In the digital age, starting a business online has become easy, but standing out in a crowded market is challenging. Jeff Walker’s “Launch” provides a strategy for product launch that requires minimal start-up costs and emphasizes value and customer engagement to create a profitable and flexible business.
This guide explores how the internet has changed marketing, and how to take advantage of this new landscape to grow your business successfully. It also discusses how to use email marketing to draw in new customers and how Walker’s method functions using psychological insights. The guide also compares “Launch” to other marketing books by experts like Seth Godin and Ryan Holiday.
Entrepreneur and digital marketing expert Jeff Walker’s “Launch” emphasizes the importance of prioritizing customer engagement and providing value over sales when launching a product online. This strategy can help create a profitable and flexible business with minimal start-up costs. Walker’s approach is centered around building an email list, which is a powerful tool for success.
This guide explores the five stages of Walker’s product launch method and how it sets itself apart from other strategies. Additionally, the guide provides insights into the psychology and logic behind the approach and compares it to other experts in the field.
The Product Launch in the Online Business World
In contrast to the conventional method of hoping for sales after releasing a product, Jeff Walker’s product launch strategy places an emphasis on developing potential purchasers before a product is released. A product launch is the process of introducing and selling a new product, whether it be physical or informational.
When introducing a product, the Internet offers both benefits and drawbacks, such as the ability to reach a worldwide audience at a low cost but with increasing competition and transparency. Walker’s approach emphasizes customer engagement to achieve success in internet marketing and depart from traditional marketing strategies.
Three Keys to a Successful Launch
Jeff Walker suggests utilizing mental triggers, which are brain shortcuts that influence people to take certain actions, to stand out in the digital marketing arena.
Value, connections, and desire, three crucial elements of a successful product introduction, are supported by these triggers. You may increase your launch’s traction and reactivity and increase your chances of success by including all three variables.
Heuristics: Mental Shortcuts Can Help Market Your Product
According to Walker, using mental shortcuts or heuristics is crucial in achieving a successful product launch. These shortcuts, which are also known as heuristics, help people navigate the world and make decisions quickly and efficiently. They remain effective in marketing because they are grounded in human psychology.
- One such heuristic is accessibility, which entails creating a favorable perception of your product in the minds of your customers.
- The other is representativeness, which describes why we have a propensity to make judgments based on preconceived notions.
- A third heuristic is loss aversion, which suggests that people are more motivated by the fear of losing things than the hope of gaining things. By using these heuristics, you can build value, relationships, and desire during your launch process, as we’ll discuss shortly.
Walker believes that providing value before pushing for sales is a key factor in the success of launching a product or business. By focusing on providing value to potential customers, rather than selling a product, entrepreneurs can establish trust and authority, making it easier to stand out in a crowded digital market.
Giving away quality information for free not only provides people with a taste of the product or service but also showcases the entrepreneur’s expertise. This generosity can lead to increased appreciation and a reciprocated desire to purchase the product, ultimately leading to a successful launch.
According to Walker, developing trusting connections with current and potential customers is essential for a successful product launch. You may build communities around your product and have continuous engagement with clients by spreading out your launch across a few days or weeks.
This generates momentum in your launch and creates social proof, as people base their actions off the opinions and experiences of others. People are more likely to purchase your goods when they hear other people are excited about it. Strong ties with consumers may be formed through creating a community around your product, and connections amongst customers can help your launch succeed even more.
According to Walker, to persuade people to buy your product, you need to make them want it. He advocates approaching the introduction of your product like a huge event to generate interest and demand in order to accomplish this. Making it a countdown event would encourage people’s innate desire to participate in something greater, creating anticipation for the launch day. However, this approach requires an endpoint to create urgency for people to make a decision.
To make your product launch a successful event, Walker recommends breaking it down into five stages: 1) building an email list, 2) gauging the interest of potential customers, 3) creating anticipation, 4) opening for sales, and 5) following up with both shoppers and non-shoppers.
Stage 1: Create an Email List
According to Walker, building an email list is crucial for a successful product launch, regardless of whether you have a clear business idea or an established product. The internet provides access to a broader audience, and enticing people to subscribe to your content helps establish and maintain strong business relationships.
Start Your List
Walker suggests the following three techniques to expand your email list: social networking, paid ads, and unpaid traffic. Improving your website to rank better in search engine results is one way to increase organic traffic. Social media can be used to draw attention and direct people to your email list, but Walker cautions against relying solely on social media to market your product.
Paid advertising can be used to drive more people to your landing page and email list, with different approaches depending on whether you’re targeting warm or cold traffic. By following these strategies, you can build and grow an email list that will help ensure a successful launch for your product or business.
Ad Blockers and Banner Blindness
Walker advises using paid advertising to promote your product launch, but how can you ensure that your ads are effective given that many people use ad blockers? A study conducted in 2022 found that 42.7% of people worldwide use ad blockers, which can pose a challenge when trying to drive paid traffic to your launch.
However, many people don’t mind ads as long as they are not disruptive or annoying. Another issue is banner blindness, where people subconsciously ignore ads due to their location and appearance. Experts suggest creating visually-unique designs, having a clear and attractive message, and incorporating interactive features to avoid this.
Stage 2: Gauge Interest
To determine if your product launch will be successful, you should gauge interest and engagement from your email subscribers. Send out an email alerting them about the product and ask for feedback and questions through a survey. This will help you modify your product to meet their needs and increase their interest in buying.
