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How to Launch Your Course

3D Start Today CrosswordThis post is part of the New Instructor Series—intended to help newly published instructors get their first crop of students. What good is creating a course if you’re not able to share it with others? 

If you’ve been following along in this New Instructor Series, so far you have:

  1. created an instructor coupon code
  2. invited close friends and family to join for free
  3. optimized your Udemy course page for conversions

If you’re still reading, I’m guessing you’ve completed #1-3 and are ready to carry out the Best Launch Campaign of Your Life. At the core of this Promo Tip is an email campaign which will be amplified through your online and offline networks.

Time and time again, I hear instructors say they tried promoting their course to “their list,” (whether it’s a private email list of friends or people subscribed to their blog)—yet only a few people enroll in their course. They wonder: Why didn’t my email promotion work?

A rule of thumb in marketing or advertising is that the majority of people need to hear your message several times (some sources claim “7” is the magic number) before they pull the trigger to purchase.

This post is intended to show you how to properly launch your Udemy course. It’s not enough to just send one email. You must turn it into a series of emails to yield the best results. Here’s how:

  1. Create an occasion for the promotion. “I’m launching my new course” “It’s my birthday week” “It’s National Instructors Day” “We had amazing weather this weekend, so I’m feeling generous”
  2. Decide a promotion deadline. “The promotion ends on 10/19 in ten days.”
  3. Create a coupon code with LAUNCH in the title so you can track it in your Payment Report.
  4. Enlist your family, friends, subscribers, followers as active supporters. “My goal is to get 100 students taking my class in the next 10 days. Can you help me reach my goal? Take the class and/or share it with three people who would benefit from this topic.”
  5. Reward your peeps for taking immediate action. “If you sign up for my course in the next ten days during my “It’s my birthday week” promotion, you will get access to a private Q&A session with me [or you will receive a copy of my friend’s best-selling ebook or etc.].”
  6. Don’t just send one announcement email; send three. There’s beauty in the breakdown buildup! What do I mean? See the sample email series at the end of this post.

Part II: Amplify your launch through your online and offline networks.

1.  Write a blog post announcing the launch and/or seasonal promotion of your course. Here’s a sample blog post from Ben Parr  and Erica Swallow.

2.  Share your blog post across all social media profiles. Hopefully by now, you will have around 100 of your friends and family enrolled in your course to help convince others to join when they land on your sales page.

3.  Post a discount link to your course on all social media profile bios. This includes Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Meetup, Skillshare, and any bios you have as a contributor to blogs/publishers such as Mashable, Forbes, Think Traffic, etc. Danielle Leslie, Proud Creator of Advanced Knitting for Comedians. Enroll here: http://udemy.com/yourcouponcodelink… Join me in my new Advanced Knitting for Comedians course! http://udemy.com/yourcouponcodelink

4.  Create a Facebook event for your course promo and invite all of your contacts.

5.  Create a LinkedIn event for your course promo and invite all of your contacts.

6.  Create an Eventbrite event page for your course launch or promo. This will be good for SEO and organic discovery.

7.  If you belong to any groups or organizations online or offline, post about your course there, too. Just think about where the people who know you and/or are interested in taking your course hang out.

Email #1 (send today, Day 1):

Hey fam,

It’s [insert “special occasion” e.g my mom’s birthday week], and I’d like you to join me in celebrating. In her honor, I’m offering my [insert course name, e.g Advanced Knitting for Comedians] course for [Discount offer, e.g 10%] off until Friday, 10/19.

My mom is really proud of me for creating this course, and I really want to impress her by getting [insert course enrollment goal, e.g 100 new students] enrolled in my course in the next 10 days. Can you [enlist their active support] help me make this happen? Here are three ways to help me reach my goal:

  1. Enroll in my Advanced Knitting for Comedians course yourself (duh!), and receive 10% off! Enroll here [insert instructor Coupon Link].
  2. If the course isn’t your cup of tea, then who do you know that’s a comedian? Email, tweet, or post a link to my course on their Facebook wall: “This course looks like it’s up your alley [link]. The instructor is offering it for 10% until 10/19. You should take it!”
  3. If you don’t know any comedians, then just share the love. Share my course on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. “Know any comedians? Advanced Knitting for Comedians is a fun course, and the instructor is offering it for 10% until 10/19. Go here [link] to take it!”

Thanks for helping me make my mom’s birthday celebration larger than life. I’m excited to get 100 students taking my class in the next ten days, and I want to thank you for being an active supporter!

EMAIL #2 (send on Day 5)

Hey fam!

I was so pleased to see a rush of people sign up for my course, and I’m humbled by the reviews so far.

“Advanced Knitting for Comedians is the best course I’ve ever taken. I already knitted a sweater and scarf—crazy! If you take this course, you will not regret it!” – Andy L.

“Blown away by this course! Danielle’s course videos are hilarious and easy to follow. I highly recommend it.” – Dana Y.

Remember, I’m doing a special 10% off promotion in honor of my mom’s birthday, so if you want to take the course, join now [link to landing page]! If not, I appreciate any emails, tweets, Facebook posts. Here’s a message you can copy and paste and share:

“Know any comedians? Advanced Knitting for Comedians is a fun course, and the instructor is offering it for 10% until 10/19. Go here [link] to take it!”

As always, thank you for actively supporting my mom’s birthday promo!

P.S. If you enroll in my course by Friday, 10/19, you will also receive a copy of my best-selling ebook Creative Knitting for Comedians. 

EMAIL #3 (send on Day 9)

Hey fam!

It’s crunch time—I have one more day remaining in my mom’s birthday week promotion! It’s been such a fun time, and I’m overwhelmed by the support I received. I want to send a HUGE THANK YOU if you signed up for the course and/or helped spread the word.

My mom is equally humbled by so many people helping celebrate her birthday. In her words: “Dani, please thank your community for rallying together to make this one of my best birthdays ever. It makes me so proud to see you helping so many comedians perfect their knitting techniques. xoxo”

You can still help me with my mission to get 100 students in my course in 10 days. The deadline to sign up is tomorrow, 10/19 at 11:59pm PST. Sign up now [link].

Please spread the word by personally recommending my Advanced Knitting for Comedians course to any friends and/or copy and paste this message: “Calling all comedians: Advanced Knitting for Comedians is 10% off if you sign up by tomorrow 10/19. It’s comes highly recommended! Go here [link] to sign up.”

Again, thank you for your active support and for helping me make my mom proud.


And that is one way to run a sound email promotion for your Udemy course. Good luck!


Previous Posts in this series: