Aug 1 – 31, 2015
August was a benchmark month for us! This was the first time our passive income sales broke the $1k barrier! Our passive income sales actually destroyed last months passive income sales clocking in at $1,182 vs. $883 of last month! From day one of the TemplateLauncher.com experiment we’ve been driving toward hitting $3k/mo. in passive income. We’re not quite there yet but we’re super excited about cracking the $1k mark. We owe it in large part to the launch of one of our most prolific templates we’ve built to date, the Parallax Single Page Mini-Site Template. In it’s debut month it sold 20 copies at $15 a piece, racking up $300 in sales. This was the biggest first month sales number for any template we’ve launched.
I don’t want to dismiss the service side of things by any means. Our service sales, building custom landing page templates, came in at $1,850. All of which came from new customers who found us organically through the LeadPages marketplace. I’m really loving the service side of our experiment. My brother Ben and I were building custom PHP and WordPress websites and applications for clients over the past 5 years. Each project was significantly different and though we did get to pull some code from past work, most of the work was from scratch and completely custom. I don’t know where I read an article about productizing your services but it really streamlines everything. From marketing to client on-boarding, development, and through completion. You know that your working within a certain framework and we are continuously tightening up our requirements and identifying bottlenecks.
CLIENT TEMPLATES LAUNCHED
All of the custom services we performed this month were for clients who are not selling their landing pages in the marketplace but are using them internally. So no new client templates to share this month, though we did build 4 client templates.
This month we launched 4 internal templates as well as 4 client templates. I built all 8 of these templates myself as well as a number of internal tools for speeding up the development process and adding functionality to our TemplateLauncher Control Panel (if you’re unsure what that is check out one of our templates in the LeadPages Marketplace). It’s definitely starting to stretch me a little thin and I think we may start pulling Ben off of some of his projects to help build-out our template factory. All of the internal templates we launched were actually FREE L(a)unch requests we received through TemplateLauncher.com.
- FREE L(a)unch: Parallax Single Page Mini-Site Template
- FREE L(a)unch: EXPIRING OFFER Upsell/Thank You Page
- FREE L(a)unch: Simple Parallax Launch Page
- FREE L(a)unch: Tripwire Landing Page
Last month we launched Parallax scrolling. This month we launched an animation library and an evergreen/expiring countdown clock! We built the animation library using this badass CSS library called Animate.css. Huge props to Daniel Eden who built the library. We’ve included over 40 different animation effects that customers can add to just about every element on the page. You can of course turn the animations off as well. We’ve just started A/B testing animated vs. non-animated pages with a couple clients so I’ll have to report on whether animations make a difference in conversion rates. We’re including the animation library in all newly built templates.
In addition to building these pieces of functionality we added a Template How-To video tutorial to all our new templates as well as some older templates. We’re going to go through and add a how-to video to each of our templates. It takes about 20 minutes to shoot the video and another 20 minutes to process it to youtube. We generally don’t edit the videos and just run through everything in one shoot. We’ve seen a huge decrease in functionality customer service inquiries, which was the goal of the tutorial videos. I was getting overwhelmed with emails from customers asking how to use certain pieces of functionality. Some of our functionality is not the most intuitive simply because it’s unique to the LeadPages marketplace. We are seeing an increase however, in customer service requests for more complicated issues such as integrating pages with CMS platforms or other 3rd party integrations.
Finally, we extended some of our internal bits of functionality to continue automating our internal development processes. We also updated our HTML/CSS framework to the hottest/newest version of Bootstrap. There were a few bumps adding the new framework and a bit of a learning curve. For example, the responsive breakpoints are now based on ems instead of pixels. I won’t get any more nerdy than that for now!
The biggest lesson learned this month was that spending a little extra time and effort on developing a template can pay off in a huge way. We spent about a week building the Parallax Single Page Mini-Site template, which is 2 to 3 times as long as we normally would. Most of this time was spent finding/editing assets in a cohesive way to really tell a story with the template. It seems like the creative work is our biggest bottleneck, which we are continually trying to address as we move forward.
Below is a screenshot from the Stripe dashboard for the dates of August 1 – August 31, 2015 that shows the sales for our biggest month yet! Cha-ching!
Top Sales Day – $88
We crushed last months high of $64, coming in at $88! I was so tempted to go in and buy a $12 template to crack $100 but that just wouldn’t be fair…