How to Launch a Product: Everything You Need to Know
*Post updated in June 2016*
There are probably a million different ways of increasing your bottom line but sometimes figuring it all out can be a pain in the rear. I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately about how you can turn what you already do in your business into “new money”.
Finding new streams of income is not only ridiculous amounts of fun, but it’s a must-do when it comes to your business. Product launches are both profitable and scary so I’m going to break it down into bite sized chunks for you today.
Types of launches
When you’re just starting out, you’re going to do an internal or seed launch. Most times when people talk about internal launches, they’re selling to people they already know. Seed launches are typically when you have a tiny list (think under 100 folks).
Joint Venture (JV) launches
Sometimes also called ‘affiliate launches’ The two are pretty much interchangeable, though some people make the distinction that JV’s are “the big guys” in your niche and an affiliate would be anyone else. The premise behind this launch is that your JV’s are going to promote your product and you’re going to pay them for every sale they make.
You might hear these described as ‘rolling launches’ or ‘re-launches’. They are simply launches that occur over and over again giving you a constant flow of cash.
What you need to launch a product
This goes without saying, but you’re going to need a web host, website, and domain name. [TMM recommends Siteground as a budget friendly hosting provider and Namecheap for your privacy protected domain.]
Not all launches are the same, but here are the most common things you’ll need:
- An email list
- A Merchant Account or PayPal
- An e-Commerce Shopping Cart
- Video creation
[TMM Note: For professional looking results with tons of functionality, we like Mailerlite.]
[Survey Monkey is a great choice.]
[TMM strongly recommends Shopify.]
Use your own camera or something like Camtasia.
[Get a decent mic to use and download Audacity (free audio editing software).]
The launch sequence
Most pre-launch phases last between 1-4 weeks and the actual launch phase lasts about 1-7 days. What’s listed below is my personal launch schedule – you may want to tweak things slightly to fit your business and product.
1. Set Up
As you build up to your official launch sequence, you’re going to be doing all the back-end things like creating the product, setting up the website and shopping cart, sending out surveys, crafting your hot offers, and finally hinting to your audience at what’s going to be coming their way.
If you have some guinea pigs willing to read, try or test your product in exchange for a testimonial, get that set up too. Let your affiliates know the timeline of the upcoming launch.
2. Internal Pre-Launch
If you have a list already, email them a day or two before you officially start your pre-launch and offer them a onetime offer to purchase your product at your VIP price. Make sure that offer expires the day your official pre-launch starts.
The main purpose is to create some buzz about your product, educate and provide value to your audience, and to begin to develop a relationship with them as you communicate with them over the next few weeks.
You’ll need a sales page set up for this part of the launch. Drive traffic to that page and if you’ve done your job well, you’ll get people signing up in exchange for your fabulous free content. You’re going to want to have at least 3 pieces of content prepared – lots of folks use videos or some type of online live event. You’re going to set your content to go live every 2-3 days and email your new list each time.
You can also have a pre-launch offer for anyone who wants to buy before the official launch day. This can be a discount on the price, a bundled offer, etc.
4. Launch Day
Officially open the doors to your product. Make sure your affiliates are pushing information out to their audience. If you have guest posts out there, be sure this is the day they go live.
5. Post Launch
Don’t miss this step. You want to make sure your customers are getting what they need, make sure they’re happy, and find out the reason why people didn’t buy either. Evaluate how things went and what needs to be done differently next time.
Take a deep breath and gauge what you’ve done and what you’ve learned. If you need to tweak anything, do that now.
NOTE: For more on getting your product off the ground, TMM recommends the following ‘next step’ resources:
Reseller Toolkit: A Guide To Boutique Wholesaling
Find & Manage Sales Reps
Selling to Retail Stores
Selling to Retailers Mastermind Group
Trade Show Exhibiting
Get Retail Ready
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