208. Launch Series Pt. 1 | Behind the Scenes of a $300,000 Digital Product Launch

Behind the Scenes of a $300,000 Digital Product Launch

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Welcome to the first episode of our series on how to run a launch! Lindsey Deatsch, my Director of Operations, is my special guest today. She’s a pro at launches– before she came to work with me, she was a launch manager at an agency, doing launches day in and day out. 

208. Launch Series Pt. 1 | Behind the Scenes of a $300K Digital Product Launch

In this episode, you’ll hear… 

  • How to schedule a product launch timeline
  • The importance of list-building
  • What conversion rate you should expect for a launch

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Listen to episode 208, follow along so you never miss an episode, and leave a review to help introduce the show to more online business owners just like you!

Product Launch Timeline

When you map out your product launch timeline, start with the anchor point. For example, the anchor point of the launch we just did was the webinar. Then, reverse engineer the rest of your timeline based on that. This includes the pre-launch marketing strategy: The invite period, the teaser period, and learning phase. It also includes post-launch events: The “open cart” period and the post-launch survey.

Email List Building

The true first step in a promo planning process is to have a big list to promote to. That means you always need to be list building. We give you email marketing tips and social media tips to help you do this.

Conversion Rate

The reason you want a big list is because average conversion rates are low: 1-2%. That means for every 100 people who register for your launch, you can expect 1 to 2 of them to actually buy the product. As you nurture your list over time, you may see your conversion rate go up. But the key is to always grow your list. As Lindsey says, “It really is a numbers game.”

I’m so glad Lindsey was able to join us on the show today- she has seen it all when it comes to launches and is a fountain of knowledge!

Download Episode Transcript

Sam Vander Wielen:
Any day that you have a live event, day one, day two are always going to be big days. Any day of bonus expires is going to be a big day. And then the day the cart closes is going to always be a big day. So those are kind of your big moments. And everything else that comes in between is not going to be as fast and furious for sure.

Okay. So I am very excited today because I have the most specialist guests I could ever have on On Your Terms. In my heart and in my mind, she’s the most famous, most talented, most incredible person better than anybody else we could have on this show, because this is Lindsey Deatsch, everybody. Lindsey, welcome to On Your Terms.

Lindsey Deatsch:
Thank you. I’m so excited to be here.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Lindsey, will you tell everyone who you are and why I’m so obsessed with you?

Lindsey Deatsch:
I’m pretty obsessed with you too. But I am Lindsey Deatsch. I’m the director of operations for Sam Vander Wielen, LLC. I’ve been here two years coming up. Yeah. So I am here working day in, day out on all the things.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yes, all the time. Lindsey is the best. So Lindsey is my director of operations. I am so fortunate to have her here at the business, but one of the biggest reasons is because one of the biggest reasons I wanted to bring Lindsey on when I met her, it was because of how much experience you have with launches. And so I was hoping you could share with everybody a little bit about your experiences with launches prior to coming to me two years ago.

Lindsey Deatsch:
Sure. Yeah. So when I came to work here, my job prior to that was I was a launch manager for an agency. We did launches day in and day out. So we worked with a variety of different clients on a variety of different kinds of launches but basically, spent every day working behind the scenes of someone’s launch in this space. So I’ve done lots of launches. I’ve done varying types and degrees and sizes of launches. And yeah, so I have a lot of experience in that launch realm, for sure.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah, absolutely. You have done so many. And I remember when we were interviewing, I was telling you like, I do them. Right now, I do them by myself, but also, I feel like I do them a little bit differently than maybe what you’ve seen before. And I think even you were kind of like, I don’t know, can they really be like this? So what do you think is different about the way that I do launches or the way now? You and I have done them together now for the last two years than like what you’ve done in the past.

Lindsey Deatsch:
Yeah. It’s really interesting because right before I interviewed with you, I listened to your launch recap from, it would have been, I guess, 2022 launch recap. So it would have been a podcast episode. And just listening to you kind of like recap and debrief that launch. And I was like, oh, this sounds dreamy because it’s not like — I feel like you focus on the things that need to be focused on, but you don’t over complicate it.

And so you really like — and I think we say this all the time in our business is like quality versus quantity. So you go hard on the things that matter and want them to be great and the best that they can be. And then some of those other things that like are shiny objects that you can go down those rabbit holes, you’re like, Nope, we’re just going to stick with kind of the basics.

So I think simplicity, and that keeps launches manageable, it keeps them low stress. And I don’t usually use the word fun with launches, but I think our launches are kind of fun.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah, they are pretty fun. I mean, especially then when they go well, because then I feel like if they’re going really well, then you and I are like, this is so fun.

Lindsey Deatsch:
That’s true.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah. So I feel like they definitely get more fun. So if anyone’s having launches right now and you’re like, they are very much not fun, I feel like they can, the more you improve them, but also maybe you’re making it too complicated and that’s what’s not fun about it. So that’s a bit of it. Yeah.

Lindsey Deatsch:
And that’s not to say that our launches don’t have stress or aren’t stressful. There’s things where things go wrong or things get kind of exciting, I guess. But they’re not, not stressful, but they just aren’t –don’t have to be the loose sleep at night kind of stressful.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s just like business — people say like business is really hard or building your business is really hard. Launches are really stressful. Live launching is so stressful. It’s like, it doesn’t have to be. There are elements that’s always going to be stress. And like, Lindsey and I had a major tech snafu, for example, that was like neither of our faults. There’s nothing you could have done. There was no amount of planning and launching and preparing that you could have done for it.

