066 - Paid Marketing Funnels for Course Creators - with John Ainsworth


spotify button
google play button
itunes button
stitcher button
soundcloud button

If you are just relying on the traffic that goes into your website for people to buy your course,  most likely you are missing out on the big opportunity to convert the traffic into someone actually buying. To even bring them into your website and have them choose to buy it at a higher price is a slim chance. 

You need to convert that traffic into new email subscribers and from there, people will know what they would gain or the logic into buying your product or course. And if you have a large following from the social media platforms where you are active, you would want to get more of those people into your email list, as well. An interesting conversation between Gert and John Ainsworth, a funnel expert, about how to 5x your conversion.

Podcast Highlights:

00:00 Prologue

02:11 John Ainsworth background in creating funnels and courses.

05:28 The three problematic elements where people have enough traffic, but don't convert that traffic into email subscribers.

The three simple things people can do to increase the number of their email subscribers:

06:46 No 1 - Turning off double opt in. 

09:43 No 2 - Show lead magnet more often on the site.

14:07 No 3 - Pointing to your lead magnet more often from social media platforms where you have a good number of following.

17:58 How can course creators extract better revenue from their courses, using the structure of six emails - gain, logic, fear, going, going, gone?

22:46 Recap

24:37 John Ainsworth advice when working with people to convert more traffic to their email list.  (...It's not about creating new courses or how long they have had their course.)

28:21 How can people get the most revenue from what they are offering? (...What is an order bump?)

32:28 Where can people learn to create extra revenue for their business?

33:30 End


The ERICA SEO Framework:

Previous episode mentioned in the podcast with guest Quinn Zeda:

Get your FREE funnel review analysis here: 

Paid Marketing Funnels for Course Creators

Are you a course creator looking for ways to generate leads and increase traffic? If so, you may be interested in learning about paid marketing funnels.

A paid marketing funnel is a strategy that involves paying for traffic to your website. This can be done in most ways, including paid ads, affiliate marketing, and email marketing. However, creating this kind of funnel can be tricky - especially if you're unsure where to start.

When you sell your online course, you can build effective choices to satisfy customers as they travel down the funnel, adding more worth to your tactics. So, if you're ready to learn more about this powerful marketing strategy, keep reading!

What is a marketing funnel, and why is it important for course creators?

Many course creators are interested in getting more traction or simply growing their online courses. However, according to Gert Mellak, SEO should not be the only pillar below your marketing strategy. Taking a marketing funnel seriously into your online course to get great results and generate hundreds of leads is another name of the game.

Here is what it is:

Marketing funnels chart the path to conversion and beyond, from the moment someone learns about your online business to when they make a purchase. 

Because most online course creators are experts in the field, they spent years becoming experts at something. And then they've gone and created a ton of content online that might drive traffic through SEO, YouTube, or wherever they get traffic in. Perhaps, they've got all this traffic, and they've got these courses that they start making, which are amazing and people love.

But, one thing, they generally don't understand how to convert the traffic into someone actually buying.

John Ainsworth, an online course creator and founder of Data-Driven Marketing, believes that the things that work the best are these funnels and email marketing. It's proven and tested. And that's the stuff that they really focus on. They've found, built up the system, and just narrowed it down to the crucial bits that work the best. 

Basic Marketing Funnel Stages

Marketing funnels are divided into stages by different marketers. The 'AIDA' concept is often used in an ultimate sales funnel template:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

The marketing or sales funnel to sell functions as a whole. However, we'll keep it simple with a three-stage funnel that maps the buyer's journey. 

  • TOFU (top of the funnel): awareness
  • MOFU (middle of the funnel): take into account
  • BOFU (bottom of the funnel): conversion 

Tips to optimize your funnel for better conversions

The marketing funnel is dynamic, just like people's real-life buying behavior, which is why it's vital to consider the customer journey. Use this tried-and-true method from John to create a funnel template for an online course that delivers consistent, qualified leads.

Turn off double opt-in

A double opt-in method adds an extra step to the email subscriber sign-up process, asking users to validate their email address and affirm their interest. It's adding frustration. So, why do people still use double opt-in, like for an online course they create?

First, they use that in their email marketing because they're worried they'll have people on the list who are not a real person. You're afraid people on your list are not good email subscribers, or even they do not actually want to be subscribed.

But, what if some people who put their email addresses in don't click the link because they're busy. Or, they just don't notice that email comes in and don't get round to it and realize they would have been good email subscribers. What's the best deal?

So what John comes up with is you can, on average double the number of leads on your email list from turning off double opt-in. And they've seen on average revenue go up by about 20%, just from doing that. The best thing to do is, after almost every two or three months, get rid of the people who haven't opened their emails in the last three months, and just clean that way.

Important Note

Before email marketing communications can be delivered, several nations worldwide have regulations that require permission or consent. According to the Privacy policy, senders must obtain authorization from their contacts before sending promotional emails to them in email marketing. Keep in mind to check on your local situation if this is a requirement. 

Implement lead magnets on your website

You've probably come across a lead magnet landing page previously. In fact, you may have given your email address in exchange for one: marketers refer to the freebie given in exchange for an email address as a lead magnet.

