If you’ve been following Thrive Themes for a while now, then you know we encourage new solopreneurs to create and sell online courses on their WordPress website.
And one of the reasons why we recommend this is because the barriers to get started are so low while the margins on course sales are high.
However, the power behind online courses isn’t limited to just paid products. You can use courses to help grow your audience, build your mailing list and even educate visitors about your brand too!
You can do this by hosting everything from Premium Courses to Lead Magnet Courses to Brand Education Courses using our Thrive Apprentice online course plugin integrated with the SendOwl digital product delivery and payment gateway tool.
But first, let’s look at how these three different types of courses can be used across your online course based business...
The 3 Levels of Course Access Restriction
What do I mean by this? Well, you need 3 increasingly exclusive levels of course access restriction if you want to use online courses to their fullest potential to grow your business.
The 3 different categories of course access restriction levels are:
- Unrestricted Courses: (i.e. all internet visitors have instant access). You can use these courses to help educate new visitors about your brand for the purpose of audience building or new client onboarding.
NOTE: Check out this post on the many ways you can use online courses to grow your business.
- Subscriber Only Courses: (i.e. only visitors who create a free account on your WordPress site have access). Subscribers get immediate access to your course after entering their email address, creating a password and joining your email list.
- Premium Courses: (i.e. only paying customers have access). Use these high value courses as revenue generating info-products for your online business. (Learn the difference between what you should offer as free vs paid content here).
NOTE: This premium course feature is only available in Thrive Apprentice if you integrate our plugin with another 3rd-party membership service or tool. However, Thrive Apprentice offers a deep integration with SendOwl for this which is what we recommend for selling premium courses.
So how do you set these different levels of course access restriction up using the new rules feature in Thrive Apprentice? It goes a little something like this...
If Your Thrive Apprentice Plugin IS NOT Integrated with SendOwl
For Thrive Apprentice users that aren’t using the SendOwl integration mentioned above, the new rules feature only allows you to create Unrestricted and Subscriber Only Courses within your Thrive Apprentice Dashboard.
First of all, all your newly created Thrive Apprentice courses are set to unrestricted access by default so if that’s what you need for a particular course, no need to change anything. 😉
However, if you need to limit course access to Subscribers Only (e.g. for the purpose of growing your email list as a lead magnet), it only takes a few clicks to set this rule up.
Start by opening whatever course you’d like to restrict access to in your Thrive Apprentice Dashboard. Then click on the “Access Restriction” tab:
A “Restrict access” toggle button will appear so go ahead and click that slider button.
In the dropdown menu that comes up, click on the grey “Add Rule” button:
Next, another menu will appear in your dashboard showing a single “WordPress Role” button. Click it to find a selection of WordPress role checkboxes (Editor, Author, Contributor and Subscriber).
Tick the “Subscriber” WordPress Role followed by clicking the “Add Rule” button.
Now finalize your new course access restriction rule by clicking the “Save” button in the bottom right-hand corner of the dashboard:
Once the new rule is saved, only visitors who register for your course with an email address and password will gain Subscriber access to it.
And that’s all there is to setting up any Thrive Apprentice course as list building lead magnet!
If Your Thrive Apprentice Plugin IS Integrated with SendOwl
Now, let’s say you’ve already integrated Thrive Apprentice with SendOwl, here’s how course access restriction works for you…
Just like before, open any course you’d like to restrict access to in your Thrive Apprentice Dashboard.
If you want to apply Unrestricted or Subscriber Only access to a course, follow the steps described in the previous section.
However, if you want to apply Premium Course access restriction through your SendOwl account, do the following.
Same as before, click on the “Access Restriction” tab, toggle the “Restrict access” slider, and click the grey “Add Rule” button.
Now you’ll see access restriction rule options for your Thrive Apprentice courses:
- SendOwl Product
- SendOwl Bundle
- WordPress Role
If you’ve already created a corresponding “Product” for a course in your SendOwl account dashboard, a checkbox will appear once you click on the “SendOwl” product button.
Now just tick the corresponding online course product checkbox, click the “Add Rule” button and finalize your new premium course access restriction rule by clicking the “Save” button.
Check out the following GIF to see all the steps of the new access restriction rules feature in action:
How to Setup a Course Signup Form (That Connects With Your Email Marketing Service)
In the comments, many of you were confused on how exactly to set up a signup page and connect this to your own email marketing solution so people get access to the course AND get added to your list.
The following video shows you exactly that:
As you can see, Thrive Architect allows you to easily create this form and have nice looking, conversion focused landing pages for each and every one of your free video courses.
Now You Have The Power…
...to use online courses in all the ways you need to build your info-product empire.
If you’ve only been using your Thrive Apprentice courses as lead magnets to grow your email list, why not check out our deep integration with SendOwl and try and sell your own premium online courses — straight from your WordPress site!
If you need any help getting started, sign up for our own premium course on how to build your own info-product empire: Course Craft.
Have a question about this new Thrive Apprentice course access restriction rule feature? Leave it in the comments section below!