How To Light A Fire Under Your Procrastinating Subscribers Butts Using Email Courses

Reader Ian is selling an online course about a WordPress plugin called Gravity Forms.

He asks:


Thanks for the emails, lots of good stuff!

My questions is… my course has been selling (poorly) for about 2 months and my subscriber base (about 490 web designers) already knows about the course as I’ve sent out cool tips, free free lessons, etc… how can I add some urgency to a course that is (and has been) up for a while? I’ve already increased the price a bit (and emailed them about it) and over the weekend I redesigned the homepage.


This is a very common scenario:

You created a product, did the product launch thing and made some sales, and now the buzz has died down.

In fact, that’s where things stand at Simple Programmer.

Our flagship $299 course launched in 2014, and our mid-tier $99 course launched last November.

So how do you keep sales from stagnating?

I’m using email courses to keep sales for both of these products chugging along.

The whole setup is a little more than I can cover here, but I’ll give you the 30,000-foot overview.

For each product that I’m selling, I create a corresponding email course.

The course teaches something valuable while also introducing the product, then transitions into a time-limited sale sequence at the end.

I promote these course as my “lead magnets,” so ideally everyone who joins my email list starts off by going through one of these courses.

The majority of people who buy a product will usually do it in the first few weeks, so I want to take my best shot at making the sale right away.

Now that’s all pretty standard stuff—a lot of people do what I just described.

Typically what happens next is the subscriber gets dropped onto your regular newsletter list to get “free tips and lessons,” like Ian’s describing.

That’s not what I do.

Instead I start sending emails designed to get the subscriber to opt in for ANOTHER email course.

And when they do, I run ’em through the whole process again.

Now in Ian’s case, where he’s only got one product to sell, I’d do the same thing, but just write the course to sell the same product from a different angle.

That way you can keep sending lots of emails and selling hard without being obnoxious.

The other thing you can do is run occasional promotions where you offer a time-limited discount—or better yet, a time-sensitive bonus.

At Simple Programmer we typically do this once a quarter or so. And right now I’m building out a whole timed sequence of automated sales. So for example a new subscriber will get offered a discount at 60 days, another at 120 days, etc.

Bottom line:

The way to create urgency is with deadlines.

Product launches come with built-in deadlines, but with a little creativity you can find plenty of other ways to accomplish the same effect.