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Promote Online Courses With Email Marketing - A Guide

Promote Online Courses With Email Marketing - A Guide

We are assuming you have developed a fully-fledged online course with informative and engaging material and are more than eager to launch it to the public now. Now, what kind of marketing strategy should you adopt? 

With so many “new” digital marketing methods popping up every day, you need to stay updated. Luckily, we have found the most effective way to market your state-of-the-art online course. And that is - email marketing. 

You might assume emails to be a bit old school but facts prove otherwise. Both B2B (87%) and BTC (79%) marketers use emails to distribute a promotional deal, a new product, or in your case - an online course. And even customers find it convenient. Most prefer receiving top-notch emails with actual insights, hence increasing conversion rates too. 

Overall, by considering email marketing for promoting online courses - you are one step ahead, even the ROI for emails is around 122% (higher than other mediums). Enrollments will increase, and prospective students will join.

Keep reading as we cover one of the most effective strategies to promote courses online in 2021.

Email Marketing Strategy for Online Courses 

Like any other campaign, email marketing requires a clear-cut strategy. So, be vigilant before you snoop in someone’s inbox. Send the email as if it’s your first job, cross-check every minor detail, it matters. 

Firstly, collect enough data for an active email list. It’s important to send emails to potential students who might have heard about your course, or what your brand stands for. 

And even with potential students, know that they get similar emails every day. Especially now. Living with a quarantined lifestyle, online learning is the standard. You need to come across differently - only a “right” strategy can help. 

You need to be prepared, each step of the way - calculate everything. Merely sending an email to a prospective student isn’t enough. Content quality, timing, consistency, and subject lines matter a lot. 


Don’t worry, we’ll go into detail - from finding potential customers to eventually making them purchase the course through emails. 

Build Your Email List

We strongly encourage you to filter people out and then build a list. So, know your target audience and find every connection possible. Prioritize these three types of customers and consider these short points.

email list building for online courses


Cold prospects: they are not aware of your course and neither your brand, the difficult buyers. So, customize your message in a very specific way that addresses the customer’s problems. 

Win-back customers: when learning, there’s never enough, is there? There’s always a successor to the previous one. Win-back customers will surely come for another program and might even recommend a friend. Keep them updated. 

Current students: um, your current batch might already be going through a lot of course-related messages and emails every day - it’s better to not disturb them with promotional emails. 

Huh, you might be wondering how we get their emails? It’s fairly easy. If the budget is a bit reasonable, purchase a list (laws vary in regions) - Stirista is a popular provider. Or simply add pop-up pages on your website. 

In fact, you can just focus on creating distinct and intriguing content where users are eventually required to “sign-up”. Getting a list easy with social media integration, make sure you implement a strategy that converts subscribers. 

Convert Email Subscribers Into Students

Email marketing is surely the “best” option to consider but a lot of marketers get disappointed when it comes to generating leads

It’s good if the email open rate is high but don’t rely on those metrics alone. To be honest, they don’t even matter much. Focus on driving actual conversions - here are a few tips: 


  • Catchy subject line and overall design 
  • Customizing email list according to persona - region and behavior
  • Customer’s journey in mind - their funnel stage
  • Add relevant CTAs 

When constructing an email, these are the top points to remember. When we say design an email - it means that you should optimize it for different devices. 

Studies show that more than 40% of email messaging now happens on mobile and they’re far more likely to proceed further. 

Now, this seems amusing but you should also know that over 70% of consumers are likely to delete an email if it's unresponsive. Now, you don’t want to end up in spam, so work on optimizing it. 

Uh, then it’s just the basics. Craft an email, personalize it, and walla! Basically, research everything about the consumer. - track their journey. 

Analyzing behavior will also help you identify when to send emails and how personal you need to get. Try segmenting lists by filtering out demographics and browsing patterns. Then, tailor the email and click “send”. 

