Writing sales emails for courses and workshops is something that takes practice to get comfortable with. When you’re first starting out, it’s like: “How many sales emails should I send?” “What am I supposed to say in these emails?” “Do I sound too salesy?” “What does that even mean?” 😩
The thing is: online business owners can’t just hide and avoid learning the skill of sending engaging sales email sequences.
Why? Because many businesses (like my own) make the majority of their sales through email. Not social media or any other platform.
And whether this holds true for your brand or not, emails will still allow you to educate, entertain, build relationships, and craft a powerful storyline that your customers can see themselves in 💃🏽.
Over the years, I have found myself returning to 15 powerful types of emails that work in every niche I’ve tried them in. From yoga and non-toxic living to business and publishing.
Today, we’re going to cover 8 of those types of sales emails.
The ones I believe are absolutely irreplaceable for the sales of knowledge products. Example: coaching, consulting, courses, books, online events, etc.
Note: you can use these emails as 1-off sales emails, as a part of a time-specific launch email sequence, or even as a part of an evergreen email sequence.
P.S. An evergreen email sequence is one that is always running in the background (using software like ConvertKit* or Mailchimp*). For example, a customer might sign up for a free lesson or eBook on your site, then receive a series of emails that helps convert them to your paid workshop or coaching service.
Either way, you will use these sales emails 👇🏽 again and again. So, feel free to grab a notebook or pull up an empty doc and dive in.
8 Irreplaceable Sales Emails for Courses, Coaching, and Consulting
1. “The Lesson, the Story, and the Hint” Email
Though these emails aren’t necessarily listed in the order we always send them in, we do often like to send this email first in a sales sequence.
The bulk of this email can either be a lesson with a side of story, or a story with a side of lesson. The former means you focus on the points of your lesson with mini story moments woven in. The latter means you share clear takeaways and action steps during or after your story (which is the focus).
This email will also contain a hint or trailer of the program or product you have created for your reader. But, the catch is, they won’t be able to buy it yet . . . which will increase their curiosity about it.
You might send out a lesson on “5 Ways to Adapt and Evolve as a Portrait Photographer (in the Midst of a Pandemic).”
You can include a side story of something meaningful that happened to you that caused you to learn the lessons shared in the email.
You can share something powerful you or a customer achieved after incorporating one of the lessons.
Then, you can include a hint about an upcoming 4-week group program for pro photographers who want to pivot and evolve. 📸
You might send out a story with the subject line “My month without sugar . . . not what you’d expect.”
In it, you might share your personal experience of eliminating any added or processed sugars from your diet for 30 days.
Your story might include takeaways that people can implement immediately, but it also might end in a hint that you decided to not eliminate added sweeteners entirely. And that you have a cookbook and workshop coming out next month on low-sugar breakfasts and desserts. 😲
2. The Use Case (or Case Study) Email
This email shows your potential customers how a real-life person (whether you or one of your other customers) has used your service. In it, you’ll share how they transformed a certain area of their life, business, health, etc.
If you don’t have past customers to create a case study with, you can share “use cases” instead. These are helpful breakdowns of how certain people could use your program. Readers will understand how it applies to them and what they can hopefully transform or improve with your help.
We have lots of case studies from clients who have gone through our program on launching and selling online workshops. People who’ve created their own online events and sold 12, 20, and 50+ spots on their first launch.
We could either take one person’s story and create a case study and email around it, or include results/takeaways from multiple people’s stories in one email. The latter approach will help our readers find a person they can really relate to in our email.
Let’s say you want to write some sales emails for courses or events you offer on yoga. Specifically, courses for neck, back, and hip pain relief.
But, let’s say that you haven’t sold the course yet and therefore don’t have testimonials and case studies. Enter the “use case” email.
In this sales email, you can share details about:
- how someone who works at a desk every day can use your course and
- what someone who is hunched over clients giving massages or providing beauty services should prioritize and do within your course, and/or
- the areas that athletes should pay attention to inside your course and how they might incorporate it into their daily routines
Email segmentation pro tip:
You can make your use case emails even more powerful by segmenting the people on your list.
