AMY PORTERFIELD: Welcome back to another episode of The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield. Thank you so very, very much for being here.
In today’s episode we’re going to go behind the scenes of my most recent launch of my newest program, Courses That Convert. The timing of this recording is so perfect because tomorrow morning my husband, Hobie, and I are leaving for a mini vacation to Mexico.
This mini vacation is to celebrate reaching the finish line of my brand new program. I wanted to share that with all of you because those of you who are in my program, Courses That Convert, know that what I do in the very beginning is encourage you to choose a deadline so that you know when you’re going to complete your course.
Then I have you decide how you’re going to celebrate once you meet that little milestone. This little Mexico getaway is my celebration to meeting my deadline. I want to add that in the early days when I would plan a little celebration like this I was a little bit more strapped for cash.
Instead of planning a Mexico getaway I would plan a fun dinner out with my husband or maybe a spa day with my girlfriends. They weren’t always this fancy. But as my business has grown I’ve definitely upped my game a little bit with my getaways and celebrations and all that good stuff when I met some deadlines.
Just remember, if you’re starting out, take baby steps.
As I mentioned, today is all about pulling back the curtain of my most recent launch and sharing with you what worked well and examining some missteps along the way.
But before I get into all the details, I thought it would be helpful to set the stage to help you better understand what the launch looked like overall.
Here’s the breakdown. The launch was in two phases. We did a pre-launch phase that lasted about two weeks. Then we went into the launch phase. In the launch phase, that’s when the cart opens and the cart closes.
The cart opened on May 4. For me “cart open” means my first live webinar where I sell my program. The cart closed on May 17. During that time I did six live webinars plus one live webinar to a segment of my past customers. I’ll drill down on who they were and why I did that a little bit later.
I also did not use affiliates. I’m not saying that’s a good thing or a bad thing. But when I launch a brand new program I typically only launch to my own list just in case there are some things I need to work out. I don’t want to affect the partner that I’m working with.
I didn’t use affiliates. The entire launch was fueled by my own list and my Facebook ad efforts. In addition to that, during the pre-launch phase I mentioned, we did two podcast episodes dedicated to course creation topics and then in those podcast episodes I linked to the registration page for my live webinars.
We also did one epic blog post which I teach about a lot, writing an epic blog post, something people would want to share. With that we included a freebie. We ran ads to it for about two weeks leading up to the launch phase.
The program was $997 or we had a 12-pay of $97. There were just two options of $997 or 12-pay of $97. We also did an upsell. It was $297. It was a slide deck template. We basically had my designer create a series of slide decks that would work well for course creators.
That was an upsell. Once people bought they saw that offer as well. That was part of the final revenue numbers.
Speaking of final revenue numbers, this launch proved to be my most successful to date. We hit a little over $1.95 million, almost $2 million in revenue for this launch. That’s pretty incredible, for sure. I never take that lightly. And I’m really proud of my entire team for all of their hard work and dedication.
I have to admit that I’m always uncomfortable throwing out numbers to launches for a few reasons. I know where I was just a few years back and when I would hear those really big numbers I would get excited about the potential for my own business. But I would also look at my own business and wonder how I would ever get there.
I would feel like small potatoes based on the numbers a person just threw out and would wonder where I fit in the whole mix of online marketing. I wondered if I would ever get there. So I started to doubt myself a lot when I would hear numbers like that.
I guess I’m sensitive to it because I just want to remind you that I have been at this for a long time. You can’t compare your business today where my business is now. We’re likely on different journeys. We likely started at different times and we have very different life experiences and everybody does this differently.
Sometimes it takes people a lot longer or a lot shorter. I think I’m probably right there in the middle. I’ve been doing this since 2009. Just remember that this takes time.
I also wanted to throw out there that getting to a $2 million launch obviously doesn’t happen by luck. Not only do I think it takes time to get there but I also think it takes a lot of long-term strategic planning. Like I said, some of you will get there a whole lot faster than I did. It might take others some trial and error along the way.
I’m talking over a series of years. And that’s okay. When I did $30,000 on my first launch I feel like I was just as excited about that as I was for $2 million because the mindset is still the same, “Holy cow! People want my programs. They love what I’m doing. This is actually working. I cracked a code!” That excitement still feels the same and I just wanted to throw that out there.
I will also tell you that the goal of this episode is to give you an in-the-trenches, here’s- what-worked view of my recent launch. Take what you like, leave what does not serve you right now in your business, and use all of this to fuel you to keep you moving forward in your own business.
That’s truly how I hope you use this episode so let’s go ahead and dive in.
Let me give you a breakdown of how this episode is going to go. I feel like it’s a little bit of a beast. I think it took me four hours to prepare, just pulling all of the information together, organizing it for you, thinking about it, talking to my team, and getting their feedback.
Just bear with me that there is a lot to cover here. I thought it would be helpful to kind of tell you where we’re going with this. First we’re going to look at my launch team. I often get asked what my team looks like during a launch and how it is different than everyday inside my business.
I’m going to share with you what my team looks like. Next I’m going to talk to you a little bit about the mindset of launching and how you need to prepare yourself for any launch you do, big or small.
After that I’ll share with you how we set up our webinar registration options to protect ourselves against any tech issues and possible launch problems. From there I’m going to share with you how to personalize your launch message in two different ways to insure you grab the attention of the perfect, ideal customer for your program.
Then I’m going to share with you the two big missteps in my launch, what they were and how we were able to bounce back from them pretty quickly, not perfectly bounce back from them, but we were able to hustle a little bit to correct things as fast as humanly possible. These are some good lessons.
One of the missteps that I’m thankful we were able to salvage was with my closing day emails. The freebie for today’s episode will be the actual email copy that I wrote for our final cart closing emails. I wanted to show you what worked and am also going to talk to you a little bit about how I tweaked them at the last minute to make sure they actually worked.
Today’s actual freebie is my swipe copy from my closing cart date emails. I‘ll tell you how to get your hands on that in a little bit. Finally, I’ll close things up with a discussion on my Facebook ad experience. I’ll tell you how much money we spent in our ads (brace yourself), I’ll tell you what worked with our ads, what wasn’t working, and just give you some insight for your next ad strategy as well.
