Episode 325 | Building a Killer Email Launch Sequence

Show Notes

In this episode of Startups For The Rest Of us, Rob and Mike talk about building a killer email launch sequence.  Drawing from their collective experiences launching various books, software products, SaaS apps, and membership websites they discuss their thoughts and framework on the topic. Some of the points discussed in detail include elements of a sale letter, how many emails to send, and things to do on launch day.

Items mentioned in this episode:


Rob: In this episode of Startups for the Rest of Us, Mike and I talk about building a killer email launch sequence. This is Startups for the Rest of Us episode 325.

Welcome to ‘Startups for the Rest of Us,’ the podcast that helps developers, designers, and entrepreneurs be awesome at launching software products whether you’ve built your first product or you’re just thinking about it. I’m Rob.

Mike: And I’m Mike.

Rob: And we’re here to share our experiences to help you avoid the same mistakes we’ve made. What’s the word this week, sir?

Mike: Well, I’m doing some ongoing work to polish up my Zapier integration, and it turned out to be a lot more troublesome than I had originally expected. There are certain requirements that they have about data that they expect back, so I had to go in and make a bunch more changes on top of the ones I already made to the API, and their documentation isn’t very clear on some of the things that you need to do. It’s technically correct, and I talked to someone about this over there, but not very helpful.

Rob: Yeah, that’s a bummer. I think I mentioned last time- because did you mention last time you were working on it?

Mike: Yeah. Especially getting our V1 Zapier integration. We ran into some struggles with it which is surprising because they have so many people integrating with it I would think it would be more of a well-honed process. I know that when I’ve done the V2, and I think we may even have the V3 out now, it got easier. There are still some tricky areas, but overall, once you have something that works it’s a lot easier to iterate on that.

Yeah, I think the issue is just when you go in you don’t even have a baseline and so you’ve done things your own way so you have your way of interfacing with the world and it doesn’t necessarily match up with what their expectation is of their way of interfacing with the world or with all the different APIs so they essentially set the standard that everybody else has to follow at this point.

Rob: Right. Yep, cool. On my end, we are hiring two more developers at Drip: front end and [?] developer, so that’s always fun ramping up those efforts. As you know, it’s very time-consuming to find good people. I think we’ll be pretty much constantly hiring throughout this year just with the trial and customer growth since [?] acquired us. We just have more and more needs to scale and to build more features and just everything that comes with that. I used to marvel- I don’t understand how these teams get so big. Why do you need fifteen people to run a software product? Why do you need twenty people? But I see it now that you get so many systems and then when you’re growing it at double-digit percentage every month, those systems every 4-6 months, they run out of capacity. Whether it’s a database or whether it’s a queue, whatever it is, that code is not built to basically double in usage every, whatever it is, six months. So you have to circle back and in the early days there’s almost none of it so you’re just doing features. But as you start to circle back to all these systems you’re maintaining, we’re finding we need a full-time developer on just one sub-system now just to keep it going, and that’s not even really improving it that much, it’s just to kind of keep up with the needs of the customer base as it grows.

Mike: Yeah, I was going to point out that there gets to a point where some of the different subsystems must need somebody full-time to work on just that. And those pieces get complicated, and as they get more complicated, it makes it more difficult to move from one subsystem to another because it is so complicated and it takes you so long to get back to a base level of understanding how did we write this and what were the different [etch-cases?] that we ran into so when I’m making changes I don’t break other things? And having that one person responsible for that one piece of it makes things a lot easier because then you don’t have to do that context switching all the time.

