A challenge launch can an incredibly fun experience, but it can easily overwhelm you if you’re not prepared. Kendra takes us behind the scenes of her recent Health Coach Accelerator 5-day free challenge launch and tells us what worked and what didn’t. It was an exhausting launch for Kendra and her team, but all numbers considered, it seems to be a worthwhile exercise overall. Kendra may not be fully sold on this challenge launch idea yet, but there are definitely lessons to learn from this great experience. Tune in and glean some that you can use!
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BTS Of My 5-Day Free Challenge Launch
I am so grateful that you were taking time out of your day-to-day to hang out with me. We’re talking about a hot topic. I’m going to take you behind the scenes of my Health Coach Accelerator, Free Challenge launch. It has been a bit of a crazy month or so. We have a lot of projects on the go as a team. We’re making a lot of changes. There’s been a lot going on, so I’m finally getting to this episode now. Usually, these types of episodes are some of our most popular episodes because I think you guys like to see what the behind the scenes of my business look like.
This is going to be an interesting episode because I’m talking about the free five-day challenge launch, which is a popular type of launch, and one that I actually haven’t done for about three years. It was not my first one. The first one I ever did was for the first launch that I ever did, and that was really stressful. I would never teach anyone to do that for their first launch because it was a lot, and I was way overworked. I was creating tons of content. In the end, I did not get very good results with my launch.
I’ve talked a little bit about that failed launch on past episodes, so I’m not going to get too much into that, but that was the first one. I was like, “That was a lot of work.” I did a second one at the beginning of 2019, and this was when I was still health coaching. I did it for my HIGH on Energy Membership. It actually went quite well. I think I was able to generate an extra $3,500 a month for the membership.
The great thing about that membership was that it was quite low-priced. It didn’t make a ton off the monthly memberships, but I did quite well in upgrades, which is a great thing about memberships in the health coaching space because you can actually make a lot of money from upgrades. I was able to upgrade lab testing and supplements. It ended up probably generating me a lot more income down the line.
My 5-Day Free Challenge Launch
Let’s talk about my five-day challenge launch. Typically, every launch that I have done, since 2019 and since I did that challenge launch, has been a webinar launch. The reason why I decided to switch to a challenge launch is I wanted to try something different. I knew these were pretty hot. I knew they could work really well, and I wanted to increase sales.
Typically with Health Coach Accelerator launches, we usually get about maybe 25-ish new students with each and every launch. Sometimes, we go as high as 30. Sometimes, it’s more like 20. I would say 20 to 30. I want to scale the program, so I wanted to get more enrollments. My thinking was maybe people just need a bit of a longer onboarding period into the program, meaning that maybe the webinar doesn’t quite warm them up enough. Maybe if they spent five whole days with me, they would love me and think I was awesome and think I provided valuable content, and that would make them a little bit hotter, AKA a little bit more ready to buy. That was my inspiration with doing the five-day challenge is I wanted to see if it would increase our enrollments.
The setup of this work is I had a five-day free challenge, so every day I went live into the Facebook group and I gave a homework task each and every day. The challenge was to help members build their signature program. It was a topic that I knew my audience was interested in. I had done a survey to my email list at the end of 2021, and by far, that was the topic that everyone seemed excited to learn about. I knew it would probably convert well, at least with my organic following. Essentially, it was a four-day challenge. We had a training for one hour, Monday through Thursday. Then on Friday, we had what I called the Bonus Training, which was essentially a webinar.
Even with a challenge, you still do a webinar on the final day because that’s the hard pitch. In the webinar, you want it to tie everything together. On the first day of the challenge, we talked about niching and the topic of the program. On the second day, we talked about building out the structure of the program. On day three, we talked about naming the program and branding it. On the final day, we talked about pricing, and then I had my webinar on the final day.
This was also the first launch that I actually ran ads for. Typically, I do 100% organic, but I’ve been dabbling more into ads over the past year. Now, I’ve brought on an ads manager who is going to be running all my ads. I’m going to be working a lot more with paid traffic, and I’ll definitely keep you guys informed of what I learned along the way.
The one thing that I probably should have thought of, and actually a colleague of mine who’s in the mastermind program that I’m in made me aware of that. She was like, “It’s really interesting because previously you’ve launched organic with a webinar launch, and this time you ran ads, but it’s with a challenge launch. You don’t really have anything to compare it to. You’re essentially comparing apples and oranges.” I thought she had a really good point.
What I probably should have done is done another webinar launch but with ads, so I actually could have compared the two. I didn’t think of that. I think she had a good point. Next time when I launch, I think I will go for the webinar launch again, and then that way we can compare and see if it actually converts better.
