How to Simplify Your Prelaunch Campaign

Presented live on Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Attend our live tutorials

This tutorial will show you how to simplify your prelaunch campaign.

Because if you’re anything like us, you’re doing more for your launches than you need to be.

After last year’s Copy School launch in March, we asked ourselves, is there an easier way to launch AND still get amazing results?

So we tried scaling back and simplifying things for our Black Friday launch…

And you know what?

It worked!

We got amazing results – actually, even better results than past launches.

We’re not saying that launches are no work at all…

Of course they are.

But if you know where to focus your energy and resources, they don’t have to be as hard as you might think.

Jo’s going to show you how to scale back your launch efforts WITHOUT scaling back your results…

Starting with your prelaunch.


Introduction [00:00]

Joanna Wiebe: We’re talking about behind the scenes of the Copy School 2021 launch, so this is going to be a limited series for us. We’re going to have a couple of different sessions on the things that we’re doing. Today we’re focusing on the prelaunch stuff. and before I share my screen.

What to Expect in This Tutorial [00:25]

Joanna Wiebe: Here we go – behind the scenes of the 2021 launch, the actual prelaunch stuff. So, background, for the past three-ish years, we’ve been using Jeff Walker’s sideways sales page. So that’s from Product Launch Formula.

Our first and second year, we stayed really close to the Product Launch Formula sideways sales page. But I know that in many ways that approach works, and I’m in no way saying anything “negative” about it.

But, for me, I got a little lost in the actual training of Product Launch Formula. It wasn’t really clear to me what to put in a sideways sales page and I’m a very practical sort of person. And I like to know what’s a good starting point.

I didn’t really get that so I felt like we were making up a lot of stuff. And it’s probably just me, not the training. Other people have had phenomenal success with it, and we did have great success with our launches which included the sideways sales page.

Our Past Prelaunches [01:35]

Joanna Wiebe: So sideways sales page, if you’re not familiar with it, this is our version of it. Now again, Jeff Walker’s has Facebook comments below it, so there’s tons of social proof. He uses the same one year, after year, after year.

You’ve got tens of thousands of comments below it so there’s like massive social proof there. And we didn’t use Facebook comments, so we always veered a little bit from his basic training on it.

But what the sideways sales page is, is you have your sales page, you tip it on its side. And you move through it like, problem, agitation, solution, introducing why, try, buy as a really common formula for a sales page.

Then when you flip it on its side, you have problem, agitation, solution. Probably the next one is problem, agitation, solution. And then problem, agitation, solution, introducing why, try, buy. So your third lesson in this video this drip video content is typically the sales video and so over the years, this is the one from last year, over the years we’ve iterated on that formula.

And this was it. So we still dripped out content. We had our fourth lesson which was the sales video. Here’s a general breakdown of what a sideways sales page is. And again, this is not what we’re doing this year and it’s just context for what we have done.

So we focused a ton on the webinar across the board, everything, in the actual videos, on the page, all over the place. We were talking about, make sure you attend the webinar, that’s where you’ll get the best possible offer on Copy School.

We ran a campaign that was somewhat distinct from Copy School. So we’re talking about getting you to a place where you’re ready for Copy School. So like, are you actually great? Are you going to get better and better at the execution side of things?

And that’s what the whole campaign was all about. But it’s still not talking about actually doing the stuff in Copy School. We scripted and produced four 25 minute sessions. That’s a lot. It’s actually quite a bit. So these four boxes, down the center there. Those are all videos that were dripped out over time.

They’re about 25 minutes each and a big undertaking. Plus we had these promo spots, which were around one minute. I think we did three different ones. We brought in actors for them, did all the scripting, all sorts of stuff going on.

Which is a part of the sideways sales page, by the way. It’s like year after year, you build on what you’ve done. And then of course we had this dripped out content over about an eight day period. But then there was additional promotion time on bookending these things as well.

Why We Simplified Our Prelaunch Campaign [04:36]

Joanna Wiebe: So the whole thing, our prelaunch all in, was about two and a half to three weeks, which is a long time to do prelaunch. So that slow drip. If you’ll remember last year, we launched this at the end of last March.

And I think we all know what was happening last March at the end of March. So on the Monday before we actually launched, Copy School, while this was all dripping out, the stock market crashed, the world was going into lockdown and everything was terrifying.

