3 Things You Must Audit After You Launch An Online Course (Including a Post-Launch Worksheet)

How to analyze your launch to see what worked and what didn’t work.


Every single entrepreneur has poured their heart and soul into launching a product or service that didn’t go as they planned.

Disappointing launches are so common that I once filmed a comical video about how to bounce back when you’re feeling sorry for yourself that no one bought your product.

It’s just one of the many aspects of running your own business that sucks majorly that you’ll have to face at one point or another…yet it’s taboo to talk about it.

And if you’re looking for what to do after a not-so-good (or hell, even a great) launch…oh snap. You are in the right place.

I looove talking about taboo topics. I’m also a big fan of the “breakdown to breakthrough” AKA “it’s all uphill from rock bottom” philosophy!

Let’s take a cold, hard (fun) look at why your launch didn’t work, shall we?

Why is it crucial to audit your launch or promotion strategy post-mortem?

If you’re anything like me, you’re tired of thinking about that promotion you just ran and want to move on to the next project.

Hold your horses, rule breaker!

There are a few reasons you need to review your launch strategy:

  • Recognize EXACTLY what went right and what went wrong so that you can do more of the former and update the latter for the next round.
  • Make smart business decisions about what strategies actually work for YOUR business.
  • Stop taking results personally. During a launch, everything feels like the end of the world. When you review what happened post-mortem, you’ll likely realize that your launch was pretty good!

#1 Your product or service needs better packaging + positioning.

Packaging and positioning… say whaaa?

Here are some signs that you need to re-tool your packaging + positioning:

  • You gave your clients everything and the kitchen sink because you were afraid of not giving them “enough” for the price.
  • Your product or service doesn’t have a powerful name (that makes it clear what people will get when they buy).
  • You’re afraid of alienating some of your audience by getting specific with your offer, so you’re actually alienating everyone by being too all encompassing.  

So how do you “fix” this packaging problem? Here are some action steps:

  • Think of someone who is your IDEAL customer for this offer. Put yourself in this person’s shoes. If you were them, what would you want to see in an offer like yours? What would be confusing to you about the offer?
  • Is your product or service helping people to achieve ONE specific result? If not, how can you make it more niched?

#2 You need to improve your “toot your own horn strategy”.

Did you proactively, consistently, and thoughtfully spread the word about your offer everywhere humanly possible?

Some fancy people call this “marketing”, but that word feels overwhelming to me. So I’m going to call it your “toot your own horn strategy”.

In short, you can’t just plop an e-course on a sales page and send FB ads to it hoping people will sign up. You need to orchestrate an entire hoopla around your launch.

Your “toot your own horn strategy” might include:

  • Creating excitement about your offer with a strategic pre-launch. This includes creating blog content, free trainings, and tools related to the topic of your course for 3-6 weeks before your launch.
  • An email sequence that people will love to open and read. And honestly, if they don’t? They can unsubscribe. You’re running a business. You can’t be scared to send email to your list.
  • Facebook ads that re-target people who have shown interest in the topic your course is about. These ads would link to the sales page.
  • Social media posts that get people excited, motivated, and taking action in a way related to your offer’s topic.
  • Live broadcasts on Facebook Live or Periscope where you connect with your audience and share some of your expertise (then remind people about your launch).

Need help writing copy for your “toot your own horn” strategy? Get dozens of templates for every single piece of copy you need in The Launch Copy Kit.

#3 You need to make it easier for people to say “yes” on the sales page.

Okie dokie, artichok-ie. THIS is where I’m going to deliver one of my (in)famous Courtney Smackdowns 😉

Have you ever bought an online course or program?

Have you ever hired an online business owner for their services?

If so, I’m guessing you went through a sales page in order to do so (by the way: sales page and work with me page and services page are all the same thing).

My dearest rule breaker, I really, really, really want you to put yourself in your target client’s shoes (remember the person you thought of in #1 above?) and take a look at the sales page for your offer.

Step out of “business owner mode”. Put your personal desire to attract more clients aside. Look at your sales page and honestly ask yourself: What would hold me back from saying “yes” to this? Would I be attracted to this offer if I landed on this page?

As a copywriter, my secret weapon is EMPATHY. If you’re not used to putting yourself in other people’s shoes, you need to get used to it fast. You can’t possibly grow a successful business if you’re always thinking about what you want.

(Smackdown over)

Here are some common “mistakes” you’re likely making on your sales page:

Get the full Post-Launch Audit Worksheet below so that you can diagnose exactly what you can improve about your launch in order to get more sales next time!