As I mentioned, I’ve got a lot to share. First, let’s talk about what my launch team looked like. I always say I have a small but mighty team. As of today, I only have two full-time employees. One was just hired on June 1. Then I have some really amazing part-time employees as well.
For my launches we definitely bulk up on the team support in many different ways. Let me give you a rundown.
First, you have probably heard me mention this before, but I have a full-time project manager at all times. She’s been with me for about one year now. Her name is Chloe and she is fantastic. This was her second biggest launch.
In many ways, Chloe totally ran the show for the Courses That Convert product launch. For the first time, I really do feel I was hands off on many aspects of this launch. Let me preface that with saying I was hands off until it came time to review.
Since we now have this launch strategy down, Chloe knew what to do, how to move forward, and what to look for. She was able to manage so many moving pieces. To be specific, she manages the creation of multiple webinar registration pages, multiple sales pages, email copy, order forms, and of course, many other things. She manages our designer, Jess, and all of the aspects of what Jess does.
She also manages the programmers and coders and any extra contractors that we might bring on. She works inside Infusionsoft with my business partner Devin. She is extremely hands on and that’s why she needs to be full time.
It’s nice that she’s been through a few different launches; one big launch with Webinars That Convert, and a few other smaller ones as well. She was definitely prepared to take this on and I’m so very proud of her. She did an excellent job.
That helped me immensely but I want to point out that I’ve been launching for a long time and I just shared with you that this is the first launch that I feel like I was really hands off in the creation of all of the materials and I got to step in at two points.
Of course I was part when we first conceptualized everything and decided what our message was going to be and what the whole strategy looked like. I was then able to pull back a bit and continue to work on creating my product and then come back in when my product was completed and review everything in terms of the messaging, the sales page, the webinar registration, and all that good stuff.
My job during a launch is in two parts. I do all of the course creation and edit all of my videos for the course creation. Of course I have a huge say in how we’re going to message the entire launch around the product I just created. I do all content creation in terms of podcasts and blog posts.
I work really closely with the copywriter so I’ll talk to you about that. I’m involved at that level. Then I’m also very much involved in the webinar creation. I completely create my own webinar content. I put all of my own slides together after I have a slide deck template created.
I work out that entire thing and anybody who’s in my webinars course knows that it takes me a while to create a webinar for a launch. It takes at least a good solid week. Sometimes even a little bit more.
Content creation is definitely my place in my business. Then, of course, overseeing everybody as a team and reviewing all of the stuff that we are creating for the launch.
Moving from Chloe, we also have three main support people at all times during a launch. We use Rhino as our support tool for emails. We have one gal that will answer all of the emails that come in through our support desk during a launch. This is the same gal, her name is Kate, that does it when we’re not in a launch but she ups her hours.
She’s more available because we get a lot of emails asking questions about the program or challenges with getting on the webinar or challenges with anything. We want to make sure we get back to people really quickly since we are in launch mode and it only goes for about two weeks anyway. We are fully staffed during that time.
My support team is also managing live chat during a webinar and live chat on our sales pages. That’s a big one, not every single hour of the launch but at peak hours, for sure, and then throughout the day they will get pinged when someone might jump on the sales page and have a question.
We also hired a designer. Jess is my designer. I absolutely love her. I’ve talked about her a bunch. She did all of the branding for the actual course and then for the actual launch as well. We’re talking webinar registration pages, sales page, logos, webinar templates, email graphics, tons of stuff. If you’re in any of my courses you have received a graphic list of all of the graphics that you might need during a course creation process and during a launch. That’s all Jess.
She is one busy bee. We usually have her for a project basis. We will tell her we need her for a good 30-60 days. We will give her all of the stuff we want her to work on and she gives us a project fee. That tends to be how we work with Jess during launches.
From there we have a programmer, a coder, to build our webinar registration pages. We don’t use Lead Pages during launches because we do a lot of custom stuff with them. I’ll talk about that a little bit later. We get those all custom designed. We get a sales page custom designed. We need a designer/programmer/coder for all of that.
I promise, I won’t keep harping on this, but those of you who know me well know this is a sensitive point for me, I tell you all of this but I did not have custom registration pages and custom sales pages and custom order forms when I was just starting out. This is something I’ve grown into. Inside my courses, when I teach them I will say, “Yes, mine’s custom but if you’re in your first few years of business and you don’t have the budget to do so, I love Lead Pages.”
I love SamCart for my order forms and I usually give you the tools I love to not go custom until you’re ready to go to that next level. I promise I won’t keep harping on that. It’s just a sensitive part with me that I like to take care of you, I guess, if you’re just starting out and I don’t want to overwhelm you.
Moving on with my team, we also hired somebody to build out my member’s area. We use Wishlist and OptimizePress. We have from the get go. We have thought about changing to some other different platforms but it’s a big to do to change out all of your stuff.
Everything is integrated with my member site, My funnels, Infusionsoft, my order forms, there is a lot of integration. We haven’t moved although Wishlist and OptimizePress have served us well. I did gave somebody come in to not only set that up, but to customize it.
If you’re in Courses That Convert there’s some customization that’s going on from Chris Barber, who I’ve talked about in my programs before. He gets in there and helps me make it look really good.
I also have a copywriter. My copywriter works on my launch materials including sales pages and emails. His name is Ry Schwartz. I absolutely love him. I get to work really closely with him and go back and forth in terms of what the program is all about, who it’s for, what the messaging is, and he has worked with me on a few launches. I think this would be third so I think he really nailed it with this one and I’m so pleased to work with him. I think he is a genius in many, many ways and he’s a lot of fun to work with.
Again, I haven’t always had a copywriter. This is something new over the last year or so.
Moving on, we had a full-time Facebook ads manager that ran all of our ads. He has been working with us for over a year now and he did a lot of experimentation and a lot of testing and research. I actually had him give me feed back about our ad experience and I have some really cool things to share with you about what worked, what didn’t work, and what you can apply to your next ad strategy based on what we did inside this launch. We’re going to get there for sure.
