How to Use an Automated Email Video Course to Gain and Nurture Leads
Are you generating tons of leads but having trouble nurturing them into sales?
One tactic to solve this problem is an automated email video mini-course. It’s a mouthful but i promise you, it works!
A mini-course uses short, educational videos to engage your leads and introduce them to the benefits and features of your products. Sent out over a period of several days or weeks, these videos blend valuable content with a short sales pitch. This allows you to nurture leads until they’re ready to become paying customers.
Ready to learn how to build a mini-course of your own? Let’s get started!
What is an Automated Email Video Course?
A mini-course is a series of educational videos. They’re emailed to leads one at a time, staggered over a period of days or weeks. This nurtures your leads over time, and keeps them waiting in anticipation for your next email.
How does it work?
First, a visitor will sign up to receive emails from you by providing their email and personal information on a lead-generation form. You can encourage them to sign up by giving them a free ebook or other piece of content. In your initial post-signup email, include a teaser telling leads about the free upcoming mini-course.
Once leads have opted in, they will receive part 1 of the course in their email inbox a few days later. Every few days, they will receive the next part of the course until it’s complete.
By offering information in multiple steps, leads are engaged and left waiting in anticipation for the next part of the course. I recommend doing 4-6 course sections minimum, so that leads are given enough valuable information. Send lessons out to leads every 3 days, but skip the weekends.
A Great Example of a Mini-Course from Lowe’s
Content for your mini-course may be displayed in multiple ways such as an article or video series. I find that short, succinct videos like the Lowe’s example below work the best.
This instructional video keeps leads engaged by visually showing them step-by-step how to design a deck. By showing part 1, viewers are driven to watch the rest of the video series to learn the entire process. It also encourages them to purchase from Lowe’s, putting the brand top-of-mind as a leader in home improvement and renovations.
What is the Goal of a Mini-Course?
You want your videos to get viewers interested in buying your products or services. The main goal of your mini-course is to convert leads into paying customers. Structure your videos in a way that will entice viewers to want to try your methods while using your products and services.
The best way to do this is by splitting your videos into two sections. Focus the first half of each video purely on instruction. By clearly showing how to complete a task or use a new strategy, you’ve drawn viewers in and shown them your expertise.
The second half of the video should serve as a sales pitch for products used in the video. Showing your expertise and explaining how it was your products or services that made it successful, makes viewers inclined to want to purchase from you.
Ideas for Your Mini-Course Videos
A mini-course can be used for any type of business to provide educational information that your customers would find beneficial. There are endless possibilities for an educational multi-part course. No topic is off limits as long as it’s useful to your leads.
Some examples of mini-courses include:
A 4-part series on building a vegetable garden from an online gardening blog
A 6-part series on dog training tips from a pet supplies store
A 4-part series on how to create a vegan meal from an organic health foods store
Each section of the course may be independent of one another, or they may continuously build on one topic. Let’s use the vegan meal example. I could have a mini-course consisting of 4 videos teaching viewers how to make a vegan appetizer, main dish, side dish, and dessert.
If you want to make the whole meal, these videos sequentially build off one another until you reach the dessert. But, they can also be watched independently or out of order as they concentrate on separate ideas. This is different from the Lowe’s example above, as you generally wouldn’t learn to build a deck by starting at part 5 of 6. In the Lowe’s example the videos piggyback off each other and need to be watched sequentially.
Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Mini-Course
Now let’s create an example mini-course step-by-step.
I’ll show you how to build your lead-generation and post-signup pages to capture leads and tease them about the mini-course. I’ll also tell you the best practices for your video lesson pages to nurture leads and maximize sales.
I’m going to use yoga guru Tara Stiles and her business Strala Yoga as my example. I’ll show you step-by-step how Strala Yoga could utilize a mini-course titled “The Strala Yoga Summer Shape-Up Challenge,” to showcase poses from their various classes. By showing the diverse classes they offer for different parts of the body, Strala can spread brand awareness and gain new class sign-ups.
Step 1: Build Your Lead-Generation Page
When it comes to creating your email mini-course, the first task at hand is to generate a list of emails to send it to! A lead-generation page is the easiest and best way to do this. It allows you to offer something valuable in exchange for an email address. In the case of Strala Yoga, they may offer leads a summer training guide of fun, easy poses they can try at home.
I created the lead-generation page below using Wishpond’s one-column squeeze page template. I briefly explained the free content and included a picture of Tara because she’s a recognizable face in the yoga community.
Step 2: Build Your Post-Signup Page
Now that your lead-generation page is complete, you’re ready to thank those leads who give you their emails. This is a great opportunity to give leads more information on your business and ask them to share you on social media.
I have created the post-signup page below:
There are a couple of key elements you need to include on your post-signup page in addition to just stating your appreciation.
You want to make sure that you tell leads that their free content has been sent or is on its way. This way there is no confusion as they understand they’ve completed the action.
Your post-signup page is a great opportunity to offer share-with-a-friend buttons. Social sharing allows you to generate referral downloads of your content. With the click of a button Strala’s content can be exposed to the lead’s personal social network, spreading awareness and gaining Strala new leads.
Share buttons also serve as social proof by showing how many people have engaged with your page. This is validating to the viewer and gives Strala more credibility.
