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Course interest survey
Course interest survey

Launch a course interest survey to validate your topic and build a waitlist for your course

Chelsea Wilson avatar
Written by Chelsea Wilson
Updated over a week ago


  • Through Maven, you'll have access to a course survey that will help you grow your course waitlist and validate your course idea

  • Customize your course survey and send it to your network and audience before you've even built your landing page.

  • Talk to 10-15 people who respond to the survey to learn more about what they want from your course. Use their responses to build your landing page and course syllabus.

Benefits of a course interest survey

The first step of course building is to survey potential students and get their feedback on your initial ideas for your objectives, content, and structure. When you survey your students, you'll get the added benefit of building a course waitlist at the same time you're refining your content.

We are often asked "How do I generate interest in my course?" and "How can I make sure I've got course-market fit?"

A survey is the best way to:

  • Find out if there’s demand for your course idea.

  • Get your first leads on your waitlist.

Almost every successful instructor on Maven has done this step. Check out what Maven's CEO, Gagan Biyani, has to say about why you should survey your audience:

Customize your survey

Maven has created a survey with questions to help you learn more about prospective students. You can add your own custom questions as well. We recommend keeping the survey short: 6-7 questions at most.

This survey is available to you as soon as you create your account. To view or customize your survey:

  1. Navigate to the Surveys tab

  2. Click "Edit" to customize the questions

  3. Hit "Publish" to save changes

  4. Click "Share" to copy the URL

All survey questions are customizable except the first question (email capture). Here are the default questions:

  1. What’s your first name? [Short answer]

  2. What’s your last name? [Short answer]

  3. If this course could help you accomplish one thing, what would it be? [Short answer]

To add new questions, just click "New Question." Here are some additional questions you could ask.

  1. What time zone are you located in? [Multiple choice]

  2. What is your job title? [Free text]

  3. What company do you work for? [Free text]

  4. What format would you prefer? [Multiple choice, examples below]

    1. Weekend, 2 sessions

    2. Weekday, 4 sessions over 2 weeks @ 9 am ET

    3. Weekday, 4 sessions over 4 weeks @ 9 am ET

    4. Pre-recorded, 1-2 Q&A sessions

Share your survey

To share the link with your network, just click "Share" to copy the URL.

Here are ways to amplify your course interest survey:

  • Email your personal network. Pro tip: export a list of your personal contacts from your email

  • Post it on every channel—social media, communities, email, newsletters

  • Ask your friends to comment and like your post on social media

  • Ask your personal connections to forward your blurb + survey to people who might be interested

📌 Use this template as a starting point for your message to friends or on social media:

I'm thinking about building a live, [X-length] cohort-based course for [target student] on how to [course outcome]. You’ll learn [outcome 1, outcome 2, outcome 3]. I’ve taught/consulted on this topic for X years working at Y company [insert your credibility as a leader, operator, coach, consultant, and/or teacher]. Now I’d love to teach you. Fill out this survey to get on the waitlist & be the first to hear when enrollments open: [Maven form link]

Be sure to customize the message as much as possible. You'll want to make your outcomes really specific to display the rigor of your course.

Check out some announcements from other Maven instructors:

These announcements were made before we built the course interest survey tool for you. There's no need to use Google Forms or Typeform anymore. The course interest survey is integrated with your waitlist, so every lead is captured on your Maven waitlist. Later in your course launch journey, you'll use the Cohort launch campaign in Maven to announce your course to the waitlist.

Building your waitlist

You'll receive an email notifying you whenever someone responds to your survey. Interested students will be automatically added to your waitlist in your Students tab

Interested students who fill out your survey will receive an automated email. Be sure to edit these emails or turn them off before sharing your survey link.

As your waitlist grows, you'll be eligible to be listed on when you meet the requirements.

When you're ready to announce your course, open your cohort for enrollments and connect the Cohort launch campaign.

What do students see?

Here's what the survey looks like for a student:


  1. Do I need to have a published landing page to launch my interest survey?

    1. No, you don’t need to have a published landing page. This is more of a survey/announcement hybrid where you sell your course idea to see how many people would pay for it. Some prospective instructors like asking "What would you most like to learn?" to get a bit more info on the type of student who's most interested. In fact, you'll use the responses on your survey and the information you gather during 1:1 interviews with people who respond to draft and refine your landing page.

  2. How do I reach potential students?

    1. Share your survey in multiple places wherever your potential students hang out: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or direct email. Besides your own channels, you can ask your network and community to promote your course announcement. People often underestimate how far-reaching their personal network is. A good way to frame your outreach to friends, peers, and colleagues is, “Do you know anyone that might benefit from this course?”

  3. Should I ask students what price they're willing to pay?

    1. The goal here is to capture interest and emails, not to validate a price. So if you aren't sure then exclude it. If you already know the price, feel free to include it in a question. If you do include price: for most professional courses targeting mid-career professionals, we recommend pricing between $350 and $750. You should pick a number that is close to what you actually want to charge, so the experiment gives you accurate data on willingness to pay. You can also offer “early bird pricing” and the promise of a discount code as an incentive to complete your survey.

  4. Do I have to do the survey to publish my landing page?

    1. No, the survey is not required to publish your landing page.

If you have any further questions about the Course interest survey, please email [email protected].

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