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Marketing | 18 min read

How To Sell Courses With A High Converting Email Marketing Strategy?

Email marketing is a great strategy in which emails are sent out periodically to develop relationships with prospects and customers. The ideal goal of an email marketing strategy is to convert site visitors into customers and turn first-time buyers into recurring customers. One of the greatest advantages of using email marketing is that this whole process can be automated. Plus as your business grows, you will be able to build a strong list of emails of potential and existing customers. Every new product or course launch or a new offer email will then drive thousands to your business for free! Simply because you own that database and don't have to pay for that access anymore.    

Yes, People Do Read Emails.

With artificial intelligence, talk of video content, virtual reality, and chatbots responding instantly to customer queries, people sometimes mistake email marketing as long past its prime.
But, it is not so. The truth is that it is still going stronger, and is possibly also the best strategy for boosting your online business in today’s date.

People still engage with emails that are compelling and inspire them to act on your messages.

Why should email marketing still be the preferred mode of campaigns to promote online courses?

Several reports show that email marketing still reigns as the most effective marketing channel and easily beats SEO, social media, and affiliate marketing, etc. Statistics show that email marketing generates approximately $38 for every $1 spent which is a 3,800% ROI, making this marketing strategy one of the most effective options available.

That’s where naturally the marketers still prefer and recommend its use. That’s also the reason why course creators must learn how to create great emails and do it right to market their online courses. So, if you’re fairly new to this scene, it’s important to grasp the basics first, like why is email marketing important, what are its benefits, and how to start at it.


So what is email marketing?


Email marketing is basically using an email strategy to build relationships with your audience. With a proper email marketing communication flow, you can send relevant information and convert prospects into customers. People who are interested in your product or service can join your email list to be educated and to make informed buying decisions later. Email marketing has been around for a long time, and it continues to lead the pack as it comes to your return on effort and time.

Here are some of the key benefits of an optimized email marketing strategy:

1. Super low cost and great returns

It costs the least to run professional email marketing campaigns. A basic strategy combined with the right tool allows you to try and test various tactics. Most email marketing solutions offer a host of features that are crucial to growing your business such as:

  •  Marketing
  • Auto responding emails
  • Automation based emails
  • Marketing campaigns
  • And much more.

Apart from that this software helps you grow your email list and even import your existing email list and is easily scalable.

2. Full control

Email marketing communication lets you take full control over every aspect of it.

You can:

  • design all your assets (e.g. contact forms, emails, and landing pages)
  • decide on the types of email campaigns you want to run
  • segment your email list for targeted emailing
  • tag your contacts for better customization
  • create marketing automation workflows with your business goals in focus
  • Plan your marketing communication carefully to reflect your brand identity uniquely
  • And much more.

3. Precision

When you build your list organically and ask people to confirm the subscription this is the reliable way you know that your contacts want to receive emails from your brand. And implies that you’re sending emails to people who are really interested in your offer. Such an email list is considered high-quality and likely to bring better business results.

4. Ease of use

Creating email marketing campaigns is simple on Knorish. You can design your email templates, landing pages, and marketing automation workflows while its integration features efficiently track your email marketing campaign’s performance.

5. The preferred and perfect marketing medium

Per the market reports, most people prefer to be contacted officially through their email rather than other channels. The percentage of email opens on mobile devices continues to grow. If desktop opens make for 45.69% of total email opens, followed by mobile opens at 34.31%, and webmail opens at 20%. It clearly means that you can reach your customers and influence their buying decisions wherever they are.

6. Targeted and personalized communication

You can collect relevant information from your contacts along the subscription process and use it to tailor the communication to resolve their needs and preferences. Based on the data you can create segments of people sharing common traits. Your subscribers will stay on your list as long as they see value in your communication – that’s why over time you can build a huge email list that brings impressive revenue.

7. Easy to measure results

You can gain full control over your email marketing efforts by integrating your email marketing platform with online analytics tools such as Google Analytics. The performance of individual emails in your email marketing tool’s statistics panel can be controlled to track user behavior on your website. You can set goals for individual campaigns, track conversions, and measure ROI accordingly.

8. Fully automated and Excellent Returns

Marketing automation lets you build custom workflows for your email marketing campaigns.
Email marketing also keeps on bringing the highest return on investment of all online marketing channels.

So, how can course creators get started with an email marketing campaign?

Each business runs email marketing campaigns to fulfill its business goals. But the core idea that helps everyone achieve the best possible results is relatively simple i.e. to focus on the preferences and needs of your target audience.

Marketing & Selling Online Courses with Email Marketing Notes FormatEmail marketing basically has a three-step process in the customer journey i.e.

  1. Awareness - when the buyer realizes they have a problem.
  2. Consideration - when the buyer understands that maybe your product can help them with their problem
  3. Decision - when the buyer makes a choice and considers the purchase

The key to doing email marketing well is to know your target audience really well. The more you know about your target audience, the easier it gets for you to plan the content and the flow of truly engaging campaigns based on the above stages in the customer journey.

