How I Launched a Course and Made $105,637 in ~4 Days

Breaking down my cohort course growth

Deep Dive

How I Launched a Course and Made $105,637 in ~4 Days

You don’t need a large audience to make money.

On January 18th, 2024 I publicly launched my first cohort-based course, The Newsletter Growth System to this email list.

I had 13,230 email subscribers at the time.

The course generated $105,637 in revenue and we sold out of seats for the cohort in 4 days.

Here’s how I did it

First off, I don’t say this to brag. Instead, I want to be transparent and show you exactly how I monetize this newsletter.

Hopefully, my experience will help you.

Also, I don’t claim to be a course marketing expert. This was my first course ever.

Courses are not my primary revenue stream. I have a marketing agency that does 7-figures in annual revenue.

That said, let’s get into the tactics I used…

The offer - How I decide what to sell

I’ve been running GrowLetter, an agency that helps media companies and creators grow their newsletters for 2 years.

I talk to people who want help but can't afford our services all the time.

The goal of Growth System is to be the “do it yourself” or “done with you” service option for people who can’t work with our agency yet.

In the course, I teach all the tactics we use to get clients more engaged newsletter subscribers and convert them into customers.

Plus, I share templates, examples, and case studies to make it easy to implement these growth tactics.

And finally, my team and I share feedback with each student on their work.

The first cohort was 5 weeks long and consisted of:

  • 2 expert guest events

  • 1 live networking event

  • 12 live training sessions

  • 50+ examples and templates

  • 250+ posts in our community

  • 4 coaches from our agency for support and feedback

The price point

I looked at other cohort courses like Maven and Ship 30 for 30 to see what pricing looked like.

Cohort courses usually cost $800 to $1500 with some higher-end examples ranging from $2000 to $5000.

I decided to price my first cohort on the lower end of that and charge $999.

Limited seats

I limited the first cohort to 100 total students for 3 reasons:

1) To give me enough time to share 1on1 feedback with each student (I also paid 3 coaches to help with student feedback + coaching)

2) To keep the first cohort small. It’s better to limit the first cohort to a small group. Improve it. Then share it with a larger audience later.

3) To make it easier to sell. Real scarcity and urgency make this much easier.

Pre-launch - How I presold the course

To get live feedback on my pitch for the course I did 5 live webinars in December 2023 and January 2024.

These webinars served 2 purposes:

1) To practice and get feedback for a live in-person talk I was doing at Traffic and Conversion Summit

This was my first live event ever. I needed to practice the content in my talk.

The content I did on the webinars and at the event was the same except I added a pitch for my course at the end of the webinar.

2) To presell the course

At the end of the webinar, I added slides about the benefits of the course, the limited number of students, the start date, etc.

On the 1st webinar, my pitch was bad.

I only had about 10 slides for the course pitch.

Then with each webinar, I got better. By the 5th webinar, I had refined my pitch and had 62 slides about the course and 177 total slides.

There were 2,015 registrations for the webinars and ~500-1000 showed up live (I used Luma and Zoom which don’t track how many live attendees I had).

Over these 5 live webinars, I sold 32 seats for the course.

I did not share a recorded webinar replay. I wanted my talk at Traffic and Conversion Summit to be the first time I shared this content with “the public”.

A webinar recording would have certainly helped me sell more seats.

How I drove webinar registrations

Just 3 ways:

  • 2-3 tweets like this about the webinar

  • 1 call-to-action (CTA) at the top of my newsletter

  • 1-2 emails to a 2,000-person segment of my email list

Email Example

I could have driven more registrations with more emails and tweets but I wanted to keep these webinars small as I worked out the material.

Launch - How I marketed the course to my audience

I did the public course launch on Thursday, January 18th.

From Thursday to Sunday, I sold the remaining 68 seats for the course and ended enrollment on Sunday at noon.

Here’s the timeline and promotions I used:

  • Thursday morning - Tweet about the course launch

  • Thursday morning - Email to my 4,245 most engaged subscribers

  • Thursday afternoon - Quote Tweet of the announcement post

  • Friday morning - Quote Tweet of the announcement post

  • Saturday morning - CTA at the top of my newsletter sent to all subscribers

  • Saturday - Quote Tweet of the announcement post

  • Sunday morning - Quote Tweet of the announcement post

  • Sunday midday - Sold out. Tweet announcing enrollment is closed.

I did 4-5 “quote Tweets of the announcement post”. I’ve since deleted all these posts so I can’t link to them.

Here’s how they worked:

Every time we sold more spots and there were fewer available I would post:

  • “Only 50 spots left”

  • “Only 35 spots left”

  • “Only 20 spots left”

  • “Just 7 spots left for the course”

  • Etc

You get the idea. These posts reminded people about the real scarcity of the course. There were only 100 spots available.

Sometimes a quote Tweet would only get ~400 views. But they would always drive more sales.

Side note: If you’re wondering why this course generated $105,637 in sales and not $99,900 (100 students at $999). It’s because I had to manually close the cart and a few additional purchases came in before I got to my laptop to end enrollment on Sunday.

The sales page - Converting traffic into customers

I’m a believer that long-form copy sells information products like courses, coaching, subscriptions, and memberships.

For the Growth System I used this sales page. 

It’s ugly. I made this page on beehiiv to save time.

But here’s the important part — the sale page has 2800+ words of copy with:

  • 18 testimonials from my clients

  • My story and why you should trust me

  • All the course features and curriculum

  • 14 frequently asked questions and objections

  • The unique selling proposition and benefits of the course

The sales page I create for the next cohort will be better structured, 1000+ words longer, designed by a professional, and will have 3-4x the amount of social proof and testimonials.

Hoped this helped!

If you want more content on selling courses and information products click the poll at the bottom of this email or reply.

I have more insights to share. This post touches on promotion — but there’s so much more to creating a great course:

Crafting an offer, cohort Vs evergreen, course curriculum, teaching, student feedback, getting testimonials, upsells — the list goes on.

Let me know what you’d like me to cover!


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