Rob: Yeah, totally. Other thing on my radar is Sherry and I are heading to Los Angeles this weekend for a quick getaway. I’m leaving Friday, I think my plane leaves at 5 or something, and we’re back by Sunday afternoon. It’s so cool to be in the city. We live in Minneapolis, and we’re twenty minutes from a major airport, and it’s a nonstop flight, less than four hours to LA from here. It’s crazy to have that flexibility, and I think it was like $210 to do it. I’ve really enjoyed that part about being in a larger city because Fresno was always a hop. Basically you always had a stop somewhere, and that stop just adds complexity. Your luggage gets lost more often, that stop always takes an hour or two hours and there’s just so much that can go wrong and you’re up and down and doing all this stuff, and I find that a nonstop flight now, that’s what I strive for. So the fact I would never do like 6 or 8 hour travel day. To get from Fresno to Minneapolis is like seven hours or something because it’s not nonstop, but I would never do that for a weekend because then you lose Sunday and you lose basically all day Friday, but in this case I can get there, especially with the time change around dinner time or a little later on Friday, and then we head back early afternoon on Sunday. I’m kind of marveling at the time efficiency of that.

Mike: You know, I just looked it up while you were talking, and the temperature difference between Minneapolis and Los Angeles is about twenty degrees, so that’s about $10 per degree.

Rob: I know, I know. We’re going for a friend’s birthday party and we’re hanging out with a bunch of people on Redondo Beach. It’s gonna be a blast. But Minneapolis — the polar vortex is coming through — so we’ve been subzero temperatures or 5 degrees has been the high, and all this time in LA it’s been 60s and 70s and we go to show up and suddenly this week Minneapolis is all in the 30s and 40s which is crazy for this time of year, and LA is in the 50s and 60s. It’s like they are meeting in the middle. It’s not the right week to go, but I guess we’ll take what we can get.

Mike: Yeah, I was just going to say turn the heat up a little bit. Whatever.

Rob: That’s what I should do.

So in today’s episode it’s about building a killer email launch sequence, and it was prompted by an email sent to us by [JP Boley?] at metrics.watch, that’s their website. And he says, “Hey guys, love the show and all the stuff you put out there. I’m about to launch a new product in about 2-3 weeks, and I want to have a great launch. I have some things planned, but I fear I might miss some of the basics and really want to get it as right as possible. Do you have any resources that suggest how to successfully launch and what a launch sequence might look like in 2017? The tool we’re launching is the third product of my business Metrics Watch, which is email reports and real time alerts for Google Analytics, and the next one is a freemium tool that scans Google Analytics accounts and tells people if they have spam or fake traffic in Google Analytics and how to fix it.”

So thanks for the question, JP. We’re going to take the next 20 or 30 minutes to talk through how we would craft a launch sequence and this is based on experience launching- between the two of us- books, software products, SaaS apps, info products, [?] Academy, Founder Cafe, which are online membership models- so really kind of the gamut.

Mike: MicroConf too.

Rob: MicroConf as well, right? We have a launch sequence there, an in-person event as well. So we’ve done this a lot, and there are a lot of way to do it, but I want to put out maybe a concrete framework that shows like step by step if you want to take this and run with it, go do that. And we also want to talk through how we think about it and why we get to the conclusion on which emails we send on which days. I also cover this in my book, Start Small, Stay Small in quite a bit of detail. Little bit different conclusion that I come to here because it was 5-6 years ago that I published that and some things have changed. I think the best way to get a sense of how to do a launch sequence is to basically get on someone else’s launch list and see how it feels to receive the quantity and the tone and the style of their emails.

One example is a friend of mine a couple months ago did a launch for kind of a training product, and I was on his list, and it was like irritating as hell. It was a really overbearing launch, and it was very much not in line with his personality. It was odd. I could tell he didn’t write the copy, it wasn’t in his voice, there were way too many emails. He was just hammering us, and if you’re not on the receiving end of those and you’re just sending them, you don’t know how it feels. I think getting on a couple launch sequences from people and seeing I like the feel of this or I didn’t like the feel of that can help you decide what feels right to you and what feels like it is in your voice and what feels like it is probably the right approach within the guidelines and within the layout today.

So we’re gonna give some ranges here. You can send 2 emails, you can send 10 emails. But which one’s right? A lot of it depends on your own personal taste and your relationship with your audience.

