5. Sales emails

Have a listen:

So, I’ve made it pretty clear that in order to sell through emails, you need to first do a lot of not selling. Once you’ve done that, you get to share your products/services. But you need to have a think about how you’d like to do that.

Do you want to be pushy, or would you prefer to be subtly persuasive? That’s not really a question. It’s clearly the latter. Though some people really go in for the hard sell: push push push. I just unsubscribe. It’s boring.

So I’m going to share some examples of selling emails. Firstly, a ‘direct selling’ email. Then some automated emails we designed for a funnel that got good results.

Direct selling email

For this course, I put out an email. But I should say – this is important – that I’d also announced on social media that I’d be running this course. I’d put out an IGTV about ‘how to sell’ prior to opening sales on the course. Shared tips about selling online courses in my Stories. I’d put in some groundwork.

Then I sent this email…

Subject line: How to sell spaces on your online course

Last March, I launched my first online course on a complete whim. I wasn’t earning enough money, was always dipping into my overdraft, and I was fed up.

So I created an online course teaching people how to do their own PR.

When the 10 spaces sold out, I was elated. That was £3000 in the bank. More than I was earning each month from all my freelance gigs put together.

I decided to try a second month, and a third. And the amount of sign-ups kept growing. It quickly turned into a proper online course business and Rich, my husband, quit his job to grow it with me.

What we soon realised is that while I could sell directly to my (brilliant) Instagram followers initially, there was a limit. We needed to reach new people, too.

And so Rich started geeking up on Facebook and Instagram ads. Email marketing. Content – across your website and all social channels.

And I started to perfect my ‘sales’ technique – closing the sale, securing repeat custom. These are boring terms but this is the part of the job that gives me a real thrill.

We so enjoy selling online courses. And we’ve always wanted to bring everyone in on our marketing and sales strategy but it had to be right – as useful as possible – and now TODAY, we launch our new course: How to sell spaces on your online course.

It covers:

  • Content
  • Facebook/Instagram ads strategy
  • Funnels
  • Direct selling on IG
  • Email marketing – selling, regular mailouts – and closing the sale.

It’s the exact strategy we use to sell spaces on our courses (and we’ve sold well over a thousand).

And this course is MEGA because it’s mine and Rich’s first one together, combining our knowledge.

You will learn so many skills that can be applied to selling anything. And Rich will be on-hand to answer your marketing qus, via a dedicated Facebook group.

Interested?

Well, we’re offering a whopping £100 ‘early bird’ discount if you book now, using coupon code: READYTOSELL.

Simply click here: How to sell spaces on your online course – then add the coupon code at checkout.

Course starts 18th May.

Feel free to email me any questions you may have…

Love, Annie x

And here’s what happened:

Here’s another ‘selling’ email, though you’ll see I created a story around it. To make it more inviting…

Subject line: Billionaire founder Sara Blakely taught me something about pricing

Body copy:

When Sara Blakely launched Spanx (now a billion dollar company), she decided to price her new-to-market pants higher than her competitors. She felt they’d stand out that way, rather than disappearing amongst other cheaper pants.

She was offering quality, and wanted this reflected in the price.

But she’d also had experience in sales before. She’d been selling fax machines door-to-door. No one had heard of Dax, the fax machines she was selling, so they were all buying Canon fax machines instead.

She tried to go in cheaper; to make Dax the affordable brand. No one bought them. She made them the same price as Canon. Still, everyone stuck with the brand they knew. Then she priced them higher and people took notice.

Now, people were thinking: what makes the Dax more expensive; what can it do that Canon can’t? And it gave her an opportunity to extol the virtues of the Dax fax machine. She started making sales.

And so Sara applied this same theory when she launched Spanx. She wanted people thinking: but why are they more expensive? They must be better than the other pants.

One of the first challenges you face, when launching a business, is how to price up your product or service. There’s basic maths involved to ensure you aren’t making a loss but other than that, it’s about how much profit you want to make.

