“You can’t evergreen without launching.”
“You need to launch x-number of times before you evergreen.”
“Going evergreen too soon isn’t a good idea.”
You’ve heard it all before. The common advice is to launch, launch, launch before you even THINK about going evergreen.
But if you think you need to launch before going evergreen, think again.
In this post, we’re going to pick apart the biggest reasons why you hear that you need to launch before evergreening. You’ll hear our critiques, based on our own experiences and the experiences of the hundreds of course creators that we’ve worked with. And we’ll also show you what you REALLY need before going evergreen.
But first, we need to make sure we’re on the same page.
What’s The Difference Between A Launch Funnel & An Evergreen Funnel?
An evergreen funnel leverages technology and automated systems to sell your course 24/7. That means that fresh leads are constantly coming into your sales funnel. They’re nurtured toward the sale and, with timely and strategic messaging, your leads make a decisive purchasing decision, day or night.
A launch funnel, on the other hand, has a very specific cart open and close timeline. Unlike an evergreen funnel, all your leads move through your sales funnel at the same time, at which point there is a clearly defined period where they must make a purchase decision. Once the cart is closed, no other purchases can be made until it’s time for the next launch cycle.
4 Reasons Why Course Creators Are Told To Launch Before Going Evergreen
Reason #1: Launching prepares you for evergreen by making you a “better marketer.”
Can launching make you a better marketer? Absolutely.
Can going straight to evergreen ALSO make you a better marketer? Without a doubt. Because despite this commonly given advice, launching isn’t a precursor to becoming a successful course creator.
Learn to fly by riding a bike
We think of it like this…
Say you wanted to learn how to fly a plane. But when you showed up for your first day of pilot school, your instructor marched everyone outside to a parking lot full of bicycles and said, “To learn to fly, you must learn to ride a bike first.”
It doesn’t make a lot of sense, right?
Because riding a bike and learning to fly a plane are two different skill sets that are NOT dependent on each other. You don’t HAVE to know how to do one in order to be successful at the other.
And the same thing applies here. While both live launching and evergreen marketing methods will add to your digital marketing wheelhouse, they’re also uniquely different and are not BOTH required to be successful.
Reason #2: Launching proves there’s demand for your offer.
While launching your course and making course sales will prove there’s demand, there’s another way to prove demand before you’ve even made a single course sale.
Booked out 6 months in advance
Let’s say that you’re a financial coach. For years, you have been showing people how to get a handle on their finances, pay off debt, and find the financial freedom they’ve been looking for.
You do this through 1:1 coaching calls, workbooks and worksheets, and through a framework that you’ve specifically created for your clients. You’ve used this framework for years and you’ve got an armload of testimonials to prove that it works.
Unfortunately, you’re booked out months in advance and are frustrated that you can’t help more people. Your solution? A course.
Using those same frameworks, workbooks, and coaching, you create a course that does the same thing you do in your 1:1 work.
And even though you haven’t made a single course sale yet, based on everything else that we just mentioned, do you think that there would be a solid demand for your course? The same course that you built using the exact methodologies and frameworks that you’ve used for hundreds of your private coaching clients?
We both know the answer, don’t we?
Reason #3: Launching creates a connection with your audience that you’ll need for evergreen.
We understand the place that this comes from. In a live launch, you’re often spending a lot of time “face to face” with your audience. That could look like running live webinars, jumping on Facebook or Instagram lives, and spending a lot of time in DMs and on social media talking with your audience.
So when that’s your normal, we can see why someone would say that evergreen funnels don’t give you the same kind of connection.
You don’t know what you don’t know
If you’ve never had a behind-the-scenes look at an evergreen funnel, it’s easy to make assumptions about how they work and what the customer experience is like.
Inside Scale with Success®, our multi-year group coaching experience, we teach our clients how to leverage something called behavior-based automation. Behavior-based automation allows you to create a completely personalized experience for every person who enters your funnel.
To show you what I mean…
If you’re ordering your groceries online, you’ll notice that it never fails that when you get to the end of your order and are about to check out, the platform gives you one final screen that says, “Forgot something?” and shows you a list of items specifically tailored to your buying habits and the things your family uses most.
And sure enough, you see something that you forgot to put on your list.
Does it matter that it’s not a “real” person asking you this question? No.
Are you thankful for the personalized reminder? Definitely.
