Mega product launches are a very hard thing to do and in this post I want to unravel my friend John Thornhill’s product launch to give you an insight into what to expect and actually how hard it can be to produce a mega launch of your own.
In part 1 we will take a look at the items you need to address to create your own mega launch. In Part 2 I have an interview with John himself regarding his launch where I talk to him about the intensity of big launches and what surrounds them.
Mega product Launches Unravelled part 1
It’s not only the technical parts, the planning the execution, having the product ready, the affiliates interest etc etc. You have a battle with yourself, your mind set, the fatigue of the launch. This alone can take it’s toll on your state of mind and leave you open to problems and mishaps. So with that said, your mind set plays a big part in your launch. Get this right and stay focused on the goal. Your launch is only a short time frame, so remember to stay focused the whole time.
“I recall sending JT a text message about an affiliate email issue and 3 am and he was still in the office working!”
These are the sacrifices you need to make during launch periods. Sleep and rest take a back seat! You can reap the rewards when it’s over…
The planning phase of any launch is paramount to its complete success. Bad planning creates a bad product and during a mega launch such as the scale of the P2S launch planning is essential. Remember this is a $2000 product. If it’s not smoking hot, the refund rate is going to hit the roof!
I know many people say (including myself) that perfection shouldn’t be the aim when creating a product. However when you are launching such a high ticket item, there does need to be some elements of perfection, especially with what the user can see. Behind the scenes, not so much but the front end needs to be spectacular!
There are a ton of tools you can use the plan your products. I prefer, as do many others a mixture of online and offline materials such as:
- Evernote (recommended)
- Smart Sheet
- Google Drive (recommended)
- Google Keep
- Diary/Journal (love mine)
- Post-it notes (Dave Nicholson’s Fave)
- Note pads (Johns Rory the Tiger)
- Mind maps
All of the above will help with your planning phase. I am especially favourable for Evernote, Diary/Journal and Mind mapping. These tools help me plan my whole product launches. John also favours the mind map and his very own unique notepad with the picture of Rory the Tiger on it!
“Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning.”
~ Thomas Alva Edison
Remember when you are planning your next launch, plan every eventuality, every foreseeable instance and have all of your tools ready and your dates down. In short, plan your launch before it happens as this will give you a head start. Obviously things can happen which are out of your control, such as server crashes and payment problems to name a few, but these can be rectified quicker if you have taken a proactive approach to your launch.
If you plan for every eventuality and plan your launch to utmost finite detail your launch will be a success…
Marketing tools, email swipes and more
You may have noticed I’m talking about a launch and nothing in this post is about product. I’m assuming you have a product in the making or have a plan to make and launch one. If you don’t have your own product, please take a look at Product Development Control created by John and myself.
Your campaign is what makes sales. Sending promotional swipe email files to your affiliates and adding marketing graphical ads on Facebook. Your promo strategy is what makes the BIG pay days. If no one knows about your launch, then you may as well kiss the pay day goodbye.
If you watch big launches as they happen you know there are multiple elements to each marketing campaign and these can be broken down into small groups to make it a little easier to manage. It’s times like this when a team around you is a great help! If not, then you need to access the planning phase again and plan your strategy.
A marketing strategy can be broken down into section from pre-launch, to launch and the various phases in the launch itself. Right up to post launch and where to direct traffic after you close the page. This is especially effective if you are using an urgency or a time sensitive discount.
Let’s take a look at a typical strategy for marketing
Pre-launching a product is not the start. Your first job is to notify your affiliates of your up-and-coming launch and let them know about your product prizes and exactly how much they can earn from the whole launch phase. You can also post your launches on sites such as JV Notify Pro and Munch Eye to also gather interest from Joint Venture (JV) partners.
