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The Epic 8,000-Word Guide To Creating An Evergreen Course Funnel That Sells Your Course 24/7

(So You Never Have To Do Repeated Product Launches Again)

 

FREE EVERGREEN COURSE FUNNEL MASTER GUIDE & WORKFLOW

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by Neal Samudre in Recent Articles
Read the DEFINITIVE 8,000-word guide to creating an evergreen course funnel that sells your online courses 24/7. By the end of this step-by-step strategy, you should never have to do repeated product launches again! Article contains FREE Master Guide & FREE Project Workflow in Trello.

The last time I launched a product, I didn’t leave my house for an entire week.

True story. Even my neighbor who never leaves the house was surprised by my lack of sun. In fact, when I stepped outside, she said …

“I haven’t seen you in a while!”

… 😒

As funny as this story may seem, this is actually common for many people who do big product launches.

… Okay, they may leave the house at least ONCE, but you get the picture!

For those of you who don’t know what I mean when I say product launch, here’s a working definition for this article:

A product launch is a strategy that involves getting a large amount of sales by opening and closing the cart for a limited time (typically a week’s time) 1-2 times throughout the year.

Doing repeated product launches are a PAIN. They involve …

  • Massive stress.
  • A huge time investment.
  • A ton of collaboration.
  • A large amount of planning and creative energy.
  • Late nights of closing the cart.

If product launches were the only way to sell a ton of courses, I would accept this as the cost of doing business.

But fortunately for us, product launches are not the only way to sell your course.

There is a way to sell your course every day …

  • Without stress …
  • Without a large time-investment …
  • Without a thousand moving parts …
  • And most of all … with just about the same amount of profit.

When I discovered this way, I swore to never put myself through another product launch again. So if you’re someone who’s tired of launching and the insane amount of hustle it involves, this way should be music to your ears.

In this article, I’m going to show you the EXACT step-by-step strategy for building an evergreen course funnel. An evergreen course funnel is a strategy that allows you to sell your course everyday on autopilot, as opposed to large open and close cart launches.

Now, just a word of caution … this is a meaty article (about 8,000+ words). In this article, I’m first going to show you why you might consider building an evergreen course funnel and then I’ll take you into the mechanics of how to strategically build one the smart way.

To navigate your way through this article, refer to this table of contents:


Reasons to move away from only doing product launches

Is there anything good about a product launch?

Introducing the better way of selling online courses

Why do a product launch at all?

How to execute a flawless product launch

The most important part of your live product launch

The anatomy of a great evergreen course funnel

The best tools for building your evergreen course funnel

Step #1: Record your automated webinar

Step #2: Automate your webinar recording

Step #3: Write the rest of your emails

Step #4: Automate your email delivery

Step #5: Create your upsell

Step #6: Establish your follow-up system

The ultimate evergreen course recap

Next steps


Now let’s begin!

BONUS: Click here if you want my FREE master guide and project workflow template to help speed up your creation of this evergreen course funnel!

Reasons to move away from only doing product launches

Before we dig into how to build an evergreen course funnel, l want to share with you all the reasons I decided to step away from open and close cart launches.

If any of these points about product launches bother you, then should consider building an evergreen course funnel for your business …

1. Product launches depend on you putting all your eggs in one basket.

You know what was one of the main reasons why I became an entrepreneur? I was terrified of having one income source.

What would happen if I were to suddenly be laid off? How would my family survive?

That thought alone was enough to make me an entrepreneur.

And yet, the same thought applies to product launches …

Why put all your eggs in one basket? Why depend your entire business on ONE event?

Now, I get as an entrepreneur you might have several income streams outside of your main product launch. But these income streams most likely pale in comparison to your main product launch. This means, a majority of your business’ revenue will only come in chunks possibly twice a year.

That sounds eerily similar to putting all my hope in one big revenue stream.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Diversify, survive, and grow.

2. Product launches typically have unforeseen dangers you never discover until you’re in the moment.

One time I did a product launch with a client and our webinar software decided to boot the 1,000+ who were attending the webinar off the broadcast. Talk about STRESS.

This would’ve been redeemable if this weren’t a product launch. Only problem was, it was product launch, and we only had one shot at making this webinar work.

The trouble with product launches is they almost always have unforeseen dangers that have the potential to crash the entire operation. Who wants to deal with that?

3. Repeated product launches are just plain STRESSFUL.

When that webinar booted our attendees off, you know what I felt? STRESS.

STRESS is the defining feature of product launches, and it’s also one of the top reasons why I hate product launches.

The week during that product launch, I had a serious talk with my wife. We sat at our kitchen table, and she said …

“I’m afraid you’re going to burnout soon.”

That is why I hate repeated product launches … because if your stress is so high that others comment on it, then you’re most likely doing something wrong.

4. Big product launches force “ready-to-buy” leads to wait.

Just yesterday, I had a big payment drop in my PayPal account from someone who wasn’t on my email list for 2 minutes yet. This person was ready to buy!

But imagine if he jumped on my email list, and I said something like …

“Wait! I know I can solve your problem, and I want your money! But … wait 3 months to give me your money. Then I’ll solve your problem.”

People hungry for solutions don’t sit around and twiddle their thumbs. They either find the solution from you, or they go somewhere else with their money.

