Monetization

What does it take to earn $67,000 in 5 days?

If you’d told me 3 years ago that my online business would have a $67,000+ week, I’d say you were crazy. I’d never made that much in an entire year!

I had no idea what it would take to make that kind of money so quickly. Honestly, I didn’t think it was possible. It seemed like the type of thing that would happen to someone else, not me.

At the very least I thought it would require:

  • Launching a new product
  • Offering a discount as an incentive
  • Doing obscene amounts of promotion

After all, that’s what I saw other people doing.

But I’m happy to report that I was able to make $67,122 in sales — in just 5 days — without doing any of those things.



From March 28 through April 1, I made $67,122.

I’ve discovered that you can squeeze more sales than you ever thought possible out of your business using 4 simple strategies.

Strategy #1: Use a “reverse discount” to create a stampede of sales

Discounting your prices is the fastest and easiest way to get more products flying off the shelf.

It’s also one of the deadliest things you can do to your business.

Sure, you’ll reap short-term spike in sales. But the long-term effects of discounting are toxic:

  • It cheapens your product or service
  • It trains your customers to always wait for a sale before they buy anything
  • It pisses off customers who paid full price before you announced the discount

Even big businesses aren’t immune to these effects. For example, The Gap has been discounting for years, and it’s practically destroyed the company.

The truth is, you can still move a boatload of units without slashing your prices. The secret is using what I call the Reverse Discount.

The way it works is simple. Instead of lowering your price, you raise it! But you warn people a few days in advance, so they still have a chance to buy at the current, lower price.

This is exactly what I did in my $67K launch. On Monday, I sent out an email letting my readers know that I’d be raising the price of my course from $297 to $497. They had until Friday to buy it at the original price.

This approach creates the same benefit as a discount — it gives people a reason to buy right away — but with none of the drawbacks.

Far from devaluing and cheapening your product or service, the Reverse Discount makes your offer appear more valuable, since the price is going up instead of down.

The Reverse Discount doesn’t slow down future sales either. If anything, it will speed them up because people know you are apt to raise your price at any time. (Since launching my course in 2014, I’ve raised the price on 3 separate occasions, and my business has continued to grow the entire time.)

And all of your customers will be happy that they got in before the price increase. So everyone wins.



Regardless of what you’re selling (a product, service, coaching, etc.), there are a few telltale signs that it might be time to raise your price:

  • You’re no longer excited to make a sale or close a deal
  • Your sales are steady and consistent. If people are regularly buying your product or service, that means you’ve got a winner on your hands — and you can probably charge more for it
  • Your customers are raving about your product and your price in the same sentence



Telltale sign: One of my customers on Quora saying my course is worth more than I’m charging.

Raising your price will feel a little scary. It did for me. But succeeding in business isn’t for the faint of heart.

There’s no chart, graph, or equation that can definitively tell you when it’s time to raise your price. Pay attention to the signs I just mentioned — then listen to your gut.

Here’s how to get the most out of your Reverse Discount:

  • Give people enough time to act, but not so much time that it slips their mind altogether. I recommend letting them know you’re raising your price 5 days in advance.
  • Send at least one reminder email per day leading up to the price hike. (I’ll show you exactly how to do this later in this post.)
  • Raise your price by at least 40-50%. A small, token increase might feel less risky, but it signals a lack of confidence and doesn’t offer people enough financial incentive to get them motivated.

Strategy #2: Create true urgency to entice people to buy right away

If you give people an infinite amount of time to buy, they will take forever to make a decision.

That’s just human nature. How many times have you sat around thinking about making a purchase, only to end up postponing it indefinitely?

Many sleazy marketers try to solve this problem by creating false urgency.

If you’ve ever seen a car dealer advertise a sale “this weekend only” — every single weekend! — then you know exactly what I’m talking about.

I’ve also seen online sellers set a deadline for a price increase, only to “accidentally” let it lapse by several hours or days to let the stragglers in.

Not only are these tactics unethical, they also work against you in the long run, because no one takes your deadline seriously.

There’s a great solution to all of this…

Rather than having no deadline — or having a BS one — you can parlay your Reverse Discount to getting your customers to buy sooner rather than later by creating true urgency.

This was one of the key strategies behind my $67,000 week. I set a deadline for the price increase — then I stuck to it.

When I received emails from latecomers, I didn’t budge, even though I felt bad about it (and could have earned thousands of dollars more in the short term by making exceptions).









Be firm with your deadlines, and people will respect them.

If you want to create true urgency that drives people to action quickly, do these 3 things:

  • Be specific. Don’t set just a date for your price increase — set an exact time, too, e.g. “Friday, June 17th at 11:59pm EST.” This makes it clear so it will stick out in people’s minds and prevent them from forgetting.
  • Don’t be too aggressive. When you send email reminders (which we’ll cover in more detail shortly), make them friendly. Never use urgency to pressure people to buy — it’ll only backfire by making them dislike you.
  • Tell people why you’re raising your price. This shouldn’t be about you. It should be something relevant to the reader. I told people the price of my course was going up because of the great results my students were seeing. But you can use whatever reason fits for your situation. For example, you might say you’ve improved your product or service, or you want to make it more exclusive so members can benefit more.

Strategy #3: Craft simple, mouthwatering case studies

There’s no way around it: If you want to see an avalanche of sales, you need to show people proof that you can get them get results.

The good news is this takes a lot of the pressure off of you. You don’t have to convince or persuade anyone to buy from you…instead you let the people you’ve helped do the selling for you.

It may sound harsh, but your readers don’t care much about you. They’re much more interested in hearing from your previous customers. You’ll get more sales by showcasing their successes than you will with 100 marketing gimmicks.

So I emailed a few of my successful customers and asked them if they’d be willing to let me write about their experiences. Practically all of them said yes.

Then I called to ask them about their results and stories. I took lots of notes. I also asked for a couple of pictures of themselves, as well as screenshots of their results.

Then I wrote a blog post about each person and emailed it to my readers. Check out this example:



A case study of one of my successful students.

Here are some tips for creating awesome case studies that turn readers into buyers:

  • Silence the little voice telling you this strategy is only for “advanced” business people. If you’ve helped even one person, you can and should turn that into a case study to help you sell your product or service. (Your readers will appreciate it, too, since it will help them make an informed decision.)
  • Tell your customer’s story. Make THEM the hero — not you. The case study should start with their challenge — the reason they came to you — and end with them achieving their goals. Remember: You are the “Yoda” of this story; they are the “Luke Skywalker.”
  • Describe everything in concrete detail. Don’t say, “John was having trouble losing weight.” Say, “Even though John was going to the gym 5 days a week, he couldn’t manage to lose those last 10 pounds.” Or rather than, “Jane increased her confidence,” say, “Jane can now go to her friends’ weddings and have a good time without worrying about social anxiety rearing its ugly head.”
  • Add practical value to your case studies. Explain some of the “how to” behind the hero’s success. For example, in this case study I explain exactly how Sharmin got her first two freelancing clients. This adds tremendous value for readers since they can use that information to duplicate her success and improve their lives immediately.

Strategy #4: Create a short email funnel

As a freelance copywriter, I’ve had many clients ask me to write 30 days’ worth of emails every time they launched a new promotion.

But as a Zero To Launch graduate, one of the coolest things I’ve learned is that a short email sequence often works just as well. And it only takes a fraction of the time and energy to write.

