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Creating a launch strategy that does the selling for you

createalaunchstrategy

Have you ever launched a new offering, told everyone about it once, got a few people to buy and then all of a sudden… sales disappeared?

Are you afraid of annoying your email list with too many promotional emails?

Over the past couple years, I’ve been studying how the big dogs launch their offerings. On the customer’s end, it looks so polished and perfectly-timed, and I wanted to know how they do it. After picking things apart and launching a few things of my own, I realized that the entire launch strategy could be easily broken up into three segments:

  1. Gauge Interest
  2. Give It Away For Free
  3. Keep In Touch

These three pieces are what have created peaceful launch strategies for me & countless others, and I want to show you exactly how you can start using it for your launches.

Each piece is dependent on the next, so it’s important to make sure you’re using them all (or at least pieces of each).

Okay, so step #1: Gauge Interest.

GAUGE INTEREST

Before you create your offering’s content or invest a ton of time or money into your offering, it’s really important to gauge the amount of interest you have for your offering’s topic. You can do this by collecting the names and emails of people who are interested in this offering, before you actually create it.

Here’s how you can start to gauge interest:

  1. Come up with a catchy name & tagline for your offering
  2. Create a separate email list for people interested in this offering. You want to create a separate list so you can keep track of who wants what and not annoy your general email list with promotional emails for this offering. We’re going to call this list the I’m Interested list.
  3. Put up a simple opt-in page. I recommend using LeadPages or OptimizePress. Put up your logo and tagline and connect the opt-in page to the email list you created for this offering.
  4. Start promoting this opt-in page at the bottom of your blog posts, on social media and in your email newsletter… all before the offering actually launches.

If you start to get a good amount of people interested in your offering, you’ve got the green light to go forward with it.

If you’re more risky, you can actually start to sell the product in order to see how many people are interested. Once you start selling though, you have to create no matter what, so proceed at your own risk.

 

GIVE IT AWAY FOR FREE

This is the first part of your sales funnel. You need something to pull people in and get them interested in what you’re talking about.

An example of this in my own business, is my free download, the Sweet Spot Offering Brainstorm worksheet. I use this worksheet to 1) provide awesome free content and 2) let people know about a group workshop they might be interested in. The key here is to invite them to check out the workshop. Use the last page and invite them to learn more. Nobody likes to be sold to, but an invitation feels much more warm and friendly.

To make sure what you’re giving away for free is working, you need to do a little reverse engineering. Think about what your dream customers need to know/learn/do before they work with you. Then, give them that info.

Here are some examples of free content you can create: 

Then, once you’ve created the free content, you send it out to your I’m Interested email list and start promoting it on your blog post and social media as a lead capture tool. This will get people moving through your sales funnel.

 

The next piece of giving away some awesome free content is through your blog.

Here’s a quick blogging strategy for before and during your launch:  

BLOG POST STRATEGY : BEFORE LAUNCH

When it comes to your blog post strategy, I’ve seen it work best when you start writing blog posts directly related to your offering topic about 2 weeks before you actually launch. If you usually post about once per week, that means having 2 blog posts lined up and ready to go before you even launch.

Just like the free training and content from above, the best way to do this is to reverse engineer what your dream customers need to know/learn/do before they decide that you’re offering is the perfect fit for them.

At the end of each blog post, invite them to sign up on your opt-in page to the I’m Interested list and/or get your free download (which will also add them to the I’m Interested list).

BLOG POST STRATEGY : DURING LAUNCH

Most launches (depending on the price of the offering) last around 3-4 weeks. During those weeks, you should be consistently posting valuable content that relates to what you’re offering.

Use the same strategy for the “Before Launch” posts and reverse engineer to get your content.

Then, at the bottom of your blog post, invite them to sign up for your free content (your video training series, worksheet, eBook, whatever it is that you created). Once they sign up and check out the landing page for the new offering, you’ll have their interest and their email address so you can keep in touch with them.

Which leads to the next point.

 

KEEP IN TOUCH

During the launch of your new offering, it’s so important to keep in touch with the people who expressed interest in your offering. We are very distracted people these days. What’s front-of-mind one day can be completely forgotten the next. The more you can stay front-of-mind, the better. But, that doesn’t mean sending a new email every day. It means providing super useful content and time-sensitive reminders.

What do I mean by super useful content and time-sensitive reminders?

Well, for one thing, once someone signs up to your email list to learn more about what you’re offering, they should first receive the free content you promised that we talked about in the last section.

But, beyond that, you should also make it a point to provide super useful content each time you email them. That means even when you’re sending out the reminder emails, you should still be showing them why what you’re teaching is so important for them and why they need to get their hands on it.

Then, even if they don’t end up purchasing, they’re still getting really valuable content and they’ll remember that. They’ll remember you.

I like to send out three different content-packed emails in between when they sign up to learn more and registration ends. At the end of each email, I invite them to enroll in the workshop.

For the time-sensitive reminders, there are 2 really important times you should be sending out reminder emails:

  1. Near the end of your bonus offers (if you have any)
  2. Near the end of the registration date

If you’re offering time-sensitive bonus offers, you need to make sure you’re actually reminding people when that bonus offers ends. I recommend sending a remind out the day before the bonus offer ends and on the day-of.

