May 30, 2023  

Growing an Email List is one of the key marketing foundations for any successful online business.

I recently came across a post in a Facebook group for course creators, where the person was expressing their frustrations with a failed launch of two new courses they’d just created. They had spent months creating these two courses and then used Facebook Ads to promote the courses.

And the results? Nada! Not a single sign-up for the courses or even for their free eBook.

You could sense their frustration as they finished the post with, “All the hype about making lots of money with online courses may just be that. Hype.

Now, there will always be those anomalies with people who seem to find success with very little trial and error. But for most of us, failure is part of running a business as we try out different methods, learn from those failures and try again until we get it right. (And remember that we often are only shown the wins and successes, not the times of trial and failure.)

This is my quick reminder to you to not give up too easily.

Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep working at it. Learn from those who have gone ahead of you to help you figure out: What is missing? What is not connecting with your audience? With your community of followers?

Back to our story … with the small amount of information provided in their post, do you know what might have contributed to a failed “launch” of their courses? (I put launch in quotations because I don’t think they did a true launch.)

They failed to grow and nurture an audience!

I found it interesting that out of the almost 300 comments to this post, the majority of responses and suggestions to the original poster were focused on growing an audience first. So many of the suggestions included the need to gain a better understanding of who their audience is, to invest time in growing and nurturing their audience before trying to sell anything, in addition to further market research on understanding what will actually grab the attention of their target audience.

This is a common mistake that many coaches and course creators tend to make. They are putting the cart before the horse when they forget this key foundation of online marketing. It is so important to invest time into growing and nurturing your audience into a community that trusts you as a credible resource and expert. And by doing this you are also able to refine your messaging so it truly connects with your audience.

How do we grow and nurture our target audience into a thriving online community?

Growing a community online that is filled with your target audience or ideal client often starts with social media marketing. Social media is a great tool for people to find you through searches, hashtags or stumbling across your content, whether it was shared by someone they know or they found your profile or page.

Yet, in order to truly build a community that is ready to connect deeper with you, to learn more from you and to work with you, you need to focus on more than just your social media content and followers.

You need to focus on building and growing your community through an email list.

In my last article, I explored some of the simple ways that we as business owners can grow an email list – if you missed it, you can read it here: 5 Simple Ways to Grow an Engaging Email List. Today, I wanted to take a step back and answer the question, “why do I as a coach or course creator need an email list?

I truly believe that if you have any type of online presence and are building community through any social media platform, you also need to invest in growing and building an email list. Let’s explore the top 3 reasons why course creators and coaches should prioritize growing an email list and how it can be a huge benefit to the success of your business.

The Top 3 Reasons why Course Creators and Coaches need an Email List:

1. You have full control and ownership of your email list.

The primary goal of any online marketing activities is to connect with people who are likely to become potential leads and to grow an online community filled with your ideal client. Using Social Media platforms where your ideal client spends their time is a great way to make those initial connections as they become aware of who you are and how you can help them. (This is the first stage in their journey with your brand and business. Check out this article to learn more about the 5 stages of a customer’s journey with you.)

So, yes Social Media platforms play a huge role in online marketing. But we should not solely rely on social media as our way of connecting with our ideal clients. Do you remember the Meta outage in October 2021? So many people were freaking out when both Facebook and Instagram went dark for at least 6 hours because they had no other way of reaching those connections they’d worked so hard at nurturing.

You don’t own any of the content, any of the posts, or any of the followers on your social media pages. It’s similar to renting a house or office space. That physical real estate is not actually yours and could be taken away at any moment. The same is true with Social Media pages and profiles. You don’t own that space. Instagram could decide at any time that they don’t like the content you are posting and with no warning or explanation block or delete your account. (This did happen to one of my clients but thankfully it was a glitch in their system and we were able to get back online with no lost content or followers.)

Rather than putting all of your eggs in one basket, I highly encourage you to grow an email list because you do own that information! You have full control of the names and email addresses on your email list. That list of contacts belongs to you. It does not belong to another business or company that controls the social media platforms you are active on. You are not going to lose connection with those on your email list if your preferred social media platforms make changes or disappear overnight.

2. You are NOT launching to an empty room.

It takes a lot of time and energy to create and develop an online course or group coaching program and the last thing any of us want is a failed launch. Yes, most people will have launches that fail or are not as successful as they hoped and there can be many variables as to why it wasn’t a successful launch.

