young unhappy businesswoman crying behind her laptopAfter countless product launches, my adrenaline level still rises as I watch that first sale arrive.  The normal course of action is to follow up on the details of the sale to make sure everything completed according to plan.  More sales will roll in following that first one and some minor adjustments might be required as the launch progresses.  This time . . . we knew after that first sale arrived that something was terribly wrong.

You might think that I paused, took a deep breath and knew exactly what to do.  Well, not exactly.  I contacted the people who I’m closest to online and asked I some hard questions, notably “Why is my offer not converting?”.  Having trusted colleagues who never hold back their advise is one of the most valuable assets I have in my business.  You might be wondering what it’s like to have someone else say, “get rid of that video!  Record another one – right now!”

Well – no one ever said his gift is encouragement, but he was right!

Maybe you can learn from some of these lessons!

  • Test but verify – As my team develops a product, every link and process is tested thoroughly to prevent problems for my customers. Once that first, live sale takes place, the results are verified to be certain that the customer has a positive experience.
  • Ask others – We might compete fiercely in some respects, but I know that when something goes wrong, I have other people to help. As the launch paused dramatically, I reached out to some of the most experienced marketers that I know.  Each one was available and dropped everything else to help us.  Nothing would stop each of them from offering their insight. I wanted their honest brutal opinion and I got it.
  • Alert affiliates – Our affiliates had to know what was happening so they did not waste a broadcast message to their customers. Some people were surprised we told them to wait to email until later in the day.  I cannot imagine allowing my affiliates to remain uninformed about the status of a launch.
  • Never get attached – As hard as we work to create great products, I will never be opposed to throwing out one approach in favor of a better one. In this launch, the professional video that we had made for us just did not work.  An hour of mad rushing around was required to change that video.  That first step made a difference in the response to the sales page.
  • Tweak once, then test – Whenever something goes against the original plan, we have to avoid the tendency to change an entire list of features all at once. Too many changes can cancel the affect of each one.  In the quest to correct one problem, you might create two more problems.  You will want to select one obvious issue and make the correction.  Time is required to determine if that first change helped the situation.
  • Work methodically – Overreaction is the greatest risk when time is passing and sales are flailing. Multiple suggestions might be valid, but your actions must follow a logical sequence.  Experience is helpful when you are not sure what is happening behind the scenes.  As the video change started to work, we had to make other adjustments to recover.
  • Learn from past experiences – As I look back, I remember the importance of ordering the products so the customer does not have to make a long-term commitment on the front-end. We rearranged the sales funnel to allow the customer to buy a great product without a recurring payment.  I am not exactly sure what made us lose sight of how we have always ordered sales funnels in the past. Our first offer was a recurring offer and it didn’t convert. Lesson learned! Offer recurring after you make an initial sale.

For the record I turned my launch around after an initial slow start and it was a huge success, this was only possible because I reacted fast, I made changes and I didn’t give up.

“Mistakes are part of the game. It’s how well you recover from them, that’s the mark of a great player. ”
~ Alice Cooper

    2 replies to "When a Launch “Goes Pear-Shaped”"

    • Rob Ainge

      Fantastic insight, thanks John. It’s this type of honesty that’s sets you apart from so many others out there. I particularly liked the part about not getting attached – if it’s not working recognise it, accept it’s not going to work and change it! Love it. So glad to have you as my mentor.
      Cheers, Rob

    • Ant Carter

      Great to see what we already know – that we are never too old to be humbled by what we still have to learn. Thank you for sharing this honestly, it says alot about you.

      I am new to your Partnership to Success program, but aiming to make a fast start with existing knowledge which I hope will help rather than hinder me. I look forward to showing you what i’m developing and supporting your future launches as I grow my own list.

      Kind Regards from Oldham, UK

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