For the challenge, we ended up getting just over 500 total signup for the challenge. About half of those came from ads, maybe a little bit more than half. I think we had 300 come from ads, and maybe about 250 come from organic. I think it was about 550 total for the people who signed up for the challenge. Of that 550, we had 300 join the Facebook group, which is really good. You’re going for anywhere from 40% to 80%. If you get 100%, that would be great, but that’s not realistic. A lot of people will sign up for the challenge and then forget about it, and never actually join the Facebook group.
What I did is I had what’s called a Pop-up Facebook group. It’s a Facebook group that exists only for the challenge, then it gets deleted at the end of the five days. We had 300 people join the Facebook group, and they were incredibly engaged. I was grateful because I had actually hired a coach for Health Coach Accelerator, Jess, and she is now the Primary Coach inside Health Coach Accelerator. I had her help me with this challenge, and I am honestly so grateful for her because without her, it would have been pretty crazy because those 300 people that were in the challenge were fired up. They were stoked. The energy was high and they were engaging like crazy.
I’ll never forget that first live stream. I believe we had about 120 people on the live stream, and everyone was commenting and asking questions. Thank God for Jess, she was just in the comments, fielding everything, and I was able to focus on teaching. It would have been a lot if I had been on my own. I think if I had been on my own, I would have been incredibly overwhelmed.
We had good engagement throughout the challenge. Obviously, the first live stream had the highest amount of engagement. I think we had 120, and then by the fourth challenge live stream, I think we were down to 80, but overall still really good show up for those lives. We had a ton of people completing their challenge in the group. We were giving them feedback on all of their challenge. That did lead to a lot of time spent in the group. It was definitely a very different experience than my usual launch experience where I do the webinar then chill. This was very active. I was spending so much time out of my day, commenting and engaging with the group.
We ran the webinar on the final day, and that went really well. We had 140 people on the webinar. The training went really well. Again, I was grateful to have Jess in the chat, fielding the questions. When all was said and done, we made $40,000 in sales, and we enrolled 20 new HCA students. Only one of those came from the ads, and the other 19 came from organic. I’m not super surprised with that because with ads, remember they’re cold. They don’t know me at all before they end up in the challenge.
Even though a bunch of the ads people didn’t enroll in HCA, they probably just need more time to warm up to me, so we still did add 300 new subscribers to the email list, which I think is a huge win. Some of them will probably purchase later down the line. I’m not overly surprised with that. It was good to be able to add those new subscribers to the list.
What Went Well And What Didn’t
I want to talk a little bit about what went well and what didn’t work well. I’ve already said this, but what worked amazing was having Jess helping me in the group. Like I said, everyone was super engaged and everyone was doing their challenge and asking questions, and really wanting to get it right and build their program and get as much feedback as possible. I was grateful to have some help within the group. Initially, I was just going to do it myself, and I’m glad that I didn’t. Initially, I was hoping to get 500 people in the Facebook group, but we didn’t quite get the conversion with the ads that we wanted to.
I’m actually grateful. I think that was a blessing in disguise because had I had that many people in the group, it would have been totally crazy. The engagement was really good. We definitely were keeping at the top of everyone’s Facebook Feed who was in the challenge because of all the engagement that was happening. The fun level was really high. Everyone in the challenge had a good time. I had a lot of people say that they thought that challenge was the most valuable coaching that they ever had in their life. It was good to hear that because I love providing value. I hope that people always have a good time when they’re engaging with my content.
What also worked well was adding those new subscribers to the list. List growth is always a priority for me. It’s super important. It should also be incredibly important and be a priority in your business as well. Adding those new 300 subscribers to the list was great. Now, I have the opportunity to further nurture them and turn them into Health Coach Accelerator students.
In terms of the sales, I thought the sales were good. We did generally what we always do. To be honest, we typically do between 20 to 30 sales with every launch. We did exactly 20. We were on the bottom-end of that average. Overall, who doesn’t want to make $40,000 in a week? That sounds great. I was stoked. I was able to pay off the year-long mastermind program that I was in. The sales were really good as well.
Obviously, enrolling twenty new members into Health Coach Accelerator was amazing. I was incredibly excited and grateful to welcome them into the program. I think because they were so fired up from the challenge, they came in superhot, which I love. They came in super-motivated and they jumped into the content, and they are engaged currently in the program, which I love, so that was great.
Those are the things that generally worked really well with this launch. I want to talk about some of the things that didn’t work well. The first thing was in the ads. Unfortunately, Facebook made some changes in the ads targeting that hurt me in this launch. A little bit of backstory, I was working with a different Facebook ads manager since spring of 2021, and I wasn’t getting results with him. In hindsight, I probably should have moved on from him a lot sooner, but he was very charismatic and I liked him as a person.
