How To Create A Free Email Course

Putting together a free email course has been top of our to-do list for a while, but since our previous newsletter provider, MailChimp, didn’t provide this feature for free accounts, it was put on the back burner. We were talking with Emma Drew about things to develop, and she suggested changing newsletter platforms and using MailerLite who offer this feature for their free accounts.

However, it wasn’t as easy as expected so we put together this simple guide to hopefully help others do the same thing!

We’re going to assume that you have all of the emails that you want to send out ready and waiting to go – you will just need to design the email and insert the content as needed.

Create a new group

You’ll want to create a new group to separate out the people who have gone through your course, especially if you have already set up a newsletter.

To set up the group, go to Subscribers > Groups then click “Create New Group” where a pop up will appear asking for a name for the group.

Set up your automation workflow

This is the part that’s going to take a little time to plan out, but once you understand what bits need to go where, it’s pretty simple.

First, you’ll need to create a new workflow by going to Automation > Create A New Workflow. You’ll see a layout like this:

Give the workflow a name and select your trigger to be “When subscriber joins a group”. A new dropdown list will appear, and here you will select the group you just set up. There’s a box below that saying “Reactivate the full workflow for subscribers who rejoin the same group in the future” – ticking this means that if someone wants to get your emails again (perhaps they deleted them instead of archiving, so they want to get a new copy of the emails)

Next step is to create the flow of how emails will be sent out. The main two icons to look at for now is e-mail – this is where each email in the series that will be sent out will go – and delay – this is how you set gaps between each email going out. Condition is how you can send customised emails to people depending on what actions they take – for example, if you sent out an email asking people if they wanted to get all of your emails, or just a certain type, this is the way you would direct the system to move them to the relevant group. Action is how you move subscribers to a new group, which is useful at the end of the course – once someone has gone through the whole flow, you can then move them to your main grouping for regular newsletters.

Here’s a screenshot from the flow of our 5 Days To Create A Media Kit course to give you an idea of how you need to put a delay in between each email – otherwise they’ll all be going out at once!

If you haven’t already created a template to fit your branding, sort out your first email then go to Actions > Save As Template. That way all of your emails will look the same.

Create the opt-in form

Now you need to have a way for people to sign up! There are three different ways to get people to sign up to your course – with a pop up, with a landing page, or with an embedded form. We use the landing page and the embedded form to allow people to sign up – each way is useful for certain things. An embedded form is useful in the sidebar on your site because it allows users to sign up as they’re reading your site, but a landing page has been useful for our email course as it gives one location to direct users to for signing up, and gives more space to talk about what the course will do.

To create the form, head to Forms, then click the orange button dropdown and choose the sort of item you want. You’ll give the form a name, and then choose which subscriber groups people can choose to be added to. It’s fairly obvious how to build the form, it just takes a little playing around to figure out what will suit your site best.

Now it’s up to you to promote your amazing new course!

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