Sell More Courses with This Online Course Sales Page Template and Guide

There’s one thing most people get wrong about their sales page (that no one else is talking about).

If you read up on sales pages, you’ll see stuff about how you need a compelling headline, testimonials, case studies, and a good product description. Those are all fine, and I’ll show you how to do all of that in this post.

But the most important part of a great sales page is building a strong emotional connection with your reader before you try to sell them. There are tons of courses online. Probably more than a few that overlap with yours.

Why should anyone pick your course over the others?

If you all have great testimonials and case studies, what’s going to make a potential buyer choose you over the other guys?

It’s the emotional connection.

And the way to build that is by telling a great story that is vulnerable and transparent while demonstrating your authority on the topic you’re teaching.

An OK sales page may interest some people and convert a few diehard readers into customers.

A great sales page has your readers saying:

A GIF that says "Shut up and take my money"

In this post, I’ll walk through exactly how to choose and tell the right story to build that emotional connection. Plus, you’ll learn:

  • Our full template to structure and write your entire sales page.
  • How to write each section well.
  • Common mistakes to avoid along the way.
  • What technology to use when you build your page.

This process works. I’ve used it to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in online course and coaching sales.

Let’s get started.

Note: Want to skyrocket your online course sales in the next 90 days? Book a complimentary strategy call with our team. We’ll look under the hood of your business, identify your best growth opportunities, and show you an action plan to take advantage of them.

Anatomy of a Sales Page

There are two options for deciding how to structure your sales page:

  1. Try to reinvent the wheel.
  2. Stick to a tried-and-true format.

I recommend option two, unless you enjoy the sensation of banging your head against a brick wall.

Here is a proven format for high-converting sales pages that I recommend to Growth University clients:

  1.  Craft a Compelling Headline.
  2.  Tell a Vulnerable, Transparent Story That Connects with the Reader.
  3.  Agitate the Reader and List Some Common (Failed) Solutions.
  4.  Paint a Picture of What Life Looks Like Once the Problem Is Solved.
  5.  Tell Them Why Your Product Is the Solution.
  6.  Show the Pricing and Ask for the Sale.
  7.  Remove Doubt with Your Refund and Guarantee Policy.
  8.  Display Testimonials.
  9.  Answer Common Concerns with a FAQ Section.
  10.  Add More Testimonials.
  11.  Summarize and Ask for the Sale Again.

There’s a good reason why these steps are in this order. Each step logically flows one after the other, moving the reader along the buying journey.

 Use this online course sales page template to craft a high-converting page: Headline, Story, Agitate, Life with the Solution, Your product is the solution, Testimonials, FAQs, Summarize and CTA

Step 1: Craft a Compelling Headline

Your headline’s only job is to make people read the next line.

Let me say that again.

Your headline’s only job is to make people read the next line.

That means you need to immediately grab the reader’s attention, hook them in, and make them want to read more.

One useful tool to help you generate good headlines is to think about whether you’re selling vitamins or painkillers. Vitamins deliver a result that someone wants. Painkillers help someone avoid something they don’t want.

If you want to write a vitamins headline, then make a specific promise about the result the reader will get from the product.

For example, here’s the headline I wrote for a sales page that promises you’ll learn how to get 10,000 email subscribers.

Finally... a PROVEN... Step-by-Step System to Build an Email List from Scratch and Turn It Into Reliable Income

Why does this headline work? If you want to build an email list, you’re not just doing it for the fans. You want to turn that audience into reliable monthly income. But doing that is hard. So if I promise to show you an easy-to-follow, step-by-step system to do that, I have your attention.

A good framework you can use for an outcome-based headline is:

[Get outcome] in just [time period]... even if/without [common objection].

Here are some examples:

  • Learn Spanish in just 30 days… even if you hated it in school.
  • Cook a great Thanksgiving dinner this year… even if you’ve never cooked before.
  • Become a master copywriter… without spending thousands in school.

In contrast, a painkillers headline ties the product to a burning pain point the reader has. This could be anything from losing money, to wasting time, to avoiding risk, or to avoiding common mistakes.


  • Are you making these 7 common weight loss mistakes?
  • Is your home at risk from uninsured flood damage?
  • 3 ways your online business is at risk from compliance infractions (and how to avoid them).

You can test different types of headlines with segments of your email list to see what gets the most engagement.

Action Step #1: Draft 20 headlines. Come back to them a day or two later, and optimize the best three. Pick your favorite and run with it or test them separately.

