If you're struggling to learn the ins and outs of email marketing for bloggers, the Email Marketing Jumpstart course saved me SO much time and money, as well as countless tears and all-nighter, that I just HAD to share it with you (something I don't do often when it comes to courses!)
This review of the Email Marketing Jumpstart course by Eb at Productive Blogging shares everything you need to know before you buy the course, which shares Convertkit tutorials from beginner to advanced skill levels.
(Convertkit is an email platform that was created specifically for bloggers.)
Full disclosure and background: I LOVED Email Marketing Jumpstart, and you will hear me rave about it on end here. At the time I found it, I personally was in the position where I had a weekly email newsletter for a few years, and I wanted to try more advanced strategies, but they always seemed really hard and confusing to me.
Eb (the instructor) really held my hand through every step of the process (like she did in her SEO Jumpstart course) AND she gave me tons of her best practice pointers as well. I could not have found Email Marketing Jumpstart any more valuable than I did, and I don't say that lightly, as she's one of only two instructors whose courses I recommend, after taking 100+ blogging courses to date.
Seriously, I was writing her emails saying things like, "I can cry tears of joy that I found this course at this time" and "I can't thank you and my lucky stars enough that I found this course!"
All of this having been said, I'm still here to give you an honest review of Email Marketing Jumpstart and each of its component parts, followed by the pros, the cons, and whether it's worth it for YOU, depending on your skill level.
Review of the Email Marketing Jumpstart Course
Note: These Modules are all a mix of text, image, "swipe copy," spreadsheets, and video content.
Module 0: Welcome to Email Marketing Jumpstart!
Module 0 of Email Marketing Jumpstart is an introduction to the course, including things like prerequisites and frequently asked questions.
It also links to the corresponding Facebook group for the course. I am in several Facebook courses related to blogging, and so far I like this one. I have noticed a fair number of "big" bloggers I follow in it, and Eb also starts a lot of helpful threads for interesting discussion and/or useful resources.
Module 1: Getting started
This Module of Email Marketing Jumpstart helps you choose your email marketing platform, set up a professional email address, and comply with the law.
Eb recommends and uses Convertkit, which is the platform I had already decided to join (from an extremely basic service I was already on), and so she teaches Convertkit tutorials throughout this course.
Convertkit is literally built FOR bloggers and had everything I was looking for (landing pages and forms, welcome sequences, tagging subscribers' interests, selling products, adding a tip jar, etc.), so I was really, really, REALLY happy I (and many other bloggers) would be able to follow along with the course while using the same platform.
Module 2: Opt-in Offers
This module of Email Marketing Jumpstart teaches you how to get subscribers on your list with an opt-in offer.
(An opt-in offer is a free bonus you give subscribers in exchange for subscribing. It's so much more persuasive than just saying, "Subscribe to my newsletter.")
Eb teaches everything from how to decide what to offer to how to create and promote it.
I personally already had opt-in offers that were performing really well, as will many already beyond the beginner stage, but the technical video she shared about how to set up the tech side of things in Convertkit to deliver it was SO helpful.
She particularly teaches a great strategy to get subscribers to confirm their subscription (as may be required by law) AND deliver the freebie at the same time. I NEVER would have been able to figure this out on my own, and I'd be lucky if I found it somewhere else, so I was super grateful for this training.
(And it was really easy to follow the steps too.)
I was also able to "swipe" all of her "copy" for the email that delivers the freebie, which made it such a breeze. This "swipe copy" is excellent for getting the email opened, clicked on, sharing all the legal disclosures, etc. And again, I would have had to research and figure out all of these specific best practices on my own without the course.
So, overall, I'd say this is a "beginner" module, but those who are more intermediate level may get benefit from it as well.
Module 3: Forms and Landing Pages
This module of Email Marketing Jumpstart helps you create and implement all kinds of different email subscription forms and landing pages, including pop-ups, slide-ins, sticky bars, and more. Eb also shows you where to put them to get the most conversions.
Setting up these forms on your own isn't super hard, but Eb provides valuable insight into things like how to create pop-ins that comply with Google's standards.
I did still also find it helpful to follow her step-by-step tutorials and not miss or misunderstand anything on my own.
One last thing I found super helpful was her tutorial on how to create a link trigger. This means you can link text and when a person clicks the text, a little form will pop up for them to subscribe. This was content I didn't see anywhere else that can be really helpful if you prefer more inconspicuous text links to larger subscription forms.
Module 4: The all-important welcome sequence
I am SO very grateful for the welcome sequence module of Email Marketing Jumpstart! The ability to send one was one of the biggest reasons I wanted to switch to Convertkit.