I told you, it’s lot. This episode is a beast so I’m going to try to get through some of this very quickly so you can apply it to your business and you don’t feel overwhelmed. That is my goal.
I have five strategies that I want to share with you. I already ran through them when I gave you where we’re going with this. But let’s jump in to Strategy #1, Be in Launch Mode. This is around the mindset of launching.
When I say to “be in launch mode,” I mean that when you’re launching you are doing just that, you are launching and you are not doing anything else. The way to make this work is that you need to look at your calendar way in advance.
We knew this was on the calendar back in October, 2015. To be quite honest with you, just to kind of give you a little flexibility in what you’re doing, we actually moved it by two weeks. I needed a little extra time with finishing my program. Because of that I said I needed to finish the program and focus and we needed to move it just a little bit.
We tweaked the schedule a little bit just to make sure we were ready. I feel that happens a lot. Just don’t let yourself move it too far in advance that you’re never even getting to it. Anyway, I wanted to share that with you.
Back to getting in launch mode, I looked at my calendar and knew when we were launching. Everything else gets taken off my calendar during those two weeks, especially. During cart open that’s all I’m doing.
This works in two ways. It allows you to be totally on to give 110% of your energy to the launch. I love that it allows you to be flexible. It allows you to jump into areas you didn’t know you would need to. It allows you some late nights.
Although they aren’t pretty, it happens. It allows you to totally be all in and not have to worry about a million other things. That means you don’t want to be traveling to some networking event during a launch. You don’t want to be doing some random interviews on other people’s podcasts if it doesn’t pertain to your launch.
You don’t want to take clients during that time and you don’t want to plan any parties with your friends during that time. Of course you need to take care of your family and take care of yourself during that time but all of the other work stuff should go away as much as possible.
What that allowed for me was that when I had an idea to start using Facebook Live more it came around the time we launched. I finally made the commitment. I talked about this on another episode. I went to Social Media Marketing World and really bought into the conversation that Facebook Live is where it’s at and I do agree with that.
It was right before we launched so I decided to do it. Because I had freed up my calendar I was able to wake up in the morning and decide to do a Facebook Live today. We were in launch mode so I would talk about “this” topic. I was able to sit down, formulate it all, get on Facebook Live and do a good job.
But if I had a million other things going beyond my launch I wouldn’t have had the space to think about how I wanted to use Facebook Live during my launch. That was kind of a last-minute thing. I love that I had the space to do so.
In addition to that, being in launch mode, you want to make sure you prepare yourself. That means your fridge is full of really good food that will keep you fueled. Maybe you have a conversation with your spouse that you are moving into a rough time and you are going to be a little less available, if that’s something you’re able to do in your life.
You should maybe even ask for extra support. I said this the last time I reviewed a launch with Webinars That Convert. My mom, who lives five minutes away, was extra helpful. She would come over and take Gus for walks while I was super busy on webinars. She would even cook me lunch once in a while. She just made sure I was taken care of.
She would help me pick up Cade from school if I happened to be on a webinar. That’s all the stuff you want to look at the calendar and think about where you’re going to need a little extra support. If you can, ask for it.
I also want to let you know that when I’m in launch mode I do a 15-minute check-in call with my team every morning. I hate these calls because I don’t like set meetings every morning. I shouldn’t say I hate them. They’re not my favorite.
They are usually early, around 7 a.m. or 8 a.m. This time we were even able to push them until 9 a.m. and that’s great. But when you do these launch calls it’s just a quick check in. Usually one person manages them. In this case it was Chloe, our project manager.
We would jump on. It would be our support team. It would be Trivinia, Kate, and Lindsay, and Kim. I had four people. It was usually three people on at all times. Then Chloe would jump in and I’d be there. We would say, “Okay, Chloe, go with it.”
She would give us an update. She would tell us anyplace we might be having a problem. Trivinia would fill us in on what potential customers were saying, the questions they were asking, and where they might be getting stuck.
That helped me formulate my Q&A during a webinar because I started to hear where customers might have had questions already. This happened during the entire launch from the day the cart opened until the day the cart closed, except on weekends when we did not get on calls.
There you go, Strategy #1 is for you to be in launch mode, clear your calendar, be present, make it all about your customers during that time. You will be able to be flexible when things pop up.
Strategy #2, Hedge Your Bets. By that I mean that you want to make sure you don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. I’m specifically talking about our webinar registration strategy.
Before I started to record this episode I went to my business partner, Devin Duncan, and I asked him what he thought worked really well with this launch. One of the things he brought up to me was that we did six live webinars and when we advertised those live webinars we did not put all six times on the registration page.
Instead, we just did two at a time. One registration page would list the first two times. The next registration page would list the next two times. When we started to promote the webinars about seven days in advance we would actually split that. Half of the ads would go to registration page #1 and half of the ads would go to registration page #2.
At all times we were filling up the first four webinars. The last two webinars were closer to cart close so when we were in pre-launch mode filling up our webinars we weren’t even sending people to the last two webinars. They were too far off on the calendar.
We focused on the first four webinars and we split them 50/50 with our ad traffic because we wanted to fill them up evenly. This is something that was actually a strategy from Devin. He said he didn’t want to front load. He didn’t want most of the people to be in the first two webinars. There are a few reasons for that.
I am not my best on the very first webinar. No matter how much I practice, until I’m totally live I can’t really identify the areas that aren’t flowing so perfectly, the areas I would like to change, ways I want to tweak my webinar.
My webinar is everything to this launch because it’s the only way we sell. You get on a webinar, you hear about the program after I teach you some stuff, and then we go into our email marketing. It has to be good.
Because of that, Devin knows I want to give you a little bit of time to warm up. That is one of the reasons we do a webinar to a segmented customer list. I’ll talk about that in the next little strategy I give you. We’ll come back to that later.
What I want to share with you here is that we didn’t front load, partly because of the reason that sometimes it takes me a while to warm up. Another reason, he said if we actually came out and gave all of the times to people, people typically go for those first two times and that would have front loaded it.