Now, you could make the case for having a tripwire product that’s for sale all the time … but I like giving people the BEST answer to their problem right upfront. This means, I don’t want them to implement a lite version of what I have to offer, and have them wait for my big offer. I want them to get my big offer if they are willing to do so.

5. Final reason: if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.

This is possibly the biggest reason why product launches don’t work for me. You could invest a ton of money and time in a new product launch strategy you believe will sell like crazy. But if it doesn’t work, then it doesn’t work.

Is there anything good about a product launch?

Product launches are NOT bad … they just might not be your cup of tea.

I’ve seen friends make millions with their product launches. So obviously, product launches get something right.

I need you to listen carefully on this one: If you plan to ditch product launches entirely, you’re wrong.

Product launches get several things right. This means, we must take everything that works with product launches, and turn it into something new.

Here’s what product launches get right …

1. Product launches absolutely nail the nurture needed for a sale.

Jeff Walker struck genius when he developed the idea of having 3 videos for pre-launch content. He understood that for a sale online to take place, a couple elements were needed:

  • Trust.
  • Buzz.
  • And education.

Basically, people need to trust you with their money. By seeing a video of you, you overcome these trust barriers easily.

Also, in order for a buying frenzy to take place, you need to build buzz for your upcoming launch. Each video foreshadows a future excitement, and keeps building up until everything blows open on launch day.

And finally, people need to be educated before they buy into your solution. They need to know what they’re buying and why they’re buying it.

All of this is part of the necessary nurture a lead needs to buy from you. Genius!

2. Product launches have true scarcity.

An open and close cart launchwhere people don’t have access to the product until you open the doors againis the ultimate scarcity. This is why product launches can pull off massive sales in a short amount of time … because people truly won’t have access to the product again!

I mean, I STILL beat myself up for not acting on some product launches out there. Now I have to wait for an entire year to get their product!

Whenever you release a product, you need an element of scarcity to drive your sales. If no scarcity exists, you’re not mobilizing people who are on the fence to buy from you right then and there. In other words, you’re missing out.

Open and close cart launches have the scarcity element figured out. But there are ways to overcome that in the new strategy … more on that later!

3. Product launches capture the excitement of being LIVE.

There’s nothing more exciting than watching something live. It captures an energy and momentum that you can’t truly replicate in another setting.

When you open the cart there’s a feeling in the air, and your potential buyers feel it! It electrifies them and pushes them to buy right then and there.

But what happens if they don’t have this energy? What happens when they get the sense that this isn’t live?

Well … they are less excited to buy, which means, they’ll probably buy later or not buy at all.

The momentum of a live product launch creates a literal buying frenzy. If you’re going to move away from product launches, you still need a way to create momentum for your buyers … otherwise, you’re squandering your sales.

If these reasons show us anything, it’s this: product launches can’t be abandoned entirely. They just need to be modified.

Introducing the better way of selling online courses

So what is the alternative to doing big open and close cart launches? How can someone capture the momentum, scarcity, and nurture of a product launch while avoiding the hustle and stress of doing it every time?

Simple. We have to take what works for live product launches and turn it into an evergreen course funnel.

In other words, the alternative to doing big product launches is to create and optimize a stellar funnel to sell your course every day.

But listen to me carefully because this is really important …

We’re not entirely abandoning the traditional product launch method. We’re still going to do a product launch. We’re just going to be strategic about it and have it sell for us all the time.

BONUS: Click here if you want my FREE master guide and project workflow template to help speed up your creation of this evergreen course funnel!

Why do a product launch at all?

There are two very valid reasons why you should do a big product launch at least once.

First reason …

Before we create an evergreen course funnel, we need to test whether your course will sell with all your marketing assets. We need to test this before we put any paid traffic into your funnel.

If your course doesn’t sell well organically (meaning, to traffic you own like your email list), then it won’t sell well when you put paid traffic behind it.

A product launch is how we’re going to test whether your course will sell.

Second reason is simple …

Your course deserves to be launched.

To explain this, let me tell you a story.

I recently met a man who spent almost an entire decade writing a book. When he finished, it was pretty much the greatest work ever.

But you know what he did with it? He didn’t go screaming about it on rooftops.

Instead, he shelved it. He whispered about it to a few people. But for the most part, the world did not know about this groundbreaking book. What a tragedy.

If you do not build up buzz and excitement around your course, then NO ONE will be excited to buy it. If you believe your course has the potential to make a huge impact in people’s lives, then it deserves a launch. It needs to be made into a big deal.

If the world needs your course, then let’s make sure the world hears about it.

How to execute a flawless product launch

So the absolute first step to creating an evergreen course funnel is to execute a product launch. If done right, this will be the ONLY time you will do a product launch.

Once you execute the product launch, we’ll take all the marketing assets you created during the launch and (depending on their performance during the live launch) we’ll rearrange them so they form a stellar evergreen course funnel.

Now, it’s important to understand how a normal product launch works …

A product launch is made up of 4 distinct phases:

  1. Pre-Launch Content
  2. Earlybird
  3. Mid-Week Launch
  4. Close Cart

The pre-launch content is typically 3 videos (popularized by Jeff Walker). These three videos pose a problem your subscribers are facing, agitates that problem, and then provides them with a solution. All of this content is delivered the week before cart opens.

