LESSON #90: The Prelaunch

(Product Launch Series Part 2 of 4)

In the previous lesson we started talking about product launches. Today we’re going to look at how to take the first steps in the product launch process…

(Watch this video – it may take a couple minutes to load after clicking it…)

Join my coaching club

Abbreviated Outline:

  • Is it necessary to do a prelaunch?

    No it isn’t, but I wouldn’t recommend skipping it unless you’re established in the market and have a good reason.

  • How long should your prelaunch be?

    For most web-based products, I would recommend that your prelaunch be somewhere in the range of a few days to a few weeks.

  • Scheduling your launch:

    Launch your product at the time of year that makes the most sense for your market. Launch on a day and time that is ideal for your market to buy. (See video for details)

    1) Avoid launching at the same time as any major player in your industry.*

    2) Try to launch before your competitor if possible.

    * The exception is if you’re strategically launching at the same time as a major launch in your industry. (See video for this cut-throat tactic)

  • Remember the product launch prerequisites from the previous lesson. These are NOT things that you want to be doing during your prelaunch.

  • Recruiting JV/Affiliate Partners

    – See lesson #86
    – Offer to reciprocate (see details)
    – Offer piggyback opportunity on your download page.
    – Use ethical bribes
    – Use snail mail
    – Use caution regarding recruiting prospects during prelaunch. (I do not recommend it)
    – Recruiting customers
    – Create a JV blog (I recommend WordPress)
    – Get affiliates/partners on an exclusive email list. (DON’T send them promos)
    – Get listed on launch boards.
    – Consider using a JV broker. (Especially on a pay for performance basis)
    – Post prelaunch and launch day swipe emails.

  • Affiliate Contests

    – Sales contests
    – Prelaunch leads contests
    – Explain the rules and deadlines clearly
    – (See video for explanation and philosophy on prizes.)
    – Helpful tool for finding cool prizes in any niche: Amazon most-wished for list
    – Some contest is better than no contest.

  • Buzz Building:

    – Creating awareness, anticipation, and excitement about your launch.
    – Movie trailers example
    – See lesson #84
    – Give away free content (and generate reciprocity)

  • Giving Away Content:

    Give away as much as you can while only increasing demand for your product, and not diminishing the desire for it in any way.

    – Create a launch blog
    – Tie in to your marketing narrative.

    Possible formats:

    Videos
    Webinars
    Google+ Hangouts
    PDF reports
    Public Launch Blog
    Case studies (and testimonials from beta users)
    Press releases
    News articles

    I suggest integrating multiple formats of content into your prelaunch campaign. The more you incorporate, and the more of the human senses you engage, the better chance that you’re going to connect with a wider segment of your audience.

  • Key Ingredients of a Successful Prelaunch Campaign:

    1) Provide real value

    2) Build a list

    – See video for flowcharts, squeeze page examples, etc.
    – Early Bird List

    Prelaunch flowchart

    3) Tell a story (marketing narrative)

    – The story is key
    – The entire prelaunch and launch should carry a consistent narrative.
    – The objective of your story is to create a connection between the product and the prospect.
    – We will cover this in depth in lesson #91

    4) Generate social proof

    – This is huge. Always has been, and not going away.
    – Use a launch blog with social media commenting enabled.
    – Release case studies and/or testimonials from beta users.
    – Get Endorsements from Experts and Celebrities
    – Use Press Releases and Articles
    – Draw a crowd (Webinars, Google+ Hangouts, Offline Events, etc)

    *Sometimes it’s better to have NO social proof than to have just a little.

    5) Convey urgency and scarcity

    – Only use limits that you can justify.

    Urgency = set a deadline. The more meaningful the deadline, the more effective it will be.

    Examples:
    – Product not available after deadline.
    – Price goes up big time after deadline.
    – Valuable bonuses removed after deadline.

    Scarcity = set a limit.

    Examples:
    – We only printed 100 copies.
    – If you’re not in the first 100 orders, you’ll have to wait an extra month.
    – We don’t want too many people using this secret method.
    – Physical constraints upon your time, or ability to support the product.

    FOMO = Fear of Missing Out!

  • “Salting” the market:

    If you’ve done your prelaunch effectively, then your launch day will be like selling a cup of cold water to a thirsty man in the desert.

    Action steps:

    1) Schedule your launch, and then work backwards to plan your prelaunch.

    2) Implement strategies to recruit launch partners (affiliates).

    3) Design a prelaunch campaign that incorporates these key ingredients:

    – Provide real value
    – Build a list
    – Tell a story (marketing narrative)
    – Generate social proof
    – Convey urgency and scarcity

    In the next lesson we’ll take a closer look at how to create your marketing narrative.

    As always, you are welcome to post your questions and comments below 🙂

    Have a great day!

  • 14 comments on “LESSON #90: The Prelaunch

    1. John Mauldin

      Terrific article, Eric! Your tutelage is very valuable and appreciated! I am in the process of launching a new site (as shown above) and releasing the first of a number of information products tied to the fantastic opportunities in franchising and licensing so this article is very timely and helpful. Thanks, Eric!

      Reply
    2. Michael

      Hi Eric,
      how would you position a product that is nothing ‘new’ like a PLR membership site for instance, where you supply some great quality products each month-with a giveaway sales/squeeze to sweeten the deal-such a product you would not make a huge fanfare..but what would you do?

