Launch Problems and Fixes is Part 2 of a multi-part series. If you haven’t yet read Part 1 Launching to Crickets, I recommend you start there. Then come on back.
You’ve looked over your numbers and it looks like you did everything right, but you didn’t make enough sales. What went wrong?
Launch Problem: People Opened Your Emails but Didn’t Click Through
Your list may be “fished out.” That is you have made the same offer numerous times before and they’ve already seen it and passed on it. You need to offer something new, add new people to your email list, or both.
If this is the first time you made this specific offer, it may be one of several things:
- You only email your list when you have something to sell. That’s rude. You need to be nurturing your list, at least on a weekly basis with good content that addresses their needs, problems, and concerns. Nobody likes that person who only shows up when they need something or are selling something.
- The offer doesn’t match what your list wants. If you have a group of people who want to learn how to make money online and you offer them a course on how to create lawn furniture from PVC, they’re probably not going to bite.
- The offer matches what they want but your email or ad wasn’t compelling to them. You didn’t explain what you were offering and how it would benefit them specifically. You need to go back over your copy (preferably with a friend who would be a good prospect for your offer) and see where the disconnect is.
Launch Problem: People Hit Your Sales Or Landing Page and Didn’t Convert
As I mentioned in last week’s post, you can use the page’s bounce rate to see how long people are actually staying on the page before leaving. (Yay, Google analytics!)
If they’re hitting your page and bouncing right off, your headline needs an overhaul. Does it target a problem or offer a benefit? Is it about you or them? (Hint: The sales page should be all about them and what they want and need.)
Do you have a video that plays automatically? Is the sound quality good? People won’t listen to bad audio, no matter what the content. Is the video too long or do you not get to the point/benefit fast enough? Are your people readers, not watchers?
You also might want to test a long copy sales page against shorter copy. The big complaint with long form sales copy is “nobody reads all that.” People who are going to buy “read all that.” These are the people who want as much information as possible before they buy. Long sales copy can get them excited, give them all the logical reasons buying is a smart decision, tells them everything they are going to get in great detail. You definitely want testimonials and case studies as social proof that what you are offering will work, whether you are using long or short form sales copy. Those who don’t want to “read all that” will skim, stopping at subheads and bulleted lists that interest them.
Go over your sales copy and make sure it is all about your prospects, what they want and need, and clearly shows them how their lives are going to be changed for the better by buying from you.
Launch Problem: Abandoned Cart
People have read your sales copy, they click the Buy Button (Yay!) and then… flee. If your cart is working properly, this problem is about price in some way, shape, or form. (Always test your tech set up all the way through the sales process.)
If you haven’t given prospects the price on the sales page and they abandon after they find out how much it is, you haven’t created enough value to justify the price. If you think your price is fair for what you are offering, you need to strengthen your sales copy and show people how much they are getting and what the value of your offer truly is.
Take some time to compare your offer to what other people in your niche offer and check their prices. Are you in line with others or are you noticeably higher or lower? Sometimes too low a price scares people – what you’re offering couldn’t possibly have a lot of value at that low a price. Or… maybe your price is too high, either for what you’re offering or for what your target market can afford. I can create a $20,000 program to help people increase their business, but if their business is only making $40,000 a year, they probably can’t afford to spend that money. (And I would counsel them against spending that kind of money at this point in their business!)
If your price is on the sales page and they click to buy then abandon, you may need to offer a payment plan or you may need to very clearly indicate that they can use a credit card to pay. If you already have those things in place, then you need to go back to your sales page copy and make sure there are enough logical reasons to justify buying. They had second thoughts. You need to dispel buyers’ remorse before it hits.
Launch Problem: Not Enough Sales
If your open rates, click through rates, and sales conversions are within industry ranges and expectations, you don’t have enough leads at the top of your funnel. You need more.
In some cases, making sales comes down to a numbers game. Put the word out to more people, you’ll probably get more sales. So, if you have a mailing list of 1,000 people and 10 buy, sending to 10,000 might net you 100 sales.
According to Larry Kim of Wordstream, the average landing page conversion rate is 2.35%. If 10,000 people land on a page, 235 of them will do what the page wants them to do – leave a name and email address, buy a product. ( And yes, you can improve on that number.)
Sometimes those numbers scale; sometimes they don’t. It’s a function of your target market, your offer, how well you have messaged that offer, pricing, and whether the target market actually wants what you’re offering.
But in general, yes, more is better.
How do you put your message in front of more people? Any number of ways, some of which take money, some take time. Some take both.
The default solution for many people is to run online ads. This requires a budget and someone who knows their way around online advertising. Depending on what you are offering, online ads may take longer to work for you—sometimes as long as six months.
Fix Problem: Online Ads are “Cold Traffic”
Can you run an ad to a sales page and get sales? Yes. It works better for low ticket items (under $100) than for high ticket items. Why? The higher the price, the more your prospect needs to know and trust that you will deliver on your promise. If you are just playing a numbers game and have the money to run tons of ads, then this may be the way to go. For most of us, it’s not. We need to warm up that traffic.
Online advertising (and even most offline advertising) is about becoming known to your prospects and starting a relationship. Your online ads need to move people to a landing page. The landing page has something that is easy to say yes to, usually a free offer that is compelling enough for them to leave their name and email address. Once on your list, an email nurture campaign allows you to grow the relationship and eventually, make the sale.
Online advertising is not the magic bullet that fills your pipeline and bank account with no effort on your part. There is no Easy Button (unless you can pay tens of thousands of dollars to hire out every aspect of your marketing).
Now that I’ve listed out some launch problems and fixes, it’s time to turn to the #1 problem that entrepreneurs and authors have with selling online: not enough people to sell to. While your email list is (hopefully) warm traffic, gaining more prospects will involve building your list, warming the new people up to you, and then making your offer. There are a number of ways to short cut this process which I’ll talk about in my next post… Part 3 of what has apparently become a series.