What A High Converting 5 Step Online Course Sales Funnel Looks Like

online course sales funnel

Everyone with access to your marketing campaign is a prospective customer. So how do you make that transition from casual browser to the long-term consumer? Securing a purchase is a lengthy process that sometimes requires a lot of persuasion, motivation, and incentivization. In some cases, getting an individual to part way with their money takes months of effort, especially if you haven’t got a plan.

However, there is a tried-and-tested model that makes this process a lot easier. This is an online course sales funnel. It describes a series of steps you can take to bring a customer closer to buying your course.

When it comes to creating your sales funnel, most of the legwork happens at the beginning. This involves creating automated email campaigns, designing landing pages and editing engaging videos.

Once this is all done, you can let the funnel do its magic. It won’t be exactly a case of kicking your feet back and letting the sales roll in, as you will still need to patch test and improve the funnel as you go. That being said, the funnel does have a certain level of autonomy. This means it can function with very little external input.

Its importance should not be underestimated. It is the final affront for guaranteeing your company’s success.

This article will help you, step by step, to understand the page flow and design of a high converting online course sales page funnel. We give you your own high-performing page templates to work from to take out all the guesswork of page and funnel design.

Conversion-Centric Online Course Funnel Design

The idea behind the five-step funnel is that it allows us to stack offers one on top of the other. By adding an order bump, an upsell and a down-sell to our funnel, allows us to increase the value of a client by increasing the amount they can spend between clicking the call-to-action (CTA) and landing on the thank you page.

It’s important to note that every offer you make between the sales page and the thank you page must in some way render the initial purchase more complete.

How to make the best out of your already existing course

Separate the bonuses from your minimum viable offer. They’ll all serve the same desires, needs, aspirations, fears, and frustrations that were hit upon in the sales page, allowing you to stack value through multiple offers in one continuous sales conversation.

Your customer can select the right value tier for their needs which means you can serve more people’s varying needs more effectively.

This way we keep the customer singularly focused on their journey through the funnel and their frame of mind never changes, presenting them with multiple offers while they are still in this state is a great way to capitalize on each time a customer clicks to take action on your initial offer.

The 5 Steps Online Course Sales Funnel

  1. Sales page
  2. Order form (with order bump)
  3. Upsell
  4. Downsell
  5. Offer wall / Thank you page

5-Step Online Course Sales Funnel Walkthrough

Let’s walk through the different steps within the ‘five-step funnel’ and how to design them correctly.

What a good online course sales page looks like.

You’ll recall that we have covered sales pages in the previous chapter. The sole purpose of a sales page is to convert casual readers into customers, by convincing them to buy your course.

The sales page itself has a very common structure, consisting of a headline, sub-headline (optional), a list of your course’s features/disadvantages/advantages, as well as any bonuses, offers, conversion stories and calls to action. It’s a very simple of way of sending your online traffic all the way down to the funnel in order to secure a sale.

The page usually includes the following:

  • Includes multiple viewing formats, such as videos, image carousels and interactive widgets.
  • Has multiple calls to action in the form of ‘Click Me’ and ‘Buy Now’ buttons.
  • An irresistible offer the customer can’t turn down.
  • A testimonial wall filled with real customer reviews.
  • Empathetic and emotive language.
  • An FAQ to address any concerns the reader might have.
  • Headline/Subheading addresses the need that your info-product solves.
  • Breaks important points up using bullets.
  • Implement icons for each individual feature/advantage for easy navigation.

How to design an online course order form

This is probably the simplest section of the sales funnel and consists of a webpage where the customer fills their details in to purchase a product. It will look something like the image below.


You can get lavish order form templates through Clickfunnels and other funnel software. If you are looking to build it from scratch, however, bear in mind the following things:

  • Make the different sections clear and concise. You need the customer to understand which details they are inputting within each box.
  • Include an address input element so each customer indirectly becomes a member of your email list. That way you can retarget people who have already taken an explicit interest in your course.
  • Make sure the purchase button is a colorful hue in order to grab the consumer’s attention. The best colors to use are green/blue/orange.
  • Don’t include too many input elements within the order form as this can frustrate consumers.

Online course one-click upsell page design

Once your customer has made a purchase, it’s now your job to make sure they purchase again. To do this, you need to upsell other info-products within your range. This can be a new course altogether, or ‘add-on content’ that boosts the experience of the purchased product.

The best way to do this is through an upsell page. Here’s some tips on how to create one from scratch.

  • Make sure to upsell the correct content. If your customer is looking to purchase a course on affiliate marketing, you might want to upsell a related e-book you’ve written on the same subject. Hint: You may want to incorporate upsells on the order form, so the customer can buy multiple items at once.
  • Offer three separate price levels. For example, in web hosting, product ranges are shown to the customer in threes. These tend to be called ‘Basic, Premium and Advanced’ or something to the same effect. This can help the consumer make an informed choice over which info-product is best for them.
  • Try to vary the format of your upsells. While you can get customers to upgrade their course during the purchase process, you might want to focus on upselling after the purchase too i.e., giving them a limited time to purchase a bonus part of the course.
  • Create a sense of urgency using a countdown timer.
  • Accompany each upsold info-product with a helpful product image so the customer can see what they are buying. You might want to give a sneak peek of what they can expect from a certain part of the course.

Online course one-click downsell page design

The purpose of the upsell is to offer a higher-priced upgrade or addons to enhance the value your customer receives. If this doesn’t work, you can always opt for down sells. This involves offering a lower-priced alternative to the product the customer has already purchased.


Here’s how and when to offer a well-timed downsell:

  • Downsell when the customer rejects the initial upsell. If they are taken to an upsell page and they click the ‘No Thanks’ button, offer a lower priced alternative. 
  • Downsells can also be implemented prior to an initial purchase. For example, if a customer is thinking of purchasing an online course, offer a free 7 day trial instead. The trial itself is a downsell.
  • Downsells can also come in the form of a subscription plan or a payment bundle. Anything that involves a substantial discount is a downsell.
  • Be sincere in the format of your downsells. Don’t be too pushy. If your consumer has already rejected the upsell, it probably won’t respond to similar marketing techniques used in the downsell.

Online course thank you page example

Simple. Effective. Sincere. Once the client has made a purchase, you need to assure them they have made the right decision. A simple ‘thank you for shopping with us’, will suffice. Don’t try to upsell/downsell on this page, your new purchase should do all the work for you.


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