Monday: Video #1 delivers

Wednesday: Video #2 delivers

Friday: Video #3 delivers

The earlybird phase begins the day before the cart opens. You send an email on Monday giving a preview of your course and then open your cart on Tuesday. From Tuesday to Wednesday at midnight, you would offer an incentive to promote early buying.

Monday: Preview Email

Tuesday: Cart Open Email

Wednesday: Earlybird Incentive Expires Email

The mid-week launch phase happens over the weekend. During this timeframe, you typically want to offer an incentive to promote buying over the lull of the weekend.

Friday: Introduce Mid-Week Bonus

Saturday: Mid-Week Bonus Reminder

Sunday: Final Call for Bonus

Then in the close cart phase, you start bringing things in for a landing. You throw in a case study on Monday, remind people that the cart is closing the next day on Tuesday, and then close the cart on Wednesday.

Monday: Case Study Email

Tuesday: Close Cart Reminder Email

Wednesday: Last Chance Emails

All four phases laid out on a calendar would look like this …

 

This is your standard product launch. Below is an outline of all the critical emails you’ll send during a standard product launch:

  1. Pre-Launch Video #1 Email – Sends on Monday
  2. Pre-Launch Video #1 Reminder Email – Sends on Tuesday if they didn’t open last email
  3. Pre-Launch Video #2 Email – Sends on Wednesday
  4. Pre-Launch Video #2 Reminder Email – Sends on Thursday if they didn’t open last email
  5. Pre-Launch Video #3 Email – Sends on Friday
  6. All-Access Pass (link to all videos) + Webinar Invite – Sends on Saturday
  7. Product Preview + Webinar Invite Email – Sends on Monday
  8. Cart Open Email – Sends on Tuesday
  9. Last Day for Earlybird Email – Sends on Wednesday
  10. Earlybird Expires Email – Sends Wednesday PM
  11. Mid-Week Bonus Intro Email – Sends Friday
  12. Mid-Week Bonus Reminder Email – Sends Saturday
  13. Mid-Week Bonus Expires Email – Sends Sunday
  14. Case Study Email – Sends Monday
  15. Cart Closing Tomorrow Email – Sends Tuesday
  16. Last Day Email – Wednesday AM
  17. Last Day Reminder Email – Wednesday PM
  18. Last Call Email – Wednesday before midnight

Your eyes are not deceiving you. A typical product launch is at least 18 emails.

NOTE: during a live product launch, there are more emails that send out to different segments of your audience. This is just a broad overview of your launch, which includes critical emails to include during a live launch.

For an evergreen course funnel, we’re going to cut this down significantly, so don’t worry.

ANOTHER NOTE: a live product launch will also have a great upsell offer once people buy. This will come in handy for your funnel later, so keep this in mind!

BONUS: Click here if you want my FREE master guide and project workflow template to help speed up your creation of this evergreen course funnel!

The most important part of your live product launch

While this part might not seem as important during your live launch, it is VERY important in your evergreen course funnel.

What am I talking about? The webinar that happens on the Monday night before open cart.

In the evergreen course funnel, this webinar will be your main selling asset.

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to get it perfect during your live launch. The only thing you have to master is your content. If the content of your webinar doesn’t amaze, you’re hurting your funnel.

What I typically recommend is for a person to do a live webinar during the launch, and then re-recording it for the evergreen course funnel.

Why? Because again, we want to nail this presentation. Live webinars tend to go long, but if you’re re-recording it, you can tighten the experience (more on this later).

Here’s how to script a webinar that sells …

  1. Introduction
    • Welcome
    • Introduce yourself
    • Big promise
    • Ground rules
    • Hook
    • Old way vs. new way
  2. Secrets
    • Your content
    • Ways in which your content is different
  3. Pitch
    • Two options
    • Introduce product
    • What’s included
    • Total value of the course vs. actual price of course
    • Limited-time deal (fast action bonus)
    • Q&A
    • End

There are more things you could add to this script, but this is the barebones template I use to draft my webinars.

In the Introduction, you’ll …

  • Welcome your attendees.
  • Give them a brief bio of yourself.
  • Introduce the big promise people will achieve by attending your webinar.
  • State the rules of the webinar, like turn off devices or follow along in a workbook.
  • Define the hook, which is an incentive you give to people who stay until the end of your webinar.
  • Describe the old way of doing things (this is where your attendees are currently at most likely), and state there is a new way for achieving your big promise.

In the Secrets section, you’ll …

  • Teach your content in the form of secrets and tips (ex: tip #1, tip #2, tip #3).
  • Weave in ways your content is different from what others believe or what other teach on your subject matter.

In the Pitch section, you’ll …

  • Give two options for moving forward. Typically includes something about continuing to struggle with your subject matter vs. fast-tracking success with your course.
  • Introduce your product and state the main benefits.
  • Describe what’s included with your product (modules, services, bonuses, etc.)
  • Say the total value of all that’s included in your course (ex: “all of this is worth $3k), and then tell your attendees what you’ll actually be charging (ex: “but for today, I’ll charge just $300).
  • Give details about your webinar-only deal (a fast action bonus you deliver if people buy live).
  • Answer questions people have while keeping your buy link on the screen.
  • End the webinar.

If you follow this script, you’ll for sure create a flawless presentation during your live launch.

The anatomy of a great evergreen course funnel

By now, you’ve completed your live product launch. You’re tired and exhausted. But don’t worry … you won’t have to do this again 🙂

Now, it’s finally time to start building your evergreen course funnel.

