How to Build an Email List FAST by Offering FREE Mini-Courses?

| | March 21, 2024

It is quite often said that email list is an asset and one must start building an email list right from day one of starting an online business.

But it is seen that many beginners who start using email marketing services for their business leave half-way through either because they think that:

  • email marketing tool is complicated to use, or
  • building an email list is way too difficult
  • there is no free tool available to build automation

However, this is not true.

Every platform has its own technicalities. One needs patience to familiarize with the tools and learn how to make the most of it.

To show you how to build an email list faster, I have created this in-depth guide.

In this guide, you'll learn how to use a free email marketing service to offer a free automated mini-course to your site visitors and build your email list quickly.

This guide will also show you how to pitch your paid products to your email subscribers after the end of mini-course.

So if you're looking for a complete guide on how to create free email list, stay with me in this tutorial and I'll take you through all the steps with as much detail as possible.

Let's get started.

Note: This article contains affiliate links. When you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, we get a small compensation at no cost to you. See our Privacy Policy and Disclaimer for more info.

How to Build an Email List Faster?

In this email list building guide, I have used only those tools that are completely free to use. So rest assured that without investing any money you're going to add 1000 subscribers on your email list.

To create an email list and course content, we will be using the following free tools:

  • Moosend: It is a free email marketing tool. Its free plan allows you to collect up to 1000 subscribers. We will use the free plan to display Subscription Form on your site, ask your site visitors to subscribe and on successful subscription, send the automated email course to the subscribers.
  • Google Docs: We will use Google Docs to create our content for the free course. You need to create course content for 7-days. When anyone subscribes to your list, one lesson would be sent every day to your subscriber. On the eight day, you would pitch your paid product or course to your subscribers.

Let me show you the exact steps that we're going to implement in this guide.


Below I have mentioned important steps that we're going to cover in this guide.

Objective 1

Use Google Docs to create an online course for 7-days. One lesson for each day. The idea is to send one lesson every day automatically to our subscribers.

Objective 2

Join a free email marketing tool that offers automation under the free plan. This tool will be used later to create a subscription form where users can subscribe to the free course.

Objective 3

When someone subscribes to the email course, send them a welcome email automatically after 5 minutes and give a brief outline about the free course.

Objective 4

Set up automation. From Day 1 to 7, one lesson would be sent every day. On Day 8, pitch your paid course to your subscribers.

Objective 5

Create Subscription Form inside Moosend editor. Add the subscription form to your Mailing List. Anyone who subscribes will automatically get added to this list.

Objective 6

Connect and verify your website with Moosend. It will help in displaying the subscription form on your website to allows visitors to subscribe to your list.

Before we move ahead to create our content for the automated email course, let's see what are the advantages of creating such free courses.

Advantage of an Automated Email Courses

Let me take the help of an example to make you understand the advantage of offering a free email course on automation.

Let say, you have created a paid course on Advanced Digital Photography and want to sell it to make income from it.

If you approach people directly asking them to buy your course, then the chances of making any sale is very less. Because nobody would like to buy a product from a complete stranger. Plus, they would have no idea whether the product or course is even worth their money.

On the other hand, if you offer a free mini-course on Digital Photography with some valuable tips and information to your email subscriber to enhance their skills then there is a greater chance of them buying your paid course.

To make email marketing campaign more effective, one can also offer a free eBook along with a 7-day free email course to the site visitors. I will create a separate article on how to offer a free eBook and build your email list quickly. There are many popular eBook creator tools that can help you easily create professionally looking eBooks. Personally I like Designrr to create eBooks as it allows me to convert my existing blog articles into eBooks automatically.

Let's move on.

To sell your course - Advanced Digital Photography, you need to first convert your visitors into subscribers and nurture them by giving them valuable information about digital photography.

But to do this, you need to create a valuable content first.

Frankly speaking, if you just ask your site visitors to subscribe to your daily, weekly or monthly newsletters, you won't find many takers. And it will waste your email list building effort.

In the current example, you can offer your prospects a free course like Digital Photography Tips for Beginners. When any site visitor subscribes to your list, your email tool, Moosend, would ensure that every day one lesson is delivered to them automatically.

By sending daily course to subscribers for 7-days, the relationship between you and your subscribers will become more mature. Now you will be not be a complete stranger to them.

To move one step further, you can also ask them to follow you on social media by joining your Facebook Group or follow you on Twitter or Instagram if you have a presence there.

After delivering the 7-days free course to your subscribers, it would be a perfect time to pitch your paid course to your subscribers. On the eight day, you can offer them your paid course - Advanced Digital Photography Course.

Now that your subscribers know more of you, they are more likely to buy your premium product.

