Creating an event around your latest product, collection, or even your latest promotion is a surefire way to drum up excitement and increase your overall sales results.
On this week’s episode, I’m breaking down the step-by-step, A to Z process of launching a new product in your eCommerce business, including a marketing launch plan, the content you need to create to support your launch, and how to entice your audience to join your pre-launch list.
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What You’ll Learn
- The 4 essential steps you need to take to launch your next product
- The different types of content you can create that get your audience excited and on your pre-launch list
- A step-by-step pre-launch marketing strategy
Read the Full Episode Transcript
When it comes to creating a launch event, whether you’re talking about a new product, a new collection, or even just a promotion there are 4 main steps you’re going to follow to implement this strategy.
- Build a list of potential customers who are interested in your specific offer
- Breadcrumb, tease, and nurture that audience up until launch day to get them super excited and ready to buy
- Give those initially interested people early access to get their hands on your offer before everyone else so they feel special
- Open up access to the general public to get as many eyes on your product or promotion as possible.
I do my best to paint broad strokes and to talk about big ideas so that I can support as many of you as possible… but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do it EXACTLY as I describe it here.
Remember that you don’t necessarily have to do ALL THE THINGS in your first go around. Not even on your 10th go around.
Instead, take from it what you feel you can reasonably do TODAY. Then bookmark this episode and come back to listen to it when you’re ready to launch again. Continue to iterate and improve over time and don’t be afraid to tweak things to make it your own along the way.
With every launch you do in your business you’ll gain data that you can use to improve your next launch, you’ll streamline your process, you’ll start to train your customers to expect this type of event, you’ll start expanding your reach by layering in Facebook Ads to cold audiences… there are so many little tweaks and updates you can make over time that I just want to make sure that you don’t give up too soon!
If you’re listening to this in real time, now is a great time to start getting comfortable with this process so that by the time Q4 rolls around you’ve got a decent system down and you can implement this for your Black Friday promotions.
Get clear on the what and the who
Before you can do anything, you need to know what you’re promoting, when you’re promoting it, who you’re promoting it to, and why they would care about it.
Once you have that nailed down it will be a lot easier map out your launch plan and create content and assets that will entice your customers to convert.
Let’s talk through these a little bit…
This is pretty self explanatory, but you want to be clear on what you are offering. Try and avoid launching a bunch of different items that have no relation to one another because it will be hard to talk about them in a group. It can be as simple as a new seasonal collection, but just be mindful of the perception from the customer’s point of view.
I’m sure you’ve heard me say this before, but I’ll say it again. If you’re trying to talk to everyone, you are talking to no one. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hyper segment your audience, that can actually have the opposite effect you’re trying to create, but you do want to be clear about who you’re talking to and why they’re going to care about what you have to offer.
You always need to understand that. That’s fundamental to every business, but for launches I do find it super helpful to articulate the specifics for this particular case. This is going to help you tremendously when it comes to your copywriting. People buy with emotion so you want to make sure you’re speaking to those emotions.
Decide your launch timeline
When you’re thinking about your timeline, be sure that you’re giving yourself at least 7-14 days to promote the launch before it’s actually live. If you don’t give yourself any runway, then it completely defeats the purpose and you might at well just stop right now.
At a minimum, you’ll want to promote it on your website, use email or SMS and organic social media.
But are you going to do Facebook ads? Will you partner with influencers, or how about PR coverage?
Once you know all the different ways you’re going to be getting eyeballs on your offer, you can start to build the assets you’ll need.
At a minimum you’ll want a landing page and a signup form to collect those interested prospects and build that initial warm list.
You’ll need graphics, content and copy to promote your offers in all the places.
And don’t forget you’ll need to actually get the products added to your website or specific collections created… honestly, I’ve seen people forget this because they’re so wrapped up in all the other details! I may or may not have forgotten to create a collection or two in my day… shhh, don’t tell.
Build a landing page
This is a simple page that gives a bit of detail about what’s coming, when the customer can expect for it to be available, any perks they get by being on the list, and of course a form for them to sign up.
