Last updated on 07/13/2022
How to plan for your next product launch?
In this article we will introduce the essentials steps and best practices to launch a product with success. We studied the brands that are successful in product launches and analyzed their strategy.
Successful Product Launch examples
You can look at the story of Dollar Shave Club or Harry’s, which is everywhere on the internet and quoted thousands of times. These are very good product launch strategies, finely executed.
But let’s talk about other great stories. Some of which started with less launch funding.
The power of community and friends
Example KPOP Foods
MBA students launched KPOP Foods, a brand created to popularize Korean food in the United States, with a kickstarter campaign
Their first product was KPOP Sauce, a Korean chili sauce based on a recipe from the grandmother of one of the founders. To raise awareness, he and his co-founder designed cute container, which they began distributing to everyone they could. Word quickly spread around campus and beyond, and a community of fans started around their KPOP Sauce.
When the Kickstarter went live, they leveraged the pre-existing community of fans, as well as family, friends, and classmates, to increase the number of backers, share the project on social media, and build buzz around the product.
This helped them become a trending Kickstarter project, and they reached their $10,000 goal in less than eight hours.
Takeaway: If you want to crowdfund your new product, don’t wait until the campaign launches to start promoting your product. The bulk of your efforts to raise awareness and take pre-orders should be done well in advance.
The right email
Willo is an innovative electric toothbrush brand. They engaged in a quality email campaign to raise awareness about their product launch.
It piqued their audience interest and created a nice buildup that interested many people who wanted to scroll down to see more.
They sent out an email sequence informing future customers of the official launch date and that only 1000 units were available, for their “Pioneer” members.
They displayed the “Pioneer Code” just below the email that allowed them to purchase the product.
A product launch emailing flow is included in this article, so read on!
Product Launch Strategy step-by-step
Pre-product launch planning stage
Do your homework and search everything you can on the product you want to launch and its current market. You want to find the best positioning and messaging possible.
Competitive intelligence: don’t reinvent the wheel and copy them, or innovate and do what they don’t do. It’s up to you to choose your approach.
Pre-order or not?
There are two broad categories of launch strategies to choose from: pre-order or a direct launch with a live product. Each has its pros and cons, and the choice between the two will depend on your niche, industry, logistics, and the product itself.
Pre-orders allow customers to pay for a product before it is “officially” on the website.
This launch gives the customer a sense of urgency and a feeling of being ahead of the game.
Launching pre-orders gives you peace of mind about your finances if it works well. You get paid while you are still producing your new product.
The downside is that you need to make your pre-order offer clear to the customer and not be late. The online customer tends to get impatient quickly.
On the other hand, launching a product without a pre-order offer allows the customer who sees the new product to pay for it and receive it normally without any additional delay.
The downside is that your launch may get lost in the crowd and no one will hear about your product.
Product Marketing Launch Planning
By planning every task of your launch in advance, you eliminate many reasons for potential failure. You may not beready for the demand, have selected the wrong target audience, or have an unproven strategy because it’s not well prepared and tested.
Here are some tools to help you (most of them are free):
Product Marketing Launch Plan
Teasing: Announcing the product launch to get attention. You reveal almost nothing.
Launch Announcement: Campaigns launched a week to three weeks before your product launch, you announce the name of the product and date of the launch in a live event, pre-orders, both or no one. Consider “Coming Soon” ads to create a sense of scarcity and urgency.
Hype: You build excitement by offering a giveaway, an exclusive launch promotion or another event around launch day to get more people on board.
Market Exposure: This is the period during which your influencer marketing or public relations actions are launched. This phase can also be divided into several stages to keep the interest on top or launched on several platforms at once.
Product launch: Sales are open. You run campaigns to convert.
Boost: once the campaign runs out of momentum, you can relaunch it to boost sales, for example with a promotional offer or a referral program.
Best proven practices for your product launch strategy:
- An engaged community on social media allows you to reach a lot of people with your new product launch posts, as the algorithm favors your posts if you have a lot of engagement.
- If you are building it on social media, giveaways are a good way to increase the reach of your posts. Be careful not to overuse them.
- Make sure that the different acquisition channels are in synergy.
- Avoid backlash on social media, depending on your products.For example, avoid saying that they don’t pollute at all if you do e-commerce, as environmentalists will point their fingers at you by highlighting your carbon footprint related to logistics.
- Be confident in your product. If you send your new product to get reviews from the press and YouTubers, you won’t control what they say. Take useful feedback only.
Marketing platforms by priority
With the ability to add visual elements in a short format, emails are excellent for communicating about your new product launch.
Use your existing customer base satisfied by their previous purchase in your online store.
If you have built a solid email list even of leads that have not yet purchased, you will have a good chance of achieving a successful launch.