That’s the strategy I used to fuel my $67k week: I sent out a grand total of 6 emails. Here’s a quick breakdown of what each contained:

  • Email #1 explained my offer (i.e. “This is the last week to buy for $297”)
  • Email #2 offered value. I gave away a useful tip from my course.
  • Email #3 showed my readers case studies of successful students.
  • Email #4 contained the answers to the most frequently asked questions people have about buying.
  • Emails #5 and #6 were “final reminders” that amped up the urgency to buy my course before the price increased. But they also contained a lot of motivation and additional tips that would help readers even if they chose not to purchase.
Subject Line
Sent On
Open Rate
Click Rate
The price of Secrets Of A Six-Figure Upworker is going up Monday 11:00 am EST 25.7% 4.3%
My secret for getting tons of clients on Upwork Tuesday 11:50 am EST 32.1% 1.9%
Proof you can succeed on Upwork (from real SSFU graduates) Wednesday 11:00 am EST 31.3% 5.2%
Is Secrets Of A Six-Figure Upworker right for you? Thursday 11:00 am EST 28.8% 2.8%
Last chance — price goes up tonight Friday 11:30 am EST 18.8% 1.6%
Final call + My biggest freelancing mistakes (and how to avoid them) Friday 6:30 pm EST 28.8% 4.3%

This is the exact 5-day email sequence I used, along with my results.

Want to 10x the sales power of your emails? Try these strategies:

  • Always deliver value. Period. Someone should be able to read all of your emails and feel like they didn’t waste their time even if they don’t buy from you. Ironically, you’ll get more sales this way. And the easiest way to do this is to…
  • Give away free tips. Don’t worry about giving away too much for free. Think of what happens when you’re in Barnes and Noble reading a book: Do you decide not to buy it because you’ve just read 25 pages for free — or do you buy it that much faster because you love what you’ve read so far?
  • Mix up your content. You should also give value by showing off your case studies, telling motivational stories, and using pictures that keep people interested and engaged. This keeps things light and fresh since you’re not repeating the same boring sales message. Have some fun with it.



The opening of email #5 — stories and pictures are powerful!

Don’t overcomplicate this

Most people assume you need complex sales funnels and sophisticated marketing techniques to generate $67,000 in sales in 5 days.

But that’s not true. (Which is good for me because I don’t know how to do the complicated stuff!)

You can do it with the exact steps I’ve outlined in this post.



A summary of my $67K launch.

The more you focus on helping others, the easier this process becomes.

As I help more and more people, my own life gets better and better, too. So I want to help as many people as possible get what they want.

That’s the best thing about the strategies I just laid out for you is that they’ve allowed me to touch the lives of more people than I would have ever dreamed possible just a few short years ago.



I never thought I’d be able to help people reach their goals.

Are you surprised to see what really goes into a $67,000 week? What did you find most interesting about this “behind the scenes” look?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

And if you have any questions, drop them in the comments, too. I’ll do my best to answer them today.

There Are 12 Comments

Join The Conversation

Hey Danny. Awesome post.

My question is, is there a way to incorporate the “Reverse Discount” into a 5 day funnel for a new product?

I’ve retooled a course and, while it’s launch 2, its almost an entirely new product.

In a funnel I’m working on, I’m delivering value in the first couple emails, but then introducing my course midway through. Is there a way to talk about a price increase in the closing emails, or should I wait until my 3rd launch?

A solution I’ve thought of is mentioning that I’ve doubled the price since the last launch (Which I did), and it’s going to close and I’m going to do it again.

But is tacking it to the last 2 emails not enough time?

You can definitely do it. You might consider extending the sequence a bit to give people a little more time to act rather than introducing the urgency on day 3/5. I wouldn’t necessarily call attention to the fact that your course used to cost less. That could have the reverse of the desired effect and in any case just telling them it’s going up does the trick.

Great post. I love the idea of a reverse discount.

I’m wondering if this tactic has a greater relevance to non-physical services… For instance, the majority of Quantum’s business currently functions as a direct mail marketing provider for top real estate agents/brokers. We combine analog mail with digital assets like landing pages, home valuation data, real-time lead tracking, etc. However, regardless of the extra value we provide, if we were to raise our prices, since we’re viewed by most as a commodity vendor, I think they’d just leave us.

