First and foremost, FINISH YOUR PRODUCT. Seriously, if you’re not done with it yet then stop reading this and get back to work!
When you finally ARE done with your product, THEN it’s time to start planning how you’re going to launch it and before we do that let’s make sure you understand the pieces.
A launch is a coordinated effort by various affiliate marketers to promote and send traffic to your product’s sales page starting at the same exact date and time. As the vendor, it’s up to you and your team to coordinate those efforts.
There are 2 sides to a product launch, the customer side, AND the affiliate side. When it comes to preparing for a launch, the most important things to create on BOTH sides are BUZZ and ANTICIPATION.
- Buzz is what we call the public chatter in the marketplace preceding the release of your product.
- Anticipation is the eager expectancy of your product which fuels the buzz.
Your carefully calculated marketing efforts in the period leading up to your launch is what creates both buzz and anticipation. Marketing is when you raise awareness and simultaneously inspire curiosity about your product. You’ve got to allow yourself some time to do this, you can’t just finish your product and “launch” it tomorrow. I mean, you can put it up for sale in the marketplace but who’s gonna know about it?
Just cause you build it does NOT mean they’ll come. Think about the movie Star Wars. How long before the movie debut did you actually learn it was coming out? All of that pre-launch time was dedicated to buzz building and anticipation. I recommend 30-60 days of buzz building for your launch.
Your product has to be completely finished and ready for sale prior to announcing your launch — that is, 30 to 60 days PRIOR to launch. And when I say, completely finished, I mean there are no more videos to add, all of the pages are there, all of the downloads are linked properly. This is important because as soon as affiliates begin requesting to promote your product in JVZoo, they also start asking for review access.
Many affiliates will make review videos showing the inside of your product, so your site needs to be completely ready for a potential public display. At the very least, affiliates will decide whether they will actually promote on launch day based on what they see of your product the day they see it. If it’s not finished, they may promote something else instead. Some affiliates may think “Why ask me to promote a product before it even exists?” It’s a good practice to make sure your product is 100% done before you announce your launch.
Announcing Your Launch
This is telling the world the exact date and time that you plan to “go live” (make it available for purchase)
This is typically done by creating a “JV Page” and listing the launch on various calendar sites, and groups frequented by affiliate marketers.
Some great ones to consider are:
WINNING OVER AFFILIATES THAT WILL PROMOTE YOUR PRODUCTS
Once you’ve announced your launch, your sole focus should be on building buzz and recruiting affiliates to promote. Don’t freak out when it comes to “recruiting affiliates”. It just means that you’ll be building friendships with people in the same marketing niche that you’re in. Affiliate recruitment is all about being social with potential business partners, giving value first, then eventually talking business.
How do you become friends with people that are in the same niche as you? Well, you go and you frequent the same places that they frequent. In the online space, we’re talking about Facebook groups, YouTube Channels, Twitter hashtags, forum groups and any website where people congregate. We’re talking about places where people who have similar mindsets congregate on a daily basis.
For example, let’s say your business focus is in the sub-niche of “web video production”. There are literally THOUSANDS of video production facebook groups and fan pages. You might want to join those groups and like those pages and get involved in the conversations. There are also lots of “affiliate marketing” groups out there that you can infiltrate to meet people in the video niche.
Use the Facebook graph search to locate people who like certain things or have things in common, like AFFILIATE MARKETING. You can literally search for “people who like affiliate marketing” you can then sort the results by groups, pages, posts, images, videos… all right inside of Facebook.
You can also use Google to find congregations of potential affiliates too. It comes down to using a search bar (or multiple search bars) to go find your people. You’ve got to do some research here, there’s no way around that. Go do the work. Put in the time. Find those people that you want to meet and talk to.
PRO TIP: Focus on affiliates during this pre launch prep phase, not on customers. Customers are important BUT affiliates are the one that BRING you customers. If it isn’t for affiliates, there are no customers or there are too few customers for you to really make a living. If you’re focused on only the customers, you’ll eventually end up with a full-time job finding customers instead of building your business.
MAKING A MEMORABLE JV PAGE THAT CONVERTS IS PARAMOUNT IN THE LAUNCH SUCCESS
Most vendors worry quite a bit about making their sales page convert because that is a very important part of every launch. However, If your JV page hasn’t ALREADY been converting for thirty days before the launch, then your sales page isn’t going to matter much because you won’t have many affiliates and conversely you won’t have many customers.
JV pages have to convert affiliates into partners. A good JV page is one that sells the affiliate on why they should send their traffic to your sales page. It gets them excited and gives them a reason to endorse your product.