Step 2: Tell a Vulnerable, Transparent Story That Connects with the Reader

This is far and away the most important piece, and it’s the one that most people miss or skip over.

It’s also probably the hardest.

Your story is where you really persuade your reader, not with logic, but with emotion. Because if we’re honest with ourselves, we make a lot of decisions emotionally first, and then justify it later to ourselves with logic and reason. (I hope it’s not just me.)

That’s exactly how you want your readers to react to your sales copy. You want to first build an emotional connection, so that later, you can give your reader some logical, rational reasons to justify their purchase.

To build that connection, you need to tell a story. But you can’t tell just any story. That story has to be a vulnerable, transparent story about yourself that shows how your life was transformed by the knowledge and advice that you’re selling to the reader.

If you do this right, you’ll build an emotional connection while also establishing yourself as an authority on your given topic.

Here’s an example from my life. My wife and I have been married 12 years, but 2019 was the hardest year of our marriage. In January 2020, we went out for dinner to a nice restaurant, and had a huge fight right in front of everyone. Frankly, it was kind of embarrassing, and at that point, we decided to get some help.

We looked around for a marriage counselor and found Glenn. He gave us a set of skills that we can use to better communicate, process our emotions, and deal with any relationship issue in our lives. And as a result, we’re having our best year of marriage ever.

Most marriage counselors keep their personal lives out of their counseling sessions. Not Glenn.

Glenn openly says things like, “Yeah, my marriage was a trainwreck, and the first couple years were really hard, until my wife and I tried doing [this].”

That’s what made us trust him. We know he’s teaching from his own experience. He’s willing to be open and honest about what he’s tried, what works for him and his wife, and what doesn’t. We know he’s taking his own advice — which is crucial when the product you’re selling is your own expertise or process.

If you’re selling an online course, you’re just like Glenn. You have the hard-won knowledge and expertise to change people’s lives. To do that, you need to make sure you’re doing a great job on your sales and marketing, so that you can reach the most people and have the biggest impact.

So how do you find a story to use for your sales page? Answer these three questions:

  1. What is the life/emotional impact your reader would want to have from solving the problem your course tackles?
  2. What is a time that you experienced that impact personally?
  3. What is a transparent and emotional story you could tell that would show that moment?

What you should be looking for is a moment of true transformation. And not anyone else’s transformation: It has to be your story.

Write your answers to the three questions above. Using your answers, draft the story section. Use your personal experience to illustrate some part of the transformation your target audience wants to have.

Transition to the Problem You Solve

It’s OK if you don’t have a life-altering moment to share. Not everyone has a story like Glenn does. As long as your story is genuine, related to the change your audience wants, and relevant to what you’re selling, it will work.

Here’s another example from the Get 10k Subs course. First, I talked about a time I failed. I tried to launch a product without building my audience first.

A screenshot from the "Get 10k Subs" course

Next, I contrasted that failure with the success that followed building an email list.

A screenshot from the "Get 10k Subs" course

This story wasn’t long and complicated. In retrospect, I could have dug in more to the pain of losing money on my product. But it still worked, because…

  1. It showed that I felt the same pain my audience felt.
  2. It was a first glance at how email lists could solve that pain.
Action Step #2:

  1. Write a story about your own experience that is genuine, vulnerable, and relevant.
  2. Write a short transition to connect your story with the problem your product solves.

Honestly, this is the hardest part of writing a sales page. There’s no gimmicky shortcut. You have to put in the work. But once you’ve done that, the rest of the page gets a whole lot easier.

Step 3: Agitate the Reader and List Some Common (Failed) Solutions

Once you’ve told a story that helps your reader trust you and want to listen to you, it’s time to pour a little salt in the wound. Not a lot — just a little to get them nodding along.

First, paint a picture of what life would be like for your reader if they don’t solve the problem they have.

  • What is the reader’s life like if this never gets fixed?
  • What does failure look like?
  • What does their business, their life, their emotional state look like?

If you’re a marriage counselor, then failing to address the problem you could solve might lead your reader to divorce, rarely seeing their kids, huge legal fees… the works. It’ll lead to a life of struggle and emotional turmoil. This is a problem they really have to solve, now.

Thankfully, Glenn never did this to me and my wife; otherwise, he could have doubled his rates. I’d pay anything to avoid the hurt and turmoil that comes with divorce.

Second, you want to list out a few of the common things your reader might have (unsuccessfully) tried. For example, if you’re selling a fat loss course, I bet a lot of your readers have tried low-fat diets or jogging to try and lose some weight. But for whatever reason, those tactics haven’t worked.

