My last post I talked about the pre product launch that should happen before you start pushing out your product to your e-mail list: you can read it here. In this post I want to tell you about the product launch formula I use when I launch a product for a brand.
I understand this isn’t an email marketing or business blog. However, this site is where I write my most intimate thoughts and this is just on my mind. I promise I’ll write something that strays away from business / email marketing next time. Till then. Thank you for reading.
How This All Started
Kipkay Kits was planning to add a new feature with additional products to its store. And, they wanted me to promote this product to their e-mail list. I was in a fortunate position because, as I stated in my last post, I already had a successful (30 % open rate) auto-responder that made it clear to users that we’re an active brand that will email you.
Therefore, I think it’s very important to know that you cannot (shouldn’t) implement a product launch to your e-mail list unless you’re already sending emails to them. You’ll be wasting your time otherwise because a product launch will require you to send 12-14 emails to your email list – in a span of a week. This means that your emails will most likely hit your user’s spam folder if your users are cold.
Now that you know how it all started, I’m ready to tell you the product launch formula I used and it’s actually pretty simple.
Tools I Used (Besides Aweber)
This is a $500 product. It’s a videos series of over 20 episodes detailing you how a product launch formula should go down. I used many of his techniques to help me along the way. I’m not going to lie, I was able to obtain a free version from a friend.
The main idea is that a product launch requires the brand to trigger emotional cathartic behaviors from its users.
1. Each email must be genuine, personable, and bring history to your brand. I’m talking about telling stories about your brand’s past, showing pictures of your product, showing videos or pictures of your brand working on the product, talking about the competitors and the beef they have with your brand, and your brand must really make it seem that this product is going to change the lives of their users. You should really keep an eye on your brand with some top notch brand monitoring.
2. It’s a series of emails that requires an arc. You have to sit there and bring the users on an adventure. Each email is connected Users want to know if you were a stand up guy. Users want to know the obstacles you had to face to bring the product to light.
A product launch is, essentially, a pick your own adventure novel.
I signed up on this guy’s email list because, just like Jeff Walker, he’s known in the business to have a very high conversion rate when it comes to his product launches. What I learned was about the concept of time constraints. What he does best is he makes the users understand that there are only a certain number of slots available for each product. Time constraints seduces the users to buy early.
Each e-mail marketer above will tell you that you have to involve users to participate with you throughout the launch (“click the “reply” button and tell us what you think”). I wanted to take it a step further and I decided to use SurveyMonkey because I would be able to dissect what users “wanted to hear” as the product launch was in motion.
It’s a gamble because it requires users to participate in an extra step and it does make the process longer… but it’s worth it and I will tell you why in a little bit.
Now You Have the Tools What Happens From Here
1. I start off by writing an email telling my users that I’m launching something in the next two weeks. I don’t tell them what it is, but I hint that I’ve worked on this product for more than xx months so far and it’s now ready. But first, they should take a survey!
Listen, users are not always inclined to take a survey for free. Therefore, I tell them that those who participate in the survey will have a chance to receive a coupon code (an additional 10% off) to the product we’re selling. This is great because you’ll tell them you’ll be announcing the winners throughout the next couple of weeks (which makes them keep an eye out on the emails).
It’s in these emails that I ask:
3. How Long You’ve Known about the Brand
4. Improvements about the brand
5. What you want to see
6. If they already have purchased a product
7. Would you ever buy a product from the brand
8. Why or Why Not
This is crucial – you need to put the users who answered YES to either question 6 or 7 (or both) on a different e-mail list right away and section them in the HOT list. Hot people are more likely to buy right away. So it is pertinent to put them into a different category altogether. This means you’re going to put them on a different e-mail chain. These are the people who will buy your product at the higher price point. And, these are the people you don’t have to sell too hard.
Everyone else who took the surveys should be on a separate list from everyone else as well! They took the survey, which means they’re more invested and active than the other users on your main e-mail list.
Aweber has a great feature that can separate users by categories. This way no e-mail is duplicated in your email system.
To recap. After this survey you should have the normal (main) e-mail list, the hot list, and the people who took the survey list.
2. Two days later you’re going to write another email telling everyone how many people took the survey (take a picture of the number or something) and tell them what you learned. Take some of the responses that say good things about your brand & take some of the responses that match the needs they have to the needs your product solves – and highlight theses responses to your users. This shows that your brand is amazing AND it shows that you’re making a product that fits your user’s needs / wants.
Then, tell them that in a couple of days they’ll be receiving new information about the product. The HOT list & the Survey list will get the same e-mail, but it will also include the “survey winners.” I want to emphasis that it’s crucial that you tell the Hot & Survey list that more winners will be announced in every future email.
3. This is where it gets crazy, this is where your hands will start to cramp up. Why? Well, here’s an example of how I structured my product launch:
i. Monday – 1 email telling them that you grouped up all the responses and tweaking the product to fit these needs. Add the responses of users that match what your product offers so they get a hint of what’s coming.
ii. Tuesday – an email telling them the launch date, but also provide a short story of what the brand represents. An email later that night showing them the website or where the product will be.
iii. Wednesday – an email showing who is working on the product. I like taking pictures of the workers / the brand / even the web developer / customer service support. You want to make it a point that you’re not a lazy company. Tell a story of the past that highlights your work ethic.
Remember, this whole time you’re going to be replying to everyone who is writing back to you. Sometimes you’ll get STOP SPAMMING ME. Apologize to them and tell them to unsubscribe… or just say. “You’ll get a ton of information in these next two weeks. Then, it’ll go back to normal shortly.”