Example of email flow for a new product launch:
Email 1: Teasing
Objective: Storytelling, get attention
Message: Highlight a problem that your product will soon solve.
Email 2: Product reveal
Objective: Raise interest
Message: announce the 3 reasons why this product will help/solve/is unique
Email 3: Coming soon + announce they will be an exclusive and limited launch offer
Objective: Build the hot lead base
Message: ‘Coming soon’ – there will be an exclusive offer
CTA: Notify Me
Email 4: Launch offer, date, and time (important)
Objectie : Create urgency & retain interest
Message: As promised… the exclusive offer of the announced launch and the launch date
You also communicate in detail how and where they will be able to buy the product.
CTA: Visit our site
Email 5: Reminder of the launch 24/48 hours before
Objective: Reinforce the sense of urgency and recall
Message: Image of the product, details of its main features
Email 6: Product launch (if not sold out during pre-orders)
Objective: purchase action
Message: The product is launched, short, punchy. An image and a call to action are enough, or if the product needs some education, your ad video and benefits can give that more context.
CTA: Buy now
Email 7: Product review
Objective: Strengthen social proof
Message: Use the best quote from a media, an influencer, display the logos where your product was published
CTA: Buy Now
Email 8: The boost campaign
Objective: Boost sales with a limited promo code
Message: Reinforce the urgency to buy now with a unique discount
CTA: Buy Now
If you don’t have that much budget for your product launch, when the product is launched, at the very least, Facebook retargeting and Google search brand name are the 2 campaigns to run.
You have to retarget people who went to your e-commerce website with Pixel on Facebook and Instagram ads, retarget your community on social media and do a Google search ads campaign on your brand/website name.
If you can run campaigns throughout the product launch, here are some other examples you can add:
Facebook/ Instagram teaser, coming soon, announcement, pre-order, and product launch ads for a cold audience
YouTube teaser, pre-launch announcement, product launch, and promotion video ads for a cold audience and remarketing
Google Display Ads remarketing
The budget to create content for all can be substantial. That’s why you need to plan your ad creation well in advance if you want to go for paid campaigns.
Social media marketing organic & Content marketing SEO
It’s time to enjoy the benefits of your hard work.
I don’t put it first because it also requires resources in terms of budget for content creation, post scheduling and copywriting to publish on social media.
If you already have a strongly-engaged community, this is the first place you want to communicate your product launch. Your social media pages, your youtube channel, your blog, your podcast, or any other organic traffic acquisition source you’ve spent time building that will finally pay off!
Engage with your fans, include hashtags to create online buzz and deliver value.
PR & Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing and product seeding is a growing market that can be extremely profitable too. Go read the article dedicated to profitable influencer marketing in 2021 to learn more.
When searching you should try to find influencers that are in a niche as much as possible with your positioning, product, and industry.
If you have read our article above, depending on your budget, betting everything on a celebrity can be risky. Focus on influencers with a lot of engagement and who are already talking about products similar to your or that match your brand identity.
Keep in mind that you won’t have total control over the content published.
Bloggers are also very interesting. They can mention your product, and with an expert eye and more knowledge, they will be able to deliver solid opinions and social proof to reuse.
E-commerce launch strategy
You will also have to prepare operations on your e-commerce site for the launch of your product.
Design and test your landing page with your top customers
You can announce the launch to your most loyal customers on a beta test homepage or a special beta test page.
Start by sending to these customers an invitation to discover this product through an ultra-personalized email campaign.
This will allow you to test your call to action (notify me). Once your customers have gone to your landing page, analyze. You can ask them for feedback directly by asking how you should bring the product to the market. You can also ask experts or friends in the field of e-commerce and marketing.
Design your product launch offer
A simple and clear launch offer is usually more effective for mainstream audiences. Don’t make something complicated if you are targeting a large audience.
A lower value product like a free accessory, a surprise gift, free shipping, a special 5-10% launch discount is enough to attract customers.
The key is to make it clear and understandable.
Consider branding the product and adding custom packaging to enhance the customer experience during unboxing.
Integrate your product into the website navigation and integrate it into an appropriate collection if needed.
High-quality photos for your future product launch are a must-have, for e-commerce websites, for press releases, for social media… You’ll need video content for ads as well. It works better. Remember to anticipate these requests with your creative team, any agencies, or freelancers you work with.
When creating your visuals and ads, remember to request different formats for your website. Usually you will ask for square (1200×1200) and vertical (1080×1920) formats for socials, but for e-commerce you may also need banner and landscape (1920×1080) formats.
Logistics is one of the most important elements of a successful product launch, your customers expect to receive it quickly if you create excitement. Be prepared for high or low demand (the complicated part of e-commerce) so you don’t run out of stock or have a lot of inventory to sell off too quickly.
If the product is of sufficient quality, don’t worry, you can always sell it on marketplaces while sacrificing some margins or to physical distributors.