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10 Best Email Ideas to Promote Your Online Courses

10 min

*This article has been co-produced along with Sendinblue

Many emails land in our inboxes daily, but how many of those get opened is another story.

Each email has a different purpose and when you look at it through the digital marketing scope, it offers the potential to market and sell online courses in multiple ways.

When launching a successful email marketing campaign as a course creator though, you want to ensure that every email you send out catches the attention of the recipient.

To do this, you need to invest heavily in email engagement and optimization.

According to Experian, personalized emails bring 6 times higher transaction rates while emails with personalized subject lines have 29 percent higher unique open rates (click through) and 41 percent higher unique click rates.

So, the secret to success is not in creating the best email there is, but focusing on creating engaging personalized email content that is going to be super useful for your target audience at the right time.

In this article, we are showing you how to make it happen, by presenting some of the best examples you can find out there.

Why Email?

Compared to other types of marketing like search engine marketing, content marketing or even paid advertising ( e.g. Facebook Ads), email marketing continues to outperform them as the best B2B and B2C communication channel. Business owners and marketers who choose it as part of their marketing strategy are already gaining a lot from it.

Having an email list full of subscribers and nurturing it along the way can help you:

Email can skyrocket your course sales and help you establish your presence in your industry.

Eventually though, what’s going into your email is going to determine whether your subscribers open it and take the action(s) you suggest, pushing subscribers further down your sales funnel.

The Key Ingredients of a Great Email

There are some elements that every great email has and that can influence its performance as well as boost your engagement rates:

Having these in mind, the winning strategy is to create emails that address the customer directly and discuss those pain points that your customers are hoping to find a solution to.

10 Best Email Examples for Online Courses

Whether you plan on building an email sequence or haven’t thought about it just yet, taking your time to prepare and work through the emails that you want to send out to your email contacts is paramount.

Check out what popular companies like LinkedIn, Skillshare, Duolingo, and Masterclass amongst others are doing to get some inspiration on how to create your own killer emails.

Example 1: LinkedIn Learning

Subject Line: [16 Unlocked Courses For Working Remotely]
Email Type: Retention

An image showing LinkedIn Learning's customer retention email example.

LinkedIn Learning likes to keep its learners up to date with everything going on ‘behind the scenes’, so whenever there is a new opportunity to learn, the company lets the subscribers know.

This example shows how the company keeps the subscribers’ interest high while informing them about the 16 free courses that have just become available to them. The email wants people to keep browsing the products and features some of the most interesting courses on remote working along with a video snippet.

What’s great about this email is that its subject line immediately informs people what it is about. Subscribers who want to learn more about remote work – which is a trending topic lately, are more likely to click on it.

Key takeaways:

Get the email template here.

Example 2: Codeverse

Subject Line: [Codeverse Summer Camps 2020 are here!]
Email Type: Seasonal/Event

Codeverse's email example

Codeverse’s email calls out to subscribers to encourage them to book their place at their summer camp. It is an email that goes out on a specific season and for a specific event, intended to serve an advertising campaign with a sole purpose – to get people to join the camp.

To do this, the company also offers an early bird invitation – a time-sensitive incentive that motivates people to buy their tickets at a discounted price using the code provided in the email.

Great design always captures the attention, and the bright colours used in this example, make the content stand out. Also, providing recipients the ability to search the company on social media builds on the trust factor while they take their time to decide whether they want to become part of your community.

Key takeaways:

Get the email template here.

Need more summer-specific email ideas? Check Sendinblue’s article to get some inspiration for your email newsletters.

Example 3: Skillshare

Subject Line: [Your Personal Class Recommendations]
Email Type: Recommendation

An image showing Codeverse seasonal offer email example.

Skillshare has its own way of saying ‘we know you well, here’s what you need’. To that end, they send targeted emails to subscribers informing them about courses they are most likely to be interested in.

Based on the course choices people make, the Skillshare team predicts what will make them click and sends them relevant courses or classes to join.

The company gets extra points on the personalization factor since it manages to give the sense that these classes fit perfectly the taste and interests of each email subscriber. They also nail it on the re-engagement part: if their customers have successfully completed the previous courses they purchased, Skillshare is now feeding them with more options to come back and resume their learning.

Key takeaways:

Get the email template here.

Example 4: Duolingo

Subject Line: [Got 5 minutes? Time for a lesson]
Email Type: Engagement

An image showing duolingo's daily email goals challenge

Duolingo likes to keep things simple, both in terms of content and design. Their emails focus mostly on establishing and maintaining an emotional bond with subscribers. So, instead of using impressive graphs, excessive text, or multiple colours to accomplish this, they get straight to the point.

As a way to engage their audience, Duolingo sends an email reminder to subscribers who have signed up for learning a language to get started with the next challenge and complete their daily goals.

The email subject line is clever – it asks a question and implies that reading through the email won’t take much of their time encouraging people to open it.

Key takeaways:

Get the email template here.

Example 5: Masterclass

Subject Line: [Take a seat at Daniel Negreanu’s poker table]
Email Type: Course Promotion

An image showing Masterclass' course promotion email example.

