Why Your Course Business Needs an Email List

Today I want to talk about email marketing and mainly, why you need an email list. I’ll share examples that relate to an online course business but, of course, I highly recommend this for every online business model.

So if you’re wondering whether you should build and grow an email list or not, or if you’ve been neglecting your existing one for a long time now, let me remind you of the wild benefits it has for your business and how you can use it to scale, serve people, and form real relationships.

Tune into the episode below:

Show Notes:

  • What’s permission marketing
  • The real ROI of email marketing
  • Sales funnels simplified
  • Awesome things you can do with an email marketing tool
  • Here’s how reliable email actually is
  • How to get started with email marketing as a course creator
  • How often to send newsletters



1. It’s permission marketing.

One of my favorite things about email marketing is that people voluntarily opt in to receive your emails. That’s permission marketing, you get their consent. They want to hear from you and they decide when to open an email and whether or not to click any links in it. They can also unsubscribe at any moment.

As someone who’s been subscribed to plenty of newsletters over the years, I love this. As the person sending the emails, I also understand why it works and is genuine from a business standpoint.

And while you can still get pushy with many emails or annoy people if you go off topic or only promote things, it can’t be compared to paid ads that follow us everywhere online, to sales emails from people we’ve never heard of before and who somehow got to our inbox, and so on.

2. Massive ROI.

Another benefit is that numbers don’t lie. Email marketing has existed since 1978 and has never stopped growing. You probably don’t know many people without an email. And even the youngest of them, use it often. Social media hasn’t replaced it.

All top companies rely strongly on their email list, and the return on investment is massive. For every $1 you spend, you can expect a return of $42.

Of course you want to make sure you only get the right people on your email list, not just everyone. And that can happen by having a freebie, also called a lead magnet, that is on just the right topic related to your niche and which is connected to your paid offer – your course or any other product you have or plan to release in the future.

You want to only attract to your email list the people most interested in your work and in what you have to say. And ideally, many of them will become your paid clients at some point. 

3. It plays a big role in your sales funnel.

The moment they are on your email, they are in your sales funnel. So this is another benefit I consider important – the role email marketing plays in your sales.

The top of the funnel is your free content, it’s how you create awareness and how people find you. Then comes the interest phase, which can be when people sign up to your email list by grabbing your freebie. From then on, you nurture that relationship through newsletters (which are just emails you send to your audience regularly) and by providing value in any way you can.

Eventually you present your offer to people, can share case studies, the sales page, maybe offer a free trial or else. This is the stage in which you create desire.

And finally, there’s action – the moment someone pays for your product. This is the goal of your whole sales funnel – to get people from awareness to action.

Read also: How to Get Your First 100 Email Subscribers Even With a Small Blog

4. You form real connections with people.

The next reason why you need an email list in your course business is because that’s one of the best ways to form real connections with people.

Emails are personal and private. People also get the chance to respond and hear from you whenever they feel like. And while messages on socials can fill that need too, it’s just not the same. 

5. Grow using your email marketing tool.

Add to that the fact that you can do some awesome things using your email marketing platform. Such as:

  • segmenting users so that different groups of people can receive different updates or promos based on their interests;
  • sending automated welcome or follow-up emails to course students because your course platform and your email software can be connected;
  • using personalization;
  • sending abandonment cart emails;
  • tracking clicks and re-sending campaigns to only those who clicked a link.

6. It’s reliable.

Another fun benefit for me is that email is probably the most reliable way to connect with your audience. I’ve never relied fully on socials, and I remember when Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were down last year and many businesses were affected. But then I could still email my audience, share new content, some inspiration and updates.

Email hasn’t disappointment me so far, and I’ve been using it for quite some time now.

You own your list, just like you own your website. No one can take that away from you, you don’t rely on algorithms for your email list.

You can also use it for different purposes such as getting traffic to your blog or podcast, getting in touch with subscribers, making sales, asking for testimonials and feedback, surveying your audience, validating an idea for a new product, sharing what’s on your mind, and anything else.

I’ve heard marketing experts say time and time again that email marketing outperforms any other strategies they use, that it’s the most reliable sales, communication and customer acquisition channel and its growth is predictable which makes it more powerful than social media and the like.

Most business owners only regret not building their email list earlier.

This marketing channel also has a lower cost compared to others, there are plenty of measures to track and you can do that easily through your email marketing provider’s dashboard.

Now, you might be wondering how to get started with email marketing, what tool to use, what next steps to take, how often to send emails, and so on. Let me share a few tips.

How to Get Started with Email Marketing as a Course Creator

For a start, you need an email marketing provider and that’s a paid tool. You need it because it’s what lets you send private mass emails, create automations, landing pages and opt-in forms, organize and manage your subscribers, get reports and analyze the data so you can improve your growth rate, and even create sales funnel.

If you’re looking for a recommendation, mine would be ConvertKit. It’s what I’ve been using and loving for a few years now.

I was initially using MailChimp back in the days and for free because I didn’t have many subscribers. And I was hearing about ConvertKit all the time but didn’t switch for a long time because of the cost and wanting to avoid using a new tool as there’s a learning curve.

Once I did switch though, it was easy and the features I got access to made it all worth it. My email list is my biggest asset and it was when I switched to ConvertKit that I began taking it more seriously, putting more thought into my weekly newsletter, creating automated email sequences, using email for my launches and so much more. This platform was a big step to taking my whole business to the next level. 

If you want to check it out and even try it free for 2 weeks, you can use my partner link.

Your next steps once you have signed up for an email marketing provider are to create your lead magnet, have an opt-in form for it, embed it on your website so that people can start signing up and set things up in a way that they can get immediate access to the freebie, an automated welcome email maybe, and a follow-up sequence where you nurture that subscriber with a few more emails.

I teach all this in my program for course creators Bold Business School, so if you’re interested you can get on the waitlist.

Once you have a way to get subscribers, you can also send them weekly newsletters. I’ve found out that once a week is a good option. It’s not too much, and yet people hear from you often enough not to forget you. And you keep providing value and forming a relationship with them. 

Now what day and time you choose for your newsletters is up to you and I suggest you test a few versions. I send mine in the early afternoon on Tuesdays my time, and I’m in Europe, so in the US that’s morning. Make sure you keep time zones in mind and send emails according to the time zone of your target audience.

If you have any questions about email marketing, ConvetKit or anything else, reach out on Instagram. I’ll release more episodes on that in the future but for now, I just wanted to show you why your email list matters that much and what having an engaged one can do for your online course business.

Have a beautiful rest of the week, and I’ll see you next time.