What happens when you launch your book or your business, or even a new product, yet get no takers? What do you do? What’s the next step?(After eating a pint of Haagen-Dazs or having a good stiff drink. Or both.)
Start by checking your numbers. The numbers will show you where the break down happened.
If you did an email send out, your email platform should have a breakdown of number of emails sent, number that were undeliverable, opens, and click-throughs. (If your email platform doesn’t offer these stats, you need a new email platform.)
If you sent out an email and your open rate (number of emails opened divided by number of emails sent) is under 20%, your list isn’t engaged and you’re not sending them information that they are interested in. You need to check your open rates before you launch a major campaign. If your engagement (open rate) is low, you need to up the value of your content for several weeks (at least) before you launch.
What’s a good open rate? It depends on your industry. Hubspot has a solid article on open rates and how to improve them.
Click Through Rate
If people are opening your emails but not clicking through, then they are not interested in your offer. Many times we offer what we know our clients need, but that is not necessarily what our clients want. You need to make the offer more enticing—add mystery, add “sizzle,” add a reason for that person to click the link to the sales page.
Sales Page Stats
The next stat to check is the sales page numbers. How many people landed on the sales page? How long did they stay? If people are bouncing off after 12 seconds, read your sales page for 12 seconds and see how far they are getting. What information have they taken in at that point? What would they have taken in if they skimmed and scrolled down for 12 seconds? If they’re bouncing fast, it could be that your headline and sub heads aren’t compelling or don’t offer the benefit they are seeking. You need to up-level your copy.
What if people stayed on your sales page for three minutes or longer? Did they read the entire page and decide to take a pass? At that point it may be that the offer wasn’t compelling enough, the benefits weren’t readily apparent, or the price was out of line with the benefits they would receive.
Sometimes it’s what they want, but they may not be able to justify buying it—especially in a B2B scenario.
For example, a business coach wants to create “happy workplaces.” Great idea, especially for the employees. And most of us would agree that a happy workplace is much better than a grumpy or even angry workplace. However, an H.R. manager going in to the CEO can’t really sell the idea of “Hey, let’s have a happy workplace.” The CEO is going to want to know how having a happy workplace benefits the bottom line. If the H.R. manager can pull out stats on improved productivity, efficiency, reduced turnover, fewer sick days, etc., they can get the happy workplace seminar onto the company schedule.
In short, people buy on emotion and justify it with logic. If you’re getting opens and people coming to your sales page but not buying, you might need to give them more justification for buying. Again, check your copy to make sure you’ve covered your bases.
And keep track. If your sales page is converting, know how many people need to hit your page to create one sale. If you had 100 people go to your sales page and five people bought, then you know you need to send 1,000 people to your page to get 50 sales. You can start figuring out just how large your marketing effort needs to be.
If you ran an ad campaign, online or offline, you need to go through those numbers. Getting stats for offline advertising is much harder than online because you have to rely on the numbers that the media (newspaper, radio, TV) gave you when you decided which medium to use and those numbers are just guestimates. A newspaper may have 100,000 subscribers, but how many looked at the paper that day? Or the section of the paper that your ad was in? A TV station might have 2,000,000 viewers for a show, but how many went to the kitchen for a snack when your commercial came on? (Or watched the show later and fast-forwarded through the commercials?)
Running the numbers for offline advertising becomes an exercising in best guess and it is usually a matter of return on investment more than being able to track specific numbers. If you put $10,000 into advertising and you had ten people buy your product or service at $1,500 each and you get those results consistently, then it may work for you. (If your margins are thin, it may not.)
Online advertising is much more easily tracked. The advertising platform can tell you how many people saw your ad (impressions), how many clicked through, and how many converted (did what you wanted them to do).
The process of finding where the break down is closely matches that of an email campaign. If 10,000 people saw your ad and no one clicked through, your ad doesn’t stand out enough to be noticed or doesn’t have a compelling offer. If people clicked through to your sales or landing page and didn’t convert, the problem is there.
(Want a primer on online advertising? Hubspot has it.)
In truth, advertising is usually the first step in a longer warm-up process. Many launches depend on advertising and the results are often disappointing. (See crickets above.)
Next Step: Launch Problems and Fixes
Once you’ve run your numbers and (hopefully) have spotted the weak points in your launch campaign, you can start figuring out what went wrong and finding ways to fix the problem(s). Next week, in Part 2, we’ll take a look at some of the problems and fixes.