The benefits of email courses for brands through thought leadership

Ok let’s be real here, folks at Buffer are cool and all with their email courses but  they still need to pay bills right?. Email courses help you save the world educating one person at the time but it can be also be a great way to promote your products. Here is how:

How email courses can help you promote your brand

So sick of ads right now

There is so much a brand can do to promote its products but the reality is, we live in a world where we are so exposed to promotional messages that we basically no longer respond to them. Worse: we have developed a high aversion to advertising. I don’t know about you but the “As Seen on TV” or “We are the best” types of ads just makes me want to vomit 😖.

Influencer marketing is big but people are starting to see through it

A lot of people talk about Influencer marketing being the next (current) big thing. I tend to disagree because so many influencers out there are basically selling their soul and seduced by dollar bills that every single post becomes an ad. It’s annoying. 

Oh yeah look at me I have zero pimple on my face because I use the ZeroPimp day cream.

Babe! you forgot to mention that yesterday you admitted using the CoverItGirl make up to hide – I quote – your nasty skin. You see where I am going?

It has become harder and harder to find an influencer who can genuinely recommend your products and help your conversion. And you can’t blame these hard working people for making a few (sometimes a lot of ) bucks. 

Email courses to the rescue?

Email courses are in my opinion a great way to provide true value and improve your conversion rate while growing your email list for future marketing initiatives. When crafter properly, this tactic can actually increase your bottom line like crazy.

Why email courses make sense strategically

Relevant content is King

To have a successful email course you first need to have super valuable and relevant content. Like I always say:

Email courses and importance of content

Your email course doesn’t necessarily have to share ground-breaking ideas/tips (it would be nice if it did). So far, I have taken dozens of email courses. Most of them just explained what we all read in major blogs.

What is really interesting is to focus on one subject and organize the lessons in a way that makes sense and encourage students to take action either by testing your ideas, dig a bit deeper or both. 

Emails are cost-effective

Emails are super easy to set up and don’t get it twisted, it will require a lot of work in the beginning. You will need to pick a theme, plan the lessons and start writing. But the good thing about emails is the scalability. The same course can be sent to hundreds of people without you lifting a finger. Make sure you plan the whole thing and put it on autopilot. A lot of people are using Mailchimp, which is a fabulous and powerful email marketing platform. It is also free when your email list has less than 2,000 subscribers and you send less than 12,000 emails per month.

Increase your credibility through thought leadership

Being able to position yourself as a leader in your industry is so important. Smart people start writing blogs. Smarter people actually create value and it can be done by sharing free tips for instance. The best way to prove that you know what you are doing is to educate people.

If you can’t explain what you are doing and why you are doing it, people won’t believe you know what you are doing. You have to explain it to them first before they actually know what is it you are doing and be convinced that you are doing it right. You feel me?

Email classes help at several steps of the funnel

Get in front of your target audience

Let’s say you are a startup owner who is looking for tips to step up his brand’s social media game. You would probably google something like “how to increase social media engagement” and probably land on Buffer’s Actionable Social Media Strategies email classe’s landing page (assuming it is optimized for relevant keywords).

The beauty is this course found someone who wants to improve his social media engagement AND might need a solution like the Buffer app to make the process as painless as possible. He might not even know it at the time. 

Show the benefits of using your product

An email course provides opportunities to promote your product without being too pushy. It can be a great way to highlight its benefits.

For instance, after completing Buffer’s Social Media class, I switched from Coschedule to Buffer. I also started reading their blog religiously. I liked Kevan’s personality and I really feel like they have great content. I feel like they genuinely want people to get better at engaging with their community. Then, when I needed to find a good social customer service solution for one of my clients, I started my research by checking out if Buffer had a solution for that. It turns out that they have a social customer service solution called Respond and an image creator called Pablo.  

** Buffer hasn’t paid me to say all these nice things. I am just keeping it real. **

Create value for repeat purchase

An email class is a great way to educate customers about how to use your product in order to get the best results. It makes you look good in the process. Today it’s not just about getting that first sale but to create value and repeat purchase. 

Tips for a successful email course

  • Make sure you ask for feedback at the end of the course. This could be a great way to gather insights on how to improve your courses.
  • Offer the possibility to enrol in future courses. It gives you another shot at converting them.
  • Link lessons to previous relevant blog posts to increase traffic and encourage them to subscribe to your blog.
  • Show your personality.
  • Don’t push your products too hard. It’s annoying. The goal is to create value.
  • Oh yeah, make sure you look vulnerable and share a few failures. It always help to prove that you are human.
  • Seal the deal with a free trial. It’s really a great way to let them evaluate your product now they are more knowledgable. I bet that the conversion is higher for these folks because they see the value in your products.

Bottom line is, a free email course is a cost-effective and risk-free solution. It provides free education for the student. It represents an opportunity to position yourself as a leader in your industry and soft promote your products. It’s a win-win.

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