A Practical Entrepreneur’s Awesome Guide To A Successful Product Launch

A successful product launch is the difference between your business being sustainable or your business shutting down. Irrespective of your industry, it sets the stage for subsequent sales and future launches.

This is why entrepreneurs suffer from a perpetual sense of anxiety.

Whether they are working on their first business or their tenth, nothing probably invites more stress then product launches.

If you are bootstrapping or are operating on a limited budget, managing a product launch is like assembling a rocket engine with a manual written in hieroglyphs.

You can probably figure it out with enough caffeine, motivation and luck.

But chances are you will fail. After all, 90% of small business fail in their first year.

The guide is meant to summarize the components of a successful product launch. I hope you find it useful but would like to remind you that reading this will not build your business.

Content

Of course, different businesses use different methods for attracting customers. Some use leaflets and direct mail.

Others use cold calling and online advertising. 

All of these methods have something in common. 

Can you guess? 

It is called Demand Generation. 

Demand Generation For Your Product Launch

Demand generation is the focus of targeted marketing programs to drive awareness and interest in a company’s products and/or services.[1] Commonly used in business-to-business, business-to-government, or longer business-to-consumer sales cycles, demand generation involves multiple areas of marketing and is really the marriage of marketing programs coupled with a structured sales process.[2]

Source: MarketingVedas

You could be working in eCommerce, drop shipping, selling eBooks, coaching programs, software, consultation, etc. 

You could even have a cure for cancer. 

However, if you are not able to get people’s attention, what you are trying to sell simply does not matter. 

Unless you have a proven marriage between sales and marketing to create demand for your product launch. 

Sales validate marketing while marketing drives sales. However, both of them have to work together to create demand for a business’s products and services.  

Demand generation is a critical component of any sustainable business because you need to be able to replicate it. 

As a business owner, you need to be able to document and use data effectively to answer potential customer’s pain points. 

Insights are sometimes more critical to demand generation than your advertising budget or the number of salespeople in your team. 

This guide is meant to help entrepreneurs on a tight budget market their products and services in a manner to generate maximum results. 

Let’s start with an often under-explored aspect of startup marketing: Research. 

Research

In this section we are going to discuss three topics:

  1. Unit Economics
  2. Customer Persona/Avatar
    • Persona 
    • Pricing
  3. Offer

Unit Economics Of Your Business

While it sounds like a fancy term, unit economics basically describes the cost of the product you are selling and there is no uniform formula for calculating it. 

Each business has its own method of calculating unit economics while the underlying principle stays the same. 

What is the cost of selling each unit of the product including manufacturing, marketing, and shipping etc? 

The advantage of being aware of unit economics enables your product launch to be financially lucrative but also generates free cash flow.

When the cost of a product is $1, you cannot market it for anything less than that. Unless you have a sustainable long-term up-sell strategy, taking a loss on your unit economics is usually a bad idea. 

Furthermore, while discussing unit economics two other factors that come in are Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) and Churn/Retention. 

Collectively, they give us the amount of money we make from each customer or Customer Life Time Value. 

The basic math is that if you are able to make $100 from each customer, and your margins are about 30%, you are making a profit of $30 from each customer. Therefore you should not be spending more than that to acquire customers in the first place.  

Customer Persona/Avatar  

This, by itself, is an exhaustive topic that demands both experience and marketing intuition. Understanding your potential customers on a deep level helps reach out to them and solve their pain points in a meaningful way. 

Source: Medium 

There are countless frameworks to help you gauge your customer persona. 

Here is a simple framework to help you get started

  • Goals & Values: What are they trying to achieve in their lives or business? What are their values as an individual or business?  
  • Challenges & Pain Points: What are the obstacles to them achieving their business/personal goals?
  • Sources of Information: What are the platforms/publications they are interacting with on a daily basis? Facebook groups or newspapers? Which websites or newsletters are they currently subscribed to? 
  • Objectives and Roles: Goals are long term and objective are short term. If your customer’s goal is to buy an iPhone, their objective might be to search for a suitable payment plan. 

Zeroing Down on the persona is extremely important. Focusing on a particular avatar, not only helps the right customers to find your product/service/solution, but it also helps bring down the cost of customer acquisition.

