Most of my agency clients have tried launching a course or product before coming to work with me but haven’t been happy with the results they’ve gotten. Most of what you hear about first-time launches is a bunch of crap – barely anyone gets it completely right the first time. And usually it's a result of not leveraging a strategy I call the pre-launch campaign.
That’s why the first thing I do with my private clients is dissect their previous launches to get a mighty clear on what went wrong.
Usually it comes down to the same few issues – not enough traffic, the messaging isn’t clear or aligned and not enough time spent in the pre-launch period growing an interest list.
The pre-launch period is my favourite way to boost my launch results (after all, we’re not all Beyonce who can just drop albums without any warning, alrighty?)
So what is a pre-launch and how do you design yours?
What’s the purpose of a Pre-Launch Campaign?
The purpose of a pre-launch campaign is to create an email list segment full of leads who’ve said that they’re interested in the topic of what you’re about to offer. Your conversion rates are always going to be better if you’re selling to an audience who you’ve pre-validated with your content rather than one who barely remembers why they signed up for your list in the first place.
So during the pre-launch campaign, we’re theming all of the content we release to line up with what we’re about to sell.
The call-to-action? If you have THIS PROBLEM, sign up for THIS FREEBIE or If you want THIS RESULT, sign up for THIS FREEBIE
By signing up for the freebie, they’re basically letting you know that they’re interested in the offer – they’re a pre-validated lead.
On the backend, you’re adding these subscribers to a tag or a segment of your list (depends on what email service provider you’re using) so that when you’ve opened your cart, you can send your sales emails directly to them.
More than 50% of your launch work is during this pre-launch phase.
Objective for this phase: Grow your interest list as big as you can
What to include in your Pre-Launch Campaign?
Here’s the basic overview of your pre-launch campaign period content:
Your promo content leads to your blog posts or directly to your freebie
Your blog posts lead to your freebie
Your freebie email sequence leads to your interest list (and eventually to your offer)
Let’s break it down even more:
Freebie – You can use a single freebie as the call-to-action for your posts or a few different content upgrades. Ideally choose something that gives the downloaders a taste of what to expect in the full program and prepares the for the program. To do this, ask yourself what a customer would ideally have in place before signing up for your paid offer.
Blog posts (or videos or podcasts) – Whatever regular types of content you put out, theme your 4 next posts before the launch begins so they relate to what you’ll be selling. The call to action for each of these will be to sign up for the launch freebie.
Tip – You can also get your offer in front of people who’ve visited your pre-launch content but haven’t signed up for your freebie (so your interest list) by using your Facebook tracking pixel and creating a custom audience
Traffic tactics – examples: social media posts, paid ads, guest posts, etc. – Pick and choose which traffic tactics you’re going to use to drive traffic to your pre-launch content.
Think in terms of cold traffic (people who are brand new to you) and warm traffic (people who are on your list or have visited your website) – how will you reach both of these audiences. The call-to-action is either to subscribe to your freebie or visit your site to read, view or listen to your pre-launch posts.
Free Download for Planning Your Campaign
You’ll want to begin your prelaunch between 3-5 weeks before you’re opening the cart. And I wanted to make it super simple for you to start fleshing out your content plan – so if you’re launching soon, download the Pre-Launch Content Planner