Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Using Online Courses for Internet Marketing

Why Online Courses?

Online courses, or email courses are a very popular way for savvy Internet marketers to promote their products and services. Online courses or email courses essentially include short online presentations or emails which include insightful information on a particular niche subject and include a line or two advertising a related product. The better courses today are being offered as a series of videos.

These courses are usually offered in multiple, short segments to keep the students interested in the topic. This type of advertising can be quite powerful and many of the participants do not even realize they are being subjected to a marketing campaign. I have used them a number of times. This article will discuss creating and distributing an online or email course for the purposes of advertising your business.

Create Your Course

The creation of an online email course should begin with a solid idea for a series of educational articles which pertain to your business and will be of interest to your potential customers. Educational email courses, if sufficiently rich in content, can frequently be sold for profit themselves. If you are interested in using the course as a marketing tool you will most likely be offering the course free of charge in an effort to entice potential customers to purchase your other products or services. Sometimes the sole objective of the course is to get readers to surrender their email addresses for the entrepreneur’s email list.

Running Shoes

Determining the topic of your courses is very important because it can dictate the success of your marketing effort. Consider an online retailer of running shoes. This business owner may want to develop a series of email courses on subjects such as training for a marathon, preventing injuries, increasing speed and running for fun. Each of these courses may contain a few segments which offer different perspectives on the subject. These courses are ideal for this business because they are subjects which are likely to be of interest to the customers of the business.

Likewise a real estate agent may opt to offer email courses on subjects such as understanding mortgage options, finding a lender or house hunting. Again these are all subjects which are likely to be of interest to the real estate agent’s clients.

Distribution of Your Course

The distribution list for your online or email courses should mostly include members of your target audience. This can be achieved by offering the course as a download somewhere online where only interested Internet users will be likely to view the course. Another way to deliver the course is by emailing it to recipients who have specifically expressed an interest in receiving more information about your products and services by submitting their email address for this purpose.

Once you decide on a subject for your online or email course, you will need to prepare the course. You could just gather a bunch of Private Label articles and stuff them into an autoresponder, but this is not recommended.

Professional Writer

If you cannot write it yourself, seek out a qualified writer to create the content for your online or email course. Using one writer for the entire series will help to give your copy a more coherent and professional appearance. The writer can assist you by creating copy which is informative and useful to your readers but is also well written, clear, concise and easy to understand.

If your niche topic is highly specialized you might have to provide the writer with product information as well as research materials to ensure the content is informative and accurate. Additionally, you should review the content once it is completed to verify the accuracy and ensure it sounds like you. You can find writers on a number of “writers for hire” sites on the web.

Feedback

When distributing your email course or launching your online course, you would be wise to request feedback from the users at the conclusion of the course. This should be completely voluntary. You may wish to give a free gift to those that respond. The users that respond can provide you with useful feedback which will be extremely helpful. You can use it to improve your course, or in the launch of a similar marketing campaign in the future.

If you followed the Frank Kern “Mass Marketing” launch, you understand how valuable free content can be to your success.

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