RIP Email Courses
Yeah, I'm going there with this "successful" money making technique.
As you’re learning, I’m the queen of asking questions. Figuring things out. Not making definitive conclusions about my career until I have personal experience backed data to back up my decisions.
Before I make those conclusions, I ask questions. I can't help myself.
If you aren't asking questions, you aren't paying attention.
Today is another one of those question asking moments, this time with my focus squarely targeted on email courses.
Here is the question rattling through my brain after an hour of reading success articles on Medium, the tunes getting louder as I delved deeper into the email course hype abyss.
You know the one?
Start an email course.
A free one, where you set and forget an email structure that converts into sales.
Whatever you want to sell, this course structure does it.
Wait for the cash to roll in.
As I keep reading the same advice I was reading from 2014, the email course is the cockroach of the content world. It simply won’t die.
But is time it did?
What is an email course?
I don’t want to talk down to anyone, or pretend you don’t know anything about business. But not every person trying to find their way through their career needs to look into email courses or uses them to make money.
Here is a quick run down of what email courses are and how they work.
Email courses are as they sound. An expert offers an educational course delivered to your email inbox, usually over days or weeks.
Often email courses come with free delivery, in that you don't need to pay for this five day email blast. Yet, there is always a paid product offered at the end of the course.
By the time you get to the end of the course, what you actually need is behind this paywall. You need to pay to get all the seriously good, incredible information.
It’s a learning system for most, and a money making strategy for the creator.
The Emma Chamberlain effect
I digress for second by mentioning Emma, but bear with me.
If you don’t know who Emma Chamberlain is, you’re missing out on the queen of content marketing. She understands how to engage her audience without doing anything. Well, from the naked eye that’s what it looks like.
She is the epitome of effortless looking content, which takes a butt load of effort. In an interview with New York Times, they acknowledge this;
“Chamberlain edits each video she makes for between 20 and 30 hours, often at stretches of 10 or 15 hours at a time.”
When you watch the videos, it looks like it’s thrown together, sometimes edited by a kid in junior school. But that’s the charm and what she’s going for. It takes effort to make it look effortless.
Or even bad.
So what’s her video creation got to do with email courses?
Emma has taught me one thing about business; move with the times. And don’t just move with, create the times. Create the standards. Challenge what everyone else is doing and do it the way it speaks to you.
You don’t have to do what everyone is doing. You don’t need “the formula”.
If you love it, if you engage with it, if the content and delivery speaks to you, it should speak to people like you.
Email courses, to me, fall into this success formula idea. It’s a method thousands and thousands of creators have used to make money. Or attempted to, at least.
I couldn’t tell you how many email courses I’ve signed up for over the years and not gelled with the delivery or the content. I also couldn’t tell you how many courses I’ve started and couldn’t make work for my audience.
I don’t see the point in going down the path that every online creator goes down. The path is full.
And the content consumers aren’t begging for more.
But what about everything else?
I know I’m a walking contradiction. I use social media. I’m tweeting and pinning. And soon I will be Tiktoking all over the internet. So I don’t entirely subscribe to the idea you have to do something completely different when marketing or selling your content.
I’m viewing this more like what’s hot and what’s not in the content world. Email courses aren't making the hot list in this magazine of my life.
I’ve touched on why, but I want to be more definitive on why email courses are dead to me. Here’s why I’ve come to this conclusion:
Past experience - As I just mentioned, I haven’t had any success in selling my content through email courses or sequences like it. I don’t know why, as I’ve never had it professionally evaluated by the email course experts. All I know is that to figure out what I did wrong, I would have to pay big bucks. And do someone else’s email course. No thanks.
Boring AF - an email to your inbox for a week straight doesn't sound appealing. Strange to say considering The Frolics is email driven. Yet Substack is a level up from email courses and your classic email blast. It's more of a hybrid of blogging and emailing, which is something that allows for a creative explosion. Boring it ain't.
Relies on people doing 100% right too much - When you send your email, you rely on your audience doing a lot. You rely on them hanging off every email, every single day. Most people who do courses like this want instant gratification. Waiting a whole week might be a week too long for some. And by the end, you hope all your giveaway content was worth it, and that a pay day is coming.
Short attention spans - I don't know how many times even whilst editing this stack for you guys I've found myself skipping tunes. Or checking Instagram. Or looking out the window to my poor husband mowing the lawn. If can become distracted whilst doing something I love, your email course recipients are likely to do the same.
Are email courses dead? Over to you guys. Give me your thoughts!
Today’s thoughts came when I was listening:
And yes, this is theme song for Vince McMahon, the CEO of WWE. Don’t be too hasty to judge. If you want a power heel, someone badass to make you question your career status-quo, he’s the guy. His music does it for me. No chance in hell!
This journey isn’t the same without you. And I sure know you can’t find success without support, somewhere to vent, and people just like you. Join me here on The Frolics as we grow our careers together!
Ok, so this isn't enough for you?! Damn, I love your style! You can reach me and get more right here 👇