Mike: One thing to mention about places you can find products to get on to the different launch sequences because that might be an initial hangup that you have- how do I find some of those products where they have a launch sequence going?

I would head over to Product Hunt to start out with. And then from there you should be able to find a bunch of different products that people are launching, and then I would sign up for several of them, not just one or two because you are very likely to find somewhere they don’t have a very good launch sequence or they don’t even have one. They just basically put the product out there and get a bunch of sign ups on their page, but they don’t necessarily follow up with them and follow through with a full-blown launch sequence, so you’ll probably have to try out a hand full of them, I would probably say 6-12 of them. And then what you can do is take those and throw them into a folder, use them essentially as a Swipe file, and then look through to see how they go through the process of pitching the product or the offering they have.

Another thing you can do is you can go out to, I’ll say some rather well-known entrepreneurs in the software space, and identify what products they have available and get on to their email lists. Another option is looking specifically for book authors or information or training products of authors. So those tend to be dialed in pretty well. Obviously, they are not perfect, but a lot of different people are doing those types of things. Those are places you can start to find examples of what you can do that are very specific to a particular product as opposed to talking about it generally, which is what we’re going to do.

Rob: And my first exposure to a lot of this talk around launch sequences was Jeff Walker’s product launch formula, and I never actually bought that. It was about $2000 and it was at a time when it wasn’t really worth it to me, but in essence he kind of lays a bunch of stuff out anyways, so I kind of took the model that he laid out in his free content and used it to develop early launch sequences for products I was launching. And then I’ve slowly adapted those over time based on the audience and the product that was launching. In essence, what he talks about is doing something called the sideways sales letter. A lot of folks do this these days, but it’s still really [rarely?] effective. The concept of a sales letter, if you haven’t heard of that, in essence, if you think of a long form home page where it’s really just text, it’s almost a big long essay or blog post- the point of the letter is to essentially show you the value of a product and get someone to hit the buy now button. And there are ways to write really good sales letters. I would say that the old Jerk homepage- you can look at that on archive.org, maybe six months ago, that was a really solid SaaS sales letter. I spent a lot of time crafting it. It got good results, it made a statement, it used a lot of you words, it talked to the reader. Then you can write really crappy cheesy [?], and those I’m sure you can find on clickbank or something like that. But there are really six components of the sales letter. First is the opener, and you want something really good, really engaging because otherwise, someone’s not going to keep reading. You want to identify the problem, and during this time you’re using a lot of “you” language. Talking directly to the reader saying you’re a developer, you feel this. You want to launch a product but… you’re kind of putting words in their mouth, and if they’re not that person, they are going to leave, but if they are, it’s going to captivate, and they’re going to feel like, “Whoa, this person is talking exactly to me.” And then you present the solution. That’s the thing you’re selling. Then you want to add on social proof, a moneyback guarantee — that’s the fourth element. The fifth is essentially the stick, and this is up to you, but the penalty if you don’t do this. If you don’t do this, you’re going to be circling around, you’re never going to launch your product, you’re never going to market, or whatever. And the sixth is, in essence, the close, you ask for the sale. Those are the elements, and they can be in different orders and there are different variations of them but those are the fundamental six areas of a sales letter.

If you want more information on that, I would go read Dan Kennedy’s ultimate sales letter. It’s available in Kindle and Print. It’s probably the first book I read on sales letters, and as much as I don’t like a lot of Dan Kennedy’s teachings — I think he crosses the line in terms of … he’s just really old-school internet marketing in a way that is really irritating to me, but with that said, this book is a really good overview of how to write a sales letter and the components that you should think about and the ways to write them.

