The Truth About Failed Launches and the Juicy Lessons You Can Learn From Them!

I’m excited to share with you today how to bounce back after a failed launch. As a money mindset mentor, I see so many people throw in the towel after one crappy launch. 

I’ve been there – it’s rough! 

You released your book and… crickets, or you've launched your first program and nobody has bought it. This feels devastating. But I’ve got some juicy lessons you can learn from these experiences.

I want to talk to you about sales page conversion stats and share about my failed (and successful) launches.

Do you know what? Having a successful launch isn’t about branding, or colors or pretty ads. It isn’t even (gasp!) about pricing! 

I’m gonna share with you my ultimate successful launch secrets!


In this episode, you'll learn:

  • How to set goals for your launches 

  • How not to freak out!

  •  The 1% rule

  • How to reframe failure

  • The importance of getting back on the horse and relaunching the same program



Start your business for the freedom of time. Now you're tired of the hustle and grind. There's got to be a better away. It's time to listen to Chill and Prosper. Welcome to Chill and Prosper. You're ready to Chill and Prosper with Denise Duffield-Thomas.

Hey, gorgeous and welcome to another episode of Chill and Prosper. Today we're talking about bouncing back after a failed launch. And by that, I mean, anything; it could be, you released your book and it was crickets, or you've launched your first program and it was crickets, or you've put an offer out there and nobody has bought, and this can be really devastating. So if this is you, I want you to know that you are absolutely in the right place. It's totally okay for you to feel sad about it. And if that's not you, I want you to ponder on where you have had those failed launches and what you can actually learn from it.

So I'm obviously in a lot of business groups, I've got a lot of business friends. Most of my friends are entrepreneurs now, and occasionally I'll get a friend who just goes, "Oh my God, we had such a bad launch and it was horrible", and they're really defeated about it. And I always ask them the same question. I'm going to ask the same question to you. You've heard me probably say it a few times, but I'll say "Babe, I'm so sorry". Sometimes I don't say that. Sometimes I say the question first and I shouldn't because it's like bull in a China, a shop. I go, "What were your sales page conversion stats?"

So if you're a friend of mine listening and you know, you can't come to me just for like, "Oh babe, I'm so sorry. That sucks." I'll go, "Yeah, that sucks. Okay. So what are your sales page conversion stats?". That's the first question that I ask, and they go, "Oh", and I go, "Well, go find out, get some information, babe." and they'll come back and they'll go, "Oh, well 200 people saw it and X amount of people bought." and I always go, "Babe, it's right on track because, here's the thing. If you are selling something online, like a course where you just send people to a sales page and they buy it, one to 2% of people will actually purchase that thing. And this isn't just a made up online digital thing either.

Back in the olden days when advertisers used to do campaigns in newspapers or direct mail campaigns where you'd get something in the post and it would say, I don't know, "Send back a thing" or "Buy my thing". They would only ever expect to get one to 2% conversion. That's it. And so you go, that might be really horrible to hear because you think "What's the freaking point?". But I actually see this as really empowering information, because if you don't have that information, you are going to sit there and go, "People don't like me. Nobody wants my thing." And you'll make up stories about your ability or you'll go in the wrong direction. You'll go, "Oh great, well obviously it wasn't the right branding, so I need to spend the next five weeks doing a new logo. Oh obviously the color wasn't right; I need to find the perfect hex color for that thing." And yes, those things can make very minute differences, but I have launched with good branding and not so good branding.

I've launched with very simple branding and very fancy branding. And to be honest, their conversions are the same. You might think, "Oh, it was the price because people said, 'I can't afford it.'", but you are going to get that no matter what the price is. If you were charging $5 or $500 or $5,000, you'll get the same amount of people saying that they can't afford it. It'll be different people for sure. Different price points, attract different people, but it's not necessarily the price. It's not necessarily the value. And yes, all of those things can be tweaked, but they don't make as much difference as just launching it in the first place and just letting people know that it exists. So that's the first thing. And I've, I actually experienced this fairly recent with two close friends. I'm like, "Babe, stop making up stories. Tell me your conversion stats."

