As we move into the summer, it’s easy to get lazy about working. I mean, it’s hot, the pool looks inviting, the beach is calling, the BBQ is on and doing it’s thing.
BUT, in just six short weeks, August will be calling and the August/September launch season will begin to ramp up.
The question is… will you be ready?
While six weeks is a pretty good amount of time to prepare, you don’t want to cut it too close.
So I’ve put together a quickie summer online launch schedule that you can use to get organized. Most importantly, you’ll avoid overwhelm!
Quickie Summer Online Launch
Assets – What you’ll need to get started
You’ll need a few things in place before the launch so you want to start on these items ASAP.
1. Launch Page
This the place that your sales copy will live. It can be a new domain or live under your existing website domain. You can use a simple WordPress page or something more robust like Premise, InstaPage, LeadPages, or Unbounce.
2. Sales Page
Your sales page needs to have a few key things, first, it needs a compelling headline. Next, you need to include your story to pull people in. You’ll want to include testimonials throughout to build credibility. Then, you’ll need to include as much detail about the actual product as possible. Finally, you must have a call to action. Graphics are important but not more important than you sales copy. If you can’t get a prospect to read to the end of the page, they won’t ever see the buy button.
3. Email Sequence
During the two week launch, you should be emailing your list to let them know about your launch. For a two-week launch, I recommend 5 emails. The first should announce the launch and build excitement. Email two can be a mini-article that includes some really interesting content related to your product but doesn’t tell the whole story and ends with a “want to learn more” prompt and a link to the launch page. The next email can remind folks how many days they have left to act on the offer and if there are a limited number of spots or product left. This is to build some scarcity into your promotion and try to get those who are on the fence… OFF the fence. Your fourth email can be something that drives interest and links to the launch page like a list of 5 things and that ends with “want 5 more tips?” with link to the launch page. Your final email can simply restate your wonderful offer along with some reasons why they should act and a reminder that the offer is ending.
4. Payment Setup
Sometimes getting payment buttons set up is easy… other times… not so much. You want to make sure that you have your buy buttons set up, your payment processor set up and that you have someone who can test the buttons. I generally set up the buy price at $1 and ask a friend to go through the purchase process. This way I know, before I go live, if there are any bugs.
5. Product Delivery: This means, how will you deliver your product?
How will you deliver? If you are launching an online course, does it start immediately and do you have all the links and content live? If you are launching a live webinar, do you have all of the technology set up and tested? If you are launching an ebook, do you have protected download links set up? These all need to be done and TESTED in advance.
Schedule – What to do and when
For a quickie launch you can do a two-week time-frame. But you will also want to do a pre-launch week as well, so mark out three weeks on your calendar for the actual launch.
The Pre-launch period is where you begin to build buzz. You want to start talking about what is coming or you can choose to keep it a secret and create buzz around that. Either way you need to start talking about your launch and getting people interested and excited. During this initial week, it’s a good time to load all your assets and test everything.
7. Open the sales page/launch page
Day one of week two is your official launch day! You’ll want to begin promoting on all your social media platforms and begin the email sequence to those folks on your list. Make it fun, build buzz, have others lined up to talk about it as well. You might even plan on doing a free Google hang-out to answer questions.
8. Begin email sequence
Day one of week two should be your first email to your list to coincide with your launch day. The next emails can go out every two or three days. The final email should go out the morning of the last day of the launch.
9. Publish related content
Day two week two is a good time to start publishing your related content. Put out a blog post that talks about one aspect of the course and invites readers to learn more. You can then send them to the launch page. Weeks two and three are a perfect opportunity to do some guest posting or even short interviews. You’ll want to have all these scheduled in advance to publish during weeks two and three.
10. Promote, Promote, Promote
Your official launch, weeks two and three, should include lots of promotion via social media. Talk about your launch on the various channels you participate in. Create a series of tweets to tweet out the launch page link three times a day. Create some fun graphics to post on Facebook and Pinterest. Keep talking about your launch in different ways as much as possible. Traffic is an absolute must for a successful launch. If you participate in Facebook groups, post there (if allowed) and let people know what you are doing.
11. Send out last chance emails and notifications
On the final launch day, it’s time to make sure you let people know that it’s the last day. If anyone is still undecided at this point, it’s time to give them the last opportunity to grab your offer. This is the day your final email goes out. It is also the day you give a heads up on all your social media platforms.
12. Close down sales
When midnight rolls around, close down sales. The best way to do this is to simply remove the buy button and put in a button to sign up for a pre-notification list. Let them know they missed the offer but that if they give you an email, you will let them know as soon as you make the offer available again.
Putting It All Together
The key to a successful launch is organization and traffic. You want to make sure you have everything you can possibly do in advance, done. That way during the launch period, you are focused only on promotion.
You must not be afraid to promote. The most successful launches happen because everyone knows about them. After tweeting three times a day for two weeks, I’ve had people say… “wow, I didn’t know you were doing this!” Really! You can’t talk about it too much. You need to drive as much traffic as possible to your launch page.
Make sure that all your written content and graphics for the promotion period are compelling. Every tweet or Facebook update should be as compelling as the headline you use for the sales page. You must aim to get people to click the link for the launch page. In order to get those clicks, you must be interesting,, compelling, and spark curiosity.
Launches are not a build it and they will come sort of process. They require work and promotion. By creating a reasonable schedule, starting early, and preparing all your assets, including tweets and graphics, in advance, you’ll set yourself up for a more successful launch with a lot less overwhelm!