The PR BlogDigital PRContent & InboundI Created a Free 28 Day Email Course and This Happened

I Created a Free 28 Day Email Course and This Happened

A DIY content marketing experiment that exceeded my expectations.

Cover photo by Jerry Silfwer (Instagram)

Two months ago, I created a free 28-day email course.

I just wanted to test if there’s any interest out there for the type of insights I might have to share if I compiled them into an email course.

After all — email marketing is still very much underrated.

I did have a one-week email course five years ago, but that was before I had an actual email list to speak of.

Now that the email course has been live for a while, I want to share what I’ve learned so far:

Table of Contents

    Why I Wanted To Convey Ideas Instead of To-Do’s

    I wanted my email lessons to serve as short but inspiring aha moments.

    I know that sending 28 emails for 28 days straight is quite a big ask.

    I, therefore, didn’t want to send out stuff that would feel like work but rather ideas or concepts. I wanted to share insights that would give the reader a boost of energy and inspiration and a notion of “yeah, I could do that”.

    How I Managed To Get Enough Content for the Course

    It took me the better part of a working day to write 20 drafts.

    It also took me an hour to create a landing page and tweak some menu items and links on the blog.

    Then I published an early draft of the course to get a few sign-ups, which forced me (in a good way!) to finalize all those 28 emails in time.

    Please note: If you’re charging for the course, invest in a professional to proofread and copy-edit your email course. My email course was free, but I still regret not doing this.

    Setting Up an Email Automation Drip Was Easy

    Besides Mailchimp, I often recommend AWeber and Infusionsoft.

    The tool setup couldn’t be any easier. I created an automated responder in Mailchimp. Very easy to use and very easy to set up.

    I used an elementary template because most email send-outs do better when they look like emails often do.

    How I Managed To Promote the Email Course

    I promoted the email course with 20 USD on Facebook and did a send-out to my email list, but you could do so much more, of course.

    Results: In less than 60 days, 1,452 participants have signed up for the email course (744 of those are not already on my blog email list).

    I’ve only had 12 unsubscribers and manually unsubscribed about 20+ people. And only seven people have emailed me about having technical difficulties of various sorts.

    I Unsubscribed Competitors Behaving Like Douchebags

    Unsubscribe people who misbehave — it’s your list and your giveaways.

    A few people emailed me back to give me “advice” — not in a pleasant way.

    For some reason, they’ve all been male Swedish digital marketers aged 35-45 who seemed angry with me for sharing knowledge. Why they bothered to sign up will remain an irony, I guess.

    I unsubscribed them with a polite notice explaining why I did so.

    Yes, I Would Consider Doing Another Course

    All in all, I think creating an email course like this was worth the effort.

    If you’re a B2B company, consider letting your experts share their best advice in a giveaway course for sign-ups. (And no, it doesn’t have to be 28 days long!)

    As long as people taking your course are willing to recommend it after taking it, then you’ve got yourself a great marketing asset!

    Update 2020-12-18: The email course is unpublished to be updated — and for some much-needed copy-editing.

    Jerry Silfwer
    Jerry Silfwer
    Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.


    1. Thank you for these 28 fantastic days. It has been a true joy and inspiration to start the day with you great insights, hands-on-tools and knowledge. Until I can buy the book I will return many times to these emails. I knew it would be great stuff but was surprised of all the secret top content. Forza Jerry!

    2. I truly loved what you did here. I’ve recommended everyone that I could think of to sign up (mailed my colleagues, posted in fb-groups IRL-recommended and so on) and I can pretty much guarantee that I will buy your book when it comes out =)

    3. A great refresher and good new insights to add to my memory.

      Anyone in marketing should take up on the class due to the down to earth approach and slightly cheeky style


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here


    Grab a free subscription before you go.

    Get notified of new blog posts & new PR courses

    🔒 Please read my integrity- and cookie policy.

    Write B2B Blog Posts

    Use my storytelling template (with action prompts) to create blog posts for B2B experts using The Outline Method. Including my 16-page How-To Guide, Demo Post, and professional feedback.

    Content divers are more valuable than surface browsers. The deep content PR strategy provides a structure for fostering loyalty and trust online.
    Most popular