Devin asked the question, what if we had a technical issue? We actually did with one of our first webinars. He said if we had a technical issue we would really have a challenge in terms of getting sales in right away if the order form isn’t working or something is wrong with the webinar and they can’t hear you and the majority of people were on the first webinar.
Typically, we can work out a tech challenge right away and we won’t have to have it for the webinars to come afterwards. That was another reason he didn’t want everyone signing up for the first two webinars. I really love this strategy in that he broke up the first four webinars. They were pretty even.
If we had 2,000 people in the first webinar, we typically had 2,000 in the next, the next, and the next. It worked out really well across the board and I like that strategy. If you’re going to do multiple live webinars (I suggest this to all of my students inside Webinars That Convert) I want to encourage you to possibly spread it out a little bit.
Yes, that meant we needed multiple registration pages. Of course that was more work. But I think it was worth it.
Moving on to Strategy #3, Make It Personal. This is all about making your message resonate with your perfect, ideal audience. There were two ways we were able to do this in this launch.
The first way, and you actually experience this if you signed up for one of my webinars, after you signed up for my webinar I took you to a thank-you page. On that thank-you page was a survey. Again, this was all custom but there are ways to do it like in Survey Monkey as well.
The survey was just a one-question survey. It was something like, “What’s the #1 reason that has stopped you from either creating your course or finishing your course?” It was related to course creation.
We had a bunch of different options they could choose. The last one was “other” and they could actually fill in the blank. The options were: Not enough time, I don’t know where to start, I’m not comfortable teaching inside of a course, etc. They were typically the challenges I hear most often from my students.
We gave them three or four options to choose and one to fill in the blank. What was really cool, Ry, my copywriter, wrote one specific email for each of those challenges. You likely didn’t even notice this but if you signed up for one of my webinars, the emails that followed those webinars were very specific to the challenge (if you did choose a challenge) on the thank you page.
That challenge might have been, “I don’t know how to do the techy stuff.” Ry wrote a really fun email about how we all get stuck in the tech. Sometimes you want to get a piñata of the MailChimp mascot and beat it to the ground.
We talked about technology with email marketing and webinars and course creation and how that’s very frustrating and how my course will take that frustration out immediately and how it will take the frustration away. It was very specific to your challenge.
Did that mean it was more work for us to create those emails? Heck yeah. Poor Ry was writing like a crazy guy. But I think it was really valuable to get personal at that level. This is the first time I did that. I will definitely do that again. I liked how we were able to personalize in the middle of the launch through our email communication.
If they chose the “other” one it was interesting for me to see all of the reasons people actually typed in. That was good research for me but we also had a general email ready for that if that’s the one people chose.
Another way we made my launch personal, and I’ve mentioned this a few times, we did one separate personal webinar for a segment of my audience. That segment was those that were already in my Webinars That Convert program.
I have over 2,300 people, if not more, inside my Webinars That Convert program. I wanted to do a webinar just for them for multiple reasons. One selfish reason, and not the most important reason, I’m not my best on my first webinar. It takes a while to work out some of the things I want to say in the flow of my webinar.
I like to do a webinar to my customers because, quite honestly, they’re more forgiving. They allow for some mistakes that I wouldn’t want to do in front of somebody that doesn’t have any connection with me whatsoever.
If I’m going to mess up on something I would rather do it with somebody that trusts me and knows that I know my stuff. Again, they are more forgiving. That’s kind of the selfish less important reason I do that.
Another reason I do it is that I get to speak in a different, very personal language to my customers. I get to talk to them as though they are a part of my family, which is kind of a cool thing. It’s like you guys know me, you know I talk about this or that, or you know I’ve taught this. They have that connection with me instantly. It’s actually a more fun conversation to have.
In addition to that, these people bought Webinars That Convert. They are going to promote, of course, online inside their webinar. I know a lot of them joined Webinars That Convert but weren’t yet finished with their course. A lot of them had started their course but hadn’t finished it. If that’s the case they would love the new program.
The messaging on Webinars That Convert was more toward an audience that I could say had probably already started a course but hadn’t reached the finish line, “Here’s how Courses That Convert will get you to the finish line.”
If it was a cold audience I would probably talk more about how Courses That Convert will help you get started and then reach that finish line. The program does both. It was a different conversation and I also can offer them a special bonus or something extra because they are a customer.
You don’t have to go that route but that’s also another option. I just wanted to put it out there that going to your existing customers during a launch and having a different, more personal, conversation with them makes a huge difference.
We have so many Webinars That Convert members inside Courses That Convert. If that’s you, thank you so very much for putting your trust in me again and joining another program. I really believe that the two programs together are exactly what you need to just have amazing results in your business. I have no doubt and literally designed them to do so.
Moving on to our fourth strategy, Do What Works. This is something I’ve been talking about for a long time. There is no need to reinvent the wheel in your business. Continue to figure out what works and then do it again and again and again.
I talk about this all the time but sometimes I have missteps and I don’t follow my own strategies in my own lessons. In this case it happened twice during this launch. This strategy, Do What Works, is based on two missteps that I had along the way.
My motto in my business is always to keep things simple. You will likely never see me doing a launch with 50 different moving parts that are crazy complicated. That’s just not me. I always start with creating a solid offer with highly desirable trainings and bonuses included in that offer.
As I mentioned in the intro, my launches usually consist of pre-launch free content that I really take seriously. I make sure it’s really good. Then I do multiple free live webinars and then I do a lot of Facebook ad goodness and then heavy segmented email marketing.
That is typically how I do launches. I’ve gotten pretty good about my entire launch strategy from start to finish. But again, even though I’ve done this a lot, I still obviously make mistakes, like everybody.
One of my missteps with this launch was something I was able to salvage at the last minute, thank goodness. I really want to thank my team for that as well. In my past launches we’ve always created a 48-hour fast-action bonus. I did it with Webinars That Convert during the launch. I did it with my B-School launch recently.
Basically, in the middle of the launch I pick two days and do a special bonus that you can only get for 48 hours. If you already purchased you are going to get the bonus. But, if you are still on the fence, if you purchase between this 48-hour timeframe, you also get an extra special bonus.
