AMY PORTERFIELD: Make money while you sleep. We've all heard it, and we've all rolled our eyes, only secretly wishing it was something we could truly experience in our business. Am I right? Well, my friend, I used to be skeptic, too, until it started happening to me and my business, all thanks to a little thing called evergreen. So today I'm bringing you through the very simple beginnings of what it looks like to move one of your courses into evergreen, so you, too, can eventually join the moneymaking-while-you-sleep club.
Interested in hearing more? Great. Let’s do this.
You shouldn’t go evergreen. Now, I can just imagine what you’re thinking, probably something like, excuse me? But let me finish before you have those thoughts. You shouldn't go evergreen too early in your business because when you're patient and approach evergreen the right way, holy moly, it's magical. But listen, you don't have to wait years to turn your product into an evergreen offer. In fact, when you're strategic about how you're going to go evergreen in your business, you'll find that your conversion rates are significantly higher and that whole make–money–while–you–sleep saying, yeah, that can actually become your reality. So to help you get there, I’m sharing the how, what, and why of going evergreen, even if you're fairly new to this whole entrepreneurial thing or offering an online product.
But before I get ahead of myself, let me make sure that we're all on the same page. Evergreen is when you convert an offer that you've live launched more than once to an automated process. That means every day, your automated webinars are running, and every day, people can buy these programs.
We'll start by talking about some core values that you must, must, must know before you go evergreen, how evergreen can transform your business in the best way possible, how to know when to go evergreen so you aren't kicking yourself because you made the jump too early, platforms you’ll need to get cozy with to make your evergreen funnel function properly, and all the marketing content that you’ll want to have prepped and ready, specifically for your evergreen launch. And of course, I’ve got a couple examples from my own students who have successfully moved their course to evergreen.
Here's what's important about today's episode. This is not an A to Z guide about setting up an evergreen course. I teach that as a bonus in Digital Course Academy. However, it's a framework and the information you need to future pace and get started thinking about where you could take your business and your digital course. It'll give you a starting point for when you're ready to make that transition. As you can see, we’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s dive in.
Let's start at the top with the core values that you need to understand and abide by in order to set your business up for a successful evergreen product.
First, quick story. When I was learning to drive, my dad required that I knew how to drive a stick shift, I had to take my driver's test in a stick shift, and I needed to know how to change a tire and jump start a car, before I was ever able to go out on the roads alone. He felt like if I could do these three things, I would be safe. And of course, he required that I always carry a special car-safety kit.
Side note: Hobie Porterfield makes me have a safety kit in the back of my car as well, with this huge jug of water. And I keep telling him, “Babe, if I’m ever stranded by myself, I'm not going to survive, so don't even try.” But he insists these things are in the car.
Okay. So back to my driver's test. Before I could take that driver's test, I had to master these things—stick shift, jump a car, change a tire. And once I was able to do that, I was free to drive.
Now, what does this story have to do with evergreen launching? Well, before you even think about going evergreen, you need to do at least two or three live launches. That’s right, my friend. I'm a firm believer that if you go directly to evergreen, you'll leave not only a lot of money on the table, but you’ll hold you and your business back from the true level of success you’re capable of. Here’s why: live launching makes you, and your team if you have one, better marketers. It makes you more nimble on your feet, more experienced, and gives you the know how to properly pivot if needed. It also allows you to really understand your audience in the moment.
When you go evergreen, you will not get real-time feedback. When you live launch, you will. And what you learn will not only allow you to save more lives, change more lives, help more people, but it will also allow you to understand your audience ongoingly.
And so live launching—trust me. When I say that after you’ve gone through a couple of live launches, you can truly do anything, I believe that. You’ve done the live webinars, the Facebook Lives, the live Q&As. You’ve done a pre-launch runway, live cart open, and cart close. You become a better marketer. You’ve been around the block, and you’ve made a couple necessary mistakes that make you better.
In fact, I recently heard someone call them “must-akes.” I love it. Must-akes, the mistakes you must make in order to keep moving forward. You've got to love that, right? And the truth is, making some of these during a live launch is the best way to learn and course correct.
If I told you all the stories of what has happened to me in the moment in a live launch, like all the audio going out on one of my most important webinars, or if I told you about how a sales page literally went down when the mid-cart bonus was expiring, I mean, these are the things that sound like a nightmare, right? You might be like, “Yeah. This is why I want to go evergreen. I don't have to deal with that stuff.”
