AMY PORTERFIELD: “Again, just repurpose the images, the videos, the assets that you have. I don't want you starting from scratch anywhere with this promo if you don't have to, so keep that in mind. We're going to keep it simple, and we're going to just use what we have and use access to whatever it is you have: your email list, your community, texting group, whatever it might be.”
INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started.
AMY: Let's talk about a podcast I am loving. Inclusion and Marketing, hosted by Sonia Thompson, is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals. Inclusion and Marketing digs into important topics like belonging, customer experience, and diversity, and how you can practice inclusive marketing authentically. Because when you lead with inclusivity, you win the attention, the loyalty, and the trust of a broader group of consumers. I think one of my favorite episodes to date is when she shared about cultural appropriation and inappropriate use of a culture not your own. Such an important conversation. You can listen to Inclusion and Marketing wherever you get your podcasts.
Well, hey, there, friend. Welcome to another episode of Online Marketing Made Easy.
Listen, to say 2023 has been a whirlwind so far would be an understatement. It has been a wild, exciting ride, and I hope you're feeling that energy in your business and in your life. And if you're not feeling excited about the year to come, what needs to happen for you to get excited? I think that's a good question to ask. Like, what do I need to change, what do I need to do, how do I need to maybe shift my mindset so that I can get excited about the rest of the year to unfold? Because I want you excited.
On my end, things have been wild and crazy and fast with this whole book launch that I went through and just the business kind of going in this really exciting direction. And I love that things are moving with lots of energy, but I want you to know that I am always committed to showing up and bringing you strategy-focused podcast episodes, like today's podcast episode. I’m so freaking excited to get this strategy out into the world and stream it into your ears because it's been working so well in my own business.
In fact, when we used this strategy in my business last November, we ended up hitting 40 percent over the goal we had set. So you're probably thinking, “Uh, that's great, Amy, but let's get to the freaking strategy already.” And I hear you. So what I'm going to teach you today is essentially how to run a mini promo, or a simplified promo, when you're looking for a little revenue boost in your business but you're not in a place to do the whole launch shebang.
So for us, this happened in November. We knew we wanted a quarter-four revenue boost but definitely weren't looking to work overtime or go all in on a promo. So we did what we call a mini promo. We kept it super simple, only utilized a few parts of our usual promo strategy, and just tested it out to see what would happen. And holy moly, like I said, we knocked our goal out of the park.
So in today's episode I'm going to share with you what we did in this mini promo, what it all included, and some tips and strategies we used to keep it simple while still making it worth our ROI. So the way I see it and the way I want to break this down is in two sections. The first is pretty simple and straightforward but such an important part, and that is getting super-duper clear on your offer and your promo. I'll walk you through how we did that. And then, the second piece is thinking through how you're going to promote and share that said offer. So get ready for a strategy-filled episode that you're going to come back to again and again. Let's do this.
All right. So before we chat about getting clear on your promo, I want to share the promo I'm going to be using as an example throughout the script. So during Black Friday of 2022, we decided to run a “buy one, get one” digital-course offer. That meant during the forty-eight-hour period that ran this promo—and don't worry. We'll talk about the importance of urgency with something like this in a little bit—but during this promo window, our audience members could purchase List Builders Society, and they would receive my Systems That Scale course as a bonus.
Now, this was definitely a new type of offer for us, something I would not do a lot, because if you've been in my audience for a while, you know that I teach my students not to discount their courses. And also, it's not always the most attractive thing or most valuable thing for your audience to get two courses at once. We know it's hard enough for them to get through one course, right? But there were many, many reasons why I did this. And with Systems That Scale, we decided in 2023 it wasn't going to be something we were actively promoting, and so we wanted to give that program its last big shebang. And also, these programs are very different. And so if someone went through List Builders Society and maybe in a few months after that, they decided to implement all the systems I teach you in Systems That Scale, then they really make sense together, and you don't have to do them right away together like that. So I feel like there's a lot of wiggle room with how people want to kind of navigate, and it felt like a really valuable bundle. So I thought, you know what? We're going to try something new. I don't typically do this, but I made a pact that in 2022 it was my year to experiment and even do things that maybe I said I wouldn't do in the past. So this was one example of me experimenting.
