Simplifying Your Launch Tech Stack With Astrid Sucipto
Tech headaches happen as part of a launch, but they can be avoided or at least hugely reduced. In this episode I'm joined by our regular guest expert in The Launch Playbook Club, Astrid Sucipto, to share how to start building your simple tech stack.
In this episode, we talked about...
- Astrid's favorite tech stack for solopreneurs
- The difference between a solopreneur and a 6-and-7-figure biz owners tech stacks
- How much to budget for your launch tech
- A different way to think about your launch funnel to add more revenue and build more relationships
- Which tech to avoid (if possible) when building your email list
...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
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Work with me one-on-one: https://www.saravartanian.com/work-with-me
Learn more about Astrid here: https://digitalpixie.ca/
Learn more about Astrid Sucipto
Astrid Sucipto is a digital marketing tech expert who has been helping entrepreneurs with their marketing technology since 2017. This includes website development as well as systems stacking and integrations for online launches. Specializing in online programs, Astrid founded Digital Pixie to help make your digital marketing tech woes go away.
Read the full transcript so you don't miss a thing
Astrid: A member I was helping a client in her early days. And she was at the time using lead pages. And it wasn't connected to any email marketing platform. So she was collecting emails, and it wasn't going anywhere. Thankfully, you know, she had the notification set on her email. So at least the emails were going to her. But you know, she's tested the landing page, and it works, meaning she can see from her user perspective, she got the thank you page come up, but just didn't think about the other side of it. Right? If she didn't have the notification set up. Again, thankfully she did. But she didn't have this notification set up going to her, then those leads would have been lost. Because in meat pages, they don't actually get captured on the back end.
Sara: 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, friend, consider this show your secret playbook to get you there. I'm so excited to welcome Astrid to tiptoe to today's episode. Astrid and I have been actually working together on and off in launching and also in the launch a book club for a few years now. So it feels it's especially exciting to me to welcome someone who I consider a business friend to the podcast. Astrid, welcome.
Astrid: Thank you, Sara. I'm so happy and excited to be here on your show today. Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Sara: Thank you for agreeing. So would you mind going ahead and telling the folks at home a little bit about you and your business?
Astrid: Sure. So I am a digital market marketing tech expert, and the founder of digital Pixie, which is a digital marketing company that focuses on the tech side of digital marketing. So that includes web development, as well as helping entrepreneurs with their online launches by connecting their systems together. So that's in a nutshell my business
Sara: using so you deal with a lot of tech systems, obviously, then, yes. Well, you tell us a little bit about your favorite tech stack for someone who is launching and why.
Astrid: Yeah, so for someone who's completely new to launching, I try to keep it simple, especially if they're on a budget. So my favorite is actually mailer light, it is an email marketing system, but you can do landing pages, so you can build your landing pages, and it's pretty flexible. It even takes payment, it integrates with stripe, and PayPal. And then you can, you know, build your list, create forms, and have it all automated within the same system. So it's a great way to build your list. If you're launching, and you need like a course platform, let's say I really like Korea, and Thinkific, they are very easy to use very simple, cost that much either. I think they're about 29 to $39 to start per month. So those two are those two are a good combination, in my opinion, for somebody who's just starting out with a launch.
Sara: Amazing, thanks for sharing, cuz I feel like it's like those conversations around like, what should I choose come up all the time. So I really wanted to, like start with that, like, what from an expert are seven ones that really work? From like Facebook groups and even the cloud, right? Like around like, which? Which tech platform? Should they go with? Yeah, thank you for clearing that up.
Astrid: No problem. I mean, I get that question a lot, to be honest with you. You know, whenever I've had my discovery calls, the first thing they do is I don't know, they'll say they don't know what systems to go with. Because there's so many out there. Right. And and it all comes down to where are they in the launch? Like? Are they just starting out? Are they a little bit further in? Are they trying to scale? You know, what's their budget? Right? Yeah. So if they're, you know, a little bit more advanced, and they can put a little bit more money into the tech, then I would recommend a different system like I like kajabi a lot, because it's more of a of an all in one very easy to use and user friendly.
Sara: Speaking about budget, how much money do you think when people would say are in the early days of launching? Should they set aside for tech? Realistically,
Astrid: I would say at least $50 a month, up to 150 a month. In the early days. Again, it depends on what they're launching and what they're doing
stuff like that.
Sara: And if they're doing like a webinar, let's say, is there a platform you recommend for that for someone in the early days of launching,
Astrid: I love easy webinar, or demio. I I prefer easy webinar over demio. But demio is great as well. And the price points pretty much the same, but it is they are a little bit higher price. So they're about I think it's $79 a month to start with. So the webinar. Yeah, I think I think it's the same with me. I'm not really sure. So you know it all again, it all depends on the budget, right? So they don't have that but Like, I always recommend that because you can do so much in terms of integrating back into your email marketing platform. But sometimes when you're just launching and you don't have the budget that I would just recommend sticking with zoom at that point. But if you know if you can actually spend a little bit of money on it, it makes a huge difference. getting something like easy webinar or demio.
Sara: Yeah, I know that when I was using dimeo, sometimes for webinars, what was kind of cool too much for starting was that they actually had like a pause your account options. So, you know, once because you spent so much time getting set up and ready that I loved that I could just pause it. So it was still a fee, but it was like much less obviously, than the monthly fees. Yes. So that when I wanted to reopen it, it was a possibility. And I thought that was pretty neat. Yes, Yes, that's true. So you see the back ends of a lot of businesses from solopreneurs to seven figure businesses, what would you say are the biggest differences between their tech setups for most people don't take those early days of launching to, you know, multiple, it's maybe they're having multiple six figure launches.
Astrid: Yeah. So I mean, in the early days, for solo solopreneurs, it's a lot of stitching together trying to stitch together many different systems. And it's not as smooth or easy. Like, for example, if somebody is using zoom, you know, the integration back to the email marketing platform might be a little more difficult. So there's a lot of workarounds to get all the data back in into your email marketing platform as an example, whereas a seven figure business would probably spend the money on upgrading their tech, right, so that everything runs a little bit smoother, everything is more automated, they're not wasting their time trying to things manually, or fixing things that break. Another difference is that solopreneurs are just starting out their funnels and sequences are pretty simple. It's usually like maybe one sequence of maybe two at the most. And they're usually a little bit shorter, like maybe five emails in a sequence for a seven figure business. Basically, their their funnels are a little more advanced, you're starting to see, you know, upsells downsells, product bumps, and then sequences that match that. So let's say that somebody bought the product bump, they get put into a different sequence than somebody who did it. Right. So there's a lot of different branches, so to speak, different automations happening, depending on what the behavior was
Sara: like that you really pointed out, like all those different sequences that start growing and building. So I find with a lot of like, even the one to one clients I work with that they come in with, like that simple sequence, and then we start growing and building from there, like like what's logically next, like, what can we do? And then start building onto that.
Astrid: Yeah, yeah, typically, when you're just starting out, it's very linear, here's what happens, you sign up for a lead magnet, you get like a welcome sequence, maybe four to five emails, and then you get invited to some kind of program. And that's pretty much and then your introduce letter,
Sara: Probably from there. Exactly. Yeah. And I like that, too, that you pointed it out, because I think that so often, I'm going to speak for myself, and maybe a few, like, I can think of some of the conversations I've had with some past clients and other related business, but we look at those full in our sphere. So I'm gonna say like, like the Amy Porterfield and people like that, who have, you know, a big business and a big team. And we feel like, we need to do all of those things like look at all these things that they have going on, we're realizing that like, we're not in the same spot. So that's okay, that we can start where we are. And we can start growing and building on as we go. Absolutely. So what moves as a solopreneur need to make to start heading towards that seven figure, tech setup,
Astrid: A lot of a lot of planning, I find that a lot of solopreneurs. Maybe they rush a launch, or they don't give themselves enough time to launch and they you know, they're only thinking about the linear sequence. I think it's starting to like getting their mind to start thinking about how can we get more people through the funnel, and staying the funnel longer. So if they're not quite interested in buying the program yet, what else can I offer so that I don't lose them completely? Right? So maybe the program is $2,000. And somebody is not ready for that. But they're still interested because they want to learn what can I give them that's going to they can buy and still help them? Right? So so that's where the down sell comes in, or the product funding comes in. So just start planning on like, what else can you add? How can you add value along the way, as you're nurturing them through the entire sales funnel, so they might not buy today, but now you you know, they're in your funnel and they're being put through another sequence?
Sara: I love that you call that out because I'd say like as a launch copywriter, when I go in to talk with people around their goals and their plans, that's something that I often notice, too, with someone who is sort of more in the early days of launching is that they have maybe created that lead magnet and there's a welcome sequence but it didn't actually maybe connect to a goal to sell or they've got something going first but then there's like they don't ask ever again. Like there's no other opportunities to sell for months and months and months, sometimes until they decide to do another live launch. Like there's sort of nothing in between.
Sara: And so I feel like there's a lot of places where we can like, kind of fill those gaps, right, and probably makes more revenue too.
Astrid: Exactly. And even if they don't really have a program to sell yet, let's say they're just list building, what I've seen happen is they would again, like they would put out a lead magnet, half a welcome sequence, and then they don't touch base, there's no weekly emails going out, there's nothing. So even if you don't have, if you're like, if you're, let's say you're building your core, so you're not quite ready to launch, but you're starting to boost your list. It's okay, like, you don't have to do a sales sequence right away, what you can do is bring them into your like your email list, and you know, the welcome sequence and then nurture them, right, give them value every week, or once every two weeks, right just to just so that they're hearing from you, right, and then getting to know you as you're building them up towards this, you know, program launch.
Sara: I think that's like what seven figure and those like multiple six figure business owners do, right is that there is the stay in touch is happening. There's like a plan to stay in touch, and they've set up their automations and things to do. So I love the down sell. It's like that's one of my favorite things to start adding to a launch, I think it tends to be one of the easy ones that you can do. Because if people aren't quite ready for your program, you can take something from what maybe you're launching or something you already have that relates and still get a chance to exactly like help people, as you mentioned, but at a lower cost. It's like something that I try to add into every single launch I work on. Yeah, that's awesome. Is there a text setup or funnel that you think that every business owner needs? And that maybe you've noticed when you've gone to have those discovery calls? Or you've talked to business owners that they are missing?
Yeah, I mean, it's something as simple as a lead magnet, sometimes they don't, they don't have anything, right. They might have like a sign up on their website to for their mailing list. But, you know, unless you're offering something of value, where someone's willing to swap their email address for that, you know, whatever that value is, you're you're not no one's really signing up for your mailing list. Right. So I think just just offering something can be an ebook. It could be, I don't know, a quiz, a webinar, anything really. So just, you know, a simple lead magnet with a welcome sequence, and then continue with touching base with them on a regular basis, at the very least. And that's
where you said, like, a lot of maybe early in the early days like mailer light would be a good system for that. Yes, absolutely. What do you think about a lot of business owners, we've had this in the lunch labor club, where you know, you are a resident tech expert and support there, what do you think about the free version of MailChimp, because I know that a lot of people come in, I know that we've worked on some mutual people to before who come from that free version of MailChimp. What do you think about like about that, like, Where are the limitations? I guess, with that, for people,
MailChimp, I am not, I'm not a fan of MailChimp, free version or not, the free version has a lot of limitations, they made a change, I think it was a couple of years ago, where they've limited the number of audiences that you can have, like, if you can only have two now at max under the free, which sometimes makes it difficult when you're trying to build your list and do some segmentations the audiences don't talk to each other. So I have often recommend that when you're putting somebody through a sequence, you don't want to add them to your mailing list right away, right, your newsletter list, because you don't want to bombard them with so many emails, right? You don't want them to be going through your sequence, and you're also sending them your newsletters, you know, usually that happens at the end of the sequence. But with MailChimp, you can't you can't really do that. Like if you've got two separate audiences and you want to move them from an audience B to audience A at the end of the sequence. That's not really possible. They don't talk to each other. So that's one limitation.
