Introducing the MOTHER LODE OF ALL CASE STUDIES: online marketing legend Amy Porterfield shares exclusive insight on launching a program, with data from the most recent $7.5 MILLION launch of her signature program, Digital Course Academy.
“I don’t even talk about this stuff on my own podcast!” Amy says.
Buckle up and get ready for some online business insights you can’t find anywhere else!
Before starting her own multimillion-dollar business, Amy Porterfield’s work life was… well… actually, it was pretty good!
“I had a really great job!” She says. Amy worked for peak performance coach Tony Robbins as his director of content development, and friends, the gig was GREAT.
“I got paid well, I got to travel, I got to work with Tony,” she says. “I mean… it was amazing!”
But despite all of the benefits and perks, something was missing…
“I wanted to call the shots. I wanted to be the person to decide when I work, where I work, how I work,” says Amy. “The one thing I wanted more than anything was FREEDOM.”
Amy took one year between deciding she wanted to be her own boss and actually stepping into the world of entrepreneurship, and today she is empowering people across the globe to take their futures into their own hands.
“It’s been 14 years since I left the cubicle. [Now] I get to teach other people now how to leave their 9-to-5 job and start their own business.”
If you want the dirt on Amy’s story, she talks all about it in her new book, “Two Weeks Notice.” (BTW Amy promises to deliver bonus material when you purchase her book, so srsly, buy it now!) Today’s case study, however, focuses on something much more specific…
We asked Amy for exclusive insight on launching a program—more specifically, the most recent $7.5 MILLION launch of her signature program, Digital Course Academy.
And girl, she delivered…
Before we dive in, here’s an important disclaimer…
Amy is 14 years into her business.
Amy has a team of 20 full-time employees.
Amy has launched HUNDREDS of times.
“My first launch I made $267—$267! And, I cried for a week because I thought I should make a lot more,” Amy shares.
“These numbers did not happen overnight. I want to set that stage, because I want everyone to feel as though this is possible for them… but, you’ve got to start from the beginning.”
That said, let’s get into it!
The goal of Amy’s pre-launch strategy was to sell her signature program, Digital Course Academy, which explains everything you’d want to know about creating and launching a program from scratch. The price was $1,997, with a $300 up-sell option for those who wanted to purchase Amy’s slides to create their own webinars and digital course decks.
Thanks to an intentional, detailed, thoughtfully crafted 6-week pre-launch window strategy, Amy and her team were able to sell the program enough to make $7.5 MILLION!!!
“I think a pre-launch is literally the one necessity of every digital course launch,” says Amy. “I call it ‘priming the pump.’”
Amy says a pre-launch is the ideal way to get potential customers ready, engaged, and alert, because you have an opportunity to address any objections a prospective buyer may have.
“I don’t have enough time.”
“I don’t have enough money.”
“I don’t have a good idea for a digital course.”
Amy equips these entrepreneurs with everything they need to know before purchasing her program.
“The value of a prelaunch is to walk people across an invisible bridge,” she explains. “There are things I need to help them understand or believe or start to ideate before they’re ever ready to buy.”
The pre-launch lasted six weeks, and each week focused on a unique offer that would attract the right kind of buyers for Amy’s signature program.
SIDE NOTE: Amy did NOT sell Digital Course Academy during the six-week prelaunch window.
The purpose of a pre-launch is list-building. It’s a time to prioritize relationships over sales.
“I don’t even bring up my course, because it’s all just relationship-building, engagement, and cultivating the right audience for me to then invite them on my Masterclass to sell my course.”
With that intro, here’s the sequence (and all the data you could ever dream of) for Amy’s pre-launch strategy!
“I think anybody looking to grow an email list should start a quiz,” says Amy.
The goal of this two-minute quiz was to help prospects discover their “archetype.” How ambitious are you? What kind of business do you want? What kind of life do you want?
Amy says these broad questions allow you to cast a really wide net early on, giving you plenty of time to nurture those relationships—and eventually make some sales.
As mentioned previously, the pre-launch window allows Amy to address any objections potential buyers may have long before they have an opportunity to buy her course. According to Amy, list-building is the #1 objection for why people don’t buy Digital Course Academy.
“I want to create a course, but I have no audience! I don’t have an email list!”
The list-building PDF provided these reluctant prospects with a solution: 7 Places to Share Your Lead Magnet to Grow Your Email List With Quality Leads.
The third phase of Amy’s pre-launch strategy was an audio download, BUT this is the step in her sequence that Amy says, “We went wrong.”
“This audio is telling people how I built my business and what worked and what didn’t work,” says Amy. “But, we’re three assets in at this point. It should have been focused on digital courses.”
Since the end goal of the pre-launch was to sell Digital Course Academy, Amy says the leads from this particular asset didn’t convert as well as others. In the future, she plans to modify the sequence to focus on launching a program earlier (and will likely walk away having achieved an even greater revenue goal).