The easiest way to have all of this done for you is to hire a JV manager and launch partner. A JV manager will take a set fee or a percentage of sales from your launch (which has to worth their time) and manage your whole JV recruitment and launch. The roll of a JV manager usually consists of:
- Gathering existing JV partners and keeping them informed of the launch
- Negotiating with new partners for promotion and offering incentives
- Planning the launch and the timings around promotional emails
- Creating and sending swipe files to JV’s
- Planning pre, current and post launch strategies for existing, and future JV partners
- Educating affiliates on how to proceed with the launch
- Generally keeping on top of all things affiliate related
If you don’t have a JV manager, you have to do all the affiliate stuff yourself. Having a JV manager and bringing a team together for a launch is what makes the difference between small and medium launches and the big high ticket launches. It’s very very hard to achieve massive launch earnings alone.
If you are doing it alone, then once again here we are, planning planning planning and staying ahead of the game.
Whatever route you choose, affiliate partners are very important to the success of your launch. They can bring in returns over 100 times the earnings you could alone. So whenever you are launching a product don’t discount JV partners and always:
- Stay in constant contact, notifying of launch progress including
- Educating them about what to do
- Providing EPC’s
- Launch happenings and dates
- Make it worth their while in prizes
Typically the top JV partner should pay for the whole prize board and any other outgoings you have at launch time. JV partners are worth their weight in gold and your launch will benefit from their help greatly.
Aside from affiliates, you have a duty to inform your own subscribers of any launches as well. This should be conducted in a similar way as the affiliate emails you send. However you should tailor them to your own subscriber’s needs rather than the general email you create for your affiliate and JV partners. I’m sure the JV partners you have onboard with any of your launches will do the same with their subscribers.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to allow priority to your own subscribers by offering a closed door subscriber only opportunity to get in first on your product launches. This shows your subscribers they are privileged VIP’s and of great value to you.
There are a number of was to launch a product. Proven to be one of the best is a pre-launch build-up. By generating a launch buzz you get people interested in your product and aware of the launch dates and times, so at the point of the cart opening they are ready and waiting to buy. Imagine for a second this scenario:
- No pre-launch and a cold email for a product opening right now which you have heard nothing about. Would you impulse buy?
- Now imagine the same product with a week pre-launch, full of information on what it was, what it could do for you and how you can benefit. Would you instantly buy? If you liked the product of course you would.
You see pre-launch has the added benefit of informing people of what is coming and when. Using a pre-launch strategy allows for you the vendor to gather subscribers and create a potential buyers list before you open your cart. Using pre-launch techniques allows you to educate your subscribers to why they should buy before they buy.
As well as the subscriber element of a pre-launch you also have the opportunity to involve the JV partners in competitions such as a leads contest. Having a leads contest, in it’s basic terms is – Allowing the JV partners to send their subscribers to a page where they can drop a cookie which can be tracked. The most leads can then win a prize!
By offering a leads competition this gets the JV partner to promote sooner rather than later. Allowing their subscribers into the potential buyers funnel where you can nurture them ready for the launch day.
The P2S pre-launch leads contest looked a little like this:
- JV’s drive affiliated traffic to the landing page to win the most leads
- The landing page provides massively informative and educational material which must be subscribed to view
- The subscriber is added to the product launch list and is further notified about the educational videos and product launch
As well as using affiliates to drive pre-launch traffic you can also use social media. You can offer the same style competitions as above but with likes and shares. This way anyone can join in the competition no matter what their subscriber list size is like. With social media you don’t have to have a massive mailing list you simply need a social presence.
As well as likes and shares you can also buy Facebook ads and promote posts to enhance your pre-launch buzz. By using graphical ads called info graphics you can create a campaign around social media promoting your pre-launch around all social media such as Twitter (tweets) Google plus pages, timelines and hangouts, in Facebook groups and on your Facebook timeline, again enhancing the buzz around your product launch and directing people to your pre-launch landing page.
I hope you can see the power of the pre-launch here. Rather than simply soft launching your product, going that extra mile gives you huge benefits to your sales over the term of your launch.
Surprising enough if you have completed all your planning and have gathered your JV partners, have all your graphics ready and a step by step plan of the launch phases you should be ready to go. The launch is easy part, or is it?
