When I was preparing to launch my course Create An Ebook That Crushes It, I was focused on rapidly building my email list in time for the launch.
If you’re familiar with good email list building practices, you’ll know that one of the best ways to build your list is to give people something for free in exchange for their email. This is often called a lead magnet. We see this all the time with people and businesses giving away ebooks and coupon codes in hopes of getting people to sign up to their email list.
You know the classic lead magnets.
“Subscribe and get this free ebook”
“Subscribe and get a 10% discount code to any item in the store sent to your email”
“Register for this free webinar”
“Enter your email to receive a PDF of this blog post”
These are all well and good but I wanted to share with you a far more effective way of building your list using a much better lead magnet. What I want to share is the lead magnet that helped quickly build my email list for my course, kept people extremely engaged on my email list and made it a no-brainer for people interested in the topic to sign up.
The best way to build your email list is to put together an email course.
With my email course, I setup a 5-day email drip that shared how I created and launched my last ebook. After signing up, each day for 5 days, subscribers would get a short text lesson in their email. Simple!
Why Email Courses Just Work
This short email course added 700 subscribers to my course’s email list in just under a month.
Not only that, the people that signed up for this email course were more engaged than any other lead magnet I had thrown together in the past. I was seeing over 60% open rates for the emails I sent on this list and almost every email was landing in people’s inboxes. Not their promotions tab in Gmail and not their spam folder.
Why was this the case? Why were people so receptive to emails on this list than any other? Why do people sign up for this in droves?
It just makes sense
The first thing is that when people have to give out their email to download an ebook, there’s a disconnect.
“Why do I have to give you my email just to download a book? Why can’t you just share the download link?”
With an email course, it makes logical sense that people must give their email to get the email course… since that’s the medium that they will be consuming the information in! It feels more natural to give your email to get valuable emails.
It trains your subscribers to open your emails
If your subscribers need to open your emails everyday to consume your valuable content, then they get used to opening your emails. They also become used to the frequency at which you send emails. Since the email drip is everyday, it isn’t a nuisance for them to see your emails in their inbox everyday since that is exactly what they signed up for and expect.
Training your list to be receptive to your emails, makes it a lot easier for you down the road to send promotional emails. Which leads me into my next point…
It keeps your list engaged
How boring is it to get the lead magnet you signed up for in your inbox, not get another email for weeks, and then suddenly get a promotional email? Why would I stay engaged with that person’s emails?
Sending highly valuable and helpful content everyday will keep people engaged with you. Even if you try to send valuable content as a follow-up to sending a traditional lead magnet like an ebook, it’s jarring. People haven’t been warmed up to your emails yet. An email course makes this a seamless and easy transition.
This is why I experienced higher than average open rates. My email course trained my subscribers to open my emails but also kept them engaged with my awesome content.
Your emails will be more likely to land in their inbox
Unlike a one-and-done lead magnet, like an ebook, that sends one email to deliver the lead magnet, an email course is spread across several days. This means more opportunities for subscribers to engage with your emails before you send anything promotional.
With my email course, I rarely saw my emails land in my subscribers promotion tab in Gmail, or worse, in their spam box. Every email I sent out in the email course, I encouraged subscribers to reply to the email.
If they reply to the email, Gmail will whitelist my emails, meaning more of my emails landing in their inbox.
It’s a great way to repurpose old content
Bloggers with a bunch of old blog posts on the same topic lying around can turn that old content into a brand spanking new email course.
I turned 5 old blog posts into a comprehensive email series.
What a Solid Email Course Looks Like and How to Set One Up
Okay, so I likely convinced you to try using email courses as powerful lead magnets.
How do we set one up?
The first thing you’re going to need is an awesome and powerful autoresponder service to drip the emails out over the course of a few days. I use and highly recommend GetResponse.
With GetResponse, I created a new list just for those signing up for the ecourse.
Next, I setup an autoresponder sequence for each lesson to go out day 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4.
So, in this case, I just took 5 old but great blog posts from my blog on ebook creation and marketing, and made them emails.
At the start of every email, I might recap the previous lesson and encourage subscribers to check it out if they haven’t. At the end of every email, I ask for feedback. This is the key. You want to encourage subscribers to reply to your emails and give you feedback on the lessons. This will both give you valuable feedback to work off of as well as whitelist your emails.
Eventually, you will want to see which emails are performing the best in terms of open rates and re-order the sequence. For example, if email 3 gets a higher open rate than email 1, you might want to make email 3 the first email in the sequence, unless it doesn’t make sense in terms of the structure of the email course. However, your email course doesn’t necessarily need to have continuity.
Next, I setup a badass landing page for my ecourse where I would send traffic to it using Facebook ads.
I created this nifty landing page using LeadPages. Fortunately, this was a template available for members. All I had to do was change the background graphic and a few colors, and hook it up with GetResponse and I was good to go. Easy peasy.
Once those were good to go, I started driving traffic to this landing page using Facebook ads.
Eventually, once the subscribers started pouring in, people started replying to my emails like I asked them to. And you know what? They loved it. I never had someone thank me for my lead magnet. Clearly this was something people were excited about and getting a lot of value out of.
How can you turn your next lead magnet and list building venture into something people will actually care about?
You may need to get creative.
If you sell running shoes, instead of offering a coupon code to subscribers, offer a free couch to 5k email course.
If you blog about food, instead of offering a cook book, break that cook book down into a free 5-day recipe sequence.
If you found this blog post helpful or if you have any questions/comments, please leave them on this blog post. I engage and respond with everyone!