All right. So we're going to get into all the details, but I wanted to share the example I'll be referring back to throughout this episode, the “buy one, get one free” kind of situation. And we ended up hitting 40 percent over our goal for this promo, so we landed at 140 percent to goal. So to say it was a smash hit is an understatement.
All right. So let's say you're looking for a revenue boost in your business but you don't really have the time and space to run a full digital-course launch, like what I teach how you do in, let's say, Digital Course Academy. Well, first things first, you must get clear on what you're going to offer. And this is probably going to be a little brainstorming.
So, for example, we knew we wanted to get an end-of-year revenue boost, so my marketing team got together, and we brainstormed. We knew we wanted to do something different while keeping it as simple as possible. And we actually had little time to put this together. So as we were talking, we started wondering if a Black Friday sale would work. And listen, we had never done a Black Friday deal, so it was a shot in the dark. But again, year of experimentation. And we knew that people were going to be on their phones and that they were going to be in, like, a money-spending mindset. We typically spend some money over Black Friday, looking for the deals. So we thought, okay, Black Friday, that could be a good experimentation kind of situation.
And I want to mention a misconception that's easy to make as a course creator, and that is that during the holidays we fall into the mindset trap that people are shopping for the holidays and not necessarily for themselves and definitely not for digital courses. That's not true. Here's what we need to remember. People are always thinking about their businesses. If you are an entrepreneur, you know that it doesn't matter the time of year. If you see something that you think your business could find valuable or benefit from, you're going to consider spending that money. And if it’s a deal, then you’re absolutely going to pay attention.
So let's not think that Black Friday or Christmas time or Valentine—or, not Valentine’s Day—Thanksgiving—I was, like, what is that November holiday?—that you can't sell around those dates. Sometimes it can be trickier. I always say, let's not try to sell between Christmas and New Year's. No one even knows what day of the week it is, and that's a really weird time for people. But before Christmas or before Thanksgiving, I think you could absolutely put yourself out there.
Now, another thing we wanted to focus on for this promo was something we've learned over this past year, and that is simpler is better. Instead of trying to brainstorm a new product or a new bonus or a product to incentivize the buyers, and with the goal of keeping this simple, we decided to use our existing offers and created a really special offer using what we already had in our arsenal. So remember that. Simpler can absolutely mean working with what you already have and getting creative.
We had no bandwidth to create anything new for this experiment. So in the past, I've definitely been guilty of overcomplicating our promos, and I was ready for a new, fresh approach. All that to say, when you sit down to get clear on how you want your revenue-boost promo to look and what you're going to offer, keep coming back to that question, is this simple but sexy? That’s your question. Is this simple but sexy? Keeping your promo simple is not only going to take a huge weight off of your shoulders as you plan this out, but it's going to keep you from throwing in the towel due to overwhelm. Because if this got complicated, we would not have done it. We didn’t have the bandwidth for complicated. So if there are too many moving parts and a task list that's huge, on top of all the other things we have going on in our business, following through is going to be so much more difficult.
Another thing I want you to consider when you're planning out this promo is how long are you going to run it? With something like this, I cannot stress enough how you want to make sure to create a little urgency. When you're doing a promo like this, where it's really simple, this is such an important piece to really move the needle.
So for example, for our List Builders Society Black Friday promo, we only offered it for forty-eight hours. That was it. And we made sure to make that very clear in all of our promo efforts.
Okay, so once you've gotten clarity on what your simple promo is going to look like, let's talk about the fun stuff. How are you going to get the word out about your promo and pull in those sales? What I'm about to share are the areas that we focused on when we were just running a quick and simple promo. So feel free to copy them all or just take a few pieces, anything that works for you. But I think you're going to love how I break this down. So here we go.
A big part of your promo is going to be utilizing your existing email list. If someone is on your email list, they are a warm audience, so don't be afraid to target them. Now, it goes without saying that if you're doing something similar to what we did, like offering an existing product, be sure to segment out who already bought either of the products in that bundle that you put together, like we did. But for those on your list who have either have not bought the product from you or maybe they purchased a different product, they're going to be a great audience to target with your new and enticing promo.
