What are some Marketing/Growth Hacking approaches for a FREE online course

I have a website with online courses teaching the basics of entrepreneurship in Arabic, targeting individuals in the MENA region. Students are very happy with the course and the completion rate is around 31% for my first (required) course which is great! What are some ways that could: - Help me encourage those students to become active promoters? - Ideas for Draws/Competitions that may bring more people? At the moment, I publish blog posts from time to time (content marketing). There is also a FREE ebook that can be downloaded by signing up, although this doesn't mean people will be encouraged to take the course since a lot of people are signing up for the ebook. Thanks!


First of all, congratulations on creating a course that your students love! I am sure it is really rewarding for you to see that 31% completion rate.

Here's my take on this, as someone who has successfully sold online courses for the past 7+ years...

First, I wish I knew more about your goals. You mentioned that your course is free, so it makes me wonder whether you are doing this for charity, or if you are using this free course as a tool to nurture leads for another product or service?

In any case, there are tons of ways to encourage your students to become active promoters. Here are a few ideas:

1. Ask for students to review your course upon completion (or even upon completion of each module).

Not only will you be able to put these testimonials up on your website for social proof, but your students will start to think of themselves as ambassadors of your program, and will be far more likely to recommend it to a friend.

2. Offer rewards for referrals.

There are tools that will allow you to track referrals and offer rewards to people for successfully referring a certain number of students. Think about what bonuses you could offer, such as coaching or an additional lesson, and use these as incentives for students to share your course through their unique referral URL. Here's an example of a similar program:

3. Use your free eBook as a teaser.

Don't give away the farm in your eBook– keep it very brief, actionable, and quick to digest. A checklist is best for this. Then at the end of your eBook, include a call to action to enroll in the course.

4. Use competitions to give away bonus content.

If your course was paid, I would say to hold a contest where the winner earns a free scholarship. Since your course is already free, however, you could offer a bonus as the prize. Again, this could be coaching, access to a private group, an additional lesson... anything that will enhance the course.

Those are just a few ideas to get you started... the possibilities are endless!

I hope that helped. If you want to chat further, feel free to give me a call. Good luck!!

Answered 2 years ago

Love this! You've already got active students which is a great starting place.

Just a couple of clarifying questions:

- Do you have a separate email list for your students outside of the list gained from giving out the eBook? This could be where your promoter marketing can begin.

- Is 'active promoter' the endgame where you make a profit? If so, what does that look like?

- As far as bringing in more people; Draws/Competitions are usually more successful in a social media environment for several reasons. What does your social media audience look like?

Another way to maximize your traffic to bring in more people would be to set up a re-marketing campaign for the people who have viewed your course, but decided not to sign up. This group might be more likely to just download the free eBook in exchange for their email. The only issue is that you would need paid traffic via Google Ads or Facebook Ads to do this well. If you don't have Google Analytics set up yet, I would do that right away so that it can start tracking those traffic flows.

Answered 2 years ago


It looks like Mark has helped answer some of your questions. I can answer your question about competitions as I've designed and managed many for my own clients.

Contests do very well using social media to both promote and host them. If you just have a website, you can host a contest, there, but you still need a way to get the word out, which involves social media, email blasts, or some other type of marketing.

A few tips to make your contests better:
• Give away a prize that is associated with the product you want to ultimately drive people towards. For instance you could give away a free ebook on getting started as an entrepreneur, then send those people an email inviting them to your online course (maybe with a discount). The idea behind this is that you are associating your business with what you do in the eyes of your potential customers. This is much more effective than giving away an ipad, or another generic product. It also gives potential customers a "taste" of what you have to offer.
• Even if you're going to promote and host your contest on social media, you need to capture email addresses for people who sign up. At the very least, Facebook requires you to do this.
• Keep the time of your contest between 2-4 weeks. Some people advocate less time, but I find that only works if you have a really large engaged audience on social media.
• Promote the heck out of your contest. Ideally, you want to promote the contest a lot at the beginning and the end. That's where you're more likely to receive more signups.

I hope this helps. :)

Answered 2 years ago

I would change your thinking.

At the moment you are trying to generate traffic to your website which is hard work.

Why not go to an online learning website like or and upload your entrepreneurship course in arabic.

I’m assuming people in the MENA region use these online learning sites, so you could quickly and easily get your course in front of many arabic speaking people who are looking to learn about entrepreneurship.

Once you have a good number of reviews, you can even start to charge for the course to generate passive income and build your brand :-)

Answered 2 years ago

Great answers so far! Since most of the major points have been covered, here's a strategy that could get you 3x more social shares from each student...

Tools like incentivize your student to get an extra bonus when they share your giveaway with 3 other people. WIN-WIN-WIN!

- Daniel Bennett

Answered 2 years ago

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