Mike: Let’s talk a little bit more about the sales letters. Just keep in mind that the entire intent of the sales letter is to help move somebody from where they are today into a position where they are going to take the next step and become a customer. That’s the whole purpose of the sales letter. You can do that in different ways, as Rob said. You can move things out of order, you can change, for example, your presenting this solution, social proof and guarantee. You can change up the order of some of those thing a little bit or mix and match them a little bit. Say here’s the problem and here’s the solution and throw some social proof in there and provide a little bit of a stick or a penalty and say this is what will happen if you don’t and you alternate back and go back to the solution and say by the way, this other problem over here is also taken care of. So you don’t have to go directly in that order, but again, the purpose of those is really to help somebody move their mindset from one place to another.

Rob: That’s a good point. Circling back to Jeff Walker, again, he has this product launch formula, and it’s about writing a sideways sales letter. So it’s taking a sales letter and instead of having it be this long thing of text, you basically break it up and send it out over time. You might send the first three sections in the first email and the second two in the next one. You don’t do that exactly, but you get the idea that each email has a particular point during the launch, and you’re basically covering these same topics: you need an opener, you identify the problem, you present the solution, you have social proof and a guarantee, perhaps you have a stick, and then you have a close, and then you just do those in a sequence of emails however you break it up. In my experience, the optimal number of emails is between 3 and 7 over the course of sometimes one, sometimes two weeks. That’s how I think about it. I personally tend toward 5-email launches, meaning that the launch has 5 emails in it, but it depends on how much your list loves you, and how much of a pain in the butt you want to be. To be honest, the more emails you send in a launch almost without exception the more sales you will make. But the tradeoff is that the more emails you send, the more unsubscribes and then ultimately complaints you will receive, so you have to find that balance depending on your niche. Like stock-picking sites, they send a ton of email. 9, 10, 11 emails, just crazy volume. Twice a day, all that stuff versus if you’re sending to developers, if you send twice a day, you’re going to get people starting to mark stuff as spam. So you have to figure out the relationship you have with your audience as well as the niche you’re in. That’s why I give out the range of 3 to 7. If you’re not sending 3, you’re probably not sending enough, and when you start creeping up in the 6, 7, 8 range you better have some really good content you’re sending out or else people are going to bail.

Mike: The other thing to keep in mind is the timeline has a lot to do with that, so Rob was just talking there about 3-7 over the course of a week, but if you’re going to start putting yourself in front of people 2-3 weeks out or 5 weeks out, you have a lot more flexibility to start sending more emails because there’s more space in between them. But as you get closer to that launch date, you’re probably going to want to ramp them out so instead of sending 1 a week, for example, for 3-4 weeks, you’d send one every couple of days. And it’s really that last week where you send that 3-7 emails in an effort to get up to the point where you’re building that anticipation, and that’s part of what these emails are about: building anticipation for the product launch. And the people who are interested in it are going to be looking forward to those emails, but as Rob said, there are people who are going to be turned off by it or not ready yet or they’re not in a position where they can take advantage of it. And if you start inundating those people with those email, they will walk away. They will unsubscribe. So it is a balancing act. Sometimes you can balance that out by giving them an option: hey, if you’re not ready right now, just click here, and we’ll follow up with you in 3-4 months, so you can sort of head those things off, but at the same time you don’t want to put too many things on your plate if you don’t have time to start implementing things or trying to think of ways to handle too many [edge?] cases. It really depends on the size of your list and what it is you’re going for.

Rob: In terms of the overall launch, a good launch has some type of reward you’re able to offer that people won’t get at another time. So like some epic course you’ve created, a sequence of interviews, something that is valuable to people that could be a discount on the product itself that you only discount for the first few days, or if it’s a SaaS app maybe you get a lifetime discount for the whole time or you get maybe it’s not even a discount, like with Drip we still charge the $49, but we doubled everyone’s- what they got for that $49 because I didn’t want to be selling things for $24.50 a month. I wanted to hit that price point. So you can get creative with it.

So number 1 it has a reward and number 2: it’s time limited. And without both of those components, you don’t create the impetus for people to do it now and people will procrastinate and not do it. So there’s the two things you’re going to be communicating through this process as you step through those six elements I said above.

