they might go back to your eLearning platform and complete their transaction. You can also retarget your loyal customers and show them ads consisting of courses which would perfectly go with the courses they have just purchased from you.

Email Promotional Offers

You might know what promotional emails and when to send them, but do you have a clear idea about the content of emails? Although there is a similarity between cart abandonment emails and upselling emails, those two are not precisely the same. A classic upsell mail would be ‘would you like this to go with that’? While ‘this’ refers to an add on, ‘that’ refers to the course a learner has already purchased. If you offer a free trial for a few days, you can send upsell-emails to notify users about your paid courses right before the trial ends. Also, whenever you launch a new course which has some relevance with your older courses, you can notify your loyal customers and upsell online courses.

Advertise More

Do you know that as per sources, about 32% of the customers end up ordering again from the same company within just a year of becoming a member of that company? This proves that if you can retain your existing customers, no one can stop you from making more money! But to ace it, you would have to advertise more, and you will have to invent new ways of doing so. For starters, you can run effective advertising campaigns to increase the lifetime value and the order value of your customers. You can also run paid campaigns just for the sake of utilizing upselling opportunities. The best way to run these ads is by personalizing your campaigns, and you can do so by organizing buyer details into segmented lists to target them better. This step is crucial to ensure that the right people are getting the relevant information. Then you can proceed by employing remarketing tactics and designing and sending ads accordingly to convert customers with minimal efforts.

Identify Problem Statements

To bring in more profits, you can start upselling in customer support as well. When the customer support executives and not the sales executives recommend a new product or a course, consumers become convinced easily and ultimately end up buying it.

But here is a problem; as not all customer interactions are right for selling opportunities, it can backfire on you if you are not careful. If you try to sell things in an awkward situation, things will go against you instantly. You should only go ahead and start upselling your courses if the customer is satisfied with your courses or you aim to solve an unmet need of the customer with a new course.

Bundle Courses

Bundle selling is when you start selling multiple courses as a single package to your learners. You can wrap some of your related courses into a bundle and sell them at a reduced rate. Or else, you can combine a basic module and advanced module of a topic into a package and then slash the prices a bit and then notify your customers about it. While you are bundling, make sure to specify why a learner should purchase this bundle and the pros of subscribing to this bundle. Alternatively, you can sell your course and a few related ebooks together as a bundle as it is a frequently practised tactic of most eLearning platforms.

Create Job Ready Courses

To upsell your courses without putting much marketing efforts, you will have to use powerful terms, such as ‘job ready courses’. By this term, you would refer to a set of courses after studying which a learner can become ready for the industry. These types of courses attract many young learners, mostly those who are fresh out of college and looking for opportunities. One way of upselling these job-ready courses would be to display them during checkout and also posting these lucrative powerful buzzwords that will not fail to catch the eyes of the learners. Job-ready courses are relative of prolonged duration, and therefore the learning obtained from such courses are huge. Consequently, these courses are pricier, and it also offers certifications to learners which they can present during their job interviews.

Work with Your Affiliates

Affiliate is someone who promotes your products and services on their website or platform. And whenever their promotions lead to sales, you pay them a commission. Affiliate marketing has proved to be quite efficient when it is combined with the power of upselling. But to accomplish it, you will have to choose your affiliates strategically. For maximum impact, you can approach a review-focused blog and request to feature your courses along with a complete review. Alternatively, you can also get in touch with a YouTuber who can talk about your courses and can also recommend some of the addons or the reasons why the pricier courses would be beneficial for the learners.

Create a VIP Experience

While some of the learners would be content with just the overall experience, others would prefer a VIP experience. You can offer this VIP experience to the ones seeking it in the form of various added provisions. For example, the VIP experience can enable learners to clear all their doubts in a one-to-one session with the instructor. Or, you can also deliver VIP experience by providing some additional course content and ebooks to the learners who are willing to pay an extra charge for it. Make sure to mention all about it in the course content as well as in the checkout window. This is one of the most effective marketing offers for courses, and you can make the most of it by encouraging buyers to go for the expensive option for more benefits.

Limited Time Offers and Trials

One of the best-proven ways to upsell your courses would be to term the addons or the expensive and upgraded option as a ‘limited time offer’. Also, if you launched a new course on a new subject, you can lure learners by telling them to grab the trial offer at a reduced rate. You can mention that once the trial period is over, they would have to pay more for the same course and things like that. Always remember, buzzwords like ‘limited period ‘offers, ‘discounts’ ring a bell to our ears and then we would end by digging up more about it.

Offer Exclusive Additional Content

Most enthusiastic learners always possess an unquenchable thirst of additional knowledge, and you can take complete advantage of it. Be it in the form of a few practical exercises along with solutions of the problems or ebooks containing course content; these additional content always charges up young learners. So you can expect a chunk of revenue from this option of upselling as well.

Round-Up: Follow the 70-20-10 Rule

To ensure instant success, every educational manager follows the 70-20-10 Rule, and you should do it as well. It is a general guideline followed by learning and now eLearning organizations to ensure maximum effectiveness of their learning programs.

According to this Rule, a learner receives:

  • 70% of knowledge from hands-on experience and challenges.
  • 20% experience from others, including peers, coaches, instructors.
  • 10% experience from formal training.