Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to reach, engage, and retain an audience in 2024. And one of the best formats for email marketing is an email course – a series of emails sent out automatically over a period of time on a specific topic.
Email courses boost engagement and build authority. They allow you to provide subscribers with valuable information while bringing in revenue through promotions or sales. This comprehensive guide will teach you step-by-step how to create an effective email course from start to finish.
Why Create an Email Course
Before jumping into the how-to, let’s look at some of the key benefits of creating an email course:
Builds Trust and Authority
By creating an email course that provides subscribers with helpful information and training over a period of time, you establish yourself as a trusted expert in your niche. This increases engagement and boosts conversions when you do promote products.
Captures Subscriber Email Addresses
The incentive of receiving the full email course in their inbox will entice internet users to subscribe to your email list to receive it, helping you grow your audience.
Once trust and engagement with your subscribers is established through the email course, you can seamlessly promote affiliate offers, your own products, or paid services within the course which converts at higher rates.
Automates the Process
Through autoresponders, the entire email course can be automated to be delivered over any timeframe you choose without daily effort on your end after initial setup.
Provides Value to Subscribers
A high-quality email course provides information subscribers truly find useful and want to consume, keeping them engaged longer. This increases the value of your list.
Now that we’ve covered the major benefits, let’s get into the step-by-step process for creating your own email course from the ground up designed to boost subscribers.
Choose Your Niche and Topic
The first step is deciding on the niche your course will fit into and choosing a specific topic that you can create an in-depth multi-part series around. Consider:
- What niche are you knowledgeable and passionate about? Choose a broad niche like health and wellness, online business, finance, cooking, etc.
- What topics can be broken into multiple parts? The topic itself should lend itself to a multiple-part treatment in order to have enough meaty content to sustain an entire course.
- What does your audience want to learn about? You know their interests and pain points. Align your topic tightly to those to maximize engagement.
- What value will you provide? Think about the problems you’ll solve for your subscribers and helpful takeaways you can provide them within each email.
As an example niche and topic combo, we’ll say you decide to create an email course within the online business space specifically focused on “Getting Your First 1,000 Email Subscribers From Scratch”.
Define Your Course Structure
Once your niche and topic are decided, the next key step is planning out the structure. Ask yourself:
- How many total emails/lessons will be included?
- What will the title and main goal of each lesson be?
- What specific information and value will each lesson provide?
- In what order are lessons organized to best educate subscribers?
Define this outline to shape the full arc of your course before writing any actual content.
Here is an example six-lesson course outline:
Email #1: Why the First 1k Subscribers Matter
Goal: Get subscribers excited and bought into the value of building their first subscriber list.
Email #2: Collecting Emails – Methods That Convert
Goal: Teach methods for capturing emails from site visitors.
Email #3: Ethically Increasing Email Signups
Goal: Strategies to boost conversions through giveaways, site popups, and other techniques.
Email #4: Automating Follow-Up Emails
Goal: Instructions for setting up autoresponder sequences, onboarding flows, etc.
Email #5: Creating Value-Packed Email Content
Goal: Crafting emails with content subscribers love and benefit from.
Email #6: Analyzing Email Metrics
Goal: Teach subscribers how to track opens, clicks, etc. to improve efforts.
Spend time structuring a compelling course flow that makes logical sense before creating any content.
Set Up Your Tech Stack
Now it’s time to set up the essential tech components you’ll rely on to build, deliver, and monitor your email course content and track key metrics.
Email Service Provider
An email service provider (ESP) like ConvertKit, MailerLite, or MailChimp will host your email list and handle sending automated emails. Most ESPs have drag-and-drop editors to design and template emails.
Create a dedicated landing page where visitors can learn about and subscribe to your email course. Use attention-grabbing headlines and compelling copy to get signups.
Integrate your ESP to an autoresponder like Drip or ActiveCampaign to automatically deliver your timed email lesson series when subscribers sign up via your landing page.
Enable open, click, and conversion tracking through your ESP and autoresponder to optimize your emails. Google Analytics can also track site traffic and email sub conversions.
Having this foundation established makes executing the delivery of your course much simpler.
Craft Your Lesson Content
Now for the fun part – writing the actual training content and value for each email lesson. With your outline as a guide, it’s time to dive in and create each lesson.
Focus Your Content
Stay laser focused on achieving the core goal and providing the specific value outlined for each lesson per your outline. Don’t stray off target trying to overstuff emails.
Study other top courses in your niche to generate ideas you can model or build upon to provide amazing value yourself. Don’t copy directly but analyze what engages their subscribers then implement similarly useful content.
Mix Up Media Use
Combine text, images, screenshots, video clips, stats, checklists, templates, infographics and more into emails to present information in compelling formats keeping engagement high.
Aim to create emails that can be read in under 10 minutes. Attention spans are short in the inbox so be concise yet thorough on your topic.
Use short paragraphs, plenty of whitespace between lines and sections, along with headings and lists to format lesson content for easy skimming and consumption on mobile or desktop.
Inject your own personal tone, stories, humor or conversational style to lesson emails so they don’t sound overly salesy or robotic. Creating a bond boosts engagement more than simple facts alone.
Include Action Steps
End each email with clear calls to action – things you recommend subscribers do before the next lesson such as downloading a resource, implementing a tip, checking a website, or simply anticipating the next email to come. This propels momentum.
Invest significant effort perfecting your lesson content since that information is the real product subscribers signed up for above all.
Grow Your Subscriber List
Now that your email course setup is complete, dedicating effort specifically to growing your email list to expose new people to the course becomes crucial.
Promote On Your Website
Add a fixed bottom banner or popup across your website allowing visitors to subscribe and get immediate access to your email course upon signing up. Offer it prominently in site headers and throughout relevant content posts too.
Leverage Social Channels
Share your email course CTA and landing page across all of your social media channels daily. Plug it especially when engaging followers directly commenting or asking about topics covered in your course.
Run Paid Ads
Take out Pay-Per-Click ads through platforms like Facebook Ads, Taboola, or Google AdWords focused specifically on driving awareness and signups for your high-value email course as the ad CTA.
Join Related Forums
Become active on forums related to your course niche and establish expertise so you can politely mention your course in forum comments when relevant without spamming users.
Promote On Other Sites
Ask niche partners and online publications to share your course through dedicated ads, articles, social mentions or newsletters to their own audiences leading visitors back to your landing page.
Publish Related Content
Constantly publish amazing blog posts, videos, podcasts, and guides related to topics covered in your email course drawing organic traffic from search engines as well as direct on-site conversions.
Becoming laser focused on growing your list rapidly exposed to your email course maximizes the chance of getting the desired number of signups you aim for over any period of time.