Email Marketing: Ecourses Make it Easier

nicole-dean-internet-marketing-expertHi. I'm Lynn's friend, Nicole Dean. As Lynn mentioned yesterday, I'll be a Guest Blogger here this week, writing a series about email marketing.

Here's the scoop. I'm doing a Summer Blog Tour. I'm kind of like Aerosmith, but with less rock and more marketing. I started this blog tour in early June and will wrap up the last week of August. Each week, I head to a new blog and write a series about whatever marketing and online business topic the guest requests from my various areas of expertise.

Well, Lynn is my bud, but I was still afraid to ask her if I could include her blog on my tour. I mean, she's THE Lynn Terry! I shouldn't have worried, though, because she immediately agreed. (Don't you just love her?! Me, too.)

I thought about which topic to write about for awhile, and then was inspired when Lynn posted about squeeze pages. She'd said that squeeze pages are an effective marketing technique, but that she didn't like to rely upon Adwords for traffic and instead preferred free traffic from search engines. (Paraphrasing … Lynn, feel free to correct me.)

I replied that I love squeeze pages (preferably squeeze pages that promote ecourses) and that I benefit from them, but that I don't send traffic with Adwords. Her reply was “We should talk about this.” I thought “BINGO!” – so this week, I'll be talking about...

Ecourses + Traffic = Automated Income Streams

Let's back up a bit. I barreled into the topic pretty quickly.

Essential Pieces of a Successful Online Business.

There's no doubt that you'll need a few important things to make money online. The bare minimum that you'll need is...

1. A website or blog.

2. Offers that your visitors will be interested in buying so that you can make money. These can be either affiliate recommendations or your own offers.

3. An email list of some sort.

4. Lots of traffic.

That's pretty straight-forward, right?

In this series, I'll assume that you have #1 and #2.

So, we'll focus on #3 and #4.

List Marketing for Busy People.

Now, I'm like most people – super busy. I run my own business, have 2 energetic and demanding kiddos, 2 absolutely nuts puppies, and a hubby who kinda likes me, too. Plus, if I don't exercise... it's not pretty, so I have to find time to do that, too. Did I mention that I homeschool my son and am involved in Girl Scouts? Yeah. Life moves at a fast pace around here.

So, I'm pretty limited in time when it comes to working on my online business. And, my lists are the area that I tend to let slip. Time just gets away from me.

What's the solution for a busy person who wants to make sure her lists aren't neglected? Well, my absolute favorite way is with an ecourse. It's easy. It's effective. And, by offering an ecourse, people expect you to follow up with them and watch for your messages. Because the messages are sent in a logical order, they tend to get opened and read.

Offering an ongoing newsletter is fine, if that's what you prefer, but I'm busy and travel often, so having a weekly commitment isn't something that I can find time to keep up with. That's why I like the flexibility of an ecourse.

And, yes, you CAN do both.

Definitions of Squeeze Page & Ecourse.

Now, I'm mixing my topics here a bit because I'm referencing both Squeeze Pages and Ecourses. So, before I go farther, let me define both.

Squeeze Page: The purpose of a squeeze page is to "squeeze" your web visitors onto your email lists. You do this simply enough by offering something that's valuable enough that a person would willingly trade their email address for it.

Examples: Small Reports Fortune by Jimmy D. Brown & Learn about Private Label Rights Content by me

Ecourse: An ecourse is a followup series of messages that is sent via autoresponder. If you sign up today, you'll get message #1, whereas someone who signed up six months ago may be receiving message #30. The messages go out in order, with message #1 going first, whether you sign up today or next year.

Example:  Sales Army Secrets – You see the top of the page where it says “5 Practices of Wildly Profitable Affiliate Programs”? That's a preloaded followup series. Good stuff. Sign up for it.

Yes, the squeeze page & ecourse can be combined and used together. In fact, that's a highly effective strategy.

Setting up your Ecourse.

Back to your ecourse. You only need three things to set it up.

1. A website or blog. I'm assuming that's something you already have.

2. An autoresponder. That handles all of your messages, making sure they are delivered in order, follows all SPAM laws and keeps things running for you while you're on vacation.

3. Valuable Content. This is what we'll talk about next. You obviously need a good topic and great info to keep people opening your messages.

I'm skimming over some of this quickly, but I have two resources at the end of this message where you can fill in some of the blanks if I'm moving too fast. And, of course, you may ask questions in the comments area below.

