How to Launch an Online Course | Expert Strategies +Checklist

Article by Sona Hoveyan / Updated at .10 Jun 2024
13 min read
How to Launch an Online Course | Expert Strategies +Checklist

Online courses are a great way to monetize your skills, share your knowledge, and gain passive income. You might have the perfect idea for your online course, but the launch makes all that difference. 


If you do not want to reach the point where you say, “Now, where do I get the students who are going to buy the course?” you need a course launch strategy. To ensure your first launch runs smoothly and the way you want it to be, we asked Jessica Terzakis, a great course creator and curriculum designer, to share her course launch best practices with you.  

In this article, you will find out:

  • What are the most common mistakes to avoid when launching an online course?
  • What are the easiest and most efficient steps to launch?
  • What should you do before, during, and after the launch?
  • What can you do to make your launch successful?
  • Special tips from Jessica Terzakis herself, 
  • And, of course, your online course launch checklist 

Launching an Online Course Step-by-Step

The moment you have this exciting online course idea, you should start designing your online course and preparing for the launch. One of the most common mistakes is thinking about the launch only when your online course is all ready. When is the perfect time to get started, and where should you start after all?  

To launch your online course, you will need to:

  • Estimate all your assets
  • Start marketing before your course is ready
  • Build your sales page
  • Lead people to your webinar/live meeting
  • Announce the course launch
  • Do the aftermath

Let's get deeper into each of these steps. 

#1 Evaluate your assets 

Your goal at this point: Understand how you are going to build an audience and use your assets to reach this goal.  

At this stage, you want to plan everything ahead and think about what channels you can use to build your audience and warm them up before the launch day. 

What Jessica Terzakis recommends is planning your course launch 6 months ahead. This way, you will have enough time to:

  • Create your course content without rushing.
  • Checking all the technical aspects and making sure the student experience is seamless
  • And, most importantly, have time to build your audience. 

This means that you will be creating your course and increasing your follow list/subscribers list simultaneously. 


“For your course not to be a waste of time, you will need to do two things at once - build the course and build your audience.” 


Jessica Terzakis 

Course creator, curriculum designer, Terzakis & Associates

This is where you need to consider your assets, including your social media following, your email list subscribers, and your network

“How can I grow them?” your marketing strategy is going to help you with this. 

#2 Grow your audience and start marketing 

“Marketing? I am not even done with half of the course content yet”. Exactly! That is where everything begins. You should start marketing your online course before it is ready. 

Your social media assets

First, you will need to identify your main social media channels. If you want to launch a course, choosing marketing channels wisely successfully is one of the most critical aspects. Think about the leading platforms your potential students spend more time on. 

Let's say you are creating a course on "How to grow as an influencer," meaning that you are targeting influencers, content creators, beginners in the industry, etc. Your target demographic probably hangs out on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. Thus, opening accounts on these platforms and creating content for long-form organic marketing will be wise.  

What Jessica Terzakis does for her course launches is pick one primary platform. For her, its Facebook that works the best. As you still work on the course content, make sure you also post on your social media. For example, you can show some behind-the-scenes footage of working on something, share your ideas and mission with your followers, and do what Jessica calls “the teaser style content.”


“Tease it along the way so that by the time this course is ready to be released to the world, your audience is already expecting something from you.” 


Jessica Terzakis 

Course creator, curriculum designer

Remember, you are doing this for a long-term strategy, and the long-term strategy will bring you better results. 

If you have the necessary time and resources, you can also invest in some short-term marketing strategies. For example, you can choose to run ads on social media platforms. 

Both organic reach and paid ad reach will help you increase your social media following list

And how many people do I need on my social media list? “The more, the better” is definitely not the answer. Your goal at this stage is not only increasing your following list but also engaging and building relationships with your followers (aka your potential students).  
Pro tip from Jessica: Don’t get obsessed with the numbers. Engagement matters more than anything. 