Remember, your evergreen course funnel will reuse elements from your live launch, such as …

  • Your webinar.
  • Your pre-launch content.
  • Your emails.

There are 4 distinct phases we’ll build for your evergreen course funnel …

  1. The Webinar Phase
  2. The Bridge Phase
  3. The Launch Phase
  4. The Follow-Up Phase

When it’s all put together, it’ll look something like this …

If you don’t understand this yet, don’t worry because I’m going to break down the different phases in depth.

But first, let’s talk about the tools needed to start building this funnel.

BONUS: Click here if you want my FREE master guide and project workflow template to help speed up your creation of this evergreen course funnel!

The best tools for building your evergreen course funnel

The first question many people ask me when we talk about evergreen course funnels is always …

“What tools do you recommend?”

Before we start building out this funnel, I’m going to tell you all the tools you need and can benefit from. Here we go!

1. Drip (aff link), Infusionsoft, or ActiveCampaign – An email marketing automation platform

Your email marketing automation software will power this funnel. The best ones I recommend are Drip (aff link), Infusionsoft, and ActiveCampaign. I personally use Drip, but have built funnels in these platforms.

First, you CANNOT build this funnel in a list-based email marketing software like MailChimp or Aweber. You need powerful automation and tagging to power this funnel, and you’ll see why soon. You can build this funnel with ConvertKit and EasyWebinar, but I haven’t honestly tried that yet, so I can’t recommend it.

Now, to talk about Drip (aff link), Infusionsoft, and ActiveCampaign … 

Drip (aff link) is lightweight marketing automation that’s low-priced, and will allow you to build beautiful visual workflows. And you can start out for FREE if you have less than 100 subscribers.

Infusionsoft costs an arm and a leg, and is super technical. BUT it’s crazy powerful. In my opinion, it’s still the best automation platform out there, even if it’s complicated.

And ActiveCampaign is moderately priced, but is clunky in my opinion. It’ll allow you to do what you need it to do, and that’s what matters!

2. EasyWebinar or EverWebinar (aff link) – An automated webinar platform

For this funnel, we’ll have a webinar broadcast at all times of the day. This is what’s called an automated webinar (as opposed to a live webinar).

In my opinion, EasyWebinar and EverWebinar (aff link) are the best at this. What really helps with these two platforms is that they allow you to segment your attendees based on the behavior they take inside the webinar.

You’ll see why this comes in handy later …

3. ClickFunnels or another a landing page software/website

Your evergreen course funnel requires a lot of pages to be built. For the best performing landing pages, I recommend ClickFunnels.

ClickFunnels will allow you to build all the pages you need for your funnel in just minutes. You can create webinar registration pages, shopping carts, sales pages, and more. Plus, they have really great split-testing if you’re into that stuff.

Alternatively, you can build all the landing pages you need inside of your website. But if you’re looking for some ready to use templates that are optimized for conversions, my vote is ClickFunnels.

4. Zapier

Zapier allows your different apps to speak to each other, which will automate your funnel and help you do less. It’s been absolutely critical in linking together the different apps for my funnel.

For instance, when a purchase is made in your online course platform, you can use Zapier to tag that customer in your email marketing provider. This is vital for the success of your funnel.

5. Screenflow or Camtasia

For this funnel, you will have to record a webinar presentation and edit it down to perfection. I do this using Screenflow, which allows you to record screen capture, and edit your recorded video.

If you’re using a Mac, use Screenflow. If you’re using a PC, use Camtasia.

6. Deadline Funnel

You need scarcity and urgency for your course to sell. You do this by having your offer expire after a certain time. But how can you do this?

Easy. With Deadline Funnel, you can incorporate countdown timers and redirects into your funnel. So when you say you only have 5 days to claim an offer, you mean it.

7. Google Docs

I am a copywriter who writes a TON of copy. I do all of my copywriting in Google Docs. Why? Because I like how easy it is to share with others, and I like having all my copy in the cloud.

For this funnel, you’ll be writing a lot of copy. I recommend using Google Docs for this copy!

8. Google Slides or another presentation software

I use Google Slides for my presentations. Why? Again, because I like the cloud. But for this funnel, you’ll need to record a slidedeck, so you’ll need a software like Keynote, Powerpoint, or Google Slides to get the job done.

9. Thinkific (aff link)/Teachable or another online course platform

Now, I’m writing this from the perspective that you already have an online course to sell. But if you don’t, then you need a platform to host your online course.

I recommend using something like Thinkific (aff link) or Teachable to host your online course. They’re simple to setup, and handle all the nitty-gritty details of selling a course online with ease.

Quick note before we start

Alright, we’re ready to build your evergreen course funnel!

But word of warning: this is NOT something you can build quickly. It will require time and patience.

Follow these instructions, and you’ll have the ultimate selling asset for your online course.

BONUS: Click here if you want my FREE master guide and project workflow template to help speed up your creation of this evergreen course funnel!

Step #1: Record your automated webinar

Now, in our evergreen course funnel, your webinar will be at the top of the funnelmeaning, your webinar comes first.

You’re probably wondering … how does my webinar come first? Does this mean I have to do a live webinar every day?

The answer is no 🙂

We’re trying to make life easy for you with this funnel.

