I’m a huge fan of the online learning platform Udemy. However, this article was written because they massively decrease instructor commissions. It is possible to make money from Udemy (I still make over $1000 passively every month) but please factor in a 30-40% reduction of profit into the following.
My main Udemy strategy is to create both free and paid courses and then promote discounts for the paid courses to the students on the free ones. There’s a video of how to do this in my how to sell your video courses on Udemy article.
Last weekend I launched my Running A Web Design Business course on Udemy for $39. I already knew from my e-book of the same name, the title works well as many people would like to work from home designing and developing websites for clients.
Udemy course launch
So, armed with an excellent course, I set out to do the most effective launch I could. I had both good 🙂 and bad 🙁 luck with it, read on to find out why…
Promoting offers to your following on Udemy is exactly the same as presenting an offer via email marketing. So, I used a tried and tested email marketing formula: I created a 50% off sale price and offered it for only a short period of time.
You do the promotions by sending an “Announcement” which sends an email as long as students haven’t unsubscribed from Udemy mail.
1st announcement/email: Thursday
The first email is traditionally more “soft sell”. So, I started off a bit low key:
Hiya, Rob here, I hope you are well! I’m dropping you a line to tell you about my new course and my new offer to you.
It’s a bit chatty but it’s emphasising the fact that the course is new. Here below is how the announcement looks in the email people receive:
As you can see, you can add images to Udemy announcements which look good in the email. Remember, if you add a cut-out image like the one above, put it on the light blue (Hex: #eff5f7) that Udemy uses as the background color.
I go on to introduce the offer:
Get this course before Monday (midnight PDT) and I’ll give it to you for only $19! (That’s over 50% off the normal price).
2nd announcement/email: Sunday
This was honestly the last email I’d planned to send out. With just over 24 hours to go on the offer, I thought I’d point out that the offer was expiring at the end of the following day (Monday) and continue on with a slightly harder sell:
I just wanted to remind you that the inaugural offer on the Running A Web Design Business course is about to expire. This will be the last time I will offer this course at this price.
I then notice that the 50% off coupon has expired 24 hours before I thought it was going to. Students are emailing me saying that they want the course at the reduced rate but can’t get it!
I’ve no choice but to send a third announcement…
3rd announcement/email: Monday
Another rule of email marketing: people love grovelling apologies:
I’m really sorry but I’ve goofed a little bit with the coupon code I sent you earlier. It seems the coupon expired on Sunday rather than Monday. So, and I’m really sorry to annoy you, but if anybody wants to get the course, Running A Web Design Business at $19 (50% off!) you can do with this new coupon. This offer expires in 2 days (midnight Wednesday PDT). I do apologise.
Another disaster strikes!
I find out the Monday is Labor Day in the US and I realise less people will open their emails on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday – all the more reason to extend the offer to Wednesday.
How did I get on?
Not bad. A total of 95 people purchased the course at $19. The announcements/emails were sent out to all the students on my paid for and free courses – roughly 7750 people – which means a conversion rate of 1.2%.
Have a look at how the announcements/emails affected sales:
Many thanks to Jennifer Bailey for help with the compilation of the above info.
As you can see, the “disaster” of the coupon expiring 24 hours early was actually a blessing in disguise. I got a further 22 sales from the third email.
A word of caution
Don’t abuse the Udemy announcements system. It’s extremely powerful and should be handled with care. If you bombard your students with offers it will result in damage to your brand, damage to the Udemy brand and, ultimately, students unsubscribing from announcements and going elsewhere.
Don’t send more than 5 announcements a month.
You can do it!
You can make money by becoming a Udemy instructor. Everyone is good at something. Anyone can teach online.
Give away good stuff for free and create value-packed premium courses – and then you’ll reap the rewards.