How To Create A Profitable Free Course Funnel

Apr 25, 2024

No, a "Free" Course Funnel doesn't mean you do a lot of work for nothing. 

In fact, if you do it right… 

You'll get paid a ton as a consequence of creating one. Plus, you won’t have to wait that long to get sales either.

Of course, this type of funnel isn’t right for every niche. And way too many course creators do it poorly and end up with nothing to show for it.

Today, I want to show you how to avoid such a fate, know for sure if a Free Course Funnel fits your niche, and how to create one that lays the groundwork for getting consistent sales of your main course.

Let’s dive into it.


What Should A Free Course Funnel Accomplish

The Free Course Funnel has the same end goal as any other funnel:

Getting your target audience to act and buy your paid course.

To do that, it has to get prospects to say “Yes” to two very specific questions. I show you exactly how to do that and explain what a funnel is in depth in this article. So, I won’t go into it here. 

On top of covering the basics, your Free Course Funnel also needs an offer your ideal prospects will find irresistible. 

So, don't dial it down because the course is free…

You still have to offer high value and build enough trust for people to be ready to continue their journey with you by getting your paid course. 

In other words, you actually need to teach for the Free Course to get the desired results. This isn’t just a crazy sales tactic intended to play mind games (or is just a little bit of that)…

It’s something that will give tangible value to the prospect. And build trust through your teaching in the process. 

Which, IMO, makes the Free Course Funnel the most authentic funnel out there.

Now, let me show you how to ensure your content inspires the same opinion in your prospects’ minds.


What Kind Of Content Should Your Free Course Feature

To get the prospect intrigued to go through your free course — you need a clear outcome.

One that they deeply desire.

But this can’t be the dream outcome your paid course promises, of course. Instead, it should be something I call:

Mini-dream outcome.

So, you should look for a place in your paid course where you know people have already gotten some quick wins and see they are on the right track…

And then draw the line there. 

For example, the dream outcome for playing piano is being able to sit and pick up new songs on your own. But the mini-dream outcome can be learning to play say 5 songs…

And just know you can do it.

In a nutshell, by aiming for a clear mini-dream outcome, you give people clear value AND get them excited for more. Just beware to not go too deep and make your paid course obsolete…

Or go too shallow and don’t provide any value at all.

(Quick tip: Now you also clearly see that only niches where you can draw such a line are a good fit for a Free Course Funnel. So, things like hobby courses lend themselves best to it.)

As far as the actual content goes, the norm is having about 4-7 lessons, 5-15 minutes each. The exact amount depends on what you teach, of course. 

But once again, remember not to go overboard. Or provide too little.

The one final key thing is this:

Make sure that the last lesson/video in your free course is a pitch for your paid course.

You’ll see why this is so critical as we break down the Free Course Funnel in the next section.


The Free Course Funnel Creation Blueprint

Before I give you a day-by-day breakdown of how I suggest you structure your free course funnel — you need to create one more thing in addition to the content:

An opt-in page you’ll drive traffic to.

In a nutshell, this page should highlight the key benefits and the mini-dream outcome/transformation of your free course. (You’ll see some examples in the next section that will help you understand what to strive for.)

When you have the opt-in page ready, you need to create an email sequence that’s the bedrock of the funnel. Let me show you how this should look by outlining the prospect’s journey through your funnel:

  • Day 0: The prospect enters your funnel

I start with “0” because this is the only potentially not full 24-hour period in the Free Course Funnel. That’s because the prospect can enter it at any time of the day.

So, once the prospect fills out your opt-in form…

They should instantly go to a “Thank You” page that tells them to check their email if they want to get the course.

Once they do that, your first, “Welcome”, email should be waiting in their inbox. Even if it’s in the Promotion or Spam tab, people have a big incentive to go find it.

And in that first email you direct people to your free course. 

Plus, because your last video is a pitch for your paid course — you’re also selling from the outset.

  • Days 1,2, and 3: Covering the prospect’s objections

Here’s where you take the main objections people in your niche have, craft an email around them…

And link back to your free course.

For example, one of the objections for learning to play the piano is that it’s too complicated. So, you explain why that’s not the case…

And point to your free course if they want to learn more. 

If any of the objections you cover hit a nerve — you boost the chances of prospects going through the course.

And if they go through it, they will also see your pitch at the end.

  • Days 4,5,6,7: You start to hard-sell

So, your next four emails link directly to your paid course. 

The way I do it, email 4 on Day 4 just notifies people the enrollment is open. 

Then, email 5 on Day 5 covers all the most important questions the prospect may have about your course.

On Day 6, you can send a case study that showcases the transformation your course can get. And finally, on Day 7, you can send two emails:

One that reminds people the offer ends tonight…

And the final “Last Call” email.

  • The Final message

After Day 7 ends, you must close the sales page and honor the deadline. One final contact can be on Day 10 with an email that just asks people…

“Hey, I noticed you didn’t enroll. Why is that?”

And that’s how you create a Free Course Funnel. Step by step.

Here’s a picture of the process to make it even easier to follow:

Of course, there are more ways than one to make your Free Course Funnel a success. Now I want to show you a few examples you can use as inspiration.


The Free Course Funnel In Action: Real-Life Examples To Learn From & Emulate

My absolute favorite example of a successful Free Course Funnel is “German With Laura.”

Go to that page, and you’ll instantly notice your eyes drawn to the “Get Started Free” part. Then, follow that CTA and study the opt-in page in depth.

It hits every box on the “do it right” checklist. 

Then, make sure to enroll and study all the emails and the pitch in the free course. You’ll get a ton of insights and a practical example of following my blueprint.

And if you want to see a different approach, one that doesn’t offer the entire free course on day 0 but drips it in a sequence of emails instead…

Check out this opt-in page and funnel.

I like my blueprint better because it starts selling from Day 1 and gives you more chances to get a conversion. But this approach can also work — both examples I showed you reached 7 figures in sales.



For certain niches, a Free Course Funnel can both set the stage for creating trust and a long-term relationship with prospects…

While getting sales flowing in straight away.

Here’s to using the blueprint and the guidelines from above to create one that gives you an instant spike in conversions…

And access to a base of ideal prospects you can continue to sell to in the future.

I’m rooting for you.