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Advertising and selling online courses can be very difficult. Learn how to sell your online courses the right way, with the best email marketing strategy.

Are you an online course entrepreneur hoping to sell their online courses more successfully? This article will help you discover all the ins and outs of marketing your online course so that you can help more people achieve their dreams.

Here’s the thing: Selling is difficult. It’s hard to sell your product, your service, your course. If an advertisement doesn’t feel genuine and natural to the viewer, it is going to steer them away from purchasing your product. The ad will transform from something meant to grow your student numbers to something that will scare them all away. Don’t worry though, there is a great way to naturally and effectively sell your course with email marketing, while even growing your email list.

Watch our free video below with marketing expert Liz Willits from AWeber, explaining how you can get the most out of your email marketing campaigns.

A Typical Marketing Strategy

Let’s look at a typical email marketing strategy, so we can learn the ins and outs of its marketing techniques. First, a very simple sign up form that tells people to sign up for awesome emails. A typical signup form is found on a website, but it doesn’t give subscribers an incentive to join. Next, we have a simple automated email series that the course creator would send. The emails are relatively generic but still create a bit of brand awareness, and they wait three days in between each email. There might also be a newsletter included in this plan, with a Call To Action button, some descriptive content, and a generic headline. Maybe even a “buy now” email every now and then, but that’s it. This type of email marketing strategy is very common, a lot of people do this.

Here’s What’s Wrong With It

There are actually quite a few problems with that somehow “typical” email marketing strategy. The big problem is using this strategy without knowing anything about your subscribers. Your subscribers also wouldn’t know you yet, and you would be abruptly selling them something they may not even need. The most powerful marketing campaigns are those that actually solve someone’s challenge or problem, or they make someone happy. But to do this, you need to know your subscriber and what their challenges actually are. You need them to trust you, that you can solve their problems, and that your product or service can make their life feel better.

Pitching in this style is a bad idea because it can feel very out of place. You’re suddenly asking them to “buy now” when maybe they didn’t even know you sold a product. They might not have signed up expecting to hear about a product from you or to hear about your course, which would make your Call To Action buttons feel like they’re coming out of left field. This is made even more pointless considering people probably aren’t going to buy from that sort of email when they don’t know who you are and they don’t trust you yet. Ultimately the biggest problem is that this type of email startegy won’t build a relationship for you, you would simply be sending them content about your business and asking them to buy, which is ineffective.

A Simple Fix

Don’t worry, because there is a simple fix that will help you build a relationship with your subscribers and launch a successful email marketing strategy at the same time. This email marketing fix grows your list and sells your course, which is fantastic. Here’s the thing: an email mini-course. This mini-course is a short free course which precedes your paid course, with the course content being delivered via email. The topic of the mini-course is very closely tied to your paid course topic and could revolutionize the way you’re growing your list and selling your course.

Why It Matters

Offering a free mini-course as the incentive to get people to join your email list is an ingenious idea. It means that people are getting value for simply giving up their email address. When people sign up, they are opting in for educational content, not for your promotional emails. This makes them more likely to opt in, increasing your list growth.

The most important thing to take away is to give your subscribers something in exchange for giving up their email address. By implementing this strategy you are giving them value from the first instant of your relationship with them. You can just write five or so educational emails and create an automated campaign to send them for you. This allows your course to be automatically delivered at the perfect time for your subscribers. And it is giving your subscribers an incredible amount of value and education. At the end of your free mini-course, you can send something that promotes your paid Thinkific course, including a special offer to encourage people to buy right away. You should also remind subscribers in this email about what they already learned through the mini-course, and encourage them to take the next step to learn more.

Why It REALLY Matters

Mini-courses are proven to work, and many successful course creators are using this strategy right now to grow their list and sell their course. So why do mini-courses work so well? That’s because your most likely getting more subscribers since the course or challenge becomes a more attractive incentive to join. This new subscriber option that gives a free mini-course is doing so just for giving up their email address, which makes signing up a no brainer. It also allows you to nurture your subscribers, by delivering structured and consistent value through the mini-course.

Through your online mini-course, subscribers are achieving small victories. Your subscribers are learning, and they’re learning about something that’s really important to them. It is also just a taste of what they could learn, which is what brings them back for more. You’re teaching them the basics of something for free, which allows you to naturally introduce your paid course afterward. This is also an incredible strategy because it makes your subscribers spend time with you every day. They’re opening your mini-course emails every day, and thus you are building a relationship with them. They’ve just learned the basics from you, and now they want to learn more advanced topics, which makes your pitch much more natural.

Free Resources To Help You

In partnership with Thinkific, AWeber is granting you access to their “What To Write In Your Emails” course, which includes 45 email copy templates! They are also giving you a free 30-day subscription to AWeber, to help you create your own mini-course. For access to both of these amazing opportunities, watch the video above to get the links!

Want even more strategies for getting started creating your own online course? Download the free Thinkific guide to creating and selling online courses!