Dornubari Vizor March 28, 2023

Ready, Set, Launch! Online Course Launch Checklist

Are you ready to launch your online course? That’s amazing!

With the growing popularity of online learning, now is the perfect time to share your knowledge and expertise with the world. But before you hit the launch button, there are some key things you’ll want to check off your list.

We have interacted with many online course creators for a while now, and we’ve seen it all! The successes, the challenges, the triumphs, and the setbacks. And through all those experiences, we’ve learned a ton about what makes a successful online course launch.

So, we took all of that knowledge and distilled it into a checklist just for you! This checklist is like having an expert by your side, guiding you through the online course launch process step by step.

The three major online course launch phases and their timelines

Launching an online course is a big journey, and it’s helpful to break it down into three distinct phases: pre-launch, launch, and post-launch.

The pre-launch phase ( 3- 6 Weeks )

The pre-launch phase is all about getting everything organized and in place before you hit the launch button. This is the time to get your ducks in a row and ensure everything is right. Some of the key things that go into this phase include:

  • Creating and refining your online course content: You want to ensure it is the best it can be before promoting it.
  • Building your course platform: You’ll need a platform to host your course and make it accessible to your students. At GroupApp, we have a seamless course hosting platform with everything you need to ensure you thrive.
  • Creating a marketing plan: Have a plan to promote your course and reach your target audience.
  • Building an email list: An email list is a great way to keep in touch with your students and promote your online course.
  • Finalizing your pricing strategy: The big question is always will I break even? You must ensure your pricing is competitive and in line with your target audience’s budget.

The Launch phase (1-7 days)

The course launch phase is the moment you’ve been working towards, and your product is live and ready for the world to see. This phase is about delivering unique content to your audience and engaging with them.

When it comes to selling an online course, there are two main approaches you could take. The first is a timed launch, where sales occur within a set period, and then the course is closed for purchases.

The second is an evergreen launch, where people can access the course anytime.

Here’s a list of things you’ll want to focus on during this phase:

  1. Open enrollment: Make sure your doors are open, and your product is accessible to your target market.
  2. Deliver high-quality content: This is your chance to show your audience what you’re made of and deliver top-notch online course content that will keep them engaged.
  3. Engage with your audience: Interact with your learners and respond to any questions or support requests they may have.
  4. Optimise and refine your product: Continuously monitor your product’s performance and make necessary updates and improvements.

Post-launch phase

The big launch is just the beginning, and the real work begins afterward.

This phase typically includes ongoing activities such as providing support, collecting feedback, and updating the course content as needed.

Here are some things you should do during the post-launch phase of a course:

  1. Open and interactive communications: Stay in touch with your learners through regular newsletters, email updates, or discussion forums to keep them informed. Additionally, you can incorporate quizzes and polls as interactive elements to keep your learners engaged.
  2. Personalized support: Provide personalized support by answering questions, addressing concerns, and helping your learners overcome obstacles.
  3. Collect feedback: Encourage your audience to provide feedback on the course content, structure, and delivery. Use this feedback to identify improvement areas.
  4. Update course content: Regularly review and update the course content to ensure that it remains relevant, accurate, and up-to-date. This can include adding new materials and removing outdated information.
  5. Collect and analyze data – Keep track of student engagement metrics such as course completion rates, time spent in the course, and student satisfaction.

A complete online course launch checklist

Pre-launch online course checklist

Audience building checklist

Building an audience is a crucial aspect of the pre-launch phase of a course. It helps to generate interest and excitement for your course and ensures that you have a group of learners ready to start learning on day one.

Here are some things to check to ensure that you are building an audience effectively:

  1. Define your target audience: Make sure that you have a clear understanding of your target audience, including their needs, interests, and pain points. This will help you to create content and promotions that resonate with them.
  2. Build an email list: Start collecting email addresses from potential learners to create a list of interested individuals you can notify about the course launch.
  3. Utilize social media: Utilize social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to reach potential learners, build your brand, and engage with your audience.
  4. Monitor analytics: Monitor critical metrics such as website traffic, open email rates, and social media engagement to tracking your audience-building efforts’ success.

Marketing and branding checklist

Branding and marketing are essential during the pre-launch phase of a course. Here you are laying the foundation and establishing a solid brand and marketing strategy to help you achieve your goals.

  1. Establish your brand: Develop a clear brand identity. That includes your course name, logo, tagline, and brand colors.
  2. Build a website: Create a website that showcases your course and provides information about your brand. Ensure the homepage is well-designed, easy to navigate, attractive, and fast. Here is an example of a good homepage.

  1. Utilise social media: Leverage social media platforms to build your brand and engage with your audience.
  2. Create promotional content: Create promotional content such as videos, infographics, and blog posts to generate interest and excitement for your course.
  3. Offer a free preview: Offer a free preview of your course to give potential learners a taste of what it’s all about.
  4. Host webinars or events: Host webinars or events that provide valuable information and showcase your expertise.