In short, it is a must-do exercise for any product launch.  

Some strategies to help you zero in are:

  • By Location: If you are a local electronics store, then aiming to rank for just iPhones on Google is not the right way to go.  You should aim for ‘iPhones + your location’ instead. 
  • By Sub-Niche: Targeting sub-niches is the best way to reach out to a small subsection of the market where is little-to-no competition. If you are selling iPhones, for example, as opposed to targeting every potential iPhone customer you might want to target potential customers who are into fitness, and offer a free armband with every purchase.  

If you have a product that solves a problem for Doctors, do not market to Doctors, market to Neurosurgeons. 

If you have a product that solves a problem for veterans, do not market to all veterans, market to just veterans. 

Tapping into various sub-niches not only helps discover various insights, but it also helps differentiate your product and helps it stand out in the market.

This makes demand generation much less time and resource-intensive than it would be otherwise. 

Price Points

Most entrepreneurs do not experiment with price points. This creates a huge problem with startups who are not aware of a pricing strategy that could impact the overall profitability of their business. 

If you are marketing a startup, it is extremely important that you have a flexible pricing structure that allows you to A/B test and experiment to maximize your business’s critical metrics – for most startups, this happens to be customer acquisition. 

Source: Competera

Being the cheapest does not mean you will succeed. Being aware of the price point that customers would be willing to pay you will help you build a more sustainable business in the long run.

It is highly recommended that you read this article by ProfitWell and this report for SAAS companies as well. 

While pricing experiments require resources, the hack is to replicate published data on similar industries and reverse engineer it to suit your own. 

An Irresistible Launch Offer

This brings us to the next point of research. 

What is your offer going to be?

An offer is designed to maximize conversions while providing a win-win situation for both you and your customers. 

The anatomy of a great offer includes (in no particular order): 

  • Obvious pain point. 
  • Easy to access-solution. 
  • Proof. 
  • Authority
  • Scarcity
  • Call-To-Action (Fear Of Missing Out)
  • Call-To-Action Logic.

Establishing Your Value Ladder

When crafting your order, do not focus on simply one offer, and one price point. Ideally, you should have one offer for every price point. 

The price ranges for the ticket sizes depends on the niche and other trends, but the rule of thumb usually goes something like:

Low Ticket: $0 – $500 

Mid Ticket: $500 – $5000

High Ticket: More than $5000

If you are a consultant with a $3,000/mo service, you should probably have a $200 Consultation Call Offer and a $10,000/mo DFY service as well. 

People might call these sorts of tactics cheap, cheesy or salesy. However, unless you have access to unlimited external funding, you cannot afford to leave money at the table. 

Establishing a value ladder for your funnel will also require time and experimentation. You can change the price point for each of your offers, but it is always a good idea to have an offer for each price point.  

The following platforms/tools may provide great resources for consumer research for each of the categories in the research phase: 

  • Reddit: Go where your competitors/peers are and where your potential customers are. Between the two you should be able to reverse engineer the problem/solution/niche offer to the context of your business. 
  • Facebook/Instagram Lives: If you feel that a lot of your customers are following you on Facebook or Instagram, then doing a Live post enables you to get their attention and you get real-time feedback on the problem/niche you are trying to validate. 
  • Instagram Stories even accomplishes the task of embedding polls right into the content which serves the purpose of collecting feedback.  
  • Facebook Groups: As of me writing this article towards the end of 2019, Facebook Groups are the rage. Participating in Facebook Groups with potential customers establishes authority and creates the scope for you to get feedback. Furthermore, due to the extremely high engagement rates in groups, you will hear about the problems and frustrations of potential customers’ which will help craft your customer persona/avatar in more detail.

