This is part of my Makin' Bacon podcast, you can check out all the episodes or subscribe on your favorite podcast player.
A lot of food bloggers know about lead magnets and how important they can be to growing your email list. There's a lot of different types of lead magnets. One that a lot of people don't think about is doing an email course.
Email courses are amazing lead magnets. I want to talk about a few of the different reasons why. And how they can really build a rapport with people that are new to you and new to your website.
The video of the interview is also available on the Makin' Bacon YouTube Channel.
First, I want to give you an example of how a lead magnet email course can work. I've done these 3 different times and all 3 have ended up being very successful. A good example is my Sous Vide Quick Start course. It's specifically designed for people who are new. My whole blog is based on sous vide, and a lot of my visitors have never used sous vide before.
And the easiest way to capture those new people is to put together a course that's going to step them through exactly what they need to know. It's a simple email course. It's 7 lessons. It's mainly text. And it got amazing results.
Video is even better if you have the time to do that and it takes them from somebody who doesn't know anything about sous vide and at the end there's somebody who at least feels comfortable enough using their sous vide machine to make chicken, steak, pork, and a few other things.
I'm removing the doubt and uncertainty from their minds, and I'm also establishing myself as an expert and that I know what I'm talking about. A lot of these people end up sticking around my site, reading articles, subscribing to my newsletter, and turning into fans who eventually buy my cookbooks and other courses.
I wanted to share the results of a free email course I did to give you an idea of how effective these courses can be.
One of my courses had 10,000 people sign up for it over the first year. Just a huge addition to my mailing list. And of those 10,000 people, 8,000 of them stuck around to get every single email I sent. They stuck around for 20 emails from me.
They started to understand how I teach, what my style is, and they were exposed to all my content, all my books, all my cooking courses, and a lot of things that they end up purchasing from me down the road.
Now, of those 8,000 people that lasted till the end, 43% of them opened the final email I sent. So there were still very high open rates because people were engaged and I was providing value to them. And that's one reason why I'm such a big proponent of using email courses as lead magnets.
The first step in creating a email lead magnet course is just like a normal lead magnet. Figure out a problem that your readers have and then solve it. Ideally in 5 to 7 lessons that you can send out on a regular basis.
The best subjects are something that is a discrete problem that your fans have and that you can solve for them in 5 to 7 emails.
The second step is to create the content. It can be written, it can be video, it can be audio, depending what you think is going to most resonate with your audience for this specific problem that you're solving.
If you can reuse content you already have, you get bonus points I've talked about in other videos and podcasts about why reusing your content is so valuable for maximizing your productivity.
So if you can find 5 to 10 articles or videos that are already out there that you can tie into each other to create this lead magnet, it's going to be perfect.
Almost every newsletter mailing list program that's out there, whether it's Mailerlite, Convert Kit or MailChimp, they all have what's called an autoresponder series. What that does is it sends out an email on a regular basis and it is usually the best way to deliver email cooking courses.
Note: For more info, here are our recommended email newsletter programs.
I've done email courses that went out every day for 5 to 7 days. And I've also done some that went out every 4 or 5 days for several months. It depends what you're trying to solve, who your target audience is, and how much content you have in this course you're putting together.
You can figure out the specifics of putting together an autoresponder series in whatever program that you have there and it's generally simple to set up. If you've sent out newsletters of any kind before the process is going to probably look really familiar to you.
Once you have the course set up and turned on in your email program, you also need to create a sales page.
There's a lot of different ways you can create sales pages. You can do it in WordPress just as a normal blog post. You can do something like Lead Pages, which is really good for setting up different landing pages, and you can also just do custom HTML if you know that well enough.
If you're really not comfortable setting up a sales page of any type or doing marketing content, you can find people on Fiverr, on Upwork, any of the different consulting sites. There's a lot of people that make their living writing marketing content and doing sales pages, so they'd be happy to help you out for a nominal fee.
On the sales page it's very important to talk about the benefits that your users are going to get. A lot of people just focus on the features and they say this many emails, this much content, and it's something that I fall into. I had my Mastermind Group recently look at a sales page I put together, and that was one of the first responses that I wasn't focusing on the benefits.
So even though I've put together dozens of sales pages in my life, I still fall into the trap of focusing on features. So look at the benefits. What transformation are you going to take your fans on from when they start the course to when they end the course? If you focus on that, it's going to be a lot easier to market this to your fans.
The other way that you're going to drive signups is by promoting it pretty much anywhere that you currently promote your newsletter. If this is your first lead magnet, then you're probably going to want to promote it on almost every page that relates to the problem that you're solving. You're going to have links at the top or bottom of your blog posts.
You can have a little ad in your sidebar. You can even use something like OptinMonster to put popups on your page or the little floating sidebars that come in across the bottom. There's a lot of different ways that you can drive awareness to your course for all of your fans.
Once you make your course live with these links and the sales page, it should be fully automated. There's nothing you have to do when people sign up, they get your email course at the interval that you set up. You step them through and help them solve that problem that they had and at the end, a lot of them are going to be fans of yours.
They are now someone who you can reach out to who you can market other things to and who are going to keep coming back to your blog time and time again. Everyone who signs up for one of my courses is also on my general email list. And a lot of them are the most active people. It's a great way to make a first impression with all these visitors who probably don't know you yet.
Turn them into fans and make them repeat customers to your blog. And as I mentioned earlier, if you can build this course based on material that already exists, it's going to be so much faster to put together.
If you want to read some more about how to create and deliver cooking courses, here are a few helpful links.