8 Keys to a Successful Launch

launch

At any given moment there are thousands of launches going on. Products, programs, websites, blogs, ideas…. And trying to get your message heard through all of the noise is no easy feat.

So, in order to help you make your next launch your best launch, I’m going to share the 8 keys to success that I’ve learned from nearly 8 years designing, managing and writing for launches.

Know Your Assets

When I work with a client on a launch, one of the first things I do is ask them about their assets – those related to the product or program and those related to what they specifically bring to the table. I think of it as prepping for battle. You have to be clear on every last resource you bring to the table so you can then create a plan for when and where to use them.

It seems obvious but I worked with someone last week who has launched many products and when I asked her what is unique about her style, (an asset) she told me something that made me want to buy the product; however, this information was missing from all of her communications.

Know your assets and them use them every chance you get.

Tap Great People

Not everyone can afford to hire a team of people to help them design, plan and execute a launch. And that’s okay, because you don’t need a giant team to have a successful launch. However, what you do need is someone on the front lines who will be the first point of contact for all of your buyers. A lot of people who are trying to manage a launch all on their own overlook the importance of customer service and it hurts them in the end.

A top-notch customer service person can help make buyers stick, decrease returns, make buyers feel taken care of and heard, smooth out the waters if there is a bump in the ordering process, and make you look like someone who has their act together… someone they can trust. Even if you can only hire someone temporarily, it will be worth it.

Solve a Problem

The launches that are the most successful are the ones that are promoting a program or service that solves an urgent problem.  And it can’t be your urgent problem. Rather, it’s the urgent problem you’ve been hearing your clients and potential clients complain about on social media, on your blog, at dinner, in your office and anywhere else they hang out. So, before you dive head on into launch mode, make sure you have a specific answer for the following questions:

1. What problem does my ideal buyer have right now?

2. What will they be able to be, do, have and feel once they read my product/take my course/work with me?

Plan Precisely

When I work on a launch, I map out the launch day-by-day in as much detail as possible. I have never worked on a launch that went exactly as planned; however, in my experience, the more detailed and systematic I am when I put together the launch calendar, the more we are able to flex when we need to as the launch progresses.

Craft Supreme Communications

Everyone (okay so maybe just my fellow copywriters) used to say, “Copy is King.” Then it was “Content is King”. The truth is, communication is the king of kings. And every piece of communication you put out there from the design of your page to the copy on the sales page or in the emails to the videos you release must reflect excellence, congruence with your brand, and make people want to buy.

If you don’t know how to write great copy, then it might be worth it to invest some money in a top-notch copywriter. She’ll be able to help with writing emails and ARs, crafting sales copy, writing video scripts and basically helping you sound brilliant and compelling – like someone your readers must buy from.

Lock It In

When was the last time you created a program and thought you did everything right but then nothing happened and barely anybody at all seemed to care one iota that you had poured your heart and soul into what you were trying to sell, except maybe your mother?

Even more importantly, how many of those times did it occur to you that maybe it wasn’t the program itself or the execution of it that was the problem?

Maybe it was your lack of confidence that got you such lousy results? Maybe it was your inability to lock it in.

Have you ever seen the movie For the Love of the Game? It’s one of my guilty pleasures. There’s a line that Kevin Costner says whenever he gets up to the pitcher’s mound and the crowd is going crazy, both for and against him. He says, ”Clear the mechanism”. The next shot then shows Costner suddenly awash in complete silence, completely focused on nothing but his ball driving right over the plate. That’s him locking it in.

Locking it in is a huge challenge for most people. It requires that you forget about what people think, you stop comparing yourself to others, you feel total confidence in your worth and the value you provide and you stay focused on the end goal long enough to see it through.

Without confidence in what you’re offering and a singular focus to achieve your launch goal, you’ll never really be in the game.

Follow Through

This may be the toughest part of a launch – following through to the bitter end. That’s because no matter how long you’ve been launching products, you’ll still experience a dip somewhere along the way. The “launch dip”, as it is often called, is when at some point, usually a few days after the initial opening of the product, sales start to slow and you begin to question your worth as a product creator, and, well, let’s be honest, your worth as a human being.

When this happens, don’t panic, retreat, or try to push harder. Accept it as part of the process and just stick with your plan. Sometimes my clients will ask me if they should stop marketing because clearly it doesn’t seem like their people are interested and they don’t want to bother them anymore.

You can probably guess that I rank that as a terrible idea. The majority of purchases come at the very end. That’s because that’s when the pressure’s on. So, don’t be tempted to deviate from your plan. Just stick with it and the sales will come.

Debrief

The debrief is when you sit down by yourself or with your team, if you have one, and do a post-mortem on the launch. You look at numbers, conversion rates, FAQs, sales breakdowns, technological glitches and everything in between. You make a detailed list of what went right, what you think went wrong and what questions you’d like to ask of someone who has been in the game for a while. This is not time to beat yourself up. Rather, it’s an opportunity for you to make your next launch even better. And, you guessed it, your post-mortem will serve as a really great asset the next time around.

So, now you’ve got the keys to launch kingdom. When are you going to test them out?

Post written by Melani Ward – Product Creation for Solamar Agency.

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