That’s pretty common. A lot of people sabotage themselves by trying things that feel like they should work but don’t. Or they try to follow generic advice that’s not appropriate for their situation. Your goal here is to point out those issues, which does a couple of things:

  1. It makes your readers feel like you understand them and their point of view.
  2. It sets us up nicely to talk about why your solution is different.

Here’s an example of a common mistake in list building I talked about in my sales page:

A screenshot from the "Get 10k Subs" course

Action Step #3: Draft a bullet-point list of problems your target customer would have if they don’t solve the problem you solve in your course. Pick the best (i.e., most pressing or highest-consequence) pain points and write two to three paragraphs about them. Make sure there is a smooth transition between this section and the story.

Step 4: Paint a Picture of What Life Looks Like Once the Problem Is Solved

At this point, offer some value to the reader with what I call a magic moment exercise. A magic moment is a small, five-minute exercise that provides your reader with a little “aha” moment and gives them a small, tangible step toward solving their problem.

One example we’ve used in the past is our advice for building an email list. When you’re getting started with an email list, it can be overwhelming to know what to do to grow it. But one simple tactic is to just text the last three people you spoke to and ask to add them to your list. Boom — five minutes later, you’ll have one to two new email subscribers.

Will it work forever? No. Does it start to build momentum? Absolutely.

If you’re a marriage counselor, you might recommend that I text my wife to say how grateful I am for one thing she’s done in the last couple days. That’s great, because I can do that immediately. My action doesn’t depend on anyone besides me. So right away, I’m feeling better about that problem, and I have Glenn to thank.

Compare that with another piece of marriage advice, which is to have me listen to my partner talk about their issues without judgment and without offering solutions — just letting them speak and feel like they’re being heard.

That’s useful advice. It does work, but it doesn’t depend entirely on me. I have to wait for my spouse to come home, get frustrated, and need me to listen. That’s not a great magic moment for a sales page because there’s a delay to the “aha” moment.

In contrast, you can text your partner immediately, feel good about yourself, and keep reading the sales page all in one go. That’s why the text exercise is a great magic moment.

At this point in the page, you can mention that if they liked that magic moment, then your full course contains a bunch of other tools just like that. That one exercise is just a tiny taste of the bigger course they’ll get.

Once your reader’s have that momentum going, you can transition to painting a picture of what life will be like when this problem is solved. You’ll use the same thought exercises here as you did in the agitate section:

  • What is the reader’s life like once this problem is fixed?
  • What does success look like?
  • What does their business, their life, their emotional state look like?

Action Step #4: Write down the answers to those questions, then refine them for your sales page. Pick a magic moment and write instructions for the reader on how to do it immediately.

Step 5: Tell Them Why Your Product Is the Solution

Next, transition into why your product is the solution to the problem. A simple sentence will do the trick, something like, “That’s why I created [product], so that you can avoid those [common mistakes from Step 4], get more tactics like the exercise I just gave you, and ultimately solve your problem and live the life you want.”

Use your core value proposition here.

Introducing 10,000 Subscribers

Next, close the loop on the magic moment from the previous section. Again, this can be simple — just a couple sentences like, “And if you liked the results you got from [exercise] above, you’ll love this course, because we have 20 more tools you can use just like that.”

Then you can go into more detail on exactly what’s in your course material. This is where we’ll start to provide the rational, logical arguments, to justify the purchase decision that the reader’s already emotionally on board with.

A simple way to do this is to list out the three key items that someone would want to learn on your particular topic, with a short paragraph under each one.

For example, here are the topics I used for the Get 10,000 Subscribers sales page:

  1. How do I get my first 10,000 subscribers?
  2. What technology should I use to build my list?
  3. How do I make money from my list?

"What will you learn in the course? This course covers three primary topics" (listed).

Next, list out the modules and what they’ll learn. Under each module, list out 10-20 bullet points of what specifically people will learn in each section of your course.

You can into the nitty-gritty details since you’re trying to demonstrate how much value someone will get from your course. Remember, this is the part where we make the rational arguments that let people justify the purchase.

Here’s another 10k Subs example:

Module 3: From 100 to 1,000 Subscribers (with a bullet point breakdown of what you can expect to learn).

Action Step #5: Write one to two paragraphs on the three main topics of your course. These should be the biggest problems you solve, or burning questions you answer for your audience. Then, write 10 bullet points to describe each module of your course. If you’re offering bonus materials (see the pricing instructions below for more info), describe those here, too.