But the worst thing you can do is launch a new course, program or service to an empty room – to no audience, no matter the size. This happens when you have put the cart before the horse like the course creator in the example I shared at the beginning who missed the key marketing foundation of building an audience and growing an email list. If you do not have an online community of people following you, you aren’t going to get people signing up for your new course, group program or service.

Yes, it does take time to build an engaged audience but it is so important to invest that time in growing an email list that is engaged and knows who you are. When you invest in email marketing by consistently sending out regular newsletters that include a personal note from you, resources that share valuable information and tips, and contact links for people to get in touch with you, you are nurturing those connections so your email subscribers can continue to learn from you and begin to trust you as a credible resource.

Email is also a great way to encourage that two-way communication as you encourage your readers to respond to your emails with questions or feedback on the articles and resources you are sharing with them. You can tailor the content to the specific interests and needs of the different groups of subscribers on your email list to ensure they are receiving information that is relevant to them, and you are continuing to create and encourage an engaged community as they receive valuable information from you.

You are turning that ‘casual’ follower into a warm lead, into someone who is more likely to be ready to purchase from you than even those who are casually following you on your social media page. An engaged and nurtured audience is so much easier to launch a new course, group program or service to, and you will see more success when you take the time to nurture and grow your email list in a strategic way so they are ready to say yes to your new offer.

3. You have a direct channel of communication to your warmed audience.

If you are having to rely on the algorithms to share your social media content online with followers, it will take you so much longer to build an engaged audience for your coaching business. Probably one of the biggest frustrations with social media is the constant changes to the algorithms – these algorithms control what content is visible to people and we can only do so much to affect that control.

Unlike these social media algorithms, your email list gives you a direct channel of communication to your subscribers. The emails that you send out land directly into someone’s inbox. You aren’t relying on a faltering hope that someone will see your Instagram post or even remember to look on your website for the most recent blog article.

On average, most people check their email 15 times a day! That seems like a staggering amount but it does show us that email continues to be the best way to connect with potential leads and clients. And as you send regular email newsletters, your emails will drop into their inbox. They may not always read your email but they will see at least your name and the subject line. This helps you to stay top-of-mind for when they are ready to work with you.

It is also so much easier to send out a special announcement of a new course, group program or service to your email list and create that buzz of excitement because you have invested the time into growing an email list that is nurtured and engaged. An email list that will see your special announcement and is ready to say, “Yes, I want to work with you!

So, these are 3 of the top reasons why every course creator and coach with an online presence needs to grow an email list.

To recap, the 3 reasons are:

  1. You have full control and ownership of your email list.
  2. You are NOT launching to an empty room.
  3. You have a direct channel of communication to your warmed audience.

Before you get ready to launch a new course, group program or service, I hope you take into consideration growing and nurturing your email list. And yes, you can do both at the same time. Many people do find success in growing an audience along side promoting a course or group program that they are working on. If you don’t have an email list, or haven’t invested a lot of time in growing it, I encourage you to follow these action steps today.

Your Action Steps to Growing an Email List:

  1. Encourage social media followers to connect with you outside of the social media platform by getting them on your email list. This is easily done by giving them a free gift in the form of a download that they can quickly and easily sign-up for.
  2. Establish a consistent, regular newsletter schedule that you can stick to and enables you to nurture connection with the subscribers on your email list. Within your newsletter, include a personal note from you, your recent blog article or podcast episode, any additional resources that your readers will find helpful, and contact links for people to get in touch with you when they are ready to move forward.
  3. Treat your email list as one of your most valuable assets. What special announcements or offers can you solely give to those who are on your email list? What added-value or benefit can you offer people for joining and staying on your email list?


Are you ready to get consistent with your email marketing?

Book a quick teatime chat with Natashia to learn how we can support you with your newsletter schedule so you can be more consistent in growing a nurtured email list whilst we help you save time, remove the overwhelm of having to do it all, and gift you confidence that your message is getting out there.


Free guide: 5 simple steps to grow your business online

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About the author 

Natashia Tiel

Empowering Coaches & Course Creators with All-in-One Digital Marketing & Kajabi support to propel their business to new heights. Our mission is help you stand out online, build authentic connections and create a lasting impact in this world – without the marketing or tech overwhelm.

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