Your email subscribers’ list

The next touchpoint with your students and potential students is, of course, email marketing

By email marketing, we do not mean sending that ONE email that announces your course and encourages people to buy it. This strategy is not going to work the way you imagine it. 

If you decided to incorporate email marketing in your course launch strategy to build an audience, you need careful planning. One thing that can help you grow your email subscriber list is using lead magnets.  

By consistently emailing your leads, you will be able to build relationships with them. Building relationships is what ensures your online course launch success in the long run. 

Pro Tip from Jessica: The more consistently you invite people to download the lead magnet, the more consistently you engage with those people when they have your lead magnet, and the more successful your course launch will be. 

Your offline presence

The third point you need to pay attention to before your online course launch is your partners and people you can network with. They will help you with your offline presence. Think about how you can network and use social media to find business friends who would love to help you promote your online course

Planning all the emails and social media posts and working on your course content at the same time takes lots of your time and effort. However, you can choose to pay less attention to doing email campaigns and build relationships with your clients in real-time

This is what Jessica Terzakis chose to do - speaking live with her target audience

You can browse and find events that your target audience attends. Then, you can give a presentation, deliver a speech, and sell your course directly. 

In an interview with our team, Jessica Terzakis mentions she was able to make it over $50.000 for the first time she ran her online course launch offline. 

#3 Build a website with a sales page 

If you want your online course to succeed, you should build a website that looks catchy and work on your online course sales page.  Your website is a business card that either will attract visitors and potential clients or push them away. If you are not going to participate in offline events to promote your course, your sales page becomes even more crucial. 

What do you want to include in your sales page? Your online course sales page is an opportunity for your potential students to understand:

What is your online course all about?

  • What problem is your online course solving?
  • What advantages will they get?

Another important point when it comes to your online course sales page is including your testimonials. If this is your first launch, you might not have the testimonials yet. In this case, Jessica Terzakis recommends including testimonials about your work and related experience. 

As for your website, you should make sure it is well-structured and telling. To have your website set up easily and later be able to brand and customize it, you can choose to start with an all-in-one online course platform like Uteach. 

#4 Lead people to a webinar

The days until your online course launch are getting closer. You have placed your lead magnet(s) on your website, engaged your community of learners on social media, and planned your email sequences. How should you engage your audience further, and where should you direct them?

You still need to build great relationships with your students before they can make the buying decision, remember? Webinars are another touchpoint to help you achieve this goal. If you are not someone who would go to the events to speak about their course live, then using the webinar strategy for your online course launch is for you. In your email campaigns, which usually start once the potential students download your lead magnet and are included in your email workflows, include one small campaign for the webinar.

And what should your webinar cover? It’s an excellent chance for you to go in-depth in terms of presenting your course, talking about what challenges your students may be facing, and inviting them to buy your course on your webinar with you! 

Such interaction makes it easier for you to get prospects to buy your course rather than just sending one email saying, “Hey there, this is my online course. Do you want to buy it?”

See more: How to Create and Host Free Engaging Webinars

Besides the webinar, there are several strategies you can implement to get your students to buy your course. For example, offer pre-launch discounts. E.g., the first 20 buyers will get 50% off the course, or they can enroll for $x before a specific date. You can also offer discounts after the course launch to create some buzz around existing content.

#5 Announce the course launch

You have made it so far; this is the day you have been waiting for - the official course launch day. 

You would agree that announcing it on your website will not make the sales magically generate. So, what can you do on the official day of your course launch?  
Send email reminders. To promote the course launch, send reminders to your email list or followers, emphasizing any limited-time offers or bonuses you included. 

  • Announce it on social media channels. Create a catchy post and share it on the social media channels you have built your audience on. You can also ask your network to share your post to boost your reach and visibility. 
  • Be ready to answer all their inquiries, questions, and concerns. 
  • Write a blog post about it, start sharing it, and promote your online course with a blog.

