One of the few people I trust online apart from Sean talks about trust-based offers. He suggests having short reports 1-3 that are easy to put together (and excellent quality) that someone can download without an opt in. In these reports you would put a link to either a paid offer or a gated lead magnet that they have to give you their email address for.
The idea is that if they read those and are intrigued enough to subscribe to your list, then the email address they give you will likely be one that they actually check, versus one that is designed for opt-ins to get the free goods and is never checked after those freebies are delivered. I haven’t tested this idea yet, but I plan to.
Let’s face it – the days of everyone giving an email address that they check frequently are over, and have been over for a while. So the best bet for getting a real email address is likely to be a mini course or challenge or something else that they will have to check email for over the course of days.
Scott, in terms of your idea, I think that maybe you should offer a smaller item – a cheat sheet like someone else mentioned or some other small thing – that you give away for free. Inside that, you could then offer them the free mini course for signing up, and then of course, you would be able to talk more about the full course after they’ve completed the mini course.