The 100K Method: Evergreen Funnels vs Live Launching
There are two preferred marketing strategies to sell courses online: evergreen funnels and live launches.
There are also some amazing benefits to setting up an evergreen funnel — I mean, who doesn’t love a passive income stream?! So you might be surprised to hear me say that there is an important time when you actually DO NOT want to use an evergreen funnel!
Ready to find out when that is?
Both evergreen funnels and live launching can effectively be used to sell hundreds of thousands (even millions!) of dollars for an online course. And… to this day, I continue to use both in my business.
However, they’re much more effective — and much more profitable — when you use the right one at the right time. And that means choosing the right strategy both for your PRODUCT and for your personal GOALS.
How do you know which one is for you? Let’s start by tackling some of the basics and learning what your options are:
Option 1: Continually Available
There are some products that are continually offered at a consistent price, with no limit to their availability.
It’s a marketing strategy so non-strategic that it’s almost not a “strategy” at all. But, for some products — necessary commodities, such as gas, bananas, and t-shirts — the demand is consistent enough that customers don’t need to be incentivized or motivated to buy.
In these cases, the highest profits can be earned by offering the product non-stop at full-price!
When it comes to digital products, however, sales aren’t often generated best using this continually-available method.
What this means for you, as a course creator, is that even if you create a GREAT course and set up all the tech so that people can purchase it on your website, sales are going to be really slow if it’s always available and always the same price.
You know it’s true. People don’t NEED your course. Your course might very well be an excellent value, it might be of amazing quality, it might be life-changing, and people might even want it!
And, if everything about your course checks out — people want the outcome it provides, you explain that outcome well, and you offer the course for a price less than that outcome is worth to those people — then it WILL sell — but nowhere near its potential volume.
Right now, you’re probably thinking, “Okay, so I should put it on sale, right?”
Option 2: Live Launching
Welcome live launching to the scene.
This strategy is pretty similar to the typical promotion strategy you’d run into at your favorite local and online stores. It simply means that, from time to time, different products go on sale.
Now, the structure of these sales can vary — a lot. They might be as short as a few hours or as long as an entire month… They might be a discount of $5 off, 50% off… or they might simply be a product available for a limited time.
You see this limited availability occurs in a variety of ways: with movies that are only in theaters for a short window of time; with local, fresh, seasonal vegetables at your grocery store; and for events that are coming up soon.
Limited-time sales work well because they create real scarcity. People know that they won’t be able to get the product in the future — at least for a while, and at least not at the same price. And the mere fact that they might not be able to get it in the future makes them want to get it now.
But, here’s the thing, I’m pretty sure that “running live promotions” would add a few things to your to-do list. In fact, based on my personal experience, I’m willing to bet that those promotions would add dozens more items than you even realize to your to-do list every month.
But there’s actually a bigger problem…
By running limited-availability promotions, you set it up so that people who want — or even need — your course CAN’T buy it when they want to!
This means that your potential customer goes without or finds a different solution somewhere else. Because of this, you miss out on the sale, and they may never come back to find you again when your product is finally launched!
Okay, so there are problems with running live promotions and problems with not running live promotions. That’s not to say that either of these options are bad or wrong, they just both have some issues and only work well in certain circumstances.
Take the example of a course on organic gardening… you might think you’ll time your sale or launch so your course is available for the right time of year for prepping to plant a garden.
But, maybe someone gets inspired about gardening mid-summer when they see all the fresh produce at the farmers market and decide they want to try gardening themselves!
They want to buy a course THEN because that’s when they’re interested in the topic. They want to start learning and preparing, and they don’t even know when the “right” time to get started might be.
While you may generate more sales with a live launch of your course, you’ll miss out on sales for customers that trickle in continuously throughout the year!
Have you ever thought about how great it would be to combine both Option 1 and Option 2?
Evergreen funnels really are the “best of both worlds” option!
Option 3: Evergreen Funnel
Evergreen funnels are the perfect combination of live promotions and, what shall we call it… steady selling. They combine the very best aspects of each into one incredible and highly effective strategy.
In short, evergreen sales funnels are automated promotions. It’s like having a robot run your sales. A robot that follows your plans and gets it right every time.
Actually, it’s more like having an infinite number of robots run sales for you… with each one being able to run a custom-fit promotion for each of your individual customers, giving them the perfect buying experience, including allowing them to purchase the product at just the right time for the highest likelihood of them being ready to pull out their credit card.
I know this sounds too good to be true. Infinite robots? Perfectly tailored sales experiences?
It really is possible, and even easy and affordable with today’s powerful marketing software.
Using a few simple tools like Convertkit, Teachable, and something called Deadline Funnel, we can build automated sales systems that sell your course 24/7 — very strategically.
Before you throw out the idea of ever doing a live promotion again, I’m here to tell you that I still do them — because, in certain circumstances, live promotions can give you the best results and help you meet unique goals.
There are two reasons I sometimes run live promotions:
1. Social energy can drive sales.
People get more excited about something when they perceive that other people are excited about it too. It’s the cool thing to do, and they don’t want to miss out. It’s hard to create a lot of hype if you run a sale every month — but if you launch products just a couple of times a year, you can generate quite a bit of buzz.
Sometimes, students need some extra motivation to successfully complete programs, and working together with peers on a schedule is a great way to keep that motivation high. For some of my programs, such as $100K Mastermind, I choose to enroll students in groups, called cohorts, to work through the program together. But, to make this work, we can only accept new students during scheduled enrollment periods. Live launching complements this schedule, because it drives a large number of enrollments at the right time, successfully filling up the class.
Which strategy should I choose?
So… what should YOU do?
You might expect me to recommend that you start building an automated funnel – stat. I mean, didn’t I just tell you how amazing they are? And that I choose to use them, save just a couple exceptions? And that they can make you more money??
Yes, maybe you should. But there’s one more important exception to consider…
Evergreen funnels don’t – typically – work for making your first dollars.
I made this mistake a few times when I was working to get my online business off the ground. I poured hundreds of hours (literally!) into creating online courses and building advanced evergreen funnels… only to watch my Quickbooks account stay stuck at zero and face the fact that I'd wasted A LOT of my time.
Evergreen funnels are money machines, but only if you have a proven product and marketing message. Otherwise, you might discover — like I did — that you’ve wasted your time building a funnel for a product no one even wants. Or that you’ve built an entire funnel that’s not persuasive at all!
Do yourself a favor and WAIT to build your funnel until you’ve validated your course by making at least your first ten sales. Waiting until that point will also prove that you’ve found a marketing message that works.
Your marketing message is important because running any sort of sales campaign, whether live or evergreen, involves a fair amount of content creation. If you write the wrong words, then you’ll find yourself having to rewrite everything to get your funnel making money.
If you haven’t yet made those first dollars, you’ll want to start with a live launch before you get into the extra effort of building an automated funnel.
$100K Mastermind students always start with what we call a $1K Beta Launch. Then, once they have the proof they need to be confident they’re on the right track, plus the data they need to be successful, they get to work on their $100K Funnel.
Alyssa followed this approach and saw big results with her live launch:
After Dee validated her live launch, she created her evergreen funnel to bring in new customers all year ‘round:
Are you ready to see a boost in the sales of your digital product with these proven sales strategies?
Are you ready to start a $100K Funnel of your own?
If you want to create an evergreen funnel that is validated and sure to be successful, then go to gillianperkins.com/100K to learn more and apply for $100K Mastermind today!