This is the main strategy many popular bloggers / affiliate marketers / online businesses use to market their courses or product.

As you see all the above steps are easily achievable. So make sure to implement all these strategies while working on your email marketing campaigns.

Now lets get started with the actual implementation to learn how to build an email list for free.

How to Create a 7-Days Course

While offering the free course, make sure that you have clearly mentioned to your prospects what to expect from the course.

Also, let your subscriber know that they only have to invest a small amount of time every day to gain meaningfully from the 7-day course duration.

You can provide a shortlist of key content that your subscriber would be able to learn. It would allow more people to subscribe to your course.

For example, for my free affiliate marketing email course, I have created a timeline like this:


Lesson 1: What is Affiliate Marketing?

Day 2

Lesson 2: How to find Affiliate Products easily?


Lesson 3: How to write conversion-focused article to promote Affiliate Products?

And so on...

To create these 7-days course you can use the free tool - Google Docs.

Just go to Google Docs, and create 7-lessons for each day.

And also add a extra lesson that will introduce your paid course or product to your subscribers. This lesson will be automatically sent on the eight day to your subscribers.

Make sure that you clearly mention all the important features and benefits of your premium course/product and don't forget to add the call-to-action button inside your mail. When your subscriber click on it, it would take them to your sales page.

Now let's move on to the next step to create a free account at Moosend.

Moosend Overview

We will create the subscription form and automation triggers inside Moosend.

To get started, you will need to sign up for the Moosend Free Plan (no credit card required). 

A free plan at Moosend gives you the following benefits:

  • Collect up to 1000 subscribers
  • Create subscription forms
  • Send unlimited emails per month
  • Send automated email campaign
  • Create unlimited emailing lists
  • Ready-made subscription templates
  • Built-in editor to customize subscription forms
  • Reporting and Analytics to track your campaign performance - open, clicks, bounces
  • Display popup forms, inline forms, floating boxes & bars, embeddable forms and more
  • Supports Google Analytics tracking
  • A/B testing, spam analysis, spam testing and more
  • Email and chat support included

To know more about Moosend, read my detailed review on Moosend.

Join Moosend Now

No credit card required to join the FREE plan.

How to Create an Account at Moosend?

Go to and enter your email address to create your free account.

Join Moosend Free Plan

Click to enlarge

After entering the email address, you would be asked to enter the following details:

  1. Enter the login domain. For example, I have entered deepak11, now my login domain would be
  2. Enter your password.

Check the consent box and select Register.

Login details Moosend

Click to enlarge

On the next page, enter your name and select Continue.

Enter Name Moosend

Now enter your address as shown in the image below. It is mandatory as per anti-spam laws.

Address details

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Enter details about your business. If you don’t have any business, just enter the field you’re in. For example, if you’re a blogger, select Other in the Industry field, Organization Size as Less than 10 and Subscriber as Less than 500. Enter the details and click on Continue.

Now you’ll be asked to check the mail from Moosend. Open the mail and click on the link to activate your account.

Activating Moosend Account

Click to enlarge

After you activate your account, you would be taken to the Moosend Dashboard where you need to set few things up before we create our subscription form and build automation for our course.

How to Set Up Email Automation in Moosend?

To set up Subscription Form and Automation, you need to complete all the steps as described below.

Let's get started.

Step 1

In this step, you will have to enter your business email address. For example, for my blog, I have a business email set up as [email protected].

If you have a business email, you need to do the same.

Business Email Address

After selecting Yes in the previous step, select Add New Sender. Enter your name and email address. For example,

Name: Deepak Choudhary

Email: [email protected]
Add Name and Business Email

Moosend will automatically send an email to your business email account. Once you confirm the email, you’re all set to take advantage of Moosend email services.

Step 2

Inside Moosend Dashboard, go to Mailing List and select Create New List.

Create a New List at Moosend

Enter the name of your mailing list. For example, I have entered - Digital Photography, as my mailing list. After entering your preferred mailing list, click on Save.

Enter Name of Mailing List

Step 3

Click on the Automation tab and select Create new automation.

There are many ready-made automation templates that you can use for your campaign. Here are some examples:

  • Abandoned cart
  • Anniversary
  • Happy birthday email
  • Customer thank you email
  • Special offer reminder
  • Onboarding email sequence
  • Specific area of interest
  • Welcome email sequence
From the above list, select - Welcome email sequence. We will use this option to create automated course to build free email list.
Welcome Email Sequence

In this step, we will create triggers to set up automation.

For example, when someone enters his email address in the subscription form, it activates the trigger created by us. Here, when someone subscribes to the list is our trigger.

This trigger activates the automation. And the automation help us to send automated emails to our subscribers.

