Read Time: 2:58

Key Takeaways

  • You can be an amazing entertainer and a subject matter expert, but without mastering the email structure, your students won't have the easiest time learning from you

  • From header images to fast forward links, every part of the email has a role to play

  • At the end of this email, I'm going to ask you to take a stab at writing a first draft of an email of your choosing


This email is the most self-referential we'll get in the course. Right now, we're in the body copy, but you'll notice that each element on the page references itself. Head spinning a bit? Mine too.

We're diving deep on body copy in the next two emails, so I won't spend too much time on it here. Body copy is the soul of your content β€” everything else plays a supporting role (don't get me wrong, the supporting cast that makes the inbox feel like a classroom).

Oh hey, look, it's a horizontal rule πŸ‘‡

I like using horizontal rules to break up the textΒ 

Makes it a bit easier on the reader's eyes than one massive, 800-word block.

Let's talk through the various components of the email and then it'll be time to take the first pass at writing your own email. I hope you choose to incorporate many (if not all) of the features we're about to talk through.

1. Subject line

Keep it short and snappy (and remember to include where they are in the course!)

2. Pre-header

This is a funny little section that you'll recognize, but almost never think about β€” it's the first line of text that shows up in the email preview on your phone or computer before you open the email. Usually, I set this to the first meaningful line of body copy... but sometimes I have fun with it (like in this email for example)

3. Logo

A great opportunity to infuse your brand into the email. The logo lives in every email after the plain text Welcome email.

4. Read time

It's not a perfect science, but it's a great way to set expectations. The average person reads about 250 words per minute, so work backwards into your read time with that calculation (word count divided by 250).

5. Header Image

Another great place for your brand to shine through, provide visual cues regarding the email type (chapter overview? deep dive? quiz? action item?), and reiterate the subject line. (I like to include the email # here as well).

6. Key Takeaways

Yet another place to set expectations. Keep it simple β€” three bullets, write plainly, don't get too detailed.

7. Body Copy

This is where the meat of content lives. Like I mentioned above, we're going DEEP on copywriting in the next two emails, so happy to keep things light for now.

8. Fast Forward

I suspect you've used this feature. It's the powerful little link + automation combo that let's users go at their own pace (and you know I'm gonna show you how to build this out in Chapter 4).

9. Recommended Further Learning

This is a great place to link out. If you've gotta send the reader out of your email, be sure to do it at the bottom. Another thing I love about the further learning section is that if you've got a 101-style course, you can sneak in 201-level topics here. That's a great way to add value for folks who may be slightly outside the scope of your "ideal customer profile" definition.

10. Progress Tracker

This is your opportunity to foreshadow what's coming and provide a visual "reward" to recognize what the user has accomplished so far.

Alright, time to write your first email

Here's what we're gonna do: you're going to draft your first email, and I will smile down on you from the internet clouds. Write the whole thing out. Don't worry about the design for now, but at the very least, it should have a...

  • subject line

  • pre-header

  • key takeaways

  • body copy

Don't worry about the design or experiential features like the logo, read time, header image, fast-forward functionality, or progress tracker. Those are finishing touches β€” the nuts, chocolate fudge, and cherry on top. Right now, we're focused on churning out some ice cream. And if you don't like ice cream sundae metaphors, well, feel free to unsubscribe.