Because email is such a big part of generating revenue with a simple promo like this, we always start by laying out our email grid. The grid includes things like this: the day and time the emails will send, what email segments or tags should be applied, and then, if any should be excluded. Like, anyone should be excluded, we make that very clear in this grid. We also include the subject line for the email so that whoever is QC-ing can confirm they're looking at the right email and scheduling the right email—believe me, we've had mistakes in this area—along with a spot for the CRM, or customer-relationship-management tag. And then, because we use this grid with QC-ing, we include a column or two with checkboxes to show it's been QC’d and who it was QC’d by. We never send an email out that hasn't been looked at by a few people.
Now, if you'd like, you can also include an area for metrics in this grid. So the nice thing about that is it keeps everything super organized and in one spot. And honestly, we just created this in Google Sheets. It’s not that fancy. So once you create a template for this, you can just reuse that template over and over again.
Heck, we even have an email grid for our weekly newsletter that we send. I think it's just a game changer. It keeps everything organized in one place, and then my team knows how to navigate emails. So, so important.
So you may be wondering how many emails make sense for a promo that's just a forty-eight hour promo. And so we sent a total of four emails. We sent one when it kicked off, a follow-up email about twelve hours later, and then two emails to create urgency in the last twelve hours of the promo. So four emails total.
Now, one thing we did in these emails that I absolutely loved was included a timer. It's a live timer that is counting down until the promo expires, within the email. So one of my most favorite things to do—I've been teaching this to my Digital Course Academy students forever, for their own email marketing. So it's a website called MotionMail, and it does these very dynamic timers in an email. Like, you open the email, and you see the timer going. You didn't click on anything yet. So it's really powerful. So for urgency, I love it.
Okay. So next up, let's talk about your social promo. As you can imagine, social is also going to be a big part of pulling together a promo like this, which is great because, again, if someone is following you on social, they know who you are, and there's a good chance they've engaged or interacted with something that you've offered. But in the spirit of keeping things simple, try to think about how you can repurpose what you've already created.
So I'd recommend writing your emails before your social posts so that you can pull copy from your email and use it on social. And when it comes to creating your social graphics in your videos, how can you reuse your graphics across social platforms within your emails or even within your ads? So again, like, if you wrote your emails, can you pull stuff out for social posts? And then maybe you're going to do a talking-head video. Can you pull out some of the stuff you wrote in the email and just use it as a loose script for a talking-head video for social? So repurposing is literally the theme to focus on when you're running a mini promo. Take what you’ve already done, rework it if you need to, but repurpose what you’ve already done.
Now, I want you to be sure you're batching this, and if you can, scheduling it all ahead of time, so when your promo is live, you can just be present and sit back and enjoy the ride. So when we talk about batching, we're writing all the emails in one session. We're building out all the social in one session, and we're doing this all in advance, of course. So for something like a Black Friday, I didn't want my entire team working over the Thanksgiving weekend, right? And so we did as much as we could in advance and scheduled as much as we could so that my team could actually have this time off.
I want to take a moment and just talk about how amazing my team is, but, like, to give them a shout out, but also, if you are an owner of a company, how important it is to really create a culture of go-getters, because this promo was not my idea. I didn't say, “Okay, guys. We need to do a last promo in quarter four.” We really wanted to hit some big goals, and we knew we needed a little cushion, but I didn't go to my team and say, “We're going to do a Black Friday deal.” They came to me and said, “We have an idea.” And that is so powerful because then they're not feeling like, “Uh, Amy gave us more work,” but they're empowered to hit a goal. I love my team. I love that they came up with this on their own, but it's something to aspire to as you grow your business, and I just wanted to put that out there.
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Okay. Changing things up a bit. Let's talk about ads. I'll just go ahead and say it: I would highly recommend budgeting a little bit for ads when you're doing a promo like this. And of course, set your budget ahead of time. And listen, your budget doesn't have to be gigantic for this, especially with the little tip I'm about to share with you.
So one thing I think my team does really well is that we utilize ads to get out in front of our warm audience. And when you do this, your ad budget is going to go so much further. I think it's easy to only think about lead gen when it comes to ads and only think it's important to target cold audiences. And while, yes, that is important to use ads to grow your audience, especially during your big launches, like your digital-course launches, I think there's power and benefit in targeting your warm audience with some of these smaller promos.