Step 6: Show the Pricing and Ask for the Sale

It’s the part we’ve all been waiting for — or if you’re me, the part I skip down the page to before I go back and read the rest of the copy: pricing.

I highly recommend checking out a couple of resources we have on this already:

The key takeaway is this: Don’t just have one price; have three.

I recommend these pricing tiers:

  • Lowest price: customer gets the core, baseline modules.
  • Middle price: core modules, plus a few bonuses.
  • Highest price: core modules, a few bonuses, plus case studies, an online community, some additional modules, a one-on-one coaching session, or whatever else you want to do.

The simplest reason for this is because it makes you the most money. I don’t know about you, but I like money, and if I can get more of it for the same amount of work, I will. In fact, in this post, we talk about how a three-tier pricing strategy netted us $100k more, without changing our course at all.

A 3-tiered pricing structure works best, as shown here.

Structuring our pricing in three tiers, shown above, netted us $100k more than a two-tier pricing system.

The reason is because some people are always more price-sensitive than others. Some people want to sit in the front row at a Lakers game (or at least, they will once that’s allowed again) and are happy to pay the price. Some people want to get to the game for the lowest possible price. By offering different products at different prices — just like every sports arena and concert venue in the world — you let people buy at the price they’re comfortable with.

Offering those tiered prices means you have a product for someone who wants your expertise on a budget, as well as a product for your most ardent fans who want everything they can possibly get. That means you generate the most revenue you can and leave your customers happier, too.

Action Step #6: Go read our step-by-step guide on how to set your course pricing, then design three pricing packages for your course. Don’t forget to put a “Buy” button below the options.

Step 7: Remove Doubt with Your Money-Back Guarantee Policy

A refund policy removes pressure from the buyer because they know that if they buy, and it turns out your product’s not right for them, they won’t lose out.

There are three good options to choose from when it comes to your refund policy:

No-Questions-Asked, 30-day Guarantee

This is the simplest option. If anyone asks for a refund in the first 30 days, for any reason, just give it to them. As long as your refund rate stays under 10%, you’re probably fine. Higher than a 10% refund rate shows that for some reason, your product isn’t working for people. It might be that it’s hard to navigate, it might be that it doesn’t work, or it might be that it doesn’t meet their expectations. Talk to some of the customers that refunded to figure out why they didn’t like it, and then make sure you address those issues.

90-Day or Lifetime Refund Policy

Next, you can do a longer refund period, such as 90 days or even lifetime. These work well because it feels to the customer like there’s less urgency: They don’t need to rush to get their refund within 30 days. It leads to lower refunds because some people will just forget to request a refund, which works well for you (but ideally, we want to optimize for customer success rather than the lowest refund rate).

Mandatory Refund Policy

At Growth Tools, we like a mandatory refund policy. If you offer a mandatory refund, give your customers a small task or outcome you want them to achieve within the first seven days of the course. If they don’t get the outcome they wanted within seven days, require them to ask for a refund. They have to give it their honest, best effort — but if they do and don’t get the outcome they wanted, give them their money back.

7-Day MANDATORY Refund Policy

This means you’re only working with customers who are willing to put in the work to see results. It also means that if you’re getting too many refunds, it’s clear your product isn’t as good as you thought, so you know where and how to improve it.

I don’t recommend this for course creators who are just starting out. But once you’re confident in your product and positioning, it can be really powerful. Most course creators will do best with the 90-day refund policy.

Action Step #7: Decide which guarantee policy you’ll offer. Add it to your sales page draft.

Step 8: Display Testimonials

Honestly, there’s not much to say for this part other than to say that social proof is great and you should get some.

“But Bryan,” you’re asking, “should they be videos? Screenshots of emails? Just text boxes with a name and a photo?”

It doesn’t matter. Just get them and put the best ones in your sales page. The best testimonials:

  • Demonstrate a concrete result or outcome the person got from your course.
  • Are relatable, in terms of either the person or the situation they found themselves in.
  • Have a name and a photo of the person to build an element of trust.

If you can hit all three, that’s a great testimonial. We pull our coaching testimonials from self-reported client wins, so they look like this:

"I hit my goal for the last 12 months of sales - $265k for the financial year!" - Michelle Morrow

"I celebrated my first 5-figure month (and it wasn't even 5-figures it was multiple 5-figures)! My biz went from $8K in July to $20K in August!" - Neha Premjee

"I had my first $10,000 month!" - Adrienne Luedeking

I used a few other styles in the Get 10k Subs course, like this:

More customer testimonials from Grant Baldwin and Joseph Michael.

