If you’re planning a launch, you’re in great company.
Our State of The Creator Economy Report revealed that this year 51% of creators plan to create a course, 56% want to make a digital product, and 40% have their sights set on a new book.
No matter what you’re introducing to your audience this year, you probably have a mix of tasks that go along with your flurry of emotions. That’s why we recommend using a few strategic email sequences to make this your best (and easiest!) launch.
This guide reviews the email automations you should use this year with examples from fellow creators. Ready, set, launch!
Your launch needs emails
Online sales and email go hand in hand—ask the top-earning creators. Digital products are the top income stream for creators who earn more than $150,000 a year, and these folks also rate email’s importance to their business at 8.3/10. They know that email automations that put sequences on autopilot are ideal for staying in touch with their audience.
If you want to join the creator economy middle class or have your most profitable launch ever, there are a few ways email support your goals:
Personalized emails = higher sales
A mitten salesperson will have terrible luck at the beach, but the best day ever at the North Pole. Do the sun and sand make their mittens less fashionable or high quality? No, but the location sure does impact their relevance.
The more relevant you make your launch emails, the more likely you are to land a sale. You can't personally talk to every subscriber and recommend the exact solution for them, though. What you can do is create email automations that show up at the right time to the right person.
Free up time on launch day
When your new offering goes live, you’ll probably spend lots of time managing your promotion. You might spend time on Instagram engagement, respond to new customers, or sign off and enjoy a day off after a long haul of work.
Setting up your email promotion for the days leading up to and during the launch frees up your time. You can trust that email will do its job so that you can put your focus elsewhere.
Make money on expert mode (AKA evergreen sales)
We love email automations because you can set it and forget it. If you use an evergreen sales funnel, you can set it, forget it, and still make money. An evergreen course or product is one you create once and sell all the time, freeing you from constant creation.
You can use a launch sequence for your initial release and then tweak them slightly to sell your service, product, or course in the background as part of a sales funnel.
5 launch email sequences to try
If you just want email automation for launch day, skip to example number three. If you want to use email to its fullest potential for your launch, consider trying all of the examples below.
1 – Build anticipation
Having something to look forward to is exciting, and you can use email to offer that to your audience. To build anticipation for your next launch, you can either drop teasers ahead of time or use an enrollment window to create scarcity.
With the first option, you could set up a landing page or a link trigger to track who is interested in your next project. Then you can send the group a special launch email that thanks them for being part of your list or offer a sneak peek. For example, Aileen Xu of Lavendaire shares new product teasers with her audience.
Or, you can open and close enrollment or availability. Khe Hy, the founder of RadReads, offers his 4-week course Supercharge Your Productivity in cohorts. Khe collects interested subscribers on a wait list in the months leading up to the next enrollment period.
If you want to use this strategy on your email list, you can use our waitlist email automation template here. Subscribers can join the waitlist through a dedicated landing page or by expressing interest in an email. Then you can send updates as launch day approaches to build excitement.
2 – Re-engage with subscribers
In the weeks before your launch, you want to increase subscriber engagement as much as possible to maximize the number of people who see (and are interested) in what you’re selling.
For starters, you can use your newsletter to stay in touch with subscribers. Cara Chase, a productivity and Pinterest coach, sends an email every Sunday with inspiration, tips, resources, and self-care ideas. Having a consistent send day keeps Cara in touch with subscribers. If you're not consistently emailing your audience, start now to prepare for your launch.
If you have cold subscribers, now is also the time to try and re-engage with them. Turning passive subscribers into active audience members again helps your deliverability and boost sales. We even have a cold subscriber re-engagement automation template to make it easy.
We crafted our re-engagement sequence to share a ton of value and show people what they’ll be missing out on if they leave our list. If they’re still not interested in staying after seeing the best of what we have to offer, then we know they’re not a good fit for us.
– Pat Flynn
3 – Segmented launch
For example, Bonnie Christine, an artist and pattern designer, uses a marketing funnel with content to support people at every step. As subscribers engage more with her content, she offers them resources of increasing value. If you used this approach, you could launch your new course first to people who have downloaded or bought resources in the past. You could hold off on promoting the new product for brand new subscribers until they’ve interacted with your content a bit more.
Justin Moore, the founder of Creator Wizard, uses a new subscriber survey to segment his audience and personalize promotions. After someone joins his email list, he asks them what type of content they create. Justin can send emails about their specific goals with that information in tow.
You could leverage this information for your launch by emailing people interested in the same topic as your new product. For example, suppose you have a food blog with recipes for different dietary preferences. In that case, you might opt to only promote your new grilling cookbook to the meat-eaters in your audience.
4 – Upsell new customers
After someone purchases your new service or product, they may be ready to keep growing with your high-ticket items. An upsell is a strategy to suggest a related (and often more expensive) offer to a customer. For example, if a person bought your newly-launched one-on-one coaching package, you could upsell them to your 8-week intensive group session or your paid community.
Before you set up any upsell automations at the end of your launch sequence, there are a few best practices in mind. First, don’t try to upsell someone immediately. Give customers a week to use and enjoy the first product or service before pitching something else. Second, your upsell should be relevant and helpful.
If you don’t have another offer that feels like a natural progression at the moment, keep this strategy in your back pocket until you’re ready.
5 – Downsell
Just because someone doesn’t buy your new launch doesn’t mean they don’t want to support you. If someone doesn’t make a purchase and isn’t tagged as a customer, you can send them a downsell message.
For example, you could tell them you have a tip jar if they want to contribute to your effort in a small way. Or, if you had pitched a high-ticket item, like a $3,000 group coaching cohort, you could downsell to your $300 self-paced course.
You could also take the opportunity to learn more about your audience. Louis Nichols created Sales for Founders and sold out during pre-launch. When it seemed that someone was hesitant to buy, though, he personally reached out. This method paid off with an extra $4,000 in revenue for 80 minutes of work.
I tagged subscribers who clicked on the ‘purchase link’ from the emails. If they didn’t buy within thirty minutes, I sent them an email to hop on a virtual coffee call with me to see if it would be a good fit.
– Louis Nichols
ConvertKit is your launch partner
ConvertKit helps creators connect with their audience and make a living online every day. ConvertKit creators sent 16,744,567,735 emails in 2021 (for reference, that’s 530 emails every second). They use visual automations and beautifully-designed email templates to create meaningful relationships at scale. Still, there’s more to ConvertKit than email.
There’s a thriving community of creators working together and sharing their stories. There are also tools to manage every phase of your next launch, from landing pages to online sales and integrations with your favorite tools.