Mike: The reward itself I’m not particularly a big fan of offering lifetime discounts or anything like that- I think there’s a lot of ways you can put yourself in a position to be providing more value as opposed to capturing less value from a customer for the entire life of that customer. As Rob said, with Drip what they did is they gave away, the ability to send more emails, but there are other ways you can do similar ways as well. You can do personalized onboarding or coaching sessions for example on how to get the best use of the product or help them integrate it into their systems, and that actually serves two different purposes. One: it helps get them into your software and it also allows you to have those direct one-to-one conversations with them to help you learn more information about how they’re going to use the product, when they’re going to use it, how often, and help you to better craft your future marketing messages. So yes, it’s time out of your day you’re going to be spending with them, and it will probably chew through at least a month if not several months worth of the “profit margin” for that, but it does give you the additional benefit of learning from that experience to be able to apply it to the future for the product.

Rob: So let’s talk through this five email sequence, and again, you can adapt this to be three emails, you can adapt to be seven emails, but we’ll just talk through these five and kind of when they’re sent. And I should say the first time I used this kind of structure I was kind of flying blind and I didn’t know what would come of it. It was 2007 or 2008, and then over the years it wasn’t exactly the structure. I’ve honed it based on feedback and results. A lot of people use this formula these days, but there’s kind of been a lot of us for 10 years now trying to hone this thing and get it better. So I will say that this type of sequence tends to convert better than it did in the old days just because we’ve been able to improve it so much over the years. It depends a lot on your copywriting as well.

Let me get into the first one. Typically about a week before the launch day- so the launch window starts on the launch day, I’m going to use that term. And then I like to think of the launch window being 48-72 hours. With MicroConf we do a full week because people- it’s a big ticket item, they’re thinking about making travel plans, they have to check schedules, there’s all types of stuff, but somewhere in between that- I don’t like to go longer than a week. So about a week before the launch day, you’re going to send a teaser email. This is information, a screenshot, maybe a short screencast. You’re kind of being vague about the release date but you say next week we’re going to be launching this thing and here’s what it is and here’s the problem it solves. And you really get into starting to build anticipation. At this point you want to let them know since they’re on the list, they’re going to receive a special price available only to people who are there but that it is going to be time-limited. And this can really dig into the problem the person reading the email has, and kind of show that your product is the answer or at least start doing that.

Mike: One thing to keep in mind before you start going down this process of laying out these different emails is make sure you have an outline of all the different emails so you know exactly what needs to be written and write it as far in advance as possible. The last thing you want to do is be crafting these emails through your launch sequence. If you decide you’re going to launch on the 7th, and you start them on the 1st, don’t wait until the day before to start writing some of those emails because it will either not get done or you’ll not be happy with it that you won’t have the time to go through them. So it’s kind of a preface to all these emails that we’re going to talk about. make sure you do those things well in advance so you’re not waiting to the last minute so that if something goes wrong you have time to tweak it.

Rob: One other thing I forgot to mention about a good launch when I was talking about it above is if it makes sense, scarcity is the third thing that’s really cool. So you have that reward, you have that timeline, but if you add scarcity as well- don’t do fake scarcity. If you’re selling ebooks there’s no scarcity, but if you’re selling tickets to a conference, there is scarcity because there’s only so many tickets that you can sell. So that is what you’re building towards with these emails, so the second email goes out typically 1 day before the launch, and this is where you provide social proof, you’ve mentioned the money back guarantee- you’re trying to remove all objections so that someone’s already thought through the whole purchase and by the time they get that email on launch day, all they are doing is basically clicking the buy button. So you build anticipation and excitement and you try to remove all the roadblocks. So you may need to touch base again on the problem your product solves, but you’re going tell them, especially if there’s scarcity, you’re going to tell them the exact day and exact time they’re going to receive that email and let them know that you imagine you will sell out, assuming you do. You want to say stuff that’s true. You’re going to sell out and if they want to get in, they need to get in early. Again, do true scarcity. If you don’t have real scarcity, then don’t do it. But I like to send this email out 1 day before because it’s long enough that most people will open it before the launch, but it’s close enough that most people will remember. If you send it out two days, it can get a little tricky with people 48 hours later forgetting that this launch is going on. Also, I like to start my launches on Tuesday and so if you go two days before they’re getting it on a Sunday, and I prefer to be in their inbox on Monday morning.