I’d feel frustrated and then I’d hop on a meeting with him and I would be like, “We’re good.” I get sucked in by good vibes sometimes. In the end, that ended up being a bad business decision. I probably should have let him go a lot sooner. I did eventually let him go in January after we weren’t getting the results that we wanted, and I felt like I was wasting a lot of my money. I brought on a new ads manager. I brought him on right before the launch, about three weeks before the launch. We didn’t even have time to go through the onboarding period.
He was very transparent. He’s like, “We can definitely get ads going for your launch, but I’m going to be honest. It’s not going to be my best work because I haven’t had the time to do the testing that I want.” I totally understood, but I still wanted him to do it. That was a bit of an issue, bringing on a new ads manager right before the launch.
Then the other issue is there was an update in the Facebook ads manager and they got rid of a bunch of their targeting, which was a lot of my targeting. Instead of my new ads manager having old interest target, he could just look at old data and see, “I did really well targeting this interest in this interest.” Suddenly those interests were gone. Just so you know what I’m talking about, an interest would be like Whole30 or it could be JJ Virgin, or it could be mindbodygreen. Those are all interests. Essentially, what that means is people have followed those pages or engaged with those brands, then we can target people who follow them.
Facebook got rid of a ton of interests. Not only was my new ads manager coming in like fresh face, but we also lost a ton of our data right before the launch, and that was really unfortunate. It was a huge bummer. Because of this, we ended up not getting the cost per lead that we wanted. We wanted a $10 cost per lead. What that means is $10 for every person that signed up for the challenge. We were probably higher around maybe $17.
Because of that, we paid more to get people into the challenge, and we didn’t get as many people as we wanted. That being said, I still got 300 people into the challenge, which was fantastic. I was very happy with that, but it just wasn’t quite as much as I wanted. Considering the situation, I think we actually did quite good. The other thing that didn’t work too well, and I know this was also something that worked well, which was the engagement, but what also didn’t work well was the engagement.
It was a bit overwhelming. It was a bit much. I think, Jess, being new to working with me was pretty overwhelmed. Although I think she rocked it, and I think at this point she has mastered HCA-ians. She’s like, “I understand what you say that sometimes you feel like you’re going to puke if you audit another niche statement.” I’m like, “Yeah, totally.” I love it. I love auditing the niche statements, but as you know when you’re coach, you do repeat yourself a lot sometimes. Sometimes you’re like, “Oh my God.”
We were a bit too generous with asking questions. We didn’t lay out specific boundaries. The reason why I didn’t lay out boundaries is because I actually had no idea it would be like this. In the previous challenge that I did in 2019, it was not like this. It’s funny because I thought I had 300 people in the Facebook group, but looking back, I actually had just over 100. It was less than half of the numbers. I think these people were maybe less engaged because I didn’t have any help in that 2019 challenge. I don’t remember it being overly stressful.
What was happening was every day at the end of the live stream, we were giving them a task. For example on day one, we had them send in their niche statement or post their niche statement in the group, and that gave them access into a contest. Some people were posting bad niche statements, or what I should say is niche statements that needed feedback and a lot of work. We were being generous with our feedback, so we were going back and forth in the comments with people sometimes 30 or 40 times.
Some people who were coming in late to the challenge were posting their day one challenge on day three, then we were still giving them feedback on that. The result was I felt like I worked ten hours a day, which is not typical for me. I typically work 5, 6 hours, sometimes 7, but not 10 ever. That was a lot. I think it was a lot for Jess, and I felt really overwhelmed with it.
Facebook organizes their feed really weird, so things were getting lost and it was hard to find things. Overall, the group was overwhelming. If I am to do a challenge like this in the future, I will have strict boundaries on the feedback, meaning that we will give you feedback on your post for 24 hours. If we’re going to give you feedback on day one post, it needs to be in by noon on day two, or up until noon on day two, we’re going to do feedback, and then we’re done. Even after the challenge had ended, people were still posting in their challenges and we were giving them feedback. We just need a few more strict boundaries on that.
If you are to ever run a challenge launch, definitely make sure that you have those boundaries because that was definitely something that we could have done better with. The other thing that was interesting that I didn’t even think of is I had a woman hop on a call with me. Something I did is I actually offered a free fifteen-minute call on the last few days of the launch. That’s not something I typically do, but I just felt like, “There are going to be people who are on the fence and this might be a way to push some people over the edge.” It actually worked really well. I probably should have put that in the ‘What worked well’ section.
