You’ve heard that email marketing is the best marketing channel a million times. You’ve read the case studies of how people have made millions with their email lists.
But how exactly do you go about building an email list?
Marketing gurus are silent about that. They don’t like sharing their best tactics.
Today, I will share one of the best tactics to grow your email list – Email Courses.
Email Courses can help you automate your list building and lead generation. They can also automate your sales process.
In this article, you will learn all about them:
What Is an Email Course?
An email course is a series of emails designed to educate your subscriber about a topic. The goal is to teach your subscriber how to do something and then pitch to them how your product can help them do that thing faster or better.
If you are selling a productivity app, you might create an email course about the Getting Things Done (GTD) system of productivity. In your first couple of emails, you will teach your subscribers how they can become productive and tick more things off their to-do lists. Then, in the last couple of emails, you will show them how your productivity app makes it easy to apply these principles.
Let me show you a real-world example.
Brennan Dunn of Double Your Freelancing teaches freelancers how they can get more clients and charge more. He has a free email course on his site called Charge What You’re Worth:
This email course will capture your attention if you are a freelancer. It teaches you how to make more money as a freelancer. Now, who doesn’t want that?
An email course is designed first and foremost to capture your reader’s attention. If it grabs your readers’ attention, they might subscribe. Once they subscribe, the goal is to convert them into fans, and then at the end of the course, pitch them your products or services related to the course.
Enough about other people’s courses!
Let’s plan and write your first email course:
Planning Your First Email Course
First, Automate Lead Generation For Your Email Course
Before we go any further, you need to automate your lead generation.
This is the step where most email courses fail before they even launch!
An email course can automate your sales process and bring in new sales while you sleep. But it will only work if people sign up for it. And they will only sign up for it if they know about it!
You need to get the word out about your email course as soon as you launch it.
This is where MailOptin comes in.
It’s an all-in-one Email Marketing solution for WordPress. It can help you automate lead generation and email marketing without technical knowledge.
There are many ways MailOptin can help you promote your email course.
It can help you create simple inline forms like this one on Celebrating Financial Freedom:
Or you can use it to collect email addresses on your landing page like Double Your Freelancing:
You create these lead capture forms and automate your email marketing in minutes using MailOptin. It is an all-in-one email marketing tool for WordPress, and it comes with dozens of conversion-optimized opt-in form templates to help you get started.
Decide The Topic
What’s the biggest burning desire of your audience?
Whatever you think it is, digs a little deeper.
Does your product or service help your customers make or save money somehow?
Does it help them improve some aspect of their life (dating, relationships, health)?
If you are having trouble figuring out what your audience wants the most, try looking at Facebook groups, forums, or subreddits dedicated to your industry. What pops out? What goal are people talking about the most?
Let’s say your blog is about intermittent fasting, and you are selling a book about it.
If you take a look at the Intermittent Fasting subreddit (group) on Reddit, you will notice right off the bat that most people in the group want to lose weight:
The posts with the most Upvotes (Likes) are before and after progress pics of people who have lost weight using Intermittent Fasting.
Looking at this subreddit, a course about how to lose weight using Intermittent Fasting would be the best idea.
Decide The Length
The length of your email course depends on what you’re teaching. You are the best judge here.
The number of emails in your course should be enough to teach the basics.
The goal isn’t to stuff knowledge down your subscriber’s throat. The goal is to send them small, digestible emails that help them learn something new. The easier your emails, the more valuable they will be to your subscribers.
Think about it. Your subscriber will probably read your emails on their phone. Do you think they have the time or the desire to scroll through a long email?
Make your emails short, and remember that the goal is to make your emails value-dense. A quick email with valuable advice is better than a long email that reads like a Wikipedia entry.
If you aren’t sure how many emails you need, make your course five emails long.
Write Your Email Course
This is where you finally write your email course.
You can follow this simple structure, and your course will be ready in no time.
Email 1: Introduction
This is where you introduce yourself and welcome your new subscriber.
Use a warm, friendly tone to introduce yourself and your brand. Tell your new subscriber why you started your business/blog.
You might start your email with something like this:
This is Max from Fitness Ninja. I am so happy to see you here!
I started Fitness Ninja when I was overwhelmed with the amount of disinformation about weight loss on the internet. My goal with this blog is to teach you the basics of nutrition and give you the right tools on your journey to looking and feeling like your best self.
