Many customers expect the option to try before they buy when considering a purchase—after all, most of us wouldn’t drive off the lot in a new car without taking it for a test drive first.

The same can be true for students considering enrolling in your online courses. Even though you know your content is top-notch, a new customer might not be convinced before seeing it for themself. 

By offering some of your course content for free, you can give prospective students a taste of the class before they move forward with a purchase. If giving away the goods seems counterintuitive, rest assured: Offering a freebie doesn’t mean you’re leaving money on the table. In fact, it could lead to more revenue by attracting a greater number of students to try out your courses and ultimately make a purchase.

Ready to use free course content to strengthen your business and increase sales? Here are a few ways to get started.

Offer a sample lesson

Let’s say you sell online Italian courses. Maybe a prospective student isn’t sure they’ll be self-motivated or engaged enough to stick to the lessons. By offering a sample lesson of your beginner’s course, students can make sure the class structure and approach is a good fit for the way they learn—then they’ll be ready to buy the full course.

With a tool like LearnDash, you can easily create free sample lessons. Simply toggle a switch in your lesson  settings to open up the lesson of your choice to anyone who’s interested.

Unlock a paid course

If a sample lesson is the amuse-bouche that gives students a taste of your content, unlocking a paid course is like handing out a free lunch.

This generous freebie allows prospective customers to go deeper into your content than what they’d experience in a sample lesson. Maybe they even take a few quizzes and watch some video content. 

If you have a robust course catalog, opening up a whole course for free can be an effective way to familiarize students with your content before they buy additional courses. This approach also works well if your courses are structured in a progression: For example, you might unlock the first course in a series, then students can purchase subsequent courses to take their knowledge to the next level.

Tip: Already have a YouTube playlist that you’re ready to repackage as a free course? Use the Course Create Wizard in LearnDash to create an entire course from a playlist URL.

Think beyond sales

Gated content isn’t just a marketing tool for white papers and ebooks. Whether you offer a sample lesson or an entire course for free, you can require students to register for free content. This allows you to collect their email addresses and build a high-quality email marketing list.

Ultimately, free course content can also generate powerful word-of-mouth marketing. You never know who might try a sample lesson and recommend your course to someone who becomes your next customer.

Your course could already be online!

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