The Complete Online Language Course Launch Checklist

It’s that time of year again.

The new year’s resolution rush is over and committed language learners are now looking for courses like yours to accelerate their learning. 

Which can only mean one thing: it’s time to start planning your language course launch. 

But… where should you start? What happens when? And how can you prepare for a successful launch while juggling your 1:1s, marketing and everything in between?

Whether you’re planning your first-ever launch or you’re ready to make this your best one yet, you’re in the right place. This copywriter-approved launch checklist will help make sure you have everything in tip-top sales shape before the big day. 

Your Pre-Pre-Launch Checklist 

If you’ve ever launched your language course before, you’ll know that it’s not as simple as throwing up a sales page and sharing it on social media. There’s a lot to do before you even think about announcing it. So pretty please start working through this checklist at least a few months before launch day. 

Step #1: Decide on the key launch dates 

TIMELINE: 3 months before pre-launch

All successful language course launches start with a solid plan. Without one, you risk forgetting something — or worse, launching with the wrong date. (You laugh, but my husband actually did this the other day…)

Before you do anything else, decide:

  • The presale dates: This is not a necessity, but it can be a great way to get people through the doors early on and beta test your offer before it’s officially released.
  • The open and close cart dates: When will you officially start selling your course? And how long do people have to enrol? Not sure? 7-14 days is usually enough.
  • The launch event: Are you running a live launch event before you officially announce your course? This can be a great way to build excitement, earn trust and deliver your pitch to as many people as possible. 
  • The pre-launch duration: Once you know when you’re launching, you can decide when to start warming people up, growing your audience and letting them know that something is coming.
  • The course dates: When it starts, when it ends, when any live lessons take place or any self-paced modules are released. These details will be super important when you come to write your sales page.

Step #2: Plan your marketing assets

TIMELINE: 3 months before pre-launch

Launch assets are like puzzle pieces. They fit together to build a clear picture of why someone should buy your language course. One missing could ruin the whole thing. So once you’ve decided on the dates, create a list of all the assets you’ll need to successfully sell your course.

Not sure what you need? Steal my basic pre-launch checklist:

  • Pre-launch social media content 
  • Pre-launch email content 
  • Opt-in page for freebie
  • Opt-in thank you email 
  • Freebie reminder email (if you’re running a live launch webinar or challenge)
  • Pre-launch email sequence 
  • Sales page  
  • Thank you page
  • Open cart emails 
  • Close cart emails 
  • Purchase confirmation email

While you’re on this step, think about how you’re going to encourage people to join your language course now rather than later. Will it be more expensive next time? Do you know if you’ll even run it again? There’s no right or wrong answer. Just make sure you stick to what you promise.

Step #3: Figure out your messaging

TIMELINE: 2-3 months before pre-launch

Messaging is marketing jargon for ‘how you communicate the value of your offer’. It’s to the words and phrases you use to make your readers feel a certain way about your brand, your mission and your offer. 

Ultimately, it’s what separates your course from the competition and helps your ideal students decide whether or not it’s right for them. So it’s an essential part of your launch strategy. 

To craft a powerful message that steers clear of clichés, revisit your market research and ask yourself:

  • What problem does my course solve? How is this problem showing up in my students’ lives?
  • What is my students’ big goal? Why would they take a course like this?
  • What is solving this problem worth to my students? How will their life change after the course?
  • How is my course different from other courses they may be considering?

Three months might sound like a long time, but developing a good messaging strategy isn’t easy. Leave yourself plenty of time to complete this stage to save yourself the stress later. 

Don’t want to do this part yourself? This is *also* the perfect time to hire a copywriter to help create that magic messaging strategy that will make you stand out.

Your Pre-Launch Preparation 

Course? Check. Planning? Check. It’s time to start creating the assets you’ll need to launch your language course. 

I suggest starting with the final action you want people to take (i.e. buying the course) and working backwards. This allows you to craft a congruent message that logically unfolds as you move through the launch period. 

Step #4: Write your sales page 

TIMELINE: 1 month before pre-launch

sales page is the most important asset in your launch campaign. 

It’s the final stop on your audience’s journey to enrolling in your course, which means it should answer every last question or doubt they have about joining. 

That’s why I suggest you start here. 

By writing your sales page first, you can get crystal clear on the details of your language course and the objections people may have to buying it before you write anything else. Not only does this help strengthen your message, but it also gives you tons of ready-made content ideas to use in your email campaign, your social media posts and your Instagram lives. 

You’ve got enough on your launch checklist already. Why not make it slightly easier?

Don’t miss this post: The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Language Course Sales Page

Step #5: Write the sales emails 

TIMELINE: 1 month before pre-launch

Working backwards, the next thing to tackle is your sales emails — aka the mini vehicles that drive people towards your sales page.

How many emails you’re sending will depend on a few things, such as: 

  • How long your open cart period is
  • How many objections your people have 
  • How much they need to know before they can confidently hit BUY

Don’t forget, you now have your sales page ready, so you can save yourself some time by turning some of these themes into standalone emails that address one benefit, objection or case study at a time. 

