Boosting Online Learning Marketing Success: Mid and Lower Funnel

Emily McLaughlin
Jun 20, 2017 8:15:00 AM

According to Michael Daecher, CMO at ArtistWorks Inc., “mid funnel” is where your organization develops a relationship with contacts, and “lower funnel” is where you go for the sale.


In a previous blog post, we shared Daecher’s tips for improving “top of the funnel” marketing strategies for online learning. “Top of the funnel” marketing is all about acquisition. Below, learn what your organization needs to know when it comes to “mid funnel” and “lower funnel” marketing.


Mid Funnel: Consideration

This is where you develop a relationship with your contacts and educate them about the value of your products and online learning offering. Daecher explains, “It’s like dating: After you meet someone, you get to know him/her before deciding if you want to commit to a relationship.” Here are ways to educate in this “mid funnel” consideration stage:

  • Email nurture campaigns: Once you have acquired the emails of folks who would like to learn about your online courses, you should start to educate them about your product. This can take the form of an automated email campaign, or you can follow up on a regular schedule with manual email.
  • Mobile friendly: Majority of your users will see your email on a mobile device. Make sure you email experience is mobile friendly. It’s also important that the landing page you are directing your users to, and the checkout cart are both mobile friendly.  Daecher’s pro tip: The online education market is still young, and people often don’t have a good frame of reference when comparing online courses. In fact, most potential customers are often comparing your paid product to free content on YouTube. Be sure to not only educate on the quality of your content, but why the experience you’re offering is superior free content.

Lower Funnel: Conversion and Retention

When going for the sale in the “lower funnel” stage, there are a few ways to communicate the value of your offer. You’ll have to test each to determine which tactics will be most successful with your contacts. Here are Daecher’s messaging suggestions:

  • Quality: “There’s no other product like this online.” Your key value proposition is front and center here, and there’s little or no discount offered.
  • Urgency: “Don’t wait. Buy now.” It may be that your classes are only offered at certain times of the year, or there’s a special experience (e.g. live instructor webinar) you’re offering if they sign up now.
  • Shortage: In this case, there may be limited seats in the class -- or you want to create the perception that there are limited seats. This works particularly well if there is an in-person component to your online class.
  • Discounts: Be sure to price your product high enough that you can test different discounts. This will help you find your true price point. Daecher’s pro tip: Be sure you don’t go too deep, too fast. Once your contacts get used to seeing deep discounts, it’s harder to sell at a higher price.

As you can see from Daecher's pointers above, developing a marketing strategy for online learning is extremely important. Planning mid funnel email campaigns and ensuring mobile friendliness will help potential customers through the consideration phase. Then, focussing on lower funnel marketing messaging will encourage potential customers to convert.


Now that you know how to improve top, mid and lower funnel marketing strategies, request a demo with Thought Industries to learn how the Learning Business Platform™ can help your online learning marketing strategy thrive.

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