- by Rory Ramsden
Are you gearing up to do a product launch? Have you made a check list of must-do items yet?
If you’ve never done a launch before, I bet you’re sure that you have forgotten something or rather a whole host of things. No doubt you have resigned yourself to having some unexpected surprises. Every launch has its fare share of curve balls thrown at it. There’s no way that you can hope to execute what you might call a perfect launch. Such animals don’t exist.
They are like unicorns… a beautiful myth
To help you sleep at night, I put together this product launch checklist. It does not offer a guarantee of success. That will depend on the quality of your product. The value that you are offering. And how well primed your target market is. I’m sure that you understand that no amount of strategy and systemizing can transform chicken poop into gold eagle coins. 🙂
So with that said, here’s your check list [I have grouped then in blocks to reduce the overwhelm]…
#1. What’s the goal for your launch – Have you defined that in such a way that you can easily measure it. You could say ” I’m going to make a million dollars” but how realistic is that if you have only just past the first $1000 in online income. Far better to set some more attainable numbers. How about … “I’m going to double the size of my list” or “I’m going to attract 10 joint venture partners” if you achieve those quickly, then set new bigger goals. As they say, if you are going to move Mount Everest, first you have to pick up a stone”
#2. Have you broken your launch down into stages – First comes your ignition sequence where you grab your market’s attention and pique their curiosity. Then comes the pre-launch sequence with its three online events – webinar or video, you chose – The penultimate stage is your launch. This is when you open your shopping cart and appeal to your prospect’s lizard brain by popping some hot buttons. And finally, there’s your launch stick sequence where you follow through after your cart closes to make sure that buyer’s remorse does not kick in and result in a flood of refunds
#3. What’s your timeline – for the ignition sequence, pre-launch, launch and launch stick sequence? Did you put all that down in a spreadsheet with dates in the left hand column and actions on the right plus the list that you’re going to send it to. Does it look realistic?
#4. Who else is involved in your launch? OK… you are a solopreneur. You’re doing it all yourself. But that does not mean, you can do your launch in a vacuum. There’s your bank account manger, your merchant account manager, your customer support person – that could be your VA – Oh and by the way, did you give that person a list of questions that they could be asked and the answers? You want to make a list of all the people who could be impacted by your launch even in the smallest way and make sure they are all on the same page.
#5. Have you fixed your online pre-launch events on the best days of the week – This is common sense but you want to think about this in the context of your launch timeline. Fixing the dates of your launch – that is when the shopping cart is open – and working back picking the best days of the week to do your live launch events is best. These are the priority building blocks around which your email sequences must fit.
#6. When do you reach out to your list? Have you tested your email copy? What’s the open rate like? Or even more important… Are your people clicking on the link? Do you plan to segment your house list? Have you tested your lead magnets? Which one converts the best? Have you tested your email headlines with a quick burst of PPC advertising? That’s just 7 questions on your emails that you want to address before you even start thinking about pushing the send button on the first one, the shot across the bows… Oh and here are a couple more… Are you offering the option to people to give you their mobile numbers? And does your autoreponder service cover a multitude of platforms from email to social media to mobile ?
#7. When do you reach out to JVs and affiliates – OK, I admit it. This is a trick question. Getting your affiliates to commit to promoting for you happens right at the beginning of your ignition sequence. This is when you ask them to put your launch in their diaries. Don’t tell them what’s coming. Just them that something will happen and they should be ready for it. How do you plan to educate them? Will you run a contest? Who will manage it? have you written all the swipe copy for them to mail? What about the website that you promised yourself that you would build for them? There’s a lot of work involved in a big product launch with an army of JV partners. In fact, it’s like running a second launch in parallel to the main one to your community…
#8. Have you tested all the technology – Having painstakingly stitched all your systems together, the very next action to take is to run a few dummies through the sales funnel. Did all the pieces flow together… the emails came in the right sequence… the credit cards all slid through the payment process without a hitch… ? And please make sure that the people testing this system do not include you. They are there to try and break it. You are just there to take notes and listen to their reactions. What you thought was intuitive might not make any sense at all to someone else
#9. If you are the product launch manager, which other skills do you need? OK… Don’t tell me. You’re doing it all yourself. How will you manage your time? There’s the videos to be scripted, shot and edited. There’s a whole raft of emails to write not to mention the other copy… like sales pages, blog copy, Facebook wall posts, tweets and don’t forget Google+ either. I’ve got news for you… Doing a product launch is a team sport 🙂
#10. What is your big idea – You could call this your USP or your value proposition. It’s designed to rock your community back on its heels and make your competitors sit up like frightened rabbits. Disrupting the market by reinventing the solution to an age old problem should be what you are all about. Putting your strengths to work to help your community is your goal. Express how you aim to do this in 140 characters or less and you will be golden
#11. Do you have a crushing offer – This has to re-frame your prospect’s thinking. Right now he is probably thinking of every reason he can why he should NOT buy. His lizard brain is trying to decide whether he should bolt right now. The moment he hears your offer the coin has to flip. You want him to start asking himself … “How can I not buy this?” The risk of missing out has to far outweigh the cost of buying. That means you have to focus on bundling so much value into your offer that buying becomes a no brainer.
I’ve lost count of the number of questions that I have asked you. Each one is important. Simply take those questions… and start answering them one by one. Start to dig into this Product Launch Checklist and add more as you go. The best way to handle this complex web of questions and answers is by using a mind mapping software like Mindjet Mindmanager and then importing that into Goalscape to make it graphically clear
When you’ve got all the pieces in their proper place in your mind, implementation is simple. Launch your new product ! Enjoy the buzz, enjoy the money, grown your lists exponentially and become the trusted authority in your niche. Explode your market. Get the power and respect you deserve.
You can do this…
OK, here’s what you need to do next… to burn this into your brain… Take action!
In the comments below tell me about how YOU are going to use the Product Launch Checklist.
Tell me what you think… and specifically, share your story!