For the purpose of this post, I am going to pose a question. Would you rather launch your product with a mass following of prospects eagerly awaiting the launch or would you rather launch your product and try to find an audience who actually cares? Do you think Apple releases a new iPhone without telling their loyalist 6-12 months in advance? Would it be easier for Cold Play to sell out a concert by marketing the show for the 6 months leading up to the the actual date? What if Cold Play just showed up unannounced to TD Bank Garden in Boston tonight to play a concert? Do you think the venue wold be sold out without marketing and no pre-sale ticket opportunities?
So why are you waiting to announce your new product on the same day it launches? Also, who are you announcing your news to? Did these people ask to be a recipient of your news? Are you emailing a list of people you purchased or a list of people you earned? Let's explore four methods you should consider practicing to ensure your next product launch is a success.
1.) Build momentum 6-12 months prior to launch. Even if your product is still in a state of concept, you should still be talking about it. Write a weekly blog post of your progress. Solicit beta testers. Share your progress and beta tester recruitment via social media. I would focus on leveraging Twitter and LinkedIn Groups. Be sure to have forms located throughout your website where visitors can become leads for you. Avoid using 'Contact Us' and other low percentage conversion forms. Instead, allow visitors to sign up to be a beta tester, receive weekly product announcements and "insider information". Perhaps even offer a 10% discount for signing up to be a part of your new launch.
2.) Turn social sharing on: I can't tell you how many product related emails I get that don't have social sharing options available. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what social sharing is, let me explain. Social sharing allows you to easily share content with your social network. Content includes blogs, emails and landing pages. When you send someone an email, be sure to include the option of sharing your email socially via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. For more on the topic, here is a great blog post from HubSpot: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Creating Social Media Buttons.
3.) Segment your email list: As your website or blog begins draw attention from individuals interested in your product launch, it's imperative that you segment your new leads. The easiest approach is to collect an individuals likes and interests on your lead capture forms. If a person is interested in becoming a beta tester, assign them to the beta testers email list. Be sure to send them emails and various content mostly on your beta program while periodically mixing in offers and promotions.
4.) Invest in website intelligence: This one is probably the most important from my perspective. Invest in analytics and web site intelligence that empowers you with clarity. The best way to understand your audience is to identify what they're interested in. Companies that have websites and lack visitor intelligence are doing so much harm to their business. If you have a new product webpage up right now and do not have visitor intelligence implemented, stop what you're doing and get on it! Google Analytics is free. HubSpot has an amazing prospects tool if you want to really do it right. You have no excuse.
Hopefully this post was helpful or at least got you thinking differently about your product launch marketing strategy. Good luck!