If only there were a way to: show a preview of your lessons, gain new leads fast and test out an idea before even launching a course.
Oh wait, there’s absolutely a way to do that: that’s an email course!
What’s an email course, you ask?
If you’re not already familiar with this strategy, an email course is a series of emails in a typical course format that people receive if they join your mailing list — without the time and effort it takes to build a full-blown course that takes months to complete, that is.
Just like a regular course, each email is a lesson with valuable information. Unlike your average course, the emails are shorter and focused on a specific subject.
This email marketing strategy usually doesn’t generate revenue at first, which might put off some course creators out there. After all, why invest time in this since I could use all of it for my actual course?
That’s a good question and the one I will try to answer today.
6 Reasons why any knowledge entrepreneur needs an email course
Without further ado, here are the six reasons why you, as a knowledge entrepreneur, need to include an email course in your long-term strategy:
Building an email list is one of the most powerful strategies to gain new potential learners. Nowadays, there are many newsletters out there, and people are more selective about what they allow in their inboxes. A free of charge course is an excellent motivation to join. If the content is good, they’ll want more and more of it, so you’ll win them over before a full course launch.
Build your brand
It’s not easy to market to your audience when there’s so much content out there. What really makes a difference is trust. Can people trust you enough to be willing to pay for a course? By the end of an email course, they should be able to answer, “Yes! I want to learn more”. Building your personal brand is so much easier when you give something without being pushy or spamming their inbox with promotional content.
Sometimes people have commitment issues. For instance, when you don’t have time to create a long course right now or simply can’t commit to a single topic. That’s OK! No, really, dipping your toes into making something smaller can give you the confidence to work on more ambitious projects. As long as you don’t wait too long, otherwise, people will go somewhere else.
Are you sure this is the right audience? Is your content solving a problem that people have? An email course is like a mirror on the wall: it tells you the truth. Specifically, you gain so much insight into your potential learners, not only from direct feedback but also by direct measurement of their interest in your content metrics such as open rate, click-through rate (CTR), list growth rate, etc. If many people love it, you know you’re on the right track.
If you release six emails in three weeks, that’s not so much work, is it? Considering that an email should take around five minutes to read, the content needs to be useful but brief. You don’t even have to finish the whole thing before publishing it, but you need to have a course outline and a concrete idea of which subject will be covered in each email.
Look, you might say that this is cheating. Think again! As long as it’s your intellectual property, you can repurpose content such as snippets from a webinar, an ebook, or your blog. Mix it up with exclusive and new content, so even people familiar with what you do get something out of it. As long as it’s useful and not just thoughtlessly copy-pasted from somewhere else, it can be reused.
Your message has been sent!
All in all, email marketing works great for online course creators, as people expect to receive more serious content in their inbox. It’s great practice for you, so when you finally launch your course on a learning platform, you’ll have a good idea of what to expect and an email list to boot! If you’re doing this because you already have a course and want to market it, that’s even better.
In my next post on the INDIE blog, we will explore some tips and tricks to create a fast-converting email course. So keep an eye on the INDIE Blog!
Ioana believes that learning doesn’t stop when school stops. When she is not writing about learning and ed tech, she can usually be seen reading a book and drinking lots of coffee.