Source: Max Pixel     

  • Quora: Here is a guest post to help you get started to make the most from Quora on Sumo.com

    Here is the TL;DR though
  1. Think your Quora Profile link a Bridge Page in your funnel.
  2. Find the best writers for your industry.
  3. Replicate the topics they are following. 
  4. Find topics/questions based on keywords you want to target
  5. Write good answers with proper formatting and images.   
  • UberSuggest: Although it comes off as a Search tool, it has the power to be much more. Neil Patel’s UberSuggest has a very handy Content Ideas tool which gives a list of trending topics for any given keyword with a breakdown of Facebook and Pinterest shares.  While the results are not always 100% accurate in my personal opinion, it is definitely a great free alternative to a tool like BuzzSumo for example. UberSuggest also allows you to discover the number of backlinks that your competitors have which I feel is a good benchmark to gauge your digital marketing objectives going forward after the product launch.  
  • LinkedIn: The social network for professionals allows you to reach out to potential partners for feedback which can be crucial to understanding the market. The key to outreach on LinkedIn is to not be salesy, and to test our messaging to optimize the following metrics:
    • Invite-Acceptance Rate: The number of people accepting your invite vs the total number of invites being sent. 
    • Reply Rate: The number of people responding to your messaging vs the total number of messages being sent. 
  • Surveys & Reports: Chances are that there are plenty of white papers & surveys published for your industry. A couple of hours of Google Power searching should get you a broad industry overview. 
  • Shipping on Product Hunt: Make a short video and put up a simple landing page to capitalize on the Shipping feature of the PH platform. it enables people to be aware of what you are working on while being subscribed to future updates. 
  • Keyword Everywhere: Keyword Everywhere is a Google Chrome extension that gives you the keyword and related keyword volume data. It is incredibly useful to help you understand the inherent demand within a particular niche.
  • Influencers:
    • Youtube: 90% of web users prefer to watch video content on YouTube. 
  • In fact,  a lot of influencers would be open to working with you on a revenue share basis thereby you do not need a paid budget to get started. You can refer to InflueNex (Google for Youtube Influencers) to find collaboration opportunities. It also gives stats for no of subscribers, videos and views. 
  • Here is how you can engage with them depending on your budget:
  1. Product Feature or Review. 
  2. Sponsorship 
  3. Video Series
  4. Interview
  5. Coupon/Discount Deal for their viewers.
  • Instagram: Do a hashtag search for your location or niche. Find the people whose posts are getting a lot of traction. Go to their profile, note down their email address and also send a DM with a request for collaboration. 

Building Your Personal Brand

When you do not have a massive ad budget, it becomes super important to build a personal brand. It humanizes your business around your characteristics & helps establish a connection with potential customers. 

However, when selecting the channel to build a personal brand for your business, the important thing to keep in mind is to focus on one channel. 

A lot of influencers like Gary Vee are building their personal brand extremely well. However, not every entrepreneur can afford to have full-time content staff with video editors.

For beginners with their first product launch, the simplest advice is to rely on your phone camera instead to record your videos. This is completely fine and there is also evidence that suggests that the authentic look of unedited videos helps get videos to get more traction. 

However, if you are going to build a simple setup to record videos & webinars, here is a list of what you would need:

  • Microphone / iPhone Mic: Good quality audio is important if you’d like to sound professional in your videos or webinars. If you have the budget then you can consider the Rode USB Microphone. The audio quality is great and the price is affordable.

    At the same time, if you are not looking to invest in equipment, then you should consider using your iPhone as a mic. Here is a video about how you can connect your iPhone to your Mac. The obvious advantage is that you do not have to sync your audio with your video separately.
RODE USB Microphone
  • Lighting: If you are going to be recording videos from your computer, then you should just get a small Ring light and a stand. This should be available from most Video equipment stores or from Amazon.  
  • Webcam: The problem with recording with the built-in webcam in your computer is the quality of the video resolution. You should consider using an external webcam to get the best video quality. Once again, this is a small investment but makes a huge improvement to the end output.  
  • Screen Capture Software: ScreenFlow or Loom. 

    ScreenFlow gives you great editing and recording features which makes it very easy to produce professional-grade videos with little or no effort. Loom, on the other hand, has a freemium offering with ScreenFlow has a free version with watermarked videos. While Loom is great for use on the web, it lacks the editing features you might otherwise need. 
  • Video Hosting: Youtube is the obvious choice of being free. However, it is difficult to monitor the quality of videos that people end up seeing for the product launch. I recommend uploading two videos both on Vimeo and Youtube while embedding the Vimeo version on your website and using that link for social media communications. This helps you capitalize on the search traffic for Youtube while ensuring a smooth viewing experience for your viewers. 

