How To Build An Email List For An Online Course

You've created an online course and are ready to start marketing it. Congratulations! But before selling your course, you need to build an email list of potential students.

An email list is a valuable asset because it allows you to directly market your course to people who are interested in taking it. So, how do you go about building an email list for your online course?

Keep reading to find out the following:

  • Perks of offering online courses through email marketing
  • Steps to building an email list, including some best practices
  • How can an SEO company help build an email list

5 Perks of Offering Online Courses Via Email

Before diving into the benefits of using email marketing to promote your online courses, let’s first discover some of the best reasons you must create an online course this 2022.

  • Accessible to people all over the world. No matter where someone lives, they can sign up for your course and learn from you.
  • More engaging than simply reading text-based materials. When creating a course, you can include videos, audio recordings, and other multimedia elements to help your students learn more effectively. In addition, most courses offer some interaction or community element, which can help keep students engaged and motivated.
  • Students learn at their own pace. Students can log in and learn whenever it is convenient, making taking an online course much less daunting than taking a traditional class.

With so many benefits, an online course is a great way to reach a wide audience and make a difference in their lives. And among the best ways to offer your courses and services to a worldwide audience is through email marketing.

Here are the benefits of offering online courses through email marketing.

Increased Visibility

When you offer courses through email marketing, you open up your business to a whole new world of potential customers. By utilizing creative subject lines and attractive visuals, you can make sure that your emails stand out in recipients' inboxes and draw them in.

Greater Flexibility

One of the best things about email marketing is that it gives you the ability to offer your courses on your schedule. You're not limited by time zones or geographical boundaries, which means that you can reach students all over the world with ease.

In addition, since students can access your courses at any time, they're more likely to fit them into their busy schedules. This makes email-based courses an appealing option for busy professionals who might not otherwise have the time to take traditional courses.

Increased Engagement

Students taking courses online are more likely to be engaged with the material since they're receiving it directly from you (the instructor). This increased engagement can lead to better course completion rates and overall customer satisfaction.

Additionally, since email allows for two-way communication, you'll be able to build relationships with your students and get feedback from them regularly. This feedback can be invaluable in improving future course offerings.


Offering courses through email is an incredibly cost-effective way to do business. No printing costs or shipping fees are associated with sending out course materials via email. That means you'll save money while providing high-quality content to your students.

In addition, since students can access your courses at any time, there is no need to rent space or hire additional staff members to accommodate them--another cost-saving measure.


When you use email marketing, it's easy to track your results and see exactly how many website visitors are opening and clicking through your emails. You can use the SeoLeverage app's KPI Overview feature. This helps determine whether or not your efforts are paying off and allows you to make necessary adjustments along the way.

Most email marketing services offer detailed analytics showing open rates, click-through rates, unsubscribe rates, and more. This data is invaluable in helping you fine-tune your email campaigns for maximum impact.

8 Steps to Building An Email List

Building an email list is actually not that difficult—especially if you break it down into smaller steps.

Step 1: Choose an email service provider

There are several factors you'll need to take into account when choosing an ESP, including cost, features, deliverability, and customer support.

  • Cost: How much will you spend on email marketing tools and services? Are you looking for a basic plan or something more robust with added features? Make sure to consider your budget when shopping around for an ESP.
  • Features: What kind of features do you need from your email service provider? Do you need advanced reporting tools? Customizable templates? A/B testing capabilities? Make sure the ESP you choose has the features you need to run your business effectively.
  • Deliverability: Once you've narrowed down your choices based on cost and features, it's time to start looking at deliverability rates. This is the percentage of emails going into recipients' inboxes (as opposed to being marked as spam). A good deliverability rate is around 95%, but it can vary depending on the ESP. Make sure to research and find out what kind of deliverability rates each ESP has before making your final decision.
  • Customer Support: Last but not least, make sure the ESP you choose offers excellent customer support. Things will inevitably go wrong. When they do, you must be able to get in touch with someone who can help resolve the issue quickly and efficiently.

Once you've chosen the best platform for your online course business, create an account. Then, log in and click on the Create List button.

Step 2: Give your list a name

This name will appear in the 'To:' field when people receive emails from your list.

Choose a name that's easy to remember and descriptive of what people can expect to find on your list. 

Step 3: Create a lead magnet

You offer a lead magnet to attract prospective customers in exchange for their email addresses. It could be a free eBook, a mini course, or even a PDF of helpful tips.

Since the goal of online course creators is to sell online courses, create multiple lead magnets that are directly related to what is being offered. This ensures that everyone who subscribes to your email list will have a high probability of enrolling in your course.

