$390K in 4 Days: Inside the Launch of Pillars of Productivity

$390K in 4 Days: Inside the Launch of Pillars of Productivity

Publish Date
Dec 14, 2023
On Black Friday 2023, we launched our self-paced course Pillars of Productivity (POP), the first brand new course we've released in 7 years.
It’s framed as extending the Second Brain philosophy from notetaking apps to all the other common productivity tools – email, digital calendar, task manager, and read-later app – with the intention of creating a holistic system that enables a rigorous Weekly Review every week.
This is an in-depth retrospective of the course launch, revealing the sales results, marketing activities involved, customer insights gained, course structure, and tool stack used.

The Offers

We made the following offers available to our customers:
  • Self-paced POP course ($149 special launch price, $249 after): 8 lessons with a total of 2.5 hours of videos on the fundamentals of personal productivity
  • Live POP Masterclass ($999 special launch price, $1199 after): includes the POP self-paced course plus 3x 90-minute live calls with Tiago over 3 days and a private chat space on Circle
  • Upsell option after checkout to our BASB Foundation self-paced course ($399 when combined with POP, $499 normally)
The special launch price was available from Black Friday, Nov. 24th at 8 am ET, until Tuesday, Nov. 28th at 8 am ET.

Sales Results

During our 4-day launch, we made 2,441 sales in total, grossing $390k. That included:
  • POP self-paced courses: $307k
  • POP Masterclass: $31k
  • BASB Foundation upsells: $51k
We had around 1,500 new customers and 700 repeating customers, indicating that this offer mostly turned free subscribers into customers for the first time.
We offered Purchasing Power Parity pricing which had a net positive effect. 346 customers took advantage of PPP bringing the average purchase price of POP down to $138 (from $149). PPP added $55k in revenue from people that were unlikely to purchase otherwise. The top PPP countries in order were India, Brazil, Singapore, Poland, Mexico, Portugal, UAE, and Thailand.
We also offered customers the option to purchase POP as a gift for someone else and 11 people used that option.
Refunds for POP were offered only for 7 days from the date of purchase, and we had 150 (6% of sales) so far. The main reasons for refunds were that the course was either “too basic” or “too difficult.”

Launch Marketing

Lead Magnets

In the week prior to the course launch, we published the Productivity Pulse Check Quiz which was taken by 1,816 people of which 45.7% purchased POP or the POP Masterclass. The quiz is now embedded as an exit intent pop-up on buildingasecondbrain.com/pop and also available to POP students as part of the introduction lesson.
Before launching the quiz, we shared a POP Waitlist landing page in our newsletter and on social media. 47.87% of people who viewed the landing page opted into the waitlist.

Launch Email Sequence

We sent 11 dedicated launch emails plus 1 newsletter over a period of 12 days to our full list of around 128k. You can click the links below to read each email:
  1. The defining problem of modern life
  1. Why is adulting so hard?
  1. Preparing for digital dementia
  1. Why now?
  1. Did you have a “productivity mentor”?
  1. Welcome to the Perspective Era
  1. IT’S GO TIME!
  1. Watch the first lesson of Pillars of Productivity
  1. Your questions answered
  1. Reading these stories broke my heart...
  1. 12 hours left… (only to those who had previously clicked on the sales page but not purchased)
The engagement was in line with the open rates of our newsletters and previous launches (45% avg. open rate, 1.5% avg. click rate). 1,172 people actively opted out of receiving the POP launch email sequence (there was a link included in every email) and 4,019 people unsubscribed completely during this launch.

Conversion Rates

  • Full email list conversion rate: 2,441 sales / 128,000 total subscribers = 1.88%
  • High interest conversion rate: 2,441 / 6,011 subscribers clicked on the sales page = 40%
  • Waitlist conversion rate: 2,441 / 3,967 subscribers on the waitlist = 61.5%

YouTube & Social Media

We published 6 dedicated YouTube shorts about the concepts of POP throughout November to drive awareness and excitement for the launch.
We posted around 80 POP-related social media posts throughout November on X, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and the YouTube Community. These posts grew our audience by 2,437 new followers, generated 176,275 impressions and 2,837 post engagements.
Sales that could be attributed directly to social media amounted to about $10k in total mostly coming from YouTube and X.

Where did our customers hear about us?

After making the purchase, customers were automatically redirected to a short survey so we can learn more about them.
The first question asks them where they first heard about us. YouTube (our channel and Ali Abdaal’s channel) and Tiago’s books are by far the most commonly reported sources.
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About our Customers


By far the most customers come from the US. Germany is our largest non-English speaking customer base.
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Age Distribution

We’ve generally noticed the age distribution of our audience creates a bell curve around Tiago’s age.
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More customers are employed vs. self-employed.
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The Course

The Pillars of Productivity course lives inside our Building a Second Brain community on Circle.


The course is made up of 4 spaces:
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  • Start Here: This is where students land first. The focus of this space is to get students familiar with how to use Circle, seek help, and navigate the course.
  • Curriculum: This is where students find the 8 lessons of course content, which includes videos, recommended apps & tools, a workbook with all implementation steps, prompts to share their learnings, and FAQs.
  • Discussion: This is where students can interact with their peers, get their questions answered, and share wins.
  • Student Roster: This is where students can find the profiles of all fellow peers. They can filter to look for certain people and send each other direct messages (if they’ve enabled that).


Since the launch of the course, we’ve had 68 posts and 353 comments in the Discussion space (as of Dec. 12). 135 individuals have either posted or commented, that’s about 6% of all students.

Tool Stack

Here are the tools we used for this launch (incl. affiliate links):
  • ConvertKit to send our launch email sequence as well as the automated welcome email to new students
  • Zapier to send customer who purchased from SamCart into Circle
  • Buffer to schedule all social media posts