10 Learnings From My Recent Launch
Aug 19, 2021
Launching teaches you so much about your business, your audience, and yourself. Every time I do it I walk away with so many learnings that I want to immediately put into place. It's through these lessons that each launch gets better and better. In this episode, I'm spilling the details on the 10 biggest takeaways I learned from my most recent launch of The Launch Playbook Club.
By the time you're listening to this my team and I are already getting ready for our Fall launch and will definitely be putting some of those learnings into action.
In this episode, I talked about...
- a good reason to clean your email list before a launch
- the reason I won't automate my open cart sales sequence in the future
- taking time off after a launch
- using Reels for pre-launch content
- what tags you want to be sure to add in your email sequence
- why I loved adding a downsell offer to my launch plan (and why I'll do it again)
...and much, much more
Things mentioned in this episode
Get on the waitlist for The Launch Playbook Club here https://www.saravartanian.com/launch-playbook
Work with me one-on-one for your launch copy: https://www.saravartanian.com/work-with-me
Read the full transcript so you don't miss a thing
Sara: So I hadn't cleaned or scrubbed my list for quite a while. And I sort of didn't realize that until we were in the midst of launching, when I was looking at some of my open rates. So my open rates were still in the I would say, like high 20s. Some of them up into like, you know, the 60s and 70s, those were a couple of the first emails we sent, and then we kind of were averaging into the 40s or 50s. And then it sort of dropped down into the like, high 20s. But when I look at those numbers, I think those are pretty good. But when I realized that a quarter of my subscribers were cold and hadn't opened for probably six months or so I think the numbers could have been better. And also, I just wouldn't be sending a whole whack of emails to people who did not want to do them. So I would recommend anyone to think about like looking at your list before launching just have a really healthy list. Again, you know, connecting with people who want to hear from you.
You're listening to the launch playbook podcast, the weekly podcast for service based business owners to discover the starts, stops and tools of transformation that go into launching their online offers. I'm your host, Sara Vartanian. And if you want to launch your ideas into the world faster, with more success and less burnout. Well friends, consider this show your secret playbook to get you there.
Hey fellow hunters, welcome to another episode of the launch playbook podcast. This episode, I am going to share with you 10 learnings I took away from my most recent launch of my group program, the launch playbook. And this episode, I'm actually coming to you from somewhere a little bit different than usually my home office. I'm recording this from Well, I'm actually hiding in the little bunk room in the cottage we rented in Muskoka, Ontario. And it's been raining a lot the past few days.
Rain makes a lot of noise in podcast, it picks up everything. So this is a quiet space I could find. So if you hear a little bit of pitter patter in the background, know that it's just a raining July day, here in Ontario, and I am coming at you bringing my lunch lessons. So in these 10 lessons, I'm going to go through some of the things that didn't work the road and go small and what lesson took from that. And some of the really positive things that I think we didn't launch that I would totally redo again, and I don't think I ever launched without. So with that, let's jump into lesson number one. And that is to allow yourself some time after a launch to decompress, debrief, integrate take in your launch.
So basically allow yourself some time after a launch, whether that's an afternoon, or a couple days away, like I'm doing to really like why reward yourself for all that energy that you put out there in the world. But also to get ready to lead those beautiful humans who signed up and joined you in your offer. And also to allow yourself that space and time and energy to reflect on everything you put out to the world during your launch.
And what you'd love to repeat and do again and what might change. And I think it's hard to find the space to make that happen and, and to have those takeaways unless you allow yourself again, the space and the time to let those learnings come to you. So this is the first time after a launch that I've actually booked some time away. And with my family and I want to give a big shout out to stage Polaris I was at the vendor first couple years ago and she talked a lot about making more time in your business for rest. And even integrating after doing something in your business integrating again that time to, you know, think and take it all in and you know really soak in the experience and what it was like for you as opposed to just rushing from one thing to another and our business.