And because of that reminder, you get the benefit of having what you need for the week.
It’s a completely automated experience and yet, because it uses behavior-based automation, you know that you can get a personalized and timely reminder to reload on Mystic Mango Kombucha whenever you’re running low.
Automation isn’t impersonal, not by a long shot. And when you can leverage behavior-based automation in your evergreen funnel, you create that “you’re in my head!” connection with your audience.
Reason #4: Launching before going evergreen proves that your messaging is dialed in.
A lot of people believe that they need to test out their messaging with a live launch BEFORE they are ready to evergreen. But we can tell you from experience, you don’t.
In fact, there is no better way to test out your messaging and nail your offer than by skipping the launch and going straight to evergreen.
Data is king
And here’s why: when you have an automated funnel, you will bring in boat loads of data on a consistent basis. And when you’re measuring the right data points and key performance indicators, you’re able to make improvements fast.
Just ask Amira, one of our clients who went straight to evergreen with a brand new $2,000 offer.
Here’s what her first day looked like…
Just one month later, she generated over $90,000 in revenue.
Amira used the tools and resources inside our program so she could effectively diagnose what was working and what wasn’t. And with a few tiny tweaks, she could fix the lagging parts of her funnel IN REAL TIME while maximizing her profits.
What you REALLY need to go evergreen
After all we’ve talked about, it’s safe to say that we can put the “must launch before evergreen” advice to bed. It’s clearly not a prerequisite to going evergreen. But there are a few things you’ll want to have in place before evergreening your course. Here are the top 3 that we recommend.
1. You need an audience.
Whether it’s 100 people on an email list or 100,000 followers on IG, having an audience to start with gives you the numbers (and data) to start making those real time choices that we just talked about.
And before you go thinking that size matters, let me tell you about our client, Alison.
When she joined in December 2019, she had what she considered a “small” email list—about 750 people.
And one year later, here’s how that “small” email list panned out…
Or there’s our other client, Alli. When Alli introduced her evergreen funnel to her list of 400, here’s what happened.
I’ll save you the mental math… That’s $12,546 in revenue in less than 24 hours from a “small list.”
And 5 weeks later, she had this to report…
So whether your audience is “big” or “small,” having an audience in place before you evergreen will give you a leg up on your journey to and through 7-figures.
2. You need a proven demand for your offer.
Maybe you’ve spent years teaching in-person pottery courses but want to reach a wider community by taking things online…
Maybe you’re a toddler sleep coach who’s maxed out monthly, working 1:1 with exhausted moms…
Or maybe you’ve led 3-day intensives for would-be memoir writers that sell out a year in advance…
Whatever your unique situation is, having a proven demand doesn’t necessarily mean loads of revenue in *actual* course sales (though that’s definitely a sign of demand).
But it DOES mean knowing that the same methodologies that you plan to put into a course are the same methodologies that people have already paid you money for.
So take some time to consider this: Are there areas in your current business where people have paid money for your expertise and advice?
If so, it’s likely that you’re on the right track!
3. You need to get comfortable with tech or hire someone who is.
Technology shines in an evergreen funnel. Not only does it make your course business run more smoothly and efficiently, it also helps you bring in sales 24/7. But having worked with over 350 course creators, we know that not everyone has the patience or capability for putting all the tech pieces together. That’s O-K.
There’s no shame in admitting where you shine and where you don’t—which, by the way—is actually a sign of a great CEO.
Some of our clients inside the Scale with Success® program find the easy-to-implement tech tutorial videos incredibly helpful when setting up their own automated funnels. While others would prefer to have their VA watch them and implement it instead.
Either way, there’s no right or wrong way to go about it, as long as someone is willing to do it.
It’s about creating what YOU want
We don’t know that the “launch before evergreen” advice will really ever go away. But after all that we’ve talked about today, you can see that it’s not the prerequisite that some digital marketers make it out to be.
At the end of the day, launching requires an intense amount of time and energy that you may not have. So we hope that by understanding what is actually required to evergreen your course, you can make a decision that best fits YOUR life and the kind of online course business that YOU want to create.
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Today’s blog post is brought to you by Scale with Success® — a group coaching experience designed to help you generate scalable and predictable revenue month after month. If you want to learn MORE about our proven method for success, click here to watch my free masterclass. See you in there!