Email newsletters are like a chef’s best-kept secret recipe for online course creators. And powerful, persuasive, and people-focused newsletter copywriting is the skill that brings that recipe to life.
Over the last few years, writing high-converting newsletters for course creators has become a skill I’m Michelin-starred in. 🧑🏻🍳
I call these my nurtured-for-sales newsletters because that’s exactly what they do — they nurture your audience and help you sell!
This post spills all my newsletter copywriting secrets so you can use this skill to turn your fence-sitters into “take-my-money-now” buyers.
In this mini-course-style blog post, you’ll learn:
- How to create a hierarchy and strategy that has the perfect blend of value and sales in your newsletter
- The key newsletter copywriting elements that shine in exceptional conversion-focused newsletters
- How to elegantly integrate course promotions into your content so you can sell while strengthening your expertise and relationship with your audience
Think of this as your guide to brewing newsletter copy that not only informs but also tantalizes the taste buds of your audience so they can’t help but want what you’re dishing up in your course or membership! I’ll stop try to stop with the foodie references now!
However … if you’re in the “Do this for me, Prerna!” camp … fill out this short form and let’s talk.
Alright … first up: Why email newsletters for course creators and membership site owners? How is this different from an email newsletter by a creator or blogger?
Why Nurtured-for-Sales Email Newsletters are a Conversion Magnet for Course Creators
Conversion-driven, connection-led email newsletter copywriting blends the essential ingredients of value and sales, creating a delightful dish that keeps subscribers returning for more.
In the world of online courses and memberships, engaging potential students through well-crafted, consistently sent emails is not merely an option … it’s a necessity.
Because … it helps you to gently address objections, strengthen relatability and authority, and raise the bar on your audience’s belief in themselves so they can see how working with you or learning from you will make a difference.
Remember … the audience that you’re emailing already knows you to a point. They chose to sign up for your course specific opt-in but, for some reason, decided not to enroll.
Your job as a creator is to help them move forward and, at the same time … make a decision.
Plus … most nurtured-for-sales newsletters that I write for clients have a weekly cadence, making them way easier-paced on everyone (including you!) than a launch or even an evergreen funnel.
Okay, now that you know WHY you as a course creator need these … let’s talk about WHAT you need to write these — the recipe for a conversion-focused, connection-rich newsletter!
The Easy-to-Follow Newsletter Copywriting Recipe for Course Creators
Every good recipe starts with an ingredient list. This one’s no different! 🙌🏼
I start every nurtured-for-sales newsletter project by sitting down with a notebook, paper, pen, and a giant cup of chai for a “hierarchy” brainstorming session.
Each session includes considering the course creator’s brand, values, and, of course, offer.
A hierarchy is the structure or framework for the newsletter.
While there are several frameworks you’ll see in the newsletter world — from James Clear’s 3-2-1 framework to Superhuman AI’s curated newsletter framework.
But when you’re a course creator, you want a hierarchy that’ll help you help your audience AND help your sales.
You also want a solid newsletter strategy.
Your strategy could include:
- The overarching goal for the newsletter — new enrollments, upsells, churn reduction or something else?!
- Audience and audience segmentations
- The content and cadence structure
- Key conversion mechanisms
- Metrics to measure
Let’s dive into each …
Conversion-Driven Email Newsletter Strategy for Course Creators:
Before you write up a bunch of these emails, here are 5 things you want to keep in mind:
1. Segmentation: Who will you be sending these to? Students? Non-students? Only those who attended your webinar? Only a segment that’s been on your list for a couple of years?
Don’t get too granular, but at the same time don’t go too wide!
2. Interactiveness: How will you make your newsletters interactive and engaging? Why is this important?
Because not only will you know how your audience is responding to them (see next section) but you’ll also be able to strengthen your connection with your audience.
3. Conversion Mechanisms: What conversion mechanisms will you be using so you can track conversions? Will it be an exclusive coupon code? A lesson preview? A specific opt-in? A behavior-based email trigger?
Knowing your conversion mechanisms makes it easier to build your hierarchy and have a robust content strategy in place.
4. Cadence and Content: How frequently will you send these emails? And what would be the content format — text-only, text-and-video, text-with-photos, etc.?
5. Metrics to Measure Effectiveness: What metrics will you measure to assess effectiveness? I usually sign clients on for a 3-month package because that gives us 90 days to track, which is a good time period. We usually track sales (of course!) but also engagement and feedback.
Newsletter copywriting, as you can see, needs a fine balance and is not as straightforward as sending them your weekly ramblings or the latest podcast episode.
Which brings us to …
3.5. Copy Elements Your Course-Specific Nurtured-for-Sales Newsletter Needs
There are 3.5 elements every course creator’s email newsletter can benefit from. Shockingly, they all start with S. This is not my love of alliteration at play. 😂
Element 1: Storytelling
Stories make “value” stick.