Make your JV page memorable, otherwise, the JVs will just lump your launch in with every other Tom, Dick, and Harry on the launch scene. Making your JV page memorable requires a bit of ingenuity and determination to stand out from the crowd.
You should “theme” the page. Make sure that it sticks in the minds of the JVs and start mailing them about that page and advertising that JV page to them at least thirty days before the launch. Your theme may have to do with a time of year or a season, perhaps an upcoming holiday or even a blockbuster movie release.
An effective JV Page May Include:
● Launch Announcement Video
● JV LIst Optin Form
● JVZoo Affiliate Request Link
● Affiliate Terms & Conditions (Promoting Rules)
● Product Description/Demo
● Funnel Image (pricing description)
● Sales Contest (details & prizes)
● Affiliate Tools (emails swipes / banners / bonuses)
● JV Testimonials
● Confirmed Affiliate Partners
● Proof Of Reciprocation
● Your Contact Details (email / skype / phone)
Start building your JV list with an opt-in form on that JV page. It’s a good practice to email your JVs every day or at least every other day leading up to your launch. Keep them informed, tell them more about the product, hype up the contest, create that excitement, anticipation, and BUZZ amongst your JVs.
Mailing your JVs is important BUT let me caution you… DO NOT TREAT YOUR JVs LIKE CUSTOMERS OR PROSPECTS. They are your partners in this launch, not your buyers, don’t make them offers or try to sell them stuff cause you’ll just get a bad rep.
Take the time to write plenty of emails about your product WAY in advance. You’re going to have two sets of email swipes; one set of customer swipes and one set of JV swipes. The customer swipe set is what you end up giving to your JVs so that they can email their customers and refer them to you. The JV email swipes are the emails that YOU sent to those affiliates keeping them informed of what is happening with the lunch daily.
PRO-TIP: Create your customer swipes first. Then write your JV swipes. The JV swipes that you’ll be sending out during the launch should contain the customer swipe for that day. Since you’ve prepared the customer swipe first, you can simply cut and paste the swipe into your JV swipe.
BUILD SOME FACEBOOK BUZZ AROUND YOUR LAUNCH
You need to do everything in your power to get the word out about your launch. You need to get people excited and Facebook can play a huge role in this. Chances are, most of your customers AND your affiliates visit Facebook at least once per day.
Facebook is a huge source of leads, customers, and affiliates. Some might say it’s the primary tool you should use for the public relations of a business. People don’t necessarily go to Facebook to do business so you shouldn’t just go around shoving your launch in everyone’s face BUT… If done discreetly you can raise awareness about your launch to both potential customers AND affiliates using Facebook.
One of the first things that you want to do is create images — QUALITY images. People WILL JUDGE A PRODUCT AND A BRAND BASED ON APPEARANCE and you never get a second chance to make a first impression. If you’re not a graphics guy, invest fifty or sixty bucks go get some nice images made for your launch and tell them exactly what you want. If you’re trying to brand yourself as the vendor, put your picture on the thing. Put the product name of it and put the launch date on it. Make it look professional.
It’s important that you create the RIGHT buzz. After investing so much time and hard work into creating a beautiful product you shouldn’t take any shortcuts when it comes to the MARKETING part. Come on, that would be stupid. Take your time, do it right.
Many vendors decorate all their social media sites with “cover images” themed with the colors and info of their upcoming launch. Remember, that image sizes vary from timeline, to groups, and newsfeed, and also from platform to platform, like YouTube and Twitter. These sites all use different image sizes and if you just try to squeeze the same image across all platforms it will get skewed, stretched or distorted. Don’t be that guy. Image is everything in marketing.
You can create ad images that target just JV’s and point to your JV page and then separate images that target prospects and point to your coming soon page. Be mindful of what you are posting and where. Always make sure that you have permission to post and adhere to group rules. By the way, it’s a great idea to run a Facebook Ad for your launch. You can target JV audiences and pages that are liked by potential affiliates.
PRO-TIP: Build pre launch audiences in your Facebook ad manager. Experts will insert their Facebook pixel on their coming soon page as well as their JV page and then build audiences to target with ads in Facebook respectively.
THERE ARE TWO SIDES TO EVERY PRODUCT LAUNCH – LEVERAGE THE AFFILIATE SIDE
There are two sides to every product launch, there’s the customer side and there’s the JV side. It’s prudent to run Facebook ads that target BOTH. There’s the audience on the Coming Soon page who are getting ready to buy your product. And there’s the audience on the JV page who are getting ready to promote your product.