Instead, we’ll be turning your live webinar into an automated webinar. This means, your webinar will broadcast to your attendee at the time they choose. So if they choose to watch a webinar at 1pm tomorrow, the webinar will automatically start up for them at that time, as if you’re doing it live.

Pretty nifty!

So the first step to creating an evergreen course funnel is to build your automated webinar.

You’ll be reusing the content from the webinar you did during your live launch. But I DON’T recommend using the exact same recording from your live launch.

Why? Because in my experience, webinar done during live launches tend to go long. This is okay when you’re speaking to your own audience because they’re your fans, so they’ll stick around when your webinar goes long.

But if we’re rearranging the funnel so your webinar comes first, then you need to cut to the chase a lot faster.

I recommend using the same content, but re-recording different parts of your webinar to tighten the experience.

You can easily re-record and splice together an edited version of your webinar using Screenflow. It’s my number one tool for screen capture, editing, and recording.

Here are a couple tips for when you re-record your webinar:

1. Never mention the date or time.

While you might mention important dates in your live launch (like open cart and close cart), do NOT do this in your evergreen version.

Why? Because the moment you mention something that doesn’t fit with where your attendee is at, you break the experience.

Our goal is to simulate a live experience as much as possible. This means, never giving any time reference.

2. Never mention that your webinar is LIVE.

Be honest. Your webinar is not live, so don’t say it is. If your attendee discovers that it’s not live after you specifically say it is, it’ll leave a bad taste in their mouth.

Remember, with the evergreen course funnel, your webinar is going to be the first interaction your subscribers have with you. You’ll start the relationship off on the wrong not if you lie to them.

3. Answer the same questions from the live launch webinar.

Answering questions are important in a webinar because it’s how you overcome the objections your attendees may have. So even though you aren’t answering questions live, you should still answer questions.

Use this simple script when re-recording your webinar …

“Here are some questions people have sent in …”

And then transition into answering the questions.

4. Use scarcity to drive sales, just as you would in a live launch webinar.

Implementing scarcity in a live launch webinar is simple. All you have to do is end the fast-action bonus offer at the end of the live webinar.

But since people will be coming into this webinar at different times, how can you implement scarcity?

The trick is to use marketing automation 🙂

Use a program like Drip (aff link), Infusionsoft, or Active Campaign to expire the offer for you.

In Infusionsoft, you can actually expire the page people buy from when the webinar ends. In Drip and ActiveCampaign, you have to get a little fancy. You can integrate with tools like Deadline Funnel (my personal fave), and have Deadline Funnel expire the page with the special deal.

But you also need a webinar tool that tracks and segments the behavior of your attendees in order to achieve this. We’ll get into that next …

Step #2: Automate your webinar recording

Now that you have a finished recording of your webinar, it’s time to plug that sucker in an automated webinar tool.

My two favorites are EasyWebinar and EverWebinar.

With EasyWebinar and EverWebinar, you can create your first evergreen webinar in just minutes.

Plus, you can segment your attendees based on the behaviors they take during your webinar. This will be KEY for building out the rest of your evergreen course funnel.

For the most part, EasyWebinar and EverWebinar will guide you through how to set up your webinar. But here are the important parts I don’t want you to miss …

1. Set your webinar to either broadcast every day or on the following day.

In both EasyWebinar and EverWebinar, you have the option to choose the frequency of your event (how many times it’ll broadcast, and at what times).

In EasyWebinar, it looks like this …

In EverWebinar, choosing your event frequency looks like this …

If you look closely on both screens, you’ll see there is a “just in time” registration option. What this means is, EverWebinar and EasyWebinar will display the next available broadcast as happening in the next 15 to 60 minutes from the time a person arrives on the registration page.

Basically, it’ll give your registrant the feeling like they’re “just in time.”

On both screens, I’ve set the “just in time” option to happen in the next 30 minutes. So a new broadcast will start every 30 minutes.

NOW, here’s the catch … I don’t recommend this for all webinars.

Here’s my rule of thumb …

If you have a high-ticket product (~$1,000 dollars), then give people a day between the time they register and the time they watch.

If you have a lower priced product (~$100-$500), then enable “just in time” registration.

The reason I do this is, for higher priced products, I want there to be a bit more nurture. So I will create a show-up sequence (the emails your registrants get to prioritize attendance to the webinar) that will do the job of both making sure someone attends AND educating them on why they need a solution to their problem fast.

For a lower priced product, I don’t include so much nurture beforehand. Instead, I just let the webinar do its job.

2. Put your show-up emails in the webinar software.

Your show-up emails are the emails your registrants get to help prioritize attendance to the webinar. I would put those emails in your webinar app so they deliver depending on the time of the broadcast.

In EasyWebinar, it looks like this …

In EverWebinar, it looks like this …

These emails can be the same emails you used to prioritize attendance during your live launch webinar. But I would typically have them follow this time schedule.

  • Email #1 – Confirmation (sends immediately)
  • Email #2 – 24 hours before
  • Email #3 – 6 hours before (or the morning of)
  • Email #4 – 1 hour before
  • Email #5 – 15 minutes before

Your registrant won’t get all of these emails depending on the time of their broadcast. If they did a “just in time” option, they would only get the last email. But if you set your webinar to broadcast a day later, they would get all the emails.

Again, set these up to send through your webinar app.

