This is where things start to really get fun.
I love email courses because they’re a way of delivering high amounts of value at scale, and on someone else’s timeline.
Allow me to explain… every day, I get a few hundred people joining any of the number of email courses. No matter where I am in the world or what I’m doing, these people are learning from me, and getting new lessons daily sent directly from my email address.
Your goal with this email course is to educate somebody toward being ready to work with you.
If you’re a marketer, you’re going to want to teach people the sort of things that typically need to happen before someone decides to seek out a marketer like you.
Practically speaking, this might mean teaching someone the basics of getting customers from the Internet, a crash course on Facebook ads, or a primer on how to use social media to build an audience.
You might be questioning the logic behind this… after all, why would you want to teach somebody how to do the thing you do for your clients? If you manage Facebook ads, why would you want to teach somebody how to create Facebook ads?
Your ideal customer is someone who is busy enough that they don’t have the time or mental capacity to do what you do, and is savvy enough to realize that the gap between your level of expertise and theirs is pretty monumental.
By teaching somebody what’s possible, and leveraging case studies and other social proof within your teaching, you’ll not only demonstrate your expertise – but you’ll also instill a bit of FOMO, or fear of missing out, into your readers.
Here’s the general structure you’re going to want to use for your email course:
Present the problem
Every lesson should accomplish two things:
- Make somebody better off than they were before they read the email. Meaning: they’ve learned something, or at least have an idea of what to do next.
- Reinforce your ability to provide value. Make the reader more eager to read your next email.
So in your first, and most crucial email, you want to create a benchmark… here’s the problem. Here’s how it’s affecting you. And here’s my plan for helping you fix it.
Remember that every message you present is a continuation of what they last heard from you.
If the opt-in to your email course promised that they’ll learn the ins and outs of Facebook Advertising in 5 days, use the first lesson they get from you to describe why Facebook is such a powerful ad platform, what issues most new advertisers face, and how your goal is to help the reader sidestep those same issues.
You want to present your story arc… what level of awareness does someone have now, and how will that be different in a few days after they’ve gone through your course?
Teach everything you know
So what should you teach?
There are two schools of thought around what an email course should cover.
The first is to give an exhaustive, start-to-finish treatment to a subject. To continue with our Facebook ads example, this would be how to plan an ad campaign, how to setup landing pages, how to setup ad targeting and daily budgets, how to analyze the success of campaigns, and how to test and optimize.
However, this is a lot to cover in just a few days. And remember that there’s a selfish reason we have for creating this email course: we want people going through it to either hire us or refer us.
So I’m going to recommend the alternative approach, which is to go and do a deep dive on a particular subject or theme. This doesn’t mean that you’ll ignore the entire spectrum of successful advertising. Rather, you won’t give each topic equal weight.
Consider the pros and cons of the following email course ideas:
- How to create your first Facebook ad
- How to test and optimize Facebook ad campaigns
The former is going to be necessarily basic, and you might get people in it who are interested in starting to advertise on Facebook – after all, they probably see ads from their competitors daily in their newsfeed.
The latter is interesting to somebody who’s already running ads but wants to make their ads more effective.
Both will result in different types of people signing up for them, so it’s up to you to determine what your sweet spot is and what kind of client you want to work with. People engaging with an email course on starting their first ad campaign might be tire kickers or people with super low budgets. But those who are looking to optimize are probably already spending thousands a month on their ads. These things matter, so choose wisely and always consider who a particular email course is targeting based on what it’s teaching.
Think about how you can reach people who are serious would-be clients, but probably aren’t looking for Facebook ad campaigns. Focus on outcomes, not technicals, in your training.
For instance, “How any business could 5x their marketing spend in just 30 days with Facebook”
This is going to appeal to people who are presumably already spending money on marketing – so serious businesses – and is going to lure them in with promises of an ROI within 30 days.
We want to lure them in with promises of a stronger business, and then sweep in with additional details – even if it’s just how to start your first basic campaign and some juicy case studies from customers of yours who have netted a sizable ROI on their budget.
The length of your email course is immaterial, though I find 5 to 7 day email courses to be the ideal. The goal is to get people used to seeing you pop up in their inbox, and to associate hearing from you with business success. And each lesson should be about 500 to 1000 words.
Here’s an idea of what a good email course on getting an ROI from Facebook might look like:
- What makes Facebook different from other advertising mediums. If they’re running a business, they likely already know that businesses run ads. You could talk at a high level about all the different targeting options Facebook offers and how retargeting lets you get in front of people who already have engaged with your brand on your website. Tell them that you’re going to cover the ins and outs of Facebook’s targeting, and help them see just how different this advertising medium is from everything else.
