[FUEL] The Ins and Outs of a Product Launch

By Dawn Goldberg

rocket_launch

You’ve spent weeks, maybe even months, writing your new eBook or home study system. You brought on a graphics designer to make sure your product rocks the casbah. You’re even ready with a fulfillment company to print the CDs, DVDs, and workbook.

You give a sigh of relief… you’re done.

Uh, no, you’re not.

Now, you have to market the thing that you’ve just spent weeks and months developing. You’re not anywhere near being done.

What most entrepreneurs and people who market their businesses online don’t always remember to account for is that marketing a product is as a big a project with as many moving parts as creating the thing in the first place.

While “build it, and they will come” worked in the movie Field of Dreams, it doesn’t quite work that way in the online real-world field.

Ideally, you plan out the development of your product (what’s needed, what do you delegate, how long is it going to take, research, etc.) at the same time you plan the launch. So you build it, and then you TELL people to come.

And if that doesn’t happen at the same time as you’re creating the product, well then, here are your quick 6 steps to a launch plan.

1. First, remember that the launch plan is separate from and quite different from the development of your product.

2. Build in some space between the development of your product and the actual launching. It’s going to be way too taxing to roll right into launch mode after development mode. Most of my clients are just downright exhausted after their baby project grows up.  Give yourself time before you go into marketing mode.

3. Break down your launch plan into steps. That way you don’t forget anything, and marketing doesn’t feel overwhelming. And just like with your product development, see what you can outsource and delegate.

Here is what you need to market your product/program/service:

  • Sales page
  • Thank-you page
  • Autoresponder
  • Autoresponder email (this usually contains the same information as the thank-you page)
  • Product set up in shopping cart
  • Pay button created (especially if you’re using PayPal)
  • Determine how the product gets delivered. If electronically, do you need a download page or a digital download in your shopping cart? If physically, do you need to connect your order notifications to your fulfillment system?
  • Do you want to include a follow-up, stay-in-touch system? This could include an eCourse or just a three-email check-in series… because you really DO want people to use your product.
  • Solo emails during the two-week marketing campaign. You want at least three, and some people send five to seven.
  • Social media updates across the board (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, YouTube)
  • Emails and social media for JV partners and/or affiliates

4. Work backwards. Start at the end: when do you want to launch the product? Meaning… when do people get your product in their happy little hands? That date informs everything, including product development (because you have to know when the product needs to be completed!).

5. Once you have the launch date, keep going backwards from there. I usually plan on a four-week launch. So, you have the final end date of people buying your product. Going backwards from that is your marketing campaign, which is traditionally (depending upon the complexity of the product) two weeks. Going backwards from THAT, you need a sales page to be live. Going backwards from that, you need to draft a sales page, give it to your web designer or VA, test it, etc.

Here’s what that looks like in English. 🙂

September 1 – Draft sales page, making sure you include things like pain points, benefits, social proof, responses to objections, features, bonuses, early bird pricing, guarantee.

September 15 – Sales page, thank you page, autoresponder, autoresponder email, shopping cart are all set up and ready to go, after having been tested. Begin drafting solo emails and social media updates for the upcoming marketing campaign.

September 16 – Two-week marketing campaign starts, with early bird discounts and/or bonuses deadlines, social media, solo emails, JV partners.

September 30 – Marketing campaign ends, and you have money in your pocket.

6. Now, if your marketing campaign includes a free preview teleclass or webinar, then add another two weeks…. because you’re marketing the preview teleclass (with a registration page and all its back-end) separately, and THEN you have to go into marketing the product from that teleclass.

It’s a lot of details, yes, but with planning and breaking down a launch into its parts, it’s just as manageable as creating that new product.

You just have to build the marketing campaign so they’ll come.