And so now that I've booked this holiday, I really my goal is to not do another live lunch without also booking in time afterwards to allow this. Now that might end up being sometimes maybe an overnight in the city where I live even without my family or it might be like this time I was able to do have a couple of days away. But I think this time has been so important. It's allowed me to really feel refreshed and excited. And also honor the fact that with my family during the time before my launch, it's not quite balanced. And I would never even say that my time is always balanced, but it was much more so on heavy on the work side than I like it to be. And I feel like having this time together is a way to like pull back and bring some balance back into that and say to my family a little bit of like thank you and gratitude for their support during my lunch time as well. So, from this experience, this lesson, I have come up with all the other ones I want to share with you.
So I will keep going. So lesson number two, would be to clean my list before launching. So cleaning my list refers to the fact that you have an email list. And sometimes you'll want to do something called cleaning or scrubbing, where you remove cold subscribers, which really means a more friendly speak that you're going to remove the people who haven't been open your emails for quite a while, and maybe they're not interested any longer. They've moved on, they bought something else, whatever the reason, but you don't want to keep sending emails to people who you know, aren't opening them and aren't engaged with you. So I hadn't cleaned or scrubbed my list for quite a while.
And I sort of didn't realize that until we were in the midst of launching, when I was looking at some of my open rates. So my open rates were still in the I would say like high 20s. Some of them up until like, you know, the 60s and 70s, those were a couple the first emails we sent, and then we kind of were averaging into the 40s or 50s. And then it sort of dropped down into the like high 20s. But when I look at those numbers, I think those are pretty good. But when I realized that a quarter of my subscribers were cold and hadn't opened for probably six months or so I think the numbers could have been better. And also, I just wouldn't be sending a whole whack of emails, people who did not want to do them. So I would recommend anyone to think about like looking at your list before launching just have a really healthy list. Again, you know, connecting people who want to hear from you.
Lesson number three would be to actually not automate my opencart sales sequence. So that might be some you know, sort of offered advice and what you're used to hearing. In terms of a launch, you know, people talk about automating to make things easier. And I love ugly automation, and I love them on the show up email sequence to my launch event. But this time, what we had done was he had automated three sequences with the opencart sales emails. So we had one automation going to people who had attended the sales pitch Slumber Party, which was my launch event, we had a sales sequence of people who did not who registered and did not attend the event. And then we just had my house list with my regular newsletter, let's call it list, there was that sequence as well.
And so these were all three automations. And they actually all receiving the same emails, but just a little few tweaks and a couple of them accordingly. And when I went into check them, we had to make some changes of them actually weren't firing on the right time. For some reason, we had to get into like the help bot with ConvertKit, which was my provider to get them to manually do some things and sort of frustrating experience. Because I spend a lot of hours a day after my launch event going through this, it was like sort of after the time I ve had already signed up for the weekend. And I was trying to sort some things out. And because they weren't getting again, some things hadn't fired.
But what it meant was it actually threw off my entire open car sales sequence. So things didn't go when they showed there was sort of a loss of momentum after the launch event, which was a bit disappointing. So I think going forward, I would not automate the oven card sales sequence. Instead, I would get them ready in drafts, and put them into my broadcast, which is in ConvertKit, speak at your regular newsletter. And I would probably manually send them out or even schedule them like the day before sort of thing, but I would have them all ready to go with the tags and who they're supposed to go for. But that way I would have a little more control of that push button and not be reliant on some things happening in the automations in terms of like timing, getting pulled forward and the automations and things like that. Lesson number four, would be to bring on some more help for the launch, or maybe and or actually increased my virtual assistants our sooner. So I have a regular virtual assistant. She's amazing. If you have worked with me one on one or in or you might have already mentioned her name is Paula, she's fantastic.
And she's with me for a couple years. And Polly usually supports you about 15 hours a week. In the few weeks after the launch. And the launch week, I think we were around 25 hours, which was fantastic, affordable that offered me that time. But I think it would have been great if we had like booked and planned for that maybe what six weeks before, so that we just didn't feel so rushed at the last minute because inevitably we have last minute, something's going on.
