If you have an online business and are hoping to launch a course or membership, it can be tempting to think you can just send out one email to the world telling them your product is for sale and that you’ll be successful beyond your wildest dreams. Unfortunately, that’s not likely to happen.
In order to have the greatest success for your launch, it’s a good idea to do a little prelaunch marketing… release content to your list that primes them for your offer and makes them excited to hear more. You can do that with Pre-Launch Content (PLC).
1. What is Pre-Launch Content?
Pre-launch content is content that comes before your launch and is created to warm people up and get them familiar with the concepts and ideas of the offer you will be launching. Because you haven’t actually launched yet, your cart isn’t open, so all your efforts go towards leading people to your pre-launch content.
The goal of pre-launch marketing strategies is not only to start introducing concepts and techniques to your audience that convince them that your offer is going to get them where they want to go, it is also a great way to develop rapport with the people on your list and to increase your know, like and trust factor with them.
2. Types of Pre-Launch Content
Today there are a variety of ways to launch and more are being tried and tested each day. Some of the most popular types of pre-launch content include:
- Email: email launches are the least tech reliant as they consistent of sending a series of emails designed to introduce the product or service and convince the reader that product or service is something they need. Although email may seem very straightforward and easy, there is an art to writing emails that convert really well and that will get you the results you want.
- Webinar: With a webinar launch, the pre-launch content is a webinar that teaches something truly valuable to your audience. During the last few minutes of the teaching you explain how people on the webinar “can go deeper” with you by introducing them to your program or service.
- Video series: Video is one of the most popular and common ways to deliver pre-launch content. With this method, free videos teaching the “who,” “what,” and “why” of an offer is released every few days for up to two weeks. At the end of the free video series, a sales video wraps up the teachings in a neat little bow and invites interested parties to go deeper by learning the “how” behind what you’ve already introduced them to.
- Live: Live launches are typically done via a social media platform such as Facebook. Content is similar to a video series or webinar launch but is delivered live with interaction from participants via comments.
- Challenge: Challenges are becoming increasingly popular as a way to deliver pre-launch content, but can be the most challenging type of PLC to convert. During the challenge, which is usually a week long, participants work through a series of steps designed to get them quick results while leaving them wanting more. The tricky part is to not give so much away during a challenge that they don’t need to purchase your offer.
For more information on the various types of launches, check out Types of Launches and the Tech You’ll Need for Each
3. Why Choose One Type of PLC Over the Other
- Personal preference: what type of pre launch content are you most comfortable doing? Are you a great writer who does best with email or do you shine on camera? If you are nervous or uncomfortable creating the type of PLC you plan to use you’re less likely to get it done.
- Big launch or higher-ticket offer: How expensive or exclusive is your offer? If you are having a very high end group coaching program with lots of 1:1 support, you’ll need to spend more time on your pre launch marketing to attract the type of clients that can afford your program.If what you’re offering is one-on-one services, and you only have a few spots available, you don’t need to have a multi-part video series that appeals to thousands of people because you don’t want or need a bunch of people to buy your offer. Email PLCs could be perfect for you.What does your audience want and like (and have the time for)? This is something many people don’t consider.
- How does your audience like to consume content? Are they parents who are likely to pop in to email during one of their kid’s basketball practice, or are they software engineers who are consuming your content while sitting at a desk all day? The sporty parent is likely scrolling through Instagram or FB on their phone while they wait for their kids to finish practice while the software engineer is likely using his or her desktop computer while taking a break in the middle of the afternoon. Keep that in mind when you’re designing your PLCs.
4. Examples of Great Pre-Launch Content
The best way to get ideas of great pre launch marketing is to sign up for those who do it best. Listed below are some of the gurus of online marketing. Since one of the keys to a successful launch is to only launch once or twice a year, you may have to sign up for a waitlist for the following people’s launches in order to be able to see their amazing PLCs when they’re next available, but trust me, it will be worth it.
Stu McLaren with Tribe: Stu does a multi-part video series with a lot of live components added in. He goes live on Facebook everyday during his launches and has been known to have guest appearances and live streams that go on for 3 or more hours. And, if you’re interested, you can find my review of Stu’s course here.
Jeff Walker with his Product Launch Formula invented the multi-part video series, but has also done launches using just email. Recently he’s also mixed live teaching with pre-recorded videos and live Q&A sessions.
Rachel Miller with Moolah Marketing very successfully uses a 10-day challenge to get her subscribers a quick win with noticeable results and then offers to take them to the next level via her paid program.
Amy Porterfield has mastered the webinar launch and teaches it to her students via her Digital Course Academy. She artfully presents webinars that provide tremendous value and then gives them two choices – to continue on their own, or go take the easier route of joining her in her programs. You can also find my review of Amy’s course here.
Now that you understand more about the various types of pre-launch content strategies, it’s time to put them into action. If you’re looking for the next step in your planning process, you can simply the process with my Launch Planner. In it, you’ll get a comprehensive list of all the tasks required to implement your launch, no matter which type of PLC you decide to use. You can find the Launch Planner here.