Once the equipment is sorted out, you should focus on one channel for example Facebook. Record videos and adapt it for Youtube, LinkedIn & Instagram. You can also use Sonix.AI to generate text from the audio and edit it to a written version which can later be shared on your blog/newsletter/social media. 

Optimizing your Social Profiles

  • Facebook Page
  • Facebook Profile
  • Facebook Group
  • Quora 
  • LinkedIn
  • Youtube Channel & Video Descriptions

Communication 

Design + Copy + Platform = Communication. 

Platforms like 99Designs / Fiverr.com are recommended to get your creatives (Logo + Web design + Social Media + Business Card + Video + Photography + Icons) done. Crowdsourcing is a great way to attract creative talent and get diverse design options.

The initial investment is worth it because while a professional designer might charge a premium, you can re-use the templates on Canva to create your own designs going forward.   

Copy

The words and visuals on your page are what ultimately bring it all together. A lot of people often confuse their home page with a sales/landing page. 

Your home page is generic while your sales page should be sales focused. Sales pages are where you should be driving your traffic because they are designed for converting those visitors into customers. 

The home page on your website is like the first phone call to a potential customer while the sales page is the pitch. 

Working with a qualified copywriter is expensive, but it can work wonders for your sales page conversions.

If you do not have the budget and are looking to do it yourself/in-house, I would recommend looking up training materials from the following experts:

  • Dan Kennedy (he’s on everyone’s list).
  • Clayton Makepeace (less famous, but one of my favorites).
  • Chris Haddad.
  • Gary Halbert.
  • Ryan Deiss.

If you do not have a professional copywriter on your team, I would highly recommend spending as much time and effort as possible on 1-1 sales or “nurturing” your audience. Chances are that your sales pages are not going to convert great on cold traffic. 

However, if your audience is pre-sold then copy does not play as critical a role. 

Source: Blogin 

List Building

You need to start building your email list the day you lock down the product launch date. If you are building a personal brand, Shipping on Product Hunt, or building your own Facebook Group, it is essential that you start building your list before your launch. 

Your list can be as simple as a Name and email address. But if you want to make your list as comprehensive as possible then you should focus on collecting more data points. 

  1. Name
  2. Email
  3. Phone
  4. Address
  5. Messenger Subscriber

For email, refer to Sumo’s: 85 Free Ways To Build An Email Fast In 2019

If you are using Facebook to build your Personal Brand, it is highly recommended that you drive people to a Messenger bot to drive subscribers there. After acquiring them, be sure to engage with product launch updates.

Messenger provides 90% Open rates and 50% click-through rates as well as provides a real-time channel with consumers. 

Furthermore, with BotNinja, it is also possible to sync your auto-responder with your bot which means that every time someone drops their email address, it will also be synced with your email list. The same concept also applies to phone numbers.  

Source: Envatotuts+

Build A Relationship With Your List

  • Whitelist Your Email: As soon as someone opts-in, ensure they whitelist your email to make sure your email and newsletters actually end up in their inbox and not in the spam folder. 
  • Personalize With Name: Personalized emails have next-level open rates & engagement, which is why it is highly encouraging that you collect as many data points on your consumers as possible. 
  • Make Emails Interactive to build a relationship with your subscribers. An inactive list is not going to generate sales. It needs to be engaged. Your email list can also be used as leverage to partner with influencers and affiliates to cross-promote each other. 
    • Respond With Keywords
    • Break Emails in Two Parts.
    • Asking them to reply with thoughts/feedback
    • Call-to-action in the signature.  
  • Segment Based on Activity: On the simple end, you can segment based on opens/ clicks/replies while on the complex end you can segment based on website events such as completed purchases or Add to Cart. 
  • Facebook Pixels in Emails: It is also possible to incorporate your Facebook pixel into the HTML versions of your email. This ensures that subscribers who open your emails are retargeted on Facebook as well. 

Cold Emailing

Cold emailing describes the process of reaching out to prospects via email where they did not explicitly opt-in to receive your emails. 