Make sure the most important information is above the fold and depending on how much information you need to share about the event, you can put more than one form on the page.
If you’re using a tool like Klaviyo, create an embedded form to use on your landing page and then you can paste that into multiple places on the page.
Make sure you have an automated email that goes out after they sign up that reiterates the information you shared. Now they know they’re really on the list and you have their email to keep them engaged during the pre-launch phase and we’ll talk about how to do that in a few.
Decide HOW you’re going to promote
Now you’ve got your landing page, your signup form, and your welcome email… but how do you actually get them on your list?
At a minimum you’re going to use all your organic channels, including your existing email list. Yes, you want to encourage your existing email list to sign up for this special VIP or pre-launch list. The reason being that you want them to make that micro-conversion to saying yes, they want to hear more about this thing you’re releasing.
When you do this, you’re essentially getting permission from them to email them more about this particular launch.
And that’s the ultimate goal, no matter which channels you’re going to use to grow this pre-launch list.
I can’t go into every last detail here in terms of all the different ways to grow your list, that would make for a crazy long episode, but I do have a workshop coming up where we’ll give even deeper into this entire process & strategy head HERE to learn more.
Create content that gets your audience excited and on the damn list
The type of content you’re going to create is going to depend a bit on your product, industry, bandwith and your skillset, but let’s run through some quick ideas to get those creative juices flowing.
- Behind the scenes and sneak peeks. This is a customer fave and it is one of the easiest. This is especially powerful if you’re a maker. Record yourself going through the design and creation process.
- Reveal small details about your new collection like the colors or styles.
- Photoshoot behind the scenes. If you’re doing a photoshoot specifically for this launch show the behind the scenes of the photoshoot itself.
- Polls and questionnaires. Have them vote on their favorite products, or have them pick their favorite colors. Bring them into the process with you.
- Full product reveal and or walkthrough. As you get closer to launch day, don’t be afraid to reveal more and more about your products.
This is especially helpful if choosing the right product takes some thought. Maybe you have a few different styles that have different features, or maybe your products are best suited to a specific skill level, or maybe you just have limited units of everything and you want to encourage them to make their buying decisions before the cart actually opens.
That’s the main reason why I say don’t be afraid to reveal it all to them. This way they’re so in enamored with your product, they have so much FOMO by the time launch day comes, they can’t help but get their hands on your product.
Remember, leading up to launch day, no matter what type of content you create… your main call to action is for people to get on this pre-launch list.
Hot tips for content creation and list building
Don’t forget to mix up your content types. People consume content in different ways so you can do static image posts, live videos, reels, carousels, stories, emails, the works!
Remember to speak to the emotional reasons behind why they would want to buy your product. Check out episode 69 to hear more about how to create content that converts.
Also as you get more comfortable with this process, consider using a tool like ManyChat to grow your email list for your launches. ManyChat is an Instagram approved tool that lets you collect people’s email addresses without them ever having the leave the platform, which we know is REALLY hard to do.
I had the founder and CEO Mike on the show where we talk through how you can use the tool to grow your email list, it’s episode 109 if you want to take a listen.
And then lastly, if you struggle with creating content in general, especially reels content make sure you check out episode 103 with Harley Jordan where we talk about creating reels and working with influencers. One of my clients mentioned that she almost skipped over this episode when it was first released because she thought it wasn’t really going to be for her, but she said she had one of her biggest aha moments about creating reels that cleared out a lot of anxiety and overwhelm around it, so it’s definitely worth a listen.
Map out your email marketing strategy
The number one piece of advice I can give you here is to send a lot of fucking emails. Seriously, more emails than you think you should. If you strategize it right you can send an email every single day of your launch event and at busy times like Black Friday you can send two a day.
Just because you’re sending an email everyday doesn’t mean that everyone is getting an email everyday… with segmentation and removing people who already took the action you wanted to take you can easily avoid annoying people, but it’s super important that you’re not afraid to shout your message from the rooftops!