Step #6: Write the landing page for your launch event

TIMELINE: 1 month before pre-launch

Your live launch event opt-in page sits at the top of your course sales funnel, which means it has an important role to play in bringing the right people into your world. 

Because running a launch event isn’t just about getting tons of people there; it’s about attracting the people who are most likely to join your course. 

So if your online language course helps foreign students learn basic German, it’s no use running a general event on German grammar. You want to choose something that appeals specifically to students.  

Long story short: plan an event that solves a problem related to your course, and make sure your landing page shows it.

Step #7: Create your pre-launch and launch content

TIMELINE: 1 month before pre-launch

As a language teacher, you may know *exactly* what your students need. But what they need and what they THINK they need may be two very different things

That’s why you need to spend plenty of time speaking about the problem your course solves before you officially announce it. Then, by the time you announce your language course, they’ll (hopefully) see a real need to invest in it.

We can split your launch content into three main categories: 

  1. Pre-launch education content: Content that addresses and empathises with the problem you solve with an aim to raise awareness around the challenge and build a desire for a solution. This content doesn’t sell anything. 
  2. Pre-launch content: This content bridges the gap between the problem and the solution by teasing that *something* is coming to help with the challenges they are now very aware need solving. 
  3. Launch sales content: AKA content that sells your language course by highlighting its benefits, sharing testimonials and helping your audience picture life after working with you. 

Phew. See why we need to start launch prep so far in advance? 

Read more about content types: The Language Teacher’s Guide to Effective Content Marketing

Your Pre-launch Phase

It’s (almost) time! 

Note that you don’t have to have everything planned out and tested before you reach the pre-launch phase. But having your content written will at least make this part a lot less stressful. 

Step #8: Begin posting relevant content

TIMELINE: 1-2 months before launching

Remember that educational content I mentioned? You’ll want to start sharing that around 6-8 weeks before you open the doors to your language course.

Note that the duration of your pre-launch phase largely depends on how aware your audience already is. By that I mean, do they KNOW they have the problem? Are they actively seeking a solution? If the answer’s yes, you may be able to get away with a shorter pre-launch period. If not, you’ll likely need to spend longer posting educational content. 

Either way, this stage is all about awareness, so don’t mention your course directly just yet. 

Step #9: Tease the solution

TIMELINE: 14-28 days before launch day

Around 2-4 weeks before launch time, you’ll want to start speaking about what you’ve been working on. That doesn’t mean spilling all the beans on your course, though.  

The purpose of this is to simply make sure people know you’ll be selling something that solves the problem they now know they have. 

Share teasers, show what’s going on behind the scenes, ask your followers to guess what’s coming or open a waitlist. This helps build anticipation and offer an early indication of how many people are interested. 

Step #10: Share the lead magnet 

TIMELINE: 10-14 days before launch day

By this point, your people know that something is coming. They also know it will solve the problem they’ve had on their mind since you so cleverly started speaking about it weeks ago. Now it’s time to announce the first step to solving that problem: your live launch event. 

I recommend leaving around 10-14 days for people to sign up for your live event. After all, launching is a numbers game. The more people you can attract into your world now, the more likely you are to sell spaces later. 

Your Course Launch

You’ve laid the foundations for a successful launch. Now you just need to keep your energy high, stay positive and be prepared to answer a flood of questions from potential students. 

Step #11: Show up regularly 

Your live launch event should be the first place you reveal the ins and outs of your language course. But as soon as you’ve done that, you can trigger your sales emails and start speaking about it on social media. 

It takes up to seven times for a message to sink in with people. So though you may feel like a broken record during this phase, your people are unlikely to notice. 

It’s easy to write a launch off as a flop if you don’t immediately get loads of sign ups, but honestly ANYTHING can happen throughout the week. So hold tight, stay positive and keep showing up.

Step #12: Announce that doors are closing soon

As you near the end of your open cart phase, you’ll want to get more explicit in your messaging. Don’t beat around the bush. Tell people that doors are closing soon — maybe with a countdown timer — and remind them why now is the right time to buy. 

And if this feels salesy? Remember that you created this course to help people solve a problem. You know it works, you know who it will benefit and you know that you’d never push someone to buy something they don’t want or need.

Step #13: Celebrate! 

You’ve done it. Your language course launch is complete! Once the dust has settled and you’ve recouped some of your energy, you’ll want to analyse your launch metrics to see how your sales page and email campaign performed and what you can tweak and improve for next time… 

But that’s a post for another day. First, you deserve a well-earned drink and a good night’s sleep. Congrats!

Want to check a few items off your language course launch checklist? 

Here’s how I can help: 

  1. Hire me to write your launch copy for you. I can take care of everything from crafting that big, stand out message to writing high-converting assets, such as your sales page, emails and landing page. 
  2. DIY-ing but still want a hand? My Level Up Launch Templates give you a bank of level-specific copy prompts and guidelines that help you write incredible copy in a fraction of the time.
  3. Let’s create your map out your campaign together. Book a Power Hour and we’ll map out your launch strategy, so you feel less overwhelmed and more excited about sharing your language course with the world.

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