Looking back at launching SB Pro at the end of May; I now realize I have made a bunch of obvious mistakes. Admitting to these mistakes and writing them down here will hopefully help others prevent making the same mistakes. At the very least, it will prevent me from making them again!
Mistake 1: Setting a fixed launch date
This was by far, the biggest mistake I made. I have made the same mistake in the past and this time I should have known better.
Publicly committing to a fixed launch date created a ton of pressure since I had already sold a bunch of pre-orders, even when I was still thinking we’d be able to make those dates.
When it started to look like I wouldn’t be able to make it in time, the stress and pressure became overwhelming at times (since I had a bunch of pre-orders customers waiting for the launch).
I failed to meet the promised launch dates three times! Thankfully, most of our pre-order customers were understanding and didn’t decide to cancel their pre-order, even after the third time.
Mistake 2: Not speaking to (potential) customers enough
Also something I should have known. I was doing quite well in getting traffic to our early landing page and having people sign up to our mailing list, resulting in a couple of hundred early subscribers.
Not astounding numbers, but definitely enough to start doing customer outreach and development. Furthermore, we ended up having about 40 pre-orders before launching and I only ended up speaking to maybe half a dozen of those customers.
Mistake 3: Not doing any split testing on the landing page
In hindsight, I could have done so much better with signing up people for our mailing list as well as generating pre-orders if I would have done A/B split testing early on. I ended up doing no tests at all and kept the exact same landing page up until, and even after, the official launch.
Mistake 4: Not implementing any marketing automation or auto responders
My gut tells me I could have converted more people in the pre-order funnel into customers if I would have set up even basic automation or auto responders. However, I did not do anything to that end. In the six months leading up to the launch, I might have sent out three or four manual emails. That’s it. I even had people reaching out to me asking for updates, but still I failed to pick up on the opportunity there.
Even though I did make some very obvious mistakes pre-launch, there are also a number of this I did right this time. I should probably do a little write-up about those as well!