How To Use Mini Offers To Validate Your Online Course

*Special welcome to Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield Listeners*

Do you have a burning desire to create and sell something online – a course, a mastermind, a membership, a program – but you feel like there are too many roadblocks and hurdles in your way to get started? 

Yep, I've been there. 

I could see the possibilities.

I could see how I could help so many more people than I could EVER work with 1-on-1 by creating a course.

I really wanted to figure it out.


… I felt like I ran into a brick wall every time I turned around. Until I figured out how to use mini-offers to create a stepping stone into my bigger course offer. 

Before I dive into how I used the mini offers, let's back up for a minute and talk about the 3 major hurdles that were holding me back from diving in and just launching a course:


Online Course Creation Hurdle #1: No Time

I had a LOT of 1-on-1 clients I was working with when I decided to create a course… and honestly, I truly felt like there weren't enough hours in the day to tackle my own work along with their work. Looking back, this was truly just a big excuse… but it felt very real at the time. I simply had to make a decision to make time for my projects. Period. 

Online Course Creation Hurdle #2: No Relevant Testimonials

This one was tough for me. I had signed a Non Disclosure Agreements (NDA) with most of my 1-on-1 clients, which meant that I couldn't publicly talk about the work I was doing with them. And the few clients whom I could talk about publicly would be giving me a testimonial about my 1-on-1 work… which wouldn't be relevant to the course I wanted to create. I really felt like this was a catch-22 and I felt STUCK.  

Online Course Creation Hurdle #3: No Engagement

I hadn't done a very good job of engaging with my email list so most of my list completely ignored my emails… I needed to spend some time warming them up and re-engaging with them so the people on my email list remembered who I was and why they wanted to listen to me. 


So, how did I use mini-offers to overcome these hurdles and finally create an online course?

Honestly, it all stemmed from those 3 hurdles I outlined above along with wanting to build my own confidence that whatever I built was what people *actually* wanted to buy. Let's dive into what this looked like:

Mini Offer #1: The Marketing System Health Check Up


Offer details: This mini-offer was designed to check if people wanted or valued personalized video feedback on their marketing. 

  • First 10 people were free; after that $197
  • I sent emails to my list
  • 2 posts to my Facebook group
  • Simple sales page
  • PayPal
  • Generated a number of great testimonials + feedback on what people LOVED about the videos and also what else they would like 







Mini Offer #2: Podcast Pitch Template + $47 Mini Offer: Ultimate Podcast Pitch List

This mini-offer was designed to check if people wanted to know how to drive traffic into their marketing funnel once it was created. I would hear all the time – how do I get people to know about my business? One of my FAVORITE ways is by being a guest on podcasts so I put together some free resources + mini offers test out if people wanted this information. Turns out, this is one of the most popular categories on my site now! 

  • Blog post is free
  • Podcast Guest Pitch Template is free
  • Ran some Facebook ads
  • Sent some emails to my list about quiz

Experience this offer for yourself so you can see what the process is like. Opt in here for the podcast pitch template and you'll be taken to the mini offer page:


Read the “Pitch Yourself as a podcast guest. Like a pro”. here 






Grab the Ultimate 2018 Podcast Pitch list here. 


Mini Offer #3: Pillar Post To Test The Topic 

I then created a pillar blog post that was designed to test the waters on interest in marketing funnels which leads into my ultimate online course offer. You can see the full pillar post here.

I used this pillar post as a way to warm up my email list AND as a way to attract a new audience interested in this topic. It worked really well to give a ton of value up front and warm up my audience. Within that pillar post, I embedded a quiz – Which Marketing Funnel Is Right For You – that worked PERFECTLY to not only engage my audience but also identify who wanted to go further into learning more about funnels. The people who took this quiz ended up being some of my early students and provided GREAT feedback on my course. 



Read the Pillar post, “7 Way you are thinking about Marketing Funnels ALL WRONG” here. 


The Marketing Funnel Quiz. Take the quiz here and find out which funnel is right for you.


The bonus with using the marketing funnel quiz to identify my ideal audience is that I also knew the #1 type of funnel my audience wanted (by far) so I could tailor ALL my marketing materials towards that funnel type… which made my course even more attractive and valuable when I did launch it. 

So there you have it. How will you use the mini offer strategy to start getting some audience feedback, insights and testimonials for your next offer? 


Tune In To The Marketing Funnel Show!

Join me behind the scenes as we dive into how different marketing funnel strategies help you attract more clients, get your message to more people and make more money… without all the hustle, sleepless nights and stress of a big launch.

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Stacey Ogden says March 6, 2018

Michelle, thank you so much for this page. It’s an amazing resource! May I ask about your timeline? How long did you wait after your second failed offer (I just had one of those myself) and your mini-offers, and how long was it until you were ready to launch your full product?

Thanks again!

    Michelle L. Evans says March 6, 2018

    Hey Stacey – well… I did a full open cart/close cart launch AND I was pretty depressed after my first failed launch so I probably waited longer than I needed to. I did the first failed launch in September and the 2nd good launch in late January/early February. Could I have done it sooner? Probably… but I was super bummed out. If I had to do it again (knowing what I know now) I’d do a mini offer right away and not wallow in my failure so long. Hope that helps – let me know how it goes! Would love to hear what mini offer you roll out 🙂

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