How to Find Content for Your Ecourse.

Need some help getting content for your ecourse? Here are a few ideas and resources for you.

Buy an ecourse. You can buy prewritten ecourses at Mostly Sane PLR if your niche is internet marketing.

Outsource an ecourse. Hire a Ghostwriter (or preferably a Copywriter) to write your ecourse for you.

Go Video. Record a video series if that's easier for you. You can take existing videos that you have on YouTube.com and reuse them to create an ecourse. (Or even use mine and Lynn's if you'd like: Nicole Dean videos | Lynn Terry videos)

Audio Ecourse. If you are more comfortable using audio, then record an audio series. You can even find free reprint audios like this one: Nicole Dean Free Reprint Audio

Short-cut with PLR. Grab some PLR articles and send one each week.

Expert Interviews. Schedule a series of expert interviews and use that as your followup.

Borrow content. Another option is to find affiliate programs that offer content that you can publish. Most of them will allow you to replace their links with your affiliate link for that program. A great place to start is www.FreeAffiliateArticles.com (articles that promote affiliate offers) and www.BrandableStuff.com (for top quality free reports, audios, and videos that you can send to your list ).

** Remember: You do not need to worry about duplicate content when working on your ecourse if all of the content is delivered via your autoresponder. You can publish other people's content without worry.

Resources to Learn More.

Here are two very valuable resources for you to enjoy:

How to Create an Ecourse in One Day

6 Steps to 6 Figures with List Marketing

I'll be back tomorrow with ideas for promoting your ecourse.

Warmly,
Nicole Dean

PS. At each stop on my tour, I randomly give away prizes to those who comment. Usually, you can win the report of your choice from SR Zone. (My favorite is Homepreneur Habits.)

Discussion

  1. Wowsa - two free PDF's and a giveaway! I like you blogging here already 😀

    I love the point you made about your email follow-up NOT needing to be "unique content". True, true, true. It does need to be high quality, be offered in the right order, and always include a call-to-action that continues leading your reader through your funnel. But you can easily use pre-written content, mixed in with your own, or rewrite PLR. Good stuff!

    • "be offered in the right order, and always include a call-to-action that continues leading your reader through your funnel"

      Yes, ma'am. Very important points.

  2. Wayne Wymore says:

    Wow! Thanks to both of you - Nicole and Lynn!

    Nicole for sharing - both some great content - ideas for getting started (or restarted) and TWO great Jimmy D. Brown downloads,

    And, thanks to Lynn for letting Nicole do some guest blogging!
    Thank you!
    Wayne

    ps. Would you believe I just found this blog today thanks to a tweet by Doug http://twitter.com/SuperAffil ?

  3. NICE stuff Nicole!

    After all my years online, list building and finding good content to use, is still my biggest hassle. But since beginning of the year, I'm finally using content like PLR to implement much of what you have just posted about.

    Thx for the resources you listed. I need to go back and reread some of those reports from those resources. That's where I remember you from originally, as Jimmy D. Brown's affiliate manager. 😉

    Really looking forward to the rest of your series here.

    Thanx Again!

    Rick Wilson aka CorpRebel 8)

    • Rick,

      Thank you. What kind of content are you specifically looking for? I might have a good source for you.

      Yes, I've been Jimmy's Aff (wo)Man since early 2007 so that's where a lot of people first meet me. He's one of the good guys. I truly respect and like him, even after having him as my "Boss" for 2 years. 😉

      Thanks again for commenting. Please post questions, if you have them.
      N

  4. Bob The Teacher says:

    Hey Nicole - great to see you on tour at Lynn's blog. I can't wait for your tour dates on my blog next week!

    The great thing about ecourses is their simplicity and longevity. I don't think people truly understand just how powerful this is. And those of us that do need a reminder now and then.

    Talk about leveraging your time! You create it one time, and it works for you forever. I'm sure you'll be adding some great stuff to the promotion, but one thing I'd add here is to incorporate interactivity into the ecourse.

    This can be done by linking back to a specific blog post from within a particular message of your course. For example, let's say inside message 4, you bring them back to your blog to post a review of what they've learned so far. What's their biggest Ah-Ha, etc. As more people comment, the new people that see that page will be like "wow - this is helping so many people" and they'll want to stick around.

    Great stuff Nicole! And it reminds me of getting back into my e-course writing mode based off all those teleseminars I've had transcribed! 🙂

    Bob Jenkins
    http://BobTheTeacher.com

    • Great addition, Bob - I especially like the tip about linking back to a blog post or discussion.

