How To Promote Your Online Course Using Email Marketing

5 min read
Ash Salleh
Woman looking at her emails

Here’s a scenario: you’ve defined a specific problem. You’ve created an informative and engaging online course aimed at helping your audience solve the problem. And now, your online course is finally ready to launch.

But how do you effectively promote this new online course?

Enter: email marketing.

72% of consumers prefer receiving promotional content through email. Furthermore, 73% of consumers say they prefer email when communicating with brands.

To top it off, email marketing has an ROI of 4,400%.

This level of ROI and consumer appreciation is what makes email marketing an ideal channel to leverage when promoting your online courses.

This post will cover a few of the ways you can use email marketing to promote your online course.

Flat icons to do with email marketing

Segment your existing subscriber list

Instead of sending a promotional email to all of your subscribers, you can get much higher engagement by segmenting your list. Take a look at certain data points and filter your list using the following criteria:

  • Purchase history - Consider subscribers who make purchases on a regular basis (for example, at least one purchase each month).
  • Engagement - Segment subscribers who not only open your emails, but also engage with your messages by clicking the links, linked images, or call-to-action (CTA) buttons.
  • Content consumed - Segment subscribers who engage with newsletters that have topics similar to those of your online course. These subscribers are likely going to be interested in taking the online course.
  • Brand ambassadors - As ardent supporters of your brand, these subscribers share your content on social media, post product reviews on your website, leave comments on your blog posts, and recommend your products and services to their friends and colleagues. It’s always a good idea to promote your online course to these types of subscribers because a positive response is almost a guarantee.
72% of consumers prefer receiving promotional content through email. Furthermore, 73% of consumers say they prefer email when communicating with brands.

Get in Touch to Discuss Your Online Course

Need help with your own online course? We can help write content, design your sales pages or promote it for you.

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Write an email promoting your online course

Crafting the perfect promotional email increases conversions for your online course. Consider these tips when designing a promotional email:

Hook your readers

Get your subscriber’s attention with a catchy subject line. To boost email opens, include your subscriber’s first name in the subject line as well.

If possible, include a number in your subject line—research suggests that email open rates tend to be higher when subject lines contain a number.

Example of an email with a catchy subject line
Source: Teachable

Provide value

The value of your online course is that it can help your audience resolve their pain point. With a well-written value proposition, you can communicate that value to your subscribers.

Team brainstorming about their customer's journey

Essentially, your value proposition should explain to your subscribers what your online course is all about and why they should take it. Through your value proposition, you should be able to clearly outline the advantages of taking your online course.

To create a value proposition, start with a short headline that effectively summarises your online course. For example, if your online course teaches the basics of web development, your headline could be, “Learn the basics of web development in under an hour.”

You can then supplement this with copy that explains how your online course will help subscribers achieve what you mentioned in your headline.

Create urgency

When you create urgency, you entice subscribers to take the action on your promotional email. In this case, it’s to take your online course.

Creating urgency in your emails often means using time-sensitive language in your email copy. In your subject lines, include phrases like today only, tomorrow, hurry, and limited time to encourage your subscribers to take action immediately.

Graphic for a summer sale

To further create urgency and increase conversions, offer a time-sensitive discount. For example, if subscribers order the online course within 24-hours of receiving your promotional email, they get a 15% discount.

Use a well-designed call-to-action (CTA) button

The final step in crafting your promotional email is designing a CTA button. It not only provides subscribers with the opportunity to take action, but it’s also what ties together all the other elements of your email.

Done properly, the previous steps in the email writing process will guide them toward your CTA button.

Example of Teachable's CTA

When including CTAs in your email, it’s best to use a button instead of a plain link because the former is proven to increase click-throughs.

The CTA button in your email should be large enough to catch the reader’s eye, but not too large that it becomes a distraction. You should also use contrasting colours and effects such as shadows and colour gradients so that the button stands out from other elements in the email.

Email templates on Campaign Monitor
Campaign Monitor's email templates

If you want to make designing emails much easier, you can use mobile-responsive email templates that can be customised to suit whatever email requirements you have.

Allow your email to be shared on social media

Your brand probably has pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or even Pinterest. You can combine the power of these social media platforms with your email marketing campaigns and allow your online course to reach a wider audience.

The best part? It requires very little effort on your part. Most email marketing platforms today have social sharing features that allow you to integrate your social media and email strategies with one another.

All you have to do is add social media sharing buttons to your email. This way, subscribers can easily share the content of your promotional email on their social media pages.

Example of how Watb use social media buttons in emails

If you sent your promotional email to your brand ambassadors, they will likely share it on their social media.

This can have a significant impact on the conversion rate of your online course. A survey revealed that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from their peers over traditional advertising.

Wrap up

The fact that email is the preferred communication of a majority of consumers, coupled with its unrivalled ROI make it the go-to digital marketing channel if you want to promote your online course.

The steps outlined in this blog will help you create an email marketing strategy to spread the word about your online course while simultaneously increasing conversions.

This is a guest post by Ash Salleh, Director of SEO at Campaign Monitor.

Get in Touch to Discuss Your Online Course

Need help with your own online course? We can help write content, design your sales pages or promote it for you.

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