It can strike fear into the bravest of entrepreneurial hearts – launching your baby, the product or program that sprung from a tiny flicker of an idea in your mind to something you are about to launch into the world to help transform lives.
And then you take the leap of faith… and launch it.
But for oh so many of us, the result doesn’t quite turn out how we expected. It doesn’t live up to the vision we had for it.
But what determines if a product launch failed? Usually it didn’t meet the person’s financial goals.
However, I don’t believe every launch is a complete failure. There are other metrics to prove it was a success, like:
- adding more people to your email list,
- growing awareness of your brand and
- getting the attention of people who want to partner with you in some form or another.
The doors that can open once you’ve launched can be pretty significant.
There are also lessons to be learnt. Lessons that can often mean your next launch creates more ease, more business growth or more revenue. I’ve seen this happen in my own business. Celebrate the failures – there is much to be learnt there.
I’ve done many launches, including a $250,000 master plan launch that needed to win over the entire city community and be adopted by council. The end result was the councillors unanimously adopting the plan for the first time – after five attempts over a 30-year period.
Then there was the entrepreneur who had a goal to get 150 paying members to a digital program. She landed more than 1000.
In contrast, I’ve had some doozeys. Two customers was the result of one of my first launches – and I swore I was going to get 10. I had no real idea back then why it hadn’t met expectations.
But it wasn’t a failure at all. In fact, when I look back at it now, it was a huge success. Let me explain.
What I’ve discovered since working with clients on their launches is that often their launch didn’t fail at all. For the traffic they attracted, it actually had a hugely successful conversion rate.
One client had a 7.7% sales conversion rate, which she saw as a failure. Considering the typical online launch will yield a 1-3% conversion, I’d say she did pretty well.
So actually looking at the metrics is the first step. Did you really fail?
If you want to discover what your own metrics are – without overwhelming your brain with complicated numbers – access the simple Digital Marketing Calculator. Once inside, you’ll discover WHERE you need to be focusing your efforts on in your business.
The thing is, while you can’t predict exactly how a launch will pan out, a plan at least gives you a direction to follow – even if it needs to be tweaked and changed along the way.
With a plan, comes a heck of a lot more ease. And with ease, you gain more space to enjoy what you’re doing.
Which leads me to today’s topic:
Do you know why your last launch failed to meet your expectations?
Here are 9 reasons your last launch failed and how to change the result next time:
1. You didn’t define your ideal client
When someone says: “how on earth did you know that’s what I was thinking?”, you know you’ve hit the spot. It’s important to get inside the mind of your ideal client.
It makes creating each step of your launch much easier and you’ll increase your chances of success.
2. No market research undertaken
It may be the most revolutionary product of all time, but if no one wants it, what does it matter?
As entrepreneurs and creative bodies, we are blessed with an abundance of ideas. To contrast that, as entrepreneurs and creative bodies, we are cursed with an abundance of ideas. What I mean is, we often end up following the ideas that WE think would be great. Not the ideas that will actually serve anybody else.
I’ve fallen prey to this – following an idea because it felt exciting at the time. Yet, when it came to launch, no one was interested – except me! That makes for a rather interesting business model!
Market research will also allow you to define things like your pricing structure and the timing of your launches.
3. No Plan
When it comes to launching, a product launch plan can show you what steps need to be taken, how and when. However, if you see an opportunity or there’s a need to slightly change your course, you’ll still feel like you’re in control.
I know some of you don’t like the idea of plans. But just know that a plan can actually gives you the confidence to BE flexible.
4. Your messaging was off
People need to clearly understand what it is you’re selling, what the benefits are for them and how it will transform their life. It’s not just ALL about benefits, but also about the transformation. The transformation takes the benefit one step further to see how it will change their life for the better.
The message also does a few other things. It can help explain your unique selling point – why should they buy from YOU, as opposed to your competitor? It also forms part of the hook – that thing that attracts people to your offering in the first place.
5. Not enough ideal clients
This is probably THE biggest area, because expectations don’t match the number of people coming through your launch pathway.
How do you know if you had enough leads though? The Digital Marketing Calculator gives you a reality check on how many leads you need to reach your goals – and the best bit is this nifty little calculator does the work for you.
But the short answer is that for online programs, conversions generally fall between 1-3%. Not huge, right?
If you’re unclear on what your conversion rate was, I highly recommend you get access to the Digital Marketing Calculator – affectionately known as the Reality Check Calculator.
Here’s what to do:
- Open another tab (hold down the Command key (or Shift key on a PC) + click this link) and get access to the Calculator. It’s free!
- Once there, put in either your email list size OR the traffic that went to the sales page (not your entire site, just your sales page). The latter is far more effective if you’re looking at a particular launch and sent all your traffic to that page.
- Then input how many sales you had.
- You can also put in the price too, if you like.
What does it tell you?
