AskPat 795 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here. Welcome to Episode 795 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week. We have a great question today from Paul. Before we get to that, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is VistaPrint.
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Paul: Hi, Pat. This is Paul from www.photographytv.com. My question is actually a follow-up to an SPI Podcast Session 162 that I just listened to, in which your guest, Nick, had a successful product launch over $130,000 at his launch. My question is around the strategy he used of an open cart where the product launch had the product available just for a set period of time and then closed it down.
I just wanted to get your thoughts on if you do a course, or a product launch, should you do the open cart strategy, or more just go evergreen right from the start? Pros and cons to each. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Cheers, take care. Thanks for answering the question.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Paul. Thank you so much for the question. A link reminder for everybody out there listening. This is about Nick Stevenson, a first timer's $130,208 product launch. You can find that particular episode at www.smartpassiveincome.com/session162. That was a great episode.
That was somebody who had listened to my show and had listened to an episode with David Siteman Garland, who was talking about creating awesome online courses. He took action. By the time his product launch rolled around, he just was absolutely crushing it.
This question is related to whether or not one should have their cart go through an open/close phase. I'll talk about the pros and cons of that, or have it be open for good without having the cart close, and the pros and cons of that.
You might be able to think of some in your head right now for those of you listening to open and close it, you get to take advantage of scarcity. By scarcity, I mean the fear of missing out. The open/close sequence, when it's open, you can make a huge deal out of it. You make a big event out of it.
That also gives you a good opportunity, within the year, to send more emails than normal, to reach out to joint venture partnerships and to have everybody just make a big deal out of it and create a lot of excitement around that date.
Also, during that launch period, to remind people when the cart is closing. When people realize that they would potentially miss out on something, whether that is a deal, or a bonus that's going away as soon as a particular date hits, then they're going to be more likely to take action especially for the people who are in your audience that are on the fence.
That's one of the huge benefits in why that works so well, the launch sequence. A lot of people use things like the three video launch series made famous by Jeff Walker and the product launch formula, or PLF you may have heard of before.
We actually spoke with Amy Porterfield who uses that strategy. She and I had a great chat about that in episode 137 of the Smart Passive Income podcast. Check out www.smartpassiveincome.com/session137 if you want to listen to hear how one could produce those videos that lead up to an open launch and then making a big deal out it and then closing the cart.
The disadvantage to doing it that way is that it's definitely not passive. That's for sure. There's a ton of moving parts involved, a ton of other people that need to be involved to make everything run smoothly. Of course, if it doesn't run smoothly, that's a lost opportunity. You got to make sure it's done right.
In terms of income, the other big thing about the open/close sequence is that, when it's closed, you're not making any money. In order to make more money, you have to go through this process again. You learn a lot from the first one that you can incorporate into the second one, and so on, and so on, and so on.
A lot of people who have done these several times have learned from a lot of mistakes that they've made. You have to make those mistakes. You're never going to be perfect the first time around when you do this.
The more you do it, the better you become and the more money you can generate. The more proof that you have that your product will sell, which in turn allows you to connect with even more people who will want to put this product in front of their audiences as an affiliate, for example. That's one side of the spectrum.
On the other side of the spectrum, you can keep your product open for good. The cool thing about that is, of course, you are generating an income as long as that product is out there, as long as people are seeing that product. It's mostly automated. It's set it and …. I don't want to say, “Set it and forget it.” You never want to just forget the things that you put up. That almost makes it seem like you never have to pay attention to it again. No, that's not true.
Even with the always open format, you still need to pay attention to numbers and want to optimize and whatnot. It's not a set it and forget it kind of thing. You set up there. Then you can focus on driving traffic to it. You can pay for advertising to come and see what this is all about. You're able to generate an income throughout the year as you are doing this instead of in big chunks throughout the year.
The downsides of this are you don't necessarily get to take as much advantage of scarcity as you would with the closing of the cart. The closing of the cart is the act of, “This thing is not going to be here anymore.” That doesn't get incorporated into the always open strategy.
However, you can still inject a little bit of scarcity by offering bonuses that almost act like a mini launch. For certain times of the year, you can offer bonuses that will disappear at certain times, however, the product can still continue to be open and a part of your funnel.
That's the other thing. You can put this into your funnel and understand, in real time, how it's working for you. The disadvantage of going the other way, with opening and closing, is that you can only test this when it's open.
Here, you're always testing. You can incorporate it into your funnel, into your email sequences. You can tweak and move things along and see day to day, or week to week what's working and what's not. After all this, what is the best way to go?
For me personally, in my own courses for example, the course that's launching at www.smartfromscratch.com, it was initially launched with an open/close sequence. That was for a certain number of people who were going to get access to it early, so that I could work with them as early founding students, as a beta group to help me make the course even better before I go publicly and open it for good.
When it comes out again in the future, it will likely be … I still haven't really made a final decision. I keep going back and forth. I'm right there with you, Paul, in terms of what's best. Really, the only way to know is to try it one way, see what happens, and then try it another way.
I feel like opening it the first time is a great way to do it with the close and the scarcity and the limitations on the number of students. That way, you can make your course as finely tuned as possible and then make a decision on the second round, whether or not you want it open for good. Or, maybe after the first time, you realize that you can't open it for good, because you want to have classes go through it together, so larger chunks of students going through it at the same time, as opposed to just trickles of students every single day.
That's the other advantage of going through it in open/close fashion is that you'd be able to group that group of students together into a sequence where they're all going through it together as a community. Whereas people who are trickling in, they might not necessarily feel like they have a class, but maybe that they're more on their own.
Make sure that even if you go with the always open feature that you want to allow them to become a part of a community if possible, because that's really what's going to help them get stuck into your program and want to stick around with you even more.
Thank you so much, Paul. I appreciate you. Thank you for the question. For all of you listening, if you have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show, please head on over to www.AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page.
As always, I love to finish with a quote. Today's quote comes from William James. His quote is, “Be willing to have it so. Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.”
Thanks, guys. Take care. I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.
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