Launching a new product or service online seems like an easy enough thing to do. With the right tools it can be.
But one of the hardest parts of putting together a launch is figuring out the technical terminology and how the pieces fit together. Let me lay it out for you.
Here are the 7 Tools You Need to Launch Online
1. Email Service Provider
When launching, you need to communicate with your ideal client. In most cases your best option is by sending email. Spam laws say you can’t send mass emails to your list via your personal email account. Instead you need to use an email service provider. Great email marketing automation software for launching online includes ActiveCampaign, Aweber, and Mailerlite.
Your email service provider is where you communicate with your clients, set up your lists, and create your newsletters, autoresponders, thank you pages and confirmation messages. You can get more information all about Email Service Providers in this blog post.
2. Opt-in Page
An opt in page is actually a form in most cases. Opt in forms are where your ideal client gives you her name and email address in return for a freebie of some type. Often called opt in landing pages, opt in forms can be built-in and managed by many email service providers, or can be provided by other specialized services like Leadpages.
3. Landing Page
Landing pages are where customers land when they click a link in an ad or on a blog post offering them something they are interested in. It might advertise a freebie, a video series or a free course. Landing pages are usually very simple, with a fantastic graphic, a few lines of copy and a large button with a call to action on it. When the button is clicked, it leads to the opt-in form. You can create landing pages with a landing page service like Leadpages, or try creating one on your own, just make sure it’s a design that is proven to convert.
4. Payment Processor
To sell products online you need a way to accept money. Stripe.com is one of the most reliable and popular options for online business owners. Payment processors are also called merchant accounts.
5. Shopping Cart
Not everyone starts with a shopping cart. If you have just one product, a single Buy Now button hooked up to Stripe or PayPal may be all you need. Once you start adding products, however, you’ll need a way for your customers to buy multiple items. That will require a shopping cart. Get more info on Payment Processors and Shopping Carts here.
Surprisingly enough, you don’t need a website to start a business. A simple landing page and opt in form connected with your email service provider works to start collecting emails without a website.
If you want to start with a site right away and are planning to grow it over time by adding features, be sure you choose a WordPress.org site, not WordPress.com. If you just want to get going and not bother with a big, fancy site (truly you don’t need one at the very beginning), check out the Leadpages Sites feature for a quick and easy way to set up a website.
7. Video Hosting Site
Video is hot right now and most launches use video in some form. Whether you’re doing a simple launch using just one video or a multi-video series, you need a place to host the videos.
Because you want people to see the videos and opt-in to learn more about what you do, YouTube.com is really all you need. You can make the videos viewable via link only, which means only those who have opted-in for your list can see them.
8. Video Editing (I know, I said 7 Tools…)
If you’re doing a simple video, you may be able to use the free editing tools found by a quick Google search. If it’s more complex, you’re best off hiring a video editor. While many people think they can do this on their own, buying and learning the programs necessary can quickly add up. Find a video editor on Fiverr or Upwork instead, you’ll be glad you did. You can get all of my tips about video and video editing in this blog post.
There are many pieces to launching. See how they all fit together with my Ultimate Roadmap for Growing Your List.