If you stop to observe people who create products majority of their success trajectories share a similar symptomatic curve. A first product launch, most of the time, ends up to become an utter failure and disappointment.
Niche research, skills, extraordinary craftsmanship in the creation phase… Somehow, all of these fail to fight frustration, which seems inevitable after rearranging the dots to no success.
And after losing our wits struggling with a similar story arc for the launch of our first product, my partner and I decided to dig deeper into what makes a successful product launch.
The article ahead is a very actionable list of methods we used in order to generate leads for our upcoming fitness program. Whereas our first product was completed almost a year ago and had dozens of sales initially, this one, which is still in production, has already a strong list of leads stretching into the thousands.
What we did falls into the intermediate area of marketing tactics, and is something that you can successfully copy and paste.
Abandon the “build it and they will come mentality”
The average online entrepreneur is an optimistic fella. But coupled with ignorance on how a product launch should go, this is a dangerous starting point.
Most of the time, when a first product launch goes to waste, two things tend to happen- a lot of time, energy and money are being thrown away; and there comes this crippling fear of doing it again.
We’ve been in the same position. Not fun.
However, as much as I’d like to point to luck, circumstances and raise my shoulders, it’s easy to realize that the “build it and they will come” mentality is what ruins the show.
Tim Ferriss, the New York Times bestselling author once confessed that this most popular book collected dust for a whole year before he approached with the right marketing. During this year, the book that is now worth millions was worth less than pennies.
And that is how you should look at your product as well. Without the right amplification methods, you can create the cure for cancer, place it on the nicest of web pages, and still be surprised how quiet things can become after the launch.
Know this- though any product can be sold into the thousands, not a single one can be sold without proper marketing.
So let’s start…
Refine your online identity
Selling a fitness product is next to impossible if your online profile speaks internet marketing. For that purpose I’m already shooting pictures where I stand around with dumbbells sprayed with lotion.
But it gets more elaborate than this.
Selling a product is much easier when you have a stronger and clearly defined online identity. People connect easier, and they tend to trust you more judging by association. It simply makes sense for them.
But aside from putting pictures that fall in line with your product (look at Pat Flynn with his microphone pic for the podcast), you should rearrange your about page or change the intro on your YouTube channel.
Even tweaking your social profiles (including who you follow and what you post) makes a huge difference.
Finally, try to slightly shift your content creation efforts, creating something that once again falls in line with your upcoming product.
The mail list
You might be skeptical about the role of e-mail when it comes to selling a product in numbers far beyond count. But it outranks other methods nine ways to Sunday.
However though, there is a delicate way to execute it.
We prefer creating two separate lists. And here is why.
The remind list
The purpose of the remind list is to remind people when your product is ready to sell. This increases conversions. But there is a small tweak attached, which helped us to quickly grow the list into the thousands.
The giveaway opt-in
If you have a number of articles where traffic circulates daily, or a bunch of YouTube videos for that matter, you should only place an opt-in box saying:
We are creating X, which is cool because of Y. Leave your e-mail address and you may get it for free or at least 50% off once it comes out.
This alone generated 2000 e-mail subscribers which are basically interested and highly reliable leads.
Once the workout program comes out, we simply send the e-mail to those that won a free access, and the pitch e-mail to those that won a 50% discount.
The giveaway pop-up
Basically, this is the same method as the one above, but can prove to be far more effective since the pop-up interrupts attention and forces interaction.
Use words like discount, FREE (with capital letters), and a bargain… Also, frame the wording so that it doesn’t create any attachments at all.
Instead of “You will hear from us”, use something like “We will send one e-mail letting you know”.
The best thing with pop-ups and opt-in forms though- you can A/B test them and refine every aspect of the text, design or placement.
Using someone else’s product to generate leads
By and large, this is my favorite tactic for generating leads. And the core of it is easy to replicate.
Simply find a product that is even vaguely familiar to your own, and write a review about it, or film a YouTube video.
Managing to rank high with it, you will bring in decent traffic. Then, simply include the opt-in box, or the pop-up described above, and you end up with a stream of free leads.
To illustrate this, here is how we took a popular fitness product from Beachbody, and used it to generate leads. The extensive Cize review that we created for Lifestyle Updated is a perfect example.
The teaching list
Contrary to the “remind list”, this one requires more effort. But the payoff is substantially larger as well.
For the purpose of this list you will create an automated sequence of e-mails that teaches the visitor something for free. Ideally, these free bits should be minimal aspects of your paid program.
If you are selling a course about finding a job, the e-mail sequence can include tips on structuring your CV.
The importance of this list is twofold…
First, you refine leads over time- people unsubscribe, and what is left is a more interested and more targeted audience.
Second, and slightly more important- those who end up interacting with your e-mails, are far more likely to buy once the product sales pitch arrives.
The squeeze page
Like I said though, albeit the creative constraints of this tactic are loose, putting it in place requires effort.
Whereas getting e-mail addresses for the previous one was an easy task, here it gets substantially harder.
Having a squeeze page rectifies that.
The squeeze page has the sole purpose of collecting e-mails. It too, can become the subject of A/B testing. Here is one that we made for our first product.
As you can notice, in exchange for the e-mail address, there has to be something of value being offered. And you can get creative here- a pdf checklist, an e-book, a video series, VIP content, or even a demo of your product.
The real problem here though, is traffic. Initially you will want to experiment with Facebook ads, but it can cost quite a bit if you don’t really know your target demographic. For that purpose, Bing ads are far cheaper, and they will help you refine your ad copy and ad structure.
Then, once a person gets on board, the automation process starts by sending the first e-mail. But something else needs to take place even before that.
The thank you page hidden feature
This is a simple page to which the visitor is redirected once he leaves his e-mail address. The design is simple (you might want to include your pic so people start to build the relationship right away), and it basically allows you to say “thanks for getting in”.
It is also wise to prepare the visitor for what is about to come.
Example- “you will receive an e-mail with your (goodies) few minutes from now, and another one every Monday”.
That way the subscriber is more likely to interact with your e-mails once you send them.
However, the most neglected feature of the thank you page is the share option. And here is how to use it in order to triple or quadruple your subscriber base.
Somewhere on the thank you page you will make sure to place two or three share buttons. Asking your new subscribers to spread the word by clicking. In exchange, throw in some bonuses. For example- if we stick to the “get yourself hired” course, and say we offered a free “structure your CV checklist”, this bonus gift could be something in the lines of “a printable checklist”, or a template of some sort.
To wrap this up, these methods though seemingly easy require their fair share of work. The alternative though, is building your product with care and passion, only to wait for sales until the cows come home. Remember, any product can sell in the thousands, but not without proper marketing. The methods described above go a long way in making your product be seen by thousands of people.
Slavko Desik is an online entrepreneur who started as an affiliate marketer, only to find the product creating process much more fulfilling and rewarding. He loves to create all types of products while learning more about how to sell them.
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