I sat down to work on my post-launch review of my most recent program launch – Irresistible Sales Pages – and figured I may as well just publish it on my blog for everyone else to benefit from.
There’s always a lot of gold that comes up during launches – it tends to bring out the best (and worst) in every situation, so there’s definitely no shortage of lessons learned here.
To be honest, I’m sort of sick and tired of the launch success facade. From the outside, it sounds like someone’s launch is going swimmingly because of what they’re saying, but when you see behind-the-scenes, you become a little underwhelmed. Enough of the smoke and mirrors
I’ll be honest, I’m not normally on to take the time to sit down and reflect on things I’ve done, because it almost seems like a waste of time. It’s done and over with. Let’s move on to the next exciting thing, right?! Wrong!
I think that’s where my hangup has been with continuing on with a program and making improvements to it so I can re-launch it again in the future. I never reflect on what I did right, what I did wrong and draw up a game plan for the future of the program. That ends now.
Let’s see what I did right, but more importantly, what I did wrong.
What did I do right?
I niched down and got specific about what I was teaching.
My original idea for the program was to create a monster program that involved teaching people how to design sales pages AND membership sites within OptimizePress. However, there were a few problems with that… 1) it was too much content for me to create during the summer/fall when I was also launching 6 other client’s eCourses, and 2) it didn’t feel specific enough and I didn’t want to alienate people who weren’t also interested in creating a membership site.
In the end, choosing to focus on just sales page to start with worked out really well for me and my members. I’ve gotten so much feedback that this program was “exactly what they needed”, and I think that’s because it was super specific and a no-brainer.
I was okay with switching things up at the last minute.
True story: the night before the launch, I had completely different prices for the different levels available. Something wasn’t feeling right about the pricing, given the fact that this was the first round of the course and I wanted the flexibility of increasing the price for the next rounds. At the original pricing, I wasn’t able to do that. So, last minute I switched everything over to the new pricing and I felt much better about it.
Yes, I had many people telling me that I way undercharged for the program. Even the paying members told me that it was a steal and I better raise the price for future rounds. To be honest, I’d rather be hearing this than hearing that it was a little pricey and not worth it.
I’m happy with this decision I made.
What did I do wrong?
I wish I would have had more support set up around me.
Something along the lines of a business coach or mentor or group of biz friends to check in with and get feedback on how my goals and strategies were working out.
Maybe even a launch mastermind with 2-3 other people who were also in the process of launching so we could bounce ideas off each other (note to self: explore setting up a launch mastermind for a future launch).
More times than I care to admit, I felt like I was pretty much doing this on my own – launching, creating the content, accepting new members, building the membership site – all the things. Mostly, because I suck at asking for help. That’s my fault.
I wish I could have outsourced to my team more.
Again, I suck at asking for help. I’m also super impulsive with my own launches, so I tend to things very last minute, which doesn’t work very well for my team’s schedule. #nokidding
I have a designer and VA on my team, but I didn’t really allow them to take some of the work off my plate because I was being my control-freak self. I really want to have set roles for my entire team and hand off more projects so I can get a little bit more off my plate and empower the people around me.
What were my goals for this launch?
I always set 2 goals for my launches – Main Goal and Stretch Goal (a little further out of my comfort zone).
My enrollment main goal was 37. Why 37? I have no clue, but just wait until you read the results below.
My enrollment stretch goal was 50.
What were the results of this launch?
38 people signed up (and 1 got a refund before content was released).
In the end, 37 people got access to the membership site on September 9th. I literally could not have planned that any better. In the end, I reached my main goal and fell short on my stretch goal. I’m okay with that, though. I think for the next round I’ll make my stretch goal (50) my new main goal.
Total revenue was $4,210.
Here’s the breakdown in enrollments:
- $2,928 for early bird self-study pass
- $985 for regular enrollment self-study pass
- $297 for early bird vip pass
Overall, it was a smaller launch than I’m used to, revenue-wise, but I’m super happy with the number of people I welcomed into the founder’s round.
What did I do to promote it and what were the results for each type of promotion?
Free Email Series
I put together a 7-step email series that taught people some of the keys for designing irresistible sales pages. Within the email series, I included little blurbs that updated people on the status of the launch. I.e. if the cart wasn’t open yet, I told them it was coming soon and if the cart was open, I invited them to check out the program.
This required updating the sales page after each phase of my launch – pre-launch, early bird and regular enrollment. It was worth the extra tasks though, because I wanted the email series, although evergreen, to look as if it was fresh content that I was sending out each day. I didn’t want an outdated message to give people a bad message about me or my program.
I started promoting my interested list and email series about at the end of April, about 3.5 months before I launched and have 784 total people signed up at the time of this post. I redirected all sales page URLs back to the landing page while the cart is closed, so people are able to opt-in at anytime.
I ran 2 Facebook Ad Sets for this launch:
- Pre-launch campaign to send people to my free email series (info on that above).
