How to create a launch plan for your next digital product.

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Building out a digital product is a very exciting thing, but it’s a rookie move to take the “build it and they will come” approach. Digital products need active promotion, and the best way to generate initial interest is to invest time into a formal product launch. Not only will the launch let readers and followers know about your new offering, but a launch lays a great foundation for how to promote a product all year round.

Step #1 - Start 60 Days Out.

When I built out my first digital product (a workbook for beginner bloggers) I was so overwhelmed with pulling it all together, I completely neglected the launch. However, there were a few things I did right.

  • First, I did a pre-sale to confirm buyer’s desire for my product and prove the concept for my idea.
  • Then I offered it up to my list, but in order to do that, I had to promise them I would deliver it by a certain date in the not-so-distant future.

Getting the product ready in time while simultaneously trying to market it was stressful. Do yourself a favor and once you have a great idea for a product - give yourself 60 days (or longer!) to put everything together.

Step #2 - Complete Pre-Launch Exercises

Before you write any type of marketing material for your product (such as a product description or a social message) it’s important to knock out a few key items.

  • An ideal customer exercise - Who exactly is it that you’re selling to? Why?
  • Identify the “pain points” - What are the problems this product solves?
  • The key benefits to this product - what will someone gain by using this product?

Step #3 - How to Promote a Product? Engage affiliates

Working with affiliates can be a great way to get your product in front of a new audience while paying your friends! Affiliates love promoting products to their audience because they get a cut of the profits without having to do the hard work of creating the product itself. Below are the items to have in place when start working with affiliates:

  • A sales platform that enables affiliate sales
  • A “swipe file” full of email templates and social media messages they can copy and paste (make it as easy as possible for them!)
  • Images for affiliates to use on social

Step #4 - Pre-Schedule Social Campaigns

Take time in advance of your launch to prepare many different social messages, across the social platforms you’re active on, to ensure as many people as possible see that you’re launching. Typically, I post a lot during launch week, and a few times in the weeks prior to “tease” the launch is coming. Often, I’ll share “sneak peek” photos of the product itself or of me and my team working on design or launch.

Here’s a few other great ideas on how to promote a product that you’re launching.

Step #5 - Rely Heavily on Email Marketing

An email list is one of the best ways to promote a new product. If you don’t have one for your blog/website you are missing out on an active and engaged audience proven to be interested in what you write about and sell.

Prepare a sequence of emails letting the email list know about your new product. Additionally, it helps to offer subscribers (or anyone, really) a special “launch week” price to instill a sense of urgency. Below is the email frequency I used for my last launch, which netted around $7k from my 4,000 person list.

  • Day 60 - Announcement and pre-sale
  • Two Weeks Out -Delivered the product to those who bought in the presale, and put all of my email marketing and social messages together. Sent an email to the remainder of the list casually mentioning the product launch would be happening in two weeks.
  • One week Before Launch - Sent another email to my list, again reminding them launch week would be coming soon.
  • Launch Day - Sent an email to my list in the Morning
  • Launch Week - I sent four emails over launch week, each one with a different message and subject line, but all to support the product launch happening that week. I usually do a message about why I created a product, an email about my life story and journey (and how it relates to the product), a “headache” email all about the problem the product solves and a final email about the “nuts and bolts” of the product and what exactly they’ll be getting with purchase.
  • Last Day of Launch Week - Sent one email in the morning and one at night reminding them the launch would close at midnight.

Step #6 - Rinse, Repeat

I know the above list looks like a lot of email work, but the great thing is that you get to save those campaign templates for use later on in the year. I like to save mine and use them anytime I’m running a special sale of the product, which I do every nine weeks or so. It cuts the time I spend promoting the product for the rest of the year in half. Work smarter, not harder friends!

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