moodle moodlepreneur email marketing

Ok, ok… I know what you’re thinking: Email? Are you kidding? That’s so web 1.0! (Actually, it totally is – email was being used more than 5 years before the “web” was online. Seriously. But, still, read on.)

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Today we are faced with an overwhelming set of choices through which to market our courses. I could likely fill up the rest of this post with just a list of the different social media channels you might use. However, email remains the most widely used app out there – staying on top of the pile as the channel of choice for both personal and professional communication. Think I’m crazy? Check out these recent articles in Forbes, Act On, and TechCrunch about how Instagram just launched… wait for it… yes, an email marketing effort.

Email remains “the killer app” for reaching your target audience for all the reasons you can probably name right off the top of your head:

  • You can target it to specific people that have opted in and want to hear your messages.
  • It can be tailored to be very personal.
  • It goes straight into their inboxes. They don’t have to stumble across it or go looking for it.
  • It’s a great way to deliver extra content and resources that support your courses.
  • It has a high return on investment when compared to other channels.
  • It can be automated by using templates and platforms like MailChimp.
  • Email is reliable – your content is in their inboxes instantly and can be used to get information out immediately about special deals and time-limited promotions.

The list goes on.

If you’re not using email to market your Moodle courses, or if you want to improve the response you’re getting from your current efforts, we’ve put this article together with the help of to help you refine one of the most challenging aspects of effective email marketing: the subject line.

Here is some key advice about how to craft a great subject line:

  • Avoid being flagged as spam: To do this don’t be shouty (all caps, anyone?), use dollar signs or appear needy.
  • Be consistent: Keep your email subject lines consistent and familiar so that recipients recognize you.
  • Keep it informative but brief: The length of your email subject lines should be between 20 and 40 characters, including spaces and punctuation. Any longer than that and they will be cropped by email clients and might not make sense. Also, it’s good practice to keep things crisp and punchy.
  • Be intriguing: Try to make subject lines intriguing so that recipients will be curious and open them. Asking a question is always a great way to do this.
  • Appeal to the recipients’ self-interest, not your own: A subject line whose core message is ‘Hey, buy my course, it’s the best thing ever!’ is less likely to work than one whose message is ‘What you’ll be able to do after you’ve taken this course.’ Use ‘you’ rather than ‘me’ or ‘us’.
  • Create urgency: use words that let the recipient know time or space is limited.
  • Be real: Don’t write anything that you wouldn’t want to see in your inbox. If you’d push “delete” immediately, so too will 99% of the people you’re about to send the message to.

The following are some concrete examples of subject lines that have worked well for others:

  • Think like a pro at (your course’s subject matter) (Self-interest)
  • Get your free … (module, course preview, resource) (Curiosity, self-interest, value)
  • How to succeed at (your course’s subject matter). (Self-interest)
  • Don’t buy this course! (Curiosity)
  • My gift to you (Curiosity, value)
  • I’m pulling the plug tomorrow! (Urgency/scarcity)
  • See just how easy it is to … (Curiosity)
  • I was wrong about … (Humanity)
  • 10 mistakes to avoid when … (Curiosity)
  • Stop doing (x). Here’s why. (Curiosity/self-interest)
  • Sick of (x)? Try this. (Pain buttons, curiosity)
  • This is why you are failing at (x). (Pain buttons/curiosity)

If you’d like to dive deeper into how to market for you Moodle courses via email, download this free guide from

Course MerchantThis Moodle Practice related post is made possible by: Course Merchant, the leading provider of eCommerce, Training Management and Digital Marketing software for the Education and Training industry. Click here to learn more.


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