Essentially, I think we had about maybe 6 people sign up for calls, and 5 of them ended up signing up. They just wanted to talk to a human, get a few more of their questions answered, and make sure that the program was right for them. One of the woman who I spoke to on the call, she said, “I want to join Health Coach Accelerator, but I’m worried that I’m going to be way too overwhelmed in the Facebook group,” because she was assuming that what was happening in the challenge Facebook group would be the same that would happen in the Health Coach Accelerator group. That is not true.
We had 300 people engaging in the challenge Facebook group, but in Health Coach Accelerator, as of right now, we have 45 people in the group. I’m never going to let the group go over 100 or 80. Even if we get to 80 or 100 people in the group, it’s still not going to be like that because there’s not the time crunch. We’re doing everything in those five days. People are trying to get everything done before the end of the week. There’s this crazy energy.
In Health Coach Accelerator, people have 90 days to complete the program and access the live support. It’s definitely a more chill vibe. While the group is engaged and people are very generous with commenting and giving advice and that sort of thing, they’re not the same. The craziness of the challenge group potentially may have deterred some people for signing up for Health Coach Accelerator because they thought it would be too overwhelming.
For the future, I need to mention that and maybe put some language around that in one of the sales emails or in the pitch that I do, and let people know like, “I know this group has been really engaged. There’s a lot happening. It feels overwhelming. That’s because this is the challenge, but in Health Coach Accelerator, it is not like that.” I can totally why people would feel like, “That’s too overwhelming. I don’t think that program is for me.” I am a little worried that may have been the reason why some people didn’t sign up. It’s a good thing for me to know for the future.
The other thing that didn’t work really well is I actually didn’t have any plan for what to do after the webinar ended and the cart opened in the Facebook group. I kept the Facebook group open. We had our webinar at 9:00 AM on a Friday, and the deadline was the following Wednesday at midnight. I kept the Facebook group open the entire time just so I could keep a pulse on those people, but I had no plan for what to do during those days. It was really funny because as soon as the webinar ended, all of a sudden I was like, “I don’t have a plan. What am I doing?”
I ended up doing some things on the fly. I did a behind the scenes look of Health Coach Accelerator. I did a bonus Q&A, and I believe I did one other thing. In the future, I would definitely have a better plan. I would have an encore Q&A after the webinar. I would bring in a student of Health Coach Accelerator to talk about their experience, so a graduate who had great success in the program. I would probably bring in 1 or 2 of those people and have them on live streams. Then I would definitely do the behind the scenes look of the program as well.
Have a better plan for how to push people over the edge. The good news is that those impromptu lives that I did, they did help people get what they were needing in order to sign up. A lot of the people who attended those bonus live streams did end up signing up. Even though I did it in a disorganized way on the fly, it was still great, but I would definitely make sure to have a plan for that in the future.
The other thing that I could have done better with was having a fast-acting bonus. What a fast acting bonus is, is incentive for people to take action early in the launch. What you’re going to learn if you ever launch is that all the sales come in on the last couple of days, and sometimes even in the last couple hours.
I interviewed Ciria, who is one of my group program academy students on the show. Her episode is coming out. She had the same experience. I remember she did her webinar and then she messaged me on Instagram like, “Kendra, I’m really worried. Only one person has showed up. I’ve just done my webinar.” I was like, “Chill.” People are going to enroll on the final days. She ended up getting eighteen enrollments. She said there were literally people enrolling in the last few minutes of the open cart. She ended up making $14,000 by the way, which is amazing. We’re going to talk to Ciria in the future.
The point I’m trying to make is people need pressure to buy. People always enroll at the last minute, and that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it can actually be rough on your mental health. I experience this almost every time with a launch. Usually you do the webinar, you have a couple of sales trickle in, and then you don’t have much action happening, then everything happens on the last day or two. In those days where nothing is happening, it’s easy to get in your head and feel like, “No one is going to sign up.”
This happened to me again. This is my 30th launch. Except for that first one, that first one did not go well, but since the first one, all my launches have been successful, and still I get that feeling of, “No one is going to show up to my party.” It’s teenage Kendra stressing out about being a cool kid. What I think I need to do for next time is have a fast-acting bonus. Give people incentive to take action on the webinar or at least within 24 hours of the webinar.
The reason for that is really for my own mental health. If I could pump out a few sales right at the beginning of a launch, then I wouldn’t be worried throughout the launch. There are a few different ways you can do this. I could offer an extra discount. I could offer an extra bonus that people would be excited to have. You could do something like that. That’s a good way to get people to take action early.