We do that because at that point a lot of people are on the fence. They need a little boost to either say they are in or that they aren’t going to do it and they are out. For all of those that are sitting on the fence, in the middle of a launch, things get a little bit slow if you don’t have a reason to introduce them with a new opportunity.
They have already heard your pitch. They have likely been on your webinar. They’ve seen some of your emails. They are just sitting there not sure yet. I like to give them a reason to take action. It always works really well. It’s usually a really desirable bonus and I love doing it.
For some reason we totally missed it in Courses That Convert. We didn’t have one prepared. About two days leading up to it Devin asked if we had a fast-action bonus that would go out on the two days. Chloe and I looked at each other like, “No!”
I don’t know how we missed it. Devin typically doesn’t get involved in the content creation of the emails and stuff so he wasn’t aware of it but we totally missed it. Those calls are incredibly valuable for just that.
At this point we had some options. I want to run through these options with you about what we could have done with this 48-hour bonus misstep and then tell you why we chose the one we chose. Option #1, we could have said it was a total bummer. We didn’t plan a 48-hour bonus and it is too late. We have a plan in place and we need to stick to our plan. We can’t veer off our plan so we are just not going to do it. We will do it next time.
We didn’t select that option because we knew this fast-action bonus in the middle of the launch works. That was leaving too much money on the table and it was just a silly thing not to do it.
Option #2, we could have squeezed in the 48-hour bonus and then changed a bunch of the follow-up emails around. We actually wrote all of the follow-up emails in advance (of course). Because of that, if we actually added a 48-hour bonus we would have to change a lot of the follow-up emails. They wouldn’t have made sense. They referenced different dates, times, deadlines, and it would have messed up a lot of the emails to follow.
Adding a 48-hour bonus at the time we discovered we had missed it was going to be extremely taxing on my team. Even beyond that, there was a lot of room for error. If we tweaked one email and forgot another email that was already in the campaign it could have really messed up our entire email sequence. That made me really nervous. I didn’t love that option. Doing it exactly how we did it last year with Webinars That Convert, I didn’t think that was the best way to go.
The third option, the one we went with, we decided we could do something similar. We could adapt. Instead of doing the 48 hours, which wasn’t going to fit into our schedule, we could do a 24-hour bonus. This was actually perfect because at that point I had gotten to hear a lot of the objections.
I had heard why people weren’t ready to sign up. I got to hear a lot of questions people asked because I was doing live webinars at that point during the middle of the launch. I knew the questions they were asking. I knew where their concerns were. I actually had more information than I would have had weeks before if I had planned the bonus then.
There was a silver lining. I knew that people were really into creating the course. They love that. They were most concerned about what happens after they create the course. Was I going to talk about launching?
Many people knew I had an entire course separate from Courses That Convert all about launching with webinars. They wanted to know if I would give any launching how-to inside courses that convert. There are tons of bonuses about launching inside Courses That Convert.
I knew this was a hot topic so I created a live workshop that, for 24-hours, if you signed up during this time you could get this online live workshop where I dive a little bit deeper into launching. That’s exactly what it was. I was able to create something really specific because I was listening to my potential customers.
Again, a silver lining but we also didn’t do 48 hours. We probably would have done even better if we had the full 48 hours but we did a 24-hour bonus. It did incredibly well. I was so pleased with it and it definitely moved the needle on those that were kind of still sitting on the fence.
I just wanted to throw that out there. I think fast-action bonuses in the middle of a launch are incredibly important. Ideally you want to create them in advance. There is a silver lining that I knew exactly what kind of bonus I wanted to create because I was listening to my customers. But it was very stressful to try to pull it together at the last minute. I don’t suggest that.
If you’re going to launch for two weeks look at the middle section and find two days, I usually like to do it on a Thursday and Friday, you can do it whenever. But I do like that strategy in general. Then you just need to tag people appropriately and figure out the best way to do that knowing when they bought they get a special tag so you can go back and deliver that extra special bonus.
The moral of the story on that one is to continue to do what works. Really look over our entire launch strategy and make sure you didn’t leave anything out from past launches that you’ve done that have worked really well for you.
Moving on to the second misstep of this launch, this one is all about email marketing. I’ve said this before, but on cart closing day we typically send out three emails. Yes, that feels aggressive and I remember the first time I did it I wanted to hide under my desk. But there is no way I would ever turn back and not do it. It works really well.
On the final day we had almost $500,000 come in, just on the final day. It was a big day for us, for sure. Cart close is always a big day. It is typically bigger but when you do those fast-action bonuses in the middle I think it takes away a little bit from the final cart close day. That is fine because it all comes out in the wash.
We had a big day but we really almost screwed ourselves. We might not have had such a good day if we hadn’t caught this mistake. I had Ry write our final cart close emails because he’s our copywriter. They were amazing and beautify.
Ry is such a genius copywriter that he can weave in awesome stories and connect with the emotions that my potential students are feeling right then and there before they buy so he is able to connect with them at a level I’ve never seen a copywriter able to do. That is what I love about him.
I failed to tell Ry that those final emails on the final day needed to be really short and to the point. The whole goal is to get them to click to go to the sales page and read one final time, make a decision, and buy.
I didn’t tell him that so I had him write emails that were based more on stories and examples and overall benefits of the program. When the first email went out on the morning of cart close I noticed we didn’t see a big surge in sales like we typically would.
Devin went back and looked at the email and said the goal of the email was not, “Hey, this is your final day. The countdown timer is going, you’ve got to make a decision.” It really wasn’t based around that goal of getting people to click, check out the sales page, and buy.
I looked at the other two emails and quickly tweaked them. Again, this isn’t a Ry mistake. This is an Amy mistake. I didn’t communicate properly. As I said, Ry and I have a lot of conversations. Yes, he might be the mastermind of writing them but it’s my voice and my message.
I communicate a lot to Ry and just missed the mark with this one. Here’s what’s crazy about this, I’ve done final emails on launches for years now. For some reason I just didn’t communicate this one right. I don’t know why but we kind of amaze ourselves sometimes. How did I make that mistake? I should have known.
