The problem with opening and closing course launches with email campaigns is how the scarcity works.
You have your “doors close” scarcity and keep it simple.
It’s high brow, and understandable for small shops that don’t want to deal with ongoing customer service issues of having courses with hands on components open all year around.
Then you have your slowly increasing price approach.
Seth Godin’s The Marketing Seminar does this. I think it’s like another $30 to $50 each day you don’t sign up. Sort of like slow boiling a frog unless you’re really on the cheap side, in which case, I imagine it’d be torture sitting on the sidelines watching that price go up, not knowing if you’re going to pull the trigger, paying $0.50 an hour every hour you haven’t.
Then you have short-fuse bonuses.
These get layered in partway through the doors opening and closing. “Sign up by tomorrow at midnight, you get this other thing I usually charge x for for free.”
There’s also short fuse bundle sales.
Which I do quite like but already shared about.
The problem with scarcity though is that punishes you and the user. The more you employ it, the worse it gets.
Let me compare two scenarios:
Scenario 1: Typical scarcity burndown
- You open the doors and offer a discount, guaranteeing this is the lowest price the product will be offered at.
- You push your users to sign up early in order to get some bonus product thrown in.
- You again offer your users some incentive, typically a partial discount, to sign up.
- Then you push again before the doors close with some “last chance” scarcity.
Don’t get me wrong. I would totally do this and this will be more (at least short term) profitable than not doing it.
But at every point you’re layering in pressure to act and punishing inaction. Even when you do a good job at getting people to act, you’re alienating some other subsegment that didn’t act.
Then you take that and you repeat it to bake in as much scarcity as possible, burning the candle at both ends.
If a product is offered at 50% off, and the user doesn’t act,hen it’s offered at full price, that purchase is going to sting.
Because discounts make it about the money. You’re saying to your audience, “it’s worth it for me to pay you the difference of what I typically charge to get you to definitely buy this now, instead of maybe buying it later.”
But we don’t think about it like that.
Scenario 2: “Everyone wins” scarcity burndown
Now in order to do this, you need to have enough small addon or related info products that you still sell to propel it.
- Product launch opens at a promised lowest price. Some people buy.
- Short-fuse bundle offer is layered in of anyone that purchases before x date gets the addon product.
- Then you do it again with another addon product and say, “by the way I want to thank everyone that signed up to get the last addon product so those people are also getting this addon as well.”
- Repeat as much as would be appropriate, surprising and delighting everyone who signs up early.
- Don’t increase the price. The price is the price.
- Give a last call notice and close the doors.
I’m on the fence about the increasing the price partway through the doors opening and closing. I’m sure it works well on longer launches (2+ weeks) because you’re dealing with a less captive audience.
But even for someone who really wants something and is willing to pay double what you were selling it for the day before, just the idea of doing that is going to sting. And you’re stinging the person that’s willing to pay double.
Just an idea. Haven’t tried it.
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