So the third email is your actual launch email, and like I said, I like to do Tuesdays. I’ve also done some launches on Wednesdays. And when we do the full week long launches with MicroConf we have done a few of them on Thursdays. I don’t like to do launches over weekends because people just aren’t on their computers as much. On launch day you’re going to email the list, you’re going to see sales rolling in, and you’re probably going to have your best sales day at least for a while. That’s the whole goal of this is to kind of make your first several months of revenue on that first day to really kickstart your motivation. I’ve seen conversion rates on this launch sequence well about 20% of the list buying. And I’ve seen as low as 5% and I’ve seen even 30% which is just insane. It depends on the relationship you have with your audience, it depends on how big and warm the list is, openers play a big part in that and your price point. But it’s pretty interesting. If you can sell a few hundred customers on $20-$30 a month, not a bad way to kickstart a little bootstrap startup project that you’ve been working on for a few months.

Mike: One thing that Rob just mentioned about having that launch day on Tuesday or Wednesday and then not sending out an email two days before because then it would come out on a Sunday- the other thing to keep in mind is when your launch sequence is going to end and when you’re going to stop making that special offer. So the reason Tuesday works so well is because you can send an email the day before and then you can have that launch sequence last for two days so that people have that opportunity to get in until Thursday. One of the issues you can run into is if you extend that by another day what ends up happening is that now your deals are going to end on Friday afternoon or evening, and by the time 4 or 5 o’clock rolls around on a Friday people have lost interest, their minds are elsewhere, and if you have a launch ending at midnight on a Friday night it is not going to work out so well. I have seen that happen where something goes out for a launch and it ends on a Friday or Saturday night at midnight, and those don’t go very well. So you have to be careful not only to avoid starting it over a weekend but also ending it over a weekend, you don’t want to do that either.

Rob: So the fourth email is the 24-48 hours after the initial launch email. And it depends obviously if your launch is only 48 hours then this kind of has to be at 24. But if you’re doing a 3-day launch, maybe it’s 24-36-48. Basically, this is another excuse to communicate with them, and so you want to provide some value. Probably a good model for this is send out an FAQ email like hey, we’ve gotten some questions and these are the questions and these are the answers. Because you’re almost certainly going to get questions via email and so you can compile those up and just be like, I wanted everyone to have those, and it’s really just an excuse to get in touch again. Remember, email open rates are not 100%, so maybe if you’re getting a 40% open rate on your sequence, emailing multiple times will hit different segments of that, and you can make sure that everyone at least gets some of your emails into their inbox.

Another thing you can do with this one is to add some social proof again, add quotes from people who got in and are really excited, and if you’re selling any quantity you are going to get feedback pretty quick of like, “man, this is a really cool product.” You can include more screenshots. Again, it’s just another touch point, but you also don’t want it to be cheesy and feel like another touchpoint. You want to be genuine with it and have folks feel like your emails are providing value because at this point if they haven’t bought and you keep emailing them, you’re going to start getting complaints and unsubscribes if you’re not providing value with the emails you’re sending.

