Failure to launch

If you’ve run an online marketing campaign before you probably know the feeling. That fullness with anticipation at the thought of legions of new fans halfway across the world. Untapped audiences who never knew they needed your wisdom and skills until you popped up in their newsfeeds.

A few days later, you’re hit with a different kind of feeling. Overwhelm, as you realize just how many moving parts need wrangling. How every tiny element - headlines, calls to action, images, video, email subject lines, emojis, hashtags - in your sequence is a variable and every variable requires testing to get right.

Say for example you want to run a webinar to launch a new workshop you have created. Over the years, you’ve built up an email list of about 1000 contacts and have about 400 Facebook fans.

Historically, you have shared content with your audience in fits and starts. You may have even tried a Facebook ad campaign once before and seen lacklustre results. But for your webinar campaign, you are pulling out all the stops. You have a Facebook ad running, a beautiful landing page, an email sequence encouraging registrants to show up live and are sharing content about your webinar on all channels.

Yet, on the big day, only five people show up live to watch your webinar - a far cry from the 250 you were aiming for. You hope more people will catch the replay yet only a handful even open your follow-up email. You make no sales on your workshop and wonder how it all went so wrong.

At this point, you’re probably wondering why even bother with marketing campaigns at all? After all, you get most of your clients through word of mouth.

The thing is, while you’re focusing on what a failure your first campaign was, you’re missing a ton of learning, a ton of new information about who your audience is. You also just created more content via your webinar you can share with a more engaged audience.

This is not the time to quit. It’s the time to commit to working on every little piece of that campaign until you get the results you want. And getting it right doesn’t mean following all of the advice out there about how to write great headlines, how to use video in your ads, how to get more people to click your links.

It means getting it right for your particular audience, communicating with them about their particular needs where they have a tendency to be. Every headline, every caption, every image, every call to action until it’s spot on.

Lurkers

There will always be lurkers. Those who subscribe to your email list or download your free guide who won’t buy from you. They will return to your site again and again and never pay you a penny.

Why are we so afraid of the lurkers? We look to them as evidence that creating and sharing our insights is a pointless exercise. That we’re giving away our expertise. Yet, in one form or another, we’re all lurkers to someone.

How many emails do you read from that expert before you buy? The truth is you probably never will. Why? Maybe their prices are too high. Or maybe, everything they tell you, you already know.

Maybe, you’re not the person they’re trying to sell to.

When thinking about whether to share your knowledge, to whom and where, instead of thinking of it in terms of growing your customer base, think of it as growing a movement.

So why might the lurkers eventually buy? Because they trust you. Because they somehow feel like they already know you. Because the movement you have created around your service is impossible to ignore.