This is part two of a series. To read part one, go here.
Prefer to listen? Here’s the audio version of the post.
As a digital strategist who has been in the online marketing space since 2004, and who has worked in the backend of over 300 online businesses, I’ve been intimately involved in a lot of launches.
We left off, in part one of the series, chatting about list size and launch calendars. Now, let’s get into the list building offer for the pre-launch period and building community. Both of which are incredibly important for a successful launch.
I’ve also created a Digital Marketing Strategy group over on Facebook. Feel free to join and ask questions about this series.
Once you have your base template in place, it’s time to start planning, preparing and discussing the other moving parts of your launch.
The List Building Offer for Pre-Launch
For my client’s launch, we used a free video series as our pre-launch list builder.
What this looked like was a free series with a series of videos that people could sign up for and receive on specific dates that we set ahead of time. The videos set the stage for the digital product that we were going to sell later on and introduced people to the concepts that would exist inside of the paid program (the upsell from the video series.)
[Side note: an upsell is the act of selling someone on the next product or service level.]
A video series works really well for a few reasons: because it’s a video, people get to see your face and your mannerisms, which naturally builds trust better than let’s say, plain text. The other reason it works so well is because you will naturally give away more value in a video than you would an e-book or some other downloadable resource. So, people feel like they get enormous value for free, which sets the tone for future interactions and engagement.
If you don’t want to do a video series, you can use other content offers with your cold and warm audiences (a cold audience is a group that is brand new to you and a warm audience is one that has been exposed to you but hasn’t crossed the threshold of spending cash yet).
Some people really love the “challenge” tactic whereby you promote a 7-day, 14-day or 30-day challenge to get people to take action. This can be really effective as well because it provides a container for people to get real results in a short amount of time, which makes them REALLY optimistic about what’s to come.
The format is less important than the value you offer so find a way to answer your primary audience’s objections and give them a taste of what they can expect in the paid product/program/service.
We typically run a pre-launch series for 2-3 weeks before registration opens for the digital product. During this time, we’ll run Facebook ads to the free offer as investing ad spend on building your list is always a smart way to go (versus saving your ad spend to sell the big ticket item as cold leads rarely buy something at a high price point from an ad.)
So, why do we do a pre-launch list builder if leads don’t convert for quite some time? Well, we don’t just market this offering to new, cold leads. We send out the offer to our existing list, too, and ask them to participate and engage with the content. For many, this offer will be new and will be an opportunity to dig deeper on any topics that they’ve encountered in your business that they haven’t yet had a chance to get clarity around. Your existing community will become your champions and cheerleaders — ready to share your content to their networks.
And, it’s worth mentioning that it’s not that cold leads don’t convert at all. We’ve seen a handful of sales come through from brand new leads when the marketing, the story and the community is compelling enough. But, don’t put your entire budget on the line for new leads.
This is something that is best done months in advance BUT I’m going to talk about it here because it’s crucial for a successful launch.
For the client who experienced the $250K launch, we had set up a Facebook Group for her audience quite awhile ago. It’s a free Facebook Group that is focused on her niche topic and we funnel everyone there from every marketing source possible (e-mails, social media, post-purchase, etc.) The group has grown from zero folks to over 7,000 people in a short amount of time.
A Facebook Group is a fantastic way to connect with your audience, answer questions, showcase your expertise, share free resources and of course, promote your upcoming paid offers. You want to spend 80% of your time in there providing enormous value and 20% promoting. If you flip those percentages, you’ll lose people from your group as it’ll come across as being sales-y and opportunistic.
So, along with building your list, focus on creating some form of community hub as well. It doesn’t need to be a Facebook Group but those do work REALLY well since 1 in 5 page views in the United States happen on Facebook. Astonishing, really.
Along with something like a Facebook Group, you’ll want to also look at your social media profiles and continue to build a following there. The best way to do that is to follow the same rule as above — provide tons of value, promote only a little bit and create ways in which people can engage with you to start the relationship building process.
In part three of the series, we’re going to explore the opt-in pages and sales pages, the content strategy and the marketing funnel. Stay tuned for that — it’s going to be good!
Also published on Medium.