This blog post may contain affiliate links to products and services that I use myself and recommend. If you purchase one of these products or services using the affiliate link, you will pay the same (or possibly even get a discount!) and I will make a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Having an online audience is the vital foundation to selling your course.

Despite what you’ve heard, you’re going to have a heck of a time selling if you don’t have a list of email subscribers who you’ve nurtured.

Having an email list is a form of security.

Social sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter,  and LinkedIn etc. are not owned by you. If every other platform disappeared, your email database is the only sound marketing tool you have.

It’s vital to have a list if you have, or are planning to have, an online course or program.


What Is a “list”?

A list refers to a list of contacts – email subscribers specifically – that you acquire and own.

This list of subscribers is kept on a database in your ESP (Email Marketing Service Provider).


The Importance of an Email List

If done right, email marketing can solidify customer loyalty, increase your revenue, and turn prospects into customers.

It’s a direct, and instant, line of communication with your fans and followers.

Email marketing is an important component of your sales and marketing funnels.

When you have an email list of trusted customers, you can use this to pitch different other products as well.


What You Need To Start Growing Your Email List


The Offer

Building your email list always starts with the offer.

The offer is given in exchange for contact information given by a web visitor.

The offer should solve one of your Buyer Persona’s biggest problems – the problem that they would gladly pay to have solved. The issue that takes up their time, their money, or their headspace.

The solution should be a “quick win” – something they can digest in 5 minutes or less if they’re at the beginning of the buyer journey, and that will result in a solution or transformation.

The offer should ideally solve one problem while agitating another.

And it must have perceived high value and high relevancy.


Creating The Offer

In order to create the right offer, you need to know your Buyer Persona.

Is he or she more likely to:

  • Watch a video or tutorial?
  • Download an audio file to listen to on the go?
  • Read something like a case study or tip sheet?
  • OR do something like take a quiz or a survey?

Which medium would YOUR buyer persona prefer to consume?


Choosing Your Email Marketing Service Provider

Gone are the days when you could send mass emails through your own email by bcc’ing everyone.

An Email Marketing Service Provider is a 3rd party software that allows you to send automated emails and autoresponders to your email list, or segments of your email list.

You need this in order to gather the contact information from your web visitors and deliver the offer to their inbox.

Do your research! Trial a few different ones to figure out which is the best one for you.

You can view all the tools I use, as an online course creator, here.


Choose Your Landing Page or Funnel Software

If you’re tech savvy, you can likely use your own website to host your landing pages and create your basic optin funnel, but if you’re not I recommend Leadpages or Clickfunnels.

You’ll need this software to create an optin / squeeze page (that will also integrate with your ESP to collect web visitor information) and a thank you page.


Creating Your Basic Optin Funnel

  1. Create your offer / bait / lead magnet.
  2. Set up your ESP including your email sequence / autoresponder, tags, rules, automations.
  3. Create your squeeze page / optin page and integrate it with your ESP.  Link to your thank you page.

Once you’ve created your basic optin funnel you want to ensure that you test it!

Open an incognito window in Chrome and go through the process a web visitor would go through. Check that your optin / squeeze page and your Thank You page are mobile responsive, that your integrations are set up correctly, that you get on the correct email sequence or autoresponder, and that your offer links work.


Drive Traffic To Your Basic Optin Funnel

Once you’ve tested your basic optin funnel it’s time to run traffic to it.

Start with low hanging fruit.

If you already have a Facebook Page, create an engaging post and add your link. Link to your optin / squeeze page from your social profiles.

Get it on your website with a Hello Bar or button links.

Try driving traffic organically first to see how it’s converting. Once you know you have good conversion rates for your funnel you can use paid traffic, like Facebook ads, to drive even more traffic!


Would you like guidance and support to conquer your fear of technology and marketing?

 Get your business digitalized, grow your audience, and embrace marketing in order to sell your online courses.