List Building System
Project start date = June 25th
Product launch date = July 14
Project end date = August 10
Watching the List-Building System project come together was a study in teamwork, hair-trigger reaction times and knowing your customer… with a little “Ready-Fire-Aim” thrown in for good measure!
And like most good stories, there was a lot more going on behind the scenes than meets the eye.
Let me explain…
As with other examples in this Success Stories collection, I was working with Ali International’s virtual team of marketing experts to launch a product that was near and dear to the CEO’s heart.
After all, Ali Brown started her copywriting and online marketing business over a decade ago doing exactly what this course was designed to teach — a step-by-step system for growing your customer list with online newsletters, promotion and relationship-building.
Since then, her multi-million dollar business has grown far beyond her “E-Zine Queen” beginnings, and the launch of this course showed exactly why. Because just after the List-Building System’s successful kickoff (but before the course actually started two weeks later), Ali went on a week-long vacation — while sales and sign-ups continued to roll in!
A little like art imitating life, you think?
I received the first email on this upcoming project in the last days of June, with advance notice that I should expect actual materials and outlines to start arriving by the end of that week.
Fortunately, since we’d already worked together on several projects at this point, I knew the systematic structure of the team’s promotions pretty well. So, using previous emails and sales materials as a guide, I started preparing the pre-launch announcement email series for a planned informational teleseminar to send to Ali’s different lists of subscribers, customers and affiliates.
Funny thing was, at this point a few of the templates to follow for “what we want” were copies of salesletters and messaging I’d written for them on earlier projects!
That’s how you know you’re getting it right…
As usual, the full complement of email messaging, Tweets and Facebook updates went together right away, using the basic product details we’d confirmed at this early stage. This is a big course — 4 teleseminar calls plus two huge printed binders at launch – so we were constantly riding the line between under-promoting the massive content or overloading with specifics.
After all, you know that good copy doesn’t just tell… it has to sell!
Working from a proposed outline of bullets and benefits from the team, I offered two completely different additional directions to use for the main product promotion. The main salesletter drafts came together with about one-and-a-half rewrites — as I’ve mentioned, I prefer to get well into fine-tuning a first draft long before handing it over to my clients, to make sure it’s something I’d actually buy, too.
And then the first ‘GOTCHA’ happened…
As part of my research and preparations for the launch, I’d received a rush of sales material from other promoters of different list building products on the market. Some were good, some were over-hyped. And I admit to having some trouble distilling a unique headline approach for this one, after so much cramming.
So the first draft went out with a pieced-together headline that had clearly been influenced by the over-the-top examples I’d seen. I included a note that I would take a fresh look at it after a good night’s sleep. I just couldn’t look at it any more that day…
You can guess what happened next…
The draft went straight to ‘the Boss’ for editing and approval!
But even under the intense deadlines of this and several other launches and events in the works, the edited draft came back through the team with a few revisions. Notably, the headline was completely thrown out, with a note from Ali saying that it was “Exciting copy, but a little too hypey. Please try again.”
What better place for me to screw up than on ‘center stage’!
Fortunately, another paragraph I’d written fit her personality perfectly, and Ali used it to create the headline you see in the final version.
Make no mistake about it… Ali Brown is a class act from start to finish.
Believe it or not, the pace picked up even more counting down toward the kickoff call. The 3-hour timezone differences between our offices on the east and west coasts made for a couple of VERY long days (and a couple of last-minute saves too, since my day started much earlier than theirs.)
Then as luck would have it, an online marketer’s worst nightmare came true when the shopping cart went down minutes before the teleseminar started!
It was revived within an hour, but some sales were undoubtedly sacrificed with the unfortunate timing. We focused on additional follow-up emails to rescue some of those sales, including a last-minute promotion centered around Ali’s vacation to give interested customers a last chance to buy.
Ultimately, an exhaustive team effort on this one produced some strong sales materials for a best-of-breed product. And showed us all how you can still get sales up even when things don’t go right the first time… it’s what you do next that matters the most!
Like clicking the big yellow button to get started with YOUR winning sales copy…