The Weekly Course

The Three Must-Have Parts of Email Courses

All you need to teach online are a landing page, an email sequence, and a product that explains the how.
Ramses Oudt 4 min read
The Three Must-Have Parts of Email Courses

Hey friend,

How’s your week been? For me, it was liberating.

After announcing that I was no longer shipping daily, a weight fell off me. My pace was not sustainable, that’s for sure.

Instead of sticking my butt in a chair and not leaving until I publish, I now have time to walk and write as inspiration strikes. Having time to ponder and edit my words is just the best.

Here are some of the things I learned so you can avoid my mistakes, and a sneak peek of what I’m building in February:

Newsletters versus courses; lessons learned

I’ve been reading Brian Kurtz’s book Overdeliver, which goes deep into list building. Kurtz has a professional background in building and managing direct response mailing lists at Boardroom, a knowledge product powerhouse. On every other page, I cringe at the mistakes I’ve been making in segmenting my list (or lack thereof).

My biggest realization is that a daily newsletter is not a course. Blasting the same content to a large group and keeping everybody engaged is impossible. Especially not when the content is intense instead of light and fun.

So, if you’ve been thinking of copying what I do, please choose between a daily newsletter and an email course.

You cannot ask people to make a big investment with a daily newsletter. This investment could be the time they put into reading or the energy they spend on taking action. If you ask too much from your readers for too long, they will burn out. Emails will pile up, go unread, then unopened, and finally be directly sent to junk.

An email course with a clear start and finish can ask for more of an investment. Even if the exercises take time and effort, if your readers believe they help, they’ll be willing to do the work. But everybody’s attention wanes at some point.

Bottom line: keep emails light and fun if you blast them to a large group daily, and personalize them if you’re asking for a bigger investment.

Speaking of personalization, the next book I’m reading is Dotcom Secrets by Russell Brunson (founder of ClickFunnels). In it, he goes deep into “marketing funnels” and how they can be used to teach and sell. But more on that later.

Please let me know if you’re interested in reading my notes and takeaways from marketing, copywriting, teaching, and other types of books. I have a second brain bursting at the seams, and I’d gladly share what I’ve learned (also because it helps me learn more deeply).

What I’m working on in February

Last week, I announced that I’m starting work on a “playbook” for ideating, writing, and launching email courses. And I’ve made a flying start.

After giving it some thought, these are the three ingredients of email courses I’m focusing on this month:

  1. A landing page to capture email addresses.
  2. An automated email sequence teaching the why and what.
  3. A way for people to learn more of the how (in the form of a product, service, or simply a list of resources for later use).

Let’s start backward: The product I’m creating is the email courses playbook. I want to release the first installment of this book by the end of February.

The email course I want to launch simultaneously will be a condensed version of what I’ve shared so far. But because the playbook contains all the details, I won’t have to bore you with them in the course.

Finally, I’ll have to create a landing page to capture email addresses to send the course to (plus the offer for early access to the playbook). This is where I’ll have to learn the most, as I’ve only created two landing pages in my life and feel like I have no clue what I’m doing.

So, what will I be writing about in these weekly newsletters? As I learn in public, I’ll share how I’m figuring out what I need to know and then document how I apply those learnings to create a side business online.

My goal? To teach you everything I know about teaching online so you can teach your craft to others.

Compare this to my initial goal of getting lots of writing reps in. I figured that by writing hundreds of email lessons this year, I’d build enough skill to work with creators and companies wanting to teach with email.

But then I figured, that’s not who my audience is.

My audience, you, is bright people with healthy obsessions. With your expertise, you can help hundreds or maybe thousands of people like you. You don’t necessarily identify as a creator; you don’t want to build a company and quit your job. You just want to teach what you love to people you love spending time with—while earning a nice side income to make financial worries a thing of the past.

I think that’s why many people unsubscribed from the newsletter, as I was thinking too much about myself (getting writing reps in) instead of being useful. So, it’s time to fix that and serve, documenting as I stumble and learn along.

Your turn: what do you want to see in the Email Course Playbook?

I wouldn’t be learning in public if I didn’t ask for your feedback. So my question for you is:

What do YOU want to learn from the Email Course Playbook?

Drop a comment or reply directly to this email. I’d love to hear what you’d like to teach and where you’re currently stuck. Together, we can learn much more, much faster.

I look forward to reading from you!


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