(A welcome sequence is a series of emails that new subscribers receive over the course of a few days to get them to know you better, trust you more, and actually want to open all your future emails.)
Eb teaches you all of the tech that goes into creating a welcome sequence and how to connect it to your forms so that when someone subscribes to your email list, he or she starts receiving the welcome sequence.
This isn't the most difficult thing to set up on your own, but Eb provides a LOT of helpful tips in addition to the basic tutorial, like how to make sure your new subscribers don't receive your regular newsletter while they are doing the welcome sequence (which may seem spammy to them and cause them to unsubscribe.)
She also provides more advanced training on how to segment your list into groups like: beginner, intermediate, and advanced, so that you can send each person only the content that is relevant to their level. This didn't apply to me, so I can't comment on it, other than to say it seemed really helpful if you need to accomplish this.
Lastly, and most important, Eb provided an entire "swipe copy," for the perfect introductory five email welcome sequence -- and it was probably my favorite thing about this entire course.
I've read a LOT of copy over the years, taken a lot of courses, studied all the things, etc. And this was the first course in which I actually swiped the copy. AND -- I was able to customize it with my info and links in just about one hour. Seriously.
I am a stickler for good copy, so this is something I have no doubt I would have spent days researching and writing, then tweaking over the next several months.
I'm telling you, this is the most excellent, customizable, and easy-to-use copy for your welcome sequence. And I am so incredibly grateful for it.
Module 5: The weekly newsletter
The weekly newsletter module of Email Marketing Jumpstart is good for those in the beginner to intermediate levels of email marketing. I consider myself to be "intermediate," since I had a weekly newsletter for a few years now, and I still learned great tips from this module. In fact, I overhauled my own email newsletter based on it.
Beginners can learn the basics and the tech behind the email newsletter, and particularly, how to send one in Convertkit.
Beginners and intermediate-level students learn more advanced tips like the best subject lines, optimizing open and click-through rates, what to write about, and when to send your newsletter.
Again, Eb provided an amazing formula for your email newsletter, which I loved so much I decided to adopt it and completely change the content of my own newsletters. So, I definitely felt like I got a lot out of this module even though I already had a weekly email newsletter.
Module 6: Tagging and subscriber management
Tagging and subscriber management is a more intermediate to advanced module in the Email Marketing Jumpstart course. This is the stuff that really scared me about setting up Convertkit!
Eb teaches three topics: tags, custom fields, and segments: what they are, and when and how to use them to separate your subscribers into groups based on interest, skill level, whether they purchased your product already, etc.
If you are looking to do advanced things with your email list, like send your subscribers down a detailed email journey that's unique to each person's interests, you need this module.
If you are more beginner or intermediate in level, you will still learn things from this module, but it's one that you may just want to take a few points from for now and return to in the future when you are selling your own products or you have another specific reason to customize your email blasts.
Especially valuable in this section for all skill levels were the bonus tips Eb provides on how to keep the back end of your email platform system really organized as you grow. This is something I KNOW I would mess up big time, and I would constantly be changing things and trying to simplify them better over the years to come.
In short, there are a lot of ways to do this, but Eb teaches you the most efficient ways to do it.
Module 7: How to earn money from your email list
The money-making module of Email Marketing Jumpstart shares beginner to advanced strategies for monetizing your list.
Beginners can learn about things like ads and affiliate marketing, and advanced students can learn strategies like sales funnels to sell their own products.
Again, Eb provides the full "swipe copy" for a very detailed sales funnel, and while I personally don't need it right now, I just KNOW I will return to it when the time comes because her "swipe copy" is brilliant.
Module 8: All about automations!
Automations are a module of Email Marketing Jumpstart that I was incredibly grateful for because they are extremely scary to newbies like me.
(An automation is a flow chart by which the happening of certain events for each subscriber trigger other events to occur or not occur.)
Let's just say I am pretty sure I would have cried without Eb's step-by-step guidance throughout this process. It truly would have been impossible for me to both figure the basics out on my own, PLUS all of the little hacks Eb provides to make it easier and more efficient (like how to tag and untag subscribers as they progress through the stages of the automation).
AND, Eb provides "done for you" automations that you literally just click on to place them directly into your Convertkit account for a variety of functions, like sales funnels. It doesn't get easier than one click!
The automations that Eb teaches range from beginner to advanced, and serve different functions, so I would recommend that, if you take this course, you just stick to the ones you need right now and return to the others later.
Module 9: CONGRATULATIONS!
This short module ends the Email Marketing Jumpstart course, and it does not contain any learning materials.