If you’re going live, email peeople to remind them. If you do a full reveal video on social, send them an email and point them to it. If you’re getting a lot of the same questions, send out an FAQ email.
The trick is to make it valuable to your subscriber, to overcome their objections, and ultimate get them to buy.
An example cadence for the week of your launch
We’ll pretend you’re opening the cart to your VIPs on Wednesday night and giving them 24 hours before it opens to the public.
- Send an email to your VIP list reminding them that the collection will be available for purchase on Wednesday. Give them the exact time with time zones.
- Also send an email to the rest of the list letting them know this is their last chance to get on the VIP list and those who are on the list will get access to the goods on Wednesday evening.
- Send an email to your VIP list sharing the most popular products based on your customers feedback so far. You could also do staff faves here. Essentially you want to email them letting them know what is expected to be the best sellers and you can link them to any supporting content you’ve created throughout the pre-lauch period such as any walk-through videos you created, guides you created on Instagram, etc.
On Wednesday morning, or about 6-8 hours before the product is available
- Send an email to your VIP list reminding them that the collection, product, or promotion is launching soon and to watch their inbox for the link.
On Wednesday evening
- Email the VIP list so they can shop.
On Thursday, or about 6 hours before the VIP early access is ending
- Email everyone on the VIP list who hasn’t yet made a purchase and remind them that their early access is ending.
On Thursday morning, or 6-8 hours before products are available to the public
- Email the rest of your list and let them know they’ll be able to purchase soon. Include the best sellers so far and any items that be on their way to being sold out. You can also include any supporting content like video walkthroughs, how-tos, etc.
- When the product, collection, or promotion is available to the public, you’ll email the rest of your list to let them know.
- Resend the launch email to anyone who didn’t click or engage the original launch email, including your VIP people. Invite them to ask questions if they have them, remind them that you’re here to help them find the perfect item for them, and encourage them to reach out to you.
- Email everyone who hasn’t purchased so far and update them on what’s trending, what’s sold out, etc. You can share any feedback, reviews or testimonials people have shared about the collection. Sure they might not have the product in hand just yet, but if they’ve commented how much they love something, how perfect it would be for X, etc. If they’ve expressed their obsession wtih your product, share that with the rest of your audience.
- Resend Saturday’s email to anyone who didn’t click the email the first time.
If you’re creating a launch event for a promotion, don’t forget to include some last chance emails. I usually like to do 2 on the last day of the sale. One in the morning and one at night.
And think, that’s just launch week – it doesn’t even include the teasing and engagement from when they sign up for the VIP list to when the cart actually opens.
Now, of course if you have a really small list, you don’t have to send so many emails – and you shouldn’t. But the larger your list is, the more emails you can send!
Analyze your results
This is last step in the process. My favorite way to do this is with a campaign recap. You can learn more about my process for recapping my marketing campaigns in episode 87 of the podcast. But to give you a little glimpse, it’s essentially a document that I fill out after every campaign that I do.
This gives me one central place to keep all my data so that when it comes time to plan the next campaign I can easily reference my results from the past, what worked and what didn’t, and can help inform my decisions moving forward.
In addition to the podcast episodes I’ve mentioned so far, there are two others that will be really helpful if you want to start implementing this strategy in your business. Episode 20. The Power of the Pre-Launch and Thriving in a Crowded Market with Jessica Principe of All Girl Shave Club and episode 54. Smashing Glass Ceilings & Growing Through Social Media with Megan Tellez of Glass Ladder & Co.
If you’re thinking yes, I want to do this in my business, or maybe you have been doing it but you want to to refine your process a bit, I have a FREE workshop starting May 23rd where I’ll be diving deeper into this process with you so you can plan your next product launch. Nicole Diedrich, our resident Facebook Ads Strategist will be hosting the workshop along side of me and she has an entire training dedicated to teaching you how to use Facebook ads for your product launches. If you want to sign up for that head HERE to register! I hope to see you there.