Go behind the scenes of our recent product launch for our Manifesting Challenge and $197 Manifesting Course to see how we implement Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula to achieve 6-figures in revenue, a 15,000 person launch list and added 7,600 new leads to our list in two weeks. Here’s our behind the scenes review…
Hi I’m Mark Duffield-Thomas and as well as being Denise’s husband, I joined the Lucky Bitch business last year to oversee our launch and partnership strategies.
We will run 2-3 product launches each year and work with a select group of key affiliate partners (Marie Forleo, Jeff Walker, etc) to support their launches each year. My background is in sales, marketing and sports so it’s been fun learning about and adjusting to working in a new industry and most significantly to working with my wife (plenty more on that in the future).
I want to share with you some detailed results from a product launch we completed in March 2017 including all our juicy stats, secrets and what we learned. This was by no means a perfect launch and we don’t share this information to brag. If you’re triggered by reading any of these results then simply move on, but we hope some of this info can be helpful in your business. We see a lot of inflated claims around sales and launch numbers, so we want to be honest – these are our real numbers… it was hard work but this was a good launch.
This is a long article, so here’s the headline stats (in USD):
- $297 product offered at limited time $100 discount to $197
- 5 Day Manifesting Challenge with 15,000 participants
- Most products ever sold in a launch
- Highest ever launch conversion rate
- $155,000 in revenue…
STOP! Before we jump into the review, if you’re planning your own product or business launch I highly recommend you check out Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula. This is the exact launch process and system I use in all my launches that has helped me create over $2.6m in revenue in 21 months. Jeff only opens enrolment once a year and the next intake will be September 2018. As an affiliate partner I’ll be offering over $2,000 worth of FREE “Behind the Scenes” bonuses revealing my launch strategy, sequence, email swipe file, results and even access to my launch team from my biggest ever launches. Join my PLF Interest List to be amongst the first to hear when PLF is open for enrolment.
Ok, here’s the Launch Review…
For the last few years we’ve had an evergreen funnel running with a free video series for the Manifesting Formula which built towards a special offer for our Manifesting Course. This was a good lead magnet that helped grow our mailing list, and which, at it’s height, was generating over $10,000 per month.
The content is really solid and as a more affordable entry level product than our Money Bootcamp, the free videos and the paid course are popular – they really help people and we’ve gotten some great case studies.
So we decided to refresh the course with new pre-launch videos, new branding and a new sales page and put together a PLF-style re-launch with our affiliate partners in March 2017. We offered the course at $197 ($100 discount) with an upgrade offer to the Money Bootcamp.
Product Launch Goals
With a $197 product we knew this launch wasn’t going to break any revenue records but we had four goals for this launch:
- Grow the newsletter list. We have two high priced product launches planned for later in the year so we wanted to add new leads to our list to introduce them to other courses in future launches. We know the best way to do this is to give value and share great content.
- Engage our Affiliate Partners. Again with a view on future launches, we wanted to provide our partners with an opportunity to experience a full launch, learn to work with us, get comfortable with promoting our content and hopefully make some commission.
- Revenue. We set a $100,000 revenue target which is a lot smaller than our past few launches but still a decent number given the price of the product.
- Test and refine the Manifesting Course funnel. By running this launch we hoped to optimise the Manifesting funnel to allow us to create a new evergreen funnel to drive revenue and list growth.
Product Launch Schedule
Here’s the Launch Schedule and how we structured the sales funnel…
We have been implementing a PLF style product launch strategy in our business for a little over 12 months and experienced our most successful launches ever and significant revenue growth. Read our detailed review of Jeff Walker’s PLF program here.
Product Launch Results
Here’s some more detail on the key stats behind the performance of the launch:
Through our existing email list, social media, Facebook and Instagram advertising, and our affiliate partners, the 5 Day Manifesting Challenge was widely promoted and well received.
The challenge concept was extremely popular with one free training video being delivered per day over 5 days. With more and more people offering free 3-part video series as pre-launch content the 5 Day challenge was something cool and different that our people really responded too.
13,686 Potential Customers
11% of the challenge opt-ins for the challenge were existing Manifesting Course customers so we excluded them from the sales funnel. From the original 15,377 opt-ins, this left us with 13,686 new potential customers.
