6 Reasons Why Your Product Launch Failed (and How to Prevent it Happening Again)

So, you’ve spent weeks (or months) creating an amazing product or offer.

Maybe it’s this awesome self-study course you’ve been dreaming about creating for ages now (I mean, hello, passive income!) or maybe it’s that transformational group coaching program you knew your people totally need… Or maybe it’s something else.

You’re excited about it. You’re feeling nervous… but you know it’s meant to get out there.

So, with a shaky finger… you hit “SEND” on that first email announcing that the program is now open for enrollment!

You sit back on your couch, laptop on your lap, your inbox open, an eager smile on your face… waiting.

You hit refresh.

Nothing.

You hit refresh again… surely there’s gotta be a sale coming in any moment now.

Nothing.

After 30 more minutes of this, you reluctantly drag yourself to bed, feeling defeated and embarrassed.

Except you can’t sleep. So you toss and turn all night, checking your phone to see if anything has happened since you last checked it only to feel disappointed, still.

You go through a whole week or two like this, huge expectations… crashing right down, with very few sales coming through when you were expecting an avalanche.

You did the webinars! You did the launchy things! Heck, you even hired a copywriter to write your sales page! So WTF!?

It feels like a Total. Flop.

So, you start thinking:

Maybe you’re not meant for this after all. Maybe you ARE a fraud. I mean, my god, no one cares about what you have to say clearly! You might as well just delete your FB page now and call it quits.

Does any of that sound familiar?

Perhaps this situation has already happened to you before, or maybe you haven’t launched before but the situation I described above is exactly the definition of your launch nightmare and you’re like OMFG this is a sign I shouldn’t do it! GAH!

Whatever the situation, I want to let you know that I get it. You’re not alone.

But also… Damn, woman. CHILL.

Just because you had a launch that didn’t go as planned doesn’t have to mean anything drastic about:

  • your self-worth
  • your future business success
  • or anything else personal or emotional

In fact, sometimes launches AREN’T going to be successful. And that’s fine!

Over the course of the last four years of running my training and coaching business, I’ve been behind the scenes of dozens of launches for both my own business and with my clients. And guess what? Not every launch is a raving success. In fact, I’d go as far as to say the majority weren’t.

Some were total flops with not a single sale in sight.

But that’s how we grow. That’s how we learn. And it’s how the universe gets rid of the fairweather entrepreneurs 😉 Cause baby, it ain’t roses and unicorns all the way through to six and seven figures.

You have to get comfortable with the discomfort of uncertainty. We never know how things will turn out. We can plan for things, but at the end of the day, it’s not up to us whether people buy… it’s up to them.

With that said, I want to share a couple of things to help you out.

In fact, this entire blog post came to mind because I was speaking with a woman who wanted to hire me as her coach after having a “failed” launch. She felt discouraged, she thought her audience didn’t care about her, that her offer sucked, and her impostor syndrome was coming up strong.

In our conversation, I had a big ah-ha. It was that, sometimes:

People’s expectations of success sometimes don’t match their level of output!

So, let’s address this right off the bat:

Was your launch REALLY a flop?

Or did you just not do the work necessary to make it a success?

Let’s illustrate this so you can see what happened:

Her: I just created this group program and I launched it and I had no sales. I wanted 10 clients to sign up but I had none!

Me: No sales? Really? Can you tell me more? What’s the program?

Her: It was this 12-week group coaching program for women.

Me: What was the price point?

Her: It was $3,500.

Me: Great. So I’m curious, I’d love to dig into this a bit more to see what might have gone wrong. Tell me, how many sales calls did you do?

Her: What? I didn’t really do any sales calls…I sent people to the sales page to buy.

Me: Okay, and how many people saw the sales page?

Her: I don’t really know…

Me: Okay, do you see how this is a problem? We can’t jump to conclusions saying the launch failed if we don’t know what actually went down. But that’s okay. So, what was the launch exactly? What did you do? What’d it look like?

Her: Well, I emailed my list.

Me: Okay, how many times did you email your list?

Her: Twice.

Me: Ok, let me get this straight. You wanted to sign 10 clients at a $3500 price point directly from a sales page and you expected to enroll them by sending two emails to your list of 200 people. I’m going to be really honest with you here but the numbers just don’t work here. You simply sent two emails, didn’t see anything happen, and sounds like you just gave up, assuming there’s something wrong with the offer or your audience (or YOU!), but that’s not necessarily the case. Now, it’s not your fault because you didn’t have a strategy to follow, I know you’re not a marketing or business minded person, and that’s fine.

