Failory

Content for startup founders.

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We want to help founders avoid mistakes and common causes of failure. Maybe in that way we can reduce the 90% startup failure rate.

November 23, 2020 PMF eBook's launch

We've finally released our product-market fit eBook! And it's live in Product Hunt ;)

It took us 2.5 months of research, writing, collaborating, and editing.

During this time, 140 pre-sales were made, which I wrote about here.

Today, another +20 copies have already been sold, meaning a total of 161 sales and +$1500 in revenue.

The eBook's price is $15 but only today, you can get it 33% cheaper using the code "24hours". I think creating this sense of urgency will mean a great conversion rate ;)

I'll be working throughout the day in sharing the eBook within some communities and social networks. If you have any promotion ideas or have a community of people you think would find the eBook helpful, let me know!

November 21, 2020 +$1000 (pre)selling our first digital product

For the last two months, I've been working on launching Failory's first digital product: an eBook about product-market fit.

I shared the process of validating the eBook's idea in this milestone. This post is an update on how are things going, as we're just 2 days away from the eBook's launch.

Between my previous milestone and last week, 28 copies were sold, at a price of $10 and $13, bringing $292 in revenue.

eBook Sales Sep 21 - Nov 16

On November 16, we finished defining the last details of the eBook's content outline and I made lots of changes on our Gumroad page. The following day, I sent an email to our 7,000-email subscriber newsletter sharing all the news + a discount.

That worked really well. We got 60 sales this week, bringing $654 in revenue. Conversion rate has been around 10% and we've made $1.11/view.

eBook Sales Nov 17-21

Some insights from this week's bump in sales:

  • Copywriting matters. Both in the product's landing page and in the emails promoting it. I made a concise copy, explaining what were the eBook's chapters about and the three things that the readers would be able to do / would know as they finished the eBook (when writing copy, focus on benefits, not features!).

  • Creating a sense of urgency works. In the newsletter I sent, I gave subscribers a discount code they could use to get the eBook $5 cheaper than on the launch day.

  • Pre-sales are incredible. With this week's sales, I've been able to earn enough to cover the eBook writer's and editor's fees while keeping great margins. And the eBook hasn't even launched, so from now on, all of the revenues will be profits.

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Since September 7th, our Gumroad's landing page has been seen 2,176 times, and with a 6.39% conversion rate, the eBook has been sold 139 times, meaning $1,309. After Gumroad, writer's and editor's fees, it'll be around $600 in profits (+ the sales that are hopefully yet to come in the launch and following weeks).

eBook Sales Sep 7-Nov 21

Let me know if you have any questions!

September 21, 2020 50+ eBook pre-sales ($383 made)

3 weeks ago, I started working on Failory's #1 digital product. A few minutes ago we made the sale number 53, without even having defined the content outline for the product.

It's a story that includes customer surveys, a/b testing, and sales. Thought some of you could find it interesting.

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On August 13, I purchased Trends Pro + Talks, from @dru_riley. Besides the premium newsletters he sends to Trends Pro subscribers, Trend Talks give you access to 30-minute talks with Dru every week.

On our first call, Dru noticed I was too focused on growth and not really into monetization. Having an audience of +70,000 monthly readers, he suggested I could try to launch Failory's #1 digital product.

Since we started 3 years ago, we've always made money through sponsors and affiliate commissions, so charging our users for a product was super scary, but I decided to give it a try.

The first step was to survey Failory's email subscribers (around 7,000) to get to know what they wanted to learn about and in what content form. I created this survey on Airtable and sent them a dedicated email with a link to it.

I quickly collected +130 replies. These were the results:

Survey image

Despite "Video course" won, Dru and I decided to go with an eBook for the first product, as it's easier to create and consume. As for the topics, "Startup failure & mistakes" and "Product-market fit" were the most voted ones.

That's when we decided to carry out an experiment to see which topic would perform better. I quickly created two Gumroad pre-sale pages: one for a $5 eBook titled: "10 Failed Startups: Interviews with their founders"; another one for a $7 eBook called: "Product-Market Fit: Deep-dive into how 7 startups achieved it".

eBook experiment

Then I split the newsletter into two and sent the first half the first eBook and the second half the second eBook. The eBooks received around 300 views that week and around 25 sales.

As you can see in the images above, the copywriting and images on Gumroad were super vague. I encouraged email subscribers and eBook buyers to share any ideas they had for the eBooks.

After ≈ 10 days, we had a winner. The "product-market fit" had received more views, more sales (at a $2 higher price), better conversion rates, and a lot more positive feedback. That's why we decided to cancel the "Failed startup interviews" pre-sale and focus 100% on the "product-market fit" eBook.

When purchasing @stephsmith's "Doing Content Right" eBook, I liked her pricing strategy of increasing the $ every x sales, and so I applied that on our Gumroad page and increased the price to $10, as by that time the eBook had +30 sales.

Then I sent an email to the buyers of the "Failed startup interview" eBook explaining them about the shift and giving them a 30% discount code on the "product-market fit" eBook so that they could get it at the original price ($7) as well as talked about the experiment on Failory's weekly newsletter. That day, there were 16 new sales.

Gumroad analytics

It's been 2 weeks since the eBook experiment and we've already made +50 sales without having the eBook outline, which is why I think Gumroad and pre-sales, in general, are amazing.

One of the most common failure reasons for the failed startups we interview at Failory is the lack of validation of the ideas. Many entrepreneurs put a lot of money and time building products no one cares about. MVPs and pre-sales are amazing ways to avoid this.

I originally wanted to focus on the eBook about interviews with failed startups as I thought it made more sense within Failory. Dru was the one who told me to carry out a pre-sale. Otherwise, I'd have spent +20-50 hours working on an eBook that would have performed much worse than other eBook ideas.

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What's the current status of the eBook?

So far we've made 53 sales and $383 (less Gumroad fees). I'm starting to do some more marketing (like writing this detailed post) and talking about it on our newsletter and website, where I've added a top bar linking to the eBook.

What's next?

  • Do a ton of research about product-market fit and create the eBook outline.
  • Hire a writer with whom I've been working on many articles for Failory. He will take care of most of the writing. I'll be doing research, contacting and editing.
  • Create a page on Failory for the eBook and adjust Gumroad's copy based on @philipkiely's feedback.
  • Promote the eBook more smartly across Failory's website. So far, I've only added a top bar linking to the eBook. I want to mention it on some of our articles as well as some of our interviews with failed startup founders, particularly those who mention they have struggled to find product-market fit.
  • Decide on the pricing strategy.
  • Think further about marketing for the book (I'm soon trying some @dvassallo's Twitter strategies). If you have any ideas, they would be highly appreciated.

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That's all. Comment your questions below ;)

If you want to get the eBook, here's the link. I'm raising the price once it gets +7 sales. Use the code "ih" for a $3 discount.

We want to help founders avoid mistakes and common causes of failure. Maybe in that way we can reduce the 90% startup failure rate.