So in this Black Friday promo, one thing that definitely served us was taking an email segment from our CRM and targeting them with our ads. So to be clear, we didn't target a cold audience. We don't want to put tons of money toward ads—using ads for a warmer audience is cheaper—and we wanted to make sure that those that are already in our community were seeing this Black Friday promo because we've never done it before.
So to make this super clear, here's an example of who would be in that email list segment for us. Since we were promoting List Builders Society and Systems That Scale, we pulled the segments including anyone who has ever shown interest by interacting with our masterclasses or was a registrant for those classes. And we’ll take that segment of non buyers who have shown interest in list building or systems, and we ran ads to them.
And while it's really going to vary from business to business, what you feel comfortable spending on your ads during a promo, what I will say is when we used this approach to target warm ads, we ended up three times-ing our ROI. Essentially, we made over three times what we spent on ads. That's easier to do when you're targeting a warmer audience, which is such a reminder why you've got to grow that email list. Because if they're getting emails and seeing ads, that's going to boost their interest. They're going to pay attention at a different level.
Let me break this down really easily for you so that if you want to use this approach, you can. So basically, you could take your social assets, like any images you created or if you made a talking-head video talking about your promo, you take those, and then you use them to create an ad. And feel free to pull some copy from your promo emails for your ads as well. You, then, segment out the list that you're wanting to target that aligns with your offer, and then target them using your ads. Of course, this really only works if you've been segmenting your email list, so I truly can't emphasize enough how important it is to focus on your email list, and then make sure you have some important tags in there so you know, who are your buyers, who are people that are interested in certain things. But I think definitely this is doable. And even if you have a small email list, this is something that you can try.
Okay. Moving right along. The next thing you'll want to consider is how to use your communities to promote your offer. So by now, you're probably realizing that a lot of this stuff is similar to what you're doing for your larger promos, just on a smaller scale. So my hope is that organizing, project planning, and putting this all together comes fairly easy to you if you've already launched something. So whether you have a Facebook group, a community in Kajabi, or wherever your community might be; maybe you do text messaging, so you have a text community; so I want you to consider posting about your promo to those communities, as long as those communities aren't made up of people that have already bought in these courses, right?
So what I mean by that is if you're offering a digital course, like I did, and you have a community only made up of people who already took that course, well, you're not going to promote in there, obviously. But I bet that you have some access to communities where they don't have whatever it is you're offering. Take advantage of that. Again, just repurpose the images, the videos, the assets that you have. I don't want you starting from scratch anywhere with this promo if you don't have to, so keep that in mind. We're going to keep it simple, and we're going to just use what we have and use access to whatever it is you have: your email list, your community, texting group, whatever it might be.
Okay. And then lastly, I recommend creating a simple pop up for your website. I think this is important. So you're going to take an image you've created for your promo, grab a little copy from your emails, and just set up a pop-up box on your website. That way, any new and existing audience members that land on your page are getting notified of the existing promo that's happening over the next forty-eight hours. Some pop ups allow you to add a timer, like the one I mentioned earlier when I talked about emails, so you could look into adding that as well. The beautiful thing about a pop up is that it really doesn't take a ton of effort to set up or prepare, and it really does help with sales. We believe in pop ups in our business. I know they can be annoying. It just takes one click to get rid of them. I think the benefit far exceeds the inconvenience that sometimes people feel.
All right. So those are the main pieces that we utilize when putting together a simple promo. We do use a few other avenues for sharing, and I'm going to briefly go over those right now. But remember that I have a team helping me. So if you truly want to keep this simple and you have a very small team, just focus on what I've already gone over. Now, if you have a small team, you're a little bit more advanced, you might like some of these other things that I did.
So on my WordPress website, I have what's called a sky bar, and it's coded into my website. And essentially, it's a banner at the top of your website, notifying visitors of your promo. If you go there right now, you'll see it on my website. If we aren’t promoting something, though, it's usually sharing my latest podcast episode. So I use that on my website. So if you don't have something like this, but you use Squarespace or Wix, they actually have this functionality as well.
Now, if you use Kajabi, Kajabi also allows you to create a banner within their platform for any promos that you're doing. So I love to do this. Like, you can put it as a sidebar or at the top in your Kajabi platform. So that's a place to promote to warm audiences. Like, if they are in there for Digital Course Academy, I can promote List Builders Society to them. Now, some of them will already have List Builders Society, but that doesn't matter. So I'm always promoting in my Kajabi platforms.
