Bite-sized lessons in launching for entrepreneurs.
Your complete roadmap to creating a killer digital product launch.
I help online entrepreneurs (like YOU!) launch and relaunch digital products and podcasts to reach more people, grow their audience and become the go-to geniuses in their industry
Just like the time I called everyone on my email list “Sarah” which was actually only like a week ago, this proves that tech glitches are kind of a given whenever you're launching.
I remember just a couple of years ago when I was the only person I really knew who was launching. And little things can happen, like the time that my webinar was supposed to go live and it just froze. And wouldn't load the live room. Glitches like that. They can feel like the end of the world. So, I'm going to share a little bit about what to do during launch stuff-ups and tech glitches.
In my most recent launch of Launch Magic, which only closed doors a week ago, we had quite a few things go wrong, which shouldn't be that surprising given that we opened doors on Friday the 13th in the middle of Mercury retrograde.
I don't actually even know what it means. But when mercury is in retrograde, it is known for making communications go haywire. And it's not great for technology, which is exactly what happened in this launch. In that very first webinar, which was on the morning of Friday, the 13th, I went to share my screen, like I always would do in the exact same webinar platform I've been using for a while. And for some reason, it wouldn't let me share my screen.
The next glitch that happened was in Canva. I couldn't get presentation mode to work. Fortunately, I had downloaded a backup PDF of the slides, which I could then use on Vimeo, where I usually present my webinars.
That same afternoon, my email service provider went down for a couple of hours. Everyone who was clicking any links in any of the emails that I sent out such as to watch the webinar, replay emails, to sign up for Launch Magic – None of those links were working. Everyone was getting a 503 error. That happened all on the same day. And then about six days later on cart close day, I sent an email to all 60,000 people on my email list, calling everybody “Sarah”.
That was definitely a face-palm kind of moment, but I laugh about it because there was absolutely no way we could have prevented this because even we wouldn't have picked it up in a test. Essentially what I did was I forgot to put a merge tag, like the first name merges tag into the email that would have pulled through everybody's first names. And instead, it said “Sarah.”
I got a few people, replying, “My name's not Sarah”. And I felt bad because of course I know your name's not Sarah, but these things happen and all we can do is laugh about them.
The most major one I've had was when I had 700 people registered for a webinar. That webinar just didn't go live. It counted backward. 3, 2, and 1 going live. And crashed. I couldn't get into the webinar room. People who had registered for the webinar, couldn't get into the webinar room. And I had all of these angry emails from people who'd put their kids to sleep so that they could come and attend my live webinar.
I couldn't make it work. It was awful because I invested the only money I had left in my business into Facebook ads to get people to register for this webinar in the hopes that they would sign up for my course.
Don't put it all on black. Don't invest at all in something that can go wrong. But I did manage to recover from that is the good news.
Another thing that happened in the November launch last year of Launch Magic was that we had about 60 people on my email list who got all 13 Cart open emails at once, about a week before the cart even opened. They got all 13 emails with doors open and this bonus and that bonus and doors are closing. Instantly, all at the same time. A week before doors even opened. So that was pretty bad.
I freaked out when I saw the first person reply to those emails and say, “Hey, why did you send me 13 emails at once?”. I panicked and thought, oh my goodness, everybody on my entire email list has got all of these emails. What are we going to do? But it was actually not that bad. It turned out it was just 60 people. These are some of the glitches I've had and as I said, it's all part of a launch.
How bad is it really? If it's a typo, like the time that I sent out an email with the subject line, your growth audience problem, instead of your audience growth problem. It's not going to be the end of the world. It has nothing to do with your launch but if it's something like your webinar crashing then yes that's not ideal. But at the end of the day, it's not the end of the world. The sun will still be up and will still come up tomorrow.
Can I undo it? Is this a mistake that can be undone? Most of the time it's going to be “No”. That's okay. We have to work with what we've got. Take a deep breath. It's going to be okay. People won't notice as much as you think they will and when they notice they won't care as much as you think they will. The people who do care or who do complain or do get angry, then they are not your people and that's okay. The ones who are your people will understand.
Laugh at yourselves. Admit that you are human and that mistakes happen. Most of the time people will be okay with it. Or you can admit defeat and be open and honest and tell people what happened and apologize for it. Take ownership of it. Take responsibility. Try not to pass the blame onto somebody else if you can.
If it's relevant, let your audience know what you're putting into place to prevent it from happening again. With those people who received all 13 Cart open emails at once, I emailed them all. I apologized for it and I told them, “Hey, look, you got all the emails a week early, you know what's coming up next week now”. And they were okay with it and a few of them unsubscribed. It's sad every time somebody unsubscribes but unsubscribing is simply a part of email marketing.
For example with the webinar that didn't run, the one that crashed. Can we reschedule it? When my webinar screen didn't share, I had to run with the PDF version instead. If your cart open emails but didn't send then, can we change the card open date?
How can we be flexible here? We're not going to melt down into a little steaming puddle of tears. But instead, we're going to just work with it and try and use it to our advantage as best we can.
You might feel like you want to give up, but it's not the best way to deal with it. If you really feel like it, sleep on it. And then pivot and try again.
There are a few things you can always put into place to minimize the glitches that can happen. As I said, this will always be a part of your launch. But there are some things we can put into place to minimize them from happening. So when something goes wrong, we want to look at and assess why did it happen? What caused it and is there something we can put in place to prevent it? If it's something that went wrong with the way you set up your webinar or the way you set up your emails, can we get a second pair of eyes to look over the setup?
Can we create a checklist that you can go through each time you launch to prevent this from happening again so you don't miss something? Can we create a process to minimize the chance of an error happening here?
It can be helpful to have some kind of redundancies. Even if you're planning on sharing the Canva presentation view of your slides, make sure that you've got a backup PDF version. Make sure you've got a backup zoom link where you can send people if your webinar room doesn't work. We can have those backups if something fails, we have still got something to run with.
I don't know any successful launcher who hasn't had at least one major tech glitch. The only way to avoid them is to never launch. And that's not really feasible. You can choose to never launch, but you're limiting yourself. It's like you're choosing not to launch, to not have those tech glitches at the cost of not launching.
Instead, you've just got to back yourself up and you've got to know that when those tech glitches happen, you can figure it out as you go, and you will be able to recover from them. You will find a solution and it will all be okay.
I help online entrepreneurs just like you launch and relaunch their online courses, memberships, digital products and podcasts to reach more people, grow their audience and become the go-to geniuses in their industry