Fail … Tweak … Succeed
Let me start with the story of a failing product launch by a big name in online and direct mail – a launch that was transformed by careful monitoring of the numbers, combined with repositioning, and replacing so-so copy with the work of a master copywriter.
It was set to be the product that would move the company’s profits from good to great for 2014 … the shopping cart was open, but people were not buying – or not in the numbers anticipated. The marketing department were faced with unmet budgets – number so far below the ones they had counted on that it called for a drastic re-think. So they did just that. They’d invested far too much to just shrug their shoulder and bow to fate, and they knew that their product could transform the businesses of buyers. They tweaked the positioning and invested nearly $50,000 on a copywriter who had a vision for what this product could do.
In a way, they re-launched the product … and the buyers came, just as they had predicted.
In fact, the product outperformed their predictions by a wide margin. I want to emphasise that this was a team of savvy marketers who knew their audience – yet they bombed the first time round.
Lesson: Don’t ever take results for granted. Measure and monitor everything, invest in good copy and remember that even experts don’t succeed every time.
Fail … Fail … Persevere … Succeed
One of the titans of the direct mail world invested in a substantial book that they were sure was going to be a winner. They’d even tested the market to prove there was high demand for it. Yet it bombed – twice! – at great cost to the company. Still they had numbers to prove the interest was there, and a personal stake in the book so they tried yet a third time – new title, new campaign, same book – and their perseverance paid off with the success they had anticipated all along … on the third try.
Their advice to product owners: hire the best creative team you can afford, and resist the temptation to skimp on this aspect. When you work with an agency, you often don’t get the flexibility you need in this area, and the opportunity to work with a creative team that shares your passion for your product.
Lesson: Sometimes you need to keep pushing through failure, rather than giving in to it – but a great creative team helps communicate the message.
Invest for Success
If you were planning the launch of a new product to be sold online what would be your budget? How would you split it between copy, design, web functionality, and advertising? This company spent $29,000 on the website, funnel, design and advertising, and the site is now generating over $17,465 per day for it’s owner!
What may surprise you is the split between these services: $3,000 for web design, $2,500 for graphic design, $3,500 for the funnel and advertising, and $20,000 on copy. The owner said, “The copy is pretty much evergreen, but we know the other stuff becomes obsolete quickly, so I chose to invest over two-thirds of my budget in the copy.”
Lesson: Great copy is an investment, not an expense.
If these numbers seem unreal to you try the difference changing your copy can make for yourself. Often minor tweaks to the headline, sub-heading, or lead are enough to drastically transform your results. Take a copywriting course, use a proven template for your project, or hire a proven direct response copywriter to write for you and see what happens.