Two years ago we decided to set up a free online email cooking course for our Amazing Food Made Easy website. After writing the course and implementing it as an autoresponder in MailChimp (ConvertKit would work as well) we heavily marketed it through the year. Here's a little of what we found.
During the first year of running our free email course, from November 2016 through December 2017, we have had over 10,000 people sign up. And 8,000 of those people received all 20 emails that are in the course.
We have sent out 185,000 emails with an open percent that starts at 71% and slowly decreases to 43% on the final email. The industry average is around 20% so we are still double.
Our click rate also starts at 41% and generally hovers around 17%, which is four times the industry average.
Looking at these stats made it clear to us that a high quality email course is a great way to continuously interact with your audience. We had 96,000 emails opened and 37,000 links clicked, which is one heck of a response over a year's time and a great way to communicate ideas to your followers.
Financially, it is a little hard to track exactly how much we made through the email course itself, and a lot of the value was through expanding our brand, but some back-of-the-envelope calculations show:
We also converted the text of the course into a printed book, and have sold 800 copies for $5,000 in royalties.
As part of the course, we also created a public Facebook group called Exploring Sous Vide. The group grew to 15,000 members during that first year. This makes it the second largest Facebook group about sous vide.
So all in all, the work we put into the course resulted in almost $9,000 of direct income. Plus the collection of the emails addresses of 10,000 people in our niche and the expansion of our brand through the Facebook group and into other areas.