Are you planning to launch a program or product this fall? Whether this is your first launch or tenth, here are 5 tips that will help you execute a successful launch. Even though these may seem like simple steps, I’ve seen clients skip one or more of these and then wonder why their launch wasn’t as successful as they thought.
- Plan from the end backwards. The easiest way to make sure you have all of the moving parts working together with a launch is to see how you want the end to be and work backwards from there. This includes how the information will be delivered to people who purchase. For example, if you are selling a program where they will receive a new module every week for 6 weeks, how will the client access the information? Will there be a member area where they can download the info? Or will they receive an email with downloadable links to the information, etc.?
You may find it helpful to map it out in a spreadsheet, showing the different pieces of the launch, when it’s due and who is responsible for it. Once you’ve got this created, you can re-use this system for future launches.
Don’t forget to plan out your marketing, too. Things like how many emails you’ll send to your list and when those will go out; where and when you’ll promote it on social media (will you buy ads or not); if you will ask joint venture partners to participate; if you have affiliates, what resources will they need to help promote your launch?
This will also help you get clear on which team members you’ll need to help you. You’ll probably have a special landing/sales page for your program or product which will need to be set up. If you’re going to have a member area, you’ll need someone who can set that up for you. You may decide that you want to hire a copy writer to write your emails and affiliate emails. You may want someone who can help you with social media. If you are still putting your program or product together, do you need help with that? All are things to consider
Big tip here – give yourself enough time to launch. I’ve seen more failed launches because someone didn’t give themselves enough time to put everything together and to market it sufficiently.
- Get your team together. Now that you’re clear on exactly how you want the launch to lay out, you can get your team together to help make it happen. Once you’ve got your team in place, I suggest having a group telephone meeting to go over the timeline of the launch. This way, everyone is on the same page as far as what has to happen, when it’s due and what’s expected. They can also add any suggestions they have to make things move smoothly or more efficiently. Chances are they’ve worked on other launches and have some valuable input.
- Joint Venture/Affiliate Partners. Now is the time to reach out to possible joint venture partners. Get a commitment from them that they will promote your launch. Let them know how many emails you expect them to send out and when. Give them the emails to send out and make it as effortless for them as possible. They may have their own launch to promote and you may agree to help them as well. Be sure to let them know what the commission structure is. I’ve even seen people have contests for the “winning” affiliate, the person who has the most people sign up under their affiliate link.
- Test everything. You don’t want to have your launch start and find out that the buy now button on the sales page doesn’t work. This is where giving yourself enough time comes in handy. Test the technology, test a purchase, test the follow up emails. Yes, technology can go down at any time, but if you know ahead of time that everything works, you can rest easy.
If you plan on having unusual amounts of money coming through your merchant account, you may even want to give them a heads up. I recently had a client do a book launch. She has a brick and mortar business, so not a ton of activity goes through her online shopping cart. All of the book purchases went through her shopping cart and her merchant account shut down half way through because there was so much “unusual activity”. It all worked out, but it was an inconvenience for buyers that could’ve been avoided.
- Launch and evaluate. You’ve launched and either it was what you thought, better than you thought or worse than you predicted. Use this information for your next launch. What worked? What didn’t? What could’ve been better? If it didn’t go as good as you anticipated, don’t beat yourself up. Use the data to improve. You may even have a great launch one month and 6 months later, the same program doesn’t go as well. Use it as a learning experience and tweak it as necessary.
Have you had a launch experience that can benefit others? Please share it below.