In this post, we’ll walk through the entire process of creating an email course in MailPoet 3. Let’s get started!
Why Should You Create an Email Course?
Before we start, you may be wondering: what exactly is an email course? And why should you create one?
Well, the answer is simple. An email course is simply a series of emails designed to educate your readers. Over the course (pun intended) of a few days to a few weeks, you can simplify complex topics into bite-sized pieces. A 10,000 word blog post is too long to read at once, but the exact same content, broken apart and sent over a span of weeks, will be read eagerly by your subscribers. Plus, they’ll be more likely to remember what they learned.
However, perhaps the greatest benefit to running an email course comes, ironically, when it’s over. If your readers signed up for your course, you can be pretty sure that they are interested in what you have to say. But if they finish the whole thing, you can be absolutely sure that they are listening. Subsequently, the single best time to pitch your product or service is in the final course lesson.
Step 1: Decide What You Want to Teach
Convinced that an email course is worth the effort? Awesome. Now, before you do anything, you should first decide what you want to teach about. More specifically, what value can you provide to your readers?
It’s important to remember that your subscribers already receive dozens of emails per day. If your email course doesn’t teach something new and useful, it’ll just end up in the Trash.
The MailPoet Welcome Course, for example, clearly provides value to new users (we hope!) Are you new to MailPoet and to email marketing? Want to learn the fundamentals? Our course can help.
So, what specific lessons can you teach? It doesn’t need to be complicated. If you run a wine store, consider creating a course on How to Buy the Right Wine or How to Store Wines. Or, if you blog about freelancing, consider a course on Reaching Out to New Clients or How to Charge a Higher Rate. The possibilities are nearly endless, but remember, the important thing is to provide value!
Step 2: Divide (Your Content) and Conquer
Now that you’ve nailed down the topics that you want to cover, it’s time to split them up into separate emails. A good email course is composed of 3 to 5 emails sent over the course of about a month.
Generally speaking, the shorter the email, the better. Your first instinct may be to cram your entire knowledge base into three emails. Unfortunately, this isn’t likely to work – your readers probably won’t read a 20,000 word email. We don’t blame them – we probably wouldn’t read it either, and we send emails for a living!
Instead, simplify each topic into its core components. The MailPoet Welcome Course, for example, is composed of 4 simple parts:
- Sending Your First Newsletter
- Opens, Clicks, and Unsubscribes
- Getting More Subscribers
- Where to Now?
While the MailPoet plugin is powerful and has dozens of features, we only cover the absolute basics in the Welcome Course. If we want to teach more about a particular feature in the future, we can easily create a new course for it.
Likewise, you should simplify your lessons into their most basic topics. Make each email about one topic, not ten.
Step 3: Set Up Your Welcome Emails
It’s MailPoet time! First, go to the Lists page inside the MailPoet 3 plugin and create a new list for your email course.
Then, go to the Forms page. You can then add this list to your existing form, or you can create a new form and only place this form in a specific location. It’s up to you.
Now, go the Emails page. In MailPoet, you can create three different types of emails: Newsletters, Welcome Emails, and Post Notifications. For our email course, we want to create a Welcome Email. You’ll need to create one Welcome Email per lesson.
On the next page, select when you want this email to be sent. As mentioned before, we recommend sending about 4 lessons over the course of 3 or 4 weeks. In other words, 1 email per week.
Over the next two steps, you will choose a template and then design your newsletter. We won’t cover this process in detail in this post, but remember: be brief. Don’t try to fit too much information in one email.
After you’ve created the first email lesson, go back and create the remaining 3 or 4 lessons. Protip: rather than create a completely new email from scratch, it’s usually easier to just duplicate the already-created lesson.
As you’re probably writing all four lessons at once, the topics of all 4 emails are still fresh in your mind. But, remember that your readers will receive them (roughly) a week apart. As such, you should begin each email lesson with a brief recap of the previous lesson.
As a final note: don’t be afraid to pitch! If you have a book, a consulting service or other product, mention it in your last email. If your reader has made it this far, they’re probably very interested in what you have to say. Capitalize on it by pitching your product (and maybe even offering a discount).
And that’s it! Be sure to advertise your course to your readers. If the course is successful, consider creating additional courses in the future. If it’s not so successful, don’t fret. Just ask your readers how you can improve!
You want to learn even more? We conjured up an ultimate guide to newsletters in WordPress.