Later that night you will send an email showing them a picture of the product. “It’s arrived!” or “It’s uploading!”
iv. Thursday – take a break from talking about the product and just pull at their emotional triggers. Talk about your past and give them VALUABLE information that (related to the product) that will get them in the mood to purchase something. For example, the user base of Kipkay Kits are kids who love to build things.
So, I talked about the value of being a builder. I talked about the tools and gave them a step-by-step guide to building a bristle bot. Lastly, I told them how building things changed my life.
At night I send them another email telling them that the launch date is arriving soon. Thank them for hearing you out earlier.
Also – you’re going to throw a curve ball and tell them about your competitors and how you’ve overcome these haters: talk about news or credible sources that talk about your brand, which helped silence your haters. This will make your brand seem legit!
Thursday night is also when the giveaway thing ends.
v. Friday – remind them about the launch date! Take pictures of the product. Show your smiling face. Tell them you won’t be going home this weekend (that they should rest) as you’ll be working on the product. Be funny. Friday is where really begin to SELL the product. “The Product is Arriving MONDAY at 6am!”
People get paid on Friday. You want to make sure they’re not going to spend their paycheck on something stupid over the weekend.
vi. Saturday – an email in the morning giving them FREE VALUE that eludes to the product you’re giving. In our case I told them about a kit we just built and how they can build it too (for free)!
Of course you hint that the paid product will have more features.
Send another email at night (a short one) and tell them that in 48 HOURS it’s going live.
vii. Sunday – an email in the morning that says something like 24 HOURS it’s going to go live. Tell them what to expect. You’re going to be expecting x, x, x, x…
Tell the HOT List that because they took the survey they’ll be getting the link before anyone else (they’re getting it that night). When you launch the product for them – link them to the higher price point. In our case we sell a subscription product with three different layers (beginner, advanced, super advanced). I sent them to the advanced & super advanced options.
Tell the Survey list that because they took the survey they’ll be getting the link with a special discount code. Send them to the advanced and super advanced options. Make the coupon code like 10% or something.
Sunday night you’re going to send an email. ITS GOING TO LAUNCH in 8 Hours!
viii. Monday – Launch at 6am! Make it short and sweet. Mention the other emails about the hard work, the people behind the product, and your brand. Re-emphasis that the price point in this launch will not be as cheap after the launch. Your site will crash
ix. Monday Afternoon – Apologize for the site crashing “people love the product so much.”
x. Monday Night – The site is back up!
xi. Tuesday Morning – show user responses and say something like, “we got a few requests to put the product back up because they didn’t have an opportunity to purchase the product at 6am.” Make it clear that the prices will increase after today.
xii. Tuesday Afternoon – If the site doesn’t crash. Pretend that the site crashed.
xiii. Tuesday Night – So many people are loving and using the product that the site is down and you’re working really hard to get it back up. Take pictures of user responses, glimpses of the product, you and your co-workers working late into the night. Redbulls and all!
xv. Wednesday Afternoon- THE SITE IS BACK UP! AND TO EVERYONE WHO BOUGHT on Monday & Tuesday has a coupon waiting for them! This coupon will give them an opportunity to receive “additional features” you didn’t release on Monday & Tuesday.
xvi. Wednesday Night – People Have Missed Out (of course show responses). So you’re giving everyone one more opportunity to purchase the product (with the lower price & also the coupon code for the additional product features).
xvii. Thursday Morning – 24 Hours Last Sale!
xviii. Friday Morning – My Gift to You. Thank everyone for sticking by you & thank the people who purchased the product. Make the people who didn’t buy a little jealous by openly telling everyone that the people who purchased the product will receive a coupon code that will give them a discount for future products: “for the user’s who joined this week you will receive a coupon code that can be used for future purchases! It’s our gift to you.”
For the people who didn’t buy… give them a link to click on that says something along the lines of “notify me right away when your next launch comes up.” Put these people on a different list in aweber. They’re going to be on your new hot list.
xix. Saturday Morning. Raise the price of your product (the original price) and leave it be.
That’s the formula.
Conclusion & Some Secrets
I pre-wrote many of the emails above. I took pre-photos and simply copy / pasted the survey questions throughout the week. The hard work was making sure the product looked great, the hard work was responding to all the people who responded to the emails, the hard work was double checking the e-mails.
You can use this same formula for smaller changes you make to your product, or for holiday sales. It doesn’t have to be that aggressive, but the concept still applies.
PLF results? The month before, Kipkay Kits made $5k from its product. The next month (when the PLF was implemented)… Kipkay Kits made $30k (through the bundles and other products that sold in unison). And, we also increased our subscription base by 4x.
I think the Product Launch Formula is one of the most beautiful things any e-mail marketer can do for their product. Why? because you create a personable pull with your users to purchase your products. And, you create lasting relationships because it sets your brand up to have future purchases for your next product (separate lists).
Sometimes you need to very creative to how you get your responses… Anyway…
It took me a week to do the research to create the emails. It took me another week to create the build up to the launch. Then, it took another week to make sure the launch ran smoothly. I worked 12 hour days in those 3 weeks. It was worth every second.
While managing email marketing campaign, do not forget to warm it all up using other sources of traffic, even offline ones, like applying for a wrapping professional service.
I hope this helps anyone who is interested.
Thank you for reading.