5 Steps to Build Your Course Marketing Stack

Person reading a book in front of laptop

You’ve probably heard the term “marketing stack.” It’s a term used in the SaaS world and refers to all the different technologies (and even team members) that work together to bring new customers into your business.

Some companies, like HubSpot and Marketo, have built their marketing stacks for years on top of various software products that help them manage email automation, web analytics, and lead generation.

But if you’re starting as an entrepreneur or small business owner, thinking about building your own “stack” from scratch can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together five strategies for streamlining your course marketing stack so that you don’t get stuck trying to do everything yourself!

1. Start with your customers

someone teaching a zoom class

To streamline your course marketing stack, start with your customers.

You need to understand who they are and what they want from you. Do you also need to know how they prefer to be communicated with–through email? Social media? Text messages? Phone calls? Surveys? Focus groups?

So much of the content we create is based on assumptions about what our audience wants or needs from us; however, these assumptions can often lead us astray from understanding their true needs and desires. A better approach considers objective data (e.g., age range) and subjective data (e.g., why did this person purchase our product?).

This type of analysis will help connect the dots between what people say about themselves through surveys versus how they behave when interacting directly with brands online through social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter–or even more importantly, offline by walking into stores where products are sold!

2. Focus on the funnel

Person teaching online

The next step is to define your funnel. A sales funnel is a marketing metaphor that describes how potential customers move through different stages of interest, awareness, and conversion. This exercise aims to understand where you are losing students in each stage of their journey with you so that you can streamline the process and improve conversion rates at each step along the way.

The first step in defining your sales funnel will be identifying what those different stages look like for students who have expressed interest in taking one of your courses or programs (i.e., “cold traffic”). For example:

Lead Generation – Someone has reached out via email or social media asking about classes/programs offered by [Your Company Name]. They’ve been given some information on what’s available but haven’t yet made any decisions about which course(s) they want to sign up for.

Qualification – This person has decided which class(es) they want but hasn’t yet committed because he/she wants more information before making up his/her mind.

Closing – This person has committed financially by purchasing an individual class or enrolling in a program package (or both).

3. Create a digital presence for every channel

A person working on a laptop

It’s tempting to start with a list of channels and then think about how to use them. But this can lead to information overload, and it’s important to define the problem before starting on a solution. If you’re struggling with course marketing, ask yourself:

What is my goal in creating this course?

How can I make sure that people know about my class for them to sign up or buy my product?

Once you’ve done this, figure out which mediums work well. We have also written quite a few tips on marketing your course with our years of experience; you can find them here and here.

4. Leverage the power of email automation

Email automation is an effective way to streamline your course marketing stack. It allows you to automate emails that send at specific times based on a trigger, like a student completing an action in the course or visiting a page on your website.

Email automation can be used for many things, including:

  1. Building relationships with your audience by sending them relevant content
  2. Marketing courses through sales funnels (i.e., getting them interested in buying)
  3. Helping students succeed and retain an interest in the course

5. Work hard to keep it simple

person typing on keyboard

Keep it simple: Don’t overdo it. Don’t try to do too much. Don’t try to be all things to all people or be fancy or flashy with your course marketing stack.

Ensure your course marketing stack is working for you, not against you, by keeping things simple and streamlined so that they work together harmoniously instead of clashing with one another (or, worse yet, causing headaches).

The most effective marketing stacks are built upon a process, not a technology.

The most effective marketing stacks are built upon a process, not a technology. The reason for this is simple: you can use the same tools and processes to make your marketing stack work no matter what tool you’re using.


The best way to think about building your own marketing stack is by breaking it down into repeatable and scalable processes that can be used repeatedly with different technologies or tools. For example, we’ve seen this happen when someone wants to build out their first landing page campaign using our storefront as their lead generation tool but later decides they want another platform because it’s easier for them (or cheaper).

That person could easily take all of the steps from their previous campaign–including creating opt-in forms, sending emails through MailChimp or Drip Campaigns (or whatever email service provider), sending automated follow-ups after someone submits their information–and apply those same steps again with another tool like ActiveCampaign or HubSpot SalesIQ without missing a beat!


Streamlining your course marketing stack is crucial for optimizing your marketing efforts and driving course enrollments. By starting with your customers, focusing on the funnel, creating a digital presence for every channel, leveraging email automation, and embracing simplicity, you can streamline your marketing strategy and enhance your course promotion results. Remember, a streamlined marketing stack saves time, and resources, and provides a seamless and engaging experience for prospective students, increasing their likelihood of enrolling in your courses. By implementing these strategies, you’ll be well on your way to a more efficient and effective course marketing stack.



A lifelong writer and communicator, Uttiya writes about core education products that fascinate her. She like following pedagogy and recent research on online education

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