online courses

Even if your business has nothing to do with education, an email course can help your business. But for some businesses, it takes looking beneath the surface to understand how.

An email course is a simple, online course that’s delivered to you one lesson at a time, via email. They are sometimes called eCourses, or e-Courses. But “eCourse” is a broader term. It encompasses any type of online course, whether it’s delivered by email or not.

It’s usually best to start simple, but keep in mind that once you build an email course, you can expand it. By linking to pages on your website or others, you can include video, quizzes and more.

What Is an Email Course?

In essence, an email course is little more than a series of emails that educate the reader on a topic.

A time delay between each email gives the student time to read, digest and practice each lesson. It avoids overwhelming him. Some email courses take into account actions that a user takes.

For example, clicking on a particular link in an email may send another lesson. Other email courses use a fixed delay of a day or so between lessons. Some courses skip certain days, like weekends.

You can design the course so that each email contains all the content of the lesson. Or you can link to content on your website or other websites. There’s a lot of flexibility.

Anything you might include in an email message can go into your course. The important thing to keep in mind is to make the content useful and relevant. If it doesn’t relate to your reader’s needs, they’ll soon lose interest and unsubscribe.

Like any course, you can develop an email course once, then use it again and again.

It will save you time in the long run if you include only evergreen content. What that means is content that is just as applicable a year from now as it is today. Timeless content. That way you don’t need to continually monitor and update your course.

Seasonal information can be used, but that means you’ll need to do a bit more work to make sure that the right emails get sent at the right time of year.

Why Does My Business Need a Course?

A free email-based course can do several different things for your company. And it can do these things on auto-pilot.

Here are a few uses and benefits of such courses:

  • Build an email list faster. Are you struggling to get more customers? One thing that can help is to begin building an audience. A free email course works perfectly as an incentive for people to sign up for your email list. People know you need their email address in order for them to receive lessons. So once you build the course, all you need is a landing page and an opt-in form. If you do a good job describing the benefits that your course offers, people will sign up for your mailing list more quickly, now that they have an incentive.
  • Increase sales. Having a larger audience then helps you sell more of your products and services. And if you also produce course that’s useful to your existing customers, that can help you to get more repeat sales, or let them know of additional products and services you provide that they might not be aware of yet.
  • An effective way to sell complex products or services. Sometimes it takes educating your prospective customer on a particular product before they can see its benefits. This is particularly true of expensive goods or services that require a personal touch. A short course can take your customers from an awareness of a problem they have to an understanding of how your product or service can solve that problem for you. And it can do this very inexpensively.
  • Build authority. Teaching your prospective customers helps to build a level of respect in them toward you and your business. A well-made course shows them that you care about them and the challenges that they face. When people take your courses, they get a firsthand taste of the quality of your work. If what you provide is a good fit for them, they’ll be more likely to purchase, and if not, they will at least be more likely to refer your business to other people.
  • Upsell products. A goal of your free course should be to help readers understand both the problem that they are encountering and the solution that you provide. In doing this, you can show how your paid products provide the solutions that they’re seeking.
  • Scalable. After you build the course once, you can use it over and over again, making it available to an ever-larger audience without it requiring much more work on your part as would one on one training. You can also build similar courses that relate to different groups of people or different products. As you do this, you are building an asset that continues to help your business.
  • Fundraising. For non-profits, an email course can educate people about your organization, your vision and mission, and your need for contributions.
  • Recurring revenue. Once the course has been set up and your product offers have been added to it, it will continue to bring you sales, as long as you can keep bringing people into the course.


There’s more that we could discuss, and I plan to write more about these types of courses in the future.

For now, I hope this article helps make it clear how a simple email-based course can help your business.

Whether you’re a non-profit seeking more students or donations or a for-profit business seeking more sales and a larger customer base, developing an email-based course can be an inexpensive and effective way to grow your business and educate your customers.