There was another one, I think was that they only let you have like one automated email. So you couldn't have to do a go. sequence. Yes, your free version, too. Right. That was something I run into a lot as well. That's
right. That's right. That's that's a good point. Yes. So you can you can only have like the one welcome email. And then that's, that's pretty much it.
Yeah. And I think I've like seen so many people in those early days. And I understand like choosing the free service, because you're not really sure. And it's new. And you know, budgets are limited beginning but it's definitely something that I feel like, if you could just, you know, invest in that email service provider. And you're saying like mailer light is a great one and pretty cost effective that you would save yourself in the end so much time by just going with one that has a little bit of of spin to it. But you know, you could actually make work for you for quite a long time, and you wouldn't have lost so many hours. And you could actually like, start building your list and doing those automations a lot earlier.
Exactly. And what a lot of people don't think about is they don't they're not thinking about how their time is actually money to write. So I would say well, if this is going to spend that you're going to be spending 10 hours of your time doing this really when you quantify that into $1 value. What is that? Right And could you have safe 10 hours using another system Yes, yeah, yeah, yeah. And it just makes everything a lot smoother actually in those
Yeah. Yeah. better experience for every like for you. And maybe you're also for your, your audience, for sure. Yeah. Yeah, that's something that came up when, I guess a couple of years ago when I grew up this quote, this really small group, like six people were all like working on launching, and the person facilitating it was talking around like tech, because we all had like, the tech questions. You weren't a tech expert like you are, but they're just like the gorilla coach. And so when they said was around, like, well, how many hours you spending making these decisions? Because I remember I was on WordPress at the time. And I couldn't decide, like, where to host my course and where to do this and where to do this. And they're like, well, what, what about kajabi? Like, it has everything, and you can just stop thinking about it, you can just move on and start doing it. And I remember being really hesitant because it felt like a big jump in price. Like Yes, but when I actually mapped out what I was spending across the other things, I think it was like a $30 a month difference, right? It really wasn't that big in the end, because I could let go of all these other services. And it was like, I think it's like the best decision I ever made. And to go over to that platform that has everything I need. And I know they use in like, they're launching some new things right now actually in there, which is pretty neat.
I like Adobe a lot. I've been using kajabi for like, four clients for a number of years now. And they've really improved to write and they continue to improve their system. So it's, it's quite a bit different than what when they first launch and a lot better now for sure. So I like it a lot. A lot more robust. For sure.
Yeah. And there is something around making that decision to be like, this is what I'm going to use and yes, it's going to cost me money. But now I don't have to think about other like now I don't have to think about that anymore. It freed up that brain space and also the learning space right like now you're just if you're doing yourself you're only learning like maybe one or two platforms as opposed to examine cobbled together five or six things
yeah. And And honestly, if you're not, you're not like tech tech savvy anything if you are I mean it cobbling like five to six systems can be can be a nightmare, to be honest with you. And I do it all the time. Yeah, it really like, you know, I have to sit there and I have to think about all the systems and how to connect it together what needs to happen, what connects to what directly What does it I often find myself having to connect systems using Zapier? I don't know if you've heard of Zapier, but
yeah, yeah, I've had it for a couple of things.
Yeah, it's it's awesome. I like it a lot. But yeah, there's a lot of work arounds.