You can ask them a question (such as: Which statement describes you best? ___, ___, or ___) where what they pick and click adds a “tag” to their contact info in your email marketing software (like ConvertKit*).
These segmented tags will help you send use case emails that are specifically designed for the person’s unique position.
So, in the online yoga teacher example above, you’d have:
- one whole use case email that goes out to athletes
- another one that goes out to people in the beauty/wellness services industry
- and lastly, one that goes out to people who work in offices at a desk all day.
In the real-life example below, we sent out an FAQ sales email that had 3 options someone could click to best describe their situation. Based on what they clicked, they got 1 of 3 follow-up use case sales emails a few minutes later.
Note: You can also create segments by tagging people based on how they initially sign up for your list.
Example: You’d send a different use case email and set of examples to the person who signed up for a video series on yoga to help rehab from an injury than to people who downloaded your PDF on relieving pain from tension headaches with yoga.
3. The Value Stack Email (a.k.a. the ultimate sales email for courses or offers with lots of individually valuable parts)
This email is often the first email in a sales series to fully lay out your product.
- What is the substance of your offer?
- And what are the individual components that make up your offer? Why should your potential customer care?
- What can people accomplish or transform as they use each part of the product (ex: modules, workbooks, live sessions, templates, meetings, etc.)?
In the value stack email, you will individually value the major parts of your offer. And then add them together. This will give people a better picture of the full worth of the program. All while communicating why its current price is so amazing.
You can do this in your sales email in a similar way to how you may see it on sales pages:
In other words: you can literally just add up the value of the individual parts directly in your email. This allows you to explain each part in more detail and show your customer they’re getting a deal on the workshop, course, services as a whole.
This email is truly irreplaceable in a launch email sequence for your workshop. Or as a part of an evergreen sales email sequence for your program.
4. The Made Ya Think Email
In a “Made Ya Think” sales email, it’s important to challenge your audience’s assumptions on your topic. Or to present and defend a view you hold in your industry that is uncommon but valuable.
When you cause a person to stop scrolling, clicking, and moving mindlessly through their inbox or social media, and you get them to really think, assess their beliefs, and open up to new possibilities, you create a memorable experience.
As an example, we sent a sales email series to our list a few years ago 👆🏽, and we still get comments on Email #5 in that series.
We explored how a popular quote going around social media (mainly as cutesy Instagram images—”You have the same 24 hours as Beyoncé.”) was very misleading.
It was a “Make You Stop and Think” email that people loved.
Pro tip: when you write an email that has noticeably more engagement, reactions, or results than normal, consider making that email part of an evergreen sales email sequence that’s always running.
Second pro tip: in general, “unsubscribes” are a good thing for you. People who don’t vibe with your message are unlikely to grow with you or buy from you. A strong brand will typically always come with supporters and people who aren’t a good fit. That’s okay.
Just pay attention to your unsubscribe rate (the one in the example email above is less than half of one percent) and make adjustments as necessary.
5. The “It’s Expiring for a Good Reason” Email
This is one of the most powerful sales emails for courses. You can use it to incentivize your customer to act now ⏰, rather than waiting until later.
The “It’s Expiring” email communicates to your potential customers that the price, or bonuses, or even a specific feature of your workshop or course, are expiring (for a sensible reason).
You may (legitimately) cause this “scarcity” or urgency, because:
- You are only offering a certain number of spots in your product/program so that everyone can get tailored attention.
- Or, maybe you have a special bonus of a free 1-on-1 call but can only offer it to the first 10 people who join.
- You might be hosting an event live and therefore have a cutoff date.
- Or, maybe you’re offering a “beta” (test) version of your exclusive program. And due to it’s “beta” nature, you’re offering a discount. But, the next time it’s available it will be at its regular price instead of at the “founder’s edition discount” price.
You get the picture.
Hint: if you use ConvertKit* (one of my favorite email software providers) you can now add countdown timers into your emails and landing pages.
6. The Call for Response Email
The point of this email is to start a conversation that lets you learn more about your potential customers. Not all sales emails for courses/workshops/services need to have “Buy now!” as the primary call to action.