It’s also about how you want to be perceived: are you the affordable, accessible brand? Or are you the exclusive, special one? Perhaps you want to sit in the middle of these two – mainstream but known for being good quality.

With my courses, I want to be affordable but not so cheap that I’m undervaluing the content.

I know, from feedback, that people take one of my courses like ‘Becoming your own Boss, ‘DIY PR’ or ‘How to launch a successful online course’, pick up new skills and go on to make money.

So when I charge £97 to share this knowledge, via an easy-to-follow, in-depth online course, it’s good value. And when I give weekly feedback or email consultancy with it, the course costs £299.

I could charge more for my time, but I like connecting with people on the courses and so I don’t want to make it prohibitively expensive.

I know my customer, and she’s like me: willing to invest in herself and her career but not super-rich (yet).

Something else I’ve learned from Sara Blakely is that discounts can cheapen a brand. If you offer too many sales, you become the discount store. And that’s not who I want to be. So I’ve decided to cut back on the sales.

I’ve had my ‘ultimate business bundle’ on sale for a few weeks (my five top online courses, unlimited access), but it’s time to put it back to full price. So I’m going to do that tonight at midnight.

But I wanted to give you one last change to purchase this bundle before it returns to its normal price.

How have you priced your product(s)/services? Where are you hoping to sit in the market? What are your thoughts on sales and discounts?

Interested to hear your thoughts…

Annie x


And here’s one last email that turns a story into a selling email. It was about practising gratitude. And there was just a passing mention of the course, as it was relevant to the story. This one did well, so I shared it on LinkedIn, in a blog post on annieridout.com, repurposed it with a parenting focus for The Early Hour and shared it on Facebook.

New course launch

When I’m launching a new course, I usually send one email to my entire mailing list, embedding details of the course into a wider story about what it covers and/or why I created it. Then I’ll usually send one more email in the lead-up – unrelated, but with a reminder that soon the new course is launching. And before it starts, the day before, I send a ‘Last chance to sign up’ email, as I know lots of people wait until the last minute before signing up. So that’s their reminder.

Here’s the one I wrote for this course…

Subject: Last chance to sign up to our NEW course

Preview text: If you have an online course and would like to sell more spaces, we’re sharing our tried-and-tested strategy…

I hope you’re having a nice Sunday.

Just wanted to send a quick reminder that our new course – How to sell spaces on your online course – starts tomorrow. So if you’d like to sign up, today’s your last chance.

We will teach you the exact strategy we’ve used to sell 1000+ spaces on our online courses.

The course covers: content (for social media and your website), Facebook ads – how to set them up from scratch; a step-by-step video guide, video funnels (to find you new potential customers), emails (growing a mailing list, the emails you should be sending). Lastly, closing the sale and getting your existing customers to buy your next course.

Up for it? Sign up here. We’ve love to have you.

Annie and Rich x

Funnel emails

You’ve set up your video workshop. Invited people to join in if they sign up with their email address. Now, you need to set up an email series to keep you – and your course – on their mind.

Here’s an example of the ‘funnel’ emails we used for this course.

So after watching a video we made with two techniques we use to sell courses, they receive the first email. It arrives 24 hours after they’ve signed up for the video workshop.

Email 1 –

Subject line: How are you going to sell that online course, then?

Preview text: You’ve got the course ready to go. Now, how do you get people paying to sign-up? Here’s what we did…

Body copy

When I first started selling online courses, everything I did was on a whim.

I put out an Instagram post asking if anyone would be up for a ‘How to do your own PR’ course, and there was a good response.

So I made the course. In the most budget way.

Then I announced it on Instagram – and got 10 sign-ups (that was all the spaces I was offering) in two days.

At £300 a space, that was a neat £3000.

I looked at my messaging. I looked at who had signed up. I tried to work out how I’d done it.

Then, when I had another course idea, I did something similar.

This ‘toss it out there and see’ approach worked well. It still does.

But it wasn’t going to help me to continue growing the business.

So my husband quit his job and started training in marketing.