Do you have any examples of a non-service business where you’ve seen a reverse discount have a great effect like what you described above? Maybe even a commodity-viewed business?

I look forward to the reply. Thanks again for the great article!

Jared Kimball

Hey Jared,

That’s a great question.

It looks like to me this would work well for businesses that have an audience or list of subscribers that really think the product/service is extremely valuable to them, but haven’t taken the leap to purchase yet.

The law of supply and demand comes to mind…

Maybe instead of a “reverse discount” you could offer “free direct mail strategy sessions?”

For example, you can offer people on your list who haven’t purchased yet the opportunity to explore direct mail and build out an offline/online strategy to see if it makes sense for them.

After you’ve co-created the strategy you can offer your product/services.

Also, like Danny mentioned in the post you could put a quantity or time bound limit on the offer like, “We only can fulfill on a total of 25 strategy sessions this month due to the physical demand on our staff…”

I’ve seen the reverse discount work extremely well in the SAAS business space as well as with information products.

For example, Copyblogger sells their Authority Membership program and when they first launched they said, “This price will be the cheapest it will ever be and if you want to lock in the lowest price you should buy now.”

Every year after that they’ve raised the price because the amount of content inside has grown larger and larger therefore the value and price have grown with it.

Oh and one other note, I wouldn’t label yourself as a commodity, because there are other companies that do things similar to what your business does, but bring it to a whole other level.

For example, you should check out the company http://wefightboredom.com/ they offer direct mail services that tie into a unique online experience and charge premium prices.

Not sure if that helps you out or not, but just a few thoughts.

Cheers,
Jared
(Marketing Automation Master)
http://emailsalesmachine.com

Hi Danny

My biggest takeaway from your brilliant article is the simplicity of the email funnel and how you laid it out in a nice table with exact strategy details. Making it super simple to follow. Thank you for writing this :)

I have never seen a success online story as this of Ramit and members, boy I wish God has bring us together so you guys teach me to be this successful

Amazing post, Danny. The “Reverse Discount” trick is real. I tested in my new product (CubaCoupon) and it worked very well !!! Now many business are coming alone just for that trick. Thanks again for share it witht the world.

Hi Danny, I’d like to thank you for your post and to let you know the results I got when I applied your method and did my own price-rise.

I’m familiar with doing sales and price rises but I’ve never done an email series to the rise in this way and, because my course fit your criteria and was already selling well, I decided to apply your method and raise the price. The course was already £297 and I decided to raise it by £100.

When I say I applied your method, I actually altered it to fit my own brand and way of doing things. I did a 4-day series instead of 5 because I’m on holiday in the Canaries and missed the Monday. Also my readers are mainly working women who get paid the last Friday of the month and I do a sale on Black Friday and so I didn’t want to leave it another month.

Day one was a ‘my course is going up £100 on Friday’ along with 3 trainee success stories (I had gotten 7 submitted and written up by that point), day two was 4 more case studies, day 3 was FAQs then the last day was two emails: the first asking them if they would also like a lifestyle than meant they could work in the Canaries and the final one which I sent 4 hours before closing was to allay any additional fears and common worries I know they have (usually fear and confidence) and to inform them they had just 4 hours left.

The difference was I actually didn’t give the people who may not want to buy my course any additional value or tips as it’s not something they’re used to in my offers! They get a load of tips in my email autoresponder series anyway plus my site is rammed with free information. Aside from that the method was the same as yours.

I also mentioned the price increase daily in my Facebook group and on social media and then set up the 4-day email series.

The results: Whilst not as impressive as yours, I sold 32 courses at £297 making £9504 (around $12,600) which I was pleased with.

So thank you again Danny. x

The “don’t overthink the sales funnel” thing really hit home, I tend to overdo things but you’re right, simpler is better.

How would you approach an email funnel Danny? Does everyone who signs up for your email list get put into a sales funnel like that immediately or do you have a different follow up series with your auto-responder?

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