57 – 12 Predictors of a broken course funnel

These are some of my favorite conversion killers when I audit course funnels. 

  1. Speed

Opt-in, sales & checkout pages should be blazing fast. No more than 4 sec loading time. 

  1. Incongruity

Changes in point of view or messaging. Makes instructor seem like they have a split personality disorder. 

  • We help you
  • I developed
  • Our guide
  • He created this

Sometimes it switches from email to email or each paragraph on the sales page has a different persona. 

Also if you tell a person one solution, don’t tell them this exact thing is wrong and you have something else later on. Happens when you have multiple contractors writing your emails. 

  1. Tone

Don’t tell people what they’re thinking, what to do or that they’re wrong directly. There are ways to show the stupidity of their ways without saying it. 

The second someone hears “You need to…” somewhere in the back of their head a little voice says “I don’t need to anything”. 

Losing persuasion points every single time.

  1. Audience

Marketing to the wrong audience. I shouldn’t have to mention this but see it all of the time. Some of the issues is just people not understanding how to target (whether its in FB, Adwords or the other platforms). Often comes down to… I see what tried to do here but this is not the way. 

  1. Design

Ugly pages can sell courses. Confusing design will not. Design should help the copy flow and direct the eyes of the prospect on the right places (whether that’s highlights of problems, solutions, social proof, headlines, sub-headlines, checkout buttons)… and not distract. Create spaces, contrast, separate paragraphs into content that wants to be read etc…

  1. Positioning

Death insurance did not do well, but life insurance is a billion dollar industry. How you position your offer matters a lot. This will make or break your offer. Most people never get past the headline. 

  1. Value

If you’re offering a vague basic course for a premium price then my only question is WTF are you thinking?

Who is this for?

Walmart shoppers or Nordstrom shoppers

  • How desperate are the people for a solution?
  • How valuable is the solution?
  • How quickly are you getting them the outcome?
  • How much faster is this than other methods?

Are you giving enough bonuses, anchoring the price correctly, comparing it to other methods…

If you’re not already selling well, sometimes its best to price it right smack in the middle where people are most likely to buy and take that part of the equation as you’re trying to dial in the funnel. 

That price is around $150

  1. Sales Mechanism

I call this the course engine but you need to clearly identify three things to make your course a no-brainer

  • What’s currently stopping a person from achieving the goal
  • What’s the method you are using that can make them achieve the goal
  • How is it different from anything else they’ve seen or tried
  1. Copy

This is a big one. It’s your sales person. The marketing efforts got the people to your sales page and now its time to sell.

Instead of this sale happening most courses explain what they’re about, what’s in them, how smart the instructor is and how much stuff you’re going to get and the amount of hours that you can spend watching the content and the other things you can see and do and… just makes people want to leave and stare at a wall thinking why they just wasted 5 minutes on your page. 

  1. Instructor

This is the third pillar. 

The audience + the offer + the instructor

People need to want to learn from YOU.

If this is the case, you put your face and bio on page and create VSL.

If not and you bore people out of their minds… hide yourself for as long as possible. 

  1. Offer

Is there a clear outcome?

The amount of times I ask “what does this achieve” and not get a straight answer is staggering. 

How are you expecting people to purchase a thing you can’t even clearly describe?

  1. Clarity

As I move through the funnel I should always be able to tell 

  • what is it that this will fix?
  • what is the next step?
  • what is the offer?

Vague outcomes, confusing messaging, a path littered with multiple calls to actions for things the person did not show any interest in will kill your conversions. 

A big marketing mistake is giving people a lead magnet that promises A and trying to sell them B later. 

Example: Lead magnet promising better sleep and then a course selling anxiety fixes. 

Look, most of these can be fixed with a decent audit and work. We (my team and I) do this with virtually every course that comes across my desk. 

The exceptions are so rare I can only think of one right now. I only suggested two adjustments but this course was already making $50k+ per month.

You might need a fresh set of eyes as you’ve been looking at it for too long. 

If you have an employee trying to do this edit. Here’s one piece of advice if you don’t want an instant failure. Have them go through the funnel trying to fix one of these at a time. 

Until next week,


Whenever you’re ready, there are 2 ways I can help you:
  1. If you’re still looking for traction in your online course, I’d recommend starting with an affordable guide:

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  1. Want an expert to take over or help you with your marketing?

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