Today's episode is brought to you by the launch playbook club. It's a place for service based business owners who want to launch a course membership or group offer, and are tired of trying to figure out all on their own. With weekly copy critiques and strategy calls for personal feedback, access to tech Roadblock, busting q&a sessions, monthly training around six figure launch strategies, and templates for all your launch copy needs. The launch playbook club is your roadmap to accelerate the success of your next launch, without burning out, become a member of the launch playbook club at www dot Sara vartanian.com slash launch dash playbook. So I think this is a perfect time to ask you. What can we do to stop some of those tech headaches and issues that could crop up during a launch
planning, planning, planning, planning, that's always my biggest thing. think through what you want to happen. And when you're actually setting up the systems and connecting them together tested as a user to see if it's working to see if there's anything broken, I find that a lot of clients don't actually test after they set up, or they like to do proper testing. And things fall apart. Like I remember I was helping a client in her early days. And she was at the time using lead pages. And it wasn't connected to any email marketing platforms. So she was collecting emails, and it wasn't going anywhere. Thankfully, you know, she had the notification set up, go to her email, so at least the emails were going to her. But you know, she's tested the landing page, and it works meaning she can see from a user perspective, she got the thank you page come up, but just didn't think about the other side of it. Right? If she didn't have the notification set up. Again, thankfully she did. But she didn't have this notification set up going to her, then those leads would have been lost. Because in lead pages, they don't actually get captured on the back end. I feel like he had like a lot of the effort and the time spent into that. Like we put all this time and effort into our launches, right? And if we don't test it, then we're at risk for those kind of things happening. Exactly. Or maybe the credit, you know, maybe the payment integration wasn't working properly. Like it might have been working during the test mode, but not during the life mode. So it's important to test when it comes to payment on a testing as well as live just to make sure everything goes through smooth feel like
payment checkout things were always like my Achilles heel when I was in the early stages of more cobbling things together. Yeah, it was. Yes, yeah. I like how you called it, planning to and making time Because I think it's something that's happened. And I'm gonna be like, very honest right here and say that in my most recent launch at launch labor club, we had, like said, the emails, this, the opencart sales sequence didn't get put in by the team until the morning of my live event. So I didn't have a chance to send them off. I would usually even though like, my team is also checking them, I always usually go in and send them all to myself, right. So I can just see what they're like. And I didn't have a chance to do that. So we actually, like had one quote that said, like, still line from subject line, and it was like, copied over into the into, like, the subject line that went out, right, because that's, like I had written them in Google Doc. And that's something I would have liked caught, had, I had the time and a bit more time, in order to send them all to myself. So I think those kind of things happen all the time. So I think that's one thing I'm launching is like to is like to allow some buffer time to, like you said some things to yourself, check them, make sure they're talking to each other.
Exactly, exactly. And sometimes, you know, I noticed this with seven figure businesses is they have a bigger team, different team members, you know, taking care of different aspects of the funnel. And if you're not testing at the end, there might be something that fell through the cracks, because again, there's different people doing different things. So I might be doing something and then not realizing that the other person, maybe already did it. So. Exactly. And this, you know, maybe the lack of communication, potentially, because it's a, you know, a lot of things going on. So it's really as important to Yeah, like you said, the planning, like, you know, giving yourself time to test and make sure that everything's working, thinking things through and just looking at it from the customer perspective, too.
It sounds like you're saying, like good to have someone who, and it might be, you know, like the person doing most of this, but like to have someone who's sort of in charge of like the overall like to test it from like, start threatened? Yes. So you can really see that all the parts are going, whether you're in that solopreneur, or you're that seven figure, business owner?
Yeah, yes. It doesn't matter if you're a solopreneur, a seven figure business, like, to me testing is important part of, you know, the entire
launch. Yeah. And so when you say guess be in charge of that part? Yeah. Yes, I've seen it often too, sometimes when you like go to I mean, I've been on the on the receiving end of this too, right? When you go to buy something, you're really excited you bought that course. And then nothing happens. Like you don't actually receive your log on and all that stuff. And I think that can be such an off putting thing as a customer because like you You just like built up, you've taken this leap, right? You've said yes to what could be multiple $1,000, or whatever you've invested into your money you've invested it, and then not to have something happen on the end of that, like get your access or have to wait or do customer support is it really takes off that good feeling pretty quickly?
It's true, because as a customer to you worry, right? What happened?
Yeah, they just spend my money. And if did I you know, is this really real? Exactly right. So there's that too. And you don't ever want your customer to feel that way. And sometimes I find like that is like that log on issue right at the very end, like if it hasn't been connected, or if you're not using more of an all in one, like a choppy or something like that. That's when something can get lost in let's call it translation or like in the tech in the great big tech void.
Exactly. Exactly. And again, that's where the testing comes in. Because you would have noticed that Hey, there, there's no email that tells me that tells the customer how to login, or how to get access that would have would have should have been caught during the testing process.