From a legal perspective in terms of whether this is legal or not, please refer to this article.

In short, the answer largely depends on where you are sending cold emails and to whom. Different laws apply to send to business and sending it to an individual. 

The only country that outright bans any form of a cold email in Germany – so if you are reading this anywhere else in the world, you should be good to go although you should the article link above to have a working understanding of the legal framework. 

Apart from that, here is what you need to understand about cold emailing:

  • Do not use your main email address, since the email address used for cold mails are always at a risk of getting flagged. 
  • How to Get A List Of Prospects
    • Email Databases For Sale: A lot of companies sell email databases by industry and management level. While it is verified email databases for sale, you can try and ask for a sample of the actual list to verify if the data is legit. 
    • Software like Hunter.io/D7 Lead Finder.
  • Always Verify
    • Cold emailing at scale is difficult because your ability to send emails is restricted if not horribly expensive. Most cold email solution providers piggyback on Gmail’s SMTP to send emails. The advantage is that it is cheap although you would have to comply with Google’s sending limits. 
  • That being said, you always want to verify the emails you get using a service like NeverBounce for example.  Fair warning: You will find that 2/3 of your list is invalid. However, your bounce rates will be low and your emails will have a healthy delivery rate. Your emails getting blacklisted will compromise the entire product launch, so be very cautious.
  • Personalize: From using simple merge tags to put in a contact’s or business’s name, you can also use advanced methods like personalized images using services like Lemlist or Hyperise. 
  • Always Follow-up: 90% of your responses will come from the followup. 
  • Include the Opt-out link.

Google Tag Manager

While it may seem like setting up Google Tag Manager is not a big priority at first, it is one of those things better done sooner than later.  

Tag Manager is a single interface to manage your pixels, scripts, and events. It provides a seamless mechanism to integrate all analytics, advertising, and third party software with easy control of event firing options for advance mapping of customer journeys.

Source: Mijnwebwinkel

It may seem like overkill at first, but when it comes to measuring events and conversions, the tool makes life a whole lot easier during a product launch.

Split Testing – ClickFunnels/Wordpress/Google Optimize

These are three tools, while in reality there are countless other options. Let’s go over the pros and cons of each:

Source: Medium

ClickFunnels: Easy to use landing page software – a modern-day champion of the concept of funnels v.s. websites. With an affordable price tag, tons of templates and a hyperactive community, ClickFunnels makes it very easy to split test the pages in your product launch funnel with easy tracking of the winners. 

WordPress: If you are using a WordPress theme for your website or sales page, you might use either a standalone plugin or there are also plugins like OptimizePress which make it easy to build landing pages. Either way, it is critical to focus on the simplicity and presentation of the metrics that matter. 

Google Optimize: Goes one step further to provide a GUI for A/B testing. While it may be a bit advanced for some users, it definitely allows for advanced customization and is recommended for experimentation with experienced marketing teams. 

What to split test?

There is an infinite number of variables on your sales page, however, you should only focus 80% of your efforts on 20% of the variables. 

  • Video Sales Letter: Multiple variations of your script can provide a lot of insight into whether it is serving the purpose. 
  • View Rate: Ideally, website visitors should be viewing the entire video. Obviously that is a video marketers dream. However, a properly structured video script leveraging pattern interrupts will generate a higher view rate which is what you want to optimize for. The longer people watch your videos, the more they are like to purchase your product.  
  • Goal Conversion: In your experiment, you should focus on having a control version and then creating different variations having one change. Since you are using different versions of your sales letter, you would have to check for your goal conversions at the end of the day. 
  • To Autoplay or not to autoplay: Huge point of concern. Autoplay on your sales page may seem to cringe-worthy but a lot of experiments have shown that it does not affect conversions to such an extent. However every audience responds differently, and it is something worth testing. 
  • Headlines: Perhaps THE factor to test on your sales page is headlines. It is the make-or-break factor, and ideally, represents the hook of your sales offer. Be sure to have multiple headlines to test because it has been proven to have a significant impact on conversions. 
  • Call-to-action: Button text, color, and placement are also worth testing, although you would need to test for events in that case i.e. test which buttons led to more conversions as opposed to which buttons were clicked the most.