So, ideally speaking, just five emails can serve the purpose completely. You just have to figure out the sequence right. The first rule of a great full-circle marketing campaign is that you must have a lot of compelling content, to begin with. This can be accomplished by segmenting your email list to fit in the following categories:

Educational Emails
These emails help answer a question or offer a solution to a problem for your potential clients. In these emails, you provide a service by sharing information. And these types of emails should be sent whenever there’s a new, compelling piece of content or a new bit of research you want to promote. Educational emails are often effectively developed by repurposing a popular article or blog or even combining a series of recent write-ups from any education-based content that you would want to fit together to be rolled out into a particular campaign.

Informational Emails
Informational emails are usually short versions of emails that don’t usually ask the recipient to take action. In fact, sometimes just the email’s subject line alone can say it all. Few examples include webinar invites, meeting reminders, or an offer to check out a particular post on your social media handles.

Promotional Emails
While some people like to avoid this type of email marketing, it is still very important to implement it strategically. The promotions that are done professionally and tactfully bear good results. Promotional emails drive the recipient to take some action- usually around a new service, product, special deal, or event. As effective email marketing strategies work, these emails might not have a lot of content used but they are focused on highlighting selling points and persuasion verbiage.

These kinds of emails are generally sent out by companies once per month and often include several pieces of content that you have already published over the course of the period. Content for newsletter emails can have an array of articles, blogs, videos, or many other pieces of content.

Lead Nurture
Lead nurturing emails are key to help you expedite the sales process. Once you have a workflow set up, sending out these types of emails will take the least of your time. In fact, the entire process is often automated. But keep them short and content-rich as the goal of these emails is to get leads to derive some action on your website.

The real key to effective email marketing campaigns is to know your audience well. This certainly helps you determine what type of email you want to send and optimize for a better ROI. We recommend sending out permission-based emails to your recipients.

We have tried to share with you some of the general email marketing sequences for you to consider as a starter spread across the three stages of the customer journey.

From Lead to paying customer: Stages of nurturing a lead

Stage 1 - Awareness Stage

First Email - Welcome email - 
The goal of the welcome campaign is self-explanatory but the way you welcome your new subscribers make the whole difference. To begin with, sending a simple welcome email is a good idea, but sending a sequence of emails instead can help you build still long-lasting relationships and result in bigger engagement.

A welcome email is important since it is meant to :

-Build a Brand
-Reward the user
-Retain and bring the customer back to your brand

So, here are a few examples of a few great welcome email series.

Frequency: one email a day

JetBlue Email Marketing Image

JetBlue’s welcome email allows the brand’s fun and playful side to shine through. It gives thanks to the subscriber for joining their list as well as outlines all the benefits of their email program. Then, something which you don’t see very often, they allow the subscriber to set their own frequency terms and conditions. The subscriber can either decide to jump right in or take it slow by receiving a few more emails citing the benefits of JetBlue’s email program before fully committing to the program.

Second & Third Mail - Educating the client of the existence of the problem - 

In this mail, you need to bring to the reader’s attention to the problem areas that are in the need of a solution. The USP lies in going bang at what the client might be struggling with and mildly offering your product as a first-hand solution at just the click of a CTA button. Here’s the perfect example from Zapier :

Zapier Email Marketing Image

Stage 2 - Consideration Stage
Fourth Email - Product Brief 

Feature or Product email campaigns are high rated and popular. It is a great way to introduce your company, products, or services to your subscribers. A well-structured product or feature campaign ends up educating your subscribers so that they can use your product effectively and make an informed decision to purchase. Here’s a great example from this update from Reddit that sets a great example of how to direct your newest subscribers to all your most interesting, click-worthy content or services.

Frequency: 1 email every 3 days

Reddit Email Marketing Image

If you notice, this email clearly outlines that the information that it shall carry will make your life easy and interesting. This way in the consideration stage they line up as a prospecting platform you would want to be part of.

Here’s another perfect example of a product announcement email from Grammarly :

Grammarly Email Marketing Image

In the above mail, Grammarly showcases its new feature capabilities with an informative illustration and follows up the visuals with a clear, precise copy. Since they’ve already broken out some of the key features in the header illustration, Grammarly opts to forgo breaking up a copy through bulleted lists or other formatting tactics for a simple paragraph. By doing so, they keep the email short and easy to digest in one go.

Stage - 3: Decision Stage

In this stage, you need to ensure to drive the customer to take the desired action. That means using really great CTA buttons, lingos. Just how the sample mail by Trello in question does so.

Trello inspires us with their Creative CTA Buttons

The email sample from Trello is another fit example of how a wisely-sought and interestingly curated call to action can do wonders. So, get a clue what to do to keep people involved and not get bored of the same old stuff around ”Click Here” or ”Read More” types of CTA buttons.

Trello Email Marketing Image

Another example in question is Uber.

Uber Too Knows How to Say It Straight

Here we have another example of a simple text with a clear CTA button. That strikes a chord for busy subscribers who lack the time and patience to read long messages. It is heartening to see how Uber’s mobile-friendly email marketing communication always gets it straight to the point and yet can invoke user satisfaction.