Another thing we do is we run Libsyn ads or, essentially, run live ads on our podcast. Libsyn is just the platform I use. If you don't have a podcast, don't worry about this. But if you do, this is a really effective strategy. All you have to do is record, let's say, a forty-five-second ad for your promo, and then share the call to action in the URL of where they need to go, upload it to your podcast player, and then you can set how long you want to run that ad. So we've seen great traffic from our podcast audience with promos like this.
And speaking of a podcast, if you plan far enough ahead, you can even align your podcast topic with whatever it is you're promoting. We try to do this all the time. So for example, we knew that we were going to be doing this Black Friday promo when we were prepping for the podcast that went live during that time. So we created an episode all about list building, and we actually baked in an ad as well, which is an ad that will always live in this episode. We don't do that often, because now people will hear it and the promo is over. But we figured that if someone missed the promo but is still interested in List Builders Society, it's okay if they go check it out because List Builders Society is evergreen. So they might have missed the promo to get the free Systems That Scale, but they still might be interested in List Builders Society. So we love to run a podcast that is fully aligned with the promo that we're running. I think this is something that everyone could think about. Even if you have a blog or a video show, still very valuable.
Okay. So bear with me here. We're almost done. I know this is a lot of information, but, hopefully, it sets you up for success with your next mini promo.
I want to make a note that QC-ing all of your content/graphics/dates for your promo is really important. So if you have someone who can support you with QC-ing everything for the promo, from emails to posts to graphics, even if it's a spouse or a friend, that's really valuable. This goes with any promo you do. A big Digital Course Academy promo or a mini promo, having someone QC that’s not you, if you created a lot of the assets, is really valuable. So what we do is we put together a doc with all of the information, and in that doc, we link to everything we want them to QC, including that email grid I talked about. And then they just walk through it, and they QC everything.
The other piece I want to mention is that even though this is a smaller promo, you'll still want to track everything you do here because when you go to do a promo like this again, you might find that one piece didn't resonate with the audience and you might want to skip it, or you might want to make a note of what you would do differently instead. So, for example, we do a mini promo like this for our podcast. And I didn't use that as an example because it's more lead generating than revenue generating. But when we did this mini promo for our podcast, we have used something called PushCrew, and we just realized it wasn't converting for us. So when we did this mini promo, we didn't use it. One less thing we had to worry about, more simplified, better for us. But we did see that the sky bar performed super well, so we made sure to use it in this strategy.
Essentially, when you're trying to keep a promo like this simple, it's so important to track what's working and what's not so you can hone in on those things and, hopefully, do less but make more the next time around.
Okay. So I'm so glad this episode is coming out in quarter one because I think this is definitely a strategy that you could consider using throughout the upcoming year, maybe even around the holidays, like I mentioned. Or heck, you could play around with it a couple of times a year, so long as it fits with your promo calendar.
Now, I want to be clear. I want you doing a Digital Course Academy style launch this year. I launch Digital Course Academy every September. If you haven't joined that program, it's the one where I'm able to get you the biggest results. And I have thousands of students who have had amazing results. And when you do mini promos, there's only so much money you can make. If you want to hit really big goals, you've got to go all out at least once a year with a live launch. That's what I believe. And so I want you to do one big live launch this year, and then maybe a few mini promos. If that speaks to you, then by all means, take what you just learned here, put it into action.
But here's how you're going to make this actionable. You've got to look at your promo calendar. And if you don't schedule this stuff, it's never happening. So when might you do a mini promo like this? Maybe you'll do two or three this year. But also, I want to make sure that your bigger live launch is planned on your calendar. That's going to move the needle the most.
But I love to give you different options, and I do want you to keep this simplified. So remember, if you're going to do a mini promo, there's not a lot of bells and whistles. If you're like me, you got to hold yourself back a little bit so you don't make it too complicated.
Thank you so very much for tuning in here. And I would love to know if you used this strategy. So you know I'm just @amyporterfield on Instagram. Make sure you follow me there, DM me when you do this, and I’d just love to know your results.
Okay, my friend. Thank you so much for joining me here. I cannot wait to see you on Tuesday for a Shorty episode, same time, same place. Bye for now.