How Spreadsheeto Rescued Over $20k In Sales Using A Single Post-Pitch Email

+$20,000
post-pitch revenue
The Problem
Spreadsheet was pitching over email, but wasn't sure why non-buyers weren't buying.
What Helped
Created a "post-pitch survey" sequence that figured out why someone didn't buy, and then re-pitched countering that objection.
The Payoff
Deep insights into purchase objections, and $20,000 (and growing) recaptured revenue.

This is a case study from a friend and customer of RightMessage. It doesn’t have anything to do with RightMessage, but it’s a killer strategy that we’ve been advocating for a while – and it works.

First off, meet Mikkel.

Two years ago, he hired me to help his company Spreadsheeto (they create Excel training courses) sell more over email. We’ve been keeping touch ever since. After ending up on the receiving end of the email I’m about to share with you below, I filed it away as “something I absolutely need to write about at some point.”

Here’s that write-up 😀

Spreadsheeto’s primary product, which they funnel all new leads to, is an online course called “Zero to Hero”. It retails for $199, but if you go through their evergreen sales funnel you’re offered the course for $99.

Savvy marketers use educational content -> evergreen pitches sequences to create customers. The idea is that a lot of people who come across, say, an article of yours from Google or a social share just aren’t yet ready to buy from you. They’re not ready to be a customer. They don’t know they have the problem you purport to solve. Or, if they are problem-aware, they’re not yet sold on the best way to do it. And, to make things even more complicated, they don’t know or trust you yet!

Mikkel & co do exactly that: if you go to their website (they get a ton of search traffic), they’re primarily trying to get you to opt-in to their free thing: their email course.

Their email course sends you a bunch of free training content about using Excel.

And after it wraps up, they present you with a choice: the long road… or the shortcut?

Either go out and binge on hit-or-miss Excel blog posts for however long (the long road), or join an intentionally designed course that promises to make you an Excel superuser in 14 hours (the short cut.)

Next, they do the standard email pitch thing: cart’s open, FAQs, case studies, what’s inside the course, “final day!”, “just a few hours to go!”

But here’s where they do something different than most…

Here’s what Mikkel had wrote me, after I asked him if he’d put together some notes that I could use for this write-up:

“In the sales funnel, you suggested something I’d never seen before. And that was a “post-sale survey” funnel. This survey funnel asks the subscriber why he didn’t buy our training during the evergreen sale. It then tries to tackle the subscriber’s objection and sell him again. This has worked amazing for us. We can attribute +$20,000 in sales from this survey funnel alone – and this is just for 1 course.”

Technically what’s happening is that after an email pitch sequence wraps up, a final email is sent a few days later:

Design Academy

When a reader clicks one of the reasons they’re scheduled to be pitched again later on that directly addresses why they say they didn’t buy, and offers the same discount one last time.

This means that if someone chose “I missed the deadline”, a very simple automation basically sends them another few emails extending the offer.

If they selected “I don’t have time”, what they’re really saying is that they don’t prioritize what the course professes to help them achieve. So they’ll get some emails on the importance of making time for things that matter, and then they’re re-offered the course.

“Too expensive”? Then they don’t see the value of the course. Mikkel’s now tasked with making a clear case for how the course is an investment in your career, and includes some relatable case studies. Afterward, he re-offers the promotion.

“I don’t know if you can help me” basically just means they don’t trust Spreadsheeto yet. They didn’t get enough stuff from the free material, and they’re dubious that the paid material can actually help them. Here’s where Mikkel really presses on the no-risk guarantee, along with as much hard-hitting social proof and testimonials as he can gather. Then he re-offers.

Finally, there’s a “I don’t want to advance my career” – which, to me at least, sounds a bit cheeky. I wouldn’t ask this. (And according to Mikkel, just 3% of people have selected this!)

Purchase objections almost always boil down to:

  • Value: I’m not convinced that this is worth what you’re charging.
  • Priority/Time: I have more important things to focus on first.
  • Trust: I want to solve this problem, but I’m not sure you’re it.

By using a simple trigger link survey in your post-pitch emails, you can ask people to signal why they didn’t buy.

And then, either a day later or maybe even months in the future, you can pitch the same thing again – but this time, personalizing the pitch emails to focus in on exactly why they didn’t buy the first time around.

With Mikkel’s permission, here are a few quick stats I wanted to share:

  • 22% missed the deadline. They immediately reopen the pitch window and offer the course again, and have found that 18.5% of those who clicked that option end up buying.
  • 21% say they don’t have time. Mikkel: “First, we explain to them how much time they’ll save in the long run by investing a bit of time today on learning Excel. Then we dissect our course and show them exactly how long it takes to go through the training. We also highlight our USPs like getting lifetime access and that the course is 100% self-paced.” Of those, 4.5% end up buying during the re-offer.
  • 48% (!!!) think it’s too expensive. Mikkel: “Here we try to reframe our course from an expense into an investment. We show and tell the subscriber that learning Excel can lead to a new/better job as well as a pay raise. We then send them an email, where we highlight our students’ results after going through the training.” 6% buy during the re-offer.
  • 6% don’t trust Spreadsheeto. Offer them a great guarantee, plenty of social proof, and show what’s inside. 2% buy during the re-offer.
  • 3% don’t want to get better. Bah.

Pretty impressive, isn’t it?

Getting 6% or 4.5% or whatever to buy during an immediate re-offer seems deceptively small, but they quickly add up. For Spreadsheeto, this has yielded more than $20k in new revenue so far.

What the Spreadsheeto took away from this data

Besides the obvious benefits that come with more sales, there are three big takeaways that Mikkel & the Spreadsheeto team have taken away so far. Here they are in their own words:

  • We thought our ethos (i.e. the believability of the instructor) would be a huge obstacle. Having just 6% being skeptical of whether we can teach them Excel, shows us that this is not the case.
  • Even though our evergreen sale lasts 5 days – and we send them 6 emails during this period – people are STILL missing the deadline. Giving them a second chance to enroll has proven to be a very good idea! In fact, people clicking they “missed the deadline” are by far the most likely to buy our course when given the chance again. A whopping 18% of them end up purchasing (compared to a little less than 2% who “Don’t want to advance my career”).
  • People think our course is too expensive. Even though we discount our training at 50%, it’s still an expensive option compared to many of our competitors. We intentionally priced our product to be a premium option. However, seeing almost half of our surveyed subscribers answering “it’s too expensive” is something we need to keep in mind.