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It’s nothing worse than putting your all into creating your online course, just to launch your course to crickets. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. 

When it comes to marketing and selling your online course, email marketing is one of the most effective ways to generate sales. 

With the right email marketing strategy, you can have a list of people who are not only interested in your content but more than ready to purchase your course.

In the past, we’ve shared best practices for email list building. However, this time around, we’re going deeper with the five most popular, profitable, and proven tactics to build your email list before your course launch.


Create a Lead Magnet Your Audience Cares About

 A lead magnet is a free piece of content that you give to your audience in exchange for their email address. High-value lead magnets that grow your list are specific and relate to the content you’ll be sharing in your future course. Popular lead magnet formats are checklists, guides, webinars, resource lists, worksheets, and video training.

For example, you may be creating a course on how to roller skate for beginners. You could create a free guide of skate brands that are perfect for new skaters.

The last piece to promote your lead magnet is to build an optimized landing page to house your lead magnet. Instead of sending users to your home page where they can get lost, you should create a targeted landing page for signups.

lead magnet

Building a landing page for your lead magnet helps reduce on-page distractions so website visitors can focus their attention solely on your lead magnet’s offer, value, and benefits.

A well-designed landing page needs the following elements to encourage signups:

  1. A page free of navigation and footer menus.
  2. A clear headline that demonstrates the benefits of your lead magnet
  3. Good copy that describes the value of your lead magnet.
  4. A dedicated opt-in form that delivers your lead magnet upon signup.
  5. An actionable call-to-action button

Blog About Your Course Topic

Blogging may seem outdated and even boring compared to social media, but it works! Unlike social media posts that may get engagement for a few days, blogs are evergreen and last forever!

Blogging also helps you position yourself as an authority in your niche, which will help you when you begin promoting your new course. The most effective blogging method is creating informative, story-telling content that adds value and credibility to your expert status. This could look like writing 1 – 2 blogs per week until your course launches.

With every blog post, you want to make sure to add opt-in forms and even content upgrades to encourage new signups for your list. Using this strategy will allow you to grow your email list and build trust with your audience.

Before you begin writing any blog posts, you must first decide what key benefits your course will offer and demonstrate you’ll be able to deliver those benefits into your blog posts.


An example of a blogging and list building strategy could look like this:

Your course will teach stay-at-home moms how to launch a family + lifestyle vlog. One of the key benefits of your course is that a mom will walk away with her blog launched and the tools she’ll need to grow her audience.

Your blogging series could cover the following topics:

  1. How you got started as a mom blogger
  2. What to know before you launch your mom blog
  3. Your first win and breakthrough after launching your blog
  4. A listicle blog post of mom blog resources
  5. A roundup of popular mom bloggers
  6. A case study about mom blog you helped get started

Blogging creates unlimited opportunities to drive traffic to your site and encourage email list signups. You can even take it a step further and offer bonus content using content upgrades with each new blog post to drive more signups.  


Promote Your Email List on Social Media

Social media is a great place to market your online course. However, promoting your email list and marketing your course isn’t as simple as posting to every available social media platform.

social media

Here are 3 of the most effective ways you can use social media to promote your email list before your course launches:

1. Repurpose Your Blog Posts into Twitter Threads

Remember those blog posts you wrote? You can repurpose those into Twitter threads with a call-to-action to join your email list for more content. Twitter threads are a great way to establish authority and build your following. You can use a tool like Hypefury to convert your blogs into threads and schedule them.

2. Create YouTube Tutorials on Your Course Topic

Did you know that YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine? This makes YouTube one of the best social media channels to create awareness and build authority on your course topic. Having YouTube videos also helps you rank in Google search results as well.

The steps to getting your videos in the YouTube search algorithm are finding “how to” keywords that people are actually looking for. TubeBuddy is a helpful tool that helps you research keywords and grows your channel.  TubeBuddy is a FREE browser extension & mobile app that integrates directly into YouTube to help you run your channel with ease.

3. Promote Your Lead Magnet with Facebook Ads

One of the fastest ways to grow your list from social media is by running an online ad campaign with Facebook. You’ll be able to reach your ideal audience using Facebook’s advanced targeting features, and if your messaging and value are clear, then you’ll see results almost immediately.


Host a Giveaway

There are two critical aspects of a successful giveaway: the prize and the promotion. By getting both of these areas right, you’ll be able to create a giveaway that resonates with your audience and builds your email list.

First, your prize must appeal to your target audience of future course buyers. While cash prizes and Amazon gift cards are great, they often attract people outside your target audience.

For example, if your course will be on maintaining a vegan lifestyle and diet, then your prize could be a vegan cookbook by a well-known vegan influencer.

The second aspect of a successful giveaway is promotion. You can promote your giveaway by:

Notifying Your Current Email Subscribers

Your current email subscribers are already engaged with your newsletter and share the giveaway with their followers. Be sure to add social share buttons to your email and ask them to forward it to a friend.

Advertise the Giveaway on Your Website

Your website is prime real estate for advertising your giveaway. A few ideas may include:

  • A notification bar over your main navigation inviting your website visitors to sign up for your giveaway.
  • A timed pop-up window that invites visitors to enter the giveaway.
  • Add a call-to-action section to the end of your blog post and your website footer.

Share Your Giveaway on Social Media

If your business is active on social media, you can easily create posts and use your social media bio area to promote your giveaway. Here are a few ideas to promote your giveaway:

  • Share an Instagram story
  • Create an Instagram post
  • Share a tweet and ask for retweets
  • Share to your Facebook page
  • Record a TikTok video

Use Multiple Opt-In Points on Your Website

Growing your email list before your course launch requires you to be intentional with your opt-ins. Remember that you won’t get signups if people don’t know your list exists.

An opt-in section on your home page and in your footer is not enough. Instead, you should use multiple points throughout your site to promote your email list.

Here are a few ideas of where you can place opt-ins on your site:

  • A notification bar above your website’s navigation bar
  • An opt-in section on your home page
  • In your website’s footer
  • A landing page on your website
  • Your blog’s sidebar
  • At the end of each blog post
  • Within the body of a blog post
  • As a pop-up for new site visitors
  • At the end of your site’s pages

Launch Your Course with LearnDash

Now that you have a list of proven lead magnets and best practices to build your email list, let’s talk about your learning management system. Your course could be online already with LearnDash! We offer a 15-day money-back guarantee and have a world-class community to help you get your course online today! Get started with LearnDash.

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