Email marketing has become the talk of the edTech town. Over the years, it has proven itself as the most viable and profitable way of marketing online courses. According to our research, 66% of online course creators earning between 10k to 20k USD use email marketing as their preferred method. The art of their success lies in the execution of email sequences. I am aware that not everyone is an expert in this domain. That's why this article has you covered with all the essential email sequences you require as online course creators.
What are email sequences?
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this term, email sequences are basically an automated series of emails. They are targeted socially towards your potential buyers and subscribers so that they are informed about your upcoming ventures and convert into loyal customers. Perhaps, this term is new to you but the phenomenon is fairly familiar as we all have received such emails at some point.
One can use specialized software that automates these emails according to the subscribers' time zones. A popular name is Mailchimp. But besides these, often certain LMS tools offer an inbuilt email automation tool.
These emails are different from regular one-time broadcast emails. They run on an automated loop according to set criteria meeting an agenda. One email sequence can be anywhere between 1 or more than twenty even. The number is not specific and is dependent on the goal you are trying to achieve. For instance, if it is a Welcome email sequence, then no more than 2-3 are sufficient. They will welcome the subscribers, inform them about your courses and provide essential introductory basics.
Similarly, another example is the "abandoned cart email sequence" that prompts the customers who put something into their cart but did not check out for whatever reason. This email sequence reminds them about their pending purchase and can help you get back lost customers.
To start an email sequence, you will require user emails. For this, you can bait people on your site via lead magnets - exciting offers, newsletters, or any free resource by signing up for the site. This will help you collect the emails required for the sequences. You can further personalize them using individual tags, etc.
Benefits of email sequences for course creators
Wanna know why as online course creators the knowledge of email sequences is profound? Here's a list of reasons:
- They act as plug & play marketing campaigns offering a quick way to drive sales and user engagement.
- Ensure regular engagement and strengthens relations with customers.
- Establish your credibility as an expert by keeping up your PR.
- Offers free resources to your subscribers to convert them into buyers.
- Frees up your time by automating emails.
- Helps in driving traffic to your site.
- Provides access to your subscribers.
- Ensure student retention during the courses.
- A great way of collecting testimonials.
Primary types of email sequences vital for course creators
There are three main types of email sequences as course creators you should learn by heart.
First is the Pre-sale sequence. This is the one that you send once your visitors have signed up using the lead magnet. Their aim is to build a connection with these visitors and turn them into loyal subscribers.
The second is the Course launch sequence. This help in building hype around your courses. The purpose is to promote your courses and give exciting offers to your subscribers so they may enroll in your courses.
And lastly, it is the Post sale sequence. This helps in maximizing user engagement with the content. Such emails include tips on course materials and other free resources. Furthermore, their job is to collect testimonials.
Key email sequences for online course creators
Pre-sale email sequences
1. Welcome emails
These are the first set of emails that you will send to your subscribers following the lead magnet sign-up. The number can be somewhere between 3-5 emails. Researches show that welcome emails are the most profitable. They have the highest open and click-through rates compared to regular marketing emails. In fact, they have an open rate of 50% and an effectiveness of 86%. Since people are more motivated in the beginning, they are likely to engage readily.
Here's a little chart of how these should be structured:
2. Lead nurturing emails
Lead nurturing emails are designed to establish and maintain the customer-creator relationship. They are integral for driving leads towards the seminal courses or related products you are hoping to sell. Usually, they contain lots of free-value resources, tips, and Q&As that users can utilize. Their number can vary between 10-15 emails.
3. Content updates
The purpose of content updates is simple. They notify your subscribers about any new launch and publication. This ensures regular engagement and makes sure your subscribers don't miss out on any new opportunities.
Course launch sequences
1. Course launch emails
These sets of emails are sent once the course is launched or soon to be launched. The primary purpose is to inform people about them and get them to enroll.
If you have been keeping up with the string of pre-launch email sequences, you wouldn't have to put in as much effort to convert leads. However, for leads coming from social media and other streams, you will need to provide with a separate set of introductory emails. You must cover announcements, special offers, sign-up dates, and any related notifications. Besides, include case study emails and promotional content. An ideal number of emails within this sequence is between 10-15 with more concentration closer to launch time.
2. Browser abandonment emails
As the name suggests these are sent when subscribers visit the landing pages, lurk around but do not enroll in the course. This acts as the last convincing push. You need to convince them to buy the course. Stats show that abandonment emails are effective in bringing customers around. Furthermore, they have an open rate of 80.9%.
3. Abandoned cart emails
Similar to browser abandonment emails, these also prompt the subscribers to buy the course. However, in this case, these emails are targeted toward people who have the course in their cart but they haven't checked out yet. Ideally, send these people around 3 reminder emails as follow-ups.
Post-purchase email sequences
1. Welcome emails
Once you have made the launch, it is time to the course running. Initially, you will have to send a few welcome emails. These are to get students excited about the course and to give them a heads-up about the content. You should mention the curriculum, module description, and contact details. All of the things that will help your students easily navigate the course.
2. Upsell/cross-sell sequences
These are special emails but optional. These are used to cross-sell other products alongside the courses. You can offer exclusive one-on-one consultations to your students for a special discounted price. Perhaps, sell them your ebook or other essential resources. It is an opportunity to make multiple sales with one shot.
3. Course engagement emails
Studies show that 85% of students never complete an online course. Maintaining constant engagement is a struggle. To overcome this issue, send regular emails every week to keep a check if students have any issues. Include information on assignments and follow up on their performance. Moreover, include monthly performance reports to encourage students to participate more. You might also find some ghost students who no longer show up. Reach out to them asking them for their reasons.
4. Testimonial request
The best way of asking for testimonials is to draft a short and targeted 3 question survey. You can use this to inquire about the user experience, and feedback, and ask them for a referral.
Emails for non-buyers
These are the emails you send to those subscribers who despite all your convincing efforts, refuse to purchase your courses. These are your final set of emails to notify them regarding what they are missing out on. However, you also let them know through them that this is it, and after these emails, they will be removed from the email list.
Here is the example of emails to include in this sequence:
I know I know. This was a lot to take in all at once. But once you get the hang of it, creating successful revenue-generating email sequences is not that hard to run. These were some examples of email sequences for online course creators. Try them out and see the results for yourself.