I don’t know, maybe I was thinking of something else. I wasn’t totally focused. Maybe I was too focused on another strategy we were working on. I’m not really sure, but I missed the boat. We quickly looked at the second and third emails that were going to go out and tweaked them.
I put countdown timers in the emails. That is a huge must. If you’re going to send three emails on the final day I would at least put the countdown timers in two emails. If you’ve seen any of my emails during the launch we actually have a countdown timer that’s ticking away inside your inbox.
When you open your email you actually see it ticking away. It creates a sense of urgency and scarcity. It’s true, the cart’s closing. At the time I’m recording this you cannot buy Courses That Convert. The cart closed.
I wanted to add timers and the second thing I wanted to do was shorten them and just really focus on making a decision, “now’s the time.”
As a freebie, I want give you the three emails (I’m actually going to tweak the first one to make sure it reads as it should have because it went out not reading as it should have) that went out. That’s my freebie for this episode. I thought it would be valuable for you to see what works in terms of final cart close emails. They worked really well.
Once we tweaked things we were off to the races. We had a great final day. If you go to http://www.amyporterfield.com/116download or text the phrase 116download to 33444 I will give you my swipe file. I will give you the final three emails that we sent on closing day so that you can see them in action.
Of course you’re not going to copy these. Of course you’re not going to take them word by word and work them into your own launch because, as you know, this is my own voice, my own style, and we work really hard to create the content during a launch. Please do not use them word for word but use them as a guide so you can see them in action.
I always say I’m a show and tell kind of girl. I want to show you exactly what we did and not just tell you so please be careful with how you use those.
One quick side note to all of that is that in the final emails, at the last minute, I added a P.S. I think it might have been in email one or two. I talked about the fact that I was going live on my Facebook Page that day to answer any final questions if you were still on the fence.
You want to do that earlier in the morning or in the afternoon and not wait for the last email, of course. We actually linked to my Facebook Page and told them exactly what time I was going live. I think that definitely made a big difference as well.
We actually used Facebook Live on cart close day twice. My team, they are crazy, thought the first time I did Facebook Live worked really well. I was able to answer a lot of questions. People were really engaged. I did that probably around 4 or 5 in the afternoon because cart closed at midnight.
They then encouraged me to get back on around 10 or 10:30. I go to bed at 10 so that was very, very late for me. But, of course, on cart close day I stay up until midnight. I was up so I thought, “Let’s do this.” We did it one more time and that was really cool.
I don’t know if this is right or wrong, but I also wanted to share a little thing I do with Facebook Live. If I’m going to go on Facebook Live on my Facebook Page and talk about something that’s incredibly timely like cart closing, or the 24-hour bonus (another thing that helped immensely), because I only did a 24-hour bonus and not a 48-hour bonus, I went live on my Facebook Page and did a FB Live all about the fact the bonus was going away in just a few hours.
With that video and the cart closing videos I actually deleted them when the launch closed. I don’t know if that’s bad or good. I don’t know if it affects the algorithm on my Facebook Page but I didn’t want those videos on the Facebook Page and have somebody come to my Facebook Page for the first time, looking through my stuff, watching videos, and hearing about stuff they could not participate in.
I just didn’t want the videos sitting on my page. I also don’t want to do a bunch of FB Live that are all salesy. It was during a launch. Of course I’m going to sell more during a launch. But I don’t want that to be what my Facebook Live videos are all about. If they were really salesy (Like – I was going for it – there’s nothing wrong with that) and the point was to get people to a sales page, I would typically delete those afterwards.
Again, if I hear something like that being a really bad idea for my algorithm I will share it with you guys. But I just went for it. The moral of the story for this misstep is that you can’t get it all right not matter how many times you are going to launch. There will always be mistakes.
If you’re in launch mode, working back to that first strategy I shared with you, and if you’re meeting with your team on a daily basis, if not more than once a day (I talked to my team 20 times a day throughout the day during the launch but we have one specific meeting), you will catch these missteps.
Be as flexible as you can without taxing your team or changing the entire launch at the last minute. But if you can make some tweaks to fix the mistakes, by all means, go for it.
We’re moving into the final stretch. With this final strategy, #5, it’s all about Optimizing Your Facebook Ads in the Pre-Launch Stage. That’s what we’re going to focus on. I got to talk to Devin and Jonathan, my Facebook ads manager, about this section. Again, I didn’t run all of my Facebook ads so I wanted to make sure I got feedback from them because they were in the trenches here.
When it comes to launches, Devin’s recommendation is to clearly define your pre- launch stage and your launch stage. Prelaunch is the marketing that happens before the cart opens. People can’t buy during that stage but you’re getting their buy in on your overall message.
It includes a lot of free content, like I talked about (like the epic blog post, the podcast episodes I did around content creation). When doing webinars, the most important part, in the pre-launch stage your #1 focus is to fill up your webinars with quality people.
Of course you’re creating this free content during prelaunch. But your #1 focus is to get people to sign up for your webinar before you go live with it. Again, when talking to Devin he will tell you that the success of your launch, especially if you’re using Facebook ads to fill up a webinar, is predetermined in the pre-launch stage.
When I asked Devin what he felt about the big wins of our launch he said he felt like we had more confidence in our ad spend during this launch than we’ve ever had with any other launch. This was the first time we all felt incredibly confident in spending a big chunk of our launch budget on ads.
We were really certain about the outcome. We knew if we were able to use our ads to attract a certain number of people to our webinars, because we’ve done it so many times, we knew roughly where we would convert with those webinars so we could predict our launch revenue before we got there. We kind of knew where we would end up.
We ended up further than we thought we would end up but that’s a good thing. That’s a quality problem. We roughly kind of knew what was going to happen. Brace yourself, we spent $150,000 on Facebook ads and Instagram ads as well. You heard me right, $150,000.
I remember in the early days when I spent $10,000 on a launch campaign with Facebook ads and wanted to die. I thought I was going to throw up the entire time. I remember talking to my good friend, Rick Mulready, my Facebook ads go-to guy. He’s on my podcast a lot.