Lastly we want to ensure that we tease leads about the mini-course that’s arriving in their inbox shortly. Up until this point they have no idea that they’ll be receiving this content. A brief statement telling them to stay tuned creates curiosity as to what this challenge could be. When they receive the first lesson a few days later they’ll be much more inclined to open the email and watch since they’re expecting something.
Step 3: Create Your Post-Signup Email
In addition to a post-signup page, you’ll need to create a post-signup email to send to all of the leads you collect. You want it to also include a teaser for the mini-course. By including a teaser on your page and in your email it’s more likely to pique leads’ curiosity. An example of a post-signup email Strala Yoga could send can be seen below:
Step 4: Create Your Video Mini-Course Pages
Now that you’ve created your lead-generation and post-signup pages, you’re ready to start the fun stuff, actually designing your mini-course video pages!
Here are a few things to remember when creating your videos:
Aim to keep them engaging yet brief at around 4 - 8 minutes long
Introduce yourself and state your position to display your expertise
Spend the first half strictly on educating leads - Provide useful information that’s valuable and educational
Spend the second half pitching your products and services - Inform viewers about how your products and services solve their needs
Use different content in each video, but follow the same timing format
Lets look at this with our Strala example mini-course. In lesson 1, Tara Stiles would quickly introduce herself as the founder and owner of Strala Yoga. She would then spend around 2 minutes explaining and demonstrating poses that strengthen the core. The remainder of the 4:18 video would be Tara pitching Strala’s class “STRONG,” which focuses on ab and core strength training.
Your video page itself also needs to entice leads with a number of different elements.
Here are 4 things to include on your video page:
A strong headline to entice viewers and tell them your mini-course topic
The embedded video file for that specific lesson
A statement telling viewers what section of the course they’re on (Ex: Part 1 of 6)
A specific, actionable CTA related to the video and what you’re selling
I recommend using a click-through landing page so that leads can convert from your page. With a click-through you can link the call-to-action (CTA) button to your sales page, but don’t need to capture any information from leads.
Stating what section of the course your lead is currently on is important as it tells them their progress and how many more lessons to expect. By saying “Lesson 1 of 6: Flatten My Belly” viewers know that they’ll be receiving 5 more email video lessons. As humans we’re driven to complete activities or processes that we start. If I see that I’m on part 4 of 6 of the Summer Shape-Up Challenge, I’m motivated to continue on to completely finish what I’ve started.
You want your CTA button text to be in line with the theme of that lesson. This ensures that your page has a consistent message from top to bottom. For Lesson 1, I chose to change the button text to “SIGN UP FOR STRONG YOGA NOW!” to correspond to the class Strala’s promoting. When leads click on this button they’ll be redirected to the “Strong” registration page of the Strala Yoga website. The short sales pitch combined with the CTA button provides leads with a higher inclination to click-through and register.
My first video lesson page for Strala Yoga can be seen below:
Once your first mini-course landing page template is complete, the hard part is over. Simply replicate the template for the remaining sections of your course while altering the text and embedding the new video files.
Strala’s fourth lesson may focus on poses for toning the entire body. The page text and CTA button text would be focused on this topic and the corresponding Strala class “ENERGIZE”. Make these minor changes, but keep the general theme of the lesson identical to the first. All of Strala’s lessons 1 through 6 will have the same look, just with different educational information.
This is an example of what Strala Yoga’s fourth video lesson page may look like:
Step 5: Setup Your Email Automation Campaign
Once all of your lesson pages have been designed, it’s time to set up your email automation campaign. Each of your course sections will be dripped out over time using the email automation tool in Wishpond, AWeber, Mailchimp, or the email service provider you use. Strala’s mini-course would involve 6 emails, each containing the corresponding video lesson page.
I recommend setting your automation campaign to send out course sections every 3 days after the first email has been sent. This allows the previous content to still be fresh in leads’ minds, but doesn’t bombard them with too much information at once.
The trigger for your automated campaign should be when email addresses are entered on your lead-generation page. This way, as soon as a lead is gained, the automation campaign tool will automatically send them the first lesson of the course.
I recommend setting your campaign so that emails aren’t sent on Saturdays or Sundays. By not selecting weekend days (as seen in Mailchimp below), the tool will redirect lessons for these days to Mondays. This will make it much more likely that the email will be opened and the lesson watched intently.
How often you send out your emails will obviously depend on the type of course and how many sections there are. With the automation campaign tool, you don’t have to worry about sending out each individual email. Anyone who triggers the campaign by entering their email address will automatically receive every section of the course.
Those who say that email marketing is dead clearly have not tried this technique. As long as emails are targeted and provide valuable content to leads, they will love your email video mini-course.
An automated email video mini-course allows you to show expertise in your niche area in a fun, free, and beneficial way to your leads. Sending exclusive content directly to leads’ inboxes allows you to continue building a relationship with them until they’re ready to purchase.
I hope that this step-by-step guide will help you to gain and nurture leads in the future. By providing them with interesting content and ideas on how to use your products, you’ll be able to gain their confidence and turn more leads into sales.
Any questions or comments? Feel free to share your thoughts below!
Written By Claire Grayston