"Just sell the damn thing."

A few weeks ago, I ran a launch for one of my clients.

Our plan was to kick it off with a webinar that we would run the day the cart opened.

We were following a launch strategy created by one of my favorite marketers. But mid-way through promoting our webinar, I realized we would need to make a change if we wanted to hit our registration goals.


Well, the general strategy looks something like this.

Let’s say your cart opens on July 1. If that’s the case, you would run a webinar on that day and begin promoting it one week prior (on June 24).

But here’s the kicker:

The only time you would directly promote that webinar to your email list is on June 24.

You would also send emails from June 25 - June 28, but they would simply provide valuable content and only include webinar registration CTAs in the P.S.

In theory, this sounds fantastic.

You don’t have to be too self-promotional. You can give people tons of valuable content. And you feel much better about selling people something when you’ve already given them tons for free.

And maybe this strategy works for some people.

But after we had sent 3 or 4 emails and were somewhere around halfway to our registration goal, I started to worry.

We were giving people valuable content. We were writing to their pains. But registration numbers weren’t going up like we hoped.

I talked to my coach, email copywriter extraordinaire, Chris Orzechowski:

“What should we do?”

He offered a few suggestions, but the simplest was this:

“Send more emails.”

In his course, Email Copy Academy (which is great), Chris identifies a specific email formula called the Straight Pitch.

It’s pretty simple: “Just sell the damn thing.”

And that’s what we did.

We added two more emails to our schedule, both directly promoting the webinar. No teaching. No soft CTAs.

Just clear, direct communication about what we were planning to teach during the webinar, why it was important, and telling people to sign up.

After writing that out, it sounds a bit silly. Right?

“Wow, Robert. So you mean that people signed up for your webinar when you told them about it? That’s groundbreaking…” (eye roll)

But I think our situation is one experienced by many marketers.

We live in a world saturated with marketing.

We’re constantly presented with images and words about things we should buy and why we should buy them.

Because there’s so much buying and selling going on in our world, nearly everyone has believed the marketing for a product, bought it, and realized it’s shit.

So we’ve almost collectively come to the conclusion that:

“If something is actually valuable, it should sell itself.”

And sure, maybe it should. But that’s not how the world works.

should be able to trade a hug for a hamburger at McDonald’s — but that’s not how it works. They want my money, not my love… :(

My point is —

As a marketer, it’s easy to have a fear of selling.

Our audiences have seen it all before, and old-school advertising like “Buy [PRODUCT]! It’s great!” doesn’t work anymore. Today’s audiences demand more than that, and often, they demand genuinely helpful content.

That’s one of the reasons we produce valuable content for our audiences…and we should!

But content shouldn’t be the ONLY part of our strategy.

If you’re offering something valuable, sometimes you just have to sell the damn thing.

So what happened with the webinar?

Registrations spiked, and we surpassed our goal registration number.

Maybe I freaked out too early. Maybe registrations would have increased in the days before the webinar without adding those extra emails…

But I don’t think so.

I think we hit our goal because we decided to keep it simple and just sell the damn thing.

Robert Lucas