7,601 New Leads
55% of our “Potential Customer” pool were completely new leads (7,601) that joined our list for this challenge. This was a big number for us and more than double the target we had for list growth! This once again confirmed for us that despite unsubscribes increasing during promotions like this, launches are absolutely one of the best tools available to grow your list quickly. Our affiliate partners and Facebook advertising were the key to expanding our reach during the 5 day challenge period.
Optimized Opt-in Page
During the Challenge we split test several versions of the opt-in page to tweak and improve. Here’s how the page evolved and during this time we also refined and optimised our Facebook ads and audience to help increase conversions.
Control version = ~40% opt-in conversion
Version 2 = ~55% opt-in conversion
Version 3 = ~60% conversion
4.7% Conversion Rate
We often talk about sales funnels that convert 1% and I heard recently that when major online players hold big launches they aim for conversion rates of around 3% so we were thrilled with our 4.7% conversion rate.
This was 643 sales of the Manifesting Course from our pool of 13,686 potential customers that opted in to the Challenge and it generated $130,000. Incidentally the 643 sales is about 1% of our overall email list so it depends on how you calculate your conversion rate but we focused on converting the Challenge opt-ins and tried to minimise emails to the full list.
38% of Sales were on Payment Plan
We offered a 2 x $99 Payment Plan option at two points in the sales funnel. Firstly it was offered 3 hours after an abandoned cart to try and capture a lost sale.
This worked well but the real impact of the payment plan was in the final 24 hours of the open-cart period when we offered the payment plan to everyone, which contributed towards a record final day of 270 sales.
Offering a payment plan does appeal to a more cost conscious customer and we will monitor default rates next month but the net position seems to make the extra work needed to chase payments worth it. On previous launches, we found about 19% overall default rate, which is way below industry averages (we’ve heard from people who have an overall 30% default rate), so take that into consideration if you’re considering a long payment plan. It’s a LOT of work to administer.
One-Click Upsell generated extra $25,000
Members of our Money Bootcamp receive the Manifesting Course as a bonus. So when someone new purchased the Manifesting Course we offered them the opportunity to upgrade to the Bootcamp and save the $197 they had already spent off the price of enrollment.
This was offered on the thank you page after the $197 purchase as a one-off deal. For the first time we also made this a “One-Click Upsell” feature (implementation cost about $500) so the customer did not need to re-enter any purchase details. 18 people upgraded to Bootcamp (3% of purchasers) generating an additional $25,000 in revenue.
We think this upsell conversion rate can be improved and concluded that the jump from $197 to $1,497 was simply too big for the majority of customers, especially as many of them were brand new to our list. For future launches we would probably consider a jump from a $200 to a $500 product. Here’s the upsell / thank you page showing orange upsell buttons:
45% Affiliate Sales
Almost 300 of our sales came from our awesome affiliate partners. This percentage is consistent with previous launches and means we’ll pay about $30,000 in affiliate commission over the next two months. We also offered $4,250 in cash prizes for our Leads and Sales contests so approximately $35k paid to affiliates in exchange for roughly 5,000 new leads and $70,000 of sales. Because the product price was low we also incentivised affiliates by extending the length of our cookies/lead tracking which means they will get paid on their leads our next launch too.
6 Person Launch Team (Part timers and Contractors)
This was a more complex and detailed sales funnel than our previous launches and we wanted to step up our performance so we invested in additional team members for this launch.
In addition to myself in the roll of Partner and Launch Manager, we had our normal operations/admin manager (30 hrs per week), designer (on retainer) and customer service person (20 hours per week). We worked with an experienced Marketing and Launch Coach who reviewed the strategy, funnel and sales copy, plus we outsourced the creation and management of our Facebook advertising.
Despite her being in the videos and active in the Facebook community, we were able to run this launch with minimal involvement from Denise. Denise reviewed and approved emails but did not need to be involved in any of the planning or execution of the launch which meant she was able to be off-site filming content videos for a completely different product during the final few days of the launch.
Note from Denise: This is the first time in 6 years that I haven’t been involved in the actual day to day work of a launch, and it wasn’t easy for me to give up control! But I’m trying to stay in the CEO mindset, and stay in my Zone of Genius. I can no longer be the bottleneck to the growth of the company! I want to impact hundreds of thousands, if not millions of women. I can’t do that alone.
$19,000 Launch Budget
Excluding Denise and my own time, and affiliate commissions, our other product launch costs worked out to be about 13% of revenue and were broken down as:
- Operations, Design & Customer Service – $4,000
- Coaches & Consultant – $5,000
- Facebook Advertising – $6,000
- Affiliate Leads Contest – $4,250
We got approximately 2,000 new leads from FB ads to cold traffic (We paid about $2 per lead which is great value) which was a strong return, but the main value was in retargeting participants in the challenge. We ramped up the retargeting in the final 24 hours of the cart open period and combined with our payment plan offer and the other close technique of adding a new bonus these three combined for a huge final day of sales.
Note from Denise: This sounds super intimidating, but remember that my first few launches were done on zero budget, just my time (and lots of 3am deadlines). Start with where you are and with what you’ve got right now. My first course had just one person. The first time I ran the Manifesting Course, it had 5 sales. The first Bootcamp had 20 people. Just start!
Key Product Launch Lessons
Cheaper product does not mean less work
Even though this was an entry level priced product, the amount of work involved in doing this launch well was the same (if not more) as our $750,000 product launch last October.
Read that again – equal if not more work for $150,000 than $750,000.
This launch needed the same, if not more, planning, executive, sales copy, affiliate communication, tracking and promotion. We wrote 20,000 words of sales and affiliate emails! The result was good, but if each launch takes the same amount of work, why not focus on the bigger ticket items? If we’d done these sorts of numbers with a higher priced product we could have gone close to a 7-figure launch…
For us, it was part of a bigger strategy. Grow our list and engage our affiliate partners, so we can impact more people in the future. Get some of our processes working perfectly so we can grow for future launches. Show Denise that she can give up the reins to others…
Note from Denise: This is why I harp on about getting your pricing right. Because it’s often harder to sell a cheaper product than a more premium priced one. Trust me on this one!
Abandon Cart emails work
They say “the fortune is in the follow up” and paying attention to the little things is so important.
This is the first product launch we have run with a structured Abandon Cart email sequence. When someone reached the sales cart and failed to complete the purchase transaction we sent them an email 30 minutes later (hey, just touching base, do you have any questions?) and then 3 hours later (offering 2 pay payment plan). These emails “won back” 15 previously lost sales.
Note from Denise: I abandon carts all the time because I forgot, or the internet was slow, or my phone rang or something else… Your customers can often totally intend to purchase and then something comes up. Follow them up.
About three days before the end of each launch I start to panic that the launch wasn’t working. I worried that the sales message was not right or the funnel was leaky and worry that sales aren’t going to come in (it’s my scarcity money block coming out). Then without fail, just as Jeff Walker teaches, the numbers play out. We followed the system and used the final few days to offer a payment plan, add a new bonus and sent two close emails on the final day and 76% of our sales came in the final 72 hours! 42% of our sales came on the final day of the cart open period. Trust the system!
Note from Denise: I’ve been through more launches than Mark so I totally understand this, but he freaks every single time! Keep the faith.
Community, competition and clear instructions for affiliates
For this launch we created a private Facebook Group for our affiliate partners and channeled our daily communication and updates through this. The engagement, support and energy of the group was brilliant and the leads and sales contests meant there was a healthy dose of competition in there too.
Many of our affiliate partners were new so we gave detailed instructions, answered a lot of questions and provided multiple options for email subjects and swipe copy. We wanted as many of our affiliates as possible to learn and earn during this launch because we knew it would help us for future product launches. Many of them have now been exposed to a complex launch and earned some commission to make them more inclined to be involved in the future. 110 of our affiliate partners earned a commission on this launch – that’s a pretty great number of aspiring entrepreneurs and families to be able to help.
Note from Denise: I’m not a competitive person, so I’ve always shied away from doing sales and leads competitions (I don’t even like to play Monopoly!), but it works! Human nature is often inspired by a little friendly competition. I agreed to this as long as I didn’t have to be too involved! Luckily Mark loves competition!