The popular edutainment platform Masterclass has a unique selling proposition and it’s using it well. Having the ability to feature and offer courses created by industry experts and key influencers in the professional world, it exploits this potential to the fullest and goes niche.

This email example shows Daniel Negreanu playing poker and that’s more than enough to get the biggest poker fans inside their email list hooked. Even though poker playing is not everyone’s favourite pastime, it still works because it promotes a course to a specific segment.

The combination of red and black colours in this email reflects authority, boldness, and leadership, which increase the trust factor and the likelihood of people buying the course. It also combines the Masterclass brand identity as well as the poker card deck colors

Key takeaways:

Get the email template here.

Example 6: ICE Malta

Subject Line: [Your first-class ticket to success]
Email Type: Newsletter

n image showing ICE Malta's email newsletter example.

Getting existing customers to share their experiences with you is a winning strategy to increase sales. Along with testimonials, case studies are a powerful tool for persuading people to buy a product, and ICE Malta knows this too well.

Unlike the other companies in this list, ICE Malta chooses to invest in the long-term career benefits that come from signing up for their courses. Stressing on the fact that its customers’ success is their top priority and biggest story there is, it features real-life examples that are difficult to ignore.

Paul, Emanuel, and Andreas are all ICE’s students who managed to conquer their career dreams just because they enrolled at the right courses, powered by the right provider.

Key takeaways:

Get the email template here.

Example 7: DIY

Subject Line: [New Skill: Pizzamaker!]
Email Type: Course Launch/Update

An image showing DIY's course launch email example.

DIY has created the best course launch email targeting pizza fans and is inviting them to complete a series of challenges to become pizzamakers. Learning all the secrets of pizza baking is not easy, but it can be fun, especially when you get to make art through the pizza toppings.

DIY’s email manages to catch the attention of the subscribers who are most likely to click on any of the email resources in order to learn how they can do it themselves.

Taking into account colour psychology, the yellow colour here is spot-on. It reflects joy, happiness, freshness, warmth, and energy which ties well with any conversation that involves pizza.

Key takeaways:

Get the email template here.

Example 8: Code School

Subject Line: [Beginner’s Guide to Web Development]
Email Type: Onboarding

An image showing Code School's onboarding email example.

Code School’s email aims to get their new audience onboard their learners’ community. It’s an email invitation that marks the start of an exciting learning journey, provided that recipients want to learn how to code.

Whether they are at the beginner’s stage or simply wish to improve their existing skills, Code School is giving them the chance to do so and learn more about the course’s outline and pricing through a link. What’s great about this email is that it shows how ‘less is more’ when it comes to email design and that you don’t need much to build an effective onboarding email.

Key takeaways:

Get the email template here.

Example 9: Udacity

Subject Line: [Come check it out! Just for you! Our top-rated Nanodegree programs]
Email Type: Acquisition

An image showing Udacity's customer acquisition email example.

Udacity’s email features their top-rated nanodegree programs and encourages email subscribers to make their pick and enroll in their favorite courses. Since the goal here is customer retention, there is no need to add a long, unnecessary text to the body of the email which might end up confusing the reader.

The graph in the email is self-explanatory, but what adds additional value to it is the number of reviews each program has, which can influence a potential customer’s decision massively.

The message is clearly intended for tech enthusiasts, who are presented with the top courses in web development and data science. After opening the email, the reviews are most likely the next thing they are going to read to help them weigh out their options.

Key takeaways:

Get the email template here.

Example 10: JAM

Subject Line: [Last minute gifts for kids]
Email Type: Offer

An image showing JAM's last-minute offer email example.

JAM has an interesting offer to make that combines learning and fun. Their email features a last-minute offer deal for kids as an incentive to enroll in courses ranging from LEGO and Minecraft to drawing, cooking, and singing.

Apart from focusing on scarcity with the last-minute offer, JAM tastefully manages to reward its existing subscribers with a secret key that unlocks a course wrapped up as a gift certificate.

The company is making a bold move – trying to reach out to a niche audience with unique demographics. While the online course consumers are kids, the people reading these emails and decision-makers are parents who most likely want to enroll their children in these courses.

Key takeaways:

Get the email template here.

A big thank you and heads up to Really Good Emails for assembling the above examples in perhaps the best collection of curated emails available.

Need help with creating your own emails and launching your email marketing campaign? Sendinblue can help you build and schedule your emails just as easily and create high-converting signup forms and landing pages. Try it out here.

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Ready to Sell More Online Courses?

While the perfect email does not exist, crafting a great email that gets you the course sales you dream of is more than possible. All you need is to pay attention to the key elements that need to go into your email, present them well, setup DMARC, SPF, DKIM and you are good to go.

Whether you want to get people to join your next webinar, buy your new course, or keep them engaged with your school at all times, it can all be done through email.

Ready to sell more online courses? Get your 30-day free trial with LearnWorlds today!

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Content Creator at

Kyriaki is a Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team writing about marketing and e-learning, helping course creators on their journey to create, market, and sell their online courses. Equipped with a degree in Career Guidance, she has a strong background in education management and career success. In her free time, she gets crafty and musical.