Use This Conversion Copy Technique for a More Profitable Online Course Launch

In this video tutorial, I’ll be teaching the process I use when writing conversion copy to launch an online course. You’ll discover the “mind reading” technique for finding out what makes your perfect course customer buy, even if you’ve never sold to this audience before.

And we’ll be starting with lessons from one of the top online course marketers - Amy Porterfield.

In a Rush to Learn Conversion Copy for Course Creators?
Here’s a transcript instead

Quick note before the transcript:

I’m using Loom for screencasting and for transcriptions, to make creating content faster. But it’s still an experiment. For reasons I won’t go into, the video is v2 and the transcript is v1. Same concepts, same teaching, different words.

00:00 Hello and welcome to Conversion Copy Co. This is Anna Bolton. And today, I'm teaching the process that I use to write conversion copy for the launch of an online training course.

00:13 So, why would we want to learn how to write conversion copy for an online training course? Obviously, if you're selling one, you need to know this, but if you're just considering selling online digital products, you're probably aware that selling training is a fantastic way to leverage your expertise, get in front of more people, get away from trading hours for dollars and just have that passive income. So, more and more people are looking to build their own brands around digital products sales.

00:49 And to learn from the best and to get excited about what we can do and how we can market on like training, we can look at people like Amy Porterfield. I choose Amy first because her course was actually the first online course that I bought, myself, as an entrepreneur. It was my first exposure to the level of quality and the excellence of the marketing experience that was possible. So, I always think of Amy as the go to person in this industry, and in fact, she sells training on how to create an online course. So, I would definitely sign up for her email, subscribe to her email list, and watch how she launches a course. Amy is always in the back of my mind when I'm working on copy, on sales funnels for online training.

01:44 Another master of online training and marketing guru is Joanna Wiebe of Copy Hackers, and I buy pretty much everything of hers that I can get my hands on. She launches ... Usually once a year, she launches copies school, which includes a number of courses on conversion copywriting for growth marketers, for a freelancers, for anyone who wants to know how to write copy that converts that sells. So, sign up for her newsletters and watch how she markets. She is an inspiration to me as well.

02:23 James Wedmore is another thought leader in the online course sales marketing industry. His course was also, or one of the courses that he sold years ago was one of the first that I purchased as well. It's great to see his process. It's great to see his funnels. Signup and observe.

02:46 Digital marketer. Unlike Amy Porterfield, Joanna Wiebe and James Wedmore, Digital Marketer sells courses that are available on an evergreen basis, to my knowledge. I also buy these. Their marketing is, of course, exemplary. That's what they teach. Sign up for their newsletter, and you can see how they sell their various tiers of training. There are different products or bundles and how they get people into the bottom of the funnel and keep upselling until you become a long term returning customer.

03:33 Get Uplift, Talia Wolf, also in the conversion optimization industry, sells a great course called Emotions Sells. This is another angle on being persuasive through your copy and through your design. I believe her course also launches periodically, so you need to sign up for her email list and observe how she launches.

04:00 We also have Brennan Dunn., whose course I also bought very early on when I defined myself as a freelancer. He still pitches his training to freelancers, but really, his training is applicable to anyone who sells their expertise online, consultants. I recently bought this product on marketing automation. So, it's just 10 hours, and it's about $2,000, but I bought it because I know that his training is unparalleled, and it's cutting edge. So, the value in online training and, as you can infer from those figures, the profit is astonishing, especially if you're solving something related to revenue or profit. In that case, you can charge much, much more for your online training because you're helping people make money.

05:06 The example I'm going to give you today of writing conversion copy for the launch of online training is in a different industry. My client, Yardstick, is quite a large occupational safety training provider in Canada. Great company. They sell the leading training in this sector, and much of it is online. They have a number of different brands under this umbrella. And when they came to me in the fall of 2018, they were launching a new brand, which is now called the Canadian Academy of Guard Training. The copy that you see here is not mine, but I wrote the launch copy.

05:50 So, a little bit of background. In Canada, presumably in the US, you have to be certified to become a security guard. So, this is also training that can make you money. So, it's a retail market. It's a B to C market for the most part. People go out. They get this certification, and then they look for a job.

06:14 And when Yardstick came to me, they had never sold this course before, they never sold it to this audience before. So, it was a from scratch project, and the process of writing copy from scratch with no existing data, no sales, no interaction with customers, is different from the process that you would take to write conversion copy when you've already been selling. So, the sources of data are different, and how we approach the project is different.

06:46 So, in this case we have to go out and find that insight online because we don't have it in our analytics. We don't have it in our email marketing system. We don't have insight from support or from social media because we don't have those customers yet. I will tell you where we get this insight for conversion copywriting. But my first step is always to talk to the customer and find out .... My customer. Sorry. My customer, my client and find out what they know.

07:21 So, I have on my website,, a sample writing brief. And this is a general guideline of questions that I will ask a new client to find out what they already know and how they know it. The questions will vary depending on the project, but I'm looking for that baseline of messaging insight, but always with the assumption that neither the client nor I really know yet what will convert. So, we need to go out there and find out what will convert.

08:08 I have a spreadsheet here. I will not show you all of the tabs because some of it is proprietary, but I will show you a little bit of a voice of the customer data in a tab that I used to organize voice of the customer.

