Selling online courses by building an email list | LearnWorlds Blog

Selling online courses by building an email list

| July 20, 2017 | 4 min read
Marketing

Getting that first sale is a challenge for every new edupreneur selling online courses, but also the most satisfying. Starting small means that one has to think differently and spend their time wisely. The best channel to achieve quick results with a high return on your time investment is email. Email marketing has the highest ROI of all marketing channels.

It is a must-use channel for all business owner and especially everyone in the elearning market. It is also the cheapest, most direct and the only one that everyone on the internet uses.

“58% of people check their email first thing in the morning” Click To Tweet

Source: OptinMonster

Your first marketing activity as an online educator or trainer is to send an email to your mailing list. But what if you don’t have one or is it too small?

Keep reading and find out how to grow your email list into one you can use to promote your online course and make your first sale!

Building an Email list for your online business

Getting your first emails is easier than you might think. You probably have a number of emails and a network you can rely, you only need to begin collecting them.

Woman working with email lists

Whether you have been working as a freelancer in a big business or just attending networking events, you already have had email communications with a lot of people in your industry. Let’s start from there!

Oversharing of business cards is a quite common problem, but in this case a blessing in disguise. All this “spam” business cards hold valuable business emails that you can use for a cold outreach.

Your email inbox is filled with contacts of correspondence. Export all those emails into a CSV or Excel file and merge them into one file. Now you probably have a few hundreds of relevant contacts.

Here is how to export the emails from relevant services:

Take care to ask for permission of your employer (if any). Even if you had personal relations with a business contacts, your employer might not approve of you exporting your contacts and might be illegal or covered in your contract.

Friends, family and followers. The three groups that you will find in Social Media could very easily join your email list and even share it. Just remember to write a good post or send a personal message asking them to join your email list and share to their social networks.

Linkedin and Twitter users share their email publicly or at least their websites, where you can skrapp or hunt for their email. You could use that to cold email and invite them to join your email list.

A visitor will not sign up to your email list without a bit of nudging. You can use different kinds of lead generation forms like Typeform and Leadformly. However, the most important bit is to give some value to indulge people to share their email.

Woman working with email lists

One way to go is by offering Lead Magnets. A piece of content or another kind that offers value in exchange for email. Think of it as a paywall, but users will pay with their email address. Some of those lead magnets that work well for online courses are:

The other way to go is pre-launching your course to collect leads while you are developing it. It is also a great way to give Google some time to rank your page and grow an organic email list for people looking for your training.

What if your visitors are not converting? Try to remarket to them through Google Adwords or Facebook Pixel. That way you can follow them around after they leave and serve them an add directly to your lead generation form or lead magnet

There are different kinds of advertising, one of them is Lead Generation, where a person offers their email and some personal information instead of visiting your website. Later, you will be able to use the email to sell your online course, training or other services.

Here is how to create Lead Generation Ads in the most popular Social Media:

Lead generation on Social Media might get a bit expensive, so it depends on the target of your courses and worth it if you are offering premium pricing. You can read more on how to create an effective lead generation ad on social media here.

Setting up competitions, giveaways and guest posts or appearances in their youtube videos or podcasts. Find the right influencer for your target group and discuss a collaboration with them. It could be a paid collaboration, offering free content or gifts to his/her audience.

This could also be a prelude to an affiliate partnership with influencers, a great way to sell courses!

Start selling online courses with email marketing

Begin selling online courses
After building the email list, you will need to start using it. Simply inviting them to join or sending special limited offers will do the trick to bring in some initial sales.
You can also keep them interacting with regular newsletter, reminders and seasonal or special occasion offers. You can read more on how to sell with email marketing.

With LearnWorlds, your strongest weapon will be the community around your school and free online courses or previews. Give your potential students a taste of what they will get and by joining and collect their email, then schedule a nice welcome email with a coupon or discount to push them to their first sale.

Selling online courses? Try LearnWorlds for a 30-day Free Trial.

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Growth Marketer at

Nick Malekos is the head Growth Marketer of LearnWorlds. He is a results based and well-rounded Digital Marketer with years of experience in the education industry that doubles as a youth trainer and volunteers’ coordinator in his free time.

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