The idea for this email is that you send something your customer will feel compelled to reply to. Something they have strong feelings about. Or something they’re anxious to share their stories/questions for.
This doesn’t mean they won’t also buy your product. The deeper connection they feel with you and your content after this email will actually help with that.
Examples of Call for Response sales emails:
- A yoga teacher selling a course for newbies might invite people to share their worst, or best, yoga class experience. The instructor may do this by telling their own story in the email about their first time trying yoga.
- A novel writing coach who is selling a workshop on creating more engaging dialogue may invite people to come share their best dialogue (under 100 words) in a subreddit or Facebook Group hosted by the coach.
- A dating and relationships author who sells a short eBook on the art of apologizing and forgiveness (as well as a high-end coaching program on better communication) might invite people to DM her with the one thing they wish they could go back and tell their 10 years younger self.
You can get creative and fun with what you ask for, or it can be a more serious request. Again, not all sales emails for courses/other products need to ask for the sale right away. This email can link to the sales page, while also encouraging a response.
Once they respond, you have the potential to learn from them, and know what they truly need. You can also guide the conversation toward the best service/product you have to offer for their unique situation.
Hint: in your email, you can call for a 1-on-1 response or a type of response you can scale up.
Option 1: Invite each person to respond to you 1-on-1.
You can invite people to reply to your email, or DM you on your favorite platform if you prefer.
Option 2: Invite each reader to respond in a group space.
You can ask people to respond in a Facebook Group or subreddit you run. Or you can invite people to comment on an Instagram post, blog post, or YouTube video instead of replying via email. This way the convo is public and can involve other audience members.
This is one of our favorite options. We will sometimes open up replies or mini-coaching threads in our online communities or IG posts, so that people benefit from the stories, questions, and answers other people leave as well.
Either way you go, the people who actually respond will form a deeper connection with you and your brand.
7. The Expansion on One “Feature” Email
Whereas most sales pages and sales emails for courses/workshops provide a “zoomed out” view of a product (meaning: they give an overview and try to help potential customers see the big picture), this email type zooms in on a single part of your offer and shows the benefits, applications, and “why” of its design.
You’ll want to pick an element of your offer that your ideal customer will see the value in and be excited about, or will simply see the necessity of. Think about maybe highlighting just the:
- Online community that comes with your product. Who is there? What types of conversations happen? How can customers use it? What are some wins that other customers have reported from using it?
- Bonus group coaching calls and how action-oriented they are.
- Single, time-saving template that your product comes with.
We often create “highlight” sales emails like this that share the pop-up group coaching weekends that we add to our products at times. They always drive a surge of sales and are one of the most fun and transformational bonuses we provide 💃🏽.
In the screenshot below, you can see part of a sales emails we use for The 8-Day eBook Blitz. It goes into detail about the book launch parties (a single element) that are a part of our program.
8. The Lesson and Reminder Email
This email will often include a short “preamble”—where you remind people of the amazing offer you have going on at the moment. We’ve included a real-life example below.
This quick preamble note is typically followed by a valuable lesson and a related invitation to join you inside your program while it’s at the best price it will ever be at again.
I like to use preambles (at the beginning of my emails) and P.S. lines (at the end of my emails) to highlight my product or service . . . because . . . people who aren’t interested in the offer, can still easily see there is a lot of lesson/value, but people who are interested, are quickly reminded that the product is available at a special price.
Here’s an example email to our email list in which I used a quick preamble before the lesson:
Outside of the optional preamble or P.S. you can put in your sales email, this Lesson and Reminder email is all about a quick thought-provoking lesson and a call-to-action for your main offer.
Okay, so, those are the 8 essential sales emails for courses, workshops, coaching programs, etc. that you can use in a 1-off fashion, or as a part of a launch, or as a part of an evergreen sales email sequence.
Have you used any of these successfully before? What type of sales emails have you received that you loved? What have you received that you dislike or don’t agree with? Please let us know in a comment below 👇🏽.
Photo: Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels.com