There are steps to be taken before you launch. You need to have your page ready to set live, if you are expecting a lot of traffic, your hosting company needs to know. Your payment processor needs to know to expect a flood of payments into your account and your product delivery systems, members’ area and members area pages and downloads all need to be working as they should.
Run multiple tests before you open your cart on your pages and members’ pages. If there is one thing that can cause a refund it’s none delivery of products and/or mistakes in the process. You will be surprised at how people lose faith in a product when it doesn’t work first time around. This can be detrimental to your launch. Ensure it’s all running well.
Once you have tested and tested again and again, notified hosting services and payment processors, it’s time to notify everyone else. This is a simple case of notifying JVs, subscribers and social media fans of the pending launch times. Count it down with emails and posts, for example 2 hours before launch, 1 hour before launch…Then…
Sit back and relax and watch the money roll in from all your hard work! Well not really because you haven’t finished!
During the launch periods it’s a case of looking after your customers, potential customers and affiliates. Dealing with new customers aside, you must concentrate on helping affiliates and converting new subscribers into buyers. Depending on your launch period this will continue from the start to the closing stages of your launch. During this time you will:
- Provide JV’s with email swipe files and continual updates on competitions and EPC’s
- Update all JV partners on any mid launch competitions you have having such as most sales in the next 24 hours. These are all incentives to send emails to their subscribers and drive more traffic to your launch earning more commissions
- Update your own subscribers who haven’t yet purchased
- Update the JV blog if you have one with all new and future promotional material
Stay on top of your launch throughout the week and deal with any problems that occur. It will be tough, dealing with so much but remember your plan and stick to it. Also remember that it’s not forever, only a short time to earn a ton cash, it’s worth it so stay focused!
This is where it gets busy. The general curve of a launch if you use urgency such as closing or a time limited price freeze goes a little like the graphic below. You can see the high and low points with the mid week being the lowest point of the launch unless that is you offer your joint venture partners incentives such as cash prizes to promote more.
The last two days can be the best days of all. In the final stages of a launch you can see more sales that the whole week combined, so it is critical you get this part right. The final stages can and usually are busiest stages where a lot of emails are being sent to subscribers sitting on the fence, who are still 50/50 and need that little push to buy. The urgency does exactly this. It grabs everyone who wasn’t sure about buying and pushes them to buy.
During the closing stages of the launch you should be contacting affiliates regularly, at least once per day to inform them of the launch details and especially the leader board positions. Leader boards are like a war! JV partners are in competition with each other to get the biggest prizes. As you can see from the image below, this is the P2S leader board, I scrapped in at the bottom, but the fight was a hard one indeed. There are some big names in there. I would have made a higher postition, however I was 12 minutes over the midnight contest end time with my last sales!
Affiliates are in business to make money and want to maximize there revenue streams from the launch, so it is essential to encourage affiliates to fight to the death! Well, fight for best places to maximise sales rather than killing each other.
As much as you would enjoy them to continue on forever, launches don’t last forever. It’s a great feeling watching the cash roll in and an experience everyone should try at least once in their lifetime. I imagine it’s like winning the lottery in some respects and feels kind of surreal the first time it happens.
Once the timers run down and the urgency has gone, you need to close the cart and direct the current sales page to a new location. You now have options. You can:
- Direct to a higher price (standard)
- Direct to a waiting list for when the product opens again
- Direct to an alternative related product and hope for more sales
- Direct traffic to a webinar
The last option as what John did. He directed his traffic back to an automated webinar with an extra discount which continued the launch for another few days. This is a great way to create an extra income and run the launch out until closing the deal completely and directing back to the webinar registration page which is ran when there are enough people to attend it live.
As you can see high ticket launches are a lot of work. I have merely scratched the surface with this post. I never talked about split testing, sales copy changes, alternative traffic methods etc etc. The list goes on and I will save that for another post.
If you are still here and reading this, thank you for sticking around. If you found this a good resource worth sharing then please share and tweet it to your friends.
Do you thing you could handle a launch like this. Would you like to?
Have you launched a product on a scale like this?
As always, all comments are welcome. Please leave your comment below and I promise to reply to every single one!