Are You Ready To Launch?

10 Feb

Launch Button

March is typically the time to debut your first new product or service for the year. Starting my new book this week got me thinking that now would be a great time to share some easy but effective tips on how to launch a new product, program or service that I have learned from some of the best in the online industry.

What I see happen a lot when people are launching something new or for the first time is that they mention their new offering in their email newsletter or sign in the front window and that’s it. Then they wonder why they don’t get a rush of sales.

The trick is actually planning a launch sequence. You will get more dramatic results when you do this, and well-planned launches are a super opportunity to rack up a ton of sales in a short time and grow your customer list.

I have learned 7 basic steps to a launch. Here’s a brief description of each step and how it works. You can do a launch for any service, product, or program, but to keep things simple let’s assume we’re talking about a product.

1. Get People Talking Before You Launch

Before your product is even ready, start getting your readers and followers curious and excited! Drop hints via email and on social media that something big is on the way and what the benefits are. For example, “I’m working on a brand new book that could help you easily double your sales year. I can’t say anything about it just yet, but you’ll know the full story on September 1.”

2. Create Your Sales Copy and Online Thank You Pages

Again, you can do these steps even before your product is ready. In fact, I recommend you write your sales copy before you even create your product. In your copy, walk them through who you are, why they need your product/service, and all it entails. Assume these folks don’t know you already and make sure to give them enough info to make a clear decision-at least drive them to contact you for more details.

Remember to focus on END BENEFITS for the customer (making more money, losing weight, saving time, gaining peace of mind, etc.). After your sales page, you will need a page to send people to once they purchase-what we call the “thank you” page-where they can also download your product if it is digital.

Now if you are concerned because you are a more traditional brick and mortar store and not an online business, remember, you need to be marketing online as well from your website and your social media sites.  So this step applies to you as well and is a powerful tool to get those customers in your front door.

3. Set-Up the Product in Your Shopping Cart On Your Website

Log-in to your shopping cart program and set up your new product name, price, and the thank-you page URL. Consider if you want to offer a payment-plan option. Don’t forget to add-on shipping or sales tax if applicable. Then just stick the product link on your sales page.

4. Email Your Customer List

When everything is ready, it’s time to start your promotions! The first people I typically alert about any new product are those who have already bought from me. It’s my most responsive list, and this will be your most responsive list, too. Keep this email short and sweet.

Important: Do NOT get into details in your emails about the product or pricing. There isn’t enough room in an email to share everything about your product and offer. Your objective is to get people to CLICK – drive them to your web sales page, and THAT is where they can get the full story. Example: “Go to [URL here] now to learn more, read user reviews, and take advantage of this special invitation.”

BONUS TIP: Give them a reason to buy now. People are so busy these days that they will put off ANY decision possible.  So, you will always get more sales when you give people a reason to buy now and not later. Offer a special discount or free shipping or a free bonus that expires on a certain date. Or perhaps you have a limited quantity of products. To make your customers feel special, you may want to give them a special discount or bonus that’s just for them.

5. Send a Solo Mailing to Your Newsletter List

I typically do this a few days after I promote to my customer list. Same idea, different list. Sometimes a different offer, if I saved the special deal for my customers. Most of my readers are afraid to email too much, but I mostly see people erring on the too-little side, so feel free to reach out every few days to remind folks about an upcoming deadline.

NOTE:  You will typically see most sales happen right before your deadline-whether it’s a product, service, or event you are selling. If you are in the middle of a launch and not seeing the results you had hoped for, I hope that makes you feel better 😉

6. Encourage Others to Promote Your New Product

The best way to get others to sing your song is to reward them. This can be done through your own affiliate program or my personal favorite, cross-promotions.  While planning launches for my own lists, I let my promotional partners know that I have a new product they can promote. Send yours an email with the details, their individual affiliate link that gives them credit on any referred sales if you are using an affiliate program, and even ad copy they can paste into their newsletter, websites, or social media pages. Don’t forget to mention how much commission they get per sale or when you will be available to help cross-promote their latest product or service.

7. Keep Promoting on an Ongoing Basis

Once your launch is over, don’t let your product or service wither away! Keep the momentum going. Make sure you highlight it on a regular basis in your newsletter, via ads, or local media articles, create scheduled social media mentions, and make sure your product is easy for visitors to find on your website. Ongoing sales can really add up if you have a product or services just can’t live without!

If you’ve done a launch for a new product, program, or service: What was ONE great idea you tried that worked? Please share here! I’d love hear about it:

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