Well, first of all, stuff still happens with evergreen. But number two, I’m not afraid of anything. Did you hear me on that one? When it comes to marketing, I am not afraid of anything that will happen, because I’ve already made the pivots, troubleshooted, been in the dumps, had to get back up. I feel resilient. And if you want to feel that way because it makes you do more, do better, experiment, take risks, make more money, change more lives, if you want that, then don’t skip the live launches. Take it from me. Like I said, I’ve been through a lot during my live launches. And so I want you to make sure that you have that resilience as well.
Okay. All of this to say when you’ve live launched a few times, you've had the time and the training to troubleshoot and work out the kinks so that you can successfully have an evergreen product live in your business.
Now, I think it goes without saying, but after becoming a live–launching pro and when you're ready to go evergreen, you're going to find so much value in it. A business that has at least one evergreen course and then one course that you maybe live launch a few times a year, I think that is the most ideal type of business.
In fact, I really love my business structure. And that doesn’t mean that you have to aspire to it, but it’s what’s worked great for me. I have List Builders Society as my evergreen product; which then leads to my signature course, Digital Course Academy; which then leads to my backend offer, Momentum, which is a membership offered only to my Digital Course Academy grads.
And there’s something really powerful around having money coming in every single day of your business with your evergreen, and then doing launches where you get a burst of revenue that can last you a long time. So I really like those two opportunities in my business.
Now, I will say that I make more money with my live launches. And when you do live launching right, which I teach you in Digital Course Academy, that can be true for you as well. There's just something magical and a higher–perceived value with live launching. And so it's actually easier for me to sell my digital course live than evergreen. So I'm just going to put that out there. And again, I think it's 100 percent about this higher–perceived value when someone's live in the experience with you. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't evergreen.
So let's talk about what that looks like. And again, I think one evergreen product, one product you live launch two to three times a year, I think is a great business model.
All right. So next stop, let's briefly talk about platforms that you'll need if you're thinking about going evergreen. Now, I'm not going to spend too much time on these, because I've provided you with a free resource—yes, I have—so that you have a hard copy of all the things that you'll want to set up when you're ready to make the transition. If you're thinking, “Oh, my goodness, Amy. I'm not techie. How the heck am I going to do this?” let me assure you that each of these platforms has wonderful customer service and troubleshooting tutorials, and they'll help you get set up and working even if you don't consider yourself tech savvy. And any of you who know me, you know I do not consider myself tech savvy. If I can figure this out, so can you.
And one last note on the platforms and the tools that you’ll need to go evergreen, because you do need some tools to do so, the ones I’m sharing in this episode and in the free resource are simply the ones I like and have worked well for me. So keep in mind that there are many more platforms to choose from, and so find what works best for you.
All right. So you’ll need an email-service provider, an ESP. And if you don’t already have one, my favorite, ConvertKit. Amyporterfield.com/convertkit. Not only can you use ConvertKit for housing your emails, but you can also use their templates to create opt-in pages and, of course, send out automated emails. So there's a lot of great bells and whistles that come with ConvertKit. I highly recommend you check them out.
Now, if you want some guidance on getting your ESP set up, I want you to head to amyporterfield.com/emailguide and sign up for the free resource that walks you through setting up and using ConvertKit.
Now, next, you’ll want to set up your evergreen webinar platform. To run an effective evergreen campaign, you will need to invest in an evergreen software to ensure you're able to effectively deliver your automated webinar at specific dates and times. Demio is the platform I like best. It allows you to conduct evergreen webinars, send pre-webinar emails, and house your replay webinar.
And lastly, you’ll want a platform to help you manage individual funnels for each potential student. So to do that, I personally like to use Deadline Funnel, which allows you to create smart links throughout your campaign so that each person who signs up for your webinar is in their own automated campaign with their own deadline. Pretty cool, right?
As you know, when launching, scarcity and urgency is paramount to your overall success. Without it, you’ll be leaving money on the table. The cool thing about these customized funnels is that you can guarantee that each person is receiving the appropriate messages at the right time to help you boost conversions.
Remember, each of these platforms has support, and they'll help you to get started so you don't feel intimidated by them just because they're new platforms to you. Have some patience, and I promise it’ll pay off.
And again, I put all of this into a free resource that you can check out, with the links to these platforms. You can learn more about them. You can grab that by heading to the show notes, amyporterfield.com/376.
Moving right along, let’s talk about the marketing content that you want to have ready to use throughout your evergreen funnel. When I say marketing content, I mean things like your registration page, your sales page, email campaign, and the copy that you'll have to write for it.