The goal of this PDF—titled “What’s Your Thing?”—was to help prospects identify the unique way they brought ideas to life. What are you know for? What beliefs, knowledge, experiences, and expertise do you bring to the table?
Unfortunately, Amy says this asset also missed the mark.
“Great idea… but again, where are the digital courses?”
One trait we appreciate about Amy—and want to call attention to now—is she is quick to name her mistakes. “This is my fault,” she says. “My team came to me with five assets, and I was like, ‘These are great!’ We didn’t rework anything.”
However, instead of beating herself up for the pieces of her pre-launch sequence that didn’t work as well as she’d hoped, Amy simply makes a note to do things differently next time—AND she points out those missed opportunities, so we can learn from them too.
“Asset #5 was one of my favorites,” says Amy.
Throughout the series, Amy shared the exact actions that helped her move from an overwhelming, struggling entrepreneur to having an online business that offers flexibility, financial freedom, and joy.
AND, there was a lot of discussion about digital courses too.
That said, the golden nugget of advice we want to point our for this particular pre-launch asset is that this podcast was both private and separate from Amy’s own podcast.
“I asked my team, ‘Why not put this series on our podcast where we’re getting a million downloads a month?’ My team said, ‘When you’re doing the same thing over and over again, it’s really hard to get people to pay attention on a different level.’”
In other words, the exclusivity of this podcast series attracted better leads.
Instead of attracting a wide audience for the sake of numbers, Amy and her team sought after quality leads that took the initiative to get that link for the private podcast series.
In the final episode of this series, Amy promoted the next step in her pre-launch sequence: a PAID bootcamp.
The final phase of Amy’s pre-launch strategy involved a PAID bootcamp that is entirely focused on digital courses and launching a program.
Here’s the bootcamp format:
Like phase five of Amy’s pre-launch sequence, this lead magnet also had a feeling of exclusivity, because this was the first asset Amy offered FOR A PRICE.
Amy had done plenty of free bootcamps before, but she learned a valuable lesson after charging for this particular offer…
FREE bootcamp = MORE leads & FEWER conversions
PAID bootcamp = FEWER leads & MORE conversions
The previous year, Amy’s bootcamp attracted roughly 20,000 participants, BUT the number of those participants who actually took the leap and purchased Amy’s Digital Course Academy program was… skimpy.
“I think it was under 5%,” says Amy. “A lot of people weren’t necessarily in it to win it.”
However, when Amy and her team slapped a price onto the bootcamp, the numbers changed.
“Less people joined. However, the conversions were over 25%,” Amy shares. “I don’t get those kinds of conversions even with webinars!”
Amy says the mere addition of a price tag weeded out the folks who were merely curious. The PAID bootcamp attracted the right type of people, she says, because they had skin in the game.
The last day of the bootcamp (the bonus Masterclass/webinar) marked the end of Amy’s pre-launch strategy, and it coincided with two strategic moves (which both pointed to DCA)…
After six weeks of juicy pre-launch freebies, 77,000 leads, and $165K total spent on ads, Amy and her team celebrated $7.5 MILLION in sales for her signature program!
In past pre-launch strategies, Amy has paired the weekly freebies with weekly Facebook lives, but in recent years, those numbers were dwindling.
“It wasn’t working like it used to,” says Amy. So, Amy’s marketing team proposed an alternative strategy.
“There is a way you can send somebody a Zoom invite so it shows up as ‘tentative’ on their calendar, and they can accept it or not,” says Amy. “Basically, it’s a surprise live.”
Essentially, anyone who opted into a freebie (the quiz, the list-building PDF, etc.) during the six-week pre-launch would get an invitation to a surprise live training on Zoom…
“Because you showed up for _______, we’re inviting you to a surprise live event, where Amy will teach you _______! Here’s your link! See you in an hour!”
Those who weren’t interested could easily decline the invite, but those who were (and MANY were) essentially received a “reward” for participating in the pre-launch.
“It was kind of an urgency play, and the show-up was OUTSTANDING,” says Amy. “We had over 1,000 people versus the 100 people on Facebook.”
Amy literally texts her marketing project manager MID-INTERVIEW to share details on this specific strategy. Scroll to the top of this blog post to listen to the full episode!
“My bread and butter may be to teach people how to create digital courses, but ultimately I want to help people start businesses online…
I know there’s a woman right now working a 9-to-5 job, looking around thinking, ‘This can’t be it.’ She might not even know that this world of online business exists! I want to introduce more people to this world, where the opportunities are endless, where you don’t have to ask for time off, you don’t have to ask for a raise, you don’t have to hit the glass ceiling…
YOU call the shots. YOU are in charge of your life. YOU create your destiny.”
Watch The Road to RISE Documentary by Comcast RISE!
Manage all your social media accounts + access in-depth social analytics you can’t find anywhere else with Metricool! Sign up for your forever FREE account and try premium features free for 30 days when you visit metricool.com & use code ‘CEO.’