Yes, I am that friend. And when they told me, I was like, "Babe, you were right on track." And they're like, "Yeah, but I wanted this bigger result." And I go, "Okay, so do you want some Denise real talk or not?" And sometimes they do, sometimes they don't and I have to respect that and I go, "Okay, so we have to work back, we have to reverse engineer that. If you want 20 people for your next launch, we're going to have to work our way back and see how many people need to visit the sales page. And you need to tell people about it. You need to tell people to go to that sales page." So we, I mean, Mark, who is my husband, who is our launch manager, he knows this as well. So he used to work in sports. He worked for the biggest, coolest soccer club in the world.

I'll let you fill in who that was. And when they were looking for a new shirt sponsor for their front of jersey, they sent out these big boxes to CEOs. So it was a big box and it had, they opened up the box and there was an iPad in there. And when you clicked the iPad, it was a photoshopped video of sports guys, kicking sports balls. And the company logo was superimposed on the jersey to show the CEO what it would look like. And there was a jersey in there with their name on it. So the CEO would go, "Yeah, actually this would be so cool being a sponsor of this club. Yeah, maybe I will." And so you can imagine how much each of those boxes cost, right? Because there was like a big leather box. You had to get the shirts made for each person.

You had to get the iPads, and back then they were really expensive. So it was like thousands of dollars, but we are talking about millions of dollars worth of sponsorship, right? Even the stats for that, sending those code things, like an email. Only a certain percentage of them would get on the phone. And then only a certain percentage of them would buy some sort of sponsorship. And there's only one spot at the front of the shirt. So this is just a normal marketing reality that not every single person is going to buy from you. Now, the one to two stat thing is definitely for the more mass kind of marketing campaigns, if you are getting on the phone and talking to people about what you do, you can have 50% conversion. You can have 90% conversion depending on who you are, but you are never going to get a 100% conversion on most of your marketing campaigns.

Ninety-nine percent of people, 98% of people will not buy. And that can be really hard to deal with. But if you realize that it's not personal and you don't make up a story about it, then you have more information next time. And so now, Mark and I, as I said, he's my launch manager, he's a marketer himself. We go, "What are our goals for this next launch?" And so for one of our launches, we had a goal of 500 people. So we can work our way back. How many people need to see the sales page? How many people do we need to see our offer in the first place? And we work our way back and then that's what we aim for. And so then we don't stress. So we go, "Are we on track for, you know, it might be how many people watch our video series, and then we know that they'll drop out and only a certain percentage will even watch the final thing, or do we need to get more people on our newsletter list?"

And we work our way back. And for one of our last launches, we set a goal of 500, we got four-something, 410 or something like that. So did I cry? No, I just went, "Okay, cool. So we can't beat the stats." Like we looked at it and we went, "Yep, cool. We can't beat the stats. So we'll get more people next time, right?" And so when you see people having big launches, six-figure launches, million-dollar launches, it is a numbers game. Now, each of those people is someone that you can transform their lives and help them. But it is also just a reality that, even though people say that they're going to buy, life happens and they don't. Even though people really need what you have to offer, they just might not have seen the offer.

And sometimes I think, "Oh my God, we did ads, I talked about this. I felt embarrassed how much I talked about this. We sent so many emails about this." And I felt like, "Oh my God, we're sending too many emails. People are not going to want to hear from me." And then I'll get to the end of a launch and some will go, "Oh, were you launching?" And just don't assume that everyone sees it all the time. Don't assume. Okay, so I'm going to take a quick break and then I'm going to tell you about what you can do to bounce back after something like that and how to acknowledge those feelings. All right. See you in a sec.