Mike: That’s why it’s kind of important to make sure that you have an idea of what should go into that FAQ and if you don’t then have the email itself written and then kind of stump that piece of it out and then fill in the details of the FAQ with what people are actually asking. One thing to be careful of especially when a product is very early on, a lot of times — and I’ve done this myself — is you don’t necessarily know the questions people are going to ask so you kind of make some of those questions up, and depending on what it is, it can be obvious from the other side that that those questions were probably not real questions that people were asking and you were using it as an excuse to put something in the FAQ, so do be careful to make sure you’re paying attention to what it is that people are actually asking about, and some of those questions can even come from demos you’ve done previously before the launch to offer beta customers. You can reuse those, but if you’re just making things up completely it can be a little bit forced, I’ll say.

Rob: Yeah, that’s one thing. Like if you’re faking it, people can tell that the days of these kind of cheesy internet marketer stuff working- they’ are rapidly coming to a close if they’re not already gone. There are certain subsections of people who are not as web savvy or not as technical or whatever and you can say things and they’ll believe it, but the folks you’ll likely going to be dealing with are going to be savvier than that. The bar is just raised in terms of transparency and in terms of people recognizing who you are and being able to recognize what’s legitimate and what’s not. So the fifth email in this sequence is the 24 hours before the time limited deal ends. You could do one 12 hours before as well. Not in addition. That would be starting to get quite a few, but either 24 or 12 hours before saying there’s only a few hours left. Sometimes this day has almost as many as the initial launch in terms of sales. Other times it’s just a trickle. The thing to keep in mind is like I said, there are more complex variations than just this whole 5 email sequence, but this is definitely a pretty simple way to do it. It ‘s a proven approach, and if you don’t do this you either don’t send emails or you just send one email- it’s a 5 or a 10 x difference. It’s a huge, huge variation. So I would recommend if you feel like 5 is too many, it’s pretty easy to cut the FAQ email and you’re at four or you can the week before email altogether or the day before. There’s different ways you can vary it to what your comfort level is and the relationship you feel like you have with your audience.

Mike: And you can also go in the other direction where you send more emails so instead of just sending one 24 hours before the deal ends, I’ve also seen a lot of people who send something 4 hours before something ends and then 2 hours before it ends and then 1 hour before it ends. Again, you do have to be careful with how many times you’re hitting that list and whether that list is considered burned after that. There are lists out there where people will build the list and do a launch of some kind to it, and after that there’s not even a point in having the list anymore. Maybe it’s because it’s an in-person event or something like that but again, you will increase sales at the expense of the signups you have.

Rob: Last thing to keep in mind is email open rates, are not 100%. No list is that good. So a solid list should be between 20-60% open rate. So think about that when you’re calculating conversion rates. Let’s say you have 1,000 people on your list. You think my goal is to convert 20% of those. That’s good. That’s a really hard thing to do if your open rates are only 20%. But if you’re at 60% then converting 1/3 of the people who receive the email is actually much more in line with reality. So think about that and check out your list. Maybe even prune your list before doing this. If this is an ongoing list, try to get a more realistic view and higher open rates and making a more realistic concept of how many people you might convert during the launch.

Mike: One thing that can be a little difficult to figure out is when you’re looking at the open rate whether or not you’re looking at a single email or whether you’re looking at aggregate across them. You’re going to have people who open up every single email and then you’re going to have other people who open up one. That’s something else to factor into what your calculations are as well. I don’t think it’s worth getting too worked up over whether or not you reached a particular milestone or conversion rate in your head, but I do think it is worth paying attention to what your expectations were. And how you can improve what that process looks like in the future- what things worked, what things didn’t. And then being able to analyze those so that you can use them in the future for other either mini launches or other marketing copy you can look at some of the different emails you sent right after the launch when it’s done, and find out whether or not certain things probably resonated with people more than others.

Well, JP, I hope that answers your question. If you have a question for us, you can call it into our voicemail number at 1-888-801-9690 or you can email it to us at questions@startupsfortherestofus.com. Our theme music is an excerpt for ‘We’re Outta Control’ by MoOt used under creative comments. Subscribe to us in iTunes by searching for “startups” and visit startupsfortherestofus.com for a full transcript of each episode.

Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next time.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

Comments are closed.