Uber Email Marketing Image

So, you saw that the list for great email marketing samples can go on. Few take-homes for the email marketing beginners to include using :

- Final Hour Sense of Urgency
- Combination of 4C’s
- Provision for Quiz & Questionnaire
- The personalized approach led by clean clutter-free design

What are the three important phases of email marketing essential for beginners to know?

Do us a favor. Check your email inbox right now. How many emails in the inbox are actually worth your time? Would you then send such emails to your users? The answer would be obvious - ‘No’. So then how is your email special? There’s a high chance that to the reader, it might look the same as the rest.

This is where email etiquette comes to the rescue. Sending emails that are spam then must be avoided. So, before you even begin putting your email campaign together, you must adapt your content & offers consistently and don’t let your emails… be unwelcome guests in people’s inbox.

Here are some basic key points being explained in 3 phases which shall help you to build a great email marketing campaign:

Phase 1: Getting reader’s permission to send your emails

No email campaign was ever built without user permissions in place. So, the first thing for the course creators would be to get permission to get started.

In this step, you'll need to focus on building a sizable email list to grow your sales funnel.

You can acquire user mail addresses either by giving something away for free or simply offer a high-value content newsletter or interesting product updates, also called the lead magnates. Though nobody can be given a definite right or wrong answer for their chosen incentive, having a clear purpose when asking for an e-mail address has to be there surely.

In the email marketing campaign, a strong call to action (CTA) & compelling copywriting play a vital part. Why?

Because they help to establish the sender’s credibility, explain why the email has been sent, and what it wants the people to do next?

Simply saying “enter your email” to the people isn’t going to excite anyone. By being more specific and providing an accurate call to action (CTA) to sharing email addresses, would instill confidence in your readers and the rise in subscriptions could be witnessed.

You may try some of these commonly used methods to entice people to sign up:

  • Free high-value content download
  • Email series
  • Free eBooks or White Papers
  • Product updates, New releases list

Another important thing is to be not afraid to promote clearly whatever your chosen incentive is.

Phase II: Following through with amazing content

As Email marketing is all about setting up expectations, it depends a lot on course creators how they set them. For that, your call to action (CTA) would have to be very strong and follow-up to be very consistent. For example, if you are promising your audience one email per week and instead are sending them daily, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. On the other hand, if your audience is expecting daily updates or monthly new product reviews and you are unable to deliver, then they are likely to be just as upset in that circumstance too.

This is the reason why the first follow-up email is so crucial to the success of your email marketing campaigning efforts.

So, what works wonders for email marketing campaigns is an enticing welcome mail followed by an autoresponder sequence. Automation is something that mostly all email service providers give. The pitching has to wait until your customers are well engaged. There’s no way that you surprise your readers with a pitch unexpectedly.

Phase III: Using Analytics and Segmentation To Track Performance

Now that you know the basics behind creating an effective email campaign, let’s focus on how to take things to the next level. Segmentation and Analytics will help you with refining your email marketing campaign so that it generates better results for you. Take it slow though.

Most email marketing service providers give complimentary analytics. The three most important analytic outputs include the opening rate, click-through (CTR) rate, and unsubscribe. Their results highlight which areas need to be “paid more attention”.

Here’s what we mean by using Analytics of your Email Marketing:

1. Opening Rate: This will usually tell you how well you’ve bonded with your readers. Ideally, if people are excited to read your emails, it shows you are providing value to your readers and managing their expectations superbly. If your emails are unopened, it asks for you to work harder on the content or your offers.

2. Click-Through-Rate (CTR): This will help you know the no. of people clicking on the link provided in your email. Low CTR shall indicate that the message is either not effective enough, or simply not clear. In this scenario, you will need to rework your copy.

3. Unsubscribe Rate: Higher unsubscribe rate would mean that either your email message is not effective enough or it has simply landed in the incorrect target audience inbox. The audience leaving after a certain auto-responder mail would require that particular message to be reworked. Similarly, if they’re leaving after certain marketing messages, then re-work on the way you present offers might be required. Analytics would help you make those changes.

Use a segmented email list to choose the right audience for your online course.

After the analytics, comes the segmentation i.e. the process of splitting up your email list into more targeted categorical groups. For example, dividing your email listing as:

-Subscribed customers
-Passive customers ( leads who haven’t unsubscribed your emails, but have bought nothing)
-Newsletter subscribers
-Daily/weekly/monthly email lists

However you decide to divide your email list, it shall help you with sending more targeted communication to your subscribers. Besides, it shall help you develop better relationships with your customers. One has to remember the worth of each email subscriber and, think of unsubscriptions in terms of loss of revenue.

So to conclude, email marketing is still a highly cost-effective tool that gives credible results.

In today’s date, email marketing is still delivering huge returns for marketers who are willing to get started with it. It doesn’t have to be too complicated at all. Your every email subscriber is a real person. It’s high time you treated them like one.

Here are quick summarised points from the blog while you excel at it :

- Be respectful of people’s privacy and deliver value
- Promise only what you can deliver as part of your campaign
- Adopt analytics and segmentation for better email marketing results

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