And we had that happen. So even we had been doing so many things. In the end, the opencart sales sequence, which I was talking about number three automations. They weren't actually ready for review until I think the night before the morning of my launch event, which meant we didn't really actually have much time to check them and to send them out through a toast. And what was missed was a couple of the timings of the emails just sort of got mixed up because again, we're doing multiple automations In one of these subject lines, unfortunately, when it was copied and paste from the Google Doc, it still said line dot dot like so that, you know, we'd actually because usually we write our opencart sales sequence, we say subject line, I mean, we have our colon, and then we have the name of the subject line. And I usually have a couple subject lines there.
So when it was copying in the word line, we copied over. And that was like, I think, my first or second email. So you know, mistakes happen. I see that stuff all the time. I've done it myself before. But it just was sort of something that we probably would have caught if we had not like, you know, if we'd really actually had everything sort of scheduled before.
Or if we had just moved to that manual sending of the opencart sales sequences. So I would just recommend having, you know, as much help as you can have overall. And if you know, if you have a VA that are increasing their hours ahead of time, I know I'm going to talk to Paula myself about our other lunches coming up. And seeing like, if we can just book in advance, having that time ready to go. And that we will have lots of opportunity to if we need to bring on someone else for a few weeks or a con, you know, freelancer, that we have the capacity and the time to do that. So lesson number five was actually to make sure we are setting up a tag for those who clicked the link to view the sales page.
Because generally in a launch, one of the most powerful things I think you can do, and the most things that drive most connection, would be to personally follow up with the people who seem to be the most engaged. It's something I had done in prior launches and log in my clients do, we'll look at the list of people who've been clicking the sales page, and we'll sort of see what we know about them. Maybe they've been maybe also came to the launch event. Maybe they've been actively liking all your Instagram, DMS. And we may choose to send some of those people like personal video or personal email asking them to have any questions that they want to chat about, or maybe like hop on a call.
And we hadn't set up that tag. So it was a lot more complicated to find out who was doing the clicking, because it was a cross again, we had your three automations there. So there was a lot more like digging and investigating. And I feel like it caused us not to be able to actually follow up in the level that we usually like to so in the future, it could be easy just to have a tag for those who clicked and then actually make that tag into like a sequence a segment of who we want to follow up with. And we're just making sure we remove anybody who's maybe already a member who's just following along for fun, so they don't get an email by accident, right or no one to incline again, he's just kind of curious. So we can create a segment of people who are really warm. So that's what I would recommend.
Going forward number six would actually be to plan some more fun reels and video. So in my pre launch content leading up to the launch event of the sales pitch slumber party, I actually had a lot of fun making some reels, all around sales pages. And it's something I thought I would have loved doing before it was a little bit time consuming, because definitely a learning curve for reals. But I had such great time and I had so much fun responses for in the DMS and people telling me they signed up because they saw it to the event. So I would love to plan more reels. And also just more videos like maybe getting my numbers on some calls or some live Instagram Live with me ahead of time, maybe have made time to invite some of the bonus experts in my program, also to some lives at a time. So just a little more planning for like that fun and that live video aspect of like the launch content.
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Lesson number seven would be to have a much longer pre launch runway. So as a launch strategist, I definitely know the importance of a pre launch runway. And usually you're looking at it like a couple of weeks out of the launch, where you're talking around like some of your opinions or your viewpoints, maybe sharing the way where you do things.
When you're talking about your framework share testimonials, offering some like tips and strategies, really just priming the content that's going to be part of your offer. It's a really great way to build that like no interest factor, but I would love in the future to have a longer Dedicated pre launch period. So, you know, I would even say six to eight weeks, it would be really ideal if I was going to move to live launching the launch of a club group program a couple times a year, because when I looked at all the people who sign up for the launch club, I realized they had all been in my list or interact with me on Instagram, they've been in my warm audience, essentially, for at least six months or more.