But we were basically because we’d been dripping this sideways sales page out. Again our version of it, I’m not saying anything negative against Jeff Walker’s training at all. At all, it’s very useful.

But for our interpretation of it. Because we were dripping it out over this lengthy period of time, we got kind of trapped in this. We can’t pause the launch because we’ve done all of this work. We were trapped in here, and then we had to launch and it was still a very good launch.

However, it felt like, did we need to do all that work up front? Did we need to have this lengthy dripped out content? And so, for me, in retrospect, I didn’t see us doing this again this year. It’s a lot to undertake and there are other ways to build anticipation.

For us, it was pretty far removed from our actual training. And the thing about Copy School, especially the new Copy School, which i’ll get to get into in just a second. It’s not just theory, it’s not like some other training programs that are difficult to demonstrate because there’s so many long lessons and you don’t get an immediate outcome, etc, etc.

What’s New Inside Copy School [06:30]

Joanna Wiebe: So we shifted. Now here’s what happened over the last about eight or nine months. We have totally overhauled Copy School. When we get into the launch you’ll actually hear more about that, but we have changed everything in Copy School.

We’ve recorded over 100, well more than 100 new lessons, reorganized everything so Copy School is solving problems in brand new ways. It’s all about, now do it. And internally we were like haha, our tagline is just do it.

Which is obviously silly and I think taken, so… But it is all about the, now go do it. So now to actually put that into practice, the whole thing has been rebuilt for that. So we’re moving away from theory and worksheets toward practical training. Shorter lessons, more note taking without worksheets.

Which I don’t know about you, but whenever I fill in a “worksheet,” I then put it to the side, if I even bothered to fill it in. And basically, it’s never used again. The one exception is actually our offer optimization worksheet, which we use all the time.

I don’t have any saved worksheets that I’ve referenced for any training I’ve ever taken and we have reasons to believe our students are in the same boat. So we’re like, wait no more worksheets, let’s actually just get people to write the thing that they’re working on.

And then have more practice along the way, what you’re seeing a bit of a screenshot here over the side. We’ve also got foundational stuff, what we’re calling the Unskippables. And then you create these curated high action roadmaps of must-watch lessons.

So you’ll see more about this, as we get closer to the launch of Copy School. But we have all of this, let’s make it shorter, let’s make it snappier, let’s make you only focus on the thing that you have to do right now.

Rather than sitting through three hours of theory just to get to a place where you’re actually ready to move on action. While still ensuring that you’re learning what to do. So it’s not like we’re like, just fill in this template. Because I don’t find that useful at all when it comes to actually acquiring the knowledge you need to be able to go out and do this again and again and again and again.

And we also have added The Practice, which is not part of Copy School, it’s in addition to Copy School (previous Tutorial Tuesdays about The Practice). But people can upgrade to add that and basically unlock it, and that’s what you’re seeing over to the side here.

We have coaches and copywriters who are actually practicing what was just taught in the previous lesson. So it’s all really focused on doing it now. Like, now go ahead and actually do it. And, frankly, that demonstrates really well.

Simplifying Our Prelaunch Campaign [09:16]

Joanna Wiebe: So the new Copy School; strong demo. Just before this tutorial I demoed it to a person who is bringing his team, he’s upscaling his team. And soon as you see it in action, time and again, we’re hearing, we’re seeing the same reaction. Like, great, how do I get X number of team members in there? So we know it demonstrates well.

We know it’s solving a problem. We know we don’t need to, in any way, hide behind some other form of anticipation building. Like, let’s just show people what the new Copy School is all about. So that’s what the core of the new 2021 campaign for the prelaunch and throughout the launch is all about: do it now.

For the prelaunch, though, I promised to show you what that looks like. This is what it’s basically looking like for the on-website stuff. Now a prelaunch and the launch, a million moving pieces, right? So we’ve got Facebook ads, Linkedin ads, we’ve got emails going on, sales pages all across our website, all across our social.

How We Simplified Our Prelaunch Campaign (Email) [10:30]

  1. Drive to self-segmenter gate
  2. Mini Copy School content of the day
  3. Early bird waitlist confirmation

Everything has a lot going on, and then there are videos inside all of those too. There’s a lot. So we’re going to focus this tutorial just on walking you through what we’re doing for the prelaunch.

Step 1: Self-Segmenter Gate [10:40]

Joanna Wiebe: So step one, for an email, step one is they’re driven to self segment or gate. This is a single page where you just say who you are, you get tags so that we know more about you and can send you more relevant messages.