Did it fall between the 1-3%? Or higher? Well done if it was – you’re ABOVE AVERAGE! Or maybe you’ve just realised WHY you were so far off your goal.
Knowing this information will give you an idea of what number of visitors you need to get to your sales page for your NEXT launch to help you reach your new sales goal.
6. Poor Conversion Rate
Now, maybe you’ve gone and input your data to the calculator and it’s telling you that you DID have enough traffic. But you just didn’t have a great conversion rate.
Then it could be some of the factors above – ideal client, messaging, market research etc.
Or it may be that you needed to further optimise the pages or traffic sources. Take a look at your call to action buttons and text. Ensure the traffic sources you’re using are actually where your ideal client is hanging out. And are you talking about features AND benefits in your copy?
There’s another factor too – the temperature of your traffic. Was your entire launch done to cold traffic – people who don’t yet know, like and trust you?
Think about your own experience in buying products. Generally (yes, a generalisation), you discover someone, you spend a bit of time watching them, reading their content, signing up to their email list maybe. Then, when you’re finally ready to purchase OR they make an offer that’s enticing at the right time, you purchase.
So, when you’re launching, ensure you have a list of people that you’ve been building a relationship with and nurturing so you’re not launching to a stone cold list of people, but rather a warm group who are ready for your invitation.
7. There was no direct response marketing
This isn’t something I’ve talked about before and it’s probably more a term you hear the internet marketing crowd use, but it’s an important element.
There is a place for public relations, social media and content marketing. It’s a big part of what I teach. But if it doesn’t also run alongside direct response marketing, then you’ll have lots of lovely people telling you how much they love you, but no one buying.
Facebook advertising and email marketing work particularly well for me. What about you? What direct response marketing did you include in your last launch?
And, more importantly, did you measure it? This is the true beauty of direct response marketing – you can measure what works and what doesn’t. It’s harder to achieve with fun Facebook posts and trivial Tweets.
Sure, I’ve had clients who have had amazing launches using organic Facebook – and didn’t spend a cent on advertising. But they already had a massive audience AND used email marketing to move them towards becoming a customer.
8. No follow up
I see this a LOT. People get scared about how many emails they’re sending when they reach the end of a launch or client pathway and so stop sending.
But did you know, many launches make 50% of their sales in those last two days. FIFTY PERCENT! That’s HUGE!
Make sure those final emails are going out. If you’re seeing unsubscribes, celebrate those, because they’re the people who weren’t going to buy from you anyway. They’ve saved you from having to clean your email list later.
You can’t run a business surrounded by people who just want to consume your free stuff. While it feels good to know you’re helping people (and this is always a big motivator for me), eventually you do have to make money from what you’re doing. So don’t be afraid to ask for the sale!
9. A lack of self belief
You set yourself up for failure when you go into a launch not believing you’re going to reach the goal you set yourself.
Know that everyone gets the wobblies during a launch at some stage. It’s why it’s so important to have a support network around you, either through a coach, a friend or a mentor. What do they say? 80% of business is mindset?
So I ask: Did you truly believe that your launch was going to be a success? Or did you have a niggling feeling it wasn’t going to meet your expectations?
Or maybe it started doing well and, lo and behold, you decided to throw a new strategy or tactic into the mix for no apparent reason. Or you delayed getting your Facebook ads up because you were fiddling around with getting the tone of orange on your buy button just the right shade.
All these little activities are centred on one thing – self sabotage. When we see that things are about to go well, that little voice in our heads says: “hold on a minute. This is all happening a little too easily. Business isn’t meant to be easy. Let me get you back to struggling and striving again…” And so you self sabotage.
If this is your pattern, find a support person. It will save you a world of pain, sustain your focus, and keep you accountable. I attribute the vast majority of my success in business to having a cheerleader, that person who gently leads me back onto the sparkling straight line toward my ultimate destination, and shakes her pom-poms hard when my inner critic rears her rather unattractive head.
Can you now see how you could have changed the outcome of your last launch? Can you also see some areas for improvement as you move towards your next launch or building out a client pathway?
In hindsight, it might have been nice to know some of this information before stepping into your last launch. However, you’re actually in an enviable position that you have the data from your last launch to help you better predict the outcome of your next launch.
Plus, you have the blueprint from your last launch you can reuse and focus simply on tweaking things to improve the metrics. So stop beating yourself up!
One more thing, if your last launch made $2000, your next launch isn’t going to make six figures.
However, if you consistently launch – maybe it’s every quarter, twice a year or once a year – you’ll continue to improve those metrics and end up with that six figure… or even figure… launch – if that’s what you want.
Remember, Marie Forleo, Amy Porterfield and Melanie Duncan didn’t make seven figures from their first launches. No where near it.
How did your last launch go? What did the calculator reveal for you?
Get access to the Digital Marketing Calculator to discover how you’re REALLY doing in business. Click below.