How to Fix an Online Course That Isn’t Selling

The goal of creating an external course is to sell it. But what do you do if your online course isn’t selling? We suggest the following five tips if you’re wondering why online courses fail. You should also keep these in mind as you design your course and your marketing strategy, as following the tips from the start will prevent lackluster sales. 

Tip #1. Don’t Sell, Create Leads

Start by focusing on creating leads, not on selling. If you focus on selling, you will just drive people to a sales page. But how many sales will you really convert? Unless your course is affordable and the copy is absolutely amazing, there won’t be many. 

By contrast, if you generate leads, you can keep pushing those leads along the sales funnel and turn them into sales. How do you generate leads? Make a lead magnet, such as a PDF, masterclass, or something else with great value. Offer it in exchange for an email address. Then, use that email address in your sales funnel. 

Tip #2. Evaluate Your Sales Funnel (Or Make One)

This is the time to reevaluate your sales funnel. It should provide value, and if it doesn’t, it could be why online courses fail. Every point of the sales funnel should deliver value, such as education, advice, or something your audience will find useful. 

Tip #3. Test Sales Copy and Use Learner Feedback 

Next, take a look at the sales copy throughout your sales funnel. Pay attention to the copy on your sales page, lead magnet page, and email sequence. Test out different types of copy to see if small changes will help. 

As you test and adjust your sales copy, focus on incorporating learner feedback and their pain points. Simply put, the copy needs to address the pain points of your learners and highlight how your course will help learners overcome those challenges. Unless learners know that your course addresses their challenges and pain points, it won’t sell. And the best way to confirm you know the pain points is to ask your learners and get feedback. 

Tip #4. Make Your Lead Magnet Better Than Your Course (Or at Least as Good)

This may seem counterintuitive, but the best lead magnets will be even better than your course. Yes, you are giving the lead magnet away for free, but it has to show your potential learners the value you provide. For example, our masterclass took about 40 hours to create, despite us giving it away for free.  

Tip #5. Reevaluate Your Course (With a Focus on Pain Points) 

If you’ve done everything else on the list and you’re still wondering why online courses fail, it’s time to look back at the course itself. Focus on the pain points of your learners and whether it truly addresses them. Simply put, if your marketing isn’t the reason the course isn’t selling, then the course is likely to be the reason. 


If your course isn’t selling, switch your focus from selling to generating leads. Then, put those leads into an effective sales funnel that delivers value. Examine your sales copy, paying attention to learner feedback. Then, ensure your lead magnet is of high quality. Finally, if nothing else works, reevaluate your course. 

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