Source: Stevens-tate 

  • Presentation of offers/Presenting multiple offers: Price points are always worth experimenting as discussed before as well as how they are being presented. 

Crafting Autoresponder Sequences 

While the Follow up section dives into channels and sequence strategy for your drip campaign, crafting a good autoresponder sequence requires good research, copywriting and data. 

The money is in the followup. 

Pre-selling: Your pre-selling drip sequence is critical to bringing customers into the problem-agitate-solution state of mind. 

Buying Objections: Your customer avatar should give an idea in terms of what sort of objections clients might have, and your autoresponder sequence should address each of those BEFORE the product launch. 

Responding to Questions: Sometimes you need to tweak your copy to respond to customer’s questions. Problem is in a sequence with hundreds, if not thousands of subscribers, only one would end up asking the question of giving feedback. However, you can bet that a hundred other people are sitting on the edge for the same unvoiced question.

Cold v.s. warm v.s. hot segments: Not all your subscribers are created equally. It is important to gauge buying intent by their activity. Your email marketing software should give insights in terms of clicks, opens and other activity. Leverage those data points to create segments. Customers going to your website and opening your emails repeatedly are obviously displaying buying intent. 

Therefore, you should have a hot segment that creates urgency to claim the offers during your product launch. 

Warm audiences, in comparison, will require more proof and obviously have buying objections that need to be addressed. Asking existing customers will give you insight in terms of their buying objections and that in turn will give you an idea of what is stopping the warm audience members from coming onboard the offer. 

Cold audiences, on the other hand, need to be nurtured in the benefits of what you have sold and need to be engaged in as many audiences as possible. Re-marketing campaigns coupled with relevant content from your personal brand aims to re-engage cold audiences.  

Funnels

The objective of a funnel is to ensure conversions by guiding the customer through the different stages of the customer journey. 

Source: Salesforce

  • Awareness 
  • Desire
  • Interest 
  • Action

However, which funnel you want to implement is largely contingent on your niche. It will probably be a good idea to see what your competition is doing and reverse engineering it to for your product launch.

Here is an overview of the different types of funnels: 

NameDescriptionPRO’sCon’s
Sales FunnelLong form, traditional sales letterVideo Production Not Required. Easy-to-set-upWorks with any business. Long formCopywriting intensive.No list building.  
Squeeze Page FunnelTwo step funnel where you collect emails in the first in exchange for an ethical bribe to be provided in the second step. Minimal setup.
List building.
High conversions. 
Subscriber nurturing is required for conversions. 
Membership FunnelSignup for a free or paid membership/newsletter site. Nurture audience. 
Establishes thought leadership.
Requires content production.
Setup required. Risk materials getting plagiarized. 
Survey FunnelMulti-step funnel where visitors are asked questions based on which they are directed to the respective step in their funnel. PersonalizationEnsures visitors see the right message for them.Setup required. Content variations would have to be produced. 
Video Sales LetterSimilar to sales funnel where the sales page is replaced by a video. More digestable. Video converts better. Time-consuming.
ExpensiveSplit testing the video is recommended. 
2-Step Tripwire FunnelTrip wires describe a low ticket product (usually $7) which qualifies the audience to buy the high-ticket version. Covers the cost of advertising/audience acquisition. Qualifies audience. Low ticket product required. 
Live Demo FunnelSimilar to auto-webinar to webinar funnels where the content is a product demo. Qualifies audience. Removes Buying ObjectionsDemo would need to be comprehensive. 
It might be time-consuming. 
Invisible FunnelSell access to an event/training where the audience pays for the material if they want to. Generates leads. Nurtures Audience. Content production involved. No guarantee of your bottom line
Lead Magnet FunnelSame as squeeze page, except more elaboration is provided and involves an opt-in page and a thank you page. Builds a targeted list.Content production involved. 
Hero FunnelDocuments the entrepreneur’s journey and builds an audience. Relationship building. Authentic brand buildingConstant activity is required to stay relevant. 
Auto Webinar FunnelSimilar to webinar funnel except it is a recording and not live. Lead generation qualifies the audience. Recordings are cheap while live webinar is expensive. Content production required. Conversions might not be as great.
Home Page FunnelAs opposed to showcasing a single product, multiple products/lead magnets are showcased.Build your email list. Showcases sales material. Content production required. 
Webinar FunnelMulti-step funnel where visitors opt-in to view a live webinar. Live sales. Handle Q&A in real-timeHosting webinars would incur costs. Driving people to attend requires a significant ad spend. 
Ask Campaign FunnelSimilar to Survey funnels, Ask Campaigns aim to collect feedback from the audience before making any product/offer.It provides critical insight. Simple to setupNo immediate monetization. 
Feedback needs to come from the right audience. 
Cancellation FunnelUsed when a customer is trying to either refund, cancel a service, or return a product. This can drastically reduce refunds, cancellations and churn.
Application FunnelPopular among consultants and coaches, application funnels ask questions to qualify the audience before booking a call/meeting. Qualifies audience
Higher conversions on demos/calls. 
Questionnaire may discourage genuine clients. 
Product Launch FunnelIdeal for pre-selling where content can be strategically placed to build anticipation. Build an email list of buyers. Takes them along the buying journey. Copywriting is required to develop content to generate anticipation. 
Daily Deal FunnelSimilar to Tripwire funnels except done with multiple products. Generates a list quickly. 
May not be suitable for high ticket products. 
Storefront FunnelFunnel for cross-selling and up-selling products in a online store. Maximizes order size.
High conversions.  
May come across as “salesy”
Bridge FunnelHelpful for affiliate marketers who do not control the actual sales page. Pre-sell audiences. Higher conversions for funnel you do not control. The experience might be confusing for the visitor unless he/she is properly guided through what is happening. 
Summit FunnelFunnel for an online summit with multiple speakers that you interview. Free registration generates leads.Up sell opportunity on the leads. Interview candidates required. Content needs to be curated. 

