After launching three course bundles and a variety of physical products and pieces, we still wouldn’t say we’re launch experts (does the learning process ever end?). But, we can say that we feel far more comfortable with our launch strategy now, than we did two years ago. Whether you’re live launching digital downloads and courses, or physical, tangible pieces, there are some need-to-knows that we want you to keep in mind before announcing things to the world.
" Live launches provide immediacy, urgency and aid in heightening excitement. "
Start with a live launch
Essentially, a live launch is what takes place when you launch a specific collection of products, for a short period of time. Whether you’re launching a course, some downloads or physical products, a live launch would mean that you’d have a launch date, and a launch closure date.
Once you’re comfortable with launching, and once you’ve had the opportunity to see how your products perform in the wild, you can always opt for an evergreen launch (i.e., launching your products, and keeping them available forever with no “end” to your launch or sales in sight).
Live launches provide immediacy, urgency and aid in heightening excitement. They’re also a great way to gauge what went well, how the public reacted to your products, and ways to improve your launch method down the road.
Create a focus group
We really, truly cannot stress the importance of building out a good focus group before launching your products. Focus groups will allow you to gauge your ideal audience’s interest and thoughts on the product at hand. Additionally, focus groups are a great way to ask for feedback about messaging, launch strategies and thoughts on specific marketing directions you’re thinking of exploring.
Grab 5-10 people who fit your ideal customer avatar, and offer them product in exchange for their feedback and testimonials! After hearing the feedback of your 5-10 trusted focus group members, you’ll feel much more prepared to take on your live launch, and present your products to the world. Trust us.
Give yourself time
And by “give yourself time,” we mean actually give yourself time. You’ll need at least 2-3 months to start building an audience and hype around what it is that you’re planning on live launching.
Create content that speaks to the general subject matter of the product(s) you plan to launch. This’ll help you cultivate an engaged audience that’s willing (and excited) to purchase.
Teasers are interesting and also slightly infuriating, aren’t they? Well, that’s because they work.
And they work well, friends.
As you’re spending your 2-3 months creating content that speaks to your product’s subject matter, share content that allows a bit of a glimpse into what it is you’re creating and releasing. Give sneak peeks, and ask your audience what it is that they think or hope you’re launching. Use those sneak peeks to grow your email list, because when it comes to live launching, email sells.
You’ll also want to start blogging and playing around with growing an SMS list for your upcoming drop! Don’t focus on just one platform - allow yourself the autonomy to utilize social media, email and your blog, so that your reach expands across multiple platforms.
When building out an email and/or SMS list, you’re going to want to give a good call to action, and a great freebie that pertains to your upcoming launch. Click here to grab our guide to Email Marketing without the Spam.
" A few good affiliates can go a long way when it comes time for launch week! "
Utilize an affiliate program + discount codes
A few good affiliates can go a long way when it comes time for launch week! Of course, you can always choose to launch on your own - just know that there will be a “warm up” period where your customers and clients will need a bit of time to fully jump in and trust the product they’re interested in buying.
In other words: don’t expect your sales to surge the moment your launch goes live. Many times, people will wait until the end of a live launch window to buy - maybe they left their card and wallet in the other room, or maybe they were checking out, and heard their dog getting into something it shouldn’t have. Distractions happen, and those distractions can affect the timeliness of your sales. Do your best not to read too far into things, or beat yourself up.
Discount codes will work wonders for adding urgency to your live launch. Consider giving a window of time for people to purchase (say, the first week of your launch) with a discount of 10-15% off. This will urge people who were already interested in your product to finally hit “purchase” before their window of time ends.
Who likes spending more, when they can save? Right?
Create a three week launch schedule
As we mentioned earlier in this blog, we have live launched many, many things. Through that experience, we’ve decided that it’s in our best interest to live launch over a three week period.
Of course, every brand and product will have its own set of needs. But if you’d like a general baseline for how to break your next live launch down, we’ve included our ideal schedule below!
Week 1: Announce that your product is now available for purchase to your email + SMS list, as well as via social media. You’ll want to include information on the product itself, your pricing, the offer timeline, and any discount codes to grab. This is a great time to run ads as well, since you’ll have three weeks to monitor their performance.
Week 2: Feed your email and SMS list, and amp up the resourceful and educational content you have to share. Include insightful tips, how-tos, must trys and FAQs about your product. Share the testimonials you gathered from your focus group across all platforms.
Week 3: Remind your audience that the window of opportunity to purchase your product is *almost* up! By now, you’ll likely have a good number of new followers to say hello to. Take the time to educate your audience on who you are, what this product is and does, and why it’ll benefit them. On the last day of your live launch, send a final email with a countdown (down to the hour and minute) of when doors close, and thank people for their time and excitement.
As you can see, live launching is no joke
If we’re honest, live launching is about as close to cardio as we’ll get in a day. Or year.
It’s tiring, time consuming, but also worth every bit of the effort. The other great news? Once you create the launch funnel and content for your product, you can always reuse it when you choose to live launch again later in the year.
Go ahead - examine your manicure, and tell us we were right later. We’ll be waiting.