08:24 So, what is voice of the customer? Voice of the customer is literally what your ideal customer says in their words. And why do we want voice of the customer? We want voice of the customer because our copy should read as though it's coming from our customers own mind. We want our brand to resonate to that degree. When they land on our page, they feel like we understand their problems and their pain points, what they really want, and we use the language that they would actually use so that we feel relatable because people buy from companies, from brands, that they know, like and trust. So, that mirroring is key.

09:11 Online forums were one of the sources of customer insight in this project. There are many sources of customer insight, and it really depends on what you're selling. In some cases, you can use a very popular technique called Amazon Review Mining. At least it's popular among conversion copywriters. Amazon Review Mining involves going to Amazon, looking up a product that solves the same problem or a similar product to what you're selling, looking in the reviews and finding out what people say about what they want, about their problems and their pain points, including how other solutions are not solving the problem for them.

09:57 And then, you're going to organize this voice of the customer, research, this insight, which means actually cutting and pasting what customers have written so that you're not editing, you're not rewriting as a marketer. Your copy needs to be based in real vivid language that people use.

10:21 All right, so this tab shows you voice of the customer research. I have other tabs for stats that I've gathered for insight that I've gathered from media articles on the topic. For example, in this case, industry publications, articles on what's changing in the security guard industry. I do a competitor analysis. I also document my customer's answers to the briefing questions.

10:48 So, I have all of this research, and the next step is pulling it together, which I'll explain in a moment. But first, let me touch on competitor analysis. I will not go to that tab. But what we're looking for in competitor analysis is how the competitors position their product, their service, their brand. What they say makes them different and better. And also, if possible, what their customers say about them.

11:20 So, when you're entering a market in which other people are selling what you sell, you need to stand out. So, this is very tricky for many brands to figure out how they are different and better. And sometimes at the launch phase, you have an opportunity to shift your business model to a certain extent to become different and better if the research shows everybody is doing this, but this is what customers really want, and nobody else is providing them.

11:51 In the case of Canadian Academy of Guard Training, we were able to do that. The insight showed us that the motivations that drives prospective security guards are not what we would have assumed. Their goals are different, who they are, their psychographics are different than you would assume, and that's what you're hoping for when you do this conversion copy research. You're hoping to be surprised and to discover things that you wouldn't have assumed because that means you've landed on something that's probably more persuasive than anything else out there on the market.

12:34 If you're finding something surprising, competitors are probably surprised too. They probably haven't done this work because most people don't know about conversion optimization, about what goes into writing high-converting copy. So when you find those surprise moments, you've probably landed on something profitable.

12:54 In the case of Canadian Academy of Guard Training, one thing we discovered is that it's one thing to get certified. It's another thing to get a decent job, and to get a decent job you have to stand out, which is how Canadian Academy of Guard Training is positioning their offering based on the research that we did prelaunch. We discovered that these perspective security guards need to upgrade their certifications. They need to show that they have skills outside of just basic training, that they know conflict deescalation, they have mental health training, they have first aid training. A number of these other products that my client, Yardstick, already sells can be made available so that these prospective security guards are surrounded by the supports that they need to become that in-demand security guard who can choose their position with a better employer. You can get above minimum wage jobs with benefits in good working conditions. So, this was one of the key insights. I won't give away all of the other insights.

14:12 So, once you have these insights, there is a process of structuring those insights and that voice of the customer data to write copy. So, you want to start with your frameworks for copywriting. Once you know those frameworks, you know the messaging hierarchy for any given asset. You know where you should start based on the visitor's awareness and what journey you need to take them through in that asset to get them to the call to action.

15:07 So, knowing those frameworks, you are going to pull in actual voice of the customer data. So, in this case, some of our voice of the customer data would be around getting paid well for in-house security guard jobs, not just getting certified but being the in-demand security guard. Using this process that I've described here, we were able to launch with great success. This property, this online training property became one of the most successful, one of the more profitable brands in the Yardstick family very quickly with high sales out of the gate, and we can attribute that to using this proven process for conversion copywriting.

15:59 Of course, in this short tutorial, I cannot teach everything that goes into conversion copywriting. For that, you can take the Copy Hackers Copy School Training when it comes out again. Invest a couple of thousand, take the training, start to practice. Or you can reach out to me and talk about your project, see if it might be a fit for my services. In either case, it is worth the investment in conversion copywriting. Not copywriting based on assumptions, not just creative copywriting, not just brand copywriting, but copywriting that converts because of deep data-driven insight.

16:51 When you're selling a course, there is huge potential to make that an ongoing stream of revenue for your business. People are making millions of dollars selling online training. I'm not saying that with conversion copy you can turn on the tap and make millions, but conversion copywriting can certainly make your online course launch more profitable.

17:25 The gurus that I showed you today, starting with Amy Porterfield, all hire conversion copywriters. They all study conversion copywriting. I remember the first time I heard Amy Porterfield say, on a podcast, that she was a student of copywriting. In addition to being everything else that Amy is, she is a student of copywriting, and it is one of the reasons she is such a success. She knows how to hire conversion copywriters; she knows what true conversion copywriting entails. So, learn from Amy, learn from the online course marketers launching profitably. And when you launch your course, launch with conversion copy.