Me: So, when I work with clients on their group program launches, first of all, for a program like this I like to give them a 1-2 month window to do enrollments. Second, the best way to enroll clients at a high ticket price point is by doing sales calls. People will very rarely, if ever, join a high ticket program without talking to you first, unless you already have a big raving audience of buyers.

Me: From there, you have to figure out how many phone calls you need to get in order to get the clients. Figure in your close rate and then focus on getting the calls. And in order to get the number of phone calls you’d need here, you’d have to do more than just email your list twice, especially when it’s a small list. There are a host of things you can do, but you have to make sure that your numbers make sense. Besides, most people on your list aren’t even seeing your emails, especially when you only send them once or twice.

Me: So, I know this feels like a flop, but truth be told this wasn’t really a launch to begin with. There’s really nothing to fail at here because the work that was put into the enrollment simply did not match the results you wanted to see.

Tough love? Maybe. Because isn’t that why people pay me the big bucks? 😉

The reason I’m sharing this conversation with you is because this happens a LOT.

People expect sales to happen magically. Out of thin air.

It’s like, all you need to do is create something and trust people will come. And while I’m all for woo-woo magic and Law of Attraction, the truth of the matter is…

If no one knows your offer exists, no one will buy it!

I had to be brutally honest with this woman (as I usually am) because she’s been coddled enough by other coaches who were yes-women and just wanted to please her. Which apparently happens a lot in our industry!

So, anyway.

The first key here is:

Make sure you do the appropriate amount of output in order to expect a specific input.

Fair enough? Okay. So, let’s say you did do the work. In fact, you hustled. But yet your launch did not produce the results you expected to see.

What does that mean?

There can be many reasons that tie into why that might happen (I outline some of them in this video), but I wanted to outline a few most common reasons why your product launch might not have been successful.

Reason #1. You modeled someone else’s launch and expected to get the same results

This one I see alllllll the time among coaches and experts online.

I mean, we can’t help it. We compare ourselves to others. And this goes way beyond business, I mean look at our mainstream media, it’s literally rooted in comparing women to each other – who wore it best, etc.

So, maybe you’ve been inspired by others who tout having huge successful launches. Maybe you’ve watched case studies from people breaking down their success so you can model it (heck, maybe you saw one of mine too!) and you felt so empowered. You’re like OMG, she can do it, I can too!

The problem with that, though, is that – yes, while it often does show us what’s possible and creates that buzz of excitement, it can also be tricky if you use those people’s results as benchmarks for YOUR success.

What do I mean here?

Simple. Your business is YOUR own. Their business is THEIRS. It’s not one and the same. You are different people, with different businesses, and different audiences, and different offers. You simply cannot compare your success to theirs!

Even if you “funnel hack” the heck out of a launch, it doesn’t mean you’ll have the same results they did! Copying or modeling someone’s structure is just not enough. Otherwise, we’d all be rich and successful – but also walking around with complete replicas of each others’ programs and offers. Meh. Boring!

Here are a few things to know about other people’s launches:

  1. Not every launch they do is likely successful – or, in the least, they likely didn’t start out that way. Every overnight success takes months if not years to be created.
  2. They likely have a bigger audience than you, and their audience might have more buyers than yours does (often, the gurus who share their successes of how they emailed their list once and got 100 sales fail to mention their list has 100,000+ people on it. You can’t compare that if your list is 1,000.)
  3. They might have launched that same offer several times, done testing and tweaking to really nail it down, before doing the “big” launch you see now.
  4. You don’t know how much went on behind the scenes to create that success – Did they spend money on ads? How much? Did they have affiliates or JV partners? Do they have more social proof than you? Testimonials? Media features? Magic fairy dust? What?! You don’t know!!!

So, my recommendation is to forget what other people are doing. Yes, you can be inspired. That’s great. Draw insights and lessons to make your growth smoother.

But for the love of your sanity, use YOUR OWN results as your OWN benchmarks. The only person you are competing against is yourself. Even if that other person has a business that seemingly looks exactly like yours – trust me, it’s not.

If you only got one sale? Great. Now all you need to do is get two, the same way as before, to beat your own score. Isn’t that a lot more empowering to know you are growing and getting better? It’s the long game. Keep going!

Baby steps are better than no steps at all.

Reason #2. You launched without any warning.

Another most common culprit to an “unsuccessful” launch… doing an ambush style launch 😂

Side note: I’ve been trying to use the words “failed,” “unsuccessful,” and “flopped” in quotations because this is a subjective matter. I don’t want you to think like you’re failing because you’re not. There’s a learning opportunity in every single launch or campaign you run. Shift your perception and don’t take things so seriously and you’ll be good 🙂

You know the deal:

You look at your bank account. You’re like… “Oh crap. I need to bring some more cash in this month… What should I do *looks around* ah-ha! Let’s launch something new!”