In a nutshell, a lead magnet should be something where the person gets a result straight away, like a template, swipe file, calculator, and something along those lines to push them to enroll in your course. Also, the easiest thing to do is to put that in more places, so have a pop-up on the website for someone to sign up for it. You can go to all of your blog posts and include what we call an opt-in form. 

A smart lead magnet entices new readers to give you their email address by providing them with something valuable. You can essentially increase by 30-50% increase the click-through rate to the landing page. They have also seen pop-ups working very well. Also, a prototype article is a plus.

Optimize lead magnets on your social media

Some people have got a lot of traffic to their website. And some people have also gained a big following on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube. So one of the crucial marketing tactics is to just point from your social media or YouTube to those lead magnets.

You'll need a landing page for this rather than just being a pop-up on the website. But in every YouTube video, have a call to action to download your lead magnet. Don't put it at the beginning because YouTube likes to keep people on-site as much as possible. But somewhere at the end, tell them there's this lead this free thing they can get.

Bonus tip: to create a sales funnel, target your audience to avoid wasting money on ads that nobody will see

Focus on how you can convert more of the traffic onto your email list. That's your sweet spot.

It's harder to build traffic than creating a course that is more time-consuming. Exactly, building up an audience is a very tricky part. You can be smarter about it by adding those conversions, optimization, or example, those suggestions happening. And just by having those calls to action inline in your article several times, you might have saved yourself three years of building up this audience.

A common mistake in implementing paid marketing funnels for courses

Some online course creators don't extract enough money, enough revenue from their courses, because they say, "Look, this is a $15 course, or this is a $10 course. But there's not enough budget to actually now reinvest in the business to grow.

If people are just selling courses via the website, just by traffic, they're missing out on the huge majority of sales. Perhaps, it's much harder to sell something for a higher price if you're just selling it with someone going to the website and choosing to buy it.

If you get those people onto your email list by following the tips above and then doing email promotions every month, then what you'll see is you can sell those courses for a much higher price. And the reason for that is you've got someone's attention. Also, the online courses sales funnel template works.

For example, it's to train your dog to be nicer around other dogs. Let's talk about what your life will be like when you have done that. How much easier will it be for you? You can go for walks more easily with your dog, and they're less aggressive in the park, and so on. And we've got a course that will help you do it at a 30% discount this week.

Now, if you put it on discount for 30%, how are you going to be selling it for a higher price than you currently are? The easiest way to do that is to keep your price the same right now, but tell everybody the price is going up. 

So, let's say you're saying your courses at the moment for $30. Do it sale via email where you tell everybody it's $30, but next month is going up to $100 or right after that the next week is going up to $100 or whatever you're comfortable with. And you can include a lot of good value in those emails. You can make them non-aggressive and not too salesy.

The Framework

An email list is an amazing way to build up this trust. Providing value and making sure that those emails actually help people and assist people to be better off work is a success.

Here's a framework from John:

  1. Focus first on the gain, not try to justify with features or with whatever characteristics of your product, but really focus around what they're actually gaining by this.
  2. And then, somehow, the logic must come. So we need to justify how and why they will make this purchase or why this makes sense.
  3. And the fear is definitely what you see in most conversations with clients very often, have a lot of concerns around SEO, or they rather fear investing in marketing. So obviously, you need to make sure that they just make the decision from an informed point of view, and address those fears, so that they will not disappear. This is how you think you can be essentially better off in the decision-making process.

How do course creators get the most revenue from what they are offering?

To highlight, two things help people get revenues in marketing their products or services: order bumps and upsells.

An order bump is a tick box on the checkout page with another offer that somebody can get. Pretty much, funnel checkout software or course software has these built-in features.

You can normally increase overall revenue by about 20% when you start with order bumps. And what you'll find is somewhere between about 40 and 60% of people who check out will buy that other thing if it makes sense. That's not easy, maybe. However, that is proven to work.

And then the upsell is on the next page. You just need to submit the credit card details. Then you'll be redirected to the One-Click Upsell of something else that people can buy.

In a nutshell, lead generation is the lifeblood in business, and generating these qualified leads into sales indicates success. Using the framework and tips we've covered above will help you create a better funnel that answers to your customer's specific issues and, as a result, increases conversions.

Connect with John Ainsworth:

Website: https://datadrivenmarketing.co/

Connect with Gert Mellak:

Email: [email protected]

about gert

Loved This Episode?

Please consider leaving me a review with Apple, Google, or Spotify! It'll help folks discover this show and hopefully we can change more lives!

Listen to the Previous Episodes

065 - SEO for Service Providers

Podcast Highlights: 00:01 Prologue 01:12 Introduction of the topic 01:56  What are the common problems service providers face when creating content for

064 - Still Relying on Facebook Ads Alone?

Relying on just one channel to offer your products and services may put you in potential danger of not being searched and

063 – When Can I Stop my SEO?

Now that your goal to make it to the top of Search Engine Results Pages for the products or services that you


How we approach SEO

Recently, our founder Gert Mellak, has published a book about our approach “ERICA” that guarantees consistent, strategic execution to improve your site’s SEO and protect your website from Google updates and penalties.