      I look forward to reading Nicole's posts at your blog next week too!

    • hee! You don't know the topic yet that I'm writing about next week on your blog... (MWWWWWWAAAAAHHHH!)

      That's exactly what I love about an autoresponder series -- the simplicity and longevity. It's the truest form of passive income that I've seen online.

      Definitely adding interactivity is a great point. (It's also an easy way to get more testimonials.)

      And, as you said, certainly send people to your blog in some of the messages. I oftentimes refer people to my own blog pages to read more about a topic. It is a way to get their eyes in front of your call-to-action without looking like nothing but a product pusher. The goal is offering value while recommending quality products and services that will further enhance their results.

      Thanks for stopping by! Safe travels in Poland.
      N

  5. Great post Nicole. This is a wonderful topic.

  6. Shannon says:

    Thanks Nicole! List building and email marketing are areas I really struggle with. I'll be your avid reader this week 🙂

  7. Lurleen says:

    Great Stuff Nicole! I am working on creating an eCourse from one of my niche. Thanks.

  8. Glessie says:

    You and Lynn are always giving. I guess one day soon I will no longer be struggling with list building etc. Thanks to you both.

  9. Excellent resources, Nicole. Thanks to you, I just stumbled across something that will work really well in a nice I'm targeting. Muchas gracias!

  10. Ecommerce Help - Tyrone Shum says:

    Nice suggestion and well.. discussion.
    You provided a well constructed explanation of these marketing strategies in which most people who are in internet marketing will like since it is informative and yes, useful. While you suggested a really cool strategy, you also made it look like it's easy to do. I think doing one of these things is good move for someone's business and yet, doing both will definitely be a great career move.

  11. Nicole,

    It's easy to see why you and Lynn hit it off so well. I love the tidbits of information that make you both so real to all of us. Kids, dogs, walks in the mountains. . .all of that shows that there real people making real money online.

    • Yep. We're real, all right. In fact, I was *real* sweaty when that picture of us was taken! 😉

      I always say that I'm a highly flawed human who has made her share of mistakes. If I can make this work, anyone can.

  12. lyle robinson says:

    Hi Nicole and thanks for that insightful opening post. An interesting concept which I will dig into a little further. Now, the one thing I want to know Nicole is this: Since you are on "tour", does your contract rider stipulate red M&M's or blue M&M's?

    Lyle

  13. I was just wondering what you do when you get to the end of your e-course? What interaction do you have? We are doing a one year course on building you food storage up but the first batch of subscribers will get the last post in December. Then I don't know what to do with them! Thanks for the great post.

    • Depending on the relationship with your readers, you can tell them that it's the final day and guide them to another action or let them know that you'd like to continue to send them info, but that they can leave.

      I'd recommend by the time you've got them through a year, you should have them so far into your funnel that the ecourse isn't the only list they're on of yours. (Hopefully they'll be on your customer and affiliate lists, too?)

  14. Chris Cobb says:

    Nicole,
    How much would you expect to pay a ghostwriter to create an ecourse? I think that is one of the hardest things about getting started with outsourcing is that you don't have a frame of reference to know if the quotes you are getting are in a reasonable ballpark.

    Having fun following your blog tour.

    • A ghostwriter or a copywriter?

      You could get a ghostwriter to create a 5 day ecourse for $25. However, I'd find someone who had copywriting skills and be willing to pay a bit more for an ecourse that makes you money. I've paid as much as $35 for a single blog post from a copywriter for the free blog installations at ReliableWebs.com and it was worth it to me because the content made me want to buy my own products! 😀

      Don't forget to have your writer write text for your squeeze page, too, and some ads for promoting your ecourse. 😉

  15. Leigha Baer says:

    Wow, great info Nichole! I am really lacking in the list building arena. Lynn's got me on notice that I need to put a form on my blog and I'm working on it. Thanks for all the additional info. It's easy to see why you and Lynn get along so well. Both great gals.

    Leigha

  16. Tracy Roberts says:

    Thanks to Nicole for writing such an informative post and Thanks to Lynn for being part of the "Blog Tour". It's great to find information from two of my favorite people in one place 😉

  17. Wow! Thanks everyone for posting! I'll be back to reply after I get the next post up in a bit. 🙂

    Appreciate every single one of you!
    N

  18. Thanks everyone for commenting. I'd better start giving out prizes early here. It sure makes it fun when there's so much comment love.