Something I had done in the past that worked really well, and I did this with my HTMA Expert Course, is I sent out a couple emails before the launch and I said, “The first person who signs up when the cart opens on Friday is going to get the course for free. Essentially, the first person that buys, we’re going to give you a full refund.” I let people know like, “At this exact time, you be the first person to buy. You’ll get it for free. If you were planning to sign up anyways, just make sure you do it early and you might get that refund.”
We did about $20,000 in 15 minutes. It was wild. I was like, “I have to do this again.” I actually haven’t done it since, but I’m definitely going to do it in the near future because it’s crazy. It’s fun to get sales coming in like that. I’ll be honest, it pumps up your ego. It makes you feel good. After that happened in that launch, I didn’t have any worries for the rest of the launch. I felt calm. I felt cool. I felt collected because I knew that I had made those sales. I did not do a fast-acting bonus this time. I considered one, I thought about it, and in the end I thought, “The challenge has been so engaged. People are fired up. People have found this valuable. That will be enough for them to enroll early.” It wasn’t, so lesson learned.
A Look At The Final Numbers
The final piece about the launch, and this is a really important piece. When we look at our launches, the data is what matters. We have to look at the numbers rather than the emotions. Typically what we’re doing in our business is we’re making decisions based off emotion or what we feel. That’s a terrible way to make decisions. We should always look at the data. What’s working? What are the numbers showing us is working? If we go to the numbers of this launch, it had a similar conversion, meaning that the sales page conversion was good. It was similar. It was great, but we did the same sales. Like I said, typically we do about 20 to 30 sales. We did 20 sales for this round. It’s the same, the average of what we would normally do on the lower end with twenty times the work.
When I think about how I feel about this launch, I actually felt good because I had a lot of fun. I enjoyed the live streams and giving value. I find when I’m on live streams and people are engaging, that’s really me in my zone of genius. I always feel good. It was fun. I get a bit of a high from it. I have a lot of fun and I love providing all that value. I was happy that people found it so valuable, and that was great. That’s how I feel about it.
What are the numbers telling me? The numbers are telling me that my previous launch style converts better. Because in this launch, we had 500 people sign up for the challenge and we did 20 sells. Usually, I get about 300 people signing up for a webinar, and we do the same or more sales. As you know, I’m a minimalist. I like to keep things simple. I think simplicity scales. I always like to ask myself, “How could this be simple?” The truth is I could do another challenge launch where I’m working ten hours a day, or I could do the webinar launch that I typically do, make the same or more sales, and spend my time on the beach or skiing.
I’m not saying that I’m never going to do a challenge launch again. I did have fun. I would like to test that out again in the future now that I have a baseline and something to compare it to. In the beginning, I think an important thing for me to do is to do a webinar launch that is run with ads and compare it to our organic webinar launches. The truth is, as fun as it was in the challenge, it was a great experience for everyone, myself included.
I like to chill and I don’t like to work too hard. My time off, my time outside my time in the mountains, my time with friends, my time in the forest, my time skiing, my time at the beach is incredibly valuable to me. If I can launch and do those things, then that’s a huge win. That’s probably something I can pursue versus working ten hours a day, and feeling a bit cracked out by the end of the week. I spent so much time on my phone and my computer that I actually felt a little bit cracked out. It was actually easier to keep track of the comments on my smartphone than on the desktop Facebook app, so my thumbs were just commenting away, like I literally felt like I was getting tendonitis on them. These are the things I really have to look at.
That is the behind the scenes look of my launch. I hope that was valuable. I hope that gave you a little bit of insight into a challenge launch. I know people who do really well with challenge launches. There’s a guy in my mastermind program who does about $150,000 to $200,000 every time he does a challenge launch. They can definitely be successful and they can work for people. For me to really pursue the challenge launch, which is obviously a lot more work, a lot more maintenance and a lot more of my time and overall more expensive, because I had to hire Jess to be in the group.
We gave away prizes, so I had to pay for the prizes and all those things. I think I really need to see it actually increase sales. Until then, I’m not going to be fully sold on this style of launch, but I will definitely keep you posted. This is maybe something I would do once a year, so perhaps I will do it again next year. In the meantime, I am more than happy to go back to my very chill webinar launch, and then me chilling on the beach while the sales come in.
That is all I got for you for this episode. I hope you found this episode incredibly valuable. If you love these episodes and you want to support me, the best way to do that is to go leave me a five-star review on iTunes. I read every one of them. I am incredibly grateful for them. They do help me get the show out to more coaches. I would so much appreciate that. It is the most valuable and free way that you can support me for bringing you this valuable content. I will see you next time, same place, same time, where I help you become wealthy AF.