7 Proven List-Building Strategies for Online Course Creators to Grow Your Email List5 minute read
Email marketing can have a huge impact on your online course conversion rates. This marketing strategy still generates an average ROI of 4,200%, making email marketing a great way to promote your digital products and generate sales for your business.
Needless to say, email marketing only works when you have a list of contacts to send your emails to.
This is where it gets difficult: collecting the email addresses of potential customers.
In this article, we will share out top strategies to grow your email list and easily collect emails of potential students for your online course!
Before we get into it, make sure to check out this blog post where we explain how email marketing works and how to get started: Guide to Email Marketing to Promote and Sell an Online Course
7 List Building Strategies for Online Course Creators
By list building, we mean collecting new email addresses and contacts for your email list, so you can go ahead and start sending them newsletters and marketing emails to promote your online course or products.
Below you will learn our most popular strategies to grow your email list. If you want to learn what to do after, check out this blog post to discover the most important emails to send when marketing an online course: 7 Emails You Need to Send to Promote Your Online Course
#1: Add a Sign-Up Form to Your Website
The most important step to start collecting emails of your potential customers is to set up a place on your website where visitors can submit their email and contact details.
This is called a sign-up form and it allows you to capture new email addresses and add them to your list.
To add a signup form to your website, all you need is - of course - a website, and email marketing software.
There are many powerful email software out there like ActiveCampaign and Convertkit that allow you to send email campaigns, set up email automation and generate signup forms and pop up to add to your website.
If you are using Heights Platform as online course creation software, you can easily add your signup form to your course landing page to collect potential customers' contact details.
#2: Create Lead Magnets
Lead magnets are an extremely popular way of growing your email list and collecting new email addresses.
A lead magnet is generally a digital product that is given away for free with the purpose of collecting prospects' contact details for future promotions.
This list-building strategy can be a win-win for both you and your website visitors, as you are not only asking for their email addresses, but you are also proving value by offering free content. Since you are giving something in return, growing your email list using lead magnets can generate better results and attract more potential customers.
Learn all about creating a lead magnet to grow your email list: How to Create a Great Lead Magnet That Converts to Promote Your Online Course
The most common lead magnets creators use to grow their email lists are digital products such as PDFs, eBooks, worksheets and so on.
If you want to go the extra mile and offer even more value to your leads (and ensure a higher return and increased conversions), a great lead magnet idea is to offer a mini-course or a quick online challenge to your potential customers.
A mini-course or challenge can work wonders if offered as a lead magnet (for free or at a low price) as they can be extremely engaging compared to a PDF or workbook. We explain how to do this in detail here: How to Run an Online Challenge as a Lead Magnet to Increase Online Course Sales
#3: Start a Waitlist for Your Next Online Course
Another great way to grow your email list and attract hot leads is by setting up a waitlist for your next online course launch.
This strategy is great because:
- You will be able to capture the email of potential customers who have high interest in purchasing your course
- It's so easy to set up, you don't have to build a lead magnet
- It's also great for your potential customers, as they will be notified about your next launch and might receive special offers from you
Starting a waitlist before you launch an online course can help you collect precious leads that are ready to buy, which in marketing are known as "hot leads".
So if you have your next online course in mind, put up a simple web page as in the example above, taken from Lisa Johnson's site, to not miss any list-building opportunities.
#4: Add Pop-Up Forms to Your Site
A pop-up form is a form that appears once a potential customer takes a specific action while navigating your website. Pop-up forms could appear once someone opens your site, after a fixed time or just before someone closes the page.
Common use case scenarios of pop-up forms include inviting visitors to sign-up for your newsletter, offering a discount, a lead magnet and so on.
Think list-building strategy can be an effective way to collect even more email addresses. That said, make sure not to add too many pop-up forms to keep a clean, easy-to-navigate website and avoid spamming your visitors.
Through a pop-up form, you can offer many different "rewards" to your potential customers, in exchange for their email addresses. So you can use pop-up forms to promote a lead magnet such as a worksheet, PDF, eBook, mini-course, a webinar or live stream and so on.
The picture above shows one of the pop-up forms that Amy Porterfield uses on her site, this one is promoting a free masterclass that she is offering as a lead magnet.
#5: Blogging and Guest Blogging
If you are running a blog to promote your online course, you have the opportunity to capture leads through your articles.
In every new blog post you publish, make sure to add a space where readers can leave their email addresses to receive your newsletter and get notified about fresh content.
As you can see from the picture above (on the right side), on Heights Platform's blog that you are reading right now, we have a place where our readers can join the Heights newsletter; and under it, we also offer our lead magnet: 40 Ideas for Profitable Online Courses
If you are using Heights Platform to sell online courses, you can create your own blog using the built-in blogging feature, without having to use a third-party web design platform.
#6: Two-Step Checkout
Your online course checkout is a fantastic place to collect the email addresses of customers who are ready to purchase.
If someone wants to buy your online course and proceeds to checkout, but then abandons the checkout and doesn't complete the transaction, you need a way to at least capture their email address and contact them in the future.
A way to do this is by using a two-step (or multi-step) checkout for your online course. This way customers are asked to submit their contact details before completing the purchase, and it ensures that even if they leave the checkout, you are adding them to your mailing list.
Heights Platform's built-in checkout is structured exactly like this, so you can capture information about customers who abandoned the checkout and didn't complete the online course enrollment.
Check out this article from our blog to learn how to create the best checkout experience in your online course: Create the Perfect Checkout Experience to Sell More Online Courses
#7: Collect Emails Through Social Media
Social media is another place for list building. You can promote your lead magnet on your social media by sharing posts to your fans and followers, or by adding a call to action directly on your profile, where you invite visitors to sign up for your newsletter.
Another way to leverage the power of social media to collect the email addresses of leads is by running paid ads.
If your budget allows it, paid ads can deliver results in a shorter time compared to growing your list organically.
While running paid ads to promote your online course or high-ticket program is not always a good idea, using ads to promote a low-cost lead magnet can help you grow your mailing list and cover the costs of advertising.
This is because if you run an ad with the goal of collecting email addresses - as opposed to asking people to purchase your course - you can gain those email addresses at a lower price and then add them to your email campaigns and keep promoting your course without having to keep paying for ads.
We explain this more in-depth here: Get Your First $100k Without Paid Ads - How to Grow Your Online Course Business Organically
What has been your most successful method of growing your email list for your online course business? Let us know!Create Your Online Course Today