Bonus Module 1: All the legal stuff...
The "legal" side of email marketing is not difficult per se, but it is SO important to know and implement, so this bonus is a "must" to review and make sure you are complying with all legal requirements.
Bonus Module 2: Keeping your list clean
Keeping your list clean is a bonus module in Email Marketing Jumpstart that I found to be extremely helpful. Eb teaches you how to regularly remove subscribers who are inactive from your list, so you aren't paying for people who don't read your emails.
It's a complete step-by-step guide, including how to set up and send "last chance" emails before you unsubscribe someone, with everything you need, from the "swipe copy" of the email sequence to the setup of tags and automation to make this all function well on the back end. Easy breezy.
It's all completely done for you, so it's really valuable to have such easy access to it. I followed this money-saving module to the "T."
Pros of the Email Marketing Jumpstart Course
Some of the Pros of Email Marketing Jumpstart are:
- Tons of "swipe copy" you will actually want to swipe and use (my favorite part -- get a sneak peek here)
- Lots of different ways to learn, from video to written content and more
- Extremely comprehensive in covering all skill levels
- Extremely comprehensive in covering every single step of each task
- Extremely comprehensive in covering all the main components of email marketing
- Teaches you "best practices" beyond the basics that you'd likely learn "the hard way" otherwise
- And as a result of the above, saves you time and money in the long run
Cons of the Email Marketing Jumpstart Course
Despite my fervent love of Email Marketing Jumpstart, I do have a few "cons" of the course:
The course does not provide a detailed "swipe copy" for the subscription forms.
While Eb shows you sample forms, she does not really provide the type of high-level "swipe copy" she provides in other sections of the Email Marketing Jumpstart course. If you take this course, I recommend you research highly converting "swipe copy" for forms to really test different things and get the most out of your own forms.
The course could benefit from more data on things like the best times to send an email.
On these topics, Eb says, "It depends," (since every email list is different) and I don't think so is wrong about that, but I do think there is some general data out there that newbies can benefit from trying as a starting point. So, again I recommend you either research these things or directly ask your audience what they want to hear from you and when.
The course is not fully updated.
Convertkit seems to have changed a bit since the Email Marketing Jumpstart course was published. While I generally was still able to follow along really easily, a few things tripped me up.
For example, Eb teaches tags, segments, and custom fields, but I learned on Convertkit's website that they now also have something called "topics" which really easily allows you to tag subscribers with their interests. So, once I learned this, I had to go back and change what I had already done.
Second, the ad network Mediavine *JUST* released integrations with Convertkit, so, being that I am in the Mediavine ad network, I had to learn how to implement the integrations on my own. That being said, I thought it was really easy, if you are in the Mediavine network too.
Is the Email Marketing Jumpstart Course Worth It?
There's not a clear-cut answer as to whether Email Marketing Jumpstart is "worth it" since it's both a subjective question and the content ranges from beginner to advanced. So, I recommend that you categorize your skill level and then consider the following:
Beginner - Beginners will get the most out of Email Marketing Jumpstart. They will literally learn everything they need to know, and exactly how to do it, step-by-step, from the most basic to the most advanced. The trick will be sticking to the most basic tutorials and gradually coming back to more advanced topics over time.
Intermediate - I consider myself to be intermediate as I already had an email newsletter but needed to learn how to do more things with my email list (like sell products, segment subscribers, etc.).
And I will say I gained massive value from the Email Marketing Jumpstart course overall. It's without a doubt one of my top 3 courses out of the 100+ courses I have taken, and I truly feel like I would have been in a complete panic without it.
I felt like Eb saved me about a month of stress, tears, and tweaking. I took the course, prepared all my copy and forms, implemented the technology, and tested and tweaked things over the course of about 3 work days.
I just kept repeating to my husband, "I am SO glad I found this course. I am just SO grateful." Because I knew I would have had painful all-nighters otherwise.
The thing about Eb is that she's both super comprehensive and also goes step-by-step actually showing each and every little thing to do, how to do it, and how to copy her best practices as well. A lot of other courses mention things like tagging subscribers, but they don't really tell you everything about them.
Advanced - If you are advanced at email marketing, you may know a lot of this material already. But, you are still likely to gain some practice pointers from Email Marketing Jumpstart since Eb is so knowledgeable, and you may also really like and want to use the "swipe copy."
Sometimes, I consider learning a few new tips on a topic I have mastered to make it "worth it" to me overall. But, unless you still need to learn custom fields, segments, and sales funnels, it's possible you may not get massive value from this course overall.
(Advanced readers can check out my review of the advanced course Perfecting Email.)