Step 2: Mini Copy School Content of The Day [10:55]

Joanna Wiebe: Then you go through, you land on what is like a sideways sales page. And then we have three days worth of content dripped out over a 4.5 day period. So really fast moving. So you can see here’s a lesson, here’s how to practice it. You’ll get that over three days, it’s just we’re calling it Mini Copy School.

Step 3: Early Bird Waitlist Confirmation [11:15]

Joanna Wiebe: And then there’s also an early bird sign up that you can do as well to get notified immediately, basically adds this special offer to your calendar.

So that’s the core of it. It’s pretty straightforward. The lessons in here, in Mini Copy School importantly, are not refilmed. They’re pulled in from the existing Copy School. So unlike with our past launches, we don’t have to sit down and try to dream up additional content.

I mean frankly, Copyhackers produces a lot of content. All we need to do now is show you that you can get that content, in the right order, at the right time and that’s kind of where the magic happens. That’s all we want to do for a prelaunch.

Four day prelaunch, not a three week prelaunch, which we’re hoping is world-implosion-proof. So who knows. Everybody here knows, nobody knows what’s going to happen tomorrow. So we’re just trying to keep things a little shorter and a little tighter.

So this is what it really looks like. The self segmenter page if we don’t know, if you’re not in a segment, you’ll land here and then you’ll be in whatever segment you choose. We are likely to lose people here because it’s a gate, and gates filter people out.

However, it will also mean that those who move through this will get more relevant content and that’s always going to be better for conversions in the end. It’s going to be good for conversions along the way.

Some visitors from Facebook ads will see this, others will not, so we have a separate strategy for Facebook ads. But definitely from email, they’re going to see this. Then this is just a better close up of the theory meets The Practice. So we’ll have this five day period with the drips going on.

And so we want to demonstrate that the student can learn this stuff, so we’ve heard a lot from students like, yeah of course you can do this, but can I? And so we want to really show that this is applicable. Yes, you can.

If you take these lessons and you walk away going, I don’t know how to do it. Then you’re not a good fit for Copy School because you need to have a certain level of like ability to engage as a student. And so that’s cool by us.

We strongly believe that most people will go like, oh yeah I can actually learn this stuff. You can learn it from us and actually get results too, so really actionable focus there. We need to demonstrate, as I said, our prospect can learn this from us and get results, not just theory.

And then we want to get the most engaged leads onto our early bird list and so that’s what this page is all about.

The Principles of Driving Our Prelaunch Campaign [13:57]

  • Segment Prospects for more relevant launch messages + timing
  • Don’t drag it out! Build momentum + use urgency
  • Demonstrate that the new Copy School isn’t yet another course
  • Don’t worry about the webinar for the launch
  • Don’t treat it like a traditional launch

Joanna Wiebe: The principles, though driving our prelaunch are, just as a recap. We want to segment our prospects for more relevant launch messages and timing. So use the prelaunch, not just to build hype, but also to start better understanding who’s on our list.

Who was coming in from Facebook and what they’ll need from us. Because as you’ll see in our upcoming tutorials on behind the scenes of the Copy School 2021 launch, we’ll also talk through our segmentation strategy, which is a huge focus for us.

Another one another principle is not to drag it out. Like let’s build momentum, keep going on momentum, don’t allow time to cool. Use urgency and avoid being stuck launching if the world falls into chaos. Four days, we can handle that. And if a week prior the world goes into a state of chaos, we can always say, okay pause.

We’ll launch this two weeks later, three weeks later, or whatever, however much later, we need to do it.

We want to demonstrate that the new Copy School is not yet another course. A lot of people have taken courses and been burned by really not great courses. And we’re here to demonstrate that that’s not the experience with Copy School, or at least the new Copy School in particular.

We’re not going to worry about the webinar for the launch. That actually doesn’t mean we won’t have a webinar but we’re going to do things a little bit differently. And overall we’re not treating this like a traditional launch.

So in our case because we’re moving on to subscription now with new content monthly, this is more of a kickoff of the new evergreen subscription / membership Copy School, rather than a product launch, formula style launch.

Thanks, Ange. Thanks, everyone. We will see you in our next tutorial Tuesday, have a good day and week. Bye everyone.

Get our new articles, videos and event info.

Join 89,000+ fine folks. Stay as long as you'd like. Unsubscribe anytime.