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Issue #1 • January 2017

How to Create a Timeline for a Successful Product Launch

Monetize Your List

Every good product deserves a great launch. Afterall, with all the work you’ve put into creating your beautiful, world-changing product, you need to make sure it gets the recognition it's due.

Enter the product launch plan.

From learning about your customers, writing persuasive and exciting content, beta testing, and choosing the promotion channels that work the best, it’s important to put a plan into place so you don’t miss a thing.

To help you start your own product launch plan, here’s a general timeline of steps to take to help you gain momentum and have a successful launch.

4 months to launch:

Get advice: Start talking about your product to your mentors, people in the real world, and potential customers. Get that elevator pitch ready.

Customer development: Your product should be a reflection of your customers. To find out if what you want to create is something your customers need, you first have to know your customers.

Messaging and positioning: Once you have the information from your emails with the 10 Person Rule, it’s time to come up with your messaging. How will you position your product? Think about:

  • Who it’s for?
  • What does it do?
  • Why it’s better than similar products?

 

3 Months to launch:

Create a launch plan: Work backward from your goal launch date and think about every step and marketing activity you need to take to make sure your launch is successful.

Create launch content: Think about all the collateral you will need to sell you product and start drafting copies,

  • Demo decks
  • Product screenshots
  • Sales materials
  • Landing page
  • Website updates
  • Emails
  • Sales page
  • Swipe copy
  • Homepage takeover for opt-in forms

Pick your channels: Not every marketing and advertising channel will work for your launch, nor does it need to. And it’s not about what channels work best for you. Find out what channels your customers hang out the most, pick two or three of those, and focus your efforts there. Channel examples include:

  • Specific social media channels
  • Product Hunt

Prep your team: If you have a team, teach them your positioning/message. Make sure they are ready to sell.

Go-to-market strategy: Compile all this information in one place for easy access.

A holistic document of all launch activities, planning, and goals. This can include pricing recommendations, market research, competitive analysis, and any other relevant information you might need.

Find promoters/affiliates: You most likely can’t launch on your own. Find influencers in your industry who might be interested in helping you out. Take some time during this month to make a list of these influencers to contact and send your product to for beta.

 

2 Months to launch:

Beta: Write and send an email to potential affiliates and send them your product to test and review. Make it extra easy on them to review your product by including swipe copy for their blogs and social media.

This Beta step is very important. These influencers will help you evaluate your product before you release it publicly and can give you valuable feedback about what works and what doesn’t.

Start building anticipation: You can’t just release one day. Without any notice, no one is going to know what you’re talking about and they won’t care. Here are some examples of building anticipation:

  • Create a landing page about the product with a “stay in touch” opt-in form.
  • Put a banner on your site hyping the product that links to your product landing page
  • Talk to your social media followers: Ask them questions to make sure you’re still on track

Finalize launch content: Take all the customer information you’ve been gathering and make sure your launch content is still on par. Ask a friend/hire a professional to look over it and edit to make sure it launch worthy.

Gather reviews from your beta testers: Add beta reviews to your landing page and seed throughout social media. These reviews will add to your social clout and brand authority and trust.

 

1 month to launch:

Announce your launch: It’s time to start announcing your product to the public!

  • Post about your launch on your blog. Have your opt-in form link to your landing page.
  • Start your email sequence to your opt-in list.
  • Set up your opt-in form for your blog main page.

 

3 weeks to launch:

Check in with affiliates: Make sure your promoters have everything they need to spread the news about your product.

Start seeding social media: Post teaser videos and images on social channels, blog posts, etc.

 

2 weeks to launch:

Set up shopping cart

Research paid traffic: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, etc. if interested.

Create sales funnel: For people who click to opt-in and for after they’ve purchased.

Create thank you page: For people who purchased.

 

1 week to launch:

Set up your product in your storefront.

Check all your links! Before you launch, do a final check to ensure that everything works– buttons are functioning, forms are working, copy and creative looks good, etc.

 

Week of:

Keep sharing on social media and through your email list.

Make your launch an event: Everything is more exciting when you take the time to promote it well. Here’s a couple ideas of how to make your launch extra exciting:

  • Host a webinar
  • Hit the podcast circuit
  • Host a TwitterChat
  • Release a new (longer-than-a-teaser) promo

 

After:

Pop the champagne! You did it! Launching a product is no easy feet. In the craziness of a launch, it’s easy to jump from prep-work to post-work, but it’s so important to celebrate every little victory you can as a business owner. So take a little time to reveal in your success.

Follow up for testimonials: About a month after your launch, send out an email asking your new customers what they thought about your product.

Take your feedback and make your product better: Everything your customers tell you is important. Make sure to listen to them and take that data from your launch to re-work your product for your next launch.

Share it!

We put this handy graphic together for you to pin for later and to share with your friends. Enjoy!

Dani Stewart

As a daughter of an entrepreneur, the wife of an entrepreneur, and an entrepreneur herself, Dani has lived and learned all sides of creating and growing businesses. She is excited to bring all that life experience as well as a decade of crafting content to the ConvertKit community. She is a part-time baker, dinner-party planner, and lover of good bourbon living the simple life in Nashville with her husband, Sean.

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