You can give all the theory you want, but if you want your audience to keep you top-of-mind … tell stories.
Now, my go-to tip for story-gathering is both simple and effective.
At the end of every day, jot down 1 sweet/funny/insightful/sad/happy thing that happened.
5 minutes + 1 event = 1 story
You can obviously spend more time or write a longer story … but you don’t have to!
Telling stories is step one.
Connecting those stories with the value you’re giving is step two.
Element 2: Serious Value
This goes without saying, but if you want your audience to pay attention to you … you need to give value.
Value does NOT mean discounting your offers or giving away paid content.
From an email point-of-view, value is … the key lesson or takeaway your audience will walk away with.
For your course-specific newsletters, you want to tie this into the core idea or USP of your course or membership site. And keep in mind that you want to address hesitations and/or objections.
A simple way to do this is to answer the question: What is the ONE thing they’ll know/do/have after they’ve read your email?
Element 3: Social Proof
Social proof is one of my favorite conversion ingredients to layer into a newsletter or any email!
Including it in these nurtured-for-sales newsletters goes without saying … but how you include it has to be strategic and not scattershot.
By the way, social proof does NOT only mean testimonials and case studies. It could be an endorsement by a mentor, a media mention, an industry event, or a certification.
Social proof will be a key element in helping address your audience’s hesitations.
Element 3.5: Straightforward CTA
Finally, we have element 3.5. — a straightforward call-to-action to join your course!
“Why is it a .5 element and not a full 1?” you ask.
Because … you’ll be sprinkling in calls-to-action or CTAs for course enrollment throughout your email, and sometimes you may decide to leave this one out entirely!
Speaking of which, let’s talk about …
How to Seamlessly Integrate Course Promotions into Your Nurtured-for-Sales Newsletters
As I mentioned earlier on in the post … the dance between the promotion and the value side is delicate.
You don’t want to overdo it, but you don’t want to overlook it either.
Here are 5 conversion-friendly, people-focused ways you can integrate promoting your course or membership into these email newsletters:
Embedding Course Links in Actionable Tips
Imagine you’re writing an email with tips for improving the reader’s writing skills.
You can seamlessly integrate your writing course by providing an actionable tip and then casually mentioning that this tip is part of a comprehensive module in your course.
For instance, after explaining the importance of strong opening sentences, add a line like, “For more in-depth techniques and examples, check out the dedicated module in our ‘Mastering Compelling Introductions’ course.”
Case Studies That Lead to Courses
Case studies are powerful tools for demonstrating the effectiveness of your strategies.
While discussing a successful content marketing campaign, subtly tie it to a course that delves deeper into the methods used.
You could say, “This strategy, which increased our client’s web traffic by 70%, is just one of the many that I cover in-depth in my ‘Advanced Content Marketing Strategies’ course.”
Answering Frequently Asked Questions with Course Links
If your email addresses questions, challenges, or myths in the industry … use it as an opportunity to link to your course for a more holistic answer.
For instance, if you’re discussing the glut of AI-optimized SEO in blog posts, you could say something like, “I go deep into avoiding the AI-fication of SEO with my course on using a human-created, reader-friendly approach to SEO that works.” and link to your course.
Social Proof, User-generated Content and Testimonials
Yep. Social proof is both an element AND an opportunity to integrate your call to action in the email. See? SO important!
Offering Exclusive/Early Access, Free Samples or Previews
Another subtle yet effective technique is to offer exclusive/early access, a free sample, or a preview of your course within your email newsletter.
You can include a short video lesson or a downloadable PDF guide related to your course topics.
Karin Ordinn of Body Brain Alliance did this recently, and I absolutely LOVED it!
She taught a Future Self exercise that her coaches and she do with all their clients. Not only was the preview detailed and helpful, but her email about it was also human-friendly and conversion-focused. Just the way I like it!
Integrating calls-to-action in your course-specific nurtured-for-sales newsletter (Whew! That’s a mouthful!) is easy, but for it to be effective, it needs to be strategic and thoughtful.
That’s why newsletter copywriting is an underrated but highly effective skill. 🔥
(Psst! Want to bookmark this post so you can revisit it. Tap the image below to Pin It for later!)
Whether you send them to your students and encourage them to continue learning with you via other courses and/or a mastermind … or you send them to non-students so you can encourage them to enroll in your course or membership, sending them is a smart and thoughtful move on your part.
This is a highly engaged and interested audience.
Keep them interested and engaged with these newsletters and nudge them into signing up to learn from you more intensively and holistically.
Want to get nurtured-for-sales newsletters done for your business? Let’s talk.
Want to master this skill instead? Join us inside Ready-to-Sell and give your courses the sales they deserve with the copy they need!