The Online Course Upsell Strategy That Works Every Time

online course upsell

Last week, we dove into the incredible Login Optin™ Strategy… one of the best ways to build your list this year. Today, we're going one step further with online course upsell strategies.

We'll be using that free membership site to get more paying clients through a very organic online course upsell.

This “next step” strategy is known as the Logged In Experience™ That Sells… and with the right tools, it can result in a huge increase of organic sales for your online business.

Crafting The Logged In Experience™ That Sells

Last week, we left off with a mention that the Login Optin™ Strategy is naturally designed to foster a very organic online course upsell within your membership site.

And I know this works for a fact, because it's the method Nathalie has used to make over 6 figures with her free 30 Day List Building Challenge course.

The process is relatively simple, but it does require a membership site plugin that integrates with your CRM/email marketing system.

We'll talk about the tools a little more in a minute. First – you have to decide what kind of Logged In Experience™ you want to create.

Click to get the 6 membership site models and case studies

The Experience Starts With A Name

What's in a name?

A lot, actually. The impact of a great business name affects both your brand effectiveness and the amount of sales you shepherd in.

The same is true for your members area: what you call this place affects how your subscribers view and interact with your membership site.

Depending on your style, a few ideas might be:

  • Vault
  • Library
  • Academy
  • Studio
  • Lounge
  • Campus
  • University
  • Shop
  • Training Center
  • Etc.

Choose a term with the right vibe that your members can connect with and relate to. Pair this with their ambition and make it a part of their identity… Then brand the daylights out of your membership site.

Essentially, you want it to give them the experience of belonging to a unique club from the moment they hit the login page.


Here's an example of one of our branded graphics for the Heartquarters membership site:

online course upsell brand example

Give Them The VIP Experience

Speaking of the club life… have you ever noticed how big of an impact that a well-stocked bar makes?

For example, there's a charm associated with little hometown bars…but it doesn't even begin to compare with the excitement you feel when you step into a club.

Mirrors, mahogany bars (or the more industrial chrome and glass), and a vast array of fancy bottles… The entire ambiance makes you excited about being there.

Eventually, if the room designer has done her job well, you find yourself feeling daring enough to order that expensive, fancy cocktail with no regrets.

That's the experience you want to give your membership site members.

Always Reward Members For Logging In and Build In a Reason To Return™

If there aren't perks to logging into the site, what motivates your site members to return?

The most consistently effective strategy utilizes the same Login Optin™ Library that we touched on in last week's blog.

Because, when you display the full “bar,” it naturally creates a sense of intrigue and healthy curiosity:

login optin

In our own Heartquarters membership site, all courses that a member has access to is displayed in full color. Since we built our site with AccessAlly, the students will see any additional courses displayed in grayscale. This makes it easy to see at a glance which courses they haven't tried yet.

Having a members dashboard like this allows you to cross-sell and upsell your online courses without being pushy.

Why? Because there's a natural “gotta collect them all” impulse that makes people want to unlock what they don’t have access to.

login optin

But For This To Work…Your Free Course Had Better Be Stellar

For even a simple concept like the course dashboard to be effective, however, your free course has to be top-notch. If your new subscribers are unimpressed with the free material, there will be very little curiosity associated with the additional available courses.

It can't be stressed enough: you have to be generous with your free content.

online course upsell ideas

I think there's definitely an inherent fear among entrepreneurs that releasing our best material into the world will mean that there won't be anything left over for paid products.

But this fear is irrational.

The more we release amazing content, the more we allow ourselves to grow and flourish as entrepreneurs and individuals.

5 Tips To Enhance Your Natural Online Course Upsell

If your free course is incomparable and you've designed an amazing Logged In Experience™ That Sells, you've already built a steady foundation for easy online course upsell.

But there are a few more ways to enhance the likelihood that your students will take you up on your online course upsell offers:

1. Create a Quiz That Points Them In The Right Direction

Wouldn't it be great if your students could take a simple assessment…then get connected with the right course in your membership site automatically?

Thats what we've done (using AccessAlly Pro and its tag-based capabilities) in our own Heartquarters site:

online course upsell

2. Cross-reference your online courses within the course content

This is such a simple way to continually remind students that there's more out there! Throughout your content, make a point of cross-referencing other courses within the membership site.

Little sentences like “We talk more about this in our course Simple SEO, but for now…” can make a world of difference.

3. Provide an answer to “what's next” at the end of each course

Have you ever finished an amazing book… and felt a little bummed because it was all over?

Keep your students from feeling like that by being very intentional about leading them to the “next step” at the end of a course. This is a great way to cross-sell products to clients who are at the peak of enthusiasm.

4. Give bonuses for students who take you up on your online course upsell

One way to do this is to use your simple AccessAlly Pro/AccessAlly/CRM integration to create timed bonuses for your students and subscribers.

The moment someone finishes a course inside your membership site, AccessAlly Pro can add a tag to that particular student. This tag then starts a limited-time sales offer that's displayed inside AccessAlly.

5. Showcase a “Course of the Month” Inside Your Members Area

In house advertising for your courses can be super beneficial, especially if your students log into the membership site frequently.

In this example, you'd simply create a graphic advertising a particular course. Then, add it in a prominent place on whichever page your students see when they first login to the membership site.

This graphic might link to the regular sales page, or perhaps include a special “course of the month” discount code. Totally up to you.


Spoiler Alert: Next week we're going to take a deeper dive into methods of enhancing your Logged In Experience™ That Sells…so stay tuned!


With The Right Tools In Place, You'll Foster A Very Real Reason To Return™

Every step from login to logout should be filled with the same VIP/club experience for your students.

And a lot of this will depend on the capability of the tools you use to set it up. So this might mean that you invest in a super solid membership site solution, or amp up your LMS plugin capabilities.

Whatever it is, the goal is to create a very organic method the promotes your online course upsell sequences without you having to lift a finger.

online course upsell

© 2014- Nathalie Lussier Media Inc. dba AccessAlly™. All rights reserved.