5 Tips for Building an Email List for Your Course or Program Launch
Updated: May 5
As online course creators, we pour our hearts and souls into crafting top-notch courses, creating irresistible sales pages, and promoting our offerings on social media. But what many of us often overlook is the critical importance of building an email list.
Now, before we dive into why an email list is essential, let's define what it is. An email list is a treasure trove of email addresses that you've acquired through various methods such as opt-ins on your website, lead magnets, or through purchases. It's your ticket to communicate directly with your potential and current customers.
So, why is having an email list essential to the success of your online course launch? Here are a few reasons that will make you want to hit the ground running.
Reason #1: Your email list is the MVP of your digital marketing toolkit.
It's no secret that online business revolves around customer relationships. Your email list is a collection of people who have already shown interest in what you have to offer. They've actively chosen to hear from you and potentially buy from you. It's like having a direct hotline to people who already want to hear from you. No cold calling required. And don’t overlook the important fact that you own your email list!! Which isn’t something you can say about your social media following.
Reason #2: Your email list allows you to build meaningful relationships.
Establishing rapport and trust with your potential and current customers is vital to the success of your online course launch. By communicating regularly with your email list, you can provide valuable content, answer questions, and keep them in the loop about your offerings. As a result, you'll be viewed as an authority figure in your field and become someone your subscribers turn to for guidance.
Reason #3: Your email list is your ticket to a successful online course launch.
Social media is great, but let's face it: it can be a noisy place. Your posts may get lost in the endless scroll of cat videos and memes. An email list, on the other hand, is a direct line to your subscribers' inboxes. By crafting targeted email campaigns, you can cut through the noise and increase your chances of converting your email subscribers into paying customers.
So, if you're not already building an email list, you're leaving money on the table. It's a no-brainer.
Before we dive into HOW to build your email list, let's chat email list hosts. Especially when it comes to hosting an email list for an online course. My personal favorite is Kartra! This is because not only does Kartra host your email list, it can also host your course and/or membership in addition to helping to schedule content, track ads and so much more! I love having an all in one system that can keep track of all the data in my business and communicate across the board to give me the ability to create a more targeted strategy for each of my launches. You can get started with a free 14-day trial here.
So email lists are essential for Launching! Great, now that you understand that, you’re probably asking “but how do I grow my email list?!”
Let’s jump into 5 of my favorite email list building techniques:
1- Offer a Lead Magnet:
The first strategy to build your email list for your launch is by offering a lead magnet. A lead magnet is a valuable free resource that you offer to your audience in exchange for their email address. This could be a guide, ebook, template, or any other valuable resource that your audience would find useful. Make sure that your lead magnet is closely related to the product or service you'll be launching to attract the right audience.
Using a lead magnet to build your email list is a win-win situation for both you and your potential subscribers. You get to grow your list of engaged subscribers, and they get to receive valuable information from you that can help them solve their problems or achieve their goals. Offering a lead magnet is a powerful way to attract the right people to your email list and keep them engaged throughout your course launch.
Steps to Create a Lead Magnet:
Step 1: Define Your Ideal Customer
To create a lead magnet that appeals to your target audience, you need to understand who your ideal customer is. Ask yourself questions like: What problems are they struggling with? What are their goals and aspirations? What information or resources do they need to achieve them?
Step 2: Identify the Problem You Can Solve
Once you know who your ideal customer is, you need to identify the problem that your lead magnet can solve. It should be a problem that your target audience is actively seeking a solution to and one that your course can help solve.
Step 3: Choose the Type of Lead Magnet
There are many different types of lead magnets you can offer, depending on your target audience and course topic. Some popular types include e-books, cheat sheets, checklists, templates, video tutorials, and webinars.
Step 4: Create Your Lead Magnet
Now it's time to create your lead magnet. Your lead magnet should be high-quality and provide real value to your potential subscribers. It should be easy to consume, visually appealing, and offer a clear benefit to your audience.
Step 5: Promote Your Lead Magnet
Once you've created your lead magnet, it's time to promote it. Share it on social media, include it on your website, and mention it in your content. You can also use paid advertising to reach a wider audience.