Hi, my name's Erin and I run Matcha Yu Tea, an online Japanese Green Tea business, and I just read Chillpreneur and it was amazing to see how to effectively scale a business without burning out. I've been in business about three years now, and I'm wondering how to take that next step without having to work twice as hard cause I already work very hard. Denise has shown me easy ways to manage my time and to be able to scale and grow without burning out or exhausting myself. So thank you, Denise. It's fantastic to have resources like this. And I look forward to reading more.

Hi, my name is Genevieve Siso and I live in a Thousand Islands in Canada and I own a health and wellness center. I downloaded Get Rich from my flight to Morocco and I was hooked. You need good money role models. This just hit me so hard. So I joined some coaching programs after reading this and I found people that I actually wanted to be like, and I've never felt happier and more abundant in my life. I literally feel like I can manifest anything, including this. I was practicing last week for all the things I'd say to Denise on her podcast when I made it. And here I am. So Denise is the real deal. She's your girl. Go for it.

Hi and welcome back. And we are talking about how to bounce back after a failed launch and how it can be very, very disheartening. So sometimes you sit around and you make up stories and "People don't like me. People don't want my thing. It's not the right thing." So here's what not to do after a failed launch. Don't scrap everything. Don't chuck everything out. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Most of the time, it's not about your thing. It's just that not enough people saw it. And so another thing not to do after that is to go, "Everyone knows, I can't do it again." Especially if you didn't get great results the first time; maybe you only got one or two people join your coaching program and you feel like, "Oh, I can't launch it again because people will think it didn't go well or people will think I'm a loser for asking them."

Now here's the thing: sometimes what you have to offer is really great, but it's just not the right timing for people, or they didn't see it, or they didn't have the money at that particular time. It's absolutely not personal. So yes, you can look at what you can improve, and maybe there was something confusing. Sometimes what's really, really cool is to send out a little questionnaire and say, "Hey, can you just let me know why you didn't buy this time? You know, why you didn't do it?" And you can ignore some of them. So it will always be, "I didn't have enough money." and that doesn't mean that the price was necessarily wrong. It doesn't mean that you should discount it next time. It's just a reality that it will just not be right for people at the time.

People won't always be able to afford it at the time. And that's cool too. That's fine. So you can ignore that. One thing though, that could be interesting is, I had this, people saying to me, "I don't have enough time to join Money Bootcamp. I don't have enough time." And so I realized that part of my marketing for the next time I ran it was to be really clear about what it was that I was offering and how it could be showing up as perfectionism for them that they felt like they had to sit and watch every assignment. I had to let them know that, "Hey, you don't have to do this in a weekend. You've got lifetime access to this program." And so sometimes you'll just see things where you go, "Oh my God, that is in the course," but maybe you just didn't tell them enough about it.

So that can be really fascinating. I also find that sometimes people think that they can't do programs concurrently, even though they know they need it. You know? So I was like, "That's fine. Next time I'm going to tell people this isn't something that will replace the coaching or mentoring you're doing. This is something that can add on to anything. And it was just an extra little marketing thing that I put in next time." You might realize though that the price is wrong, and so I did say don't discount the price. I actually did a program once, and the feedback was that the price was actually too small, because what I realized is that the people I really wanted to join, they were like, "I just don't think I'm going to get enough value out of it because the price felt like it was too cheap."

And it didn't feel like it was something they had to take seriously. Because it was that mid price point, then I got the people who were like, it's too big of a leap for them who weren't necessarily my target audience. And it was perceived as being too cheap and not a good value for the people I really wanted to join. So yeah, the price kind of was a little bit wrong, but not for the reason that most people think that it could be. And that's where most people make the mistake of going and discounting. So what should you tweak? As I said, you can tweak a little bit of the marketing, but don't start from scratch. Don't get bored and just launch something else because you feel like nobody wants it. It's totally cool for you to launch the exact same thing in the exact same way, because you'll just find the people that it's the better timing for.