For starters, your webinar–registration page. This is the page people will land on to sign up for your evergreen webinar. You can create this in ConvertKit. I’m going to point you to episode 340, “Landing Page Not Converting? Here’s What to Do.” That’s the name of the episode. And it's going to walk you through creating a landing page, essentially your webinar–registration page, that will get people to convert and get on your webinar.
I've also included an image of my landing page for List Builders Society, which is my evergreen course. And in the free resource, you can see how I write my copy. I've also included a link to the page so you can check it out.
Next, you'll want to write your sales page. This is where you're going to convert your audience members from webinar attendees to students or buyers. You can also create this in ConvertKit. Because there’s a formula that goes into creating a sales page that gets people to say yes, I want you to listen to episode 356, “Sales Page Struggles? Boost Your Conversions with These Three Tips.” That’s the name of the episode, episode 356.
And just as I did with the landing page, I've included a few sections in that free resource from my List Builders Society sales page, along with the link to see the full page in the free resource.
Next, and this will take some time, you'll want to craft an email campaign. Not only does this campaign allow you to guide your audience members along their customer journey from webinar registration to your evergreen cart–close offer, but it also nurtures them and, in turn, helps with higher conversion rates. We use a fairly complicated email sequence, sending multiple emails over an eight–day period, starting with You’re In, confirming the email for the webinar. And when I say multiple, we’re talking thirteen emails. However, if you're just starting out, you do not need that.
So here are the emails I would suggest you absolutely have when you're starting out with an evergreen funnel. You can always add more to create urgency down the road. But email number one, send this immediately after someone registers for your webinar, with a subject line such as You're In, and you provide them with all the webinar details.
Then, you’ll want to send at least one email the day of—and it's up to you for how far in advance you want to send this. Let's just say the morning of. You send an email letting people know it's happening and just sending them a reminder with details about how they can get on your webinar.
After that, you'll want to send a Replay email. And I suggest you write two emails, one for those who attended and one for those who did not attend, so you can speak to them differently.
The next email is when you start creating urgency. So you'll send an email about how the replay is coming down soon. And then, next, I'd recommend sending a FOMO-type email, fear of missing out, something like “This is what people are saying,” or “This is why people can't get enough of my program,” or something along those lines to get those fence sitters to move. And talk about your program in that email. Like, give details about the benefits of your program and about the bonuses that are expiring, if that's what you do in your funnel. It’s where it gets a little bit more complicated. This is what I teach in Digital Course Academy. But if you've got bonuses that are expiring soon, then you want to let people know, hey, these are going away.
So when cart-close day arrives, you'll want to do a last email, kind of like a last call type of email. And again, if you're filling up to it, maybe you send one on the morning of the cart-close day, and then maybe an hour before the cart closes, send another.
And then, when you get a little bit more sophisticated, you can also send a survey out to nonbuyers after their funnel ends. And this shows them that you care and that you want to give support to them, and you want to get their feedback so you can help them in the future. But that’s more advanced.
So, we do all of this, and we run our evergreen for eight days. And that's from webinar registration to cart close. Now, if you're just starting out, maybe you play around with a shorter evergreen launch. Maybe you do a three–day or a four–day launch instead, and you create urgency within those few days. It definitely depends on your offer and the price and how well your audience knows and trusts you. There's really no right or wrong, and it's really worth experimenting with. And yes, you can create urgency whether you do an eight–day launch or a three–day launch. It works in so many different ways. The good thing about starting out with a shorter launch is that you can always tweak and expand it after you've gotten some feedback or you've worked out any kinks. So there's always room for growth, especially with an evergreen funnel.
So, right now you might be saying, “Okay. But this urgency thing you keep talking about. Like, what do you do? How do you create that?” Well, aside from using Deadline Funnel—you'll want to look into that—that's the tool I use so that everybody who comes into my funnel, they're in their own eight–day funnel. So when it expires for them, then their funnel is over.
So, here’s the thing. I create urgency and scarcity with a couple of irresistible bonuses. So the thing about an evergreen launch is that after the bonuses go away, your leads can still purchase your product, but they won't get the bonuses. That's how I do it. That's how I make my offers really super juicy. So in those eight days, you have an opportunity to get bonuses. But after the eight days, if you click on a link to go buy, your bonuses have gone away. You can still buy the course; you won't get the bonuses.
