Over the past few months, I’ve been busy working on a product launch for a new client and what can I say, handling a product launch can get pretty complicated. That’s why I decided to make your life easier and share my insights and effective strategies.
Let’s start by recognising that people often make things more complex than needed. Your first product launch doesn’t have to be overly complicated. In this post, I’ll cover soft and more advanced launch strategies based on your business situation.
Let’s dive in.
What is a soft product launch?
A soft launch typically involves releasing a product with minimal marketing effort before its official launch.
Why would a soft launch work better for you?
From my own experience, managing several eCommerce businesses, I’ve learned that first launches will not go as expected. That’s why there is no necessity to make a complex strategy. Instead of a complex plan, consider a soft launch as a low-risk ‘rehearsal’ for future ones.
Steps for a soft launch:
1) Refine the product
In the early days, just focus on improving your product and learning from customers before investing in marketing. Product quality is key to long-term success.
2) Understand the platform
You need to understand the platform you’re launching on and tailor your strategy accordingly. For instance, if you’re launching on Amazon, starting with ads might not be effective since your profile lacks credibility at the start. Starting with a discount could be a more effective way, as Amazon algorithm will prioritise your product, making it visible to potential consumers.
3) Define key metrics
Start by figuring out the important measurements you want to track. Once you have clear KPIs, you can see how well your soft launch is working and check if your product is meeting your expectations.
4) Find a right messaging
When you’re just starting, it’s hard to predict how your messaging will connect with your audience. While you might have ideas, the real test comes through advertising. Focus on a single unique selling proposition (USP) message. If your company has multiple messages, it’s crucial to test each one with specific demographics. This process provides swift feedback and helps you understand what works best.
5) Find your target market
At this stage, remember that you’re in the process of exploring different markets to find where your product fits best. Test all the possible audiences and see where it aligns most effectively.
6) Have a things out there
Don’t wait to launch just because you can’t use all the effective strategies upfront. Have your products out there and see what people are actually buying.
Soft launch is cost effective and it is one of the quickest and most accurate feedback that you can receive, ensuring that your product is successful and sells well. It can also serve as a checklist for brands of any size, ensuring that they have covered the basics before delving into more advanced strategies.
I’ll guide you through my own multi-layered and more complex strategy for the product launch.
What is a hard product launch?
This is the launch where you put in effort and budget to make a significant impact, spreading the word about your product. Your aim here is to reach a wide audience before the launch and gain traction in performance and sale.
Why would a hard launch work better for you?
Make a hard launch strategy If you are running a bigger business and you have resources to deal with the complexity of the hard launch to maximise your product’s impact and success.
My hard product launch strategy:
1) Run a giveaway
- Launch a giveaway to spark interest into your new product.
- Promote the giveaway through paid ads, so it will reach a wider audience.
- Extend the promotion to private Facebook groups, where your product might be relevant.
2) Launch promo deal
- Introduce a promotional bundle of your products. For instance, you can offer a 25% discount.
3) Generate scarcity
- Create scarcity through quantity or time, if you actually have limited stock, it will naturally create genuine scarcity.
- Avoid artificial scarcity as customers can spot it.
4) Email automation
- Implement email automation to send time-sensitive coupons.
- Consider offering additional discounts for the next order.
5) User- Generated Content (UGC)
- Encourage customers to share their experiences by giving them a voucher. It would also increase retention.
- Use UGC for your paid ads and landing pages.
- Send complimentary products to ideal customers for feedback.
- Utilise received UGC to enhance credibility.
7) Co-Marketing opportunities:
- Collaborate with partners to gain exposure and credibility.
- Seek industry leaders for endorsements and features.
8) Influencer partnerships:
- Explore collaborations with influencers for wider reach.
- Evaluate the potential benefits against costs and risks, as it is costly.
9) Traditional traffic:
- Drive targeted traffic through Google search, Google Shopping, and social media paid ads.
- If the things sell out quickly, give customers an opportunity to pre-order.
Product launches can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you go for a soft start or a hard launch, it’s important to tailor your strategy to your business’s size, resources, and goals.