Launch Learnings: Why I’ll always have a waitlist

I wrote one of these “launch learnings” posts earlier this year and broke down everything that worked, what I wanted to try on the next launch, and what I wish I’d done differently.

Launching or re-launching an online course is a super interesting experiment that shows you how well you know your ideal customer. This is the fourth time I’ve launched Copy Class; the first time was in December 2019, the second was August 2020, the third was this January 2021, and the fourth was just last week at the end of May.

Important side bar; I was not planning on opening the doors again so soon. Briefly; I had planned to create and launch a NEW class (Copy for Course Creators; how to write and launch your digital course). But then I experienced an unexpected personal upheaval (I’m through the worst of it, now) and knew I wasn’t going to be able to give that project the time and attention it needed. So, I decided to go back to my roots- to the thing I’m so very proud of that has helped over 7K people learn to write their own high-converting copy…Copy Class.

I share that part of the launch story because I want to make it clear that I knew I wasn’t going to have the energy, time, or resources to do a lot of “promotion”. Here’s what made this launch different than the others;

  • I opened the doors for one week instead of two
  • I raised the price by $100 (this becomes important)
  • I incorporated a waitlist for the first time
  • I gave the people on that waitlist who signed up an exclusive bonus
  • I did very little in the way of “promotion” and/or affiliate marketing

Here’s what happened:

First, I made less revenue this launch, but not by much. Even with opening the cart for half the time as the last launch (last time the cart was open for two weeks), I still made 80% of what I made during my giant “balls to the wall” Jan/Feb launch. Lesson: delivering value during pre-launch and creating a waitlist is incredibly valuable.

Part of the reason my net profit was so close to my last launch was because I raised the price of Copy Class by $100 (something I’ve done pretty much every launch as I hear the results from students and tweak/improve the materials). BUT! Here was the biggest difference I saw with this launch versus all the others;

For the first time, participants who opted for the payment plan WAY outweighed the students who chose to pay in full.

January was the first time I offered a payment plan. During that launch 22% of sign-ups were payment plans. THIS launch, 75% of sign-ups were payment plans. That’s a HUGE learning for me and tells me I’ve hit a pricing sweet spot for my ideal customers.

Another factor I always look at during launches is conversion rate. That means the number of people on my email list who did NOT own Copy Class that I was able to “convert” into students. Last launch, that number was a whopping 3.8% (for reference, in general 1% conversion rate is good and 2% is excellent). This launch I calculated two conversion rates:

  • My overall conversion rate this launch was 2.2% – still excellent by industry standards, but lower than my last launch by a lot. HOWEVER….
  • My waitlist conversion rate was an INSANELY HIGH 8%!!!

Moral of the story: waitlists are essential to launch success!

I kinda can’t believe I’ve never done a separate sales sequence for my waitlist before. Previously, I had a landing page that said “Alert me when Copy Class re-opens” and the people who input their email to receive the alert would get just that: ONE alert!

THIS TIME I realized that those people were way more interested in Copy Class that the people on my general email list. So I decided to create a completely separate email sequence for those who’d showed interest, and reward them with an extra, exclusive bonus if they signed up for Copy Class.

I’m so, so pleased with the outcome of that experiment! As I said, my waitlist had an insane 8% conversion rate, and it felt so good to be able to say “thank you” with a special gift.

Finally; I want to share how my gratitude practice became a factor for success

This launch came at one of the hardest, most-challenging chapters of my personal life. I was experiencing a lot of feelings of self-doubt, and having to be very, very brave at a time when all I felt was terrified. I know…it sounds hippie woo woo; but consciously and intentionally expressing gratitude for each student who enrolled- and even for those who didn’t!- completely uplifted me through this experience.

Sometimes people don’t “get” why I share my mental health journey and/or why I open up about feeling vulnerable. It’s because when I’ve gone through a hard time myself, I ALWAYS look to the people I admire and read their stories to know I’m not alone. I shared some of what was happening for me on social media and in emails, and my heart was truly so humbled by all the incredible support I received from this beautiful online community.

The past month has been challenging a time when I really needed to be reminded of my worth. To get notes from students saying how empowered they felt after taking copy class, to hear that someone had finally launched their website after taking module 3 or had started making passive income because of the email marketing lessons in module 4…I truly can’t describe how deeply touched I am by every. single. note. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.

Until the next launch (sometime in the fall of 2021!),

PS- Wanna join that waiting list?! Git on it here!