- Early bird campaign which was sort of a retargeting ad where I uploaded my email list with all of the people on my interested list (where people went if they opted in for my free email series or on my landing page) and my Facebook fans. I only targeted them since I was sending them directly to the sales page and I didn’t want it to be a completely cold lead.
As far as the conversion results go, I was pretty happy with them. I only ran ad set #1 and ad set #2 for a few days at a time and only set a daily budget of $3. Overall, I ended up spending $9.82, I reached about 424 people (pretty good, considering these were only people who were either Facebook fans, or already on my email list) and had 5 conversions. The cost per conversion ended up being about $2 — not too shabby, considering the early bird enrollment price was $97.
I meant to run a campaign once the early bird enrollment period had ended, but I never got around to setting up the campaign. I was going to run a few retargeting ads to those who had viewed the sales page but hadn’t purchased yet with messages like, “cart is closing soon” and “cart is closing today”. Lesson learned: set up the campaign BEFORE you launch and just plan on tweaking during the launch.
What did my launch process look like?
I had four phases to my launch process:
- Pre-Launch (3.5 months for list building, 4 weeks for blog posts)
- Early Bird (3 days)
- Regular Enrollment (7 days)
- Content Creation (3 weeks – I started creating content about 1 week before launch and released everything 2 weeks after enrollment ended)
I’m including content creation in the launch process, since I waited until after enrollment ended to create the majority of the content. It’s my way of making sure people are interested in the product before I spend time creating it.
Breakdown of when people purchased
My cart open dates lasted a total of 10 days, and because it had two different price phases, I’ve noted the Early-Bird phase (EB) and Regular Enrollment phase (RR) so you can see how many people signed up during each phase. I also noted by a ** whether or not a launch email went out on that day, because I didn’t find it surprising that people only purchased on days when an email went out. Just proof that no matter how afraid you are of emailing your list, do it anyways!
Day 1: 10 people purchased (First day of EB) **
Day 2: 7 people purchased (Second day of EB) **
Day 3: 16 people purchased (Last day of EB) **
Day 4: 0 people purchased **
Day 5: 0 people purchased
Day 6: 0 people purchased
Day 7: 0 people purchased
Day 8: 0 people purchased
Day 9: 0 people purchased
Day 10: 4 people purchased (Last day of RR) **
Then, I had 1 more person sign up last week after enrollment had ended!
What did I learn from this launch?
I want to be more creative with my content creation process.
More specifically, I’d like to figure out a way to do two things at once – build my community and create my content.
I’d like to test out doing a live product creation of a future program. Basically what happens is you host a free live training on the topic and sell tickets to a live workshop where you’ll teach people how to do one specific thing. During that live workshop, you are not only teaching a live audience, but you’re also creating the content for your program. You can then take those recordings and sell them as an evergreen product.
Another option would be to actually teach your product during the free live training and then sell the recordings to that training as your evergreen product.
Either way, I’d just like to try a new way of product creation. I think the feedback from the live audience would be interesting.
I have a lot of money blocks.
For this first launch, I wasn’t necessarily focused on getting a ton of people into the program. Instead, I was really just looking for an outside form of accountability to get this content created so I could keep moving on the idea.
However, I could feel myself shutting down as the enrollments kept coming in.
I think it was mostly self-doubt that I could do what I was saying I could do (which is ridiculous because I have clients paying me thousands of dollars to design their sales page for them), but I was all up in my own head.
I had my inner critic questioning if I could actually do this, if I could create the content in time, if I could really help people.
I’ve come to learn that I am definitely one of my biggest stumbling blocks. I plan to work with some coaches in the future around this confidence issue.
I get to focus on marketing and sales for the next round.
Since most of the launch period, I was worried about actually creating content, I didn’t get to spend as much of my time and energy on getting the word out as I would have liked. For future rounds, I get to spend much more time marketing the program, collaborating on webinars and setting up an affiliate program to help introduce the program to new audiences. I’m really excited about that!
I want to incorporate more urgency techniques into my launch.
Early-bird and the very end of the launch are always the busiest for sales. I knew that.
In order to keep people engaged in the middle of my launch, I would have loved to announce some time-limited bonuses or other types of urgency.
Thanks to the genius that is Amy Porterfield, I already have lots of ideas for things I can implement in the future.
What am I planning for the future of this program?
I have a few ideas floating around in my head.
My original idea for the program was to create a monster program that involved teaching people how to design sales pages AND membership sites within OptimizePress. However, there were a few problems with that.
I knew that if I waited until I created all of that content before I launched, that I would probably never launch.
AND, that was a lot of content to create.
I just didn’t feel like it was specific enough, and I’m all about niching down as far as I can go. It’s worked pretty well for me ever since I started focusing my custom design services on e-Course design, so I figured it would work pretty well here, too.
So, I may end up launching the membership site course separately and then combining the two programs together somehow. Or, I’ll keep them separate. I’m not entirely sure how that will work yet, but I’m keeping my options open. We’ll see where things go. 🙂
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