    N

  19. UPrinting says:

    Wonderful starting post Nicole! Excellent thoughts on squeeze pages and e-courses. These are indeed very useful and helpful stuff. What's great is that you really took the time to provide good examples for your points, it really helps drive the point across. Thanks!

  20. jamessamy says:

    Hi Nicole,

    Great blog sharing and thank you so much the links and free downloads.
    My mind is working with ideas from your sharing. Thank you Lynn for bring a special fren Nicole here to share.

    Thnak you
    jamessamy
    singapore

  21. Cheryl Antier says:

    Hi Nicole and Lynn,

    Nicole - do you still have any blank spaces in your calendar for guest blogging? If so, I'd love to have you stop by the Writer's Business Academy's Writer's Resources blog...

    This is a fabulous post - wish I'd had this information when I was getting started! I just wanted to offer a planning resource that's free and works on both Mac and PC. I use this when I'm planning to write content for one of my clients.

    It's called "FreeMind" and it's mind mapping software. (Just Google it and you'll be able to find the link to download it. I wasn't sure if links were allowed in comments.)

    You could use it for planning your topics, your bullet points for your landing page, your ecourse and the articles you're going to write or use to drive people to your landing page. Makes it faster and easier for the planning and creation process.

    Have a wonderful day!

    Warmly,

    Cheryl

    • Hey Cheryl!

      I don't have any more weeks left. After two months, I'm already losing sanity. So, after the next few weeks, I think I'll have to give my fingers a break.

      However -- do you still have my email address? If so, shoot me a note. I may be able to come up with something for you if you have a specific need. 🙂

      And, yes, I love Free Mind!

  22. e-marketer says:

    Nice tips. And i think it can be accepted for busy people. And one of them is me. I'm 20 years college student, have many college task. I have only 1 computer and spended for 4people. So i have no time to do MMO full time.

    About send PLR, i think the PLR should be rewritten first, i'm sure the result will be more OK.

  23. Wow! You've really given lots of good information here between the blog post and the free reports. I love the way you are just so matter of fact and organized with your approach. A big thank you!

  24. Great info, Nicole! My list building fell by the wayside and I really want to get focused on that soon. It's all so overwhelming to me but I know I have to make it happen. Thanks for all the great tips and links.

    • That's the beauty of an ecourse, Angie. It makes it easier for those of us who are overwhelmed to continue to build our lists without the added maintenance of having a weekly newsletter. 🙂

      Let me know if you have questions that I can help with.
      N

  25. Julie Anna says:

    Thank you, Nicole. Wonderful information.

    I had sprinkled throughout my first freebie ecourse my affiliate links along with many recommendations for services. There are so many reasons why an autoresponder series works very well with a busy mom. I didn't realize until I put up the opt in and was committed that the actual advantages of an ecourse creation are superior to ebook or product creation. Come to think about it the course can be offered as either one of those and certainly in a much less stressful creation process.

    What I like the most is that I only had to stay one lesson (although for sanity and less worry about the unforeseen) I stayed two lessons ahead. This gave me time to gather resources and edit my writing each week keeping it a simple lesson (no longer than a blog post) I didn't have this huge list waiting for me to pump out a full newsletter which tends to overwhelm me or a presell of a promised eproduct at a certain date with a deadline looming over me. On my walks while thinking about this model a bit the idea of repurposing the content came to mind. I can add video lessons and go deeper into actual hand holding to make it a full on paid for course - most of the work is done. The possibilities truly are endless.

    Thank you for getting the creativity juices flowing again.

    JA

  26. Hi Nicole and Lynn,
    You are two women online that have made me believe I can also start out. Thank you for this post. I am such a newbie that I am even scared of posting here.
    My question is, is this a project that newbies like me can get involved in or I still need some experience.
    where can I get some guidance. Nice post.
    I have a blog to do some affiliate marketing and Nicole is my manager but I have not done nothing much, still confused and overwhelmed and no income.
    Love your blog Lynn and Nicole.
    Cheers,
    Grace

  27. Fran Civile says:

    Thank you for an excellent post Nicole... it fit right
    in with my sticking points... a squeeze page for building
    a list requires mastering the intricacies of the autoresponder
    and there lies my weakness... I don't ever read about
    autoresponder intimidation ... am I the only one afflicted
    with this?

    Fran 🙂

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