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Automate Course Sales With a Post Launch Funnel: How to Create Autoresponder Emails (Part 2/3)

What Are Autoresponder Emails?

Email is an incredibly powerful communication tool, but it can also be time-consuming, especially when you’re managing a large mailing list.

Services like MailChimp and AWeber make it possible to automatically send emails based on times or triggers that you define. This kind of tool is perfect for your Crash Course.

Email is the second key component of your Crash Course. The other two are:

  1. The videos themselves
  2. The landing page

(If you haven’t already learned how to make Crash Course videos for your post-launch promotion, check out this article to start this series of articles from the beginning.

What’s Covered in This Article

Autoresponder email overview

Best practices for autoresponder emails

How to create emails in MailChimp

How Autoresponder Emails Help Scale Your Crash Course

Instead of personally responding to everyone that subscribes to your Crash Course videos, each person will receive a set of pre-written emails over a certain period of time, containing the links to the videos.

You do the work upfront, to design what each email says and when to send it.

Then, the system runs itself, and you acquire new students for your Udemy course with no additional work needed.

Over time, you may tweak your messaging or the structure of your autoresponder sequence to make it more effective.

What Are The Advantages Of Using An Email Autoresponder?

1. Email is the highest converting channel when it comes to sales

According to a study by McKinsey & Company, email is still 40x more effective at converting sales than social media.

2. Organizes your Crash Course video content into digestible chunks

People are much less likely to watch all 3 videos if they get them all at once. The autoresponder lets you pace the course, give people time to do assignments, etc.

3. Hands-off and easy for you

All you do is write the messages (to be used for all recipients), set the timing, and your Crash Course runs itself. This article shows you how to set it all up.

Steps to Create Your Autoresponder Email Sequence

Step 1: Make a Plan

Autoresponder Sequence Sample TimelineTake a birds-eye view of all your Crash Course videos and your goals for the content.

Decide how many emails you’ll send and what needs to be included in each one.

Emails shouldn’t be very long, but 1-3 short paragraphs is a reasonable length.

Map out the sequence

  1. How Many Emails: Altogether, you should have about 4-6 emails in your autoresponder sequence.
    • 1 email for each video you send out
    • 1-3 follow-up emails promoting your Udemy course with a limited-time discount code
  1. For How Along: A 2-week cycle

Step 2: Design & write each individual email

Email Copy

The copy/text in your email, including your subject lines, should follow the best practices below.

*     Be straightforward and informative    *    Keep it short and simple    *    Avoid spammy formatting and spelling     *

Udemy Tip: For examples and inspiration, check out the email copy from Crash Course instructors, Felicia and Jaime.

Voice & Tone

1. Stay true to your authentic voice in your Crash Course emails.

There’s no one way to do it, but include at least a brief message to introduce yourself and show that the email is related to your course.

If you tend to be a bit silly, let that come through. If you prefer a no-frills approach, just give a quick intro and cut to the chase.

Email Structure For all emails:

1. Always use se a clickable thumbnail image of the video to link to the landing page. (Example below.)


2. Use a consistent layout and subject line. This reinforces that each email is part of a series.

For example, Felicia Ricci, of the Belt Singing Crash Course, uses all lowercase letters in her subject lines. This style fits with her voice, and serves to both differentiate her subject lines from everyone else’s, and reinforce the recipient’s recognition of her content.

Email Structure For upsell emails

1. Include a discount and a headline. Be sure to include the name of your full course, a short description and call out the limited-time discount for people who’ve taken the Crash Course.

2. Highlight some benefits of Udemy.

  • 30-day refund policy for the full course, so people can buy risk-free
  • Buying once gives lifetime access to the videos, never expires


Step 3: Set up your autoresponder emails on MailChimp

You need to use an email management service like MailChimp or AWeber to set up an autoresponder sequence.

Several services have this feature, so you can do your own research to choose the one for you, but we’ll walk through the process for MailChimp here.

How to create a separate mailing list for your Crash Course

mailchimpYou may already have a mailing list for your business, but what you need is a separate list specifically for people who join your Crash Course.

When someone subscribes to it on your landing page (more info on that here), they’ll be added to this list in order to get the videos.

1. Sign into MailChimp, then go to the Lists tab and select “Create List.”

2. Enter the information you want to use for your Crash Course in the form that follows.

3. Create a workflow

A “workflow” is just the name for how your email sequence functions. You’ll define the parameters for the system to follow.

There are three major rules to define for your workflow.


  • When signed into MailChimp, go to the Automation tab and select “Create Automation Workflow.”
  • Choose your Crash Course mailing list when asked “Which list do you want to use?”
  • Choose a workflow type. You can do this multiple ways. For the sample email flow described above, you would use an action-triggered workflow. The trigger, in this case, is the act of subscribing to your mailing list. All your email send times will be based on the number of days that have passed since that action was taken. For example, Email #1 could be sent immediately after the subscription trigger, which is 0 days, and Email #2 sent on day 3, etc.
  • Set your “Workflow name,” “From name,” and “From email address”
    • Workflow name is just internal, it won’t be seen by your audience
    • Your “From name” is the first and last name that appears in the recipient’s inbox, referring to the person that sent it. In the example below, the “From name” is Felicia Ricci.


    • Your “From address” is the email address counterpart to the “From name.” It will appear when the recipient opens the email and is where people will contact you by email. Likely this would be your business, rather than personal, email account.

For this workflow, you don’t need to worry about complicated segmentation and additional triggers. From here, you’ll just plug in the content of your emails. Designate the number of days after a subscription is made that each email should send.

Once your autoresponder is in action, you can track your open rate, clickthrough rate, and any other statistics to find ways to improve its performance.

Takeaways: 3 Steps to Creating an Autoresponder Email Sequence

  1. Plan the structure of your email sequence: Your whole email flow should include 4-6 emails sent over the course of 2 weeks, one for each video and 1-3 follow-up emails to lightly promote your paid Udemy course and offer a discounted rate for students of your Crash Course.
  2. Write email copy and subject lines that clarify and excite: Every email should include your name, the name of your course, a link to your video, and any other relevant details—all formatted in a consistent style. Email subject lines should be clear enough for anyone to recognize that the email is related to the Crash Course.
  3. Use a program like MailChimp to set up the autoresponder email sequence: Create a mailing list specifically for people who subscribe to your Crash Course videos. Using MailChimp or a similar program, create an automation workflow that uses the person’s subscription as a trigger for when to send the emails.

Up Next

Now that you have created your Crash Course videos and set up your email autoresponder, all that’s left is to create a landing page, which will host the videos and contain some text summaries of them to give people a quick overview.