10 Sneaky Online Launch Culprits That Steal From Your Bottomline

by | May 25, 2022

When a launch for your digital offer doesn’t go as planned, it’s soul-crushing to the degree that even a marathon session of Money Heist can’t help soften the sting.

Emotions cloud your otherwise pragmatic judgment and act as the siren call to the fridge. The result? You wrap yourself in the comforting arms of your favorite trio – Ben, Jerry, and Nutella. While watching Money Heist. 😂

Repeat after me: There’s no such thing as a failed launch (unless you launched to fail…Matthew McConaughey & SJP style…umm remember that movie?) 

All that to say…there’s only hard numbers…a.k.a. data 

Data like…

Click-through rates, purchase rates, refund rates, landing page conversions, enrollment calls, close rates, etc. 

And as someone who writes copy for launches (mine and clients)…looking at numbers alone doesn’t help. You’ve gotta look at the circumstances, events, and root causes that led to those numbers. Is this (non-numerical) data as good as the cold hard numbers on your Active Campaign dashboard? Of course not. 

But just as we’re fluent in spitballing marketing ideas for a new launch, we have to get equally good at looking at the human side of data analysis. And this is more trickier than just changing a number on a spreadsheet. 

Especially when simply hitting publish on a webinar registration page and running Facebook ads for $0.50/click doesn’t translate into hordes of eager folks, excited to enter their email addresses, and buy your shiny thing. 

The “tried and tested launch roadmaps” responsible for overnight 6 & 7-figure entrepreneurs have sunsetted. 

Before I share why launches aren’t succeeding in 2022, here’s what you need to know – especially if you launched a digital offer. 

First of all – celebrate. You did it! You battled resistance and set your course/program in motion. 

Launching and learning (whether it was a success or a failure) will make you a sharper service provider, creator, and an overall entrepreneur. 

Making this experience a self-worth issue will do little for your chipped confidence.

So what kind of learnings and leanings do we need to glean through post a shaky (or collapsed) launch period? 

Here are 10 Sneaky Culprits about why your great launch expectations may be just that – (unmet) expectations – despite a foolproof launch plan.

Let’s dive right in. 

1. CIRCLE SEASON OF LIFE: Is your target audience in a different season of life? They may have been Zoomed out (hello pandemic living) and instead are pining for the in flesh, experiential. Or the problem you solve may not be a hot button anymore. Or they’re just cutting back. So many nuances to consider here. 

2. STAGE OF AWARENESS: Your audience is largely in the problem aware stage and your pre-launch content may not have moved them to the most aware stage (ideally where they’re whipping out their credit cars and ready to buy) A pre-launch runway is important to ramp up excitement, demolish objections, and prime your audience from an early stage (say problem/solution aware) to most aware. Can you lead your prospects to the most aware stage and not convert them? Absolutely. But expecting a mass conversion of cold leads without warming ‘em up is sure to cause a flood of unsubscribes even before you close the cart.  

3. SERVICE: How well are you serving your audience (email list and otherwise) in between launches? Keeping ongoing (promo-free) communication between you and those who’ve paid you premium (a.k.a. Shared their email address with you) is directly proportional to the number of sales in the long run. 

4. STALE MARKETING: Your reliable, go-to cookie mix may win you “Best Mommy” award…but your go-to repetitive funnel may be eroding buyer interest and denting conversions. Time to mix things up! If you’ve been lured into the traditional paint-by-numbers launch system, and it used to work but not anymore, it’s time to redesign your launch strategy. You’re not confined to use the typical webinar → emails → sales page → countdown timer → close cart funnel to sell your offers.

5. STUNTED AUDIENCE GROWTH: Ahhh…simply put…no new eyeballs means no new lifeblood injected into your marketing. Your offer promise and positioning may be Arnie (Schwarzenegger) strong, but if you’re talking to the same humans, the potency dips. List or audience fatigue is a real thing. But it doesn’t have to be for you. Every quarter, make list building one of your marketing priorities and brainstorm the different ways you can generate traffic to your website or sales page. 

6. SHINY OFFER SYNDROME: If everything looks good on the menu, it may be difficult to pick your main course. Buyers are inundated with other equally tempting offers launched at the same time, and sometimes yours ends up on the chopping block. Sadly.

7. SHIFT IN OFFER SPECIFICS: Highly applicable when you’ve had a successful first launch and a meh relaunch. The question is…did you change the offer? Like upped the price, restructured the program, reduced coaching support, eliminated a feature from the program? If you’re changing offer components too soon in your offer, you may impact conversions. 

8. SPENT OFFERS: Is the marketplace crowded with offers like yours? What was once flying off the digital shelves is now sitting in a corner – not budging. Two things are likely at play here…

  • Market sophistication: if you were the first to create and launch your course/program in your niche, you have the first mover advantage. Your competitors haven’t caught on. Yet. Unless you’re consistently innovating the offer, are two steps ahead of the competition, filling (and even delighting your customers’ needs) you risk a declining buyer base. Which prompts me to make point number two. 
  • Market saturation: Market saturation happens when offers in a particular niche are no longer in demand because of multiple offerings by competition or simply less in demand. 

9. SHALLOW SALES COPY: I realize this is an entire blog post (note to myself: crank out a blog post on said topic). But in short, if your sales copy tippy toes around the ideal reader’s problems and doesn’t provide the full breadth of opportunities (future pacing for the uninitiated) your solution has to offer…it’s not a full resounding YES on their part.

10. SWIPE CITY: “My name is Amisha Shrimanker, and I’m a self-confessed copy junkie/hoarder/swipe uploader.” Swipes serve as good inspiration, deducing copy techniques (if you’re a copywriter), and offer plenty of lessons in the art and science of copywriting. But relying 100% on someone else’s copy swipes and making ‘em work for you is like what happened to Lindsay Lohan when she physically switches places with Jamie Lee Curtis in Freaky Friday (yup, I’m totally dating myself here 😊). Messaging misalignment, personality and “voice” sounds off, and you end up confusing your readers.

Launches can be time-consuming, energy depleting, and let’s not even talk about the pendulum mood swinging. 

Take a coupla days to switch off from the go-go-go energy and do something that preferably involves no laptop activity – if you’re like me, you like to obsess over email metrics, hotjar data, or google analytics. Don’t do it. 

And remember…

Launching is a marathon. Not a sprint. 

Mini-improvements over time (ahem, like optimization. Had to get fancy.) are the compounding keys to success. 

Not every launch (for the same offer) looks the same. You could have off the charts success for the first time. Your second time could blow your first launch conversions out of the orbit or completely miss the mark and doing a nasty number on your brain.  

The good news is that you’ve got a validated offer…the rest is a fun game of continual improvement depending on which sneaky culprit you’re dealing with.