3. Make sure your call-to-action buttons lead to the right pages.

In EasyWebinar and EverWebinar, you can have timed CTA buttons that pop up during your presentation. So when you deliver your offer in the presentation, you should have BUY NOW button pop up.

An offer button in EasyWebinar!

But here’s the thing …

Your CTA in the webinar should lead to a short-form sales page where your buy button is close to the top of the page.

Here’s why: if people are clicking through from your webinar, they’re hot leads who are ready to buy. They don’t need to read your long-form sales page because they don’t need to be sold on your product. They’ve already decided they want to buy.

A great webinar sales page will have …

  1. The buy now button or pricing table close to the top of the page.
  2. Objections and FAQ underneath this pricing table.
  3. A money-back guarantee listed somewhere on the page.
  4. Testimonials.

That’s all you need for a webinar sales page. You don’t need long copy to nurture the leads who are clicking through from your webinar.

4. Segment your attendees based on their behavior.

This is the most important part of your webinar setup because this will determine how the rest of your sequence plays out.

In both EasyWebinar and EverWebinar, you have the option of segmenting your audience in your email marketing automation app (like Infusionsoft or Drip) based on the actions they take during the webinar.

This is powerful stuff!

Here’s how this looks in EasyWebinar …

Here’s how this looks in EverWebinar …

NOTE: This feature only works for Infusionsoft and ActiveCampaign currently

In both apps, we’re adding tags to registrants in our email marketing tool. What you would do is add a tag for …

  1. People who register.
  2. People who attend.
  3. People who don’t show.
  4. People who show up, but leave early (before your offer).
  5. People who see the offer.

Here’s how this will affect the rest of our evergreen course funnel …

If people don’t show up OR leave before the offer, we want to nurture them more. If people see the offer, but don’t take action, we want them to follow-up with them to give them time to decide.

I’ll explain this more in-depth in a later section.

Step #3: Write the rest of your emails

You might be scared by this headline because you remember all the writing you had to do for your product launch.

 

Well, I have good news for you.

To make our evergreen course funnel, we’re going to reuse the SAME emails you wrote for your product launch, with the exception of your replay emails.

We are going to make 3 sets of emails …

  1. Replay Emails
  2. Bridge Emails
  3. Launch Emails

Let’s start with the replay emails …

Your replay emails are incredibly simple. They’re only going to send to the segment that misses your webinar or leaves early. And we’re only going to send them one email about the replay. So essentially, you’ll only write 2 replay emails …

Replay Email #1 – for those who MISSED the webinar

Example Subject: You missed it

Replay Email #2 – for those who left early

Example Subject: Come back

Again, this is why it’s so important to segment your webinar attendees. If you don’t know who missed the webinar or left early, then you won’t know who to send the replay emails to.

Now, to answer the question you’re probably thinking … why don’t we send the replay to those who attended and saw the offer?

They’ll get the replay, just in a different email 🙂 More on that later.

That is your replay emails in a nutshell. The goal of these emails is to give one chance for people to watch the presentation.

Next are your Bridge Emails.

Your Bridge Emails build buzz and excitement for your launch by providing the nurture needed for a sale.

So can you guess what your Bridge Emails are going to be?

If you guessed your Pre-Launch Content (the 3 videos and emails you wrote during your live launch, you are absolutely correct!).

Pre-Launch Content → Bridge Emails

So you should already have these emails written from your live launch.

Next up is your Launch Emails.

These emails are the ones you sent when your cart was open.

In your evergreen course funnel, these emails become the follow-up to your webinar, and will send immediately to people who watched the webinar all the way through. The people who left early or missed the webinar will have to go through the Bridge Emails before they get launched to. I’ll explain that here in a bit …

But first, I want you to know something: we’re going to drastically cut down the emails you send during your launch sequence. You’re not going to send a bajillion emails like you did during your live launch.

Here are all the emails we’re cutting:

  1. Cart Open Email
  2. Last Day for Earlybird Email
  3. Earlybird Expires Email
  4. Mid-Week Bonus Intro Email
  5. Mid-Week Bonus Reminder Email
  6. Mid-Week Bonus Expires Email
  7. Case Study Email
  8. Cart Closing Tomorrow Email
  9. Last Day Email
  10. Last Day Reminder Email
  11. Last Call Email

That’s rightwe’re cutting away all the bonuses and special deals with your evergreen course funnel.

The reason is, setting up bonus deliveries complicates your setup. Plus, we want to shorten the timeframe of your launch sequence so they only get pitched to for 5 days.

Here’s what your new launch sequence will look like:

  1. Cart Open Email
  2. Story/Testimonials Email
  3. Packages Email
  4. Case Study Email
  5. Last Day/FAQ Email
  6. Last Call – Sends in the evening of the last email

This is a short and sweet launch sequence. As you can see, we’re adding an email where you’ll give testimonials about your course, or share your own story in developing this course (if you don’t have testimonials).

We’ll also be adding a Packages email, where you’ll talk about the different packages to your course (if there are some). If you don’t have packages you want to highlight, then I would make this email your FAQ email.

The launch period will only be open for 5 days.