I remember when he spent his first few thousand dollars on ads like that, maybe $10,000. He was freaking out and he’s an ads expert. A lot of us go through this when we’re first running ads. When you don’t have a lot of data and a lot of experience to pull from it sometimes makes you wonder if it will work or not.
You may not be sure but believe in Facebook ads and go for it. I just want to put it out there that many of us feel that way. I think I felt that way for a few years. I knew they were working but I was always a little bit nervous.
Working with Devin more and more, he is the numbers guy. I am not a numbers girl. I do not like analytics. That’s a little bit rough for me in my business to dig into all of that. But Devin does it well.
He knew if he crunched the numbers he would figure out how much we could spend and what the results would look like. Devin’s goal, and for the record his goal is always higher than mine, was around $1.5 to $1.7 million for this launch. I wasn’t even in the millions so just know my goals are never like that.
This was based on Devin’s understanding of the numbers. Again, that’s something I’m terrible at. We’ve done a lot of testing at this point and we know this price point of $997 works well for my audience, especially when we give them a payment plan.
We’ve done a similar launch to this. Webinars That Convert was really similar to what we did with Courses That Convert. And we’ve been running a lot of automated webinars for Webinars That Convert. We had some really good data to pull from in terms of what works, what doesn’t work, what we’re converting at and all that good stuff.
It took us a lot of time to get to this point. But this is what Devin’s advice was. He said, “You can’t just go into a launch and say, ‘I want to make a million dollars with my launch,’ and then deliver up some ads, send really good emails to your list, and post on Facebook and Instagram and cross your fingers that your webinars are going to convert.”
He said it doesn’t work that way. It truly is a numbers game. The numbers actually take some time to perfect. Devin says you have to work backwards. If you’ve launched in the past, take your conversion rate from past experiences and then use that number to determine where you’re going.
For example, if our webinar registrants convert around 10% and we’re selling a $1,000 product, we will need 10,000 people to register for our webinars to generate $1 million in sales. This is why I love webinars so much.
When you do them over and over and over again and you work them into your launches you get better and better and better. As your conversion rate goes up you can start to understand how many people you need to get on your webinar to convert at this rate to make this amount of money.
You can do the numbers. For us, we had over 20,000 people sign up for our webinars. A lot of those people came from our email lists but even more came from our Facebook ad traffic. Since we knew we usually convert around 10% (that’s a number that’s specific to me).
You might be converting at 2% or 3%. It’s all relative to understanding where you’re converting and knowing how many people need to register for your webinars to get to the number that you want to get to. Setting goals is a great idea but having some analytics to back it up to make it real plays a huge part in this whole mix. It is just something to think about.
I want to talk to you about video ads. You all know, if you follow my podcasts or anything I do, I do not love making videos. I don’t like seeing myself on video and I don’t like even the process of making videos. Don’t even get me started with lighting in videos.
Facebook Live is going to be the death of me with my lighting issues. But as a side note, I’m getting it under control. I had somebody come to my house and help me with some lighting. I want one space in my house to do my videos so it’s always set up. I’m getting there but I’m not there yet.
Anyway, we started with video ads at a point in the launch when our costs began to increase due to audience and creative fatigue with our static image ads. Typically we always run ads where there’s an image about my launch. Maybe I’m in the image. Maybe I’m not. Those are typically the type of ads we run on Facebook.
Because I started to experiment with Facebook Live more I asked Jonathan and Devin what they thought about turning some of my Facebook Live videos that are focused on course creation into ads. They said we could give it a try. We got an additional 16.6% above that fatigue point when we started to use more Facebook ads versus static image ads.
The lesson for us is that we’re always going to use static image ads. That’s just what I feel most comfortable doing. But when we get to a point where there’s fatigue (what I mean by fatigue is that your cost starts rising) there are only so many times you can show ads to an audience before they are not going to respond like they did in the beginning.
When you meet the point where there is fatigue and your cost per lead starts to in increase you’ve got to change something up. We added some Facebook Live video that I did and turned it into Facebook ads. That’s interesting because my Facebook Lives were long, 15-25 minutes.
I’m going to guess that as I get better and make shorter Facebook Live videos that I turn into ads, they will probably convert even better. We’ll talk about turning Facebook Live into ads in a second. I just wanted to actually talk about the strategy that when you hit a fatigue point you should think about changing things up.
Video ads injected new life into our campaigns and allowed us to reach a really big goal with over 14,000 leads coming from Facebook ads during this launch.
When I asked Jonathan about this he said it probably worked because different people respond to different stimulus. Basically, some people love to watch videos. Others will never watch a video. He said some people will never even look at a static image ad on Facebook but other people will watch every video that hits their newsfeed.
Because we’re all different in terms of how we take in information, you’ve got to change things up. I think he’s totally on point here. We had over 2,000 leads generated just from my Facebook Live videos that we turned into ads. Jonathan actually said that at one point we had as much as 41.1% cheaper in some of our cold traffic scenarios with our Facebook video ads versus our static ads.
Some of those ads were 41% cheaper. That is pretty cool. He said the video ads seem to perform better in cold traffic as opposed to traffic to my own Facebook fans or my own email list.
You have to make some guesses here but perhaps the video format is more compelling to people who don’t know much about my brand. They will watch a video to pay closer attention. That was interesting for us as well.
Again, we’re kind of new at the whole thing with FB Live turning into video ads. But we found it converted best with cold traffic. Weird, right?
Let’s talk really quickly about these Facebook video ads. I knew going into a Facebook Live on my Facebook Page that it would be turned into an ad. I was very careful about the flow of that video. At one point I did a Facebook Live for that 24-hour bonus.
When I went on Facebook Live it was a little bit awkward but I didn’t answer any of the questions. I wanted to stay right on point. I jumped on and said, “Okay guys, I just want to let you know I’m doing a 24-hour bonus. If you’ve been following me for Courses That Convert in terms of being on the webinar, getting my emails, and thinking about joining the course but you’re not really sure, I wanted to answer some questions that come up a lot for those that are still on the fence.”