Another testimonial: Text and a video from Cathryn Lavery

Action Step #8: Gather your best testimonials. Put half of them here and save half for later. If you don’t have it, ask for permission to use your clients’ names and photos. Add them to your sales page. At this point, you can add a CTA button after each section so it’s easy for them to enroll as soon as they’re convinced.

Step 9: Answer Common Concerns with a FAQ Section

The FAQ section is your chance to answer common questions and overcome any last-minute objections people may have.

Typical questions you may need to answer are:

  • What’s the time commitment?
  • Will I have time-limited or lifetime access to the materials?
  • What do I do if I want a refund?
  • Can I upgrade to a different package if I want to? (Hint: The answer to this should always be “yes”.)

Try and keep the FAQ Section the top five to 10 questions/objections that commonly come up.

Remember: These sections are about providing some logical justification as to why buying your course is a good idea. You just need to keep the reader happy and address any concerns they may have.

Here’s an example:

Frequently Asked Questions example

Action Step #9: Draft answers to the most common questions and objections your potential customers have. Go back and update this section as needed after your course launch.

Step 10: Add More Testimonials

There’s no such thing as too many testimonials!

That’s not quite true, but I think people err on the side of not enough rather than too many. Add a few more after the FAQ section to re-emphasize that your product really does work. If you can get your hands on some video testimonials, this would be a great place to add them.

Action Step #10: Put the remaining half of your best testimonials here.

Step 11: Summarize and Ask for the Sale Again

Now it’s time to recap and summarize for your reader. To do this right, you should:

  • Use a paragraph header for this section, along the lines of, “Are you ready to [solve problem] and [get positive outcome]?” For example, our 10k Subs sales page ends with “Are you ready to build an email list and turn it into reliable income?”
  • List out the course content again (a list of the main modules or the key learning outcomes is fine). You don’t need all ten bullet points.
  • Add in another tiered pricing table with a call to action (CTA).

Having 3 tier options is a great way to make more money for your course, as shown here.

Action Step #11: Write your final sales pitch using the format above.

Common Sales Page Mistakes

The most common mistake I see in sales pages is people talking about themselves too much instead of talking about the client.

Think about if you were hiring someone to clean your house. Would you like it if they talked about themselves, why they love cleaning, what type of mop bucket they like, what hours they want to work? Nope. I want them to tell me about what they’re going to do for me: How clean my house will be… How much I’ll enjoy my clean, tidy house… How much more free time I’ll have when I don’t have to do the dishes myself…

Your sales page is the same. Talk about what you can do for your readers. Yes, we did say earlier that a crucial part of your sales page is your transformation story. And that’s true: You are telling a story about yourself. But once you’ve done that, focus on why that means you understand your reader’s problem and the transformation they could undergo.

One tactical point, too: Be super clear in the modules section about what your course covers to avoid any disappointment. If they’re getting video lectures, make that obvious. That way no one shows up at your door expecting an in-person lecture. 😏

A GIF of Sara Bareilles opening a door and sticking her head out.

“Hey, I’m here for that course you’re teaching!”

Finally, make sure each section you write has a clear heading. If you have one giant block of text from start to finish, skimmers will miss your most important points.

What Tools or Tech Should You Use?

Keep it simple. If you’re selling your course online, WordPress is fine. It’s the most common website platform for a reason.

If you want to use a landing page builder like Leadpages, Unbounce, or Instapage, go ahead. They’ll all get the job done.

If you want to go high end, you can hire a designer or a web developer and really go all out to make it amazing. I’d hold off, though. Good design doesn’t hurt, but ultimately, it’s your copy that sells, so that’s where you should spend your time for the quickest results.


What I’ve outlined in this post is a proven formula to create persuasive, informative, and high-converting sales pages.

I want to recap one point again because it’s so important.

The key to a great sale page is building an emotional connection with the reader.  That makes them understand how your life transformed when you figured out what you’ll teach them. That’s why you’re the person they should listen to.

Everything else — the agitation, the pricing, the refund strategy, the bonuses, the CTA — is a bunch of tactics designed to build on that emotional connection and give the reader the rationale they need to justify why they should buy. But all of that is 10x more effective if you build that connection first.

Do that, and you can sell like nobody else.

So… What story will you tell? Tell me in the comments!

Note: Want to skyrocket your online course sales in the next 90 days? Book a complimentary strategy call with our team. We’ll look under the hood of your business, identify your best growth opportunities, and show you an action plan to take advantage of them.