At some point you have to sell your course. Here’s our 8 step process for writing the perfect email sales campaign for your course based business.
Most course based businesses will neglect email concentrating instead on something like PPC or paid traffic on Facebook. They’ll direct paid traffic to a sales page and expect to make conversions overnight.
The flaw with this thinking is that the majority that traffic (yes, we are perfectly aware of remarketing and segmentation like that-but it just doesn’t compare to email), will be cold. They’ll be unaware of your business, or even worse, unaware of the problem that you’re trying solve.
There’s a misconception that selling a course via email requires you to spam your email list. There’s also a diabolical misinformation thread that in order to sell courses via email you have to have a massive list.
You should be able to sell to a 10 person email list as comfortably as you’d sell to 1000 person list.
Here’s how we create our email sales campaigns for our course based businesses and customers:
1. Define the end goal
This is the most neglected part of the process. It might sound obvious but you need to define the end goal for your email sales campaign.
How much revenue do you want to generate? How many customers do you want? And how many of the people that you’re emailing do you want to convert?
For example if you want generate $100,000 from one email sales series, is that 100 sales at $1000? Do you even have a hundred people that you can sell to?
Do you want email recipients to buy within the first week of the sales email campaign? Or do you want them to buy in six months time?
You have to be incredibly clear about the end goal for your email series. Write down the metrics that would define a successful sales email campaign and focus on those as the end goal.
2. Segment by interest
If you offer a range of courses this could be one of the most vital steps in your sales campaign because you need to keep your communications focused on the wants of your recipient (think about it – how many times have you hit “unsubscribe” because the communications in your in-box don’t speak to your wants and desires?). Even if you only have one course you still need to understand the variety of interests in your audience because “one size fits all” communications is NOT true!
You need to understand how you came about these email addresses, leads and subscribers. Did some of them sign up to lead magnets, webinars, live events or shared email list drops? Can you determine what the e-mail subscriber wants based on where the sign-up came from?
For example, if I sign up 500 people via a lead magnet for my course, and my course helps people invest in stocks and shares, the lead magnet I offer them will be a clear indicator of what they are interested in.
There’s a difference between a checklist on American markets and a worksheet on Mutual Funds. I have to understand that the interests might be shared, but they also might not transition.
Segment your audience and who you have by their interests and what you know about them. The difference in interest could determine the approach in how you help sell a course to that customer.
3. Segment by heat
We also need to segment by heat. An engaged email subscriber you regularly have email conversations with is “hotter” and more likely to buy. As opposed to a new subscriber whose only been on your list for a few days. The new subscriber is “colder”, and might require more work and outreach in order to earn their trust and convert them.
You need to segment your current list and leads and prospects by their heat. How interested in you are they? How much interest have they demonstrated in your products? Have you earned their trust – and the right to ask them to buy from you?
Previous customers will require a different method than new-to-your-list members who you haven’t spoken to before.
4. Shot across the bow
We like to send the first email for a new sales campaign as a Jess Walker Style “shot across the bow”.
A shot across the bow style email is an open invitation to your list and leads for them to share with you what they want help with.
Send them an email saying how you have new training courses and content coming soon but that you want to understand more about their goals.
Offer them the three problems or goals that you believe they have. Then ask them to reply to you and tell you exactly what they are suffering from, or what they want to achieve.
A shot across the bow can help eliminate blind guesswork and often opens up intrigue within your list as to new solutions that you’re going to be offering.
5. Sell the result
We’re constantly told to sell the sizzle not the steak. Or sell the destination not the journey.
We’re very good at remembering these trite and pedantic sales quotes. But how often have you really attempted to just sell the result?
Your course should be getting people results and benefits. It should be making their lives, businesses and world better. What are you improving?
This is what you’re selling. It shouldn’t matter that it’s a course, piece of software or magic genie lamp. The results and benefits are what you’re selling.
Writing out a three-part sales email series MUST focus on selling a result. It might even be to the point where customers know they want the result and the solution, only to learn that it’s a course when they’re closer to buying.
Focus on selling the results not the six module layout or certification. Work out how you can make their life better and make sure all of your emails focus on selling the result over the delivery of the course.
6. Sell a webinar
One of the easiest ways to start selling courses is to sell a webinar first. The webinar itself might be free or paid-that’s almost irrelevant.
You should be putting together webinar and educational content which is both valuable and informative. If people have joined for free, they should feel like they should have paid – because it was that valuable.
Creating a live event such as a webinar is a fantastic way to sell content and courses to people in a mass group, while feeling like one-to-one.
7. Sell on the webinar
When people are live on the webinar we are in a position to demonstrate our authority and expertise. We can help them trust us by providing valuable insight, and sell to them on the webinar.
Use a live webinar event as an opportunity to sell to your customers, answer objections and demonstrate the product. Offer bonuses to those who have attended a webinar live. Use the webinar as a platform to sell the course to a group of people who are obviously interested in the subject that you’re demonstrating on the webinar.
You don’t even have to create new content for the webinar. You can use the high level points from your course, combined with your “shot across the bow email”. If you can understand what people want help with, combined with what you can teach them, you can sell to them.
A webinar should be designed to demonstrate that whatever results they want, you can get them, faster and more conveniently.
8. Follow up
Finally make sure to follow-up with customers who have bought, people who attended the webinar but didn’t buy and people who didn’t attend the webinar at all.
You have three customer segments here and you need to follow up with all of them. Just because people didn’t buy live on the event doesn’t mean they won’t buy in a few days.
First, introduce scarcity to the offer. Say that the bonuses for those who attended live are only available for the next week.
For those who didn’t attend, offer them the replay and talk about the bonuses for attending. Position the bonuses as again, time-limited offers for those who watch the webinar.
I don’t know what to write
“But Mike I don’t know what to write.”
I hear this a lot. Many people who teach courses are wonderful teachers and experts in their field. But they AREN’T sales email copywriters.
And why should they be? I totally understand what people mean when they say they don’t know what to write. But what we’ve found is that by following the eight steps above, focusing on the goal, segmenting your audience, driving traffic and following up we can create a very robust sales campaign.
We have a free sales page checklist below that helps course-based businesses know exactly what they need to include in their sales pages. The same goes for email campaigns too. Click below and get the sales checklist delivered straight to your inbox.