So, you scramble to come up with some offer and send your email. Boom. It’s done.

And you might get some sales, especially if it’s a low ticket product and you have a sizeable list. But if you’re trying to sell anything higher than, say, $97? It might be tough unless your audience is primed to buy and loves to buy from you regardless of what you sell.

Most people need to be in the right frame of mind to buy. So, just a random email is usually not enough to get them in the space of buying because we don’t know WHAT they are currently thinking.

Say, you came up with a new product about creating the perfect tinder profile so you can get some dates lined up. If your audience doesn’t know what Tinder is, they won’t buy. If your audience doesn’t care about dating apps overall, they won’t buy. If your audience doesn’t think they need help with their profile, they won’t buy. If… you get it.

This can be easily remedied by sending a few emails ahead of time to PRIME your list. Show them the vision, the mistakes people make on the path to that vision, and set up the perfect segway for introducing the offer. Doing this over a course of a few days is especially important when doing a higher priced product.

(Btw, this becomes irrelevant if you sell via webinar or video sales letter, but if your goal is to send an email directly to a sales page, it’s a good idea to prime your folks a bit before you go right for the jugular).

Reason #3. Your offer or positioning or audience was off.

I’m sorry, I should have put this one as the first reason because that’s usually the main culprit. But whatever. These are not in any order any more. Just go with it. 🤪

There are a few things that might have been off during your launch that resulted in the floppy flop:

  1. Your offer was off
  2. Your audience was off
  3. Your offer’s positioning was off

“Gahhh, what do you meannnn, Kamila?!? My offer was freaking awesome and I have the audience!! You’re making no sense you crazy person you!”

Let me explain:

Most coaches and experts create offers based on what THEY think people want. Not research, not data, not trends.

Now, I’m all for feeling into your offer and creating from the heart. Obviously. But at the same time if that’s the ONLY thing you are creating your offer based on, well the only person you’re really creating that for is… yourself. No?

Effective sexy offers are created from the intersection of alignment, addressing a need, and providing the right solution, plus having the right people to put the offer in front of.

I’ll talk about creating offers another time. But yeah, that’s the first reason within this.

Secondly, your audience might have been off. For example, as an impact-driven entrepreneur you might sometimes be drawn to help all the people, which is great, but if you want to make money you’re gonna have to direct your stuff towards the people who are willing and ABLE to spend the money on your stuff.

It doesn’t make any sense to create a high ticket life coaching course for single moms who are struggling living paycheck to paycheck because they are going to be spending their money on putting food on the table… and working. It’s not a low hanging fruit. It’s an uphill battle.

When you create offers, you have to take into consideration whether your audience is willing and able to make the investment. Are they in the space to make the decision? Are they ready financially? What about mentally and emotionally?

Misalignment here might cause hiccups.

Lastly, positioning is a big miss for most failed launches. Your offer might be awesome and you might be sharing it with the right people but if the way you position your offer doesn’t resonate or land for people… well, they won’t see the true value.

Or you might be hearing things like “Sounds great, but I’ll join next time.” or “This so cool! I just can’t right now.” or “I totally see the value, but I just have to do XYZ first.” (how ironic).

This means they really DON’T see the true value of the program, meaning the positioning likely needs work. Your prospects need to feel the urgency to take action… and I don’t necessarily mean because the countdown timer is about to go down to zero.

Your prospect has to feel the weight and severity of their current situation so deeply that it becomes urgent for them to change it NOW. And then your offer must be positioned to help them transition from the place they’re in now (boo) to the place they want to be (yay).

This is what will get your offer from being seen as a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have.”

Reason #4. Your numbers don’t make sense.

I talked about that in the little snippet of the conversation I had with the lady I spoke with. This is what I always start with. What do the numbers say? Do the numbers make sense?

It’s easy to say “I want to have a six-figure launch” but if you have a list of 10 people and they’re all your family members and you’re not willing to spend any money on ads or time on outreach, I’m sorry – but you can sit in lotus pose ommm-ing all day long and you still won’t manifest that kind of result.

We have to get clear with what is possible first. What is the right stretchy number to aim for?

And by the way, I’m all for aiming high! Making huge goals. You don’t have to know exactly how it’ll happen. Or where the people will come from. But you have to have a plan and your foundation has to be able to provide that kind of result in some way shape or form.

Is it possible to create a six-figure launch on the first go with a list of zero? Totally. 

But you’ll have to either spend money on ads or do loads of manual work for outreach and networking. Lots of hustle.

But yes, it’s totally possible.

