Sell More Online Courses with a Free Trial

Greg SmithOnline Course Success Series1 Comment


How to Setup a Free Trial of Your Online Course and Increase Conversions

A free trial is a great way to increase sign ups or sales for your online course. For my own online course my free trial increased course sales by over 40%. I definitely recommend setting one up for your course.


What do I mean by a Free Trial for your online course?

To be clear, I am NOT talking about giving free access to your entire course, not even for a limited amount of time. That just opens you up to abuse. What I mean by a free trial is you pick a few short pieces of content within your course and offer them for free to anyone who signs up for the free trial. After they check out those free pieces, they should be prompted to purchase or enroll before they can access any more information.

3 Reasons Why Free Trials Are Great for Online Courses:

  1. It’s a great way to build your list – make sure you collect emails from anyone before they get access to your free trial. Then you can put them into your drip marketing campaign.
  2. It builds trust – by giving them something valuable for free and letting them play with the product you build trust in your product and how you’re delivering it. Now they’re more comfortable pulling out the credit care for a full purchase.
  3. It let’s you offer something to people who aren’t ready to buy just now. And of course you can then follow up with them later.

Here are the best practices when setting up a free trial for your online course:

  1. Get their email – can’t stress this enough – get an email before they get access to the trial
  2. Give value – make sure what you offer for free is of great value – their evaluating you here and if your free stuff is great, they’ll be much more likely to sign up for the full version
  3. Keep it short – make sure it’s short enough that they can consume it in one visit – you don’t want them leaving before they hit the paywall. I suggest 2-7 minutes – 15 minutes max.
  4. Have a paywall after the free trial – ensure that when the free content has been consumed they are offered the opportunity to pay and sign up for the full version.
  5. Set up an auto responder email campaign for anyone who signs up for your free trial. This should be automated so they start receiving emails shortly after the trial starts.

How do you set up a free trial for your online course?

If you’re a Thinkific customer it’s super easy to set this all up. In fact we do it automatically for you! All you have to do is tick the box for “include in free trial” next to any content item you want in your free trial. We then take care of all the best practices above including collecting emails for you, and offering up a paywall at the end of the free trial, and with our marketing integrations you can set up autoresponder email campaigns in your mailing system of choice.

Of course you could hire a developer to build all this for you, but with Thinkific it’s ready to go in seconds!

Already a Thinkific customer? Check out our support article on how to set up your online course free trial.

Not yet using Thinkific? Create a free account now to check out how easy it is to get started creating and selling your online courses today.

More control over promotions + more

MirandaOnline Course Features1 Comment



We’ve got 4 new features to tell you about this week, and all are things you’ve been asking us for so we’re happy to share!

Our goal is to continually improve the student experience and their learning outcomes, while making it easier for you to administer and deliver your courses.

  Site Wide Promotions

Now, instructors can create coupons that apply not just to a single course, but your choice of a group of courses or even your entire site. Huzzah! These coupons give you the ability to offer things like a free course of the coupon holder’s choosing, or a percentage off any course in your catalogue. The promotion ideas here are almost infinite! Details here.

  Pass / Fail Quizzes

Quizzes are intended to solidify student learning, and you now have the option to show a percentage grade and require a specific score in order to pass. Students will be unable to complete the course until they get a passing grade. Details here.

  Student Notifications

We’ve given you more control over what emails your students automatically receive. Now you can turn off automated student notifications from the system. Find the new options in your dashboard under notifications.

  Private Courses

Marking a course as private allows a published course to remain accessible to existing students, but require new students to contact you for enrollment. This is PERFECT if you want to close enrollments on a course, ensure students meet certain criteria before they join, or do a VIP launch of an upcoming course. Details here.

New High Conversion Landing Pages

MirandaOnline Course Features1 Comment

Mock up laptop on wooden table, isolated

Brand new, high converting landing pages are now available in your Thinkific school!

Course landing pages are the primary selling platform for your online courses – your landing page is where students find out what they’ll be taught, and where they make the decision to purchase your online course.


Today, we are pleased to announce the official release of our newly designed landing pages designed solely to increase sales & signups for your online courses.

The new landing pages have gone through rigorous testing with our beta team. The confirmation is in – the new landing page gets the nod of approval from both instructors and students alike, and the numbers confirm they lead to more signups for your courses!

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115+ Free Stock Photos for Your Online Courses [Free Download]

MirandaOnline Course Success SeriesLeave a Comment

One of the single most valuable things you can do as an online course creator is to make your courses look AMAZING. Before your students will read your words, they will be drawn to your images. Simply put, stunning images will mean more attention, by more people, and ultimately more students!

Sourcing gorgeous images for your online courses can be time consuming and expensive, so we’ve done the legwork for you. We’ve created a download of 115 of our favourite free stock images and pre-sized them for your Thinkific banners and course cards, so they’re ready to go!

Ready to check them out? Download My 115+ FREE Stock Images Now

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Turn Your eBook into an Interactive Online Course

MirandaOnline Course Success Series4 Comments


coursesuccess_bannerToday we’ve got a video showing how you can quickly create interactive online courses from your existing eBooks. Unlike traditional eBooks which have no interaction between students and no insight into who is reading the content, creating a course from your eBook content creates a fully interactive course experience.

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