That's totally fine. So Money Bootcamp has been around since 2012, right? And at the time of me recording this, we've got like seven-and-a-half thousand people. So about 8,000 people plus have probably done it cause not everyone joins our group. And what I find is some people need a lot of coaxing to join things, right? And you might, if you are listening to this in you're in your Money Bootcamp, ponder on how long it took you to join. Some people just go, "Yep. I need it. I want it. I'll do it." Some people are like, "I'll do it next year. I'll do it next year. I'll do it next year." And so then we get people joining and they go, "I've been waiting to join for eight years. I've been waiting to join for 10 years. I've been waiting to join for a year, and I really wish that I joined earlier."

So again, don't discount the people who are out there who are just like "Maybe, maybe." And then the next time it might be the right timing for them. They might have gone, "Wow, I really like and respect what they do, but it's just not right for me." And so it's cool just to get back on the horse and start again and launch it. And it can literally be the exact same way and every year or so we change all our launch videos. But a lot of the emails are very much the same because not everyone sees them and the people who do see them again, it's like a great reminder that they like, "Oh yeah, I really, I actually, I do need to join now."

Sometimes they just weren't in the right place or the pain point wasn't great because they weren't there yet. And now they're like, "Oh yeah." So one of the things I talk about in our launch is have you hit an income plateau? And they might not have hit an income plateau yet. Or they go, "Oh, well I just had a good launch. So I don't have any money blocks" and you go "Cool." And then they go, "Now it's my pain point. Now I need Denise and it's there." I haven't moved on to something else. So you might realize, though, that you've launched something and you go, "Oh God, it just wasn't, it wasn't right." Because maybe you did it because someone else told you you should, or you followed a system and you just went, "Oh my God, it's just not my thing." And that's okay too.

But more often than not, I think people just get derailed. They get embarrassed, they get tired, they feel like losers, they feel like failures, and then they just never launch again. Okay. So just jump back on and track those stats and you might go, "Well, I'm going to get sexy branding this time." And honestly the conversion stats will not really change. It really won't. I've tried to game it. I've tried to hack it. It doesn't always work. And if you don't believe me, go and read Chillpreneur, which is renamed Chill and Prosper, the second edition, if that's out yet by the time you're listening. And I talk about the 1% rule in there and I share my stats from some of my early launches and then the stats from my last couple of million dollar launches are the same.

It's hilarious. So the great thing about relaunching is that you'll have less to do every single time. Let's play through the scenarios, because I want you to reframe this. If you launch something and nobody bought, I'm still really freaking proud of you because the moving pieces for a launch, there's so much work. Getting the videos, doing the sales page, getting out of your comfort zone, setting up those payment systems, writing those emails. There's so much work involved in that. So that's the benefit. Wow. Priceless. That is planting a seed in the ground that could bear fruit forever, could forever bear fruit. Now think about if you got one person. I've seen people get one person and they refund them and they go, "I can't write up with one person, one loser." And I go, "No, that person that is faith. That is proof that someone needs it. And that person, they may as well have paid a million dollars to you for the seed that you are planting in the ground, that could be a million dollars."

And then again, that's extra tech. They might have questions. Great. That's so valuable. You might have wanted a hundred people and you got 10. That's so valuable. It's going to get the kinks out. Those early people are going to find your broken links. They're going to find your spelling mistakes for you. They're going to tell you which bits are confusing. They're going to test your systems out. Do you want 10,000 people joining in your first course when you haven't figured out those systems? When things might break? When you're testing the limits? You might realize that your system can only handle X many people.

