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How do I structure & schedule my email course?

Posted in General

Your email course has to have a set number of messages – you should not add to it like you might add messages to a welcome email campaign. If I signed up for 5 lessons, I want 5 lessons – not 10 or 12.

A week’s worth of emails, or about 5 to 7 lessons, is a good number to shoot for when you are creating your email course. Too many messages, and you should overwhelm your subscribers. Too few messages, and you should lose the chance to truly teach them anything.

If you are sending your subscribers short lessons, sending them a new message each day for a week is good way to keep them engaged. If you are sending longer lessons explaining more complex ideas, you may want to give your subscribers a day or 2 to fully digest all of the information you have sent them.

If I am a social media expert, my email course might look like this:

Timing: A day after my welcome email
Lesson 1: Expressing yourself in 140 characters/less
Goal: Teach people how to write engaging tweets

Timing: A day later
Lesson 2: The best way to measure your engagement
Goal: Teach people how to use analytics

Timing: A day later
Lesson 3: Dealing with influencers online
Goal: Teach people basic etiquette for reaching out to influencers in their area

The length of each lesson depends on what you are teaching, but the following tips could apply to just about any type of email course.

What should the lessons in my course look like?

  • Contain the lesson number in your subject line
  • Ensure your subject line explains what the lesson is about
  • Stick with simple sentences & short paragraphs
  • Use headings to divide long chunks of text
  • Ensure your lessons make sense in the order they are in
  • If your lessons are longer, include action items/next steps at the end of every lesson
  • Invite feedback and ask people what they have learned

Do you have any examples of good email courses?

Yes! Here are 3 email courses I’ve signed up for from 3 different businesses.

Type of lessons: Short &snackable
When you need to use it: If you want to deliver to-the-point tips & tactics or if you suspect your readers’ attention span is short, try this kind of email course.
Pro-tip: Deliver just 1 tip per lesson. Check out how blogger HennekeDuistermaat does it.

Type of lessons: Breaking down a new/complex topic
When you should use it: When your readers would advantage from a little more context and explanation. For instance, if you are introducing a broader topic like the value of creative work, you cannot really capture that in a few sentences.

Pro-tip: Ask your subscribers a question at the end of every lesson to get more engagement (and make sure they are still awake)

Type of lessons: Accepting your participation to the next level
When you ought to use it: If you want to test your subscribers on what they have learned or just learn more about them.
Pro-tip: Include a worksheet at the end of the lesson to drive home your most important points. As a bonus, you could use worksheets to learn more about your subscribers & their pain points. Check out how Brennan from Planscope does it.

How do I promote my email course?

Your email class is an incentive for people to register for your list, so you will want to promote it in a big way on your sign up form. Be sure to tell people what they will learn, how many emails you will send them & include any social proof you have.

Here are the sign up forms that encourage the 3 email course examples I have mentioned and why they are so effective.

HennekeDuistermaat from Enchanting Marketing.

What makes it effective: Not only does this form tell people exactly what they are signing up for, the call to action button stands out in a big way, with a contrasting color & first-person language (“Start My Free Course Now.”)

Jarrod Drysdale from Tiny Designer.

What makes it effective: Jarrod offers 2 courses: one for designers & one for non-designers. This approach lets him deliver a more personalized experience to his audiences.

Brennan Dunn from Planscope.

What makes it effective: Brennan includes a lot social proof, including big-name logos and mentioning that he is helped 10K people who’ve signed up for his course.

Take the promotion of the email course even further by encouraging your subscribers to share it on social, such as Brennan from Planscope does.

Want to learn more about making sign up forms that get results? Here’re four easy tips for turning your sign up form into a subscriber magnet.

What is next?

What happens when your subscribers stop your email course, however, you have even more great stuff to send them? Not to worry, you could link your email course to your next campaign. Next week, I will tell you how to link multiple campaigns together to send your subscribers a variety of content & keep them engaged over a long span of time.


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