The Secret to Good Upsells / Order Bumps

Driving traffic to your audience is expensive. Thus when someone buys from you, it is your best opportunity to maximize your product launch sales and go for an up sell. Upsells or order bumps are used interchangeably although they both describe the same concept. 

In order to have high converting up-sells, you need to avoid selling anything which renders a customer’s initial purchase useless/less attractive. For example, if you are selling an audio-book, a bad upsell would be an edited version of the audiobook they already paid for.

A good upsell might be the product/service which extends the usefulness of the audiobook. For example, if you recommend certain tools/services in the book, a good upsell would be a bundled offer.

You upsell should focus on adding more value to the initial product(s) purchased to solve a problem/add value either:

  1. Faster
  2. Better
  3. Both          

Page Speed

Whichever landing software/CMS you choose to host your sales pages on, Page Speed is a critical component. Even if you are not investing in S.E.O at this point, page load times and UX greatly impact the performance of your ad on Facebook/Google.

Cheaper clicks from relevant audiences make your product launch more profitable.

Slow/unresponsive landing pages do not get the same reach and are typically penalized with low or below average ad scores.

Lighthouse page testing provides a cross-device comprehensive scoring system to maximize load speed and user experience. 

Pre-launch

During the pre-launch phase, the objective is to build hype for the actual launch. While you might have any of the funnels described above to use in your pre-launch, here is what you should consider doing to drive traffic: 

Leveraging Research channels: All the platforms you used to conduct your research to get market/customer insights are now an opportunity for partnership and collaboration. Engagement modality might be different, but you should definitely build a presence there with an adapted version of your pre-launch content. 

Announce on relevant websites: Reach out to the relevant websites and publications in your niche using Hunter.io. Email a short pitch about what you are looking for, what you are offering. While a sales pitch would not be possible on most platforms, their audiences would be aware of your upcoming and future campaigns. 

Reach out to Influencers & Leveraging Your Personal Brand: Collaborating with other individuals, especially on social media always adds to the momentum. 

Needless to say, at this stage, you should be posting content on your profile on a daily basis to maximize engagement. 

