One of the major reasons people use the Internet is to learn. E-learning is an explosive growth area online and some of the most successful start-ups in 2012 exploited this profitably.
As well as creating tutorials and courses or posting your content on how to sites to drive traffic, a perennial list building favourite is the ecourse. Ecourses are perceived as valuable by potential subscribers and leads and therefore make an excellent giveaway to entice people to sign up to your list.
An ecourse usually consists of a series of e-mails which are sent out daily for 5 to 7 days that teach a new subscriber in a step by step fashion. As with all effective giveaways, the ecourse should offer real value, containing information that is useful and relevant to your new subscriber and which will help to build the trust and investment in you that is necessary to keep them on your list.
The idea behind the course as a list building tool – not to mention a subscriber retaining tool – is that your new subscriber gets your first e-mail, opens it, follows the steps inside, feels they have progressed in some way and therefore are looking forward to receiving the next e-mail and the next.
Not only do they love the knowledge they are gaining but they are also learning to fall in love with your voice, your way of teaching, the sense that you are the expert in this field and that they are getting to know the human being behind the name and/or face on the Internet.
This kind of getting up close and personal, is absolutely essential to success online these days. The more human and touchable you appear, the more your prospects and customers will get to like and therefore trust you. Of course, you don’t need to reveal your inside leg measurement or even the name of your pet dog but reaching out to people through sharing great information in your own way is a tried and tested method of beginning to build those bonds.
The sheer repetition of your daily email also helps your new subscriber to remember you among the zillion other emails they receive on a daily basis and, provided you are sharing a great information, you will stand out among all the dross. You can also begin to monetise your list straight away as you pepper carefully relevant affiliate links throughout your course.
There is just one tiny problem, however, and it lies in that same inbox you are aiming to hit. You see, these days people are swamped with emails. They are swimming in them, fighting their way through a sea of sales messages and the odd note from a friend or colleague. It’s getting harder and harder to make your e-mail stand out enough for them to open it.
People’s attention spans are also getting shorter. You have to grab them in the first few seconds or you’ve lost them. You also have to sustain the interest or you’ll find that by day for your new subscriber can’t be bothered to open your e-mail and already you’re on that slippery slope to losing them altogether.
Just a few years back, it was a whole lot easier to grab someone’s attention and keep it provided you offering them something that was halfway good. Nowadays, not only does your content it be great but you need to think of new ways to deliver it.
Coupled with that, you need to maximise the content that you create so that it serves multiple purposes in these post-Panda, Penguin and other P-word days.
If you serve up your ecourse my way then you will not only be grabbing those subscribers by the eyeballs and keeping them salivating for more, you will also be keeping the Google gods happy and boosting your SEO.
It’s all about conversion.
The whole point of your email campaign is to get your subscriber to respond to your call to action. This can be in the first email. The third or the fifth but ultimately you want them to not only click on your link, but to then take that next step, whatever that might be.
Of course, people are bombarded with more emails than ever before and they are growing increasingly wary of clicking on links as they perceive them as simply part of this low-level spanning of their inbox. Your job as a marketer is to convince them of the value of what you’re offering and to tantalize them enough with that value that they feel confident to respond your call to action.
An excellent way to do that is to think of your email as the bright and welcoming entrance or shop window that invites your subscriber in to see more.
Imagine standing in front of a sweet shop as a kid, it’s window display jam packed with colorful candy, shiny wrappers and chunky chocolate bars. Peer through that window and you can see shelves groaning with jars full of yet more sweet treats as well as boxes and bags overflowing with candy piled high on the floor. You would be dying to go in, wouldn’t you?
The same is true of your email. Think of it as that shiny shop window, which gives your prospect and irresistible peek at all the other great stuff you have to offer.
So how do you set up your shop window?
First you need to keep your message tightly focused. Keep it short, keep it sharp, keep it relevant. Offer up just enough that your reader needs to know more. Them present them with an irresistible call to action to click through to your landing page. Sounds great, but easier said than done? No problem. Let’s now break it down into simple steps.