I grew my email list by over 15,000 using this social media challenge idea… and in today’s all-new AccessAlly tell-all post, I show you how you can too.
Many people have seen the popular 30 Day List Building Challenge that we’ve been running for the past few years… some people say it’s the best training on list building, and even better than many paid trainings they’ve purchased.
That warms my heart.
I’ve also noticed that many people who take the challenge decide they want to start their own “many day challenge” around their topic of expertise.
Maybe it’s a self-love challenge, a meditation challenge, a fitness challenge, or even a bust through your blocks challenge.
I’m all for it – and today I’m going to share with you exactly how we created our challenge, and how you can learn from our mistakes along the way… so that your challenge can help you build your email list with engaged participants and potentially help you sell more of your programs and offerings, too.
There’s no shortage of tech platforms for hosting and selling digital products: you’ve got PayPal, Gumroad, email, Stripe, and even Dropbox.
There’s a good reason for the plethora of options…
The digital product and online learning industry is on track to reach $25 billion dollars by 2023.
Billion with a B.
And the barrier to entry for selling online courses and other digital goods is pretty low…
If you can connect with an audience through social media or blogging… then it’s just a matter of putting your expertise into a digital program that people can purchase and access online.
That’s exactly what Becca Tracey did when she founded The Uncaged Life. She’s the business expert coaches and service solopreneurs turn to when they need help getting going online.
Reverse Engineering Becca’s First $100,000 Digital Product Launch
Becca has been in business online since 2011. She started her business out of a camper van while rock climbing across the USA!
Along the way, she experimented with many different ways of working with clients, before ever launching a digital product.
Here’s what I love about Becca: she believes in building a business that gives you a LIFE, and she's walking her talk.
That’s why she decided on a launch-based business model for her program Uncage Your Business, which she now runs twice a year.
Not having ongoing clients all the time lets her live up to her uncaged name.
She takes 4 to 6 months off a year, and usually plans her trips based on where the weather is good for rock climbing!
Her most recent launch brought in over $100,000… but it wasn’t always this way.
As with most people who start out selling digital products, she had modest course sales that slowly built up over time.
The progression of Becca's program sales from year to year.
She evolved her course materials based on feedback from participants, and continued to deliver results for each person who signed up… which allowed her to raise her prices.
But that still begs the question, what did she DO to sell that many spots in her online course?
The Secret Was a “Low Key, Personal Touch” Approach to Selling Digital Products
Contrary to popular dogma, you don’t need a ton of big name affiliates, a fancy 3-part video series, or to hire a super expensive copywriter to do well with your own course launches.
I asked Becca what she did to have a successful launch, on her terms and following her business values.
Here’s what she had to say (pay attention, this is golden!):
“For this launch, I kept things ridiculously simple.
I did some list building with Facebook ads for a few weeks prior to launch, and then launched with pretty much just emails to my list!
I had about a one week open cart period and packed as much value into my emails as I could.
- Engaged in my Facebook group by doing Facebook lives
- Installed a live chat on my website where I personally answered every question that came in
- Sent personalized voice replies to people inquiring about the program through email
It was all about low key, personal touch for this launch – and it worked!”
But before she launched, she knew there was something that needed to be addressed.
You see, while she had been gaining traction with her marketing and program delivery, she realized that her technology hadn’t been keeping up.
It was time to ditch Dropbox, and build a tailored course website
Here’s what Becca had to say about making the transition to a new automated course and membership solution:
“I was running my program for the last 3 years in dropbox (of all places!) and I knew that it was time to level up and make it easier to use for my students.
I really wanted a system where I could customize the platform with my branding to match my shiny new website, and also one where I could track progress and be able to see how students were doing throughout the course.
AccessAlly let me do both those things and was the obvious choice!”
What peer mentors had to say about the new membership site
Obviously moving from selling online courses through Dropbox and setting up a login portal for members through AccessAlly is a big move.
Becca brought in her peer mentors, who had seen the previous rounds of the program and she shares that:
“They were blown away. They knew I was revamping, but they had NO idea how great the course would look and how simple it would be to navigate.
