June 1, 2024

Behind-the-Scenes of a $1.613M Course Launch

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In January of this year, I launched my new flagship course, The Creator MBA.

The idea for this product was to share everything I’ve learned about building online businesses, so other people could use my learnings to monetize their own knowledge.

As I outlined the course material, I realized this was going to be a monster. There was just so much information to share. And sure enough, the final product turned out to be 111 lessons and 19 hours of instructional video.

In the midst of building the course, I realized I needed to think about my launch strategy as much as I was thinking about the product itself.

This course would be more robust than my previous products, and the price point would be significantly higher. I was pouring my heart and soul into building the product, and I wanted to be equally thoughtful about the launch.

Having a sales background, I knew I had to present this to the right people, in the right way.

So I reached out to Brennan Dunn, a marketer known for specializing in segmentation and personalization to help me launch it.

The Big Problem With (Most) Course Launches

Launching a course is so much more than sending out a few emails and hoping people will buy your thing.

It's about understanding your audience and their problems, speaking directly to their needs, and keeping them engaged from the time they learn about your product, to the time they can buy (and beyond).

When I look at the typical launch for a digital product, many people create an interest list and then send out a few sales email around launch time saying, “It’s here! Buy now!” Candidly, I’ve made this exact same mistake.

That’s not a good strategy and, sadly, a poor launch can prevent an otherwise good product from reaching its potential.

With the Creator MBA, I took my old launch strategies to an entirely new level, and the results were well worth the investment. Today I’m going to tell you what I did, and I hope this newsletter will give you some ideas for your next product launch.

Let’s dive in.

The Strategy

Brennan designed a product called RightMessage, which enables an email sender to personalize messages to different subscribers - effectively showing two different people two different messages based on what you know about them. It’s modern day magic for selling digital products.

We used RightMessage to implement a personalization strategy that made a big impact.

Here's what we did:

Set Up an Interest List: We created a straightforward landing page to collect email addresses from interested people. About 18,000 people signed up.

Surveyed the List: Instead of a typical “thank you” page after people signed up, we displayed a quick survey, using RightMessage. The survey helped us understand what stage each subscriber was at in their business, how they made money online, what social platform they used, their biggest challenges, and more.

Kept the List Warm: We avoided the mistake of letting months pass without communicating with people who told us they were interested. Instead, we sent weekly emails, sharing the course creation process and building anticipation.

Developed a Baseline Launch Sequence: We crafted a standard 6-day product launch sequence tailored to the most common persona on our interest list — those who hadn't started their business yet, but wanted to sell digital courses.

Segmented the Audience: Based on our survey results, we identified two critical segmentation dimensions: business stage and primary income source. And this allowed us to create targeted messaging. Every email had a few sentences that were personalized and custom to the reader, based on what they told us in their survey.

Expanded the Launch Sequence: We wrote six additional emails, each tailored to different segments of our audience. For example, one email focused on helping those who were just starting, another for side hustlers, and another for full-time business owners.

Personalized the Sales Page: We used our survey data to tweak the sales page, ensuring it aligned with the personalized emails. Each person saw a header and sub-header on the landing page that was relevant to the data we collected from them.

The Results

The launch planning and execution was a big effort, but it was well worth the investment. Here is how the launch went:

  • $1.61M in total revenue
  • 2,850 purchases
  • Average transaction value of $566
  • Customers from 90+ different countries

Here’s the cool part — by running an A/B test, we discovered that the personalized emails increased the purchase rate by 38% compared to the baseline emails.

The control group had an 8.69% purchase rate, while the personalized group saw a 12.01% purchase rate.

This significant increase validated the time and effort spent on personalization and helped the launch do an additional $650,000.

Takeaways for Your Next Launch

My biggest learning, after building and selling several courses, is this —  building your product is only half of the work. A good product deserves an equally thoughtful launch to engage the right customers and prepare them to buy.

Here are some things I want you to keep in mind:

  1. Know Your Audience: Use surveys or other tools to understand your audience's specific needs, and tailor your messaging accordingly.
  2. Keep Your List Warm: Regular communication keeps your audience engaged and excited about your upcoming product.
  3. Personalize Your Messaging: Even the simplest personalization can improve your conversion rates by more than you’d think. Look for opportunities to get personal wherever you can.
  4. Test and Measure: Run controlled tests to see what works best for your audience.

If you’re interested in learning more about building stuff like this, check out The Creator MBA.

This course is a comprehensive guide on building and launching successful online businesses. It’s designed to help you avoid common pitfalls (like having an unsuccessful product launch) and to help you leverage strategies to grow your business.

Start Watching the Creator MBA Now

Personalization doesn't have to be overwhelming. And with the right approach, it can lead to substantial gains, without excessive effort.

And that’s all for this week.

See you next Saturday.

Whenever you're ready, there are 4 ways I can help you:

1. The Creator MBA:  Join 4,000+ entrepreneurs in my flagship course. The Creator MBA teaches you exactly how to build a lean, focused, and profitable Internet business. Come inside and get 5 years of online business expertise, proven methods, and actionable strategies across 111 in-depth lessons.

2. The LinkedIn Operating System:​  Join 22,500 students and 50 LinkedIn Top Voices inside of The LinkedIn Operating System. This comprehensive course will teach you the system I used to grow from 2K to 550K+ followers, be named a Top Voice and earn $7.5M+ in income.

3. The Content Operating System​:  Join 10,000 students in my multi-step content creation system. Learn to create a high-quality newsletter and 6-12 pieces of high-performance social media content each week.

4. ​Promote yourself to 215,000+ subscribers​ by sponsoring my newsletter.

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