After you introduce yourself, could you offer your subscriber a simple tip that will help them get one step closer to their goal? You might talk about the biggest mistake you have seen people make trying to achieve what you are teaching. Or you might talk about the most critical mindset shift that helped you or your client get success.
The goal is to make your email seem valuable.
If you can offer even a tiny bite-sized piece of value in your first email, your subscribers will look forward to reading your following email.
Finally, tell them what you will talk about in your following email. Wrap it in mystery and make it sound enticing.
Email 2: Value Email
This is where you wow your subscribers with your best content.
The easiest way to write these emails is to repurpose your existing content. No, this doesn’t mean copying and pasting your current articles. That won’t work in most cases.
The goal is to write a short and quick email to read.
Your goal is to write a value-packed email.
You can find your most popular article and rewrite its best points in short paragraphs. If you do this right, an article of 2000 words will become a small 500-word email.
Long emails might result in lag on smartphones and are challenging to read. Keep your email short! Don’t go into much detail about anything. Talk about the essential bits and cut everything out that’s not the meaty part.
Email 3: More Value Email
This is where you deliver some more valuable tips.
Repurpose another blog post to write this email.
You can add as many “value” emails between this, and the following email you think are needed for what you are teaching.
Email 4: Value Email + Soft Pitch at The End
This email will be another value email but with a soft pitch at the end. At the end of the email, introduce your product or service related to this email series.
The pitch at the end should sound like, “Hey, by the way, I have a course/service/product that can help you achieve this goal with little to no hassle and in less than a quarter of the time!”
It’s okay to talk about how what you’re selling can help your subscriber but don’t take more than a couple of paragraphs to describe it.
No hard-selling here. That comes in the next email.
The goal of this email is to offer value.
Email 5: Hard Sell Your Services/Course/Product
This is the step that a lot of people shy away from. They fear they will come off too strong.
Don’t worry about it! This is exactly like the moment after a date when you are standing outside your date’s apartment and wondering whether or not you should go for a kiss. Your date knows your intentions and expects you to make a move!
In the same way, your subscriber knows you’re not a non-profit and that eventually, you will try to sell them something.
Your goal with this email is to eradicate any doubts your subscribers might have about your product. So, your email should talk about how your product can help your subscribers achieve their desired goals.
Most of your subscribers won’t buy what you’re selling right away. But some of them are standing on the edge, thinking about whether or not your product is right for them. In this email, you eradicate all their fears and doubts.
One way to do this is to talk about stories/case studies of your previous clients, students, or customers. For example, if you are selling a course about learning French, you might share the story of your student who wasn’t sure if he could learn a second language at his age and how your course helped him become fluent in only a couple of months.
If you don’t have a story or a case study, testimonials from your customers are another great tool to make your product look effective. You might want to sprinkle a couple of testimonials throughout your email.
Here’s a general template for what this email might look like:
In my last email, I talked about how [PRODUCT NAME] can help you achieve [Financial Freedom/Desired Goal].
Today, I want to share the story of James, my star student who achieved his goals in only 3 months. He used the same tactics I teach in my course.
James is not alone. Here is what some of my other students have to say about [PRODUCT NAME]:
[PRODUCT NAME] has helped over 3,000 people just like you achieve [Desired Goal], and I am confident it can help you do the same.
Here’s what is included in [PRODUCT NAME]:
- Talk about a feature or a lesson.
- Talk about another feature and how it can help your subscriber achieve their goals with ease.
- Include as many points as you need to talk about all the good parts of your product.
If you are finally ready to achieve [Desired Goal] in 2022, then check out [PRODUCT NAME] here.
And if you have any questions, feel free to reply to this email…
Email 6: Further Steps
In this final email, you might want to go ahead and share some further steps with your subscribers, if you don’t mind.
Now that the course has ended, what’s next?
Join your Facebook group?
Read an article?
Wait for your following email?
Sign up for some other marketing channel?
Make this email short and sweet, and be sure to express some gratitude. Your subscriber read six emails in a row. This person is your fan! Cherish them.
If you want to grow your email list, Email Courses can be a godsend. They help you win over your subscribers and automate your sales process.
What are you waiting for? You can use the above steps to create your first email course and grow your email list.