He took courses, read books, had consultancy sessions.

Soon, he was advising me on email marketing. And how to really nail my ‘content game’.

And then he geeked out on Facebook ads. Funnels. And he got them all set up for us.

It’s taken us time, effort, failures, money and resilience (!) to get to this point.

But now, we’ve perfected the online course selling strategy.

And there’s nothing I find more fulfilling in my work-life than sharing everything I know.

So we put it in a course. For you.

You can sign up to ‘How to sell spaces on your online course‘ and learn everything we do to sell spaces on our courses.

We’ve sold way over a thousand.

Now we’re going to teach you how to do the same.

Enjoy,

Annie

24 hours after that, they get another email

Subject line: This is what happens when you nail your video funnel

Preview text: It’s such a jargon-y term, but when you learn what funnels actually are – in the simplest terms – it all makes a lot more sense… 

Body copy:

I had an email the other day from a woman called Christine.

I didn’t know her. And she didn’t know me. Well, she hadn’t known me until she saw one of my Facebook ads.

It was telling her about a video workshop I’d created.

Like the one you saw – on selling online courses – but it was for another course.

She liked it. She learnt something from it.

She said: ‘… you may not realise but watching your video has changed my whole outlook and confidence. So thank you.’.

It was lovely. And a reminder that these video funnels are such a good way to…

1. Introduce you to your ‘cold’ audience (people who don’t yet know you).

2. Show them some of what you know.

When it comes to selling courses, there isn’t one special thing you need to do to make sales.

It’s not like you can set up one Facebook ad and make a million pounds.

Or share some Instagram ‘content’ posts and then sell out your course overnight.

It’s about a combination of things – four, actually – that work together to create the ultimate selling strategy.

And we’ve put together a detailed course, with lots of real-life examples showing what’s worked for us, so that you can nail these four areas and sell a load of spaces on your own course.

You can sign up here: ‘How to sell spaces on your online course‘.

Any questions, just hit reply.

Annie x

And then 24 hours after that, they get the last email…

Subject line: Closing the sale. 

Preview text: You’ve got people interested. Now, how do you get them to actually hit ‘buy’?

Body copy:

So you’ve got someone interested in your course.

Now, how do you get them to actually buy it?

Well, you learn the art of ‘closing the sale’.

And what this involves is asking questions.

Working out why they’re hesitating.

Determining if your course is definitely the right one for them.

And if it is, how you can show them this.

So you ask questions. You listen. And then you respond.

Now, I’d love to know if you have any questions about my ‘How to sell spaces on your online course‘ course?

Because I’m all ears.

Love,
Annie x


We were running another funnel campaign, too. For my PR course. And after people had signed up and watched a free video workshop with some PR tips, they got their first email. The subject line was: Women need to be seen and heard at all times.

Now, as you may remember from earlier in the course, I used this quote in a social media post and it got a really good reaction; lots of sign-ups. So I thought I’d try it here. But it didn’t work. I had 0% open rates. ZERO. Couldn’t have done worse.

Meanwhile, another email in that same funnel – that came 24 hours after the first one – had a 100% open rate with the subject line: Do you really need PR for your business? 

So we changed the first one to:  Where would you love to see your business featured? – kept the content the same. And open rates went up to 42.4%, with a click rate of 4.7%.

You need to write your subject lines, and emails, and then see what’s working. If no one’s opening your email – change the subject line. Look at the ones that are working and see why you think that is. Keep tweaking until you have high-as-possible open and click rates.

Abandoned cart

Last note on sales emails. If someone adds one of your courses to their ‘cart’ and doesn’t purchase, they might need a little reminder. So set up an automated ‘abandoned cart’ email to say: Hope you don’t mind this little reminder that you were about to buy a course. Did something happen? Let me know if you have any questions. (Or similar). Short, simple.

It has led to people pushing through with their sales for me. Sometimes, people just get distracted and need reminding. While others will be umming and ahhing. And need you to put in some extra effort to ‘close the sale’. More on that in the next module.