Run ads to your “JV Page” audience as well to your “Coming Soon” audience. And by the way, when setting up your ads don’t be afraid to target fellow Internet Marketers. When you create an ad to recruit your affiliates you can target people that have liked the pages of Frank Kern, Omar Martin or JVZoo, for example.
In the month leading up to your launch, you’ll be communicating with people on both sides a bit differently. You’ll be building buzz and anticipation on both sides but on the customer side, it’s with the purpose of SELLING the product. While on the JV side or the partner side, it’s with the purpose of promoting the product launch. Each of these sets of people should get emails sent to them and advertised to but each in a slightly different way.
Even throughout the product launch itself, there are 2 sides to be mindful of. The JVs need to be kept in the loop of launch stats, contest standings, time remaining and other pertinent launch updates. The prospects are also communicated with but with the purpose of selling, each email becoming more and more succinct as the launch end deadline approaches.
Don’t ever neglect either one of these 2 sides of your product launch but remember the pecking order of things. You would have no prospects and customers if you didn’t have affiliates FIRST. Keep in mind that after launch day there is a THIRD side of the launch – MEMBERS. Those are the prospects referred by affiliates that have now PAID you and become members of your website. This third side of your launch also requires some TLC and attention because after all, they are the ones that become loyal paying customers and buy from you again and again.
Part of prepping for your launch is sending emails to your affiliates to let them know about your upcoming launch. You should create at least ten to fifteen JV emails for this. These are the emails that recruit affiliates, tells them about your upcoming launch, tells them the date of your launch, tells them a little bit about the product.
Now here is a NINJA launch tactic… I also recommend giving top affiliates some swipes for them to email THEIR affiliates before your launch. When I say “top” affiliates I mean the one you have the best relationship with. I create a 2 tier sign up link for them by making a JV contract in JVzoo so that they get a 10% brokers fee for sales made by affiliates they referred. This is a WIN WIN WIN scenario.
PRO-TIP: You can use your same JV recruitment emails but just change the wording a bit so that its coming from THEM to THEIR affiliates and recommending YOUR launch..
“Hey guys! So excited about our upcoming launch, we can’t wait to have you on board, we’ve got a ton of prizes coming on.
That can be changed to read:
“Hey guys, I want to tell you about a great launch that I’m going to be promoting next week. This is by my friend (your name) and they’ve got a bunch of contests and a bunch of great prizes.”
What this is going to do is allow your affiliate to email HIS affiliates for you.
Do this with the five or six guys or girls that are DEFINITELY going to be promoting for you. They are probably also vendors and have JV list of their own. This 10% “broker fee” incentivizes them for recruiting affiliates to promote your launch!
This is what we call working smart in the thirty to sixty days leading up to a product launch as opposed to working hard. Recruiting customers one by one is working hard. Recruiting affiliates and getting affiliates to recruit affiliates, that’s working smart. Always get a referral. Ask your JV’s to invite their JV’s especially if they’re unable to promote the product themselves. That’s how six figure launches are done.
ADVERTISE YOUR PRODUCT LAUNCH TO GET MORE AFFILIATES ON BOARD
Some people will waste thousands of dollars on products that they end up doing nothing with but when it comes to investing a couple hundred bucks into advertising their own launch they FREAK OUT. If you are not willing to invest in your product then why should your affiliates be? Don’t you want your affiliates to run ads? Don’t you want your affiliates to advertise for you? Of course, you do. So why aren’t you willing to advertise for you? Think about that for a second.
JVZoo allows you to purchase what they call “Hot Topic” and a couple of different types of ads. These are valuable because affiliates are logging in every day to check stats and decide what to promote. When the affiliate sees your ad, they’ll likely click it to view your product’s stats and see the JV page.
That Hot Topic Spot is going to link to your JV page where they can opt in and fire off your Facebook pixel. These affiliates are now on your Facebook audience and you can advertise and recruit them through your future Facebook ads!
To purchase a HOT TOPIC Ad go to the SELLERS tab on the main menu and select ADVERTISE WITH US. You’ll see the various types of ad you can run and a calendar to check availability.
Facebook groups are another great place to make your launch announcement, but be aware that there are different posting policies for each group. Groups sometimes allow free posts but they also might charge you for a pinned post, as well as cover image slots.
Marketing forums are another great place to advertise with banners. You can go to these forums and you can buy banner ads for the top and side bar. Ask around and learn a little bit while you’re in there! The WarriorForum.com and JVfocus.com are 2 of the many forums out there where you can advertise your launch.
Calendar sites are yet another place with great ad traffic to consider. Many affiliates frequent these sites like Muncheye when looking for something to promote. Most of these sites allow you to list your launch for free but charge a few bucks to bring added attention to your launch listing. Many of them even sell banner ads too.