Nurture Existing Subscribers and Students

While you try to attract prospective students, keep updating current students and subscribers as well, at least to a certain extent. Referral emails are perfect for this. 

email campaigns for existing subscribers


Once they've subscribed to your newsletter, serve them with the absolute best - that means - special offers, welcome notes, acknowledgment gestures, etc. 


Don’t forget to keep the email as “human” as possible, like an exchange. It’s all about psychology. 


Obviously, emails with a personal touch will keep readers hooked - a 27% higher click rate, in fact. Later on, you can even expect higher enrolment rates. It’s all connected. 


On top of this all, use the simplest trick - special offers. Who doesn't like something at a discount? Maybe a student wants to purchase another course? 


What if you send a surprise email with a 50% off promo code for instance? 


Most consumers will go back to a brand they already trust, don’t underestimate referrals. 


Why Hire an Online Course Marketing Agency to Execute the Right Email Campaigns 


At this point of the article, you must have one question in mind - how do I execute all this? It’s not that difficult. As everything is remote nowadays, just collaborate with a digital marketing agency that specifically deals with online course promotions.

email marketing agency for online courses


And you’re in luck. Here at Orion, our services are specially designed to promote online courses. We assure clients that their “prospective” students will turn into life-long ones - enrollments will be at an all-time high. 

At Orion, as a leading online course agency - we can further help you out with:


  • Social media marketing for online courses
  • Customized course landing pages 
  • SEO optimization 
  • Conversion rate optimization 

And… there’s a lot more

You can book a free growth session with us too - let’s talk about your program in detail and plan the perfect email campaign for your online course marketing.


Best Practices to Write a Perfect Email Copy to Promote Your Online Course

Ok, so we’ve talked about the importance of writing a clear-cut, customized email. Here’s a more in-depth look at “practices” to follow. 

Hopefully, you’ll be able to write an email copy that drives conversions, sales, leads, and most importantly - satisfies the upcoming/current student. So, step-by-step: 

Eye-catching Subject Line

Subject lines are your first impression, make it worthwhile. And always, always keep it short. Marketers have debated on the “length” long enough and here at Orion, we think you should stick with a 6-10 line target. 

Also, deliver quickly. What we mean is - keep the subject with a “curiosity” touch and mention your desired action (online course-related). 

Avoid click baits at all costs and be creative with the words you choose, it should reflect the course’s core message. 

A Killer Preview Text

While writing an email copy, even the little line you see at first glimpse matters. The subject isn’t enough. Here, you’ve more room - utilize it correctly by detailing out the course. 

Also, perhaps consider trial and error. The classic method always works and in your case - send emails with different lengths and observe the open rate. 

Did it change? Anyway, remember to stand out. Maybe even use emojis. The goal is to be creative and leave a mark on the student. Be easy, no need to be formal. 

Similar to a Web Copy 

Yes! The body of the mail is quite similar to a web copy.  Keep the flow as such - follow a set structure, align paragraphs symmetrically, and focus on one idea at a time.

To clear the course's main points, use subheadings and even bullet points - explain everything in the simplest way possible. 

Here's what we mean. Focus on the "voice of the customer" (VoC). In copywriting, this technique is used to present the customer's perspective. To sum it up, add affirmations from previous batches - reading another student's point of view might convince them to continue with the email. 


Conclusion


And that's it! Email marketing for course creators is summed up here. Implement these email marketing strategies and students will surely line up or "sign-up" for your online programs. 

It's high time brands stop considering emails as inferior. Ironically, it's the most reliable platform to sell online courses. You never know when Instagram or Facebook decide to restrict your business account - unlikely - but you don't want to risk it, do you? 

Whether enrollments cross your expectations or not - be confident in the course's credibility though. You've worked hard enough. With just a bit of advertising, everything will be in shape. 

And if you need to boost sales even quicker, do consult us. At Orion, our email campaigns often outperform the client's expectations. 





Manno Notermans

Manno is a wanderer of the world looking to make an impact and change the world for the better. He has over 10 years of experience working in various marketing positions. Manno’s main focus the past few years has been accelerating the growth of businesses, increasing revenue, and profit with out-of-box creative ideas and implementations.