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SamCart Blog

How to Pre-Sell a Course


How to Pre-Sell a Course That Doesn’t Exist Yet

Knowing how to pre-sell a course is almost as important as creating it. Some people can struggle to get their course across the finish line. It happens. You start with tons of excitement. You’re motivated. Then weeks go by. The excitement fades, and now you’re wondering if you even want to continue.

The days of half-finished ideas are behind you. We’re going to get through this together, and you’ll pre-sell your course in four steps. 

“What is pre-selling,” you say? 

It’s getting people to buy your course before it’s finished. You can pre-sell your course before even getting started. 

You might be thinking having these thoughts.

  • “I can’t do that.”
  • “People aren’t going to buy my course.”
  • “What if I don’t deliver?”


Cross out those negative thoughts.

Learning how to pre-sell a course is easy and painless, promise. Pre-selling happens a lot more than you might realize.

Richard Branson has pre-sold 600 tickets for flights to space on Virgin Galactic. Those tickets are $250,000 each. 

Elon Musk pre-sells Tesla automobiles all the time. He’s actually sold over 1,000,000 Tesla Cyber Trucks, and they haven’t even built the factory that makes them yet. All those truck reservations, all that revenue, without producing a single truck. 


So how can you do it?

Step #1: Market Research

Market research is just a fancy way of trying to figure out what your potential students want. This is where you keep your ear to the ground. 

You should have an idea where these are hanging out online? Are they in Facebook groups? Twitter? Reddit? Instagram? YouTube comment sections? They could be anywhere.

Find them first, then create a simple two-question survey. Throw it out there for feedback.

  • Question #1: What is your biggest struggle with ________? 

Your job is to fill in the blank with whatever your audience is dying to achieve? What’s your biggest struggle with beating your friends at golf? What’s your biggest struggle with parenting a toddler? What’s your biggest struggle with playing guitar?

These aren’t close-ended “yes or no” questions. Open-ended questions give people room to tell you exactly what they need. The first question should just be a big text field. You want your audience to respond in their own words, and say as much as they want! Those answers are marketing gold, and you will save these, and use them everywhere. Every word will help make you more money.  

  • Question #2: What else could I help with?

Here’s another open-ended question. If people want to give you an essay, you let them! 

Take this survey and share it everywhere you can. Email subscribers, Instagram 

followers, past clients, everywhere you can get eyeballs. What your potential students 

want should be crystal clear once you get answers to your survey.

If you build it (in public), they will come.

Talk about the survey, and give people a heads up that you’re working on something. Let people see behind the curtain, and give them a glimpse of what is coming next. Bring them along for the ride, and show them how your story is unfolding. How interesting would you be if you could see an awesome course coming to life as it’s being built by the creator? You’re that creator!

Imagine being able to sit in on meetings at Tesla where Elon Musk is discussing the Cybertruck and giving you progress updates leading to the day where the Cybertruck you ordered shows up at your doorstep. Pretty cool, right?

Step #2: Create A Sales Page

Your pre-sell needs a page to introduce your new course; excite your audience, and close the sale. There’s no better place to start than SamCart.

Create your product in SamCart, and then select any of our pre-written sales pages from the template library. Each of these templates is like having our team write your sales page for you! So whether you’re selling a course, an eBook, a physical product or a service, you can pick your template, add in the details of your offer, and you’re ready to start selling.



Also, make sure you add these two super important components to your sales page.

Generous Discount 

Go big. Don’t skimp here. Make these people feel appreciated for being a part of that first group, because they are special.

Countdown Timer

Countdown timers let your audience know that this special offer won’t last forever. It’s a fantastic way to maximize your conversions, and capture more customers, because it incentivizes them to act. 

Step #3: Build A Waitlist

Now it’s time to build some hype. Be open and transparent. Let your audience know that you have something new coming. Remember, you’re “building in public”.

One of the best ways to build hype is to share the results from your two-question survey, and let your audience know that you are creating something for the most popular survey answer. 

If your top survey response tells you that your audience is dying for cheap weeknight meals for the whole family, you can let everyone know you’re putting together a brand new resource for them. This allows you to make a connection with these people. It shows that you’re paying attention to them and doing something about it.

Give people a way to join your waitlist. Continue offering sneak peeks of what is coming. Leak your course title or the cover image. Let your readers know exactly when they can learn everything. 

You want people to get excited, and you want them to circle a date on their calendar. So when your pre-sell starts, people are already lining up. 

Step #4: Sell Stuff

By the time your release date rolls around, the hard work is already done! You’ve got excitement. You’ve got a topic your audience will love, and you’ve got one simple page that can sell the heck out of this new course. 

Your only job now is to get as many people to that one simple SamCart page as possible, and continually let them know when your new pre-sell is ending. Every email you send out, every social media post, every text message…All of it should mention that this special offer is only available for a few days. We tend to see activity pick up most when deadlines are close, because that urgency is there. They can get the discount now, or pay full price later. By now you should have given them enough reason to make signing up for your discount offer a no-brainer.

When adding that countdown timer to your sales page you have a lot of options for timeframes, but we recommend no longer than three to four days. Remind people that this is a special offer, and the big discount for pre-selling goes away when those timers hit zero.

If you want to give your pre-sell a boost, roll out a free gift the day before you close. It can be one extra little download or a special live session with you. Make it something small that also expires when the deadline passes.



If you follow these steps and provide value to your potential customers, that last day will be the biggest sales day in your company’s history. Your pre-sell could be the beginning of your new full-time job.

Let’s recap those four easy steps on how to pre-sell a course.


Step #1: Market Research

Find out where your potential customers hang out online.

Send out a quick two-question survey.


Step #2: Create A Sales Page

Offer a generous discount.

Add a countdown timer (3-4 days max).


Step #3: Build A Waitlist

Create something for the most popular survey answer.

Give people a way to join your waitlist, and offer sneak peeks.


Step #4: Sell Stuff

Send reminders about your limited-time offer via email, social media, texts, etc.

Roll out a free gift the day before you close.


Pre-selling is powerful, and SamCart makes it easy, almost too easy.

I Know How to Pre-Sell a Course, but I Still Need Help

If you’re still having trouble completing your course, have no fear! SamCart’s Course Creation Challenge is the perfect way to get it done. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know, and provide you with a ton of resources to make sure you’re ready in 14 days.

The Course Creation Challenge is free if you sign up for any SamCart plan today (not including trials).

You’ll get exclusive access to the following with the Course Creation Challenge:

    • – The Course Creation Challenge Workbook to guide you step-by-step 
    • – Access to our invite-only Facebook group
    • – Facebook Ads 101
    • – Video Scripts
    • – Video gear recommendations, recording tips and a tour of our studio
    • – 4 live coaching sessions
    • – The 6-figure course breakdowns


And there’s lots more!

Join Our 14-Day Course Creation Challenge

With everything else included, the Course Creation Challenge comes in at a value of $3,793. You’ll get it for free.

Prepare, Present, Pre-Sell

Over 19,000 businesses have sold more than $2 billion of their own products, goods and services with SamCart. If you want  to learn more, head over to, and grab a free demo today. Talk with a real member of our team seven days a week, and get answers about how SamCart can help you.

Get A Demo Of SamCart Today

Check out all the powerful features that multiply your sales, the beautiful pre-designed templates that help launch your products faster than ever, and the simple platform that makes running your business simple. 

When you have the right tools at your disposal, big things happen. Make SamCart to work for you today.

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