If you have a time-sensitive registration period, it’s really important that you remind everyone a few times when it actually ends. Most people purchase in the last couple days of the registration period. If you’re not sending out reminder emails during the end of your launch, you’re probably missing out on a lot of last-minute registrations.

For the end of the launch, I recommend sending out a few emails:

  1. Two days before registration ends
  2. One day before registration ends
  3. The morning that registration ends
  4. The night that registration ends
  5. An hour or two before registration ends

Looks a bit repetitive and unnecessary, but I’ve seen it work a few times.

To make it really easy for you to walk through, I created a free Promotion Plan download. Click here to download the worksheet. It’s just a simple sheet that lays out when to send out what, just in case all the copy above sounded like rambling… which I tend to do sometimes. No shame.

 

The best part about all this is, you can schedule every single one of these emails before hand. Your entire launch strategy is put on autopilot and now you just need to start engaging with people and get the word out on social media and within your own community.

If you use advanced software, such as Infusionsoft, you can even send out a reminder email to the people who click the link to go view your landing page for the offering. These are hot, hot leads that you should follow up with if your software allows.

You can also do this in Aweber, by creating a separate segment based on the people who clicked a specific link in a past broadcast.

 

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

What part of the launch strategy do you struggle most with?

Or, what have you found to be useful during your launches? Any secret things you do to keep the stress levels down and the fun levels UP?

Tell me in the comments below. I’d love to know and I know everyone else would, too.

 

PS. Registration for Irresistible Offerings ends this weekend, so if you’re ready to finally get those ideas out of your head and turn them into offerings that 1) make you money, 2) make a difference for your clients and 3) position yourself as an expert in your field, you should definitely check everything out. There are only 2 SPOTS LEFT for the Level 2 package, which includes the entire workshop + your opt-in page and sales page design + your sales page copy.

PPS. If you haven’t heard the new yet, I’m running a giveaway for a free spot in the Irresistible Offerings live workshop. If the workshop is a bit outside your budget, but you definitely need to learn this content, here’s your chance. Hop on over to the page and enter for a chance to win. 

  • Esmé

    Howdy, Amanda —

    I’m in the process of launching my first product (an online course) right now. So far, I’ve posted about two posts per week about some aspect of the topic (restorative journaling through difficult times), and they’ve been received pretty well — I try to keep them informative, and I pop in a mention of the class at the bottom of the post.

    Where I find things to be trickier is the direct email marketing. First of all, I have a small list, so I didn’t want to create a separate opt-in list. This may have been a mistake in retrospect, but I believe that it’s too late to change it at this point. As a result, I feel like a jerk emailing my list over and over about the class. I really value authenticity as part of my branding, and while I don’t mind being a saleswoman, the actual act of emailing everyone so frequently reminds me of how I am often annoyed by frequent sales emails, even when I did opt in to hear about whatever I’m being sold.

    P.S. I want to add that I’ve only directly emailed my list about the class once so far. Registration opens on September 3. I do plan on giving my list the only discount available, as well as early access to the sample video lesson and PDF.

    E

    • Amanda Genther

      Hi Esme! That’s good insight. I definitely think sending out those sales emails would be much easier if you had created that separate email list for people who were especially interested in your offering. Something to do next week.

      My opinion is if people don’t want to get your reminder emails or promotion emails, they can unsubscribe. Nobody forced them to sign up to get more info in the first place, so nobody is holding a gun to their head (so to speak) telling them to stay on the list.

      Make sense?

      • Makes sense. Do you think it’s too late to create a separate sales list? I’m about a week into the launch, but registration doesn’t close until October 11. It would be easy, I think, to just change the link on my teaser page to direct to a different list.

        • Amanda Genther

          Definitely not too late to switch it over. Just be transparent about why you’re inviting them to sign up to the new list…

          “I want to make sure the people who actually want to learn more are the ones getting the emails, so that everyone else can just continue to receive my weekly emails sans promotion”

          … or something like that. People will understand and most likely be thankful. That’s a pretty long launch period, but we can talk more about that in the workshop :)

          • Thanks for the input, Amanda.

            Re: the long launch period — I’m going through this via a launch strategy I’m learning about in a different class I’m taking; there was the option of a shorter launch, but I chose the longer launch because I have a small audience and a small list.

            & yes! See you soon in the workshop. I have a Big Ticket Item I can’t wait to cultivate with you and the group.

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  • Tara

    This is amazing! I found you via Esme in fact, and have spent hours poring over your advice and making notes! I’m so glad to have found such practical information, especially the pre-launch planning ~ I’ve never seen that before and it’s been so helpful. Thanks so much Amanda, I’m very glad to have discovered you.

    • Amanda Genther

      Hi Tara! So glad you’re here and finding this content useful! Feel free to ask me any questions! xx amanda

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  • Indigo Colton

    Hello Amanda! I wanted to let you know that I’ve linked to this wonderful post in my monthly round-up of the best things I’ve found on the web. You can view the post here: http://spikesandstardust.com/2013/09/27/september-delights/. I hope you have a lovely day!

    • Amanda Genther

      Thank you for sharing!

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