How To Pre-Sell Your Online Course And Make Money Before You Launch It

Learning how to pre-sell your Kajabi online courses can make a huge difference in your sales numbers as well as your brand recognition. Pre-orders give you cash flow while you develop your course.

You can start a pre-sale at any time before you launch your course. Maybe you haven’t even begun to develop it, or perhaps you’re halfway through the process.

Whatever the case, you’ll make your online course available for sale in advance of the launch date. Interested consumers can sign up and pay for the course (or start their payment plan).

Then, when you launch your course, you can feed it to your customers in drips, which gives you even more time to create and perfect your course.

What Does it Mean to Pre-Sell Digital Products? 

Think of a pre-sale as a way to ramp up momentum for your digital products while securing cash flow and helping gauge interest levels among your audience.

 In short, it’s a powerful way to launch an online course.

 When you pre-sell an online course, you make it available for purchase before you launch it — or even before you create it. You give your audience a deadline by which they must purchase the course if they want to participate.

This strategy combines urgency and standard marketing practices to increase conversion rates.

After the deadline arrives, you can either close the course to new customers or increase the price for people who didn't take advantage of the pre-sale. Either way, you can then launch the course that you’ve already sold to your audience.

Why Should You Pre-Sell Your Kajabi Courses?

If you think that pre-selling your Kajabi courses is a new phenomenon, consider other products and services. From books to gaming systems, products sell by the millions long before they hit store shelves.

Consider the Xbox One X, for example. It’s available for pre-order now.

Customers who are excited about the new gaming system can ensure they’ll get their hands on it first. They want the first crack at the technology, so they’re willing to pay before it’s even available.

That’s the power of pre-selling your Kajabi online courses.

When you pre-sell your courses, you give your audience the chance to become first in line to learn whatever you plan to teach them. You also give yourself more time to create your course materials, but you won’t lose any time when it comes to sales.

If that sounds like a win-win proposition, you’re right. It works out well for everyone involved.

8 Can’t-Miss Benefits of Running a Kajabi Product Pre-Sale 

To truly understand the advantages of pre-selling your courses, you must appreciate each benefit and its implications on your business. Let’s dive a little deeper into the benefits you’ll enjoy from pre-selling your Kajabi online courses.

1. You Don’t Need a Ready-Made Digital Product 

Developing a digital product — especially one as complex as an online course — takes a long time. You don’t want that delay to stop you from generating sales.

Maybe you’re blogging about your niche, offering lead magnets to build up your email subscriber list, and participating in social media. While all of those pursuits have value, they’re less beneficial when you don’t have anything to sell.

You can optimize your blog posts, for example, with calls to action for your pre-sale. Instead of just collecting more subscribers or inviting readers to explore more of your blog, you can generate sales.

2. You Won’t Waste Time and Resources 

An online business needs to run like clockwork. Every ounce of effort you put into that business’s growth should work toward a specific goal.

In your case, you’re probably hoping to generate money. For that, you need customers.

Instead of wasting time and resources on tasks that don’t lead to sales, you can optimize every second of your workday. Pre-sales let you start collecting not only cash, but also data about your audience, prospective customers, and customers.

If you wait until after you complete your online course to offer it for sale, you’ve already lost momentum. A pre-sale lets you multitask without any extra effort. You just set up your sales page, prime your prospects, and start selling.

3. You Can Start Testing Faster 

Testing is an integral part of any business plan. You can’t assume that a particular tactic will work until you test it and examine the data you produce.

For instance, you might segment your email subscriber list and send two different pre-sale emails. Determine which email converts the most subscribers into customers, then use that version from then on.

Additionally, since you’ll already have customers when you launch your course, you can start testing different course materials to figure out which ones resonate most powerfully with your audience. From there, you can refine your courses until there aren’t any missing or extraneous modules or factors.

4. You’ll Generate Buzz 

Why do you think that Microsoft markets the Xbox One X and its other products long before they’re actually released to the public? Such marketing tactics generate buzz.

