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October 1, 2010

10 Steps to Triple Your Prospect Conversions with an Email Mini-Course

For years, I’ve been giving away a PDF ebook as my client attraction device to entice prospects to sign up for my list. This strategy has served me well as a way to grow my list. However, what I’ve discovered during that time is that many people download my ebook and then never open it. So, as you might imagine, my rate of converting a customer prospect to a buyer isn’t as high as I’d like.

Just like the people who join my list, I, too, often don’t open a PDF ebook when I download it. What I have noticed, however, is that when I subscribe to an ecourse that someone is giving away as a client attraction device, I’m much more likely to pay attention to it, since I’m getting emails every day with new information in them. And, all indications are that the conversion rate of prospect to customer is higher, as well, for this same reason. Your mini-course helps you automatically build a relationship with subscribers and drive sales of your products and services.

Here’s how you can create your own client attraction ecourse to help you triple your conversion rate:

1. Buy autoresponder system. In order to create your email mini-course, you need to purchase an email marketing system that has autoresponder capability, which is the ability to pre-set emails to go out at a periodic interval when someone opts into a list.

2. Determine your theme and catchy name. Your ecourse needs to have a theme or subject. What is it that you want to teach your prospects? Once you determine the theme, your ecourse needs to have a catchy title. Typically, you’ll want to focus on solving a problem or the result someone receives by enrolling in your mini-course.

3. Create content. Your ecourse should consist of 8-12 emails. The bulk of these emails need to contain valuable, actionable content that will help your prospect solve her problems. In a couple of the emails, you can break up the content delivery by introducing your prospect to other resources you offer that will help them, as well. In my new mini-course, I simply re-purposed a number of articles I had already written, paring them down to 400-600 words each, in most cases.

4. Add your soft sell. Rather than hammering a prospect over the head with sales hype, I did three things in each of the followup emails. First, I included a resource box at the end of the email with a link to the call to action I want my prospect to take or a postscript (P.S.) that included a link to the call to action. Secondly, in the body of the email, I made a natural transition based on the content of the email to ask people to buy the product I wanted them to buy. Thirdly, at the end of each lesson, I added, “In our next lesson, we’ll talk about…” to keep the reader engaged and anxiously awaiting the next email.

5. Format and upload your ecourse. In order to best track your open rates of each segment of the ecourse, you’ll want to format each email as HTML. This means that you’ll want to have a header designed and template created so that you can simple copy and paste the content into a properly formatted HTML template. To increase the likelihood that your ecourse will reach its destination, also format a plain text version of each segment of the course, as well.

Next, create a catchy subject line to entice your reader to open that email. Lastly, copy your ecourse into your autoresponder system and create the followup sequence. Ideally, you want your prospect to receive one email from you for a 8-12 days.

6. Design your opt-in box. Your email marketing program should provide instructions on how to create an opt-in box for prospects to join your list. Typically, all that you want to request of your prospects is a first name, last name, and email address. Once you have created the opt-in box, copy the code you’ll need to add the opt-in box to your web site.

7. Create a graphic. To make your email mini-course more appealing, have a graphic designed that visually represents the ecourse. I simply had a spiral book cover designed that contained my name and the name of my ecourse.

8. Create your landing page. To entice prospects to sign up for your ecourse, you’ll want to create a landing page that “sells” the mini-course. In today’s world, you have to “sell” free just like you do something for a fee, so create a short list of the benefits that someone will receive by signing up for your course, and add the code for your opt-in box. Since anyone opting in for my ecourse is also added to my ezine list, I make sure that all prospects know this at the time they sign up.

9. Copy the course content to your web site. To prevent your prospects from emailing you that they are missing some number of lessons in the ecourse, copy the content to your web site. Then, at the bottom of each email lesson, you can add a note that if they have missed any of the lessons, they can read them on your site. You can create one page for each lesson, or a couple of pages containing a few lessons.

10. Track and measure. The only way to realize the success of your mini-course is to track and measure. Create a simple spreadsheet with the open rates of each email and the unsubscribe rates. If you notice over time that many prospects are unsubscribing from your list when they receive a certain lesson, you need to review the content of that lesson and change it until your unsubscribe rate diminishes. And, of course, you need to track how many sales result from your ecourse.

Create an email mini-course to help you establish a relationship with your prospects and lead them to taking the action you desire. You’ll discover that a mini-course is the most effective way to convert a prospect into a paying customer.

Introvert Marketing Coach Donna Gunter helps professional service businesses stop the client chase and create online businesses that drive clients to them. Want to learn specific Internet marketing strategies that get results for introverts? Discover how to increase your online visibility in this free ecourse, Introvert Marketing Toolkit: 9 Strategies to Make a BOLD Impression Online, at ==>