Lessons of a $323,064.49 Launch – 10 Lessons from a Successful Launch
“Scott, we’ll have our new brand ready for early May… are we going to do a launch?”
While I have an incredible understanding of my direction in life and business, you may have noticed that I don’t exactly plan every last detail.
Thankfully, I have a team for that now, but it wasn’t always like that.
It was the beginning of April and for the past year, we were helping entrepreneurs implement effective online lead generation.
I felt like we hit the lottery.
Our revenue and profit were growing every single month.
Our customers were getting significant results.
See, it was the end of March and we were about to have a new brand for our lead generation program. We had never really put together a “launch” but rather had built our business through evergreen marketing funnels and partner promotions.
So I said, “Screw it!”
“Let’s do a launch!”
That was the last week of March.
The promotion was launched the last week of April.
We ended up generating a total of $323,064.49 with a launch list of 1,587 entrepreneurs.
Today, I want to help you understand how we were able to generate such incredible revenue with such a small list in less than 5 weeks.
So, I’ve put together the top 10 things you need to know to successfully launch your product.
Disclosure: As a general rule, I don’t believe that you can replicate everything that I can. I’ve had 15 years of experience being an entrepreneur and have generated and lost millions of dollars. My situation is unique. In other words… I don’t expect you to profit a dollar unless you put in the work and have a great team along with an amazing product.
Before we get into the lessons…
I want to share with you a little background for those of you who aren’t familiar with INFINITUS or LeadCraft.
We help entrepreneurs who want to use online lead generation do it right the first time, so they aren’t relying on luck and hope to grow their business.
The program we sold during our launch was between $997 and $1997 and while the majority of our sales have and continue to be generated through our evergreen marketing funnels, we do a launch every 6 months as the program gets deeper and better.
When it came to the actual launch, we used a 7 Day Challenge that we have since changed to a 5 Day Challenge and can be found here. (Careful, you have a 1 in 20 chance of becoming a customer if you enter your information).
In terms of our very high-level launch structure:
- People had from April 21st to May 1st to sign-up for the 7 Day Online Marketing Challenge.
- The challenge started on May 3rd and lasted a week. We supported this via our Facebook group in terms of handling questions and distributing information.
- We launched two workshops, which opened the sale of our LeadCraft program for 5 days.
Now to the takeaways…
#1: Don’t do a “BIG” launch if you don’t have at least 100 customers
One of the biggest issues that I see in this industry is people launching their thing in a “big” way far too early. Now, I used 100 customers as a placeholder, but it comes down to this…
If you haven’t piloted your product and haven’t been able to generate sales easily for your first 100 customers, then there is a lot that you won’t know about:
- Your product
- Your customer service
- Internal operations and support
By having a variety of customers up front, it allows you to build revenue and understand what it takes to be able to deliver the exact experience you want for your customers.
When we launched LeadCraft, we had over 500 customers before we ever completed a launch. The point is that we weren’t happy with the product and wanted to create iterations of the product, offer, and be ready for a launch.
#2: Relying on a Launch Without an Evergreen System is Silly
If you’re on Day 1 and you think you are going to be able to do a launch without an evergreen system to sell your program beforehand, then the reality distortion field is in full effect.
Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us.
Here’s the thing, when you’re doing a launch, time sensitivity is on your side. But it also plays against you.
For example… if you have an evergreen marketing funnel (something that sells your program automatically and is fed by paid traffic), it allows you to bring in all sorts of traffic, optimize Facebook Ads and generally kick ass, in selling whatever you’re selling.
The problem with a live launch without having an evergreen system is that people likely have never seen your offer before…
The majority of people purchase products when they are familiar with the brand and offer and have seen it between 3-8 times.
This is why when most people launch, they leave a lot of money on the table by not having a pre-indoctrinated audience when launch time comes. There are lots of people on the fence, however, there isn’t a high enough level of trust, pain, or relevance for them to buy into your brand.
What an evergreen funnel allows you to do is indoctrinate those leads with your values, methodology, and product. Some will purchase and generate revenue upfront, but then you can take that email list that was developed through the evergreen funnel and launch to it…
This allows for the “hype” around the launch and the launch content to increase your sales significantly.
#3: It doesn’t require a huge “list” to get huge results
When we launched LeadCraft, our active email list was roughly 12,000. By active, I mean they opened an email at least once a week.
We had 10 days for someone to sign-up for the 7 Day Challenge before it started on May 1st. During that period, we marketed to our list and used Facebook Ads to turn strangers into engaged prospects for our launch.
While we had over 3,000 people sign-up for the challenge, by the time we actually opened the sale for the program, only 1,567 people were ultimately interested in the program. Roughly half of those who signed up to the challenge stayed engaged all the way through the sale.
Think about that for a minute.
That’s not 10,000, or 25,000 or 50,000, is it?