And so like, that was stressful. We didn’t love that, but it happened. And also, we learned to also rebound from it and like see the big picture. Right. So like, I think we both have our heads on straight so that helps. But so I think it was — so basically Lindsey and I kind of — so if you listen to any of our planning episodes, then you know that what we typically do is plan very late in the year. Like October, November, we start planning for the following year.

And if you’ve listened to my planning episodes, then you know that the system that Lindsey and I have found that really works is really like heavily planning quarter one, lightly planning or more lightly planning quarter two, and then like very lightly three and four, we kind of like outline three and four.

So when Lindsey and I went to Mexico, for example, in October and we did our planning, we were very like clear on what we were going to do for our promotion in quarter one, because that was going to be the first of the year. And so that’s when we put the most like detail. Like we picked the dates and we knew like, are we doing a live webinar or not? And when is it around? When is it going to be? And then that’s really our anchor point. That’s where we start. You would say, right, Lindsey?

Lindsey Deatsch:
Yeah, for sure. And we kind of know that we’re doing three. Like we kind of do one in them beginning of the year. We do one kind of summer and then we kind of do one in fall. What they look like is kind of loose and we kind of plan those as they get closer, but we kind of lay those big things on the calendar.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah. And what I’m hoping to help everybody with through this series too, is to see like, first of all, to make a launch promotion schedule, whatever that works for you. Like my cadence isn’t necessarily the right one or the best one. Like this is kind of through our own trial and error, like what works for our own email list. Like I’ve gone too many times and tired them out. I’ve gone too few times and probably shot ourselves in the foot. Like you kind of have to find your own balance. You also might have a different number of products, or you might like live launch your coaching once a year or something like this.

Like, so it really is very dependent, but I also want to show you through this series that we do a lot of like real time updating. We’re like a stock ticker where we’re kind of like, yeah, this is why we do the loose planning because we’re like, this is what we intend to do for the rest of the year, but then like, let’s see how this thing goes. Or this idea I thought that was going to be gangbusters turns out it was terrible, and so we’re going to readjust and do something different. So I think it’s like flexible planning, right? I think that’s kind of what works for us.

Lindsey Deatsch:
Yeah, for sure.

Sam Vander Wielen:
So I was hoping you could, you’re the numbers gal around here, thank goodness, and you are a lover of spreadsheets. So I was hoping that you could share with everybody a little bit of numbers. So one of the first things that I recommend that you do once you’re planning your promotion and getting everything all set up is then coming up with some sort of goals, right? And I know it’s hard in the beginning when you’re starting out, you don’t really know, but like you can pick a number that seems kind of realistic based on what’s happening.

So we always start out by what are our goals? So we set goals for the — if we’re doing a promotion, like the one that I’m going to be breaking down in the series, which includes a live webinar, followed by a sales period, we come up with goals for how many people. We want to sign up for that webinar. And then how many people we want to purchase the product. So we set those goals.

And then at the end we can compare, and we know Lindsey and I do this by setting good, better, and best goals. So we come up with this kind of the three like escalating amounts of like, this would be great. Like we’d still be happy with this, this would be even better, and this would be the best. And like, Lindsey and I shockingly surprise ourselves sometimes and we like, oh my gosh, we’re past the best. But will you share what our goals were for both signups and sales for this launch that we’re going to be breaking down in this series?

Lindsey Deatsch:
Yeah. So for our webinar goals, we had set registrations. Our good goal was 2000, which is roughly a few more than we had last year at this time. And then our better goal was 2250 and our best goal was 2500. And then going into the sales period, we set our good goal at 105, which is what we ended the promotion with last year. So that was kind of our baseline. The better goal was 112 and the best goal was 125.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Okay. And a little drumroll, please. Gaz, you got to pull up that drumroll. A little drumroll. What were the — and so by the way, when Lindsey’s sharing these goals, so when she was saying 2000, 2250, she’s saying 2000 people, because if I didn’t know, I would be like, I’m sorry, what? Like how many people? Because these numbers sound crazy to me. I also just want to reverse the tape to my 2017 webinar where only 66 people signed up and I was thrilled, and I thought it was a rock star. So we all start somewhere, but so 2000 people. What were our actual numbers for signups?

Lindsey Deatsch:
So our actual number for signups were like, it was 2971 or something. So just under 3000, which our best goal is 2,500. So to get 3000 felt amazing.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah, absolutely. And so also to kind of set the stage too, for when you’re coming up with these goals, especially for people to sign up for something, if you’re going to do a challenge or a live webinar or whatever it is that you’re going to do for kind of your live event portion of your promotion, the idea here is that only a small percentage of those people are going to buy.

Now, we also pretty heavily rely on, we have a very big email list. We have a pretty good chunk on social media. So we have all these other things. So I always assume that there are going to be some sales that also come from other avenues. Like some people might not sign up for my live webinar, but they’re on my email list. You also don’t want to keep that in mind when you’re deciding, like, am I going to run this promotion to my entire email list? Because some people, when they do a promotion, like let’s say you had a live webinar that goes to a sale, they would only send those sales emails to the people who sign up for the webinar.

I have always taken the approach that’s worked out okay for me so far that everybody gets the emails, and everybody like on social media hears about it. And I share about it on the podcast, like everybody in my knows that the sale is going on. So I don’t kind of like silo and hide it for those people. But I guess for our safe numbers, I typically work off of like, okay, if 2,500 people sign up for the live webinar and you have a three percent conversion rate, which is good, but kind of standard at the same time, okay, that gives me a good idea of how many people will buy.

This was very helpful and very refreshing to me in the very beginning when I remember I had like 100, 150 people on my email list and I would set these goals that I’d be like, I want 30 people to buy. And it’s like, that’s like half of my email. Like, it’s not happening, you know? Or I would like take my open rate for an email and be like, wait, my open rate at that time was probably like 25, 30. It’s like way higher now. But it was like only X number of people are even opening these emails to see it. And then I know only like one to two percent are going to buy it. That’s more realistic. And so I was like, oh, well that’s sobering real quick. Right. Is that kind of how you would recommend people go through and like set goals?

Lindsey Deatsch:
Yeah, for sure. I think it’s like 30 to 40 percent of your list is kind of a big number. But yeah, they usually say like one to two percent conversion rate is what you can expect from something like that. So if you have a hundred people or a thousand people on your list, that’s great, but you just have to keep that in mind when you’re setting your goals. And once you’ve done it once, you can use those goals to kind of say, like, here’s what my conversion rate was. Now, let me take that and apply it next year because from year to year, you have less growth and you have nurture and engagement and, and so you can kind of tweak those. But using your numbers as a baseline is probably the best thing that you can do. But starting out, yeah, that one to two percent conversion rate is kind of where most people are.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah. I think that’s pretty shocking when people hear that. I know, like when I’ve shared that in the past, people are like, wait, that’s it? Like, that’s going to be like two people. And you’re like, yeah, that’s how it was in the beginning. And it’s also why you want to look to these like other avenues where you’re selling to your list, but you’re also trying to sell through social media or through YouTube or your podcast, like whatever it is that you have. It’s also why things like live webinars are so helpful because you do get more of that like connection point with people and we convert people right on the live webinar, like as it’s going on. And so yeah, it’s hard out there, guys. I’m telling you. Yeah, it’s hard and it takes time.

Okay. So those are our goals for the signups and then our actual signups for the webinar that we did, and we had two live sessions by the way. But what were the goals then for the sales? So I know our best one was 125. For a number of people that bought the Ultimate Bundle. What were our actual numbers?

Lindsey Deatsch:
We actually closed the cart with 128 sales.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah, so the prior year, launch was 105. That was our highest, which is why Lindsey and I used it as kind of our baseline to be like, okay, we think we can replicate that. We kind of understand how to replicate that at this point, but we wanted to push ourselves. But I’ll tell you, even Lindsey and I were like up late. Well, late for me, you know me, I’m in bed early. So it was like, we were just, we couldn’t believe it. So we were very, yeah, very fortunate this launch.

Lindsey Deatsch:
Yeah. That’s one of the fun things is counting. Like when you’re getting so close to your goals and like, I would encourage everyone to be watching that and counting as you go because then you get to that point and it’s really hard to not move the goalposts too and be like, oh, we’re at 120, maybe we can hit 140. But sticking with those goals and watching them come in, that’s one of the funnest parts to seeing all of that pay off.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Absolutely. Absolutely. But you know what I think would be really helpful for everyone to hear, Lindsey, is like how so we — because I remember also running launches by myself years ago and like not seeing any of those things coming in and or like having a lot of expectations like very early on in a promo, like you have a five-day promo window. And I thought like all these sales were going to immediately start pouring in.

And back in the day what I used to do was when those sales didn’t go at the cadence that I thought that they would, I would shut down mid launch. Like I would stop promoting it. It would really impact my energy. And I think something that you and I do really well now is that we don’t like, even though, yes, we look at that and we see how things are going, we kind of maintain the same energy level, like all the way through. And there were a few days in the middle where we were like, well, first of all, we had the major tech snafu on day one. And that really did impact sales because we would have had way more day one sales. Like we normally have a lot more than we did.

So there was a little bit of like a, uh-oh, I hope that this straightens out. And we went into day two with just as much energy as we would have. Like, we really didn’t let that hold us back. And then inevitably, you and I always see that in the middle of the launch, especially if it’s like the middle falls over a weekend or so like right after a fast action bonus expires, there tends to be a little bit of a lull. But you and I just like, boom, picked up again on Monday and went hard from Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday until the cart closed.

Lindsey Deatsch:
Yeah. I think that that’s another thing that you’ve always done really well is like you plan it so that there is a weekend in there, but you don’t expect the weekend to be like this massive, like sales generator or those days to be like your best days. Because it’s true, like anytime, and I’ve seen it in every launch I’ve ever worked on, like you, those couple of days, it’s cricket. So you’ll have days three and four, kind of your mid cart days where you don’t get any sales at all sometimes.

And it’s really hard to look at that and be like, okay, like people are just done. Like they’re not coming back. Like, this is it. Like, this is where we’re at. And I think that now we kind of know that those are coming. We can kind of anticipate and we can kind of like manage our energy accordingly and still show up and be excited and kind of know these days aren’t going to produce, but they’re going to pay off in the end. And then seeing day one, any day that you have a live event day, one day, two are always going to be big days. Any day of bonus expires is going to be a big day. And then the day the cart closes is going to always be a big day. So those are kind of your big moments and everything else that comes in between is not going to be as fast and furious for sure.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah, it might be a little slow. And what I talked about last week with my mindset coach Jen on the show, if you want to go back and listen to that episode was that part of this was a real mindset shift for me and like, not telling myself stories because I think in my earlier days and what some of our listeners might be doing now is like, when I wouldn’t see the sales come in — like I had come up with this imaginary scenario of how this was all going to go and it was going to be so amazing and so many people were going to buy. And then when they didn’t, I would insert a story about like, nobody wants this. I did this at the wrong time. I did it too late. I knew I messed that thing up. It’s too expensive. Like I would just start going down all these story rabbit holes and like start filling in for everybody, like “why they weren’t buying”. And meanwhile, I just needed to give it time.

And then it’s kind of funny how we like then shoot ourselves in the foot where like, when you do that kind of stuff, you then stop showing up. And then because you stopped showing up, people stopped buying. So, and then you’re like, it’s like fulfilling your prophecy.

Lindsey Deatsch:
Yeah. Yeah. If you have crickets in the middle of your launch, you’re just kind of normal. Like it’s something that everyone experiences for sure.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah. It happens to all of us. Okay. So I think that’s really helpful to break down the numbers and kind of like expecting how those numbers may be ebb and flow and come in. I wanted to back up a bit. I mentioned at the beginning of the show that you and I start this process by doing our planning at the end of the prior year for the following year, but fast forward to when it gets a little bit closer to our actual launch itself, I thought it’d be helpful if we talk like how we plan and strategize this out.

So generally speaking, Lindsey and I meet and again, this is what I did by myself before Lindsey was here. So if you’re currently by yourself, you can do this very same thing. And one day when you have a Lindsey, you can do this with your Lindsey, but so I would sit down and I would think like, we would kind of come up with like the anchor point, I would say first, right, Lindsey? Like, we would say, okay, are we doing a live webinar? Yes. Around when is that webinar going to be? Would you say that’s when we start?

Lindsey Deatsch:
Yeah, for sure. Getting kind of the dates lined out. Like, are we going to do a live component and kind of when does that fit into the calendar, which is step one.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Because that one’s most important because once we get that on that date on the calendar, then essentially what Lindsey and I do is like, let’s say that our live webinar is going to be on a Tuesday, we then know for that a week before, at least a week, if not like 10 days, sometimes a little bit more, even once we do ads, but at least like 7 to 10 days before we are inviting people to come to that webinar.

So you’re going to learn a lot of terms over the course of this series, but invite is like a term that we use as a period. And that refers to like that 7-to-10-day window prior to the live event, whether you’re doing a webinar or some kind of challenge or something like that that you’re going to be — like that’s going to be the sign-up window where people can sign up to come to that live event or sign up for that challenge. And it’s only during that window that they can sign up. So that is what we call our invite period.

Now, we then back out another week or two prior to that, that we call our teaser period, because that’s when we start teasing that something is coming. Essentially, we tease that an invite is coming. We also play a little bit differently each time, but we play a little bit with teasing that a sale is coming to. And I tend to find that maybe it’s our price point. Maybe it’s the economy. Maybe it’s just that people, I also find that like users are much savvier now. They kind of know the deal, like live webinar I’m going to get sold to. So in our invite period, we’re also teasing about a sale because we find it helps to like — it’s consistent with our brand of being kind of like non-BS and being very straightforward, but also being like, hey, you know, this is coming. We’re being honest about it. And people can prepare. Like I always want to give people that preparation.

So we pick the date. We then back out a week, week and a half for the invite period. And we back out a week to two weeks for a teaser period. Is that right?

Lindsey Deatsch:
Yeah. Yeah. And I think it’s really important to remember that it’s not just like the webinar is not your first day. It’s like when you’re putting that on your calendar, you want to make sure that you’re figuring in those extra weeks, because I know that that takes a lot of energy from you to like be showing up and talking about the live event. And your like promotion and like forward facing kind of energy for that really starts two or two and a half, almost three weeks prior to the actual live event taking place. So that’s important to remember.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah. I mean, this year it was like a solid three weeks and like you have to remember we run Facebook ads too. So Facebook ads need a little bit of time to like get up and running. They call it learning phase. So we always want them to get out of learning phase and get out to more people. So we have to like start that a little earlier. And so we’ve learned to kind of like, I don’t know, judge and move things around a little bit because of those.

But Lindsey’s right, it’s a lot of outward energy. I actually find the sales period to be, it’s simultaneously the easiest and the hardest because in a way I feel like I’ve been doing it for so long. By that point, I’m like I remember this time I was like, wow, I’ve been promoting this for almost a month. Like it’s ongoing. It’s also why I think it’s helpful to tease that the sales coming in the teaser, because I’ve already done a lot of the work, like I’m not educating people necessarily that there’s a sale. It’s more just like, is this right for you now and all of that kind of stuff.

But yeah, Lindsey’s right, it takes a ton of energy. The live events themselves, I also find take a ton of energy. And depending on what time of year you’re doing it too, Lindsey’s right, because you have to back it out. Like for example, we sometimes have wanted to do the live webinar in like the third week of January. Like that’s a good time to do it. However, if you start doing the reverse engineering that I’m talking about, you end up in the holidays, which we can’t do. So it’s like, okay, well, we’re not, that’s too tight of a turnaround. We can’t do that. So we have to push it a little bit later.

Next year, I have my book coming out. So we’re like trying to figure out, well, how do we make this work? Like, how do you fit it around all this stuff? So there might just be some logistical stuff, but you also wouldn’t want to do it if like you had a vacation two weeks before the webinar, because you’re going to be like right in the middle of invite period on your vacation.

Lindsey Deatsch:
Right. Right. And yeah, you don’t want to be trying to promote a webinar while you’re trying to relax.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Nobody wants that.

Lindsey Deatsch:
Yeah. They just don’t — it just doesn’t work. It doesn’t work.

Sam Vander Wielen:
No. Do the vacation afterwards. Yeah. So, okay. Now, we’ve kind of reverse engineered from the live event. But from the live event forward, you then have, I would say a lot of, I mean, people have a lot of room for decisions in terms of like how long you want to make the sale period because there’s not a right or wrong. Like, is there anything you have to offer people in terms of coming up with a timeframe for how long?

Lindsey Deatsch:
No, I think you have to do it and see like what works for you and what works for your audience. I’ve seen short carts work. I’ve seen long carts work. You just have to know, like what, I think it’s important to remember, like you have to be able to maintain energy for that number of days and to keep up with like the promotion part of it.

So I would say like if you’re new, maybe you do a shorter cart period and just see how that works and then stretch it kind of as you go. But we’ve kind of always done like a 10-day open cart and that seems to work well for us and for our audience, with kind of a mid-cart, fast action bonus that goes away. So that seems to be kind of our sweet spot.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah. And I think some of the reasons we found that that works for us is because of the price point of our product, right, which is a little higher. So I personally wouldn’t be okay with having like a three-day thing, it’s too much money. I understand people need to think about it and they might need to move something around. But I also don’t love that like high pressure tactic. I think when you’re selling a lower ticket offer though, that is fine. It’s like you’re not forcing someone like into financial ruin with $47 offer or nine, seven. So it kind of depends what you’re doing. So I think that’s like one thing that can do it.

I would also tell people to, like, how much time do you need to properly educate and convert the audience, right? Because like, you don’t need to cut yourself short if you’re like, but there are all these things I would do. And I’m going to talk about this in a later episode in the series, but I’m going to talk about how during the sales period, this is episode three of the series, but in episode three of the series, I’ll talk about like what points I hit in the sales period that I feel like are really necessary for properly warming something up, someone up, converting them, getting them to buy. And like if I made the sales period super short, then I wouldn’t be able to get through all that. It would be too much. And if I made it really long, I think I would probably lose people because not only would you lose the urgency issue, but people just get kind of tired of the sale period. So yeah, you might need some trial and error here.

I guess the only other thing, Lindsey, that they could do in terms of timing, if you’re planning all this out, is like, we plan for a survey afterwards. Some people also plan for down sells. So we have done down sells. We’ve not done down sells. But a down sell is a short period of time after your promotion, where you say like, I get that you didn’t want this, but here’s this other thing that I have to offer, it’s usually like a smaller, cheaper or like, um, more entry level package of some sort that might work for them if your original one did not. So you could always build that. And those tend to be very short. Like I know we’ve done ours, the three days are usually 72 hours. Yeah. And then the survey, I guess we run about five days after it’s over, right?

Lindsey Deatsch:
Yes. Yeah, I want to say this time we did it a little bit closer, just because we were preparing for some other things. But yeah, I would say within the — like doing the survey within the first week is important. It’s still fresh on top of people’s minds and they are more likely to respond.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah, exactly. And when I say survey, by the way, I mean that we sent a survey to everyone who signed up for the webinar and who was on the emails about the sale but did not purchase. So that’s where Lindsey and I are trying to collect data. Especially this time I love what we asked in the, in the survey, because a lot of times with surveys like this, you just tend to get like, I couldn’t afford it, or I can’t spend the money right now.

So we said, other than the cost, what was the reason? So I think that was a really good idea just to say like, we already know, right, that that happens. That’s kind of a given. But is there some other reason and then that way we can look at the data and say, is there something that either can we create something different or do something different in our next promotion that would help more people? But Lindsey and I also try not to lose our mindset. Like we can’t satisfy everyone for everything. So it’s a bit of a balance, right?

Lindsey Deatsch:
Yeah. Yeah. I think it’s also important to remember that no matter what you price it at, someone’s always going to say it’s too expensive. So that’s like a known thing. So not to get too caught up on people who say, oh, that’s too expensive, it’s too expensive. So.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah, absolutely. Okay. So to recap, we do our planning of the timing, kind of using that live element as a little like anchor point. We backdate and then we future date to the sales and everything. Is there anything else? I guess from there, Lindsey, we really are then taking — I mean, thank goodness I have you, right.

So like from there, you’re really taking these pieces and now you run off and you’re implementing the logistics of these pieces. I’m working on more of the marketing side. Is there anything else you think we’re missing in that people could do in terms of planning at this stage?

Lindsey Deatsch:
No. I think the key thing to remember, especially if you’re doing it by yourself, is that like the pieces that I take and run with are things that like someone has to do. So if you’re doing them by yourself, like, I think it makes planning all the more important because you can get those pieces done and off your plate.

You can get all of your email scheduled. You can get all of your tech stuff done so that it’s ready to run on auto while you are out there like promoting and you can save your energy, your forward-facing energy for that. And not be focused on like, oh, I have to load tomorrow’s email today in addition to doing all of this like forward-facing promotion. So I think that that makes planning almost more important when you’re doing it on your own. So you can get ahead of some of those things and get them knocked out.

Sam Vander Wielen:
I think the big step for me between being completely by myself and being able to hire a full-time employee like Lindsey was hiring the first two people that I hired to help me with components of planning a launch like this, we’re hiring a copywriter who specializes in sales, emails like this. So like hiring a copywriter who would give me a sequence, which I then, by the way, could reuse for multiple different launches.

So like she would write them, I would give my edits or feedback on them, but then I would get them uploaded to, I use ConvertKit, so I would get them uploaded to ConvertKit and then I could duplicate them from there. So it made my like future launches by myself a lot easier, but that was probably the biggest bang for my buck in terms of investment. At that point, my sales, really, really increased when I was able to invest in a specific like conversion copywriter, especially somebody who does like some voice of customer research. She had calls with my customers at the time. So that was super helpful.

And then I would say the second person that I hired that was so helpful was a tech VA because the tech part, as Lindsey will tell you, and Lindsey could have her own podcast dedicated to talking about all this, but the like time expense of getting all the different like pages set up, like the opt in pages and the thank you pages and all the funnel tagging and all of that, that was super, super helpful to have somebody who was actually an expert come in and like set all those things up, because they were really things that I should not have been doing myself at that point.