Microsoft knows based on previous data that if it markets its products in advance of release, it’ll sell more units and get more people excited about the product.

It works for books, movies, software, and tons of other products. It can also work for online courses.

With a pre-sale, you can generate interest through social media, your Kajabi blog, and other marketing channels. Email marketing works particularly well for this purpose.

5. You’ll Build Cash Flow 

Every business needs cash flow if you want it to survive. Without cash, you don’t have the resources to create new products — even digital ones.

We recommend pre-selling your online course so you can start generating revenue right away. In fact, you can use the profits from pre-sales to fund the development of your online course.

For instance, you might need to buy camera equipment to record videos and webinars. You could also use the money to hire writers, graphic designers, and other professionals who might help you create the most professional course possible.

Most importantly, you’ll begin to develop a revenue track record. Who knows? You might find yourself wearing one of our coveted Kajabi Hero T-shirts. That’s a great start for an online business.

6. You’ll Develop a List 

You can build an email list using many different tactics, from social media to lead magnets, but consumers who buy your online course also go into your database of email contacts.

The more subscribers you attract to your business, the more potential customers you have. You don’t just want to sell one digital product — you want to sell as many as possible. Adding customers to your email list allows you to target them with emails about future products that build on the one they’ve already bought.

You might create subsequent online courses that could benefit existing customers. Those customers could also express interest in other digital products, such as e-books and video series.

7. You’ll Collect More Data 

We’re a big fan of data here at Kajabi. That’s why we’ve built analytics into our platform. If you’re not collecting data, how do you know how well your marketing plan is working?

The simple answer: You don’t.

If you pre-sell your online course, you’ll start collecting data right away. From email metrics to social media engagements, you can track how your customers interact with your brand once they buy your forthcoming online course.

Furthermore, you’ll get more actionable data because you’re tracking customers instead of prospects. These people already believe in you enough to hand over their credit cards, so they’re far more qualified than someone who just provides an email address in exchange for a lead magnet.

8. You’ll Enjoy More Motivation 

If nothing else, pre-sales of your online course will motivate you to get to work. You’ll see the money rolling in and realize that you need to deliver the best possible product for your customers.

When you let down your customers, you lose future sales. That’s not a good business model.

Many entrepreneurs thrive under pressure. Deadlines can motivate professionals more effectively than any other incentive 

Why? Because you’re working toward a rigid goal. Pre-selling your online courses adds another layer of accountability to the equation. 

In other words, you’re not just relying on your own, self-imposed deadline, but on a deadline that you’ve announced to your customers.

How To Pre-Sell Your Online Course 

It’s clear that pre-selling your online course offers numerous benefits, but how do you get started?

We’re going to walk you through the process of organizing a pre-sale so it goes off without a hitch. If you follow this simple strategy, you’ll enjoy more sales and better word-of-mouth advertising.

Keep in mind, though, that you always need to keep the product in the back of your mind. Even though you’re pre-selling your online course, you must make the course available by the deadline you’ve set for yourself.

Don’t overestimate your abilities. Give yourself enough cushion so you don’t disappoint your customers.

Outline Your Product 

Start by outlining your online course. What topics will you cover? What problems will you solve? What goals will you help your customers meet?

You don’t need a 30-page thesis on the subject, but you should add enough meat to your outline that every stage becomes clear. This isn’t just for your organization and peace of mind. You’ll use this outline to inform the content on your sales page.

In addition to outlining what your course will help your customers accomplish, you should also describe the mediums through which you’ll teach. For instance, will most of your content be text-based? Will you record a video, host a live webinar, or share a screencast with your customers 

Identify Your Course’s Benefits 

Using your outline, make a list of the benefits that your course will offer your customers. Go into as much detail as possible, then boil down those benefits into a few succinct phrases or bullet points. 