So it sounds like I mean, I have a question for you around, like what advice you'd give someone who's figuring out the tech behind their launch? And so would it be to test everything? Would that be the biggest piece of advice you'd give them? or something else?
Yes. I mean, that would be it's everything. It's really, it's really planning. Yeah, and testing is planning is all about giving yourself time to make sure that your strategy is working to testing his suit. Like I know, I keep saying testing, because it is important. Like I've seen it, I've seen systems fail over and over and over again, because there's just you just assume that, you know, things just work as soon as they connect, which is not always the case. But planning and being organized and knowing like don't don't squeeze everything to last minute. You know, if you want to launch something don't wait to like two weeks before to try to build your list and get your UI back together. Yeah, even a month, I guess is to me, that's not enough, right. But I have had people asking me and telling me that they want to launch and it's in two weeks, and they don't even have a lead magnet setup. So to set up a lead magnet, get the sequence out and then launch in two weeks. That's that's almost impossible. But it's not that it's not it's possible that you would not get the results. Right. So it's always like, what's the point? What's the point of doing that?
And I think about what you're saying about like the testing and planning and thinking about sometimes like when I've worked with clients and we've looked at their launch afterwards or they've come to me, and they want us in and they do want to launch it's an interesting they didn't get the numbers because of the audience or the you know, the results that they wanted, but sometimes there have been things when we really dug in that like went wrong in their tech right because again, They didn't test and check that, Oh, actually, you had a lot of people come to this page or sign up. But, you know, they didn't actually receive that email you sent out wasn't maybe that they didn't want to buy it, it's that they actually didn't receive it. So I feel like that's all part of the launching piece too, is like, we have to actually look back through our funnels, and they're all working because you don't want it. You don't want to not meet your goals because of, you know, tech snafu, let's call it let's let the focus be more on like the messaging was off, or we need to get more in front of more people as opposed to you didn't send that glorious email that you worked on. Right, exactly. So would you tell us about a launch you worked on that went really well, and what you think made it work?
Yeah, I mean, I've had several launches like that, and I think but I mean, from my perspective, perspective, in terms of tech, it's really because the clients were organized, very organized, right, they had thought things through, and how they want things to happen, which, you know, they, they made it easier to set up the tech and make sure that everything runs really smoothly. It's all about again, it's all about organization. And, and and also strategy for Are there any ways that you recommend people organize their launch things that you prefer? Like, see, again, you've worked on the backend of so many launches? Are there any kind of like project management tools that you really like working on? Are
you recommend people could use to to oversee this?
Yeah, I really like click up, that's the project management tool that I use any project management tool like Trello, or Asana will work. And it helps keep the conversation going between the client and myself. And sometimes, you know, if they don't, if they're not using any project management tool, they don't want to they're not comfortable, because I've had clients resist using project management tools. For whatever reason, you know, I've set it up. They don't use it. It's, they just can't wrap their heads around using it as simple Google Doc, you know, here's step one, here's step two, step three, and then that way, we can converse back and forth via Google Docs as well ask questions, maybe some things were missing something, some stuff needs to be clarified. So just makes that like, setup a lot easier. And that way, I'm not missing anything, and the client isn't missing anything. And to me, again, that helps with having a successful launch from a tax perspective.
Yeah, I mean, I like one app that just from like a corporate or practice perspective to like see, seeing all the steps to it is so important to see the whole picture and to know what's being worked on or what's being done. I find it really helpful as well to see that. Absolutely. Well, Astrid, it was so great to have you here today. I love talking tech with you. And you you already know I love working with you on the back on lunches. So can you tell the folks at home where we can find out and we'll find you really so that we can work with you and learn more about your offers?
Absolutely. My website is digital pixie.ca. And that's the best place to find me. I am also an Instagram but I'm not as active. It's digital Pixie ca.
Thank you so much. And I will look forward to seeing you in the club again soon and also working to you on our next launch. Thanks for joining us.
Thanks for having me. It's been great. I love working with you as well. And this has been really fun. Thank you. Thanks, Astrid.
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