Content for the Pre-Launch Phase 

  • Problem: What is the problem that your product/service is solving for customers?
  • Agitate: How can this problem be further agitated? How much revenue are they missing out? How much extra costs are they having to incur?  
  • Solution: How does your solution address the problem, and how are you solving it better than other others. 
  • Offers: You need to build anticipation for the offer, not just the product service/service/solution. There needs to be an extra element to the offer e.g. Bonus material, lifetime discount, coaching, training etc which would otherwise be unavailable and expensive. 
  • Competition for Virality: As you are building a list for launch from the pre-launch content, be sure to add a viral sharing component where users get XYZ for sharing the pre-launch funnel with peers. 

Launch

After all the hard work and effort, the actual product launch is when everything comes together. However, there is yet work to be done:   

  • Re-marketing: Not everyone is going to buy on the first visit. You need to ensure your remarketing campaigns are in place. Do not forget about Bing and Yahoo as well. While it seems unlikely, a lot of customers still use Bing as it is the default browser on Windows machines.   

Source: Blue Corona

  • Tweak for conversions: As discussed, optimize for conversions based on the feedback coming in from customers and partners. 
  • Testimonials: Get as many testimonials in as many formats from as many customers as possible. Share them from your personal profiles to build social proof. 
    • Emails
    • Facebook Posts
    • Facebook Group posts. 
    • Tweets. 
    • Messages
    • Video

Followups

The money has been, and always will be in the followups. You have built a pre-launch list who needs to be aggressively followed up with in order to get them to buy. 

In fact, you might also have a lot of customers who are on the fence about your upsells who should also be followed up with. 

  • Voicemail: Everyone is conditioned to ignore ads and emails. Voicemails, however, are difficult to ignore. Be sure to incorporate automated voicemail in your drip sequence to add the personal touch to your follow-up funnel. 
  • SMS: Text messaging has high open rates and they are definitely a channel you should cash in on because you the data points to personalize your message, and you can know that the audience has a warm or hot intent. 
  • Email: While email open rates are not great, segmented drip campaigns with professional copy can do wonders in terms of audience response.  
  • Messenger Bot: Drive customers from SMS and Email to your Messenger bot. Why? Messenger provides a rich media environment where customers can ask questions about the product and actually know everything there is to know inside and out. It is an ideal mechanism to qualify the audience as well as show them relevant content.

    Facebook Messenger is premium real estate. It is going to become more restricted with its latest policy updates. Therefore you should be wary about the content put in your bot and how you engage subscribers there. 

Source: Nightwatch

  • Direct Mail: Once again, the objective of a great followup campaign is to ensure that customers are aware of your brand and what you have to offer. Having verified addresses of your subscribers can enable you to have old fashioned direct mail campaigns to people’s home or work address. 

Affiliate Partnerships

After the product launch is complete, you should ideally look for more partners and affiliates to do one-on-one closed-door promotions with. However, sourcing and recruiting great affiliates can be a challenge: 

Existing customers: For a lot of niches, existing customers are eager to promote specially if they happen to be influencers themselves. You can always send out an email to customers asking if they would be interested to promote your product/service. 

Enrolling in CPA Platforms: There are multiple iterations of the phase, however, some of the most popular affiliate platforms include:

  • Clickbank
  • CJ Affiliate
  • Market Health
  • Neverblue
  • Affiliate.com
  • JVZoo

There are loads more. However, pick the platform where your affiliates are likely to be and enlist your product there. 

Document metrics for Affiliates: In any affiliate or reselling program, 20% of the participants will generate 80% of the results. It is key when working with leading affiliates that you have proper documentation of your product launch in terms of metrics. 

Affiliates do not want to promote products that do not work or offers which do not convert, and therefore it is up to you as an entrepreneur to document and present the numbers of your own launch. It validates:

  • Product or service. 
  • After-sales support.
  • Copywriting is on point. 
  • Funnel conversion. 

Working An Angle: When working with top affiliates, it is also important to present a compelling angle i.e. how does their audience/product align with your offer. Why will their audience/subscribers respond and why they will be financially benefitted. 

Source: Software Advice

Affiliate management can be time-consuming, so only focus on working with a couple of small or medium affiliates at first to invest in the quality of the promotion.

What do you think is the most challenging part out of everything covered in this article? Let us know in the comments below!

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