Launch didn’t go as planned, huh?
Ah man, that sucks…
But, while it can be tempting to don your fat pants, consume *obscene* amounts of Ben & Jerry’s, and watch back-to-back rom coms until you’re no longer sure if you’re crying because of your launch results or the sheer beauty of Ryan Gosling’s face (both are equally valid)…
None of those things are going to help you kick your launch goals next time around.
So let me help you out.
The best way to set your next launch up for success is to pick apart your last one with a fine-tooth comb.
Sure, it can be slightly painful, but it’s also the only reliable way to identify challenges, highlight opportunities, and put yourself back in the driver’s seat, trusty map in hand.
Because a successful launch —
One that ends in serious mulah, an EXCITED bunch of new customers, and the knowledge you’ve just leveled-up your business in a big way —
Is all about the big picture strategy, aka how well your offer, your prospects, and your funnel interact.
So whaddaya say we do some picking, with the help of a real-life launch?
We’ll dive into three key elements that could’ve been better executed, looking at how, and also WHY (*ooo* so handy) so by the end of this page, you have the ability to put yourself on the path to champagne-and-smug-face-success.
Let’s begin with some big-picture context, so you know what you’re looking at...
Aussie lady-legend Mia Freedman launched her Lady Startup course for the third time earlier this month.
It’s a 6 week online course designed to help ladies launch their startups, skipping over confusion, overwhelm, and procrastination so they pop out the other end with a business, a plan, and a ready to rumble t-shirt*.
*one of these outcomes not included
If you don’t know Mia, it’s important to mention she’s perfectly positioned to offer Lady Startup. Firstly, because she’s both accomplished and accessible (a rare and enticing breed), and secondly, because she’s got a killer platform.
She started her biz, Mamamia, from her lounge room back in 2009. Today, it’s Australia's largest women's media company and the world's largest women's podcast network. She’s got a team of 80, and, if she felt like it, could totally make like Ron Burgundy —
And no-one would bat an eyelid.
I have no relationship with Mia (aside from letting her into my ears on the reg, via the magic of iTunes), so Mia, if you’re reading this, I think you’re pretty damn impressive, and I hope this intel allows you to help even more lady startups next time you launch.
Because, if my internet stalking and questionable maths skills are correct, this launch converted at around 2%. Which means there’s lots of room for improvement.
The first heads up I got about the Lady Startup launch was this here email…
Which leads me straight into…
Opportunity for Improvement #1: Personalisation
This email doesn’t really know who it’s talking to.
And by that, I mean the section above the CTA is addressed to ladies on the waitlist, but the section below talks to those who’ve never heard of the course.
Couple that with the fact that my name doesn’t come up anywhere in the copy (which was the case across the entire launch sequence, FYI), and we’ve got ourselves a problem.
These emails aren’t personalised.
While including your recipient’s name is the simplest form of personalisation (and you can do this easily with a little snippet of code inserted into the copy at the back-end), segmentation is the most important.
Because when you tailor the emails you send based on elements like when someone joined your list (i.e. before, during, or after the previous launch?), and what actions they’ve taken (e.g. did they open emails in your previous launch? Did they actively join your waitlist? Did they join to get their hands on a lead magnet that’s aligned with the offer you’re selling?), you’re able to deliver a much more tailored experience.
Which is important, because we know 1:1 selling converts at much higher rates than 1:many, so anything you can do to make each point of contact feel like the logical next step in a personal conversation, the better.
Or, to approach it from a different angle, if the conversation you’re having is bumpy or disconnected (kinda like when Great Aunt Audrey launches into a story you have zero background on, or your barista hands you the wrong coffee) your prospect is likely to feel confused, alienated, or invisible.
And there’s no surer way to let a good prospect slip out of your funnel.
This first pre-launch email also provides an excellent jumping-off point for…
Opportunity for Improvement #2: Pricing
On the surface, the Early Bird discount laid out in this email seems like a solid way to motivate people to join at cart open and reward the waitlist.
And sure, a discount like this *can* be effective at converting warm leads during the discount period, but it’s what comes after that’s the problem.
Because if someone sees the discount, doesn’t buy — for whatever reason — during that 48 hour period (sick kids, manic schedules, mortgage repayment due, GOT marathon to attend), and then considers the offer again, they feel cheated.
Because they know they’d be paying more for exactly the same thing.
That early bird discount? It devalued your core offer.
A much better way to motivate people to join your course early on is to offer additional value via open cart bonuses. These can be time-limited (e.g. ‘Join Lady Startup in the first 48 hours to snag yourself a seat at an additional *exclusive* workshop with Mia’) or quantity-limited (e.g. ‘Be one of the first 30 ladies to join and get access to a one-off, won’t-see-it-anywhere-else, small group strategy session with Mia’).
By using bonuses like these to motivate your prospects to join the moment your cart opens, you’re adding value, rather than removing it, which is a much better game plan.
The second point I want to make about pricing is how the investment is presented on the sales page. Let’s take a squiz…
Judging by the copy, and the fact price was mentioned multiple times in the launch emails, I think it’s safe to say cost is a key objection for Mia’s audience —
Which means addressing it more effectively is a really powerful opportunity for her next launch.
Straight up, I’m going to make an educated guess that Mia’s ideal prospect is FAR less concerned about whether some of her hard-earned coin will go to charity than she is about her return on investment.
Because if she hasn’t launched her business yet, any investment she makes is coming straight out of her own pocket — not her business’s — so it’s hugely important she has a clear idea of:
a) what she can reasonably expect as a result of joining the course (see Opportunity for Improvement #3 for more detail on this one); and
b) how that compares with the other options available to her.
Now, because Lady Startup is about getting all the foundations in place rather than earning a certain amount of income, this is where we need to get a bit creative with the idea of ROI.
What I’d suggest is anchoring the price of the course in some concrete, relevant comparisons.
If we take a look at this piece of copy from one of the launch emails, we get a solid idea of the kind of comparisons we can make...
A quick google tells me entry-level PR for an Aussie startup costs $2000 per month, a content planning template costs $42 per month, and (unless you go through Fiverr) a logo and brand board starts at $3000.
Add all those up, and you’re already looking at $5042 for only a handful of the goods you’ll get inside the course.
Yep, setting up a business is expensive.
And now you’ve seen some of the costs spelled out like that, how does $567 feel?
Like an absolute bloody bargain, amirite?
That, my friend, is the power of anchoring.
Another way to approach this idea is by sharing the dollar amount Mia sunk into her trial and error approach to her own lady startup. This would serve two purposes: providing a benchmark cost of setting everything up, and demonstrating the expertise Mia brings to the table with her course.
The third and final pricing point I want to bring to your attention is the guarantee.
Here it is, at its most detailed, in the FAQ section right at the bottom of the sales page…
First of all, props to Mia and the team for having a refund policy: some courses don’t. The problem with this one is I don’t think it’s doing enough to reverse risk for the ladies who need it.
It’s pretty clear that the other MAJOR objection for Mia’s audience is time. Her prospect is a busy lady, with a 9 to 5, a family, and a bunch of other commitments.
Here’s a snapshot of some of the launch copy to prove my point…
Can you see how this message is at odds with the guarantee?
If getting through the course in 6 weeks feels like a struggle, it’s highly unlikely 7 days will be enough time for the average student to truly grasp the value of the course and make a call on whether it’s worth their money.
Instead, I’d suggest a 21 day guarantee, with an added condition…
In order to get their money back, a student needs to prove they’ve done the work, which could be as simple as submitting completed worksheets from the first module along with their refund request.
This way, if Mia *knows* her course is solid, and knows her prospect can get the results they want — as long as they get stuck in and do the work — the guarantee reverses risk for both her and her prospective students.
In other words, it does it job.
As a final little tidbit here, I’d also suggest including the email address someone needs to write to if they want to request a refund.
It’s a small detail, but a powerful one, because it makes the whole process seem far more accessible. And let’s be honest…
Asking for a refund can be kinda awkward. So asking for the address you need to ask for the refund is a pretty big hurdle for someone to get their head around.
Speaking of getting heads around things, it’s time to look at…
Opportunity for Improvement #3: Social Proof
Social proof is one of the most powerful pieces of the puzzle in any launch, because while telling your prospect your course delivers the outcomes they want is a start, DEMONSTRATING it is exponentially more effective.
Let’s take a look at the two elements of social proof that appear on the Lady Startup sales page…
Allo, allo! Who are these ladies? Mia’s besties? Excellent stock models? 2.5 SETS OF IDENTICAL HAND TWINS?
We’ll never know, because their presence is never explained.
And look, it’s probably a safe bet they’re grads from previous intakes, and most likely ladies who’ve had great success with the course. If that’s the case, there’s no question they deserve pride of place on page, but their pictures alone don’t prove anything —
We need to hear their stories.
For example —
What were they struggling with before the course?
For how long?
What kind of businesses are they building?
What wins did they get out of the course?
What do their businesses look like today?
What do their LIVES look like today (because launching a startup is often just as much about lifestyle factors as it is money and passion)?
This level of detail is where the power of social proof lies, because it allows your prospect to see themselves in your success stories, and really, truly believe your course will work for them too.
And if they can do that, the decision to join becomes a whole lot easier.
Here’s the second round of social proof on the page…
Points for including pictures, surnames, and business names in this section. It’s these little details that make the people on the screen feel real.
However, these testimonials could be exponentially more powerful if they focused on the outcomes these ladies experienced as a result of the course, rather than a description of it.
Did they land their first client, for example? Get some media exposure with their sweet PR plan? Start generating enough cashola that they could hand in their resignation at their joyless day job?
The more these outcomes align with what your prospects want, the more powerful this information becomes.
And if you *really* want to amp up the persuasive power when it comes to sharing outcomes, hone in on the quickest valuable win, aka the first big, fat, high-five-worthy success your past students experienced after they started the course.
