Why You Should Offer a Free Mini Course on Your Site

You probably spend some of your time working on content for paid courses and the rest of it promoting those courses. It can seem counterproductive to offer something you spent a lot of time and maybe even money on for free. What you may not realize, however, is how much money you may be leaving on the table by not offering more free content.

Here are the reasons why LMS websites should consider offering free mini courses in their libraries:

  • It allows you to acquire more email subscribers (leads).
  • It allows you to acquire the right kinds of leads.

Acquiring More Email Subscribers & Leads

A free course offered in exchange for a user’s email address is a type of “opt-in incentive” or “lead magnet.” Lead magnets come in a variety of different formats, including ebooks and email courses. We’ll get to why offering a free mini course in your course library would be more beneficial to you in the next two sections.

You can use lead magnet as an incentive to encourage casual visitors of your website to subscribe to your email list. Many users see their email addresses as precious private information in the digital era, so it’s better to offer them something in return when they’re willing to give it to you. It’s more effective than a generic “subscribe for updates” tagline, and it gives you a better way of starting a relationship with a potential customer.

Acquiring the Right Leads

So, using lead magnets can increase the amount of subscribers your email list receives, but why should you choose a free mini course over another type of incentive? It’ll help you acquire the right kinds of leads if you offer paid courses as products.

It’s simple. A casual visitor who chooses to solve a tiny issue of a major problem with a free course is more likely to purchase the paid course that solves that major problem than a visitor who subscribes to your list to “receive updates” or access a free ebook.

Acquiring Leads for a Paid Course

When you acquire a lead through your email list by offering a free product, you have the opportunity to provide value before asking them to purchase your paid product. This is called “nurturing.”

The best way to do this is to create a mini course that relates to your paid course, and break the mini course down into 3-5 lessons. Instead of offering access to the entire mini course upfront, use your email list to drip each lesson to the subscriber every 3-7 days.

When you send the email that provides the second to last lesson, briefly mention your paid course. Wait a few days after you send the final lesson, and send one last email promoting your paid course with an exclusive discount. This strategy works best when you use a strict enrollment period.

Where Should You Promote the Mini Course?

  1. Blog posts that feature similar topics to the course.
  2. Facebook ads.

In WPLMS we’ve taken special care for enabling this feature in courses for your WordPress LMS. You can create free units in your courses by enabling the free switch in every unit. Another option is to make the first section free in your WPLMS course.


  1. racheldubois says:

    This is some very helpful and relevant information, as I’m setting up my WPLMS site now. I would love more articles like this on the content and marketing side, and I would REALLY love some kind of mini-course in how to set up your website. I don’t mean technically, which you already do, but more on the content strategy. Thanks for making such a great theme and having this kind of support.

  2. Contega says:

    There is something to think about. As for me, email subscribers are not so profitable, but the optimization works well.

  3. Thompson says:

    I think this is a great way to learn new things through your offer.

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