- How to run your first ad on Facebook. Briefly teach them how to setup a basic ad. It shouldn’t be a lesson on direct sales copywriting, but instead really focus in on the targeting… geography, demographic, marital status, interests, and so on. Close by letting them know that you’ll be sending them an example of someone who’s used ad targeting to generate a crazy return on investment.
- How $CLIENT used advanced targeting to get a 500% return. Give an example of how you worked with an actual client to help them figure out their target audience, come up with segmented ads, and how you were able to measure and report on their success. What did this client do before you? How much do you think they wasted? How much opportunity did they miss out on?
- The most common mistakes you see companies making when running ad campaigns. Again, focus on the theme of this email course – targeting. Ads that run to everyone? Ads that don’t match the ad copy with the targeting? Ads that don’t have the landing page content matching the targeting? In a way, you want to overwhelm them with all the possible problems they’ll likely run into as they start running ads on Facebook.
- The 10 most important things to focus on with your ad campaigns. Surprise! These will be 10 things you pride yourself on. Here you’re effectively spelling out your core process, and telling people how you work and letting them know they should be doing the same. In this email, you’ll want to effectively summarize what you’ve taught throughout the course. Close by letting them know that you’ll be sending them some additional suggestions and ideas on how to implement highly successful Facebook ad campaigns with as little risk as possible over the next few days.
If we reduce each email down to the “job” of the email, here’s what we’d have:
- You’re missing out on one of the most powerful cheat codes in marketing. Listen to me – I’ll tell you where to start looking to crack the code.
- Get your first targeted ad up and running in just a few minutes.
- Here’s somebody like you who has made bank by really dialing in on what I talked about yesterday.
- Some stupid mistakes people keep making. Don’t do these. (This establishes your expertise and the fact that you’ve done this a bunch)
- The process you should follow. (Oh, and this happens to be the process I use myself.)
Use ample case studies and client success stories
You want to include a ton of social proof into your email course.
The readers should end up not only learning something new, but they should also see a few real life examples – ideally of clients you’ve worked with – of how doing this has helped someone else’s business.
In short, you want to instill a bit of business FOMO. They should be thinking, “If this company can succeed with targeted Facebook ads, so can I”
We all know how important portfolios are for our business. They give would be clients an idea of who you’ve worked with in the past, and what kind of work you’ve delivered to them.
But in the context of a Freebie Offering, where we are engaging with people who aren’t actively looking to hire a consultant, the way you leverage your past work experience needs to be shift slightly.
You want to use these case studies to show someone that you have more than just a theory to offer. You can do more than just teach people how to do what you do. Rather, you want to show people what happens when a seasoned professional executes on the training you’re teaching.
By weaving stories of how others have benefited tangibly from the information you’re teaching, you’re doing two things:
- Convincing people that what you’re encouraging them to do, when correctly applied, can result in a tremendous amount of business success.
- Establishing yourself as a consummate professional.
Lastly, throughout the email lessons you send out, I want you to encourage people to reply to them.
If you were selling a ten dollar ebook and had tens of thousands of subscribers, or leads, moving through your automated email funnels, you wouldn’t want to do this. The value per potential customer is just too low to make it worth your while.
But since you’re selling consulting, you absolutely want to have high-touch engagement with the leads in this funnel.
Task people in each lesson with replying back and telling you what they’re next steps are.
- “Now that you’ve learned how to do XYZ, what do you plan on doing in the next day or two to implement this?”
- “Have you ever been affected by any of these issues? If so, hit reply and tell me about your biggest advertising mistake.”
And the ultimate question to ask someone when they first join your email course:
- “Reply and tell me a bit about who you are and what you absolutely need to learn from this email course to make it worthwhile.”
Automation is the ultimate way to start sales conversions from nothing.
Imagine having dozens of people moving through your course every week. Each person a potential client. They’re learning /why/ they need you, and seeing /how/ you can help make their business great, in every email you send them. And you’re actually encouraging them to reply and talk to you, the teacher, the expert, with your feedback and questions.
The result? “Why don’t we jump on a quick call and talk more about this.”
Instead of being cornered into a sales call, your future clients will be wanting to talk with you. And if what they need from you aligns with what you’re able to help them with… you’ll soon find yourself overwhelmed with new project requests, delivered to you on a silver platter.