So there was nobody, let's call it a cold, nobody brand new, who purchase I had some great brand new conversations with people. And I'm curious if maybe they will join next time, a couple of them did sign up for the waitlist for the next round. But everyone who did sign up for purchase during the launch period was already in my warm audience, which just leads me to remember that that pre launch time building that connection is really, really important to you know, hit those revenue goals as well. Lesson number eight, was that I loved the customer success sequence we created. So originally, when I launched launch club, we just had two emails to welcome people into the membership. And now we actually did a whole one month email sequence.
There's one email every day, but there was a couple emails or the first week and then I think there's two emails the second week, and then, you know, a couple emails every week during that first month. And what I generally liked is that on the third week, I added in a video asked, so I use video, ask and I recorded myself, really just saying, hello, how are things going on flavor club, I want to check in, if there's anything we can do to make this experience better for you anything you need from us, you know, just, you know, hit reply, let me know. And there's an opportunity for them to record an audio message or do a video message back to me or just type their response. And we'll just people wanting a little bit of like direction about how to best use the resources or a little bit of support and advice.
And I loved having that piece in there. Because, well, one, you know, whatever you can connect with people, it's fantastic and great for you and them and really ship you're trying to build, but also helps you to show up for them. And for people who are persecuted to know that you you know truly care about their success. But also, if you are having guarantee like I do for the first 30 days ago joining that when you have opportunities to connect with them before that 30 days out. If there are any potential problems, anything that we're thinking about leaving for you may be able to problem solve that, or help support them through it and keep them in the program.
If it's right for them. Of course you don't want them there if it's not right for them. But if it's right for them, you can potentially help them sort that out before they leave just because they weren't really sure how to access stuff or they weren't really sure what to do next. So I loved that success sequence. And I think I would definitely increasing those from my one to one cleanse, but highly encourage you to look at your success sequence as well. Lesson number nine was that I really liked how we removed so many pressure tactics from this launch. So I actually didn't do any expiring bonuses.
We didn't do a fast action bonuses any of the bonuses people got whenever they joined was whether that was first day or like I had someone join like 20 mins for cart closed, we did actually choose to do a countdown clock. And I know there's some new conversation but whether countdown clock at too much pressure, how they make you feel. But I tried to soften it up by saying that just as a reminder, like we're welcoming new members until such and such date and time, because I've heard from awful lot of people that they like the clock that helps them remember that things are closing and they can often forget.
So I decided to add it in. But again, just soften up the wording around it. And then lesson number 10 was that I added a down sell to the opencart sale sequence. So a down sell would be something that happens a couple of days, which is two hours out two days after the final reminder for the launch of the club. And I chose it down so that highly connected to the launch event. So my launch event was a sales page slumber party. You know, I gave hot seats on people's sales pages, gave feedback and talked about what makes a highly effective sales page.
And this down sell was for my sales page workbook that I use for my one to one clients and share in the launch playbook club. The only two places that you can access it, and also a sales page video training and mock ups. And so we sold that. I believe it was 147 a couple of again a couple days after the cart closed. And it actually brought in a few people who purchased it who had been at the launch event, but just decided at this time that the club wasn't right for them. And it was so great because it was something I already had created. But it's so highly connected to the original reason some people have actually chosen to, you know, come into my world over the last two weeks of my launch. And so I love that and I think we'd always do a down, sell going forward. And definitely try to connect it really tightly to that launch event. So those are my 10 learnings from the my most recent launch launch favorite club. I hope you found them helpful.
If there's one that really stood out to you, I would love for you to let me know on Instagram. What popped out to you the most and share a story or send me a DM I always love to hear from you. Until next time, happy launching.
Thanks for tuning in to the launch playbook podcast. If you want to get weekly launch secrets in your ears. I hope you'll hit subscribe on iTunes you'll never miss an episode. Because who knows? It could reveal just the thing you've been looking for to make your next launch a success. And be sure to leave a five star review in iTunes telling me how this episode inspired your launch plans. Until next time, keep putting your big ideas out into the world. I'm rooting for you
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