So to recap this step, here are all the emails you should account for:

REPLAY EMAILS:

  1. Replay Email #1 – for those who MISSED the webinar (sends a few hours after the webinar)
  2. Replay Email #2 – for those who left early (sends a few hours after the webinar)

BRIDGE EMAILS:

  1. Pre-Launch Video #1 Email
  2. Pre-Launch Video #1 Reminder Email – Sends next day if they didn’t open last email
  3. Pre-Launch Video #2 Email
  4. Pre-Launch Video #2 Reminder Email – Sends next day if they didn’t open last email
  5. Pre-Launch Video #3 Email

LAUNCH EMAILS:

  1. Cart Open Email
  2. Story/Testimonials Email
  3. Packages Email
  4. Case Study Email
  5. Last Day/FAQ Email
  6. Last Call – Sends in the evening of the last email

Again, you’re pretty much re-using the emails from your live product launch.

Step #4: Automate your email delivery

Now that your emails are all written out, it’s time to automate their delivery in your favorite autoresponder!

Remember, this autoresponder has to allow segmentation from your webinar softwaremeaning, you have to be able to track the behavior of your attendees and tag them accordingly in your email marketing platform.

The best email marketing platforms for this are Drip, Infusionsoft, and ActiveCampaign.

If you’re using EasyWebinar, I recommend using Drip.

If you’re using EverWebinar, use Infusionsoft or ActiveCampaign.

Here’s how your attendee’s behavior affects what emails they get …

To explain this: only people who see the offer from your webinar will progress to your launch sequence immediately.

If people did not see your webinar or left before the offer was given, we’re going to assume they need more nurture. That’s why we’re bringing them through the Bridge Emails before we launch to them.

Make sense?

Remember, live product launches absolutely nail the nurture needed for a sale. In your evergreen course funnel, we’re setting it up so that only the people who need nurture get sent the Bridge Emails.

If people saw the offer, but didn’t buy, we’re sending the Launch Emails because we’re assuming they need more time to decide.

After all, it’s hard to jump on a webinar with someone you just met, and buy their high-price product within an hour. With the Launch Emails, we’re giving them time to talk with their spouse, refer to their budget, and determine whether your offer will be good for them.

If you’re unsure how to set up this automation, I recommend hiring a consultant who knows what they’re doing. This setup will make you a lot of cash, so you want to invest in it.

I also know a pretty neat Indian consultant …


Hint: it’s me, not Aziz Ansari 😉

Step #5: Create your upsell

Do you know what really makes evergreen course funnels successful?

UPSELLS.

An upsell is when you, the seller, promote a more expensive offer, upgrade, or add-on, to make a greater profit from a customer.

How this traditionally happens is, a person buys your course, and then you offer a one-click upsell on the next page.

One-click upsells are upsells that can be added to a customer’s order with just one-click. This increases conversions because they don’t have to enter their payment information again.

If you’re confused on how to introduce a one-click upsell to your course, use a shopping cart platform like SamCart. SamCart makes it easy to setup one-click upsells.

Also, you could use ClickFunnels. With ClickFunnels, you can build your payment page and then a one-click upsell offer page that a person gets redirected to once they put in their payment information for your course.

Simple point is this: you NEED upsells if you want to maximize the profits of your course.

Here are some good ideas for upsells:

  1. A done-for-you option so your subscribers can achieve the results faster.
  2. A 1:1 coaching or consulting option so you can hold their hand in achieving your solution.
  3. A higher priced product if you have multiple products to sell.

Just make sure your upsell makes sense with the course you’re selling. A great upsell would be anything that helps a buyer get the solution done faster, get it done easier, or is just a logical next step a person would make once they have your course.

So for instance, if you’re selling a course on shooting great photos, the next step would be learning how to edit those photos (shoutout to one of my clients for this incredible upsell).

Step #6: Establish your follow-up system

So you might be thinking … what happens if people don’t buy from your Launch Sequence? By this point, they’ve seen your webinar, they’ve seen your pre-launch content, and they’ve engaged with your launch, but they still didn’t buy!

How can you follow-up with these people?

Easy. You create a follow-up system.

I’ve seen many businesses stop their marketing after leads pass through the launch sequence, and never engage these leads again.

With a follow-up system, you’ll score more customers for your course, and gain some neat insight on why they didn’t buy earlier.

Now, your follow-up system can take a couple different forms. It can either be …

  1. A Daily Email Campaign (or Long-Term Nurture)
  2. A Sales Call Campaign
  3. Or a Segmentation Campaign (if you have multiple courses to sell)

While you can launch your evergreen course funnel without this part installed yet, it would be a great idea to understand how you’re going to follow-up with your leads, and potentially maximize your ROI from those leads.

So let me break down the different follow-up campaigns!

A Daily Email Campaign (or Long-Term Nurture Campaign) is a consistent series of emails sent to your subscriber with the goal of keeping your product at the top of their mind. With these emails, you can either send them every day (like some marketers online do) or send them 2-3 times a week.

There are two approaches you could take with these emails. You could either:

  1. Provide value in the form of new content (blogs, podcasts, resources around the web).
  2. Be entertaining and engage your subscribers with stories.

If you’re providing value, I recommend sending less emails. Otherwise, you’ll burnout on content. If you’re just being entertaining, then you can go the daily email route.

What makes these emails effective is their call-to-action (CTA). Each email will have a CTA at the end. And guess what these CTAs will point to?

That’s right … buying your course!