The quickest valuable win is such a powerful piece of intel because it’s so much easier for your prospect to imagine their life next Tuesday than it is to imagine their life two months from now…
So if you can PROVE a tangible, valuable win —
Whether that’s registering a business name after 2 years of thinking about it, or FINALLY finding the words to properly articulate what it is you’re building… and landing some PR because of it —
And anchor it in the foreseeable, imaginable future, you’re effectively closing the gap between where your prospect is now and where they want to be, making it clear your course is the quickest, most reliable path between those two points.
And there we have it. Three key opportunities for Mia’s next launch, all uncovered thanks to a spot of post-launch picking.
(And Mia, if you’re reading, I had 4 more mapped out for this particular launch: scarcity, the timing of your masterclass, stronger CTAs, and a more powerful sales page headline).
Now back to YOU!
If you’re all the way down here, I’ve got a question for you…
How valuable would this kind of tailored feedback be for YOUR next launch, especially if I had the data I needed to dive a little deeper and get a lot more specific?
(‘cause remember, everything above is a result of internet stalking, *not* a true collaboration)
For some of my existing clients, it’s meant —
more than doubling their revenue (whether that was an extra $85K or an extra $280K)…
getting more of their IDEAL people inside their courses and memberships (HUZZAH for impact!)…
and feeling a sense of calm and control during their launch (stress pimples and sleepless nights begone!)
Until a couple of months ago, the only way to work with me to get these kind of insights was via a full-blown launch project, where I tackle the strategy, the research, and the copy.
As you can probably imagine, the investment for those massivo projects is pretty substantial ($10K and up).
But today, you can get my brains on your launch for less than 10% of that price tag.
Enter my shiny, sort-of-new, launch debrief service.
In a nutshell, it’s where I go through your most recent launch with a fine-tooth comb, looking at what worked, what didn’t, and WHY, so you know what to do to make your next launch much more successful.
Here’s how it works…
Step 1: You snag yourself a spot on my calendar
Step 2: You fill out a comprehensive survey — stats and links to various elements of your funnel requizmo — to give me all the juicy details on your most recent launch
Step 3: I sift through it ALL (seriously, it takes me at least three hours), looking at the copy, the stats, and whatever other context you’ve thrown my way
Step 4: We jump on a 60-minute call (yep, the same one you booked in step 1) where I share my findings and work with you to identify the best solutions
Step 5: Post-call, you get the recording, so you can listen to our clever conversation as many times as you like, PLUS a list of key takeaways, so you know what to hone in on to make your next launch a champagne-popping-smug-face-wearing success
And it’s all yours for just $997 USD
Look, I know $997 is still a pretty substantial investment for some business owners
And I’ll be honest. If you’re selling a $29 product to a small, potentially burnt-out list, this probably isn’t a great investment for you.
But if you’re selling a 3 or 4-figure product to a larger audience, it might just be the best $997 you spend.
Because the point of this kind of analysis and strategic insight isn’t to help you get 1, 2, or even 10 more sales…
It’s to help you increase your overall conversion rate. Which, for most launches, will mean at least an extra 5-figures in your bank account.
Yep, it’s significant.
And, because I want you to know I’m legit about delivering, I’ve got a money-back guarantee.
If I can’t identify AT LEAST 3 key opportunities (like the ones above) for you to focus on during your next launch, I’ll shimmy your money straight back to you, along with an apology for the hassle.
Because if I can’t help you significantly, I’m not providing a valuable service, and that’s not good for either of our businesses.
“What if I can’t find a time that suits?”
Email me with a few that would, and I’ll see what I can do!
“What kind of launches do you usually work on?”
95% of my launch projects are for online courses, programs, or memberships. The other 5% are for physical products, like skin care and sporting goods. If you’re not sure whether we’ll be a good fit, don’t be afraid to ask! I have no problem turning down projects I’m not qualified for, and will always try and refer those projects to someone I know will serve you better.
“I’m a fellow copywriter… can I book this service too?”
Of course you can! Regardless of whether it’s for your own launch or a client’s — as long as you’ve got a solid amount of data, I can help.
“What kind of data do I need exactly?”
The more, the merrier! But at a minimum, I’ll need access to your launch copy, list stats, click-through rates, and conversions (or total number of sales).
“Is there any sort of guarantee?”
You betcha! If I can’t identify AT LEAST 3 key opportunities (like the ones above) for you to focus on during your next launch, I’ll shimmy your money straight back to you, along with an apology for the hassle. Because if I can’t help you significantly, I’m not providing a valuable service, and that’s not good for either of our businesses.
“I want your help! But it’s my first launch… is there a way we can work together on the strategy?”
For sure! It won’t look quite like this though, since we’ll be working from a blank slate. Fling me an email, along with some intel about your launch (the what, when, and who) and I’ll get back to you with the best way forward.
“Why do you charge in USD? Aren’t you an Aussie?”
Too right, mate, I bloody well am (#STRAYA). But almost all of my current clients are based in the US, which means USD has been my business currency since the end of 2017.
“I have another question…”
Great! Sock it to me here.