Using a lead magnet is the bread and butter for effectively building your email list and attracting the right people to your course launch. By creating a valuable resource that solves a specific problem for your target audience, you can grow your list of engaged subscribers and increase your chances of a successful course launch.
2 - Host a Giveaway:
Hosting a giveaway is another effective way to build your email list and increase your chances of a successful course launch. Here’s how to go about doing this:
The first step is to determine your prize. Your prize should be related to your course topic and appeal to your ideal audience. For example, if you're launching a course on gut health, you could give away a free consultation to assess gut health or a free gut health supplement set.
Then outline the terms for someone to enter to win. You’ll often see people say like this and tag 3 friends but the most important part here is to make sure they are opting into your email list. So make sure to clarify this in the parameters. One great way that I and my clients have done this is by telling the audience to grab their free guide (by opting in) and then share their top 2 takeaways from the guide in the caption. You can get creative with this but something along these lines tends to work great!
Next step is obviously to promote this giveaway because if no one knows about it then no one is going to opt-in. Of course you will want to promote it on your social media platforms but to really take it to the next level consider doing a joint giveaway with another account so you are able to get in front of their audience as well or if you are really in the email list building phase, consider running ads for the giveaway.
3 - Create a Quiz or Survey:
The third strategy is a bit of an offshoot from the lead magnet. This is to create a quiz or survey.
This is a great option because we all love to learn more about ourselves! We love personality quizzes and knowing which Disney princess we are or what color we are. The important part here when creating your quiz is to make sure the topic is both appealing to your ideal audience and ties into your course or program topic to ensure the people you pull onto your email list are appropriate candidates for your offer.
Make sure to offer the quiz or survey results in exchange for their email address. This will help you to understand your audience better while also creating targeted content for your launch.
4 - Use a Content Upgrade:
The fourth strategy is to use a content upgrade.
A content upgrade is a piece of content (like a blog, podcast, Youtube video, etc.) that offers a bonus piece of content that is directly related to the content the reader is currently consuming. For example, if you have a blog post on "10 Tips for Better Time Management," your content upgrade could be a printable worksheet or checklist that helps readers put those tips into action.
Content upgrades are effective because they offer additional value to your audience beyond the blog post or article they are reading. By offering a relevant bonus resource, you increase the perceived value of your content, making readers more likely to give you their email address in exchange for the content upgrade.
Here are some tips for creating effective content upgrades:
Offer something that complements your content: Your content upgrade should be directly related to the content your reader is consuming. It should offer additional value and help your reader take action on the information you've provided.
Keep it simple: Your content upgrade should be easy to consume and implement. Checklists, cheat sheets, and templates are great options because they are simple and actionable.
Make it visually appealing: Your content upgrade should look professional and visually appealing. Use design elements such as images, icons, and colors to make it visually interesting and engaging.
Create a clear call-to-action: Make it clear what your reader needs to do to access the content upgrade. Use language that encourages action, such as "Download Now" or "Get Your Free Checklist."
Deliver the content upgrade immediately: When someone signs up for your email list in exchange for a content upgrade, deliver the content upgrade immediately. This will help you build trust with your audience and ensure that they are getting the value they were promised.
Overall, content upgrades are a great strategy for building your email list because they provide additional value to your audience and increase the perceived value of your content. By offering a relevant and valuable bonus resource, you can encourage more people to sign up for your email list and ultimately, your online course or program.
5 - Use a Pop-up or Slide-in Form:
The final strategy is to use a pop-up or slide-in form. A pop-up or slide-in form is a form that appears on your website when a user takes a specific action, such as scrolling down a certain amount of the page or spending a certain amount of time on the site. You can use these forms to ask users to join your email list. Make sure that the pop-up or slide-in form is well-designed and doesn't disrupt the user experience.
So there you have it - five effective ways to build your email list for your launch. Remember to offer a valuable lead magnet, host a giveaway, create a quiz or survey, use a content upgrade, and use a pop-up or slide-in form. By using these strategies, you'll be able to grow your email list, reach a wider audience, and generate more sales for your launch.
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More of a listener than a reader? Listen to this topic along with other weekly business drops on my podcast 'The Profitable Practitioner'