Course content and structure checklist

Linear Course structure

Creating high-quality course content and a well-structured course can be the key to success. Here is an interactive checklist to help create content and structure that engages and delights your learners.

  1. Define your learning outcomes: What do you want your learners to achieve by the end of the course? This will help you to create content that is relevant and focused.
  2. Plan your course structure: How will you break down the content into manageable sections? Will you use a linear or non-linear structure? Check the images below.
  3. Choose engaging content formats: How will you present the content? Will you use videos, podcasts, interactive quizzes, or a combination of formats?
  4. Create quality online course content: Write or record high-quality content that is engaging, informative, and relevant to your learners.
  5. Add interactivity: Make your course interactive by adding quizzes, discussions, and other activities that encourage learners to engage with the content.
  6. Include assessments: Incorporate assessments into your course to measure learner progress and provide feedback.
  7. Make it visually appealing: Use images, videos, and graphics to make the content attractive and engaging.

Sales Strategy Online Course Checklist

Think about it, you’ve put so much time and effort into creating a fantastic course, but if no one knows about it or is interested in buying it, all that work goes to waste. That’s why having a sales strategy is crucial.

Here is a sales strategy checklist to help you effectively sell your course:

  1. Identify your target market: Who is your ideal customer, and what are their needs and interests?
  2. Define your value proposition: What makes your course unique and valuable to your target market?
  3. Price your course: Determine the right price based on market research and the value you provide. Check this guide to help you set the right price for your course.
  4. Create a sales page: Design a page that effectively communicates your value proposition and motivates people to buy your course.

Online course launch-day checklist

Launch day for your course is a big deal! It’s the day when all your hard work comes together and your course becomes available to the world. And a successful launch day can set the tone for the entire lifespan of your course.

  1. Confirm all technology is working: Ensure that your learning system, payment processors, and any other technology you use are functioning correctly.
  2. Create a launch schedule: Plan out the timing of critical events, such as opening enrollment, sending emails, and sharing updates on social media.
  3. Reach out to your email list: Send an email to your subscribers announcing the launch of your course and inviting them to enroll.
  4. Leverage social media: Share updates and promotional material to reach a wider audience and build excitement for your launch.
  5. Provide excellent customer support: Be available to answer any questions and address any concerns that may arise on launch day.

The Post Launch Checklist

Think of the launch as the starting line of a marathon. Sure, it’s exciting to cross the starting line, but the real work and effort come during the race. The same goes for your course launch. So pay attention to this stage! Use the checklist below for this stage.

Review enrollment and engagement metrics: Take a close look at enrollment numbers and engagement metrics such as completion rates, average time spent in the course, and learner feedback to understand how your course is received.

Analyze your sales and marketing strategy: Evaluate your sales and marketing efforts to determine what worked well and what could be improved. It will help you optimize your strategy for future launches.

Gather and analyse learner feedback: Collect and review feedback from your learners to identify areas where your course may need improvement and to understand what they are enjoying about the course.

Evaluate the technical aspects of your course: Check for any technical issues that may have arisen post-launch and address them promptly to ensure a smooth learning experience for your learners.

Continuously improve your course: Use the insights and feedback you gather from your post-launch analysis to enhance your course and provide a better learning experience for your learners.

What do you need to launch a course?

You must have a few key things in place to ensure your course is successful.

Tools

To get started, you’ll need a platform for hosting your course content, such as an LMS (Learning Management System) or a course builder like GroupApp.

You’ll also need a reliable video and audio setup and any necessary software or tools for creating engaging course content, such as graphic design software, screen recording software, and a microphone.

A launch plan

A launch plan is critical for the success of an online course launch. Your plan should outline goals and objectives, marketing strategies, timeline, budget, and feedback and evaluation methods. The plan will ensure you launch your course on time, are within the budget, and meet the learners’ needs.

Community building platform

Finally, I want to touch on the importance of community in launching a successful course. Whether you’re creating a course for personal or professional growth, having a group of people to share the journey with can make the experience more enjoyable and increase engagement. This is where GroupApp comes in!

Our platform allows you to create and manage online communities for your courses, providing a place for your learners to connect, collaborate and support each other. So, don’t forget to think about how you’ll foster community and engagement as you launch your course!

Launch your course

I hope you are now ready to launch your online course with confidence. By following the online course launch checklist, you have taken the necessary steps to ensure a successful launch. Good luck with your launch, and may your online course be a huge success!

FAQs

How do I prepare for a course launch?

To prepare for a course launch, research your target audience, create high-quality content, and develop a marketing strategy to promote the course.

How long does it take to launch a course?

On average, it takes approximately 3-6 months to prepare and create an online course.

When should you launch a course?

We recommend launching your online course when you have thoroughly planned and prepared all aspects, including content, marketing strategy, and technology setup. The timing of the launch should also align with the target audience’s availability and demand for the topic.

 

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