Launch Lessons from a disappointing launch
In my last blog I told you about my ‘disappointing launch’. If you have not read this you can check it out here. There were lots of health and mindset related reasons for having this disappointing launch but of-course there were some other reasons why my launch was not quite what I hoped it would be and some great things that we did right that paid off. I want to share these launch lessons with you today in the hopes that you will be able to look at your own launches and understand when things don’t quite go as planned but also perhaps find a few new things to try.
1. You can’t control the external environment
12 hours after I launched the e-Course Launch Formula for the 2016 round an online marketing powerhouse (and someone I really respect) released her own program on e-Courses.
She would have had a huge Facebook Ads budget (which impacted the success of mine as we were competing for the same audience) and a lot of my followers would also follow her.
Her product was NEW, and exciting, and people most certainly will have bought into the hype.
She also has an amazing track record and credibility with e-Courses so seriously she deserves every success with this program.
So yes I do believe this impacted my launch.
Yes the timing was kinda shitty for me.
However interestingly I have been told by someone how many people enrolled and the approximate size of her list.
So being the analytics nerd I am I thought OK let’s calculate her conversion rate…
Guess what it was no higher than mine and likely even lower.
She just has a bigger list!
You can’t control the external environment – you can only do YOUR best. AND the size of your list is critical to your success. Part of the reason I have just hired someone whose key role will be list-building!
2. Early-bird discounts are super powerful
This year I decided not to have an early-bird discount. I have always had an early-bird discount so this was scary to say the least.
What this meant was a different launch strategy and a higher overall price for my participants.
My reasoning for not having an early-bird was because we intend to make e-Course Launch Formula evergreen in early 2016 while we focus on some other projects. I’m not a fan of fake urgency with evergreen products and ‘manufactured’ early-bird prices so it made sense to transition to just one price.
However, it clearly affected sales.
People love to feel that they are getting a deal.
It adds an extra urgency period into your launch.
Feedback was that a discount would have been much more attractive than the extra bonuses we offered.
My sales were down around 40% from last launch so I feel pretty certain this contributed.
Do I regret this decision?
Well from a revenue perspective yes as it could have been a much bigger launch with an early-bird discount.
But in a way, no, because it meant I had to get much more creative and try different ways of building urgency and scarcity in my launch and we learnt so much.
In my role as a launch strategist if I am not trying new things and testing things then I don’t really think I am doing my job! And sometimes this means testing and proving something DOESN’T work or isn’t as effective.
Don’t discount the importance of having an early-bird discount and if you don’t have one then expect lower conversion rates!
3. Retargeting is a secret weapon
In this last launch I used Facebook ads and Google Retargeting.
What does this mean?
Well it means that we were able to target various ads campaigns to people who had already visited my websites and sales pages and were therefore warm leads.
You know how when you visit a website and then little ads start following you around Facebook and other websites you browse from that business? Well that is retargeting (i.e. slightly stalkerish!).
Whilst I have not done my full post-launch review yet the retargeting resulted in thousands of clicks through that we may not have otherwise had and a lot of sales as a result.
Why is retargeting useful?
Because people will not always buy the first time they land on your sales page and many will not be on your list getting the sales emails.
Sometimes they forget to purchase, get busy and life intervenes.
The more you can remind them about your e-Course during your launch (on multiple platforms) the higher your chances of making the sale.
Remarketing is one of your most effective marketing tools currently and it is much cheaper than normal Facebook ads to cold audiences. Every launch should have remarketing campaigns. Need help? I recommend Louise Griffiths (for Facebook Remarketing) and Search Kings (Google Remarketing)
4. Each launch is different
In the last 3-4 launches I have successfully doubled my enrollments each round.
So I thought to myself this is a done deal – I can easily double again!But the reality is every launch is different. Click To Tweet
During my Sept 2015 launch (my biggest launch ever) I had two big affiliates come on-board.
One is a good friend of mine and she has a large and targeted list to my program. In my experience with affiliates the first time someone comes on as an affiliate for a new program is generally the time you will get the highest conversion. Last round I paid this affiliate out $28k in commissions. Expecting the same results this time was wishful thinking based on previous experience with affiliates.
The second large affiliate from last year is the creator of the membership platform I use, Access Ally. I got super lucky last launch as she was looking for case studies and because my membership site had been so lovingly and beautifully designed she did a case study of my membership site and sent it to her list during my launch. This converted amazing well, with lower numbers of leads than the other affiliate but a VERY high conversion rate because her audience is even more targeted. But this really was a once off opportunity and during my last launch she was on Maternity Leave and not running promotions for affiliates.
In my experience you won’t get these big breaks every launch.
Whilst we brought on a number of new affiliates this launch none of them had the impact these two had last launch.
You need to be seeking out new affiliates and promotion opportunities every launch. Don’t rest on your laurels.
5. Your health has to come first
Ultimately I went into the last launch after 4 months of back and neck pain, thyroid issues and adrenal fatigue.
It was NOT the ideal time to launch.
This launch was my most organised, planned, systematised and automated launch ever.
If I hadn’t have been sick it would have been a dream!
But I did get very sick with a severe infection for the last two weeks of the launch and I made a decision that my health would come first.
I didn’t “push through” – I rested.
I was able to make this decision because my planning, systems and automation was so advanced and because I have built a solid support team. I feel pretty blessed about that.
Yes if I had been in peak health I could have done more, my general self-care and mindset would have been better and I feel sure I would have had better financial results.
Launches unfortunately do generally take a toll on your physically and emotionally and if you are going into one already sick well it is a recipe for disaster from a health perspective.
But honestly I rank the success of this last launch on the fact that I WAS able to care for myself and still do well over six-figures in revenues!
Lesson:There are many factors that determine success in a launch and revenues are just one of them. Click To Tweet
My launch was successful on so many levels despite not meeting my financial goals.
If you can ensure that you go into a launch with peak health, focus on your movement and exercise in the months leading up to it, nurture your spirit with meditation, get any health supplements you need to boost your immune and make sure you don’t slack off on your health and wellness leading up to and during a launch.
This is a lesson I still need to learn but this last launch truly taught me the effect that going into a launch with sub-par health can have.
I hope that my 5 key launch learnings have been useful to you. Keep an eye out for my program on next level launching coming out later this year!You might also like: