October 19, 2019

First Successful "High Price" Launch

Richa Prasad @richap

Let me start by clarifying the title of this post:

  • High Price means $97 per sale. This is "high price" for us because (a) we sell to consumers who don't like spending a whole lot, and (b) it is the highest sticker price we have asked for up-front.

  • Successful means 4 sales. Our last year's launch had 0 sales, so yes, I am counting this a success. There is also email marketing math and traffic type conversion reasons for calling it a success that I'll get into in a bit.

So the first thing you're probably wondering is "What changed?"

Glad you asked!

I have some theories :)

First of all, out of the 4 sales we made:

  • One was a person who got onto our email list because a friend we knew referred her and she has been actively trying to lose fat.

  • Another one came from Googling us. We show up as a Google Business with 25 5-star ratings. We had offered her our book and she had declined. She had been on our email list since then. This offer we made of an online course seems was the right fit for her.

  • Two were people who found our product reviews on YouTube, and immediately converted.

In contrast, last year everyone on our email list were friends/family who in hindsight, we realize weren't buyers. The reason we had them was because we were trying the Ambassador List strategy.

What is the Ambassador List strategy?

The theory goes that you invite your friends/family to join your email list and ask them to refer one other person they know who'd be interested in what your email list is about. Whoever they refer is presumably a potential buyer.

Over time as you keep emailing your list, you remain front-and-center in your ambassadors' minds and they'll refer more potential buyers onto your list.

It made sense on paper so my co-founder and I ran with it. We did a massive 1000+ person outreach over 3 weeks, and grew our list from 70 to about 750-800 people.

Did the strategy work? We had 1 good referral - the sale above. And 2 conversions to our other offer of chat coaching over a whole year.

I really wish we hadn't done it like we did.

And worst of all, the 750 people were a vanity metric that gave me false comfort. I kept thinking we have enough people to launch offers to when really 89% of our list are non-buyers.

If you're trying to build your list, I recommend a modified Ambassador List Strategy. If you're interested in learning about this approach, comment below and I'll dive there into this tangent.

So a big change was that we happened to, without an active push, get actual buyers onto our email list.

Second, we nurtured them consistently. We sent 2-3 how-to/aha-insight emails weekly which pointed to our YouTube videos.

Third, we stumbled upon a shortcut for building authority and trust quickly - review other fitness programs objectively. Most fitness program reviews tend to be either sponsored or rave reviews or utter bashings. Actually laying out the pros and cons, and giving insights into the mechanisms of their promises as an expert, really made people like and trust us. The two cold sales we made is a testament to this, and one of the reasons I call this launch a "success".

And lastly, and this is huge, we had a 3 week warm-up period to the launch. That's right - we exclusively talked about the problem the offer we would make at the end of the 3 weeks solves WITHOUT talking about the offer at all.

This is critical because you need to give people time to marinate in the problem your solution solves. You need to point out all the ways in which what they are doing right now is failing them. Let them stew in it. Then point some more problems. Give them DIY solutions to each of these problems. Let them realize on their own how much the DIY sucks. Then after a proper amount of marination, reveal your awesome, faster solution.

You have been stewing in the problem already because you're solving it. But for your audience, it's not a front-and-center thing. You need to coax it into their consciousness and let it sit, so they themselves realize they want to solve it.

Here's what our warm-up timeline looked like:

  • Week 1: we started off first by introducing a Holiday Weight Loss Challenge. We asked what would be the 1 thing people would need in the Challenge to feel it solves their problem?

We got some responses, but they all felt kinda lukewarm in excitement. This is where putting aside your own excitement is key. Otherwise you'll end up making an offer no one wants. How much they write, how many stories they share, how specific their questions are - these are all great indicators of their excitement level.

  • Weeks 2 and 3: we felt that what people wanted was something less over-the-shoulder. So we swapped the core offer to be a self-paced course and the free bonus to be coaching from us.

We did 3 emails over Weeks 2 and 3 (pro-tip: resend emails to non-openers with changed subject line), and of-course email 3 naturally led into email 4 which was a sales video for our course. The video was also 10000x better than last year's.

@lucygliang and I did a massive brainstorm to create the offer (your offer != your product) which would address all the objections they could possibly have to buying our offer, and created bonuses for each objection. Creating the right offer is another big topic that deserves its own post.

The offer was on sale for 5 days. Scarcity and urgency are my friends.

Combining all 4 things above + doing some email marketing math, we realized we could have expected 4 sales max.

How? Here's my napkin email marketing math:

Email subs x % subs who open your email often AND aren't already a customer x 5.35%

Equals the max #sales I can expect to make.

5.35% is a high conversion heuristic from Launch guru, Jeff Walker's case studies.

List building is going to be a huge focus for us going forward. If I wasn't fooled by the 750 subs vanity metric, I would have been doing it already.

Hope this helps in your own launches!

  1. 2

    Thank you for sharing! What is your next goal to achieve?

    1. 1

      I am happy if I helped!

      My next goal is to invest time in (a) building our list with potential buyers, and (b) converting that list into actual buyers of one/more of our offers in the first year.

      A breakthrough insight for me has been that a list's open and click rates is more strongly correlated to how recently that person got onto an email list than anything else. Generally, the first year open rates are around 20-40%, then after 1 year it's around 10%, after 2 years 5% and so on.

      So it is critical that we move people up our Value Ladder within that first year, else we have most likely lost them. Which is also why I want to regularly clean up our email list on a yearly basis by kicking out people who aren't interested anymore. As I learned from this recent launch, vanity numbers really make it hard to see clearly on whether things are going well or not.