Doing an online launch of your product, service or course has never been more popular.
It seems easy enough, right? Create the product, put it on your site and wait for the money to start rolling in. If only launch strategy were that simple.
Successful launches don’t happen by mistake. A good launch plan has some very specific requirements, and very basic steps that must be followed. Here are a few of the most common mistakes I’ve seen.
Common Online Launch Mistakes
1: Launching before you have at least 300 ENGAGED people on your email list
Everyone who launches a product online wants to believe she will be the exception to the rule that you need to have some type of email following before you launch.
The reality is, typically less than 5% of people on your list will buy your product. If you have an extremely engaged audience, the number could be higher, but it’s the exception rather than the rule. If you’d like help figuring out how to build and grow an email list, you can find more info here.
2: Thinking your social media fans and followers will buy from you
Maybe you have 10k followers on Twitter. That doesn’t substitute for having a highly engaged email list of over 300 people. The simple reason is that social media followers don’t tend to buy in the same way as email subscribers.
Followers of your posts are used to getting your coolest stuff free. And, with most social media platforms, there’s no real way to move from the free information they are used to receiving from you to a buying relationship. They are getting your best stuff, delivered right to them while they are sitting on the couch. Why would they ever visit your sales page?
It’s great you have a massive following, but part of your launch plan has to be getting those people on your list so you can engage with them.
3: Not communicating regularly with your email list by giving them amazing free content
Once someone is on your email list, you have to work to stay front of mind. You need to earn the right to be in their inbox. Just because they gave you an email address 3 months ago to get your amazing free offer doesn’t mean that they will remember who you are today or understand why they should buy from you.
Providing consistent, high-quality content via email keeps them wanting more. What better audience can there be to send a launch offer to?
4: Believing you can just throw a few emails together and it will be a successful launch
Launch plans have a lot of strategy behind them — including when to open your cart, how long to leave it open, what type of price point to offer, how many emails to send, how to name your product, and the types of Facebook or other advertising you will do. It isn’t as simple as writing a single email and letting people know you have something to sell.
5: Not planning enough time for the launch process
In most cases, the launch process itself takes about two weeks from the time the first email is sent to your list until the time the shopping cart is closed.
The actual work, however, begins weeks, or even months, earlier when you begin drafting survey questions, scheduling emails and planning out social media campaigns. This process should not be rushed.
6: Waiting for everything to be perfect
Launches are never perfect. Videos can always be better, emails can always be rewritten, timing can always be changed. The most important step in launching is to actually launch.
Once you’ve launched, you can tweak, edit and change whatever you’d like. If you don’t launch the first time to see how everything works, continuing to change things is an exercise in futility because you don’t know if you’re changing it for the better or the worse.
The people you’re sending your emails to aren’t perfect and they don’t want you to be perfect either. Imperfection is comforting, it makes you seem real. So stop re-recording your videos because you don’t like the way you said, “is” and get on with it already!
7: Thinking you can do it all yourself
You may now be realizing how much work there is to putting a launch together. Whether you decide to do an email launch, a four-part video series launch, or a webinar, launches require a lot of very diverse skills. There’s no way for one person to be good at all of them.
Trying to do this without help is going to leave frustrated, overwhelmed, and maybe even secretly hoping no one buys because you don’t know what you’ll do if you have to actually put together a course.
When considering whether you’ll need help with your launch, keep in mind that most people don’t bring on help until it’s too late. The wrong time to decide you need help is when things are falling down around you. If you make a launch plan ahead of time, you’ll be able to easily identify which areas aren’t your strength and look for support accordingly.
If you need help figuring out all the steps involved in a launch, you may want to consider downloading my Launch Planner. It not only gives you the timeline and steps for a successful launch, it gives you places to store information so it’s all together when you need it.
The honest truth is, launching can be hard, or it can be easy but it’s never seamless. Learn from other people’s mistakes. Don’t think you’ll be the exception to the rule. And get yourself launched.