Let’s say, for example, that you’re creating a cooking course. The benefits could look something like this: 

  • Learn to create delicious, healthy meals that take fewer than 30 minutes each.
  • Experiment with new spices, herbs, marinades, and other flavors to give your meals more excitement.
  • Build a recipe book to rival your grandmother’s and pass down those meals to your children.
  • Wow your family every night with fresh ingredients, wholesome sides, and fabulous entrees.

You’ll notice that we started each benefit with a powerful verb and included sensory-based adjectives to help urge customers to buy.

You can do the same thing with any online course. Figure out why your customers would want to join you in the course, then speak their language.

Create a Kajabi Sales Page 

Every product needs a slam-dunk sales page that converts visitors into customers. It should include several sections that are designed to move your prospects through the sales funnel.

Think of your sales page as your elevator pitch. You have just a few minutes (or even less) to convince a visitor to click on the “buy” button. Spend that time wisely.

Following are a few elements that your Kajabi sales page should include. Remember that each course deserves its own page.

Provide a Short Course Overview 

Start by providing a brief overview of your course that includes the benefits we outlined earlier. Make it punchy but full of action verbs and language that your customers will appreciate.

Ideally, your overview should be only a paragraph or two. You might use photos or a video next to the description to entice your customers even further.

Don’t forget to use your unique voice and tone to connect with visitors. Dry, boring language will only send them away. Write exactly like you speak, with plenty of personality.

Use a Compelling Call To Action 

This is the final sentence of your sales pitch — the wow factor that will convince visitors to click through and pre-order your course.

We recommend using urgency and exclusivity in your calls to action so you can capitalize on both logic and emotion. Let’s go back to the cooking class we talked about above. Your call to action might read like one of these:

  • Don’t miss out on your chance to pre-order [Course Name] and be one of the first to get these amazing materials.
  • Pre-order today to lock in your price and ensure your spot in [Course Name].
  • Take advantage of our special pre-order pricing and become the family chef when our course launches on [date].

You can shorten or lengthen the call to action based on what you think your visitors will respond to better. The goal is to showcase the benefits of pre-ordering and inject a hint of urgency into your prose.

Feature Glowing Testimonials 

Social proof can convert visitors faster than any branded marketing message. People trust other consumers more than they trust brands, so capitalize on that fact by including testimonials on your sales page.

Even if you’ve never launched a digital product before, you can use testimonials that refer to you specifically. Have you consulted with someone or worked with a boss who has given you a glowing review? Include it. Use full names, photographs, or video testimonials if you can.

Launch Your Offer 

Now it’s time to get your pre-sale off the ground. You’ve laid the foundation, but you need to let people know about it and convince them to buy your course.

How do you do this? You generate buzz — just like we talked about earlier. You want as many people talking about your course as possible.

Pre-Launch Email 

Start with a pre-launch email that lets people know about your online course. Provide a deadline for the pre-order price and let your subscribers know that they have a limited time to take advantage of it.

In this email, don’t forget to mention the benefits you outlined earlier. Get right to the heart of your course. How will it benefit the end user? Why should someone who has never worked with you sign up?

At the end, use a similar call to action to the one you’re using on your sales page. You don’t want to leave any room for confusion about what the customer should do next.

Launch Email 

Your launch email should look very similar to your pre-launch email, but you’ll want to ramp up the urgency. Explain that the deadline for signing up for your online course is fast approaching.

Use short, punchy sentences and strong verbs to get your point across. Make your call to action as visible as possible in the email and add a F.A.Q. at the end that addresses any obstacles your prospects might confront about buying your course.

Last-Chance Email 

The opportunity window is fast closing. Your prospects have very little time to sign up for your course before they lose the chance, so send a last-chance email that makes the situation clear.

Mention that you don’t know when you will host the course again (if ever) and that interested consumers should jump on the chance now.

You might even include a last-ditch coupon or discount code to push fence-sitters over the edge.

Write A Blog Post 

Email marketing works great for converting prospects, but your entire audience won’t find its way onto your subscriber list. That’s why you have to branch out with your marketing efforts.

Creating a blog post about your pre-sale can generate buzz and help convert people who haven’t signed up to join your email list. Describe the benefits of the course and include a big call to action at the end.