One of my clients had a six-figure launch with a list of 200. It’s really not that complicated to do it, all you need is 10 clients at $10k or 5 clients at $20k. That’s not so bad.

But if you’re like OMGGG but how can I possibly charge that much? And where will I find the people? And… ahhh!

Well, then maybe we need to adjust your goals a bit, eh?

Calculate some options here and see where you stand and what you’d need to do/have to hit your goals.

And breathe.

Reason #5. Your launch sequence needs work and tweaking.

Now, I’ll admit. Launches are like wild beasts. Some people don’t need any elaborate sequences. Others prefer to turn it into a rocket scientist project. Both ways can work, but it really depends on your audience size, offer, price, and engagement and trut you already have with your audience.

If you are doing a live or automated launch, sometimes the issue with the lack of sales might be due to an ineffective launch sequence. There are four main core sections of most launches:

  • The pre-pre-launch
  • The pre-launch
  • The launch
  • The post-launch

I won’t talk about the pre-pre-launch here, but I do want to address the pre-launch and launch.

The pre-launch exists to get your prospects in the right frame of mind to make a buying decision. We already discussed this when we talked about surprise launches.

The launch is anything that happens between when the cart opens and closes. For some people, this can be as short of a window as a few days, and for others, it can be as long as two months (or longer, especially when it’s a very high ticket program).

But you’re not gonna just email them “Hey the program is now open!” and then “Hey, the program is now ending!”

There are strategic things you can do in between these two key dates to get people to jump off the fence.

Talking about the bonuses, any fast action specials, answering questions, addressing their concerns is just a part of it.

Making sure you’re doing it consistently and really nailing it with the engagement is another.

Many people don’t buy because they don’t realize you’re even doing a launch in the first place!

I’ll never forget when I was doing my first launch for my Facebook Ads course back in early 2016. I went through the whole launch sequence. I was starting to feel like a pest, I was sending a lot of emails.

Then at the end, I sent a survey to people who didn’t buy to find out why (this is part of the post-launch btw) and you know what some people said????

“Oh, I didn’t know there was something for sale. What was it?”

Are you kidding me right now?!?!

That taught me a valuable lesson. You can’t email too much.

If you feel like you’re starting to get annoying, it means you’re probably just now STARTING to get noticed. Some people still won’t know you’re even selling something 😂

So, yeah. Tweaks are important. Tweak that sequence. But also, SEND THOSE MESSAGES OUT!

Reason #6. Your sales mechanism was wonky or confusing.

Saving the best for last (oh, who am I kidding? These were all best 😅 #sohumble)… your sales mechanism. What’s up with it?

Now, wtf is a sales mechanism? Well, that’s your handy-dandy THING that actually gets the sale processed.

It could be:

  • You, on the phone, manually doing the sale
  • Webinar or masterclass
  • Free challenge or bootcamp
  • Event or workshop
  • Sales page
  • Video sales letter
  • Email

Lots of other things that are not listed here too. It’s the method for someone to become a customer. Ok?

Most people think they need to create a sales page and send people there to get sales. 

But it’s not as easy as that.

Just a sales page by itself might not be enough. Sure, if it’s a low ticket price, it could work. But if it’s something pricier? It’ll be rough (again, unless you already have rabid fans who buy everything you create).

As a rule of thumb, I usually only send people to a plain text sales page when it’s for a product lower than $197, maybe $297.

Usually, it’s even less than that.

You can, however, sell directly from an email (and going directly to an order link) if you’re pre-framed enough and created the desire for the product. I did that before with a $697 product. I accidentally sent people to an order form versus a sales page and I got sales. Who knew!

But overall, anything above $297, I’d recommend having a video or a webinar or doing a free challenge or something else.

Anything above $2,000 I usually recommend sending to a phone call so you can close the sale. This is not a hard and fast rule. Some people might want to do it for a lower priced program (like, if you’re new and need the practice) and some might not wanna do it unless the program is $3500 or more. It’s a preference and taking into considerations what you have available to you already. #numbers

Anything that is a higher investment is going to be more of a decision people need to really think about versus being an impulse buy. This means you have to tap into their emotional AND logical side to really pull on the strings to make them want it.

This is easier done with a method where the prospect can really connect with you – whether it’s via video or in person or more.

This is something we usually determine together, including the exact path.

But it could be that this needs changing and tweaking – and clarifying – to make it easier for people to make the decision.

I could go on and on and on about this point. But I won’t. I’ve already said a lot today.

I might continue another time. Or we can do it together. Book a free strategy call and we can talk about how I can help.

Surprising Possibility:

Maybe your launch WAS actually successful, but you didn’t realize it.