Well, that's great to know. That is priceless. And so every time people join Money Bootcamp, we learn something new. I don't reinvent the wheel and I break it. I take a note of that, and then the next time we do new videos or redo stuff, then that's when I change it. And I keep a running list of things that I'd like to improve. So the cool thing is you can just relaunch again, you'll have less things to do, fewer things to do every time, or then you'll have bandwidths to market more. So in one of our last launches, I had enough bandwidth to do personalized videos. So I sent personal videos to people to say, "Hey, I'd love you to join." I did 500 videos because I had bandwidth. Because I wasn't writing those emails from scratch. And that's what will be really cool for you. The more that you launch, the more bandwidth you'll have to be creative and do some fun stuff without it all being super overwhelming. Okay. So hopefully that has reframed a little bit of that failure for you. I want to hear from you. I want to celebrate you. Tell me whenever you launch something. Tag me, DM ne, tell me about your launches because I think that that's amazing and I want to celebrate with you. Okay. I'll be right back after this final thought. See you in a sec.

Hi Denise. I'm a chiropractor. I live in Surrey. I moved to England from Australia 10 years ago. I own a practice, Northcote Chiropractic in Clapham, London. I have been in business for eight years. I read Chillpreneur and Get Rich, Lucky Bitch in 2019, and at the time I was in a massive victim mode because I was the breadwinner. My company was turning over 500,000 pounds, but I was in a victim mindset. Anyway, reading your books, I came back to England. I then rented a much bigger house because I remember you said you couldn't buy the penthouse, so you rented it. And renting that bigger house meant that we could totally step into our better work energy and be on purpose. So my husband has actually had the best financial year during 2020 and myself, my business has also had the best financial year in 2020. You inspired me to start to create a passive income. I nearly didn't do this recording because I don't feel like I've totally achieved that yet, but I'm well on my way. So thank you, Denise. You're amazing.

Hi and welcome back. And today we are talking about, for this final thought, just a couple of minutes about being environmentally responsible and being rich, or being green and being rich because often they're seen as two completely different things. And that's unfortunately the planet that we live on at the moment; most of the people who have screwed up our climate, our environment, have been rich greedy companies who do not care and do not see that as sustainable for our future. And often you'll find that companies that are embracing that sustainability, it is a lot more expensive and that can be hard and it can feel unfair too, because people talk about affordability. "Oh, it's not fair that this is unaffordable." And you know, that's the reality sometimes is that things that are more sustainable are going to cost more.

But what is your story about being green and being wealthy? Are you holding yourself back from making more money because you feel icky about it. You feel like it's going to make you into this horrible, rich, greedy person who doesn't care about the environment. Instead of thinking there's a lot of things that you can invest in with your money. You can invest in green technology, you can invest in lobbying. You can support organizations that are doing legal advocacy work for the environment. That takes money, you know? And so you don't have to let go of your values to make more money, but you do have to have inquiry, self-inquiry about where you're holding yourself back from that. And we can live in a more green, sustainable world. We really can. I totally believe it's possible.

And it's going to take some work to do it. It's going to take some crowding out of some of those messages and it's going to take money to do that as well. So an affirmation for you could be, "I can be rich and green. I can use my money in good ways that enrich the planet. I am a wealthy green philanthropist. I invest in green technology. I'm a good steward of my money and the planet. Money is a tool for good if good people have money, and I choose to invest in a sustainable planet." So that might just be a little bit of an interesting "Aha" for you, or you still might not be able to reconcile it. And I understand it's a very complex issue.

Let me your "Ahas", share this, let's start the discussion about what ways we can use our money to make the world more sustainable and more green for ourselves and the future of the planet. Yay. Oh, that's a bit of a heavy topic to end on, but it's safe for you to be wealthy and be environmentally conscious, safe for you to be wealthy and green. I will see you next week for another episode of Chill and Prosper. Peace out for me. Bye.

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About the Show

Chill & Prosper is your weekly dose of money mindset, marketing and humour from best-selling author and entrepreneur Denise Duffield-Thomas.

Denise's philosophy is that there is ALWAYS an easier way to make money and that's what she's here to help you do. Each week, you'll get actionable advice to help you make more money, with less work. There's no need to hustle - let Denise show you how to embrace the Chillpreneur way.

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