The key feedback from our affiliate partners was giving them more lead-time with copy and promotional items. Certainly we could have provided this content earlier and given them more time at the start of the launch to promote the Challenge before we actually kicked off. This could have added even more affiliate engagement and more new leads and we will aim to do this in the future.
Note from Denise – this has been a big challenge for me over the years. I’m not often good at planning out too long in advance. But now on the other side of it, we’re booked out months in advance for promos, so I can’t say yes to last minute affiliate requests myself. So if you want people to commit, get in their calendars early.
I wish we had one extra week before the launch kicked off to test all of links and LeadPages. Facebook seem to be tightening up their advertising policy which means a lot of our adverts linking to pages featuring the word “bitch” were declined. We had to deal with this problem on the fly which created extra work and stress for our team and probably cost us 2 days of lead generation adverts. We even had to hastily bash together a “non-bitch” version of our sales page – this is a big learning for us and something we will test more thoroughly for the next launch. Probably not a problem for you – most people tend to avoid swear words in your business names! 🙂
During our 5 Day Challenge, our sales cart was not officially open but under the daily videos and in some P.S. sections of emails we did offer people the chance to “take Fast Action” and purchase the Manifesting Course early. This was a new and simple addition to our video pages – just a basic text button linking straight to the sales page. We had 45 sales during this pre open-cart period which was a nice bonus – about 7% of total revenue.
Note from Denise: It’s a big lesson that most people “get” that you’re in a launch and are curious about what the “sell” is going to be. Some people like to make decisions quickly, so give them the opportunity to buy from you quickly.
PDF Recap Report
We have to thank our Marketing Coach for this one, it was a simple but brilliant idea. At the end of the Manifesting Challenge we created a simple PDF Special Report to recap the Challenge.
This was just the transcripts of the 5 daily videos with links back to the videos and then a link to the sales page. We sent this recap to all 15,000 participants but more importantly, because it was a new freebie, we also sent the recap out to our full list (ICYMI here’s a recap of the challenge). We also allowed affiliates to send out the recap to their lists again.
Technically the challenge has finished but this recap report helped us add 1,025 new leads to the challenge which then translated into 16 unexpected bonus sales during the open cart. Not massive but a little boost.
Note from Denise: When I started providing transcripts to my blogs, I got so many thank yous. Remember, not everyone likes to watch videos. I’m a way faster reader, so I get impatient too. Providing this at a later date gives you another touch point too.
In the space of two weeks we’ve been able to put 15,000 people through a funnel to allow us to test and optimise it. We know the funnel converted at nearly 5% and at times our optimised opt-in pages were converting 70% of people into Challenge participants. This is really valuable info and we now plan to convert this product launch into an evergreen funnel through which we will push cold Facebook traffic. This will both grow our list and generate ongoing passive income – win!
Don’t forget the previous Product Launch Lessons
After our last launch we concluded that launches are intense and can be fun but stressful and that the only way to get through them is with an increased level of planning, self-care, sleep, extra child care and minimal distractions… so what do we do… roll out another launch with sick kids, Denise and nanny traveling, late nights, new staff and new systems – doh!
Still plenty to work on!
Refunds & Money Back Guarantee
We shortened our Money Back Guarantee policy for this lower priced product to 7 days and will be tightening all of our policies moving forward. We had 2% refunds which we were comfortable with given the number of first time purchasers who were brand new to Denise’s style.
Finally, a special welcome to the 600+ new Lucky Bees in our community and our amazing group of affiliate partners – this launch would not have been possible (or half as much fun) without you – you rock.
No rest for the wicked – we’re already planning our next launch for late May… watch this space.
Final note from Denise
Massive thanks to my team for pulling this off, especially while I was off filming!
Amber Kinney is such an amazing right hand gal, David Kinney is rapidly becoming indispensable too, and Joyce Lukaczer is an awesome new addition to our customer service team. Ellissa Jayne and her team make everything look FABULOUS as our graphic designers.
Biggest thanks to my hubby Mark. It’s not easy to work behind the scenes when your wife is the face of the business, a recovering control freak and/or has not-so diplomatic ways of giving feedback! Thank you for your unwavering support, endless patience and massive dream for our family. We love you.