“Do I do a live launch or set up an evergreen funnel to sell my offer?”
This is a question I hear time and time again when it comes to not only selling courses but any type of offer in your business.
Now, I can sit here and tell you how much evergreen funnels have helped to change the way I run my business and how it allows both myself and the businesses I’ve supported to live the whole “sales on autopilot” dream.
Except, that would be a huge disservice to you because there’s so much more that goes into this decision than simply what I do.
A big part of our mission here is to help business owners ask better questions before making a decision versus blindly following someone else’s answer. This means that upfront education needs to happen so that you can effectively make the best decision, for YOU.
The short of it is, they both work. In fact, they both work really well when approached with the right intention and information on hand.
Understanding The Pros and Cons of Live Launching
When you live launch, you are dedicating a set period of time to generating high buzz and sales around your offer.
There are five key phases in a live launch:
1. Launch Runway: 6-8 weeks before you are opening your doors, you are focusing on building your audience/list and providing valuable content that will directly relate to what you’re selling. This warms up those who will be a fit for your sales event.
2. Sales Event Promotion: 10-14 days before your sales event, you are letting your audience know about it and where to sign up.
3. Sales Event: This is your webinar, challenge, video series, etc. where you provide value and pitch your offer at the end. See: 3 Best Ways to Successfully Launch & Sell Your Online Course
4. Cart Open- Cart Close: These are the days when people are able to purchase your offer.
5. Debrief and Analyze: This is when you run all your numbers and review what worked and what didn’t so that you can utilize this knowledge for next time
Want to learn more about this process? How to Plan (and Simplify) Your Most Profitable Launch
The Pros of Live Launching:
- Since everything is live, there is high engagement happening during your sales event, which can lead to higher conversions.
- You are getting feedback from your audience in real time. This means that if something is falling flat and/or a new need arises, you are able to make adjustments in the moment (e.g. switching up bonuses, adding in additional payment options, etc.) that you aren’t able to replicate in an evergreen setting.
- You get the opportunity to strengthen the connection with your audience, due to the live nature of the launch and access to you via livestreams, comment threads, etc.
- The tech can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. In other words, you could host a live launch with nothing more than livestreaming on social media and your email service provider. You can then use the profit to hire team members to support with additional tech next time.
The Cons of Live Launching:
- Depending on the sales event you use, showing up live for multiple days in a row can be very taxing on some people.
- If you are relying on a few live launches per year to hit your revenue goals, with no other options available, you can find yourself bringing an incredible amount of pressure to your cart open-cart close period.
- Not everyone’s schedule and/or lifestyle allows for the execution of a live launch.
I always suggest that people start with a live launch first so that you can validate that the individual elements of the live launch are working (runway content, opt-in, sales event, etc.).
This makes it easier to go into evergreen as you have the data behind you to work with and have made the necessary tweaks already.
I also find that many people who want to jump right to evergreen, without live launching first, are doing it out of one of two stories:
1) They are worried it will be a stressful experience, due to someone else’s live launch horror story. (If this is you, check out How to Create a Feel Good Live Launch Experience)
2) They believe evergreen is easier because of the hype they hear online (Psst! It’s not. They both take work, the work is just different.)
Want to learn how to effectively live launch in your business? Check out what we have waiting for you inside Clients to Courses®!
The Pros and Cons of Evergreen Funnels
When it comes to evergreen funnels in your business, there is a reason there’s so much hype about it because, yes, they can be absolutely game changing for your business.
Get paid while you’re out enjoying life, over and over again?
The dream! Right?
As I said before, I’m not going to lie about the fact that I LOVE (and I mean L-O-V-E) a good evergreen funnel. It’s why we focus on them in The Collective because having a system that can sell and serve, without you there, is a part of helping people achieve their definitions of freedom driven success.
Evergreen funnels consist of:
1. Visibility and Awareness: This is the work that’s happening on the front end to let people know about your business. Without this, you’ll have the funnel but not the people.
2. Evergreen Sales Event Promotion: This is the evergreen webinar, audio series, video series, etc. that you are inviting people to opt into, in order to solve one of their biggest (and current) pain points.
Want to see this in action? Check out the Scale Beyond 1:1 with Courses Training – it’s all evergreen! 🙂
3. Evergreen Sales Event: Once they opt-in, the training is automatically delivered to them. Much like a live launch, this is the value you are sharing that leads to a pitch at the end.
4. Cart Open Emails: Following the training, your cart open emails begin to go out in order to give people the option to take the next step with you.
5. Weekly/Monthly Tracking: Depending on the amount of people signing up to your evergreen sales event, you will run your numbers on a weekly or monthly basis to see where any potential leaks are, with adjustments being made as needed.
The Pros of Evergreen Funnels:
- As there is no live element, you don’t have to “be on” at any point to make sales. Instead, all of the heavy lifting is being done by your previous work.
- With no set open and close cart date (like a live launch) you can set your business up for consistent revenue each month.
- All content added into the funnel is you at your best and intentional. This means you don’t worry about an off day or forgetting to share a certain story or messaging because it’s already there.
- You are not limited to one offer within your funnel. Depending on the type of evergreen funnel you’re creating and your customer journey as a whole, you can have multiple purchase points (for example, we have four different offers available within one evergreen funnel).
The Cons of Evergreen Funnels:
- Evergreen funnels involve quite a bit of tech (email service providers, sales pages, evergreen timers, automations etc.). This means that depending on your level of tech savviness, you are going to need to be willing to get your hands dirty and/or outsource it completely.
- Conversion rates for evergreen events are typically lower than live sales events, even with gamification at play. You’ll want to keep this in mind when running your initial projections.
- While a live launch has a set start and end point, evergreen funnels are continuous. This means that you are evaluating your numbers weekly or monthly and making tweaks based on those numbers. That doesn’t go away and it is NOT “set it and forget it.” Be prepared for this going in.
Want to see what the numbers look like to have an evergreen business model that generates consistent results and revenue? Click here for our Evergreen with Ease™ calculator!
I have structured the business under the lens of wanting a business that sells and serves, regardless of how I’m feeling or if I’m there that day, and evergreen funnels allow me to do that.
I have also typically live launched 1-2 times a year because I thrive on connection and want to be able to have that live and more direct touch point with my audience from time to time (aside from general engagement on social media). The live launch experience also gives me more insight on how I can make the evergreen side of the business stronger.
There’s power and lessons in both.
Which is Best for You?
As I mentioned before, both work.
Both also take work to get up and running.
So I urge you to read through the pros and cons of each and make your decision from that place.