3 Reasons Why Your Online Course Doesn’t Sell

If you go to Madrid, you’ll see a lot of people in summer selling water bottles around the city.

It’s hot, you’re thirsty, you buy water.

One time I was there, it was a warm afternoon, blue sky and dry air.

It then started raining out of the blue. A heavy, tropical shower.

Looking around for a place to hide I witnessed the most amazing thing: within a few minutes, all the water bottle guys pulled out a bunch of umbrellas (where the hell were they keeping them!?) and started selling them instead! People’s needs had changed.

Business is simple: you provide a solution to a problem the market has.

But sometime something is missing.

Your offer

You have to put your students in front of an offer they can’t refuse. *scratch cheek with back-hand*

This problem usually comes from 2 things:

  • Your product isn’t solving a big enough pain (back to the drawing board!)
  • Your offer does not have enough “perceived” value

Look at the image below, your online course is the core of your offer. Cool. But to make this an irresistible offer, you need more than that. You need to push value down their throat. But you know. In a gentle way.

And this isn’t about just making it look like you’re just bundling anything you can (oh cool I’ll get an e-book too…), this is about adding valuable resources and tools to complete the puzzle.

  • Add bonuses, or maybe just outlined stuff you were going to offer anyway and present them as bonuses (slightly sneaky).

These are also usually the stuff you take away when trying to create urgency.

  • Add testimonials to show that your current students are getting value from your product. People will judge you by your student’s results, not your own.
  • Add a guarantee, make it a nobrainer (and actually give them their money back )
  • Add physical goodies: book, tools: if you’re drawing stuff then give them a pencil starter pack, exercises they can print.
  • Exclusive interviews with guests that can bring value
  • An exclusive Facebook group or webinar, which makes them feel special and create a sense of community.



We value what is scarce. Resources, information, beauty, those last percent of batteries on your phone (you know what I’m talking about).

When deciding on a purchase, people will tend to simply look for options. They have to think about it. Ask their mom. Have an extra hot, organic soy milk latte first (damn hipsters!).

If you don’t create a sense of urgency when selling an online course, and make people feel like they need to make a decision right now. They probably won’t buy it. They’ll get busy, distracted and not go through with it.

An example of how crazy this can get is if you’re selling an online course, and you’re doing a launch (which you should). Most of your sales will come in the last 24 hours.

So even though they had 1 week to buy the course at a discount, they waited until the last day. People are that way. Stop judging.

But only if they feel they’re going to miss out on something. If the offer is up there to stay forever, why would I buy now? Next month will be better

Add urgency to your course:

  • Have a countdown: you can use OptinMonster on your sales page and even customize it to users interaction (really cool stuff) or MotionMail in your email (that’s free).
  • Make it clear the offer is going away in your copy. Don’t be too salesy, just be tell the truth.
  • Give away limited-time-only coupon, by email or on the sales page.
  • Have giveaways for the first 10 people buying: a 1-1 training session, a signed copy of your book, an accessory, an emotional/dramatic video of you saying thank you (looking deeply in the camera)…
  • Change your CTA to reflect the offer is going away soon
  • Press on their pain. Don’t be mean but just make them feel a bit emotional about how much it hurts right now. It’s for their own good.

Your message

Sometime your product is exactly what your audience needs but not what they want. If you’re dedicated to add value to them and help them achieve their goals, it is your duty to speak their language.

Present them exactly what they’re asking for. Then give them what they actually need. That’s how you over-deliver.

This is an easier problem to have, here are some actionables:

  • Go back to what you know about your audience. Who they are, what they struggle with, what objections they may have.
  • Answer a FAQ
  • Provide more value upfront. That’s before asking for the sell.
  • Give more insight about what the product is, what will happen after they buy. You can even walk them through the buying process
  • Add social proof: testimonial, authority in the field, awards, what makes you relevant.
  • Tell a story about your course and how it came to be


If even after all that your course is still not selling… send me a message!

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