Follow the steps given below to understand how it works.

To begin with, select When someone subscribes to the list.

When someone subscribes

Here we will select the List - Digital Photography, where we want to create the automation.

To do so, click on the Trigger List and select Digital Photography (see the image given below). Our objective is to send the email course automatically to only those people who subscribes to the list - Digital Photography.

This is the first trigger we have set.

Trigger List

Our aim of this article is to send automated course to only those people who subscribes to our list - Digital Photography, and not to any other list we might have.

Subscribes to Specific List

Select the option as shown above.

Select the Created List

Step 4

Now it's time to create triggers.

Second Trigger: When anyone subscribes to the list, automatically send a welcome email after 5 minutes.

To set up this trigger, click on - Wait a specific time interval.

After setting the time to 5 minutes, click on Save.

Send welcome email after 5 minutes

Now we will design the welcome email. Select - Then send email campaign. See the image given below.

Here, enter your Subject. For example, I have entered - Thanks for subscribing to the 7-day email course.

Select Sender.

Click on Create New Content and enter your welcome message for your subscriber here and click on Save.

Welcome content

Step 5

After setting up the Welcome Email, now we will create daily email for the 7-day course.

We will have to create one email for each day. So there would be 7 emails for the 7-day course.

To create the 7-day course, you can take the help of Google Docs. It is a free tool by Google. For ease of use, you can create all the lessons in the following format:

  1. Day 1 Lesson
  2. Day 2 Lesson
  3. Day 3 Lesson
  4. Day 4 Lesson
  5. Day 5 Lesson
  6. Day 6 Lesson
  7. Day 7 Lesson

Create valuable content for your subscribers for each day starting from Day 1 till Day 7.

Once the content is ready, we can now continue adding our content for each day inside Automation as shown below.

After sending the Welcome Email, the First Lesson would be sent after one day, let’s see how to set it up.

Select - Wait a specific time interval.

Set 1 Day interval for Day One Email

Enter 1 under Time to Wait and select days as shown in the image. Select Save to continue.

Set Day One as Time Interval

Select - Then send email campaign, to continue adding the First Lesson content for Day 1.

Send Day One Email

Enter your Subject for Day 1. Select your email address under Sender. Refer the image given below.

Since we already have created content for our 7-day email course, we just need to copy the content from Google Doc and add it inside the automation.

Follow all the steps mentioned below carefully.

Copy Day One content from Google Doc and paste it under Create New Content. Click on Save to continue (see the image given below).

Day One Content

Repeat the same steps to create all the lessons for 7 days and set the time interval as one day for each lesson.

Please Note:

Whenever you want to create a new sequence, you have to set up both - (1) Wait a specific time interval and (2) Then send email campaign

To set specific time interval, you need to select - Wait a specific time interval.

Wait specific time interval

And to create email campaign/content, select - Then send email campaign.

Then send email campaign

Make Automation Live

In the above steps, we have successfully set up our 7-day automated email course campaign. But it is not active yet.

Before we make it ACTIVE, change the name of your welcome email sequence to something more meaningful. 

Edit welcome email sequence

Here I have changed it to - Digital Photography Course. You can also change it something related to your campaign.

Digital photography course sequence

Now we are set to publish our email automation course. In the above image, you can see that the automation toggle is currently Inactive

To publish it, select the toggle button.

Select Toggle to make it Active

On selecting the Inactive toggle button, it will turn into Active. This means that we have successfully created and published our automated course.

Automation Published

Now anyone who subscribes to the Digital Photography list, he would automatically be sent:

  • A welcome email after 5 minutes and 
  • One lesson every day for the next 7-days 

On the eight day, you can pitch your paid course and ask your subscribers to purchase it.

Let's test whether the automation is working perfectly or not.

To test the automation, I have added a new email address in the Digital Photography list. After 5 minutes, the welcome email automatically gets delivered in my inbox. Check the image given below.

Welcome email after 5 minutes

As you can see above, the automation is working perfectly.

Now that the email course automation is published, it's now time to set up our Subscription Form.

We will display this form on our website and ask our site visitors to subscribe to the free email course. The subscription form will be displayed through out our site. It will help in quick email list building.

Let's do it.

Create Subscription Form

Go to Lead Generation >> Subscription Forms >> Create New

Create New Subscription Form

On selecting Create New, you would be presented with different types of subscription forms - modal popup, inline form, floating bar, floating box and full page form.

You can choose any type of forms as per your need.

However, in this course, we would like to display a popup form at the middle of our web page. So we select the Create option under Modal Pop-up.

Modal Popup Form

Moosend offers easy customization option to edit the subscription form under Basic Settings, Layout & Content, Visibility Settings and Publishing.

