Building The Foundation
You’ve likely heard the term “pre-launch”, which is when product developers begin to create buzz around their upcoming launch. This period is crucial to every successful launch strategy because it’s where you focus on building anticipation around your launch, and get people excited and ready to purchase when it goes live. How many emails have you received on this day after day? These “pre-launches” are crucial to get you excited for what is coming.
But there is another part of every pre-launch that not everyone talks about, and that’s what some of us call the “Foundation Launch”. In reality, it’s not really a launch at all, but more of a relationship builder because this is the time in which you begin to identify leaders and authority figures in your market and strategically place yourself in their line of sight. All successful affiliate marketers do this to get other successful marketers to promote their product. This way they can increase the number of customers in order to make more sales.
These key players are usually established businesses, bloggers or marketers in your niche that can help you successfully launch your product. And of course, this is also the time in which you begin to recruit affiliates and build your sales army.
It’s important that you don’t overlook the importance of spending time working on the foundation of your launch long before you move ahead with phase 2, when you begin to generate buzz and get people excited about your product. Many new developers and product creators jump the gun, putting most of their attention and energy on the launch day itself, but it’s in the pre-launch and foundation building level where the real magic happens. When starting your foundation launch, you must take your time in this phase. To many marketers get lazy and don’t want to build relationships with other marketers during this phase. If you take the time developing friendships with as many affiliate marketers as you can, when the time comes to launch you wont have to worry about traffic at all.
In fact, the more effort you put into your foundation building phase, the more successful your launch will be because not only do you have a solid team of promoters in place, but you’ve established yourself as a leader in your market, or at the very least, a credible source for high quality information and resources.
In order to connect with the leaders and top affiliates in your market who will really push your product to the front line on your launch day, you need to first identify key players in your industry.
Who are these people who have the means to drive targeted traffic to your website on launch day? Who are the most influential players in your market? Who should you align with? Who will help you extend and maximize your outreach?
Identifying authorities and key players in your market isn’t all that difficult to do, especially if you’ve been keeping a pulse on your industry already, and have done any sort of research prior to creating your product. By now you should be able to name at least 2-3 powerhouses in your market.
If it means pushing your product launch back a couple of months to give you the time to build relationships with leaders in your industry, and to get on their digital radar, it could make all the difference in your ability to successfully launch your product.
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Here are a few easy ways to find potential joint venture partners:
Bloggers are usually the easiest to identify and find, and quite often, the easiest to connect with. Not only are you given the opportunity to get to know them through their writing, and the type of content they provide, but you easily reach out to them and get on their radar just by responding to posts, providing useful information to those who have already left comments, and by reaching out directly.
Don’t spam their blog posts with links to your website or product. This is the quick and lazy way of doing things and it will only get you blocked and give you a bad reputation. You only get one chance to make a first impression. The idea is to provide value by helping their readers in some way. Answer questions, thank them for their post, provide additional insight and be consistently active on their blog. This is a great way to get on their radar without being pushy or intrusive.
Pro Tip: Study a few of the leading blogs in your niche to determine the type of products and services they promote. This will give you an idea as to whether they are likely going to be interested in promoting your product so you’re not wasting your time creating relationships with bloggers whose audience doesn’t match your target market.
Depending on how you plan to offer affiliates the opportunity to make money promoting your product, you might be able to locate top affiliate marketers in your industry just by looking through affiliate marketplaces like jvzoo.com, warriorplus.com, clickbank.com, muncheye.com or other launch systems that reveal their top affiliates.
Tip: One way to keep a pulse on the market is by subscribing to the newsletters of established marketers. Not only can you keep an eye on what kind of products they tend to promote, but by responding to some of the emails, you are able to build rapport with these affiliates and marketers so that they recognize you later when you ask them to promote your launch.
If you have a mailing list, or an existing customer base of any kind, this is one of the first places you should go when developing your affiliate army. Most new marketers do not start off with a list, so do whatever you can to build your list fast. Start by taking your phone and record yourself just talking about your niche. Create a youtube channel and upload as many videos as you can. The more people see and hear you the more people will join your channel. Once you get people joining your channel, now you can start building your list.
Send out an email to your subscribers letting them know about your upcoming launch and offer them early-bird access to review the product as well as higher commission levels to those who can push your product out to a larger audience. How many emails do we get everyday about marketers giving us a early bird access to review the product before it launches. The marketer always has some great bonuses to give you if you buy the product through his link.
If you want to maximize conversions and sell more products on launch day you absolutely need to track everything possible.
From on-site visits to implementing an affiliate program that accurately tracks sales and automatically assigns commissions to promoters, it’s important that you have a strong tracking system in place. Warrior Plus and JvZoo both have a great tracking system built into the site.
Since so many people are using messenger apps like Facebook on a regular basis, delivering content straight to the platforms they’re already using just makes sense and is an easy way to stay engaged and active with potential customers, especially during the pre-launch phase.
And finally, you need to implement a system that automates the delivery of your product while streamlining the entire process so that you are free to focus on maximizing your traffic.
Pre-Launch Success Strategies
You have your sales page ready to go and your product is waiting to be distributed to the thousands of customers who purchase on launch day. Great! You’re one step closer to a successful launch.
But, let’s go back to the pre-launch phase for just a moment because to make more money with your launch (by selling even more copies of your product), you need to work on a strategy that builds excitement, generates buzz and ultimately gets people ready to purchase the moment it goes live.
Most of the work involved in a successful launch actually takes place long before the day your product goes live. The components of a profitable launch involve all that we’ve talked about: recruiting affiliates, connecting with key players, building relationships with authorities and implementing a reliable system that will track everything and accurately assign commissions to those who refer a sale. A successful launch day also involves building generating buzz and anticipation. So, how can you do this?
Here are a few ways to build a successful pre-launch campaign that continues to generate buzz right up (and beyond!) launch day:
Provide Value Long Before Launch Day
A lot of marketers and product developers are afraid to release too much content prior to launch day. Many others save their best content for those who are willing to pay for it.
This doesn’t make sense!
Why wouldn’t you want to deliver some of your best content upfront and instantly set yourself apart from the competition?
Why would you reserve great content for paid buyers when you could offer high-quality, informative and irresistible content to potential buyers upfront – at no cost – and win them over with little work involved?
Consider offering free content in the form of auxiliary components to your product launch. Every bit of information, content and free offers should lend value to the main offer that goes live on launch day.
Remember, give away as much free content as you can to support your value proposition and to get people excited about your launch. Don’t be afraid to over‐deliver leading up your big day.
The more value you give to your audience, the more attached they’ll get to your content and the more they’ll buy from you. It’s as simple as that. Cultivate your audience by over‐delivering and don’t worry about giving too much away upfront. It’s impossible to do! The more you give, the more you will get.
Give away things like:
• Video courses and snippets that remind your audience about your upcoming launch while providing useful information to help them better understand what you are offering. Your videos shouldn’t be an advertisement for your product launch. They should offer exceptional value while gently reminding your audience that they’ll be able to gain access to even more when your main product goes live. This is a great time to record yourself talking about ways to build a list or how to use Google Adwords to promote affiliate products. This type of free content offers value and will go a long way in order to get your buyers to purchase your product.
• Special reports that are exclusive to your product launch. Do not use PLR of any kind. The content needs to be rock-solid and completely unique. Work out a different angle or slant for a topic that supports your product launch, ensuring it’s relevant and works towards building excitement.
• Worksheets and Case Studies. If you have proof that your information or product has helped someone already, feature them in a case study. Nothing speaks to an audience like proof of results!
Regardless of the content you offer during your pre-launch phase, always make sure to implement a strong call-to-action within your marketing message and information itself. Remind them about your upcoming launch and be sure that you offer them a way to be reminded of it. You need to show your customers exactly what they need to do at every step of the launch. Sending out emails multiple times a day reminding them of each step.
Whether that be by giving them the option to subscribe to a pre-launch newsletter, or add your launch to a Google or iCalendar, always go the extra mile to keep them informed.
Building Your Affiliate Army
Obviously, the more people that are talking about your launch, the easier it will be to bring it all together during your pre‐launch phase, so you want to focus on the movers and shakers in your industry. Your pre‐launch phase is when you need to start communicating with JV partners and affiliates.
One thing to keep in mind is that you want to make sure you give them enough time to get their own system in order to effectively support your launch. This could include allowing them the time to set up their newsletters, create ad campaigns, develop bonus products to compete with other affiliates, and secure web property, if needed.
Don’t overlook the importance of this! You need to allocate enough time for your JV partners and affiliates to be able to do their job if you want to get the best from them. Keep in mind that your pre-launch date should be set early on, but that you are flexible in making sure everyone has enough time to jump on board and prepare for your launch. Remember, you’re a team!
When you begin to contact partners and affiliates, you want to set up your email sequence. You want people to instantly recognize the emails you send out as being associated to your upcoming launch.
For example, whenever you email your JV partners and affiliates, consider adding something like “JV Partners: Product Name” to the subject line of all your outgoing emails. It will capture attention and make sure your affiliates and joint venture partners don’t miss your emails.
You should also set up your autoresponder sequence and write your emails ahead of time so that you can maintain consistency when staying in touch with your JV partners and affiliates. It’ll also help with time management, ensuring that you don’t fall behind during the pre-launch – to launch phase.
If you use an autoresponder service like GetResponse or Aweber.com, you can schedule in your content delivery so that it is queued to go out at specific dates, and times leading up your launch.
It will save you time, and keep you on schedule, because once your pre‐launch begins you’ll be busy, and the last thing you want to do is overlook an important step, or fail to stay in contact with your partners, so set this up ahead of time and let it go out on autopilot once your pre-launch begins.
Your emails leading up to launch should keep your partners motivated. Provide them with as many promotional tools as possible, including emails, landing page templates, email subject lines, graphic creatives, and swipe copy.
Make it as easy on them as possible so that they can push out your message in a matter of a few minutes, just by copying and pasting content that you have already created for you. You also want to email them their affiliate link, in fact, include their affiliate link in every single email you send out.
As your launch progresses, you’ll want to keep tabs on what people are saying, how people are responding to your launch sequence, and when it comes to your JV partners and affiliates, how they are getting ready to promote your product on launch day.
If you really want to jump-start the pre-launch phase of your website prior to launch day, consider creating a giveaway or incentive system that rewards people who promote your upcoming launch and refer people to your website.
And finally, keep in mind that most large‐scale launches only stay open for 7‐10 days before shutting down. You can always do a secondary re‐launch later, using the scarcity technique to fuel interest and sell even more products, but if you want to encourage tire-kickers into action, consider setting a time-based launch so that your initial run is only available for a week or two. There is no better way to get people to take action than by letting them know that your product won’t be available forever and that if they are serious about purchasing, they need to take action before the time is up! A countdown timer is one of the best tools to let your customers know that your product won’t stay up forever.
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Until Next Time…