And that’s the beauty of all of this…
You don’t have to have some massive list.
We spent $9,000 in advertising on Facebook and sent 6 emails to our email list for the 1,567 people that were interested.
So, when you have the belief that you need tens of thousands of people to have a successful launch… remember, it’s not true.
#4: Intimacy rules over everything during a launch
During our launch, we used our LIMITLESS Facebook group to answer every single question, we did multiple Q&A live streams, and I personally replied to almost every single email.
The key here is that those that engaged are the ones that ended up actually purchasing.
The amazing piece is that this didn’t take 20 hours a day…
However, that level of intimacy that we had during the launch paid off in a gigantic way. Now, if you had a 40,000 person launch list, it may not matter. If you’re launching with a small list, intimacy is EVERYTHING and the difference between failure and success.
#5: Don’t hold back details just because you don’t want to over-deliver
So many people are afraid that they are going to “give away too much”, but here’s the thing. There’s a difference between giving people information and giving people the ability to take action based upon that information.
The key to any launch (especially, if you’re selling information or education) is for someone to have a full understanding of what you provide and even how to do it. However, those who purchase your product or service are looking to increase momentum and speed up the process.
Due to the fact that information is so cheap, trying to “hold back” information is one of the worst methods in online marketing, especially during a launch.
The chances are pretty high that the information that you’re guarding is already out there.
So rather, sell the ability for someone to execute and implement what you’re offering.
#6: Prepare for SNAFUs (Situation Normal All F’ed Up)
Murphy’s Law is probably going to come and hit you on the head, so expect this. This also ties into your expectations and setting them to a point where you can go into a launch being able to separate the result from the process.
See, our launch goal was only $35,000.
We did nearly 10x this, however, what it did is allowed us to look at our financial projections and be 100% certain that if the launch didn’t go as planned, it was okay.
See, by not relying on launches to fuel and sustain you and rather allowing them to “level up” your business, you can do your best work and be fully present in delivering the best for those who will become your customers.
#7: Strategy isn’t concrete, it’s a plan
What feels right in planning doesn’t always work out during execution. When you’re in launch mode, things will change, you will get feedback and you’ll see holes in various pieces…
When we launched, I had to re-record two videos on the fly…
We had to create entirely new sets of Facebook ads…
We had to restructure the offer multiple times…
The list goes on and on… I can count at least a dozen things that we had to change on the fly during the launch, as well as leading up to the launch. Expect that the plan WILL change and if you see a trend, or you hear the same feedback more than a dozen times and you can quickly change and implement… do it. It’s typically a good thing to depart from the plan when it’s based on user feedback.
#8: Use Facebook Ads for Engagement, not Opt-ins
During the launch itself, I don’t recommend using Facebook Advertising to bring people through your launch funnel.
It’s far too expensive.
See, your advertising during the launch should be re-targeting your launch list and engaging them, instead of bringing new people through the door.
Due to the fact that you have such a small period of time for your launch, it’s nearly impossible to get the cost per conversion where want it. And unless you’re an advanced Facebook Advertiser, attempting to scale your budget and profitability will be extremely difficult.
This is another key reason that I recommend that you have an evergreen funnel first: so you have plenty of leads to work with from day one, instead of trying to generate enough during a launch.
When it comes to engagement ads, you want your launch list to consume each piece of your content…
Sort of like this from our May launch:
#9: Email Marketing Is Your Best Friend
The frequency of email is something a lot of people are concerned about… but here’s the thing:
Email marketing is your best friend.
Don’t be afraid to use it.
When someone is part of your launch, they’re okay with you emailing them.
As a benchmark, you want to be emailing those on your launch list at least once a day. During the sale, this can increase to two emails and by the end, you can send even more than that.
However, keep in mind that each and every single email should have a true purpose and a story. It should never be a simple “reminder”. Remember, we want to pull someone FORWARD, not just slap them in the face.
#10: Perfection Isn’t an Option
Perfection is the greatest enemy of progress and when it comes to your launch, if you go for perfection, you’ll never launch.
You’re going to make mistakes, and things aren’t going to work the way you want.
However, here’s the beauty of it all…
You don’t have to be perfect.
And what you produce doesn’t have to be perfect.
See, the bar is so low in our society that perfection is a lost art.
Because profit doesn’t follow perfection, rather money follows momentum, it’s important to launch, break things, discover what worked and what didn’t and continually get better and better.
So, after everything I’ve learned, the question is… why do a launch? Obviously, you can build a very successful business based on a method of steady online marketing and be generating more and more profit each month.
Simply put, I see launches, not as a method of sustainability in a business, but rather as a way to have large cash infusions into your business that allow you to constantly “upgrade” your business.
For example, after we did our launch, we did almost 3x what we were generating monthly which allowed us to make some long-term investments, increase the size of our team, and get ready for an amazing 2017.