And I feel like that was like a great next step for me from like, just being by myself to having them, to them being able to work with you. And now you’re working with them to get those pieces implemented. Right. And all I’m doing is reviewing the copy.

Lindsey Deatsch:
Right. And we start planning. I mean, we were in Mexico in October, but we start planning for this launch pretty much like November. Especially with the holidays in there, like we start assigning copy to be written and getting pages started. And we start tech, like way early to get all of that stuff set up so that we have time to test and make sure that it’s all functioning and working correctly. And so that we’re not bogged down trying to, like, implement those pieces as we’re mid promotion. So, even though you’re not the 1 doing it, we still like to have all of that set up and ready to go prior to kicking things off really.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah. And especially because then you can all test it a million times when a million ways to Sunday, which was like the other big benefit to hiring a tech VA for the first time was that like she was testing, testing and testing, making sure, because when I was doing this all myself, it was inevitably the promo would start. Someone would say, I’m trying to sign up and nothing’s happening. I haven’t gotten an email. And it was so tough.

And those days of entrepreneurship, I just want to like, say, I see you and hear you because those days are very, very stressful because you’re doing it all yourself. At the same time, I think it’s super helpful because I understand how this stuff works. And so it’s better like to have gone through it myself, but it is very hard.

So, okay. Like Lindsey mentioned, in October, we were lounging in Mexico, which I wish we could be doing right now. We were hanging out in Mexico planning. It was very, very tough guys, but we were hanging out in Mexico planning this. I have to reverse the tape even a little bit more back to, I guess, the end of September when we finished our Fall promotion because, as Lindsey will tell you, as soon as a promotion ends in my business, I immediately like, I mean the following day, shift into list building mode.

And this is, I think like, you know how when you give steps to something, there’s always like a step zero. I feel like this is a step zero. That is a major, major step zero here that people tend to ignore. And they don’t like — I just don’t hear people talk about this a lot, but I also just feel like very passionately about the fact that people don’t understand how important this part of the process is. The more and more you build your business and the more promos you’re going to do.

So essentially when I’m talking about, and what I’m going to talk about with you for a few minutes is about building your list so that you have enough people on your email list to actually run this promotion too. So I think what happens a lot of times is that people are like doing a lot of things that Lindsey and I’ve been talking about this whole episode where you’re like, I’m going to have this webinar and I’m going to invite people to it and I’m going to have this time period, I’m going to plan this all out. And then you get there and you’re like, oh shit, nobody’s here. Like no one’s here to actually come to this webinar or like, why isn’t anybody on my email is signing up for this webinar, right?

So it’s really, really important that as part of this reverse engineering, you’re backing out and you’re actually inviting people in building. Like I kind of see it as like building up the crowd for something. Like when you go to a concert, the crowd just starts to like build and build and build and all the anticipation is building for the band to come out on stage. And you’re just like, I can’t wait for them to come out. That’s kind of how I want you to think about any period between your two launches.

So for me and Lindsey, this was like the end of September was the last time we did a promo. We immediately switched into list building mode, and I was going to stay in list building mode all the way through till the end of January when our promotion began that we’re talking about here. So what that looks like for us is really — I mean, first of all, it’s more like almost like a declaration that Lindsey and I have to make in terms of like reminding ourselves, like, hey, this is what our focus is. And then we have to remember that that’s the focus into all the little pieces of the business.

So when I create social media content, for example, I am just really, really focused on how do I get more people to get onto my email list? How do I, once I get them there, how do I nurture them and make them want to stay there and make them like it? Right. How do I get to know them? And like, I really think of it as more of a holistic kind of immersive experience where if somebody is coming to me at the end of September and I’m going to run a promotion in January, I’m thinking like, how do I properly nurture this person and warm them up so that when I run this thing in January, they’re going to be ready.

Like, I’m not going to have to do a lot of heavy lifting as to like Lindsey’s never heard of what the Ultimate Bundle is. What is it? What do I do? Wait, who’s this girl again? So I’ve stayed consistent. I’ve emailed them every single week. I’ve had a podcast every single week. I showed up on social media probably every day doing something. So we really have stayed present, but all of my calls to action essentially are focused on getting people to my list.

So for example, at the end, towards the end of 2023, when I had heard that this BOI change was coming, the beneficial ownership information, it was like, okay, I have to create content around this. This is going to be really important. I know this is going to be like a splashy legal issue, but I don’t. Well, I’m in list building mode, so it can’t just end there. And plus, you can’t just talk about the stuff on an Instagram story. It’s too complex.

So it’s like, well, let me create a guide, right? I’ll create a BOI guide. And what we’ll do is we’ll start focusing on this on social media and we will drive traffic to our email list. They get a super high value, free piece of content from us. We start to become a go to place that they’re getting legal news from, which is part of my goal with people always. And so then when they get to my email list and they get my weekly email, Sam Sidebar, they’re going to love it because it’s valuable and they’re going to learn something every week and they’re going to get a free legal Q&A every week and all this kind of stuff.

And so we did that. We added like thousands of people that way. We created like, okay, let’s create this other guide. Let’s drive people that way. I’m constantly thinking about like, what are more ways we can just drive traffic to this list? I also, and I’ve mentioned it here on the show before that I also have tested out and it’s worked great for us so far. This idea, we call it internally easy email.

So we tested out this idea of like, what if people just want to get my emails and they don’t want to get the whole shtick about like signing up for something. And then they go through like a 12-step email sequence and like people, sometimes people are kind of over it. But also, I’ve talked to you on the show about how your emails themselves can be the value, right? It doesn’t always have to be that, like you get a free guy, but the email can be the free value. And so we started this easy email thing where it’s also like, let’s just, hey, you want to get my weekly email? They’re really good. Thirty thousand of your peers love them. People love these legal Q&A’s. We keep you up to date on legal news for online businesses. Just drop your email here. Right. And we just made it super, super easy.

So like that drove a lot of signups. We also started testing out many chat on Instagram, so using trigger words for people to be able to DM me a certain word. Even now, like we’re going deeper with it where people can sign up for those kinds of things right in the DMs without having to leave and go to like a page outside of Instagram. But really getting in that mindset in between of like remember gathering those people for your concert, like you’re going to put on this huge, huge show, you’ve really got to build the momentum so that you have enough people there to sell to.

Because I think if you’re having that sobering moment right now that we talked about earlier, where you’re like wait, so if I have 500 people on my email list and like one to maybe two percent of them convert into clients, I have some work to do, right? Like I have to — if you want to hit the goals that you’re saying. If you were like, I want 20 sales, well, that’s not realistic based on what, like the numbers are telling us. Right.

And so I guess I use that as more of like what should your focus be right now. And if you have these goals, you have income goals you’ve got to hit, then you understand that right now, your goal is actually the list building mode. And that when you’re not in sales mode, you have to be in list building mode so that you’re building up that audience that is ready to buy from you. I think, yes, you can also translate a lot of what I’m saying to like building your audience on. Instagram or building up YouTube subscribers. Like, I think that stuff is helpful.

It’s just that at the end of the day, when you’re going to try to go to sell something to somebody, you’re really going to primarily do that through email. Like you’re not going to have the same or the ability to capture their attention the same way through YouTube, right? And like even a podcast, it’s like, people listen, they don’t listen, they might listen to a certain episode because it’s an interesting topic or whatever. But with email, we can really methodically walk people through. There’s also links like practical things where they have like the link to go buy. And that’s where someone’s going to go buy from you. They’re not going to buy from you like your podcast episode. They’re going to go over to this page or email.

So I think yes, generally speaking, building your audience during this time is helpful. I just also think like if you’re creating really good content, like let’s take the BOI thing for example, the beneficial ownership information, we created a few reels around that, which I would refer to as evergreen reels. Meaning that the call to action is to get the BOI guide. That reel can continue to drive traffic to my email list. It is still continuing to drive traffic to the email list even now.

So I created those. That got us a ton of followers on Instagram, but then converted those followers to go join our email list. So I think it kind of satisfies both and you can do both by creating really good, educational, helpful content, engaging content. But make sure that content then converts to somewhere that you can actually reach those people more reliably, let’s say, and more consistently.

So that’s really why we switch into that list building mode of like, yes, we plan, we do everything that Lindsey and I’ve been talking about. But I do immediately shift into like, all right, now my job is list building. And even though we had rockstar sales for this launch. And we got so many people to sign up literally the next day, the day after the promo ended, I was on Instagram being like, hey, did you know I have this weekly email called Sam’s Sidebar? It’s where you get a free legal Q&A every week. And here’s the snapshot of the screenshot of what next week’s question is going to be. DM me the word Sidebar to get signed up. I immediately I’m switching back into like now my job is to gather — and I’ve got like a new show coming and now my job is to like gather new people into this auditorium. That’s really the way I think about it. Lindsey, what would you like to add about list building here?

Lindsey Deatsch:
Listening to you talk, I think like the fact that you are so good about list building in between and that we really focus on that is what allows us to surpass our goals every launch or the past couple launches. It’s the fact that there’s new people, there’s less growth, there’s new eyeballs. It’s really a numbers game. Like, when your numbers are higher, your conditions are going to be higher. You’re going to get more sales. So I think it’s such an important piece when you’re looking at the whole thing to know that like, if you want sales to increase, you have to focus on that list building.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah, absolutely. Because I always think like, I think it’s helpful to be realistic about the fact that you’re always going to — so let’s use the numbers that Lindsey and I talked about. We had about 3000 people sign up for the webinar, right? 128 people buy the Ultimate Bundle. Maybe some of those people did not sign up for the webinar. Maybe they’re from my email list. Maybe they’re from Instagram. Maybe they listened to the podcast. We know this actually from our links because we have specific links. So we have people coming from all over.

Now, I’m really bad at math, but that’s like a little more than 2,700 people didn’t buy, 2,800 people didn’t buy the Ultimate Bundle who signed up for the live workshop. Some of those people unsubscribe, right? They leave the list. Some of them signed up for it. Some of them never intended to come. Some of them might be copycats. Who knows? So some of them were there. And then the rest of them stay on my email list.

Now, what happens to the rest of them? Right. If you’ve listened to my series in the past, like the one I did in January, I talk about how I take very seriously, it’s like what people talk about with like the fourth trimester. I kind of feel like this is like the fourth trimester of sales that a lot of people don’t think about, because I’m thinking like there were all these people who were interested, but they said no. Right. And now, some of those people said, no, never. And some of those people said not right now. And I’m very curious about the not right now people, because those can become future customers.

And so the approach and the attitude that I’ve always taken is that if it doesn’t work for you ever, that’s okay with me. If it doesn’t work for you three months, six months, a year, Lindsey and I were laughing, there were so many people this time in particular, I just remember seeing a lot of emails and like DMs from people being like, I’ve been following you for years and I was so excited to finally buy this, or I took your live webinar three years ago and I finally bought it. So it really does not matter to me. And I know that that’s like not the most popular, probably not like the bro marketing sentiment or something like this, but that has always been the attitude that I’ve taken towards.

This is like, I’m not here to pressure anybody to do this, but it’s that consistent nurturing then of those people on our list, right, who are remaining on our list. Like think of these thousands of people now who I have sitting there who are like, hey, it wasn’t for me right now. And I take that attitude of like, oh, that’s okay. Come hang out. Like stay around, come hang a while. Maybe it’ll be right for you down the line. And I really do think that attitude helps. And I do think of those people getting like kind of added to the list for the next time, right? They’re there, they’re already on the email list, but they’re like, now they’re going to see, we hold a promotion later in the year. Maybe it’s right for them then.

But also, you know who else is going to be there? All the people that we’ve started focusing on, it was February 23rd, the day it ended, I shifted right back into building up the list. So all the people I’m going to gather from February 23rd until whenever we run the next one, we have all of those people too. So I’m simultaneously satisfying this job of like nurturing all the people who are already there, who wasn’t right for them right now, plus adding in all these new people and nurturing them and just generally getting people ready for the next concert. I mean, that’s essentially what we’re doing. Right.

And I think it really helps to take a lot of the pressure and like frenzy off of like, in between, that’s my job. My job is to get people here, write really good emails, do good, hopefully good podcast episodes, and create helpful content for people so that they come to rely on us and like us and know us. And if the product is right for them, the product’s right for them and it will be there. And because we did really good in between, they’re still going to be there. They didn’t X out. Right? That’s the way that I think of it.

Okay. So if you take away three things from this episode, I would say one, it’s that Lindsey’s a genius. No. That is true. One is that Lindsey is a genius, but Lindsey was very helpful in sharing with you, I think that launches come in all shapes and sizes that no one is like right or better than another. I think Lindsey also really taught you today that like really anything with your business, it’s like most important what actually works for your business and your audience. And so don’t rely too much on like what I’m saying in terms of perfect timing or perfect number of days or something like that, like survey your audience or run a promotion, see how it goes and then like take that feedback and do a survey after and see why people didn’t buy. And you can integrate that for the future.

So I think that’s really helpful. I think knowing about setting your goals and then reflecting on them helps us to see like that might help you to actually look back to the third thing I’m about to tell you to take away from the episode, which is like, maybe we didn’t hit our goals because we didn’t grow enough. Like, we didn’t have enough of those new people, new voices. We had maybe too many people who had already said no before, and we didn’t have new people who we were ready to introduce. It also might be a reflection for you to say, am I putting out the right kind of content that attracts the kind of people who would want to buy what I’m selling.

So are you talking about all different kinds of things? And then, as I always joke, trying to sell people vacuum cleaners, when you come in, like they’re not going to buy, if you’ve been talking about brownies, it just doesn’t make sense. So I think we have to reevaluate that and really focus on your list building, I would say last but not least. That is the most important thing I think in terms of building your audience, building your list, talking about what you do and what you sell in a very casual way.

Like I talk about the Ultimate Bundle all the time. I talk about what’s going on in it. There’s a little blurb about it in my email every week. And I think it’s just that kind of like, hey, there’s this thing. I have this thing. I’m not even trying to sell it to you right now. I’m just kind of like letting you know, it’s pretty awesome. And this is what’s going on over there. Well, anyway, like here’s this legal Q&A.

And so it’s just familiarizing you with like, this is what I sell. This is the name of it. Please do not use an acronym for it. If you do me any favors, do not refer to your product in a cutesy acronym or a nickname when people don’t even know what it is. Always say the full name. Always follow up the name of it with, this is what it is. And this is why that matters to you. And talk about it all the time. Not just when you’re in a sales period.

So you’re making your job easier in those in between periods when you’re leading into a promo that you’re not having to educate your entire audience on who you are, what you sell, and why they should really care about it and how it helps them. So I hope that you liked this episode. Lindsey, thank you for coming on and doing this with me. It was so fun.

Lindsey Deatsch:
Yes. Thank you for having me.

Sam Vander Wielen:
Yeah. I’m so excited. So in next week’s episode in episode two of this series, we’re going to talk about the hype period. So we talked very briefly today about this like kind of invite period and hype period. We’re going to talk all about the invite and hype periods in detail, but like, how do you actually do this? How do you create hype? Like what am I talking about? And no, it is not just the like, I’ve got a big secret that I’m announcing on Monday. No, no, it is a full-blown strategy that we do across the board. We, yes, do that too, but it is much deeper than that.

So we’re going to talk about the hype period. We’re going to talk about the invite period. How do you actually — how do we get 3000 people to sign up for a legal webinar? Okay. If I can get 3000 people to sign up for a legal webinar, you can get anybody to sign up for pretty much anything else.
I feel very confident about that.

So I’m going to talk about how you get them to sign up. We’ll even talk about like conceptualizing the live event itself, titling it, how you talk about people coming, why should they sign up this time, all of the things that I’ve, kind of the most common issues that we’ve run into in these hype and invite periods. And we’ll overcome that together. So that will be next week in series episode number two, all about live launches and promos. So thanks so much for listening and we’ll see you next week.

Thanks so much for listening to the On Your Terms podcast. Make sure to follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen to podcasts. You can also check out all of our podcast episodes, show notes, links, and more at samvanderwielen.com/podcast. You can learn more about legally protecting your business and take my free legal workshop Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business at samvanderwielen.com. And to stay connected and follow along, follow me on Instagram at @SamVanderWielen and send me a DM to say hi.

Just remember that although I am a attorney, I am not your attorney and I am not offering you legal advice in today’s episode. This episode and all of my episodes are informational and educational only. It is not a substitute for seeking out your own advice from your own lawyer. And please keep in mind that I can’t offer you legal advice. I don’t ever offer any legal services, but I think I offer some pretty good information.

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