I've tried a ton of different marketing methods over the years, and while summits are hands down my favorite strategy for quickly growing an audience of high-quality leads, nurturing them, and launching all in one, there are a lot of other options out there!
One of my favorite ways to grow my audience over the years has been participating in bundles put together by other online businesses with similar audiences to mine. It's always worked well for me as a list building strategy, so earlier this year, I decided it was time to run one of my own.
This week, I'm sharing my experience putting together a bundle, how hosting a bundle compared to hosting a summit, and why I'd ultimately choose to host a summit over a bundle every single time.
In this post we'll cover...
I know I need to host a summit when I want to bring in thousands of leads, engagement, industry connections, and sales, but I still do a lot of experiments with other things.
I ultimately decided to host a bundle because I wanted a quick and simple way to list build and give value to our audience before our initial launch of the Summit in a Box® Accelerator. Our Facebook ads have been tanking lately, so I wanted an alternative options for generating new leads. I also needed something that I could put together relatively easily, because I had a summit going on for another business around the same time.
I knew I didn't have the capacity to host two summits for two different businesses at once, and a bundle seemed like a much easier alternative. Keep in mind, we have a solid team and all the systems in place from a summit, so it was quick and easy for me tweak our summit systems to work for a bundle. If you haven’t hosted a summit or bundle before, it wouldn’t be as quick and easy for you.
Another reason I went with a bundle is that I love collaborating with people and this was a fun way to do that.
There’s a bundle I participate in every year that gets me 1000 or more leads every time so I decided it was time to try it for myself.
Now that it's all said and done, there are things I can look back on and say that I liked about running a bundle. After having done many summits, we had solid systems in place to run a bundle very effectively. It felt very similar to running a summit, but a whole lot simpler.
One advantage of a bundle over a summit was that it was a lot easier to manage bundle contributors compared to summit speakers. I could easily not include someone if they didn’t have their information in on time, which is harder to do with a summit.
We also had great feedback from our contributors and audience!
The bundle contributors really enjoyed participating, and several told us that it got them more leads than any other bundle they’d been a part of. We also got great feedback from our audience and did see list growth because of it.
First and foremost, what didn't work about running a bundle was the results. Our results weren't bad, but when you look at the results that came from the bundle vs results we've seen from our summits, there's just no comparison. Let's look at the numbers:
I'll start with numbers for the bundle, and then compare them to the numbers for the summit that I ran.
When I saw the tripwire revenue numbers, I was pretty darn disappointed, as our tripwire typically performs well. However, I was hopeful that we’d convert some new leads into sales in the launch a few weeks later. I've tried lots of launch strategies including challenges, one-off webinars, summits, and more, and I’ve never had a launch for this business that didn’t bring in a single sale.
This launch overall was quite successful - it just didn’t convert any new leads who came from the bundle.
This was only one experiment, and I'm sure there are things I could do differently to improve results (learn about bundles from Kate Doster, not from me!), so I don’t want to say for sure that bundle participants aren’t as likely to buy as summit attendees. But I will say that in my experience, a summit can really prime people to buy in the launch that follows, and that was not true for our bundle.
Now that you've seen the bundle numbers, let's compare them with the results of hosting a summit. I'll use the numbers from the last summit I ran for this business with a launch on the backend, which was two years ago. Keep in mind that I only had 2200 people on my list at the time, and when I ran the bundle I had about 10k on my email list.
To recap a comparison between the two…
Now, it's possible that some of those 330 new subscribers will convert into signature offer sales later down the line, but even just looking at the initial results, I'd choose a summit over a bundle every time.
With that being said, running a bundle was most definitely more effective (or at least more cost-effective) than something like running Facebook ads, engaging on social media, creating content, etc.
I would have had to spend a decent amount of money to bring in that many leads via Facebook ads, (although my ad leads do tend to convert). And it would have taken months or years to bring in that many leads through something like social media engagement or even the podcast.
So for me, the bundle proved to be less effective than summits and challenges I’ve run, but more effective than anything else that is meant solely for list-building.
YES! I would never be able to compare the effectiveness of a summit, challenge, bundle, and other things if I hadn't actually done one myself.
I still grew my list by 330 people, which I’ll take!
We now have the chance to see if these new people who joined my list through the bundle will convert in future launches.
I also made some new connections which are leading to podcast interviews and opportunities for other collaborations, which is always great.
In the end, it was really interesting to see how it all came together and I'm so glad that I had Kate Doster's Collaboration Cash-In course to walk me through how to do it all!
Obviously, I didn't do everything perfectly for this bundle. I get fired up when I hear people say summits don't work after they try it once and have disappointing results, so I'm not going to make a blanket statement that bundles are not as good as summits. But for me, that was my experience, and I know I'll be sticking with summits moving forward.
However, there are things I could have done differently to improve my results, so if you're thinking about hosting a bundle, here are some things to consider:
Or… on the other hand, I could run a summit and bring in thousands of new leads and thousands of dollars. I realize that some people see great success with paid bundles, but I’d rather build a paid bundle into a summit, which is basically what I do with an all-access pass, to have a greater opportunity to impact attendees, draw people who are actually a good fit, engage with them, and build relationships with speakers.
Obviously, summits are still my preference, which is a relief, but still… My initial plan was to maybe start doing one bundle per year and a summit per year…but that’s probably not going to happen. I’d rather take part in someone else’s bundle.
Based on my experiences…
So to me, it kind of seems to be a comparison between the level of effort that goes into it versus the results, which is totally fine!
Summits are definitely not for everyone and I totally understand that, but based on the fact that I saw 78x better results with a summit, I’ll take the tripled workload for those results!
Learn how much time to set aside for planning and launching your profitable, stress-free online summit and use my calculator to set the due dates for you.