If you think you can't sell high-ticket online courses during lockdown... And if you think online courses have less perceived value that live events.... Then you'll love this story.
In April, I ran a campaign for a client in the make money market. Their normal business model is free discovery event to 3-day workshop upsell.
With the threat of Lockdown looming we decided to sell the same information as an online course. At the same price as the live workshop.
I put together my 21-day campaign that combines Upfront Value, Storytelling, Social Proof and an Irresistible Offer to make sales. The graphic above is a visual overview of the campaign.
We recorded the videos for the Upfront Value part of the campaign on Saturday 21 March. Two days before lockdown started.
At the end of the recording, the client asked me...
"I don't really know. I think we will lose all the 'get rich quick' dreamers. Plus, we'll lose anyone that would pay for education on a credit card."
I didn't say the rest of what I was thinking. And without those 2 groups of buyers... I thought the campaign would lose 50% or more sales.
I put together a campaign with lockdown in mind.
I took out EVERY SINGLE make money fast statement!
The "normal" make thousands in a few short months statements disappeared. The sack your boss in a year statements disappeared.
In their place was one simple message...
Build a financial fortress that protects your family for generations.
That's what people want right now. Safety and security. They want to protect themselves and their family.
I have to confess that I was more than a little nervous about this messaging because it is so different.
I know that all marketing starts with entering the conversation in your prospects head.
It's also good to fall back on previous success. This certainly helps me reign in crazy ideas.
With this campaign. I trashed all my past experience. And focussed relentlessly on entering the conversation in the customer's mind.
The response to the Upfront Value videos gave me some much needed real-world feedback.
Some of the ideas were right on the money. Others were way off. That forced me to make some changes to the sales part of the sequence. Changes that were worth making.
The sales part of the campaign opened with a webinar. Webinar registrations were 5 times higher than normal. And... there was a 48% attendance rate!
It's been many years since I've seen webinar attendance rate that high. The one time that happened was because of a free physical product just for attending the webinar. That's an obvious and expensive way to raise webinar attendance rates.
That trick wasn't needed in this case. The webinar made a simple promise that grabbed people's attention. The "what they would learn" bullets didn't overpromise. They were logical steps to deliver the webinar promise.
Now, I'm not going to take all the credit for the high attendance rate. I'm sure lockdown had a lot to do with it.
Sales on the webinar were the same as normal times... with a very experienced presenter. In other words, the webinar sales were good.
And the sales team pulled in another 50% the next day. They couldn't believe that there were people with wallet in hand waiting to take their call.
The opening day of the campaign went much better than I expected... especially as we were in lockdown.
The next day it was time for the long copy sales page to take a swing.
First, a long copy sales page has made 50% to 90% of the sales of every campaign I've ever run.
Second, I had a copy review with a million-dollar US copywriter before putting this live. Someone who has had unbeatable sales letters for a decade or more.
After the copy review, I made some important changes to the sales page. Then I waited with a big smile on my face. A smile that would prove foolish.
Day 2, the sales page took a big swing and missed.
Day 3, the sales page took a big swing and hit nothing but air.
At this point, I'm getting more than a little scared.
After my copy review, I changed the sales page headline and the messaging for the rest of the campaign. The title for the second webinar was the same as the sales page headline.
We ran some Facebook ads to fill the second webinar and got webinar registrants for less than £2!
This message gave prospects hope and made them take action.
There were 2,233 people registered for the second webinar. This time there was a 47% attendance rate.
The second webinar made more sales than the first. The sales team closed well for the 2 days after the webinar.
At this point, the campaign had made more sales than I hoped for.
I should have been celebrating. And my ego wouldn't let me. Not until the sales page doubled the sales of the campaign.
The final 5 days of the campaign put the sale page centre stage. Something I've always done. Something that has pulled in 50% to 70% of the campaign sales in the last 48 hours.
This is the white knuckle ride that I don't enjoy. And this is where experience helps. This is where experience stops you making foolish changes.
For the next 3 days, the sales page hit nothing but air.
In fact, the campaign made £161,000 and the sales page made only £8,735.
What went wrong?
It was long. Really long. 11,000 words long.
I've written sales pages that were over 10,000 words before and they worked great. This time the sales page was not story-driven. It was market and prediction driven.
In fact, the whole campaign was market and prediction driven.
On a webinar, people give up 90 minutes to learn something. That gives you time to explain the market situation and the prediction. The prediction creates urgency for the offer.
The sales page walked people through the same market conditions and prediction as the webinar. It gave proof like the webinar. It gave value like the webinar, although the value was different.
The same messaging that worked so well in a webinar failed in the long copy sales page.
I don't know if this is because people crave human connection right now.
I know that reading an 11,000 word story is easier than reading 11,000 words explaining the market conditions and a future prediction.
So... the sales page made prospect work. That's a big no, no.
The sales letter stood on the shoulders of some of the most successful sales letters in direct mail history. Giants like Jim Rutz and Gary Bencivenga.
Their most successful sales letters were over 10,000 words long and they pulled in 9 or 10 figures in sales.
So, I thought this sales page was a winner. The results proved me wrong.
And, there's one aspect of this campaign that I never expected...
This messaging got webinar registrants from Facebook for less than £2!
Yes, advertising costs have dropped across Facebook and Google because big brands are not advertising during lockdown.
Adverting prices have dropped 20% to 30%.
In February, getting webinar registrations on Facebook for £6 was good. So, you might expect your advertising cost to drop to £4 at best.
Getting webinar registrants for less than £2 is unbelievable.
The question you want to know is did the Facebook traffic buy?
In this case... Facebook traffic converted better than I thought. In fact, every £1 spent on advertising pulled in £11 in sales.
The silver lining is that the campaign is now evergreen. Driving traffic to pre-recorded webinars (something I didn't think would work). And it's still making £11 in sales for every £1 spent on advertising.
The success of the campaign is getting affiliates asking if they can send.
One affiliate made £12,000 from sending 3 emails! Great deal for them. Great deal for the client.
I'm re-writing the sales page.
I'm going back to first principles and re-writing every single word.
The market conditions are the same. The prediction is the same. The product is the same.
Everything about the new sales page is different. There's more urgency. It's easier to read. And it's shorter. Down to 6,000 words from 11,000.
What are the results?
I don't know yet. I'll tell you next month.
If you'd like to talk about how I can do the same thing for you then please go to the form below to book a 30-minute video call.
This is a no-obligation-call so we can get to know each other and talk about running an online campaign.
Until next time...