Let's explore each options.

Under the Basic Settings, enter the name of the form. Here we entered the name as - Digital Photography Subscription Form. Name it anything you like.

Basic Settings

On selecting the Next  button, now its time to design our subscription form.

Under Layout & Content, select the option - Take me to the Designer.

Layout Designer

On the Designer (Editor) page, you will be presented with lots of ready-made subscription forms. Select the one that you like and click on Use Template and select Ok.

Moosend Subscription Form Templates

The Editor windows gives you lots of customization features to edit the subscription form. For example:

  • Option to change background color, form width, form type and more
  • On successful sign up, you have the option to show your subscriber a success message or redirect to an external URL or simply close the form

The most important feature in the Editor window is the ability to connect your subscription form with your email list.

To connect with the mailing list, first you need to click the Subscribe button on the form to enable the option.

As you click on it, on the right side you would get the option to select the email list. I have selected - Digital Photography, as my mailing list. You need to do the same.

Select Email List

There are many other options also like ReCaptcha, GDPR and others.

Once you’re satisfied with your design, you can click on Next.

Under the Visibility Settings set the following options:

  1. When should this form be displayed? Set this option to Upon Visit.
  2. You can display the form immediately when the visitor enters the page. Or you can set a certain time before the form is displayed. Here we have set 10 seconds after which the form would be displayed.
  3. Leave the other option unchanged.

Click on Next.

Visibility Settings

Publishing Subscription Form

Now the Subscription Form is needed to be published on a website or any other platform.

Here, you have two option to choose from:

  1. Publish on your site
  2. Embed or Publish to External Platforms

I will show you how to publish the subscription form on your WordPress website to build free email list. Under Publishing, >> Publish on your site, select the option: Connect website

Publish Subscription Form on Website

Enter your website address here and click on Next.

Enter Domain Name

Now it will display your website id. Copy your Website Id

Copy Website ID

Log in to your WordPress Dashboard and install the plugin - Moosend Website Connector.

Install Moosend Website Connector Plugin

Activate the plugin and select Settings.

Moosend Settings

Under Settings, paste the Website Id you copied in earlier steps and click on Save.

Enter Website ID in Moosend Plugin Setting

Go back to the Moosend Dashboard, it will now show your website as Verified. Now your website is successfully verified with Moosend.

Website verified at Moosend

No go to Lead Generation >> Subscription Forms and select your subscription form. In this case, the subscription form is Digital Photography Subscription Form. It is still unpublished.

Scroll down the page and you’ll see the option - This Form has not yet been published to any tracked websites. Here, select the edit option to make the changes.
Edit form not published

Under Publish on your site option, select the toggle button - Yes, publish automatically to the following website. It will set it to ON.

Select website to publish subscription form

Now select your website from the drop down and click on Next.

Now click on the Publish button.

Publish Subscription Form

That’s it, now your subscription is successfully connected with your website. It will be automatically displayed to your site visitors after 10 seconds. 

Earlier we had set the time to 10 seconds to display the subscription form. You can easily change the display time according to your liking.

Moosend Subscsription Form Working on the Website

Now when any of your site visitors subscribes to your free course by entering their email address following things will happen:

  1. His email address will be automatically added to the emailing list.
  2. After 5 minutes he would automatically get a welcome mail.
  3. Starting the next day, he would get one email lesson every day and continue till the 7th day.
  4. On the eight day, he would receive details of your paid course. 

Thus, you have easily created a very working conversion funnel that is proven to bring more sales/conversion and leads for your paid product or course.

Now you have complete knowledge on how to build an email list for free and how to send email course on automation.

Wrapping Up

I hope you enjoyed going through this automation tutorial and learned something valuable from this.

By following all the steps mentioned here, you can easily and quickly build an email list from scratch by offering email course on automation.

Offering a free email course or an eBook as lead magnet are one of the best methods to grow email list quickly.

To beginners, I would recommend to start creating a small course for your audience. It doesn't take much of your time. Just be sure to provide as much value as you can inside the course. This will help you lay a solid foundation to your email marketing campaign.

If you like my effort in creating this tutorial, please help me by sharing this article on social media - Facebook, Twitter and others.

If you haven't yet signed up for the Moosend Free Plan, sign up for free to build your list up to 1000 subscribers. Remember no credit card is required to join the free plan.

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Deepak Choudhary

Deepak Choudhary is the founder of He is a Blogger and an Affiliate Marketing Expert. He publishes useful articles for newbie bloggers related to the following topics - Affiliate Marketing, Email Marketing, Software Reviews, Software Tutorials, Blogging, WordPress, SEO, Passive Income, and more.