#6 Do the aftermath

After you launch your course, do the aftermath and track its overall performance. Here is how you do that:

  • Track leads & conversion rates. You can track these metrics with analytics tools such as Google Analytics, which will allow you to monitor the number of visitors. (To get the conversion rate, divide the number of visitors by the number of enrollments).
  • Analyze and track the performance of various marketing channels, including Google ads, social media ads, mail campaigns, social media campaigns, etc. 
  • Assess the feedback received for the course and overall engagement levels (e.g., how many students completed the course, grades, what feedback/reviews they left)
  • Evaluate revenue & profitability for the course by assessing investments & return-on-investment rates. You can also choose other key performance indicators you can rely on to see how your course performed. 
  • Gather all the necessary data, assess your marketing and sales strategies, and make necessary improvements. 

Also, you can monitor the long-term impact of the course, follow up with students, and make sure that your previous students are engaged within the community. 

Your ultimate course launch checklist

Finally, here is the ultimate checklist for your course launch. 

Goals & Expenses

  • Establish goals (SMART)
  • Calculate expenses & investments
  • Understand metrics such as customer acquisition cost and ROI rates 
  • Set up a budget for various activities for your business 

Marketing Strategy

  • Identify your target audience and their needs & wants 
  • Identify current market trends & complete competitor analysis 
  • Set up ads for social media & website based on the data collected, do A/B testing
  • Identify marketing channels 
  • Set up a strong social media presence 
  • Open a blog for long-form valuable content, engagement & organic traffic on your website. 


  • Build a sales funnel (Generate leads & collect information) 
  • Nurture Leads by providing value (email campaigns with PDFs, infographics, blog materials, etc.) 
  • Announce presells and launch date of the course (campaigns, Google & Social Media ads) 
  • Incorporate upsells and cross-sells


  • Build a proper website (enough white spaces, readable fonts, visuals, fast loading speed) 
  • Create a dedicated landing page for a new course 
  • Create lead magnets 
  • Offer discounts within CTAs placed on the landing page 


  • Set up email campaigns & sequences (write professional copies, follow-ups, and responses depending on A/B/C situations) 
  • Make sure email campaigns are niche-specific 
  • Create campaigns to reach different goals, including value, engagement, conversion, etc.


  • Track the number of leads 
  • Track conversion rates 
  • Track performance of marketing strategy via tracking results of email & social media campaigns, ads 
  • Follow up
  • Engage with your clients and potential customers 
  • Engage with your social media audiences

Ready for your course launch? 

Launching a course takes a lot of time and effort. However, it’s worth it in the end! 

 Once you launch that one course, you will be able to sell it over and over again. And when it comes to your next course launch you will know better which strategies worked best for you. Besides the marketing and promoting strategies, there is also the online course platform that helps you launch your online course successfully and provides a smooth learning experience for your students. 

 One of the most popular platforms on the current market is Uteach. Uteach offers many useful tools and functionalities that allow course creators to launch courses and grow successfully. 

Uteach features include a website and course builder, built-in marketing features, live functionality, and many others. So, if you have been waiting for a sign, this is it. 

 Book a demo now to see all the functionalities that will help you start and scale your online teaching business, and try Uteach for free to give your first-course launch a go! 

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  ? Too Long; Didn't Read

For an online course launch, you need a well-designed course curriculum that outlines what students will learn. You also need a platform to host your course, whether it's a learning management system or a website. Lastly, effective marketing strategies, such as email campaigns and social media promotion, are crucial to attract and engage potential students.

To prepare for an online course launch, first, define your target audience and their needs. Then, create compelling course content and materials that address those needs. Finally, set up a user-friendly platform for hosting the course and develop a marketing plan to reach your audience effectively.

After launching the course, continuously monitor student engagement and feedback to identify areas for improvement. Stay responsive to student inquiries and concerns to maintain satisfaction and retention. Additionally, consider offering updates or additional resources to enhance the value of the course over time.