I then encouraged them to go to the URL to signup if they were thinking about doing so because, “Right now we have a special bonus that’s going away at midnight.” I talked about the bonus. I talked about the frequently asked questions of people on the fence. I was then out.
I wanted to make it ten minutes. It was probably 12 to 15 minutes. I didn’t answer a bunch of questions because I didn’t want the video to go any longer. It was awkward because some guy was like, “Hello! Are you seeing my comment?”
I just had to ignore it but then after the video I went back in and answered a bunch of questions in the comments. I don’t know, this is all experimentation. We’re all kind of guessing until we get it right for our own brand. But that video converted well.
It cost us $160 to run that Facebook Live as a video ad. We made $8,000 with it. It definitely worked. That’s just eight people that signed up when they saw that video. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but $8,000 seems like a lot. To me, that worked.
We just ran it for a few hours but I always go into a Facebook Live with the understanding of whether it will eventually be an ad or not. I don’t think you don’t ever answer comments when it’s going to be an ad. But in that situation I needed that video to stay short. I just couldn’t get into all of the questions.
As I experiment with this more and more I promise I will come back on my podcast and share what’s working what’s not working. This was just our initial experience with Facebook ads and, specifically, not just Facebook ads, but turning a Facebook Live video into an ad.
I like that best because I don’t need a fancy production. I don’t need to have a video crew come over. Facebook Live is so much more forgiving. People expect it to be off the cuff and not so polished. That’s a good thing.
A few more things that worked with Facebook ads, we really got competitive with our research this time. By that I mean that we usually target seven different targeting groups. This time we did over 20. We wanted to at least attract 14,000 leads, if not more, with our Facebook ads.
In order to do that we needed to get more strategic with who we were targeting. When I asked Jonathan how we could get competitive with our research he said he has been running ads for a long time. It’s his profession. But he said one piece of advice he would give my listeners is that you want to go on instinct.
You really want to pay attention to habits and behaviors of those that you are targeting. You want to get creative with that. He said this takes time to understand. He wanted to give an example and I loved it. He said, “I’m always looking for cross-over audiences.”
People who surf have a higher-than-average chance of being interested in training Brazilian jujitsu. I don’t even know if I’m saying that right, but let’s just go with it. He
said that’s a weird connection but once he figured it out he helped a friend grow his business by 120% given that we live in a beach town with lots of surfers.
I can’t tell you exactly how to figure out those cross-over audiences but I can tell you that the more you study your targeting groups, the more you research who to target and then maybe where there might be some alignment or overlap or some weird cross-over audiences like Jonathan spelled out, the better you will get at targeting.
This is something I may bring up with Rick Mulready when we have another Facebook ad session. I think targeting is a hot topic that many of us struggle with. I want to tell you that we targeted more Facebook pages this time. We found those cross-over audiences when we could. We targeted more ideas like entrepreneurial moms versus just Facebook Pages.
We tried a lot of different things. Some of it stuck and some of it didn’t. I want to encourage you to experiment with your targeting more so than anything else you do with Facebook ads because you just might find that golden targeting group that is going to get you a lot of results.
If you stay inside your little comfort zone of the five pages you always target, you will not be able to expand. That is something to think about.
Moving on to my final section, a few things that didn’t necessarily work. We also tried Instagram ads. The great thing is that 15% of our leads came from Instagram. That’s a really good thing. We’re talking high numbers right now.
However, what we noticed is that not all of our targeting groups that we used on Facebook actually converted on Instagram. As you know, you can set up Instagram ads from your Facebook ads dashboard because Facebook owns Instagram.
Because of that we thought it would be great. One targeting group was working really well on Facebook so we will target them on Instagram. It doesn’t necessarily work that way. We found that if a target group is converting really well on mobile via Facebook then that usually converts well on Instagram.
That makes sense because Instagram is a mobile app. We decided we would only target the audiences on Instagram if they did well on Facebook mobile. Figuring that out was a little pricey for us because we didn’t know that in the beginning. But that is one of the things we found that kind of saved us in the end. We were actually really careful.
If you have a tight budget, but want to use Instagram ads, keep that one tip in mind. Go for those mobile target groups that work well on Facebook.
Another thing, we tried a black background on Instagram and it failed miserably. We still come back to the old saying that yellow works really well in ads in general. We know it works really well on our Facebook ads. But we now know that yellow works really well on our Instagram ads as well.
Jonathan says the concept here is disrupting the scroll with a high contrast ad image. I think that definitely works well for Instagram. I just wanted to give you a few things in terms of what didn’t work. Instagram ads weren’t working for us until we figured out those few little tweaks to make it work.
Guess what? We made it to the end! That was a lot to cover. Thanks for staying with me. If you’re still here to the very end you deserve a little happy dance because, WOW, that was a little bit intense.
I wanted to make sure I got it all into one episode and I hope you found it valuable. Two things, first if you want to see the final emails I sent out on closing day I have included them as my freebie for today’s episode.
It’s the exact copy I used for email two and three and I am going to tweak email one a little bit to show you what it should have looked like (because I kind of missed the mark with that first email going out). If you want my copy you want to go to http:// www.amyporterfield.com/116download or text the phrase 116download to 33444.
Second, the goal of this episode is to give you an in-the-trenches here’s-what-worked- here’s-what-didn’t-work view of my recent launch. As I mentioned in the intro, take what you like, leave what does not serve you right now in your business, and use it to fuel you and your business to keep moving forward.
That’s truly how I hope you approach this episode. No comparison games, no getting down on yourself if you’re just starting out. This is all exciting stuff you can move toward as you keep moving forward in your business.
Thank you so very much for tuning in. I’m so glad we got to spend this time together. I want to give you a little teaser for next week. Next week is another episode with my go-to ads guy, Rick Mulready. We are going to be focusing on Facebook ad retargeting.
I’m going to ask Rick a bunch of questions about how to retarget, when to retarget, special strategies for retargeting, we are getting into it all. That will be Episode #117. I can’t wait to see you there.
Until then, have a wonderful week. I can’t wait to connect with you again soon. Bye for now.