How to Craft a "Study Plan" Email Sequence for Your Digital Courses

Your course is self-study, and it teaches people how to become more intuitive through journalling. It’s composed of videos, PDF worksheets, and audio meditations. Around 10 people buy the self-study course per month, and while you know it’s a valuable resource, typically only 1 or 2 of those people email you about it or fill out your feedback survey.

What’s happening? Are people not liking the course? Or are they just not finishing it? And if they’re not finishing it, why is that? Is it because your course is horrible and they don’t like you as a person? Nooooo, stop there.

I want you to think about the last self-study course you bought (or the last five) and what happened after the purchase process. 

Did you take initiative to make a “study plan” for yourself?

Or did watch the first video and do an exercise right away, decide that was enough for today and you’d come back later? Except later was never specified, and so you fell off the wagon and have a pile of digital courses that are only a quarter completed.

This doesn’t mean that you didn’t like the course or that you're a bad student in any way. You may have let other business tasks take priority, were going through too many courses at once, or had an emergency at home. 

A variety of factors could have contributed, and while there isn’t a magic spell that will help you or any of the people who buy your courses finish them 100% of the time, there are smart safeguards you can put into place to encourage your customer. After all, they bought it to alleviate their suffering or enrich their lives in some way and so you, as the creator of that experience, want to give them the best chance possible to achieve those results.

One way you can do this is by creating a Study Plan email sequence that’s triggered as soon as they purchase. Each email is a bite-sized piece of what they can do that day or that week to continue moving through the course. 

It helps them feel supported throughout the process, allows them to get to know you better, and increases the likelihood that they’ll extract more value from your teachings. 

So what does this look like?

Let’s continue with the journalling example.

Step 1.) Your customer purchases the self-study course through your Shop on your website. 

Step 2.) She is sent to a thank you page with next steps for what to expect. 

Step 3.) She receives her receipt via email. 

Step 4.) She receives a welcome email with information to access her course and what to expect in regards to the study plan. 

— Here you can do two things: You can automatically subscribe the new customer to the study plan or you can explain what it is and have them opt-in to receive the emails. For the sake of example, let’s say she’s automatically enrolled to receive the emails.

Step 5.) She receives the first email that day guiding her to watch one of the seven videos and do just one exercise. 

Step 6.) One week later, she receives the next email guiding her to watch the second of the seven videos and do two shorter exercises. 

Step 7.) Three days later, she receives a reminder to check out the audio meditations as they are bonuses that can be utilized throughout the course.

Step 8.) Four days later, she receives an email guiding her to watching the third of the seven videos and do one exercise. 

Step 9.) One week later, she receives an email guiding her to watch the fourth of the seven videos and this email asks her to respond about her progress. There may be a survey involved or it could just be a simple “hit reply” request. 

Step 10.) One week later, she receives an email guiding her to watch the fifth of the seven videos and complete three shorter exercises.

Step 11.) One week later, she receives an email guiding her to watch the sixth of the seven videos and download a bonus mp3 interview. 

Step 12.) One week later, she receives an email guiding her to watch the seventh video and complete the final two exercises. At the end of this, there is also a link to provide feedback (via survey or email) about her experience with the course. 

Step 13.) She is tagged as having completed this course in your email provider service and may enter the “Level Up” email sequence (a sequence that offers the next level of service/program so she can continue to make progress).

Each sequence will look different depending on the course or offering, but this is the basic framework. 

Have questions? Leave a comment below! 

Hi, I’m Cher!

I write about the place where business + social responsibility meet. When I'm not researching whatever my latest obsession is, you can find me re-watching Remember the Titans, posting on Insta @chertakesprettypictures, or hiking somewhere in the PNW. If you're interested in working with me on a marketing or PR campaign, I do that, too.

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