Step 4: Add an email confirmation process

The email confirmation process is a key part of any email marketing campaign. It helps to ensure that only valid emails are added to your list, and that bounced or invalid emails are removed.

There are two main types of email confirmation processes: single opt-in and double opt-in.

  • Single opt-in is the simpler of the two processes. With single opt-in, users simply enter their email addresses into a form on your website. Then, they will receive an email confirming their subscription. Upon clicking the confirmation link, they will be added to your email list. 
  • Double opt-in is a more secure email confirmation process. With double opt-in, users enter their email addresses into a form on your website. They will then receive an email asking them to confirm their subscription. Upon clicking the confirmation link, they will be added to your email list. This process takes a little longer for users, but it helps to ensure that only valid emails are added to your list.

Both single opt-in and double opt-in have their own advantages and disadvantages. Which type of email confirmation process you choose will depend on your specific needs and goals.

Step 5: Create a welcome email

The welcome email is the first email subscribers receive from you when they sign up for your email list.

So how do you make sure you create a welcome email that's captivating and informative?

  1. introduce yourself and your brand
  2. explain what subscribers can expect to receive from you in terms of content and frequency
  3. thank them for signing up

Keep in mind that your welcome email sets the tone for your future communications. Make it clear, friendly, and helpful. It should create a lasting impression on your new subscribers.

Step 6: Collect emails

There are different ways to collect email addresses. But the most effective ways are through opt-in forms and landing pages.

  • Opt-in forms are one of the most effective ways of collecting email addresses from potential customers. By offering a freebie, such as a discount code or an eBook, you can entice people to sign up for your email list. Once you have their email address, you can send them welcome emails, special offers, and updates about your business.
  • Landing pages are another great way to gather sign-ups. They convert visitors into leads. Unlike other pages on your website, landing pages are focused on a single goal, such as subscribing to your email list.

Including an opt-in form on your landing page can increase the chances of converting visitors into subscribers. So, if you're looking to build your email list, create opt-in forms and landing pages.

Step 7: Subscribe to your own email list

Here's why you might want to subscribe to your own email list:

  • It allows you to test the sign-up process to ensure that everything is working properly.
  • It also lets you see what kinds of messages and offers your target audience will receive.
  • It's a way to stay updated on what's going on with your business.

If you're not sure how to subscribe to your own email list, don't worry - it's actually very easy. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Find the sign-up form for your email list. This should be easy to locate on your website or blog. Once you've found the form, enter your email address into the appropriate field.
  2. Check your inbox for a confirmation message from your email service provider. Click on the link in this message to confirm your subscription.
  3. Start checking your inbox for messages from your email list!

Step 8: Drive traffic

With your lead magnet ready, it's time to start spreading the word. You want prospective customers to visit your website or landing page, where they will be given an opportunity to subscribe for email updates so that you can deliver valuable content straight into their inboxes.

There are many ways you can start driving traffic and building your email list. These include:

  • Publishing a new blog post
  • Running ads
  • Guest blogging
  • Sharing your lead magnet on social media platforms
  • Webinars
  • Podcast interviews
  • Speaking in public

Use a combination of these strategies, so you can get the word out there about your lead magnet and grow your email list.

Best Practices for Building Your Email List

Follow these best practices for building an email list for your online course:

  • Place email sign-up forms in strategic locations on your website, like in the sidebar or at the bottom of blog posts.
  • Offer an incentive for subscribers, like exclusive content or early access to courses.
  • Keep your email list organized by tagging and segmenting subscribers based on their interests.
  • Nurture your email list with valuable content that educates and entertains subscribers.
  • Send email broadcasts to announce new content, make announcements, or offer discounts on courses.
  • Use email automation to send targeted information to students based on their interactions with your course content.
  • Always give readers the option to unsubscribe from your emails so they can control the frequency and messages they receive from you.
  • Keep an eye on email deliverability rate and open rates to ensure your messages are getting through to subscribers.

How SEOLeverage™️ Can Help You Build an Email List

Building an email list can be a challenge. This is where an SEO company can come into play.

An experienced SEO company like SEOLeverage™️ can help you identify opportunities to grow your email list through targeted keyword research and content optimization.

Additionally, with our SEOLeverage™️ app’s features like KPI Overview and SEO Lab, we can help you research and select the right keywords to target, develop compelling content, and design effective campaigns that will encourage people to sign up. Our SEO experts can help you track your site’s traffic and conversion so you can take the right action.

By working with an SEO firm, you can build an email list that will help you achieve your business goals. Best of all, you'll have experts who can provide you with tools and resources to monitor and improve your site's performance.

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