Sell More Online Courses with Sales Widgets

Thinkific TeamCourse Marketing13 Comments

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There’s a lot of work involved in marketing and selling online courses. You can’t just launch a course and expect people to find it. You need to optimize it for search engines, create content that attracts traffic, maybe run some ads, or try any number of marketing strategies.

The big problem is getting people to your site. There are millions of sites out there and your audience – the people who need to buy your course – are on many of those sites. You need to convince them to leave those sites and come to yours to buy your course.

But what if there was a way they could buy it right from those sites? What if, instead of seeing your ad or link and then maybe clicking through, they saw your course right there and bought it? Wouldn’t it be awesome if that could happen?

Well, that’s why we created the Sales Widget! Read on to see how this works.

What Is a Sales Widget?

Sales widgets are a great way to promote and sell your online courses on another website.

With no design or technical experience required, sales widgets enable you to create a button or card that’s completely customized to your brand, and easily embed it on a third-party site; be it your blog, a forum, or any other channel on which you have an audience!

In fact, there’s a sales widget on this blog! If you look at the sidebar on the right, you’ll see a widget for a a course on ‘Getting started with Thinkific’. The course is hosted on another site, but we’re able to display it here with the Sales Widget. And, you can enroll in it right now without leaving this page. That’s the beauty of it!

For step-by-step instructions on creating a sales widget, head to our knowledge base.

How to Use It

Ok, now that you know how to create a Sales Widget, the big question is: How do you get it on another site? You can’t just ask the New York Times to add your widget to their site. That’s never going to happen. But there are better ways to go about getting your widget out there.

  1. Add it to your other sites If you’ve got a separate blog, or other websites with similar audiences as your online course, instead of redirecting traffic with a link, you can use the Sales Widget.For example, just like we’ve done for this blog’s sidebar, you can also add your course to your blog. If your blog attracts a lot of traffic, they’ll see the widget and some might just buy the course right there. You can even write targeted blog posts and embed it in the post.
  2. Ask your friends or affiliates If you don’t have any other sites or blogs, you can ask your network. The entrepreneurship community is filled with people who love helping each other out. You can reach out to people who know and support you and ask them to add your widget to their site, if your audiences align.In fact, some of your biggest supporters are your students, the ones who’ve already bought your course. If your course helped them, they’ll be more than willing to help promote you by displaying your widget on their sites.Finally, you can reach out to your affiliate network to add your widget to their sites.
  3. Guest post You probably already know that guest posts are a great way to get your brand out there and perhaps get a link back. Well, if you’ve built up a good relationship with the editor of a blog you guest post on, you can try to squeeze in a widget or two in your guest posts, as long as it’s pertinent to the topic. After all, you don’t want to come off as spammy.
  4. Buy ad space If you run display ads on other sites, you can possibly get your widget in the ad space, instead of using a banner. This will work if you’re paying by time or impressions. The advantage here is that your display ad is just an extra step between potential customers and your course. If people are clicking on your display ads, then using a widget instead will get them to checkout faster.
  5. Post it to forums and submission sites There are lots of niche forums and sites where you can submit your content or courses. Some even allow you to add HTML, which is what you’ll need to post your widget there. If you’re a regular contributor to any of these sites, you could potentially promote your courses there with widgets. Again, don’t be spammy about it. Make sure it’s relevant to the discussion and that you’re known in the community.

Innovate!

These 5 ideas should be a great place to start, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more ways to sell your online courses with the Sales Widget. Every instance where you’re trying to get people to leave one site and come to yours is an opportunity to use your widget.

The Sales Widget is available to you if you already use Thinkific. And if not, what are you waiting for? Thinkific is the best platform for creating and selling online courses. Start for free and access the Sales Widget now.

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We’d love to hear your ideas if you’re using your Sales Widget in other places! Leave a comment below!

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  • Wow – this is PERFECT. I just finished a test launch of my online course and in thinking through taking it to the next level one of my top thoughts was, “I wish there were a more seamless way to get people from my sales page – or an affiliate’s email promotion – into enrolling for a specific course.” This is it – my wish has been granted! Perfect timing. Thanks, Thinkific is terrific.

    • Thinkific Team

      Hi Maryn! Awesome, glad you like it! Let us know how it goes 🙂

  • Debra

    Hey folks, I just tried out your sales widget with your demo example. It doesn’t appear to give an option to sign in (instead of creating an account). The widget doesn’t allow me to scroll down to see the phrase “I already have an account”. I have to manually move the widget up and expand the widget further down to find it. Most folks won’t bother trying to do that. Is there any way to allow scrolling? Or show that option near the top?

    • Debra

      I was having problems using Firefox. When I tried it using Chrome, the widget functioned just fine – I could scroll and see everything.

      • Greg Smith

        Thanks Debra! We’ll look into it as well, but I think it’s functioning. Also, most people who use the sales widget are more concerned with making the sale with it, rather than signing in. If you need a sign in area, we’ve got some other ways to set that up too. But we’ll stay on top of this and ensure it’s working well too.

    • Greg Smith

      Looks like it’s working for you now. For support issues, feel free to reach out to our support team inside your account.

  • Debra

    **Catherine reached out via email**
    Question: If we’re supposed to be able to ask to have our sales widgets on other websites (such as our affiliates), how do we arrange for them to receive their affiliate commissions for sales through the widget that’s on their site?

    • Greg Smith

      Hi Debra, Looks like Catherine got in touch with you back when you posted to discuss this.

  • Hello from beautiful Montana,

    Just studying how, where, when and why to get a couple of courses up and running like crazy. This information will really help.

    Thanks so much for sharing,
    Judy Helm Wright

    • Thinkific Team

      Hi Judy,

      No problem, happy we could help!

  • Chris

    So to make sure I am understanding this, am I able to make a Sales Widget that my affiliates can put on their site and get credit for the sale via that widget?

    • Thinkific Team

      Hi Chris,

      For now, you can use the Sales Widget to link directly to your course landing pages/checkout pages from your own channels but we are planning to make it so that you can easily generate Sales Widgets for your affiliates to use, so watch out for that!

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