When clients come to me to run their launches (see Your Profitable Launch here), it’s usually because they’ve had a horrible experience launching on their own. They’re rightfully upset that they haven’t met their launch goals and usually not met by a long shot.
People often don’t realize how much work goes into a successful launch. They’ve been tricked by the sparkling lights and Facebook posts that start with phrases like, “I’ve reached 100K in 3 days with my latest launch.”
10 of the most common reasons that you didn’t hit your launch goals:
1) You haven’t spent enough time on your launch messaging
At the core of a successful launch is clear marketing messaging. How can you communicate your offer so that
(a) Perfect potential customers understand exactly what it is
(b) The value of your offer is crystal clear
(c) Your customers are motivated to take action on purchasing or signing up right away
Even if the offer is incredible, having shoddy messaging can sink the whole launch. This is also why my launch package always starts with a messaging map.
(2) You haven’t done a pre-launch campaign to build up an interest list
At least four weeks before you even mention an open cart, you should be priming your audience and building a new audience around the topic of your offer. This pre-launch can include blog posts, social media, live videos, interviews, opt-in gift.
The prelaunch is my favourite part of the launch and where I build the most buzz for myself and my clients.
(3) You haven’t segmented your list (you’re trying to sell to your entire list)
Related to reason number 2 is that you aren’t making use of list segmentation. So instead of building an interest list with a pre-launch campaign, you just sell your launches to your entire list.
This is a mistake of a couple of reasons:
- You’ll see more people unsubscribing from your list
- Your email conversion rates will look worse than they are because of unopens and unclicks by an audience whose inactions shouldn’t count against you
While you can still send a couple of emails about your launch to your entire list, they shouldn’t get the entire sequence.
To work around this, during the pre-launch campaign send emails based on pre-launch content that when they click on a link in those emails, they get added to your interest list.
(4) You’ve set unrealistic goals
This is a big one, especially for people who are new to launching online. The truth is that until you have your own benchmarks to work with for predicting the outcomes of launches, you are guessing a bit here.
However, there are some common industry standards that should help you guestimate more accurately.
- On an average salespage, you can expect 1-3% of your unique traffic to convert to sales
- With an average engaged email list (or interest list – see reason three above), you can expect 1-3% of subscribers to purchase
- With the average sales webinar, approximately 30% of sign-ups will show up live, and approximately 20% of live attendees will purchase during or after the webinar
Like I mentioned, these are averages and there are SO many factors that determine how your conversion rates will actually stack up against these averages. Things like: How effective your sales copy is? How well you sell your offer live on a webinar? Time of year? How well aligned your offer is to what your audience actually wants? The list goes on and one.
(5) List exhaustion, you’re launching all the time and not spending enough time nurturing
You’re excited about all the new things you’re creating – that’s totally understandable. But you should be spending more time nurturing and providing value to your audience than you do selling to them.
Couple of good rules to follow:
- 80/20. Just like with social media, 80% of your content should be for providing value and engagement and 20% (or less) to do with selling.
- Don’t just show up in your subscriber’s inbox when you have something you want them to buy.
The sweet spot for me is to plan a launch or less per quarter.
(6) You haven’t prequalified your product or audience
Another reason you haven’t hit your launch goals is that you’ve missed the mark with your product and customer. Usually this happens because we create our products in vacuum. Meaning we’re super excited about them so we think our audience will be too. So without any surveying or collecting feedback, we press on, bring the idea to life and then launch it and hope they’ll love it.
(7) The sales page isn’t converting
Even if everything else in your launch goes perfectly, the whole thing can go awry because of your sales page.
Remember: You don’t write a salespage, you assemble it in sections.
Here’s how I usually break mine down:
- Countdown Timer
- Paint the picture of the pain points (also lets them know who it’s for)
- Introduce my solution
- Call to action
- Benefits (or features tied to benefits)
- What it looks like (the process)
- Full breakdown
- Call to action
- Who am I
- Call to action
- Frequently Asked Questions
(8) You haven’t set any goals
Worse than setting unrealistic goals, setting no goals is another common mistake. I’m going to get a little woo on you here, but I believe having clearly defined goals let the Universe know you’re ready for them (plus they motivate you, reveal what kind of action and launch plan you need to set).
Related to this reason is a tip: Create a visual representation of the spots you want to fill, then when people fill them, colour or fill them in.
Love these two articles on Creative Progress Mapping that you can repurpose for reaching your launch goals: Map Your Progress and Made Vibrant.
(9) Launch tactics – you’re doing the same thing everyone else is so you don’t stand out
Another reason you’re not reaching your launch goals is that you’re using the exact same mix of tactics that everyone is using.
It usually goes like this: Something works for 1 person -> They tell everyone how amazing their launch went because of this 1 thing -> Everyone goes bonkers for it and starts using it themselves -> It doesn’t work anymore.
It’s called Market Sophistication when consumers get so used to seeing something over and over again in its different forms and variations that it no longer works. It’s not fresh.
So for your launch, pull together a mix of different tactics (and not just the ones that everyone else is using!)
(10) Create momentum (not enough momentum points, tie to urgency)
My personal favourite launch strategy is to create the points of momentum in a launch. Registrations usually come in waves so the more points of urgency we create, the better.
Stuff like: Early Bird opens, Early bird closes, Webinar specials, Cart Closing. This is the first thing I look at when creating a client’s launch is where are those points of urgency and how can we maximize them.
Create a strong foundation for your next launch that avoids these 10 top launch mistakes by downloading the Launch Map Planner