If you continue to generate anticipation and communicate with your subscribers, avoid mentioning any upcoming deals at this time. By doing so, you’ll keep your product at the forefront of their minds.
Stage 3: Build Anticipation
To build anticipation and encourage purchases of your product, Walker advises following the introduction of your offer with three pieces of excellent marketing material sent to your email list.
This strategy works better than a standard sales letter because it builds anticipation over a number of days and tells a story. To keep your audience interested, the material structure can change, but it should be spread out between five to twelve days.
Offer Value with Three Content Pieces
Walker advises addressing three key questions in your three marketing pieces: Why should someone buy your product? What is your product? And how will it benefit them?
Piece #1: The Reason—“Why”
To capture your audience’s attention in the first marketing piece, answer the “why” questions – why should they care about your product and why should they listen to you? Walker advises using your product’s promotion to bring about improvement or change and building your authority by discussing your relevant expertise. Additionally, providing a free sample of your content can entice potential customers and encourage engagement.
Piece #2: The Product—“What”
In your second piece, summarize your product and address any concerns your prospects may have. Offer a free sample of your product, such as an in-depth tutorial of another longboard trick. Hint at the third piece and encourage feedback.
Piece #3: The Benefit—“How”
For the last piece of content, Walker recommends showcasing how people can experience the benefits of your product and visualize their own transformation. Offer a case study, such as before-and-after videos of a beginner longboarder, to convince people that the product will work for them. Respond to the main concerns raised in feedback requests, then move on to talking about your offer and how your followers may obtain your product and profit from it.
Stage 4: Open to Sales
Walker advises setting up a sales website page and delivering a brief email with a link to let people know that your product is now available for purchase during the third step of the launch process. Send an email every day of your launch offering updates, expressing appreciation, and addressing queries to your fans in order to improve outcomes.
Finally, create a sense of scarcity by having a definitive end to your launch with a price increase, special bonus removal, or offer end. As the end approaches, remind people of your cart’s closing time in emails to capitalize on procrastinators.
Stage 5: Follow Up
After your launch, maintain and grow your business by nurturing relationships with shoppers and non-shoppers. Walker advocates surpassing expectations by keeping in regular contact and going above and beyond. Write a thank you note asking for feedback and describing the outcomes of your launch.
Offer bonus content to both shoppers and non-shoppers. For buyers, a bonus gift shows gratitude, while asking for feedback strengthens the connection. For non-buyers, more content and feedback can provide insights for future launches.
Variations of the Product Launch
Learn two variations of Walker’s launch strategy: launching without a product and launching with a partner company.
Launching Without a Product
To launch a product teaching cat trick, follow the formula:
- Gather a list of prospects, no matter how small.
- Present your offer with the benefits in three content pieces.
- Open your initial product and send surveys for feedback.
- Use feedback to create the next iteration of your product and repeat the process.
Customer Feedback Loop: How to Implement Feedback
Walker’s feedback-based product development process is similar to a customer feedback loop, a strategy that aims to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty by collecting, analyzing, implementing, and following up on feedback.
To apply this approach, you can collect feedback in various ways, such as through email or text messages, categorize it based on customer types, analyze it for patterns, apply it to your product, and follow up with customers to keep them engaged in the process.
Launching With Partners
Partner launches, in which you work with other businesses to increase your audience and email list, will elevate your launch. Send emails to your partners’ subscribers advertising your offer and driving them to your landing page just before release. Your partners will receive a percentage of your sales in return for the increased exposure.
Here are the steps Walker suggests for finding a launch partner:
- Partnering with companies can help you promote your product to a wider audience. By having access to their email lists, you can quickly grow your own.
- To find a partner for your launch, search online for relevant companies in your field that serve your market’s goal. Join their email lists, read their emails, and narrow down to three to five best options. Create value to stand out when reaching out to potential partners.
- Before involving partners in your product launch, make sure your product is successful by running one with your own list first. When you get good launch results, your partners will be more inclined to continue working with you.
Product Launching With Influencers
Walker and Holiday both advise collaborating with others to expand your audience and increase awareness of your upcoming product launch. Walker suggests teaming up with other companies, while Holiday recommends working with influencers on social media.
Both advise conducting research and providing something of value in exchange for their promotion to locate a solid partner or influencer. Lastly, both stress the significance of forging deep bonds with collaborators and influencers by emphasizing providing them with value and respecting them as individuals.
Exercise: Build Anticipation With Three Content Pieces
Walker emphasizes the importance of creating anticipation when launching a product. To do this, he recommends planning out three pieces of marketing content. Try this exercise by thinking of a product or service you’d like to sell and mapping out your three pieces.
Describe your product or service and explain the change or transformation it offers. What makes you an authority in providing it?
Next, think about the value you can offer your customers. Perhaps you could give a tutorial with expert advice or offer a discount for early adopters.
Finally, consider how your product can help customers meet their goals. Showcase this through a video tour or case study of a successful user.
I’m founder and director of The Digital Agency; a certified Google Partner and Shopify Partner digital marketing agency operating in London and Istanbul. The Digital Agency has a solid track record of delivering high growth in eCommerce, Facebook & Google advertising, social media communication, search engine optimization, eCommerce and website production through 16 years of experience with 140 brands in 500 projects. Visit The Digital Agency here