Blog PostsDigital FirstContent MarketingI created a free 28 day email course and here's what happened

I created a free 28 day email course and here’s what happened

Two months ago, I created a free 28-day email course.

Basically, I just wanted to test if there’s any interest out there for the type of insights that might I have to share if I compiled them into an email course.

After all — email marketing is still very much underrated.

I did have a one-week email course five years ago, but that was before I had an actual email list to speak of.

Now that the email course has been live for a while, I want to share some of what I’ve learned so far.

Why I wanted to convey inspiring ideas instead of to-do’s

I wanted my email lessons to serve as short but inspiring aha-moments.

Sending 28 emails for 28 days straight is quite a big ask, I know.

I, therefore, didn’t want to send out stuff that would feel like work, but rather ideas or concepts. I wanted to share insights that would give the reader a boost of energy and inspiration and a notion of “yeah, I could do that”.

How I managed to get enough content for the course

It took me the better part of a working day to write up 20 drafts.

It also took me an hour to put up a landing page and to tweak some menu items and links on the blog.

Then I published an early draft of the course to get a few sign ups, and this forced me (in a good way!) to finalize all those 28 emails in time.

Note: Invest in a professional to proofread and copyedit your email course — I regret not doing this. Fixing language mistakes and formatting errors took way more time than it should have.

How easy it actually is to set up an email automation drip

Besides Mailchimp, I often recommend AWeber and Infusionsoft.

The tool setup couldn’t be any easier. I created an automated responder in Mailchimp. Very easy-to-use and very easy to setup.

I used a very basic template because I believe that most email send-outs do better when they look like email often do.

How I easily managed to promote the email course

I promoted the email course with 20 USD on Facebook and did a send-out to my email list, but you could do so much more, of course.

In a bit less than 60 days, 1,452 participants have signed up for the email course (744 of those are not already on my blog email list).

I’ve only had 12 unsubscribers so far, and I’ve manually unsubscribed about 20+ people. And only seven people have emailed me about having technical difficulties of various sorts.

I unsubscribed competitors behaving like douchebags

Unsubscribe people who misbehave — it’s your list and your giveaways.

A few people emailed me back to give me “advice” — and not in a pleasant way.

For some reason, they’ve all been male Swedish digital marketers between 35-45 who seemed to be angry with me for sharing knowledge for free. Why they even bothered to sign up will remain an irony, I guess.

I simply unsubscribed them with a polite notice explaining why I did so.

Yes, I would definitely consider doing it again

All in all, I think creating an email course like this was worth the effort.

If you’re a B2B company, consider letting your experts share their best advice in a giveaway course for sign ups. (And no, it doesn’t have to be 28 days long!)

As long as people taking your course are willing to recommend it after taking it, then you’ve got yourself a great marketing asset!

Photo by Marius Christensen on Unsplash.

Update 2020-12-18: Today, I don’t use Mailchimp any longer — mostly due to the cost of doing sendouts. I now use SendFox which is my preferred email system that works better for bloggers, freelancers, and startups.


Avatar of Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, aka Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Communication Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.

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