If they buy during this phase, I usually recommend excluding bonuses from their offer. Meaning, if they buy during the webinar and launch phase, they could’ve had bonuses included with the offer, making the urgency greater during that period.

By having the course be in front of people during the follow-up, you’re letting your subscribers know that you still have a solution available for them.

A Sales Call Campaign is simple. Basically, if a person didn’t buy from the webinar or launch sequence, we can assume it’s because they needed to talk with someone first.

If you’re comfortable getting on the phone with leads, then here’s how to execute this sequence: just send a couple emails pushing people to apply for a time to talk with you.

But here’s the catch:

Don’t just give people a link to schedule a call with you. Have them fill out an application.

Here’s why … you need to know about their business and why they haven’t bought from you in the first place. This will make your call your productive as you’ll already have a picture of their readiness to buy.

Send these 5 emails with the CTA to apply for a strategy session with you:

  1. Email #1 – Opportunity (what is the opportunity available for your subscriber, and how can you help them achieve this opportunity?)
  2. Email #2 – Common Mistakes (what are common mistakes you see people make, and how can you help them avoid these mistakes?)
  3. Email #3 – Case Study (how have your helped others achieve results?)
  4. Email #4 – Personal Story (how have you personally experience the results of what you’re offering?)
  5. Email #5 – Last Call (tell people this is the last time you’ll offer a free strategy call)

This 5 email sequence for a sales call is crazy effective. Just remember to have your CTAs lead to your application.

If they pass through this sequence and don’t apply for a call, market to them with weekly broadcast emails.

Then finally is a Segmentation Campaign. The goal of this campaign is to put your subscribers into a pitch for another course you might have. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Using a survey.
  • Sending a campaign giving people lead magnets that trigger other course funnels.
  • If you have another automated webinar to another course, pitch those.

By the end of this campaign, the hope is your subscribers will place themselves into another pitch.

The ultimate evergreen course recap

That’s it. That’s how you build an evergreen course funnel to sell your online course 24/7.

Now, let’s recap everything you’ll do:

  1. You’ll do a live product launch of your course, which includes your 3 videos, your live webinar (which you should do for your live launch), and all your sales copy.
  2. You’ll re-record the webinar you used in your live launch.
  3. You’ll automate your webinar recording, paying attention to things like your event frequency, your show-up emails, and your segmentation.
  4. You’ll write any remainder emails you have for your funnel.
  5. You’ll automate your email delivery so it sends to the right people.
  6. You’ll make sure your upsell is running.
  7. You’ll execute a follow-up system.

For all you visual people, here’s a diagram of what this evergreen course funnel looks like when it’s put together …

With all of these actions, you’ll have an UNSTOPPABLE evergreen course funnel.

With an evergreen course funnel, you could have this continual revenue supplement big open and close cart launches. But I recommend, if you choose to go this route, to do an open and close cart product launch on another higher-priced product than the one in your evergreen course funnel.

Next steps

Now, two more things before we part ways …

I know I just hit you with a TON of information. I don’t know about you, but whenever I come across a massive load of information like this, I get stunned and don’t know what to focus on first!

That’s why I created a Trello board that organizes ALL of these elements for you in handy checklists and action items. In one board, you can track your entire workflow for building this evergreen course funnel.

So if you don’t have Trello, I recommend you get it (it’s free, btw). Once you have Trello, you can copy my board and use it for building your own course funnel. I’ll give you instructions on how to do this once you download it.

YOUR EXCLUSIVE BONUS:

Click here and download my FREE master guide and Trello Board to help you strategically build this evergreen course funnel!

Also, the Trello board comes with a master guide on this subject. So if you don’t want to use Trello, you’ll at least have my master guide to help you build your evergreen course funnel.

In the next article, I show you how I price courses in an evergreen course funnel. If you want to have a predictable source of income from an evergreen course funnel, then you need to nail down the price of your offer. I’ll show you my rule-of-thumb for pricing.

If you grab the guide and Trello board, I’ll notify you when the next article is live.

Also, if you want a deep dive into how to build this evergreen course funnel, my suggestion is to buy my course, Double Your Course Sales. It’s currently available for early access, but when everything is polished and ready, I’ll be raising the prices on it. That should happen in the next month or so.

To end things off on the right note, here’s one last Aziz gif for the road …

8 Comments
  1. Laurel says:

    This article is AWESOME Neal! Thank you so much for spending time to create it. I love your step-by-step approach to making creating course funnels a simple and straight-forward process. I already have my sales funnel in place, but I think I’ll now be tweaking it using your strategies!

    1. Neal Samudre says:

      Thanks Laurel! Let me know if you need help with it. You could probably REALLY benefit if you had your lead magnet as an automated webinar, and send your 3 videos to people if they don’t watch the whole webinar OR leave the webinar early.

  2. Pablo says:

    Thanks Neal,

    This blog post is great!. Do you have any other blog post where you go more in details on what to put in the emails? And for a live product launch?

  3. Kitzia says:

    Neal, this was amazing! Thank you so much for explaining this is such a clear manner. 🙂 I’ll give it a try. My only question is if the Bridge emails include links to the Pre-Launch videos or they’re just a short text version of them? Thank you! 🙂

    1. Neal Samudre says:

      They include links to the pre-launch videos 🙂

      1. Kitzia says:

        Thank you! Sounds scary to set this up, but will give it a try!

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