One of them, a professor and a stickler for seamless user experience, was so impressed with how great everything looked, how easy it was to use, and how cool it was that we could track students’ progress.”
You could say that selling digital products doesn’t have to be done in a bare bones way… you CAN put your personality into your online courses.
In fact, what happens when you do is just short of miraculous…
Students react to the new branded members area
Because of the way Becca promoted her course with her personal touch approach, it was key that the user experience continue to be personalized.
The worst thing that can happen for a course creator is to have a great “sales experience” but a lack luster “learning experience” for customers.
Luckily, with AccessAlly and the newly designed membership site, student retention was front and center.
In fact, Becca shared that with the new site she has “happy students all around!”
Here are just a few of the messages she received 4 days into the course:
“So far, this is the best course I have taken. The most interactive. The clearest. And I’ve done them all.” – LeighAnn H.
“YES I’m clear, I’m excited, I’m glad I signed up for this course – I'd still be going in circles and doubting myself at every turn. This has been everything so far!” – Chinasa A.
Making the transition to a new course platform – here’s what you need to know
Becca has seen a return on investment for her move to a new membership site platform…
But if you’re just getting started selling digital products, you might not be ready to upgrade to a customizable course platform like AccessAlly.
Here are some things you should think about as you decide which tech stack you’ll need to sell and deliver your courses and programs:
- Will this tool automate the selling and delivery of my programs (so you’re not manually processing anything)
- Will I reduce customer support requests by switching to a more streamlined course platform?
- Can this tool scale with me as my business grows over time?
- Will I be doing the technical implementation or will I hire someone to do it for me?
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into the decision making process for what tools you’ll use to offer digital programs online.
Live life uncaged
If you’re a new business owner, trying to figure out what to do next to grow… then Becca and The Uncaged Life is where it’s at.
Right now, Facebook and Google own 25% of global ad spend. It’s a duopoly.
As even more advertising dollars continue to be poured into these two companies, the demand for real estate goes up… ad prices are only going to continue to increase.
Can you win the bidding war?
Or a better question might be: Is it worth trying?
Although advertising is THE “go to” way for increasing traffic to online products, it's definitely not the only thing that works. Sometimes, it's not even the best choice for your business.
If you've been in business for awhile or are considering starting a new business… you might have heard about the “holy grail” of business models.
That's why today we're sharing 7 of our favorite recurring revenue business ideas, to get you going.
Any time you create income that is predictable and reliable month-over-month, it is recurring revenue. If you're not convinced this might be a good idea, grab a copy of the book “The Automatic Customer” by John Warrillow. It's an eye opener!
Many business ideas require hard work and persistence, but pay off in the long run because the revenue stream is consistent, which brings your business the cash flow necessary to grow.
The more we see gamification examples in marketing, the more the effectiveness of this strategy is proven…especially in the realm of digital learning.
After all, the unique challenges presented by digital courses center around the fact that online students are forced to try to learn without the aid of interaction…until gamification comes into play.
I’ve talked before about what’s a good conversion rate for your opt-ins and online sales… And today I want to share how we quadrupled our sales conversions, with one simple idea.
First, let me set the stage…
We’re talking about our internationally best-selling WordPress plugin, PopupAlly Pro. The free version of the plugin has over 10,000 active users and it’s been featured on a number of happening WordPress blogs and directories.
Our strategy with the free software has been to deliver amazing functionality at no charge, and to have people who want more customization, mobile friendly options, and advanced features upgrade to the paid version.
This seems simple enough, and for the first 6 months after we released the premium version of the plugin we just placed a link to our sales page in the hopes that people would see the value and upgrade.
The great thing about owning an online business or website, is the relatively low barrier to entry. Kind of like “have bag, will travel.”
Have laptop, have Internet, will work.
Obviously, the work hardly stops after the start-up phase. In fact, the majority of work probably comes after, especially the work of protecting all facets of your business.
Just a quick disclaimer that this information is primarily for United States-based businesses – however, read on and gain some knowledge, as your country may be similar!