We just made $20,000 in one week.
We did it without me showing up for a single live video. We didn’t host any sort of live launch event or free training. We didn’t post a single thing on Social Media, and we did not run a single ad.
So what did we do?
My team put together a super basic “email only sale.”
So I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the online course world has been greatly upended in the last year and a lot of course creators who were super ads dependent have been really struggling to keep their businesses afloat.
They’re literally running launches at a loss due to increased ad costs, spending more on their paid marketing than they end up making in sales. (I’ll talk about why ads suddenly got so stinking expensive in a minute!)
But these same course creators are now in massive cost-cutting mode, letting go of their teams, and trying to find ways to make sales without ads.
It’s not a pretty situation out there right now, and my heart goes out to my fellow course creators going through this.
So how did this all happen?
Remember when iOS 14 came out? It gave you the ability to choose on an iPhone if you wanted an app to be able to track you or not?
Well, since being tracked by every app you open sounds super creepy, most people chose not to be tracked for obvious reasons!
The knock-on effect of this has been catastrophic for Facebook Ads effectiveness. Without being able to track your every move, Facebook’s ability to put relevant ads in front of people who actually care about that specific topic has been seriously hampered.
This means Facebook can no longer help businesses to target you (the user) in the same way they used to be able to.
Now, I’m all for people’s privacy…
(I legit got super weirded out anytime I’d talk about something one moment–like a swimsuit or a yoga retreat–and next thing you know there’d be an ad in my feed for that exact thing. Kinda unnerving, right?)
So IOS 14 has been the answer to putting an end to all those creepily correct ads. Super great news for the user!
So in the hopes of reaching a few relevant audiences, business owners are now paying for ads to be put in front of thousands of people that have absolutely no interest, meaning their cost per leads just went way up, and the number of sales they see from that same ad spend went wayyyyy down.
Now we were never super dependent on ads in my business.
We’ve always placed a hugeeeee focus organic traffic and consistently creating valuable free content (like our Blog and YouTube Channel) that gets us found in a Google search.
So this ads change wasn’t the world for us by any means.
But it did have a slight effect, and here’s why…
I actually first talked about this in a Vlog about 10 months ago when we first noticed this problem creeping up (see: 👉 [VLOG] I finally went home to Canada)
At the time, I was just sitting on my folk’s patio in Canada, sharing some of the ideas we had brainstormed for dealing with the upcoming Facebook Ads issues we were expecting.
Anyway, while Blogging was our biggest list-builder and lead generating tool at the time, we did drop a couple thousand dollars on Facebook ads here and there to run ads to our evergreen course sales funnels, usually resulting in an extra $10K-$20K in course sales revenue each month.
So we had dabbled in ads for our evergreen funnels, but had never really used it for list-building leading up to a live launch, or during the launch itself.
And what we did do on evergreen was pretty bare bones compared to most people’s Facebook ads strategies and spending.
I mostly didn’t love the idea of padding Zuckerberg’s wallet, and decided I would much rather spend my marketing dollars on my team creating useful content, or on affiliates I know personally.
So what happened?
We turned off all of our ads last year, and since then we’ve been running six figure launches without them, focusing more of our effort on our organic content (like what you are reading right now!)
Our evergreen sales (which were ad supported) did however, take a hit! And I wanted to find a way to make up that revenue.
So I got creative…
To make up for that lost evergreen revenue, we started running mini ’email only’ style sales, with digital products we had never really launched before because we only have so many spaces in our promo calendar each year to be running full blown launches.
The guide has been on a website this whole time, but we never actually talk about it because while it’s a fantastic starting point for anyone who wants to be a website designer, it’s just not a big enough product to warrant one of our full few launch spaces that we have in a year.
So here’s what we had planned for our super basic email only sale… 👇
First, we’d send a couple of emails to get our list thinking about the importance of landing clients.
I’d share my own story and also the success story of past students of my web designer courses to show that, yes, landing a string of clients and booking your business out months in advance is indeed possible for you as a new web designer starting from scratch.
So these emails go out in the week before the sale, or what we call ‘pre-launch’ week.
Then during the actual sale week, we sent four very simple emails leading to the actual sales page.
Our expectations going into this were literally nothing.
We had never run a super basic email only sale like this before but we knew our conversion rate would absolutely be lower than when we did a big hyped-up launch with a live event.
So our mindset was ‘we’ll just try it and see what happens!’
Especially with such a low price point product, I figured we’d really only make a few grand off it, but I also assumed it would set buyers up to be interested in one of my bigger course offerings like my Square Secrets Business™️ (which covers how to build a fully booked-out, profitable web design business) the next time we opened it for enrollment in the fall.
With between-launch revenue down for months because of ads, anything in this little sale would’ve been gravy. But it turns out things were about to go better than I could have imagined in my wildest dreams!
It had completely slipped my mind that there was actually a lead in to our bigger course sales funnels built right into the end of the guide, meaning when we did 94 sales of the guide, suddenly 94 people highly interested in the topic of building a web design business were presented with our course offerings.
So 94 sales of the digital product at $34.50 a piece came out to $3,234 just for the guide itself, but tack on the 5 people who purchased our bigger courses as a result of the guide, and that made up an additional $13,000!
Not just that, but it also had what I like to call the ‘halo’ effect – when people see your sale and visibility you have online while you’re promoting one thing, and they start looking at all your other offers too.
And while they may not have bought the thing we were actively promo-ing, all the buzz around the sale led to an additional 3 sales totaling an extra $3,800!
So that is a simple week-long sale of a $35 digital product ended up generating $20K in sales revenue!
Then you need to take my quiz! 👇