Planning an Online Launch When You Don’t Have a List

Launching Online, List Building

The money is in your list.

In the world of online marketing, there is a lot of talk about lists. Email lists. It’s true, an email list will convert into sales more easily than a social media presence most of the time, mainly because you can control who is seeing your content and when they are seeing it.

Every once in a while, however, there is an outlier. A recent launch I did with Josephine was one such example.

When we started working together, she had no list to speak of. She had a 1:1 consulting practice, and a few email addresses of current and past clients, but no one really on the list that she could market her new, multi-week, group program to.

“No worries!” she said. “I have an awesome following on strings.”

I was doubtful. I didn’t even know what a string was (turns out it’s a type of message board), and I’d learned in all of my years of experience was that you need a list to have a successful online launch.

Using a Plan for Launches is Key

We set up her launch plan exactly the way I do for all of my 1:1 clients, by considering what needed to be done, and setting up the plan accordingly. I broke down the tasks and she completed them one at a time. Because we knew she needed time for the list to be built, we adjusted the plan accordingly.  We created a lead magnet we knew her perfect clients would love and she posted it in her strings, where she had built up a loyal following of people from all of the help and goodwill she’d given over the years.

Within a few weeks of releasing her lead magnet/freebie she had several hundred people on her list.

She followed the plan we’d set up to a T, rarely missing a deadline I’d set for her and making sure she was continuing to check in with the people who’d asked for more info to make sure they didn’t feel abandoned while she was continuing to collect enough email addresses to launch.

Within two months of her lead magnet first going out, we closed cart on her first launch ever – a $20k launch, with a 20% conversion rate. That type of conversion rate is virtually unheard of in the launch of a new product to a new list.

Here’s Why It Worked to Build a List During the Launch…

  • She had a plan – and she followed it. So often people choose an arbitrary date for a launch without considering the tasks that need to be done in order for the launch to be completed. Not every week was perfect, but when she got off track she worked twice as hard the next week to get caught up.
  • She’d spent years building up credibility and offering value and service to the people on the strings she was on.  She had a loyal following. Once we had the lead magnet ready to go, she posted a link to it there with permission from the string manager and people were excited to get it because they knew her and trusted her.
  • Once the list was created, she didn’t just let it sit and continue to focus on strings. She gave as much good will and content in the emails she sent out weekly as she had on the strings where people had met her. She realized the people already on her list were at least as important as those she still wanted to add to her list. Often times we try so hard to build our lists we forget to really provide value to the people who are already on our lists.
  • She had 1:1 clients she’d worked with in the past that came out of the woodwork to offer testimonials when they found out she was launching. She’d done a lot of work before she decided to launch in knowing and serving her ideal people.
  • Even though she was easily the least tech savvy person I’ve ever worked with (she would laugh about how non-techie she was), she was determined to learn. I’d show her how to do something and she’d do it, asking questions if she needed to.

This launch was the perfect example of how sometimes, you can be surprised in launching and that following a plan and investing time in your ideal clients can make all the difference in a successful launch.

If you’d like help creating a launch plan, you may be interested in my customized launch plan services. You can find more information here. 

Build an Email List



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