I’ve never done this before! But, why not. Today, I’m going behind the scenes of my latest launch and bringing you a teardown of what went well—and what I’ll do differently next time
One of my mastermind sisters, Emma, reminded me that launching is essentially like the hype build-up before Harry Potter movies came out, if you’re a millennial like me. Same kind of thing: it’s a marketing promotional period, all with a revenue goal in mind. I think we use this “sexy” marketing term all the time, but I hope this pulls back the curtain a bit on what even a launch IS.
I talk about launches a TON—I’m a launch copywriter, so not only are my clients constantly in product launch mode or putting products on evergreen, but our brand story and website copy clients AND my students are launching websites, which is definitely a different animal, but still, in essence, a marketing campaign. To be the best launch funnel copywriter and strategist I can be, I think it’s important for me to live launch my own stuff, so I can better steer my clients—even if their businesses are SO much bigger and we’re clocking in half-a-million dollar launches for them.
**Pro tip: Don’t compare yourself to your clients, especially if they’ve been in business a lot longer than you. I just feel like someone out there needed to hear that!
This was about $16k shy of my biggest launch, clocking in at $132k, but it was by FAR the most smooth sailing launch of the 7 live launches I’ve had—I went to bed on time, I ate healthy food, this is my first launch as a mom, I didn’t have a crying breakdown in the middle, ha. My husband Wes typically knows launch periods are batten down the hatches, prepare for hurricane Ashlyn times, but I’m pretty proud to say she didn’t really make landfall this time.
As we dive in if you’re ready to uplevel your next launch? Make sure to grab my step-by-step copywriting checklist of all the pieces of messaging you need to be hammered out before you start the campaign.
Let’s dive in!
What DID Work
So, if we’re looking at this as a case study, this was the sixth live launch of my first product, Copywriting for Creatives™. It’s my baby and I love it! In addition to serving clients one-on-one and having a template shop, I currently have 2 programs, this and The Art of Efficiency™. CfC is to master your message and write your site in 30 days, and I’ve been launching since 2016.
I love tweaking, testing, and experimenting—and I know this may be over your head, but stay with me. I’ve come up with takeaways for you for each thing I’ll share.
- Repurposing YouTube videos on Facebook : This helped warm up a cold audience and helped us with retargeting later. I also think that I got people used to my face and my voice … before I really got into YouTube, people soaked up my content mostly through reading! I think it helped a lot with the familiarity of what I’m like inside my paid offers. This also helps me serve like CRAZY before a launch—we’ve had clients before who are ready to roll like, yesterday on a launch and you need to remember that this audience needs to feel like you’ve given like crazy. One of the best compliments I ever get is “I bought this because I’ve used so many of your freebies that I feel like I finally need to pay for something.” **Takeaway: Even if you just do client services, use video!
- Email optimization tweaks: Specifically, using micro copy in the preview text line and making sure that none of the emails were sent from a support@ account. I think this really helped our open rates increase from an average of 41% to an average of 45%. The industry standard for where I am tends to be around 20-24% so it’s safe to say this like tweaked had a big impact this time around. **Takeaway: Start—if you’re not already—making sure your emails send from a real name, and play around with preview copy.
- I didn’t shy away from my offer: In the past, I think I worried that I’ll annoy people with talking about my offers, so I ONLY mentioned them after webinars started and then shut up until it’s open again 6 months down the road. This wasn’t serving me. We had customers and readers confused about the offer, unfamiliar with it when it DID launch. The win of talking about it the months and week of? People knew about it. We actually see a lot of sales on day 1 because we have women (and men!) who’ve been saving up for 6 months.
**Takeaway: Say the product names or the service names in your marketing. I know we hear this a lot, but it’s something I have to get better about too. It’s a mindset shift thing. I actually did a journaling exercise and kept it on my desk all week to remind myself of this.
- I get really anal about giving a high-value workshop: My prayer is that everyone attending, whether they buy or not, sees it as a really good use of 60 minutes. Even if they are catching the replay. I spend a lot of time prepping, and for sure it was the smoothest. I always refresh with the latest research I’m learning about and industry changes, and I converted at 9.7% on a webinar, which was my highest yet. I think it’s because I was confident.
- We finished the copy and tested the funnel early: Ugh, I used to not do this. Like, I’d have copy being prepped ON THE DAY it needed to go out.
**Takeaway: I preach this, but I finally did it.
- I use a really long-form sales page: I could talk about sales pages all day. I love them. As a long-form sales page copywriter, I get asked if they convert. YUP. We definitely have students on the fence that read every word, and that’s for them.
- We invest in ads: I know people complain about ads and algorithms, honestly, I love them. I have gotten really good stuff from ads. Back to the video, we get a pretty good ad spend and cheap leads because we’re using video to target people in advance. I spent just shy of $30k in ads.
What DIDN’T Work:
To keep this teardown rolling, now I need to tell you things I’ll change for next time or do differently.
I’m not in love with our affiliate program: I want this to be better. Honestly, we do really well with organic sales, but I want to be able to support people who’ve gone through this curriculum and want to affiliate. I believe strongly in affiliate programs—if someone has something amazing that I’m not going to teach or offer.
Story collecting: We’re trying to do a better job of showing off our students’ successes and published websites. So, CfC’ers, if you’re out there, know this—I want to really showcase what you do as a result. One of my favorite things to do when someone’s trying to decide is say don’t take my word for it, I’d rather you look at someone in your industry and see what they did. That’s gonna tell you more than I could ever tell you.
Counting on other software and tech means—well, you’re dependent: We had an Infusionsoft glitch where they were slow to send emails (uh, huge problem on cart close, because that means some people got too many emails in one day!), and Leadpages was completely wonky on some opt-ins for us due to a glitch they had one day. That counts on the days you’re spending in ads and every click costs, but it’s kinda how it goes when you use technology in your business, right?
CHILDCARE! Yuck. This is just me being a mom and learning, but we had a nanny cancel for 2 different days in the middle of the launch, when I had a workshop getting ready to be taught live to 3k people. Ha!
Testing websites: This is a me thing, but I need to be better about making sure every one of our websites works on multiple devices and multiple browsers. We had one landing page not formatting well on Android devices using the Chrome browser (so like, super specific) but boy did I hear about it.
Don’t Fly Solo
I can’t believe I talked about this on the internet—I get a little uncomfortable with talking about finances, but at the same time I think that’s dumb that I do—this is a business, it needs to bring in revenue to cover our costs (which were around $50k), go towards taxes (rule of thumb, use ⅓ as a rule), and reinvest BACK into the business. I give myself a TINY bonus when we have wins like this, but for the most part, it all goes back into the business to keep fueling the team and stuff.
Because so much was done and I wasn’t flying solo, I really got to talk to potential customers during the launch, which was so fun. I got to be present on social media. I got to thank people for coming to the workshop. I get to go into our private community and answer questions and interact.