      Cheers

      Reply
      1. Eric Post author

        Michael,
        I would find a way to set yourself apart from the crowd of PLR sites. An example could be my Instant Product Engine site. Essentially it is a monthly PLR site. But what makes it unique is our built-in graphics and rebranding engine that we developed. So instead of positioning it as a PLR site, we’ve positioned it as something totally different: a product-creation machine.

        My coaching club also offers monthly PLR, but it’s positioned as a coaching club and the PLR is more of a value-added bonus.

        Two USP’s that I would recommend avoiding (unless you can really pull it off) is the “cheapest” or the “biggest”. Those two USP’s have been used a lot on the PLR site market, to the point that the cheapest ones are mere pennies, and the biggest ones are totally overwhelming.

        If you’re having your own content created, then a good USP is “high quality”.

        If you’re providing PLR in a certain niche, or specializing in certain niches, that could be a great angle. For example, there are some successful PLR membership sites that provide content to the “mom” niche, health niche, etc.

        If you’re basically providing all the same PLR that other PLR site owners are providing, then you’d need to make it about something else. Perhaps its YOU. Make it about your personality, and about how you’re going to provide better service than the others.

        Perhaps you could tie in some additional product/service to make it unique. You could offer to help upload their PLR to their sites or something, which I have not seen before in a typical PLR membership site.

        Also keep in mind your primary target market, which will dictate how you ultimately position the product. If you’re targeting existing PLR users who know about PLR, you’d position it as something that will enhance their business… something they really don’t want to miss out on. But if you’re marketing it to newbies who are not familiar with PLR, then it IS new to them, and you’d position it more like a turn-key business opportunity, emphasizing the benefits of creating a business with PLR.

        Reply
        1. Michael

          Thank you so much Eric, I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question-you have given me some great ideas-I must differentiate my site in some way otherwise it will blur into the ‘PLR’ pool-probably not the most original of ideas for a product, but I have to start somewhere!

          Cheers
          Mike

          Reply
    3. Zane

      Eric,
      Just want to thank you for sharing new daughter’s baby pictures,
      How precious was that!!!! So good to hear your wife is fine,
      The Baby…….WOW WHAT A BABY…..I am real Happy for you, and
      Family. There were 6 kids in my family, and I was the 2nd oldest, so
      I got to enjoy the new ones, Life don’t get any better than that
      God Bless Man
      Zane

      Reply
    4. dave

      Hey Eric– looking for some quick feedback. Read: advice. I just saw a webinar “starring” Jon Shugart and Luke Cobra. One thing jumped out. They mentioned you can send emails legally using their system (with no list). They said you can buy lists from Data Brokers and Site Owner and (implied) you are ready to send emails. They claimed it’s legal and not spamming. Hmm… personally I’m not believing them. I think the product is called Cobra Mailer.

      Thoughts?
      Thanks,
      Dave

      Reply
      1. Micah

        Hello Dave,

        Do you a have link to their sales page?

        They might just be selling solo ads for you to promote to their existing lists, or something similar.

        Reply
        1. dave

          I’d have to poke around for a sales page. In truth I learned about the product via a webinar hosted by Adam Short. The best I can do is provide a link to the webinar replay….

          Sorry– best I can do.
          -Dave

          Reply
          1. Eric Post author

            I haven’t watched the entire webinar but I checked out the link you sent. It appears that they are buying leads, which can be a legitimate business model, but also blurs the line of what is considered to be spam when it comes to sending them unsolicited emails. Often, such leads are “co-reg” opt-ins, which means technically the person has agreed to “receive similar offers” or something of the sort. There are marketers who make a killing buying leads and promoting stuff to them. It’s just a numbers game. If you can make them convert, then the more leads you buy the more money you make… Just like any paid traffic source. And since there are millions of leads available from some of those companies, it’s a scalable traffic source. Can it be done legally? Probably. A lot of big companies do this kind of stuff. I personally am not a fan of the business model simply due to the propensity of being accused of spam. I wrote an article about co-reg leads back in 2006: http://www.ericstips.com/tips/coreg-leads/

            Reply
    5. Ann riley

      Micah,
      Is there a list of the topics cross-referenced with the tip number? I am working on a kindle book. It would be very helpful when I need to go back to locate a tip.
      Thanks, Ann

      Reply
        1. Angelo

          Thanks for hep me to stay plug into your tips, these is watat I need for know. The info. so in the future once I learn how I can get started less blink than today. I have only read afew of the chapters, but I hope to be able to
          do these by the end of the lessons. Again thank you, I don’t have a web-site but maybe later, once I start making some money I could build one. By the way , I used to have a website for a Travel Agency, I think they called a clown by that time, cost me to much at the time and I was working with a wife and two kids. I notes that
          my pages were afew then but they were directly or indirectly link with the main info… of the travel agency. I think that makes sense, so I had an office with a password for me and also a garage where I could sell my own products, or garage sale…. I open it just to test and see how things were supposed to work, then I have to closed down… I learn a little then, my first website was an stand alone where I have computers parts for sell, I did that as an experiment , I think. The Internet was to new on those days and there was no body out there.
          I see that toiday every body is trying to be here now… That was long time ago and now I am rusty in these
          technology, more than I was then. Thanks for keeping me inform., like you say it is good to have that filing of belong to a group of people with the same goal and with moew experience so I can go in the right direction……..Angelopez now in REeno.

          Reply

    Leave a Reply to dave Cancel reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *