19 Reasons Why Your Program Launch Failed

I’ve been on the inside of countless online course, membership launches. I’ve sold programs on evergreen and through many different means. Let’s just say at least 50. Probably not 50 different clients but 50 different versions of a ‘course launch’ sometimes for the same course / membership many times over.
While I’ve done courses it’s not been a big part of my business because quite frankly, I’m a terrible student. I have never made it past module 3 in Marie Forleos B-School. If I buy a course I just do the downloadable worksheets. If I listen to a module it’s on loud speaker while I drive. Or I’ll use the chrome browser extension to speed up how fast the videos play. It’s not that I don’t have time, it’s that I learn by doing. So it’s kind of funny really, I help people sell their courses oftentimes to women who are like me but are way better students than me. 🤣
If you’ve ever launched a course, I thought I’d pull together a list of 19 reasons as to why you launch may have failed, or if you’re thinking about doing a launch, why it may fail.
1. No one wants to buy your course.
It’s true! No one actually wants to buy your course. You need to speak to your niche audience in their language about their specific problem and then they may be interested enough to pull their wallet out.
2. No one knows who you are.
Trust me, I’ve seen the Facebook ads that will tell you can do a 6 figure launch with no list (and no idea apparently!) but they will be the absolute unicorns. Spend time & money putting out good quality content and growing your list then you might have a chance.
3. You don’t have a community of raving fans.
See above. People need to trust you before they open their wallets. Raving fans become raving fans because you give them what they want. For free. Over and over again until it hurts.
4. You’re trying to just do one webinar and call it quits.
This one is my favourite type of non-launch. But I did a webinar and 21 people showed up and no one purchased’ So out of 21 people who half-listened to your webinar while doing work (daytime webinar) or watching TV (night time webinar) you’ve decided that this online program thing isn’t for you? I think you need a bigger audience.
5. You don’t understand hype.
“I can’t wait to buy that same old thing for full price” – said no one ever. Add urgency, add hype. Make it limited. Offer a discount. Increase the price and then offer a discount. Do SOMETHING to get people to buy.
6. You don’t understand how to tell different stories to sell the same thing.
Launching sucks. I get it. You feel like you’re saying the same thing over and over again. And you probably are. But see point 1 – no one actually wants to buy your course. So unless you’re able to come up with different angles / stories to sell it, your launch won’t work.
7. You don’t understand why you need to say the same things 1001 different ways.
See above. Case in point. I’ve just said the same thing twice in a different way 🤣
8. Did I mention no one wants to buy your program?
9. You don’t spend any money on Facebook ads.
Yes I’ve also seen the ads about how you don’t need to spend any money on ads to make a lot of money (🤷‍♀️) but the thing is… these people would have spent money on ads in the first place to build their list! Spend money early, build up trust over time THEN launch your course. I’d still suggest spending $$ on ads (at least to retarget your list!)
10. You spend too much money on Facebook ads (for the price of your course)
Ah yes, this one is a tough one to get your head around. If the price of your course or membership is too low, you won’t make enough money to cover the cost of your ads. Yes, you need to spend money to make money but have a look at your prices to ensure – ad spend is covered AND you can make a profit.
11. You don’t sell properly on the webinar
Webinars are wonderfully valuable. The people who show up are giving you an hour of their time. Do you know how much that’s worth… so yes thank them for attending but REMIND them how they can do business with you. A lot. At the end especially otherwise it’s just going to be weird and awkward. Which brings me to…
12. You feel weird about pitching because it feels like you’re selling (which you are)
Yes you’re selling. Yes you’re being salesy… but not all sales people are sleaze balls! The ones who have realised that they’re actually doing their customers a favour by offering their program to them… are the ones that don’t feel weird about pitching. Repeat after me… you are doing your customers a favour by solving one of their most burning PROBLEMS (with your awesome program! 😉)
13. You don’t have your energy in the right place and people can feel it
You might be having a bad day. You just want to get ‘through’ your launch then there’s no amount of Facebook ads magic (or money!) that will sell your program for you. Clear your vibes and the money will flow!
14. You’re only in it for the money.
And no, you can’t be in it just for the money. It’s true. Again, people can feel it or you’ll be successful but it won’t last. Love the shit out of the people who choose to work with you and you’ll always be a winner.
15. You don’t understand averages.
I sometimes call myself the dream killer. I’ve got this spreadsheet where I put in all the things like budget, cost per conversion, average conversion rate and what gets spat out at the end is never what anyone wants to know. An average return on ad spend for your launch is 2 – 3x. Yes of course you can go above it but you’ll want a darn good strategy in place that doesn’t involve just one webinar.
16. You don’t take people on a journey.
See above where I said ‘strategy’? You need to take people from Point A to about Point E in a launch, talking to them differently all throughout.
17. You think you know what people want but you haven’t actually asked anyone.
Need I say more?
18. You’re not entirely sure who it’s for.
I can’t believe I left this one right until the end. It really needs to be at the start of any launch journey. Work out who you’re selling to & why.
19. You’re not charging enough.
It will usually take just as much ad spend to sell a $99 course, a $197 course or a $997 course.
But before you worry that you’ll never ‘make it’ online, I invite you to rethink any ‘fails’ you’ve had (or think you’ve had). If you put your stuff out there, really back yourself & let people know how and why you do what you do… it’s never a failure. You just might be destined to head somewhere else