An e-course is a sequence of emails set up to be delivered automatically without any effort on your part after the initial set up. Just set it and forget it. Setting up a free e-course is a great way to keep your services on top of mind and educate people about what you can do for them.
I highly suggest you subscribe to other people’s e-courses in your field and study what information they offer too.
STEP ONE: Outline your topics. First you have to figure out what you think people would want to know about. Do a brainstorm exercise where you limit yourself to 5 minutes (use a timer). Write down all the topics you can think of on your area of expertise. Then edit down until what you have left is what you think is most relevant. For example, here’s the basic outline of my free e-course on copywriting.
Day 1: Overview of copywriting
Day 2: Tips on attracting your target market
Day 3: Features/benefits brainstorm exercise
Day 4: Single most important aspect of writing copy — headlines
Day 5: Keep them reading with the inverted pyramid
Day 6: Copywriting tricks the pros use
Day 7: The Cardinal Rule of Copywriting: Expect to Rewrite
STEP TWO: Go deeper in each subject. Really provide some content here.
Make 2-3 points about each topic. Don’t be afraid to do some hardcore research. Find statistics and trends and use them. Your message doesn’t have to be long, just information-packed. You have the attention of people who “asked” to learn from you. So give them something valuable.
STEP THREE: Tease them till next time. After you’ve educated them, let them know that the next lesson will have something even more mouthwatering. The less specific you are, the more tantalizing the copy. Here are some teaser phrases I used in my e-course. Feel free to swipe versions of them for your own use:
“Hang on till tomorrow and I’ll give you some tips to turn the heads of your target market.”
“In Day 3, you’ll learn the secret method I use in getting copy to sell.”
“Tomorrow you’ll learn the SINGLE most important aspect of copywriting.”
“Next I’ll show you how to keep them reading once you’ve snared them with your headline.”
STEP FOUR: Sign off. End your email like a real letter with a closing like “sincerely”, your name, business and some ways to get a hold of you. Add your website and any tagline you use too.
STEP FIVE: P.S. Alert them to your other products or services. You have something to sell, right? But the purpose of your e-course is to educate and develop a relationship, isn’t it? Don’t worry. You can do both. As long as you’re giving good content, people often like to know if you have something else to buy they would be interested in. For a gentle call to action, I recommend putting a product link with very little text in the P.S. (Studies show that people read the headline first THEN the PS. Weird, huh? But it’s true.)
So to recap. Follow-up is one of the biggest problems in doing business. Autoresponders do it effortlessly.
Author Resource -> Copywriting guru Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero has been helping entrepreneurs and copywriters get their marketing messages razor sharp since 1999.