Behind the Scenes: Free Email Course Pre-Launch
I came up with the idea for this first email course at 10:00pm on February 6th. I had recently watched the awesome webinar featuring the duo of perfection, Melyssa Griffin + Mariah Coz, and decided that I was finally going to DO THIS. I was going to come up with an idea, create amazing and actionable content about the topic, and actually launch something really freaking cool for you guys.
Only three short months after starting my blog, I was able to get 100 people to sign up for my first email course in only 8 days, with a newsletter list of only 205 people.
I’m not sure if that will sound like a huge accomplishment to you, but I am SO HAPPY and SO PROUD of myself.
I just know that I have a ton of great information that I really want to share with you guys, and you have no idea how excited I am that you are actually interested in learning from me!
In case you have also been considering launching your first email course, I want to take you behind the scenes and show you exactly what I did to pre-launch my course.
Pre-Launch vs. Launching
First of all, I think it’s important to realize that you shouldn’t just immediately launch your course, even if it’s just a free email course, without a “pre-launch.” What I mean by this, is that I started promoting + creating my course on February 6th, yet the first actual lesson wasn’t scheduled to be sent out until February 15th.
This allowed for some hype to build up amongst my followers, and for the launch of the course (today) to really seem like an “event.”
Creating Promotional Social Media Graphics
The first thing I did was create graphics for social media, in order to advertise my launch across all the appropriate platforms. I made one for Twitter, one for Instagram, and one for Pinterest. I sent the Twitter promotion out immediately, pinned my Pinterest image the next day, and posted my Instagram promotion the day after that.
Setting Up a Course Welcome Email
Pretty much immediately, I gained a few subscribers from that Twitter promotion, and I realized that I needed to let these people know that they would not be receiving the first lesson until the 15th! I went into MailChimp and scheduled out an automation workflow to send a Welcome Email to anyone who joined the course, explaining the start date and giving them some pre-course homework to get them even more excited.
The Landing Page
At this point, I had already created a landing page for my course. That was how I gained my first few subscribers when they clicked on my promotional tweet.
I originally started out using a program called Opt-in Ninja that I purchased for $29. Opt-in Ninja is basically a LeadPages alternative, and I really liked how it performed…at first.
Although I was able to create a gorgeous landing page with that software (integrated with WordPress), it ended up going down all day on February 8th. I lost so many potential subscribers and was pretty heartbroken about that, when I realized that it had been not working for almost 24 hours.
I did research some other options, but ultimately, I ended up biting the bullet and buying a basic LeadPages membership. Seeing that $300-something annual cost wasn’t pretty, but honestly? It was SO WORTH IT.
And I’m not just saying that. While my original Opt-in Ninja landing page had been converting at about 4% (perhaps somewhat due to it’s occasional not actually working!), my LeadPages landing page worked gangbusters, converting at an average rate of 47% — 148 people saw the page, and 72 of them signed up for the course (about 30 people did sign up during the 48-hour period I was using Opt-in Ninja).
While I do take partial credit for getting those 100 people to sign up, a HUGE part of why so many people joined is because of LeadPages. I had previously been pretty dubious about just how “amazing” LeadPages really is, but after using it for only one week, I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a reliable and kick-butt-at-conversions landing page software! I’m so glad that I finally got it.
Advertising My Course
Something that also played a huge role in how many people I got to sign up was the amount of promotion I did about the course. I stopped promoting anything else of my own besides my course, and made sure to tweet about it at least 5 out of the 15 times I usually tweet each day.
I wrote a blog post explaining the details of my course, and pinned the image from that post to Pinterest. I also promoted that pin, and was able to get 8 clicks for $3.90. I made sure to also re-pin my image onto all of the group boards I am a part of.
I didn’t do a whole lot with Instagram — simply updated the link in my bio to go directly to the course sign-up page, and posted 1 image about the course. I did mention it a few times in other captions, as well.
Facebook was a huge part of my promotion. I posted about it to my business page, as well as to a LOT of different group threads in the Facebook groups that I’m a part of. I also created a Facebook + Instagram ad for the course, which resulted in 9 link clicks for $10.90 (wow, Pinterest did so much better!!).
And that’s pretty much it! Combined with actually writing and creating the course, it did take a decent amount of hustle to get everything done in 8 days on top of my normal blogging routine and doing work for clients. It was a busy week!
But worth it. And I’m super excited to now be able to spend some time working with everyone as they go through the course and create their color schemes!