Now, we offer five bonuses within our List Builders Society funnel. But remember, we have a longer cart-open period, so we can offer that many bonuses. And I’ve been doing this for a long time. So some of our bonuses include a batching brilliant bonus, so it helps them batch a bunch of content really quickly; twelve-month live Q&A sessions with me, where my students get their questions answered on Zoom once a month; a lead–magnet template pack; a Facebook ads training; and a training on nurturing your subscribers through an email sequence. So as you can see, they are extremely valuable bonuses inside of the product.
Now, really quick. If you want a little help in this area, I want to send you to episode 364. It's called “How I Do It: Boost Your Sales with These Five Course Enhancements,” because that will actually help you come up with some really good bonus ideas.
All right. Now I’d like to share a couple of stories from my students who have successfully shifted into an evergreen funnel. I'd also like to link to these women in the show notes so you can check out their products and get inspired.
First up, meet Nicole Calloway Rankins. She’s an OBGYN, business owner, and mom. Nicole did two live launches and decided to go evergreen. And guess what. She’s the first to admit that this was the wrong way to go. After hearing crickets and seeing no growth in her signups for her evergreen, Nicole decided to go back and do a few more live launches before she was able to perfect her launching skills and eventually make her evergreen work, and work well. Nicole’s evergreen course, “The Birth Preparation Course,” makes around $10,000 per month.
Here are a few tips from Nicole. First of all, she shared that she went to evergreen far too early. See, I know it can be tempting, but listen to those who have gone before you and learned the hard way. Perfect your live launching first.
Another tip she shared, which I love, is don't spend too much time deciding on things like a webinar platform, email–service provider, or where to house your course. She says give yourself two or three days to decide, and then move on. I love this because I always tell my Digital Course Academy students, look, if you want me as your guide, I'm going to give you some recommendations, budget friendly, easy tech. Just go with my recommendations because they work and because so many of my students have made them work as well. Sure, you can research ten more options, and they’re out there, and they could be just as good, but I’m not going to steer you wrong. So just, I’ll tell you what to go with. And if it can fit in your budget, then run with it and give it a shot. I would not steer you wrong on those kind of things. So if you’re in DCA, trust me, my friend.
All right. Let me introduce you to another of my students, Christina Galbato. Christina is a luxury–travel blogger and influencer, and she offers two evergreen courses, which together have made over one million dollars in revenue over the last year. Her courses are called “The Influencer Bootcamp” and “The Blogger Bootcamp.” And Christina emphasizes that making sure your webinar opt-in rate, show-up rate, sales-page conversion, and post-webinar email-open rate are all really good and steady before going evergreen.
So she's saying, look at your live launch, webinar opt–in rate, show–up rate, sales conversions, post–webinar email-open rate. Make sure that all of those feel really solid, whatever your benchmark is, and then move to evergreen. Know your numbers in your live launch. Christina did this herself before transitioning to evergreen, and with the help of my evergreen bonus in Digital Course Academy, she was able to put it all together.
Now, she also shares that a limited–time bonus offer, one that's only available, let's say, during a webinar, that was a game changer for her. We do this too. And it’s a great way to create that scarcity that we talked about, while people are on the webinar.
She also says that even after you put your course on evergreen, to consistently be creating content that's related to your course on all of your platforms. This helps to continue to drive traffic and welcome new potential customers into your evergreen funnel. Such a good idea.
So those are two examples from my students and some tips from them. Hopefully, you found that valuable.
All right. Let's dive into your action steps. First of all, this almost should go without saying, but live launch, my friend. Live launch. Live launch until you see consistent results in your numbers and you're converting at a rate that you feel good about. You're meeting your goals. Deal? Deal.
Okay. Once you have that in the bag, I want you to take the time—and don't rush this—to update your live–launching marketing material, the stuff we chatted about today, so that it reflects your evergreen launch. At this point, you’ll want to start diving into the platforms that you'll be using and getting those set up.
Remember two things with this one step. Just like Nicole shared, don't spend too much time on deciding which ones to use. Make a decision and move forward. Also, don't get caught up with the tech. Most platforms offer incredible tech and training support. After all, they want you to succeed and use their resources.
As you start running with your evergreen webinars and course, here's what I want you to do. I want you to pay close attention to your show-up and conversion rates. These will guide you to continue to tweak your evergreen until you get it just right.
And just know that these things take time, but they are so worth it. Don’t rush going evergreen. I love the idea of future pacing, setting goals, and working towards them, but slow and steady with this one.
Be sure to head to the show notes, amyporterfield.com/376 to grab the free resource that goes hand in hand with everything we discussed here. Amyporterfield.com/376.
Okay. Thanks for joining me today. I’ll see you next week, same time, same place. Bye for now.