The more places you make your launch visible the better. The success of your launch directly depends on your ability to recruit affiliates and that’s just a fact. If you think that just cause you build a beautiful site and you got a great product then that’s all it takes, you’re very, very mistaken.
REMEMBER: It takes more than just a pretty website and a cool product to build a business. It takes a network of affiliates that you have to create to support your launch and any future product launches.
ORGANIZING A STRATEGIC PLAN OF ATTACK FOR YOUR PRODUCT LAUNCH
Be organized in prepping for your launch. Make a list of all the things you have to do and then ATTACK THAT LIST! If you don’t attack that list, and you don’t recruit affiliates like your life depends no one else will. No one is going to jump on board your launch and take care of everything so that you can just sit back and enjoy the profits. The success of your launch directly depends on your willingness to roll up your sleeves, recruit affiliates and do the MARKETING of your own product.
It’s important that you be persistent without becoming overbearing. Remember some of the things that I mentioned about Facebook etiquette i.e don’t be the person who shows up to the party and hands out business cards. Provide value first. Build a relationship with people by becoming friends first. This takes time which is why we don’t leave affiliate recruitment to a couple days before the launch.
Top affiliates plan their email schedules weeks or even months in advance. Real businesses don’t plan only a day or two out. If you wait until the last minute and approach a REAL affiliate marketer that does this for a living to ask them for promotion, chances are, they’ve already got a full schedule. Plus it’s kind of disrespectful to ask someone to promote without giving them enough time to review your product or prepare a proper bonus campaign. They are kinda screwed out of winning the contest prizes unless they immediately drop everything and start preparing a campaign for you. Real business can’t just drop everything for you on 2 days notice and that’s why you need to be prepared and start this process a month in advance.
Even with advance notice, some affiliates simply won’t be available for you. That doesn’t mean they can’t help out. There are a few different ways you can still work with them. If they can’t promote because they’re busy, see if they’re willing to promote at a more convenient time. You can easily create a special sales page for them with the original launch pricing and a coupon code. The key here is to show the affiliate that you’re willing to work with them.
The other main way they can help you is by putting you in contact with OTHER key affiliates you haven’t been able to reach, as well as by blasting their JV list with your launch announcement. There will always be a few affiliates you’d love to have on board, but need a connection to make the deal. Perhaps this affiliate would be willing to bridge the gap between you and a superstar like Frank Kern, Mike Filsaime, or Omar Martin. The worst-case scenario is that they say no. Just don’t take it personally. Instead, focus on different ways you can work with this affiliate. Ask for the referral.
COMMUNICATION is key with affiliates before and during the launch. Skype is great for this because you can create a group with all your affiliates. Some vendors use Voxer because you can exchange audio messages too. JVZoo enables you to create Slack channels to communicate with your affiliates as well. Affiliates are competitive and group chats get them engaged in friendly competition with each other to win your sales contests. This is a very powerful tactic for updating affiliates daily and creating more launch engagement.
Most vendors end up creating their own “pre launch checklists” because there are many types of launches for many types of products and many types of audiences. Here’s our list of 20 things that you should consider when preparing for your own upcoming launch.
Pre-Launch Day Checklist:
- Make sure your product is 100% complete and that all content is accessible via the download page.
- Each product in your funnel is set up for sale in JVZoo.com.
- Product is set to ALLOW SALES by the day and time of the launch.
- Front end product is eligible for Product of the Day with a custom commission.
- A 150 px by 150 px product image for each product has been uploaded to JVZoo.com.
- Each product in your funnel has a written description.
- Custom checkout banners have been uploaded for each funnel product.
- All affiliate approval requests have been processed according to your standards.
- A note to your affiliates has been left on the notes section regarding your launch details.
- Recurring pricing is set up if applicable.
- Set up a pre-launch “Coming soon” squeeze page at the root (homepage) of your website.
- Tested the funnel to ensure all BUY buttons work and link to upsell/downsell pages properly.
- Determined ideal pricing strategy. If using Dimesale or Timesale, strategy is set up in JVZoo.
- Product has auto-responder integration between JVZoo and your auto-responder service.
- Backend webinar has been set up for auto registration of all front end purchases. (This is a HUGE money maker.)
- JV communication systems are in place to ensure continuous communications with JVs.
(Slack / Fleep / Voxer)
- Retargeting pixel is set up on your squeeze page & JV Page and SAles page.
- Wait/Exit Intent Offer is set up to capture exit traffic and leads for follow up marketing.
- Private, pre-launch sales have determined the optimum sales page through split testing.
- Coupon codes have been established for affiliates who aren’t able to promote on launch day.