Leverage the power of email marketing to turn your online course into a supercharged marketing machine!
Today we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve added support for yet another native integration within WP Courseware…
The WordPress ecosystem is vast, with tens of thousands of plugins and themes available to help you tailor your site to match the unique demands of your business. When we launched WP Courseware in 2012, our mission was to build the most intuitive, feature-rich course creation plugin available while at the same time not overly complicating things for the user or causing performance issues with thousands of extra lines of bloated code.
Every WP Courseware user needs functionality to build courses, but not every user needs advanced membership management, affiliate tracking, and any number of features that we could have chosen to build into the core plugin. That would have meant a massive and constantly growing code base with lots of individual features that may be used by 10% of all WP Courseware users.
Instead, we chose to create integration add-ons for WP Courseware and we’ve been developing these free add-on plugins almost as long as we’ve been offering WP Courseware itself.
The premise is pretty simple. These free “mini-plugins” are installed and activated just like any other WordPress plugin and after you do that, a new set of feature options becomes available in WP Courseware. All you need to do is set a few configuration options to link WP Courseware with whatever other service or plugin you need to work with WP Courseware.
So what does the Mailchimp integration for WP Courseware allow you to do?
Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing services in the world and it’s one of our favorites. In addition to the standard suite of email list building tools such as subscriber form creation, email list management, and subscriber segmenting, they also offering some really cool additional tools to help you level up your marketing efforts. One of our favorites is their drag-and-drop landing page builder…
With the WP Courseware + Mailchimp integration, you can automatically send anyone who enrolls in your WP Courseware course to an Audience in Mailchimp, along with their personal details such as name and address. An Audience is what most email marketing services call a List...essentially just groups of subscribers.
You can also automatically tag the new WP Courseware course enrollee before sending them to Mailchimp. This can be really helpful for segmenting your email marketing efforts.
Let’s look at how to set up the Mailchimp integration for WP Courseware…
A few prerequisites before we get started…
- First, you’ll need to have WP Courseware installed and activated
- You’ll need to download, install, and activate the free WP Courseware + Mailchimp integration plugin
- You’ll need to sign up for a free account with Mailchimp
- Finally, and optionally, you’ll need to have created at least one course with WP Courseware
Next, you’ll want to log into your Mailchimp account. The first thing you’ll want to do is retrieve an API key by navigating to your profile avatar in the lower left corner of the screen and then to Profile.
Once you're in your Profile screen, head to the Extras drop-down menu and select API keys. From this screen, you can either copy and paste an existing API key or create a new one.
Back in your WordPress admin dashboard, navigate to the main WP Courseware Settings screen and then to the Add-Ons tab. You will now have a sub-tab for Mailchimp. In this screen, you'll need to...
- Check the box to ensure that the integration is enabled
- Paste in your API key from Mailchimp
- Select the Audience you'd like to send your WP Courseware students to
- Select any tags you'd like to associate with your WP Courseware students
- Finally, be sure to Save Settings
And that's it! Now all of your new WP Courseware student enrollments will be sent to Mailchimp!
Need some tips for using email marketing for online courses?
Well, the sky’s the limit, really. However, here are just a few of the ways you can leverage the ability to send your WP Courseware students to an email marketing service such as Mailchimp…
Offer free courses as lead magnets
Free online courses check all the boxes to qualify them as insanely great lead magnets to coax your website’s visitors into becoming email subscribers. They’re not all that difficult to create, they offer a high level of perceived value, and they immediately go to work building trust between you and your audience.
Upsell premium courses
We see this strategy used all the time. A course creator first offers a low-priced, entry-level course at a price point that most of their website visitors can digest. They then offer a more comprehensive course covering more advanced skills in their chosen niche and they price this course much higher than the entry-level course. After all, who’s likely going to be the highest converting prospect for your high-end, expensive course? That’s right…someone who has already paid you for your knowledge!
Cross-sell new related courses
Depending on your niche, this can be a great strategy for maximizing lifetime customer value as well. You may not have an advanced course in the same niche teaching the same skills in a more comprehensive way, but you might eventually create a course around a closely related skills set. A great example of this is WP Courseware user Joseph Michael and his Learn Scrivener Fast course. That course is designed to teach writers how to use a specific piece of software for their research, note taking, and writing. However, he subsequently created a separate course on self-publishing for authors and there’s a good chance many of his Scrivener students would be interested in his publishing course, and vice versa.
Market consulting or coaching services
Not every niche offers the opportunity to charge clients directly for individualized advice, however, in some this is a great marketing strategy. We see this often in self-help or personal development-types of niches…a therapist or life coach might offer a free online course to help someone get started improving some aspect of their life on their own, but then market one-on-one sessions to people who signed up for the free course.
Promote affiliate offerings in your niche
This is less common and it’s one to use cautiously, but there’s no reason you can't email a list of people who enrolled in your online course and recommend products or services that you think they’ll find useful. That could be in the form of tangible goods, recommended subscription services, or even other online courses which don’t compete with your own.
Do you have other email marketing tips for online courses that you're implementing in your business? We'd love to hear about them in the comments below!