Create an E-book or White Paper 

Nothing sells digital products faster than educational content. After all, that’s why customers sign up for online courses. They want to learn.

If you make educational content available for free, you might convert more prospects because they’ll see your authority over the topic and your expertise in your niche.

An e-book or white paper can work wonders for this purpose. Make it available for free or use it as a lead magnet to generate more email signups. Either way, you’ll convince your audience that you know what you’re talking about.

Post a Video on YouTube 

As of 2016, 1.3 billion people use YouTube and those users watch 3.25 billion hours of footage every month. Those are incredible statistics.

If you want to broaden your audience base, create YouTube videos. You might post several dozen three- to five-minute videos that each address a small problem. Include a call to action in the description of each video to sign up for your online course.

You can also embed those YouTube videos in your blog posts, emails, social media posts, and other marketing channels. Spread the word as far and wide as possible — and show off your personality at the same time.

Share Your Course on Social Media 

Don’t stop with email, blog posts, and videos. Get started with marketing on social media. Post about your pre-sale on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms to get the word out.

Of course, a little promotion goes a long way. Don’t overdo it. For every promotional post you write, create at least four non-promotional posts. Connect with other users, respond to messages and DMs, and answer questions that potential customers might have.

Close Your Offer 

A pre-sale works best when it’s available only for a limited time. This creates a sense of urgency that encourages consumers to convert on your offer.

When you close your offer, that’s it. Only the people who pre-ordered your course will get access to it — until you reopen it, of course.

While this might seem like a funny way to sell online courses, it actually works well. Yes, you’ll limit the number of people who can buy it by including an end date, but you’ll encourage more people to convert on your initial offer.

If you’re uncomfortable with closing the offer entirely, you can bump up the price. For instance, if you sold your pre-ordered online course for $129, you might let other customers buy it after the cut-off date for $159.

It’s completely up to you. And don’t forget that you can replicate this strategy each time you open or create an online course. It’s all about creating momentum and selling as many courses as possible.

Create, Market, and Sell Your Online Course Using Kajabi 

Now that we’ve gone over the ins and outs of learning how to pre-sell your online courses, it’s time to put all that knowledge to work for your business.

Start by signing up for Kajabi. Create an account and start learning the platform. Our handy assistant will help you learn what each module does and how you can use it to boost course sales.

Start building an email list so you can market your pre-sale to your subscribers. Begin outlining your online course and creating lead magnets so you can build your email list even further.

Once you have everything in place, create a sales page on Kajabi and open your course for the pre-sale period. That’s all there is to it.

Before you know it, you’ll have sales for a product that doesn’t even exist yet. You’ll have information from your customers and subscribers that you can use to make your online course even better.

Of course, you still have to create the product. But you’ve bought yourself some time and given yourself some extra cash flow to help with the process.

After you close the offer, you need to deliver the goods. Start dripping course content to your customers so they can begin benefiting from your expertise.


We’ve established that pre-selling your Kajabi online courses can vastly improve your online business. You get sales before you even launch your product.

Start by outlining your course and figuring out exactly what it will include. You don’t need to create your digital product, but you need to know it inside and out.

Determine what benefits your course offers your customers. What will they get out of the deal? Use this information to create a sales page with a compelling call to action.

Then you just need to launch your offer. Create a series of emails for your subscriber list to build momentum and boost conversions. Write a blog post, create a lead magnet, make a YouTube video, post on social media, and host a webinar. You might even launch a podcast.

By that time, you’re ready to close your offer. The people who signed up get to enjoy your online course as soon as it launches.

At Kajabi, we make creating, marketing, and selling your online courses as easy as possible. You have all the tools you need under one digital roof.

It all starts with that valuable pre-sales period. Just as people love to pre-order books and gadgets, they might also want a shot at your pre-sale period.

Have you learned how to pre-sell your online courses? Have you tried it? What works and what doesn’t?

Pre-Sell Online Courses With Kajabi

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