The Ultimate 5 Step Product Launch Checklist

product launchesThe experience of creating and launching your first product online can be tricky to say the least.

In fact, some people fail to sell any units at all.

However, the failures are nearly always for good reason. Either the product is poorly researched or, more commonly, the marketing is just weak.

After successfully launching several products myself I am now working on another launch (watch this space ;-))

I’ve come to the conclusion that there is very much a formula for success. I honestly believe that if you follow it religiously and to the best of your ability then you have a 90%+ chance of success, if not higher.

So, here it is my “Ultimate 5 Step Product Launch Checklist” for you:

Step 1: Research Your Product

The first rule is you must have a product that people want.

So go out into the market and find the products in your niche that are already selling well. Purchase a few of them and tear them apart. Write down the features you like and don’t like.

Take the best aspects of what you find, put them together with your own ideas and spec out your new product.

Step 2: Create Your Product

Put some time aside for this. “Chunk” it down (see previous post here) and build your product.

Repurpose your content by getting audios transcribed, creating PDFs of the powerpoint presentations you use in videos and make checklists which summarize the information in your reports.

Step 3: Create Your Product Website

Register a domain for your product: www.yourproduct.com

For all my products I now use WordPress loaded with OptimizePress and Wishlist Member to control customer access.

So install these on your website.

Here is what you need on your site:

a) Sales Page

You’ll usually want your sales page on your main domain e.g., at www.yourproduct.com. Use the premade sales templates in OptimizePress to create it.

Find at least 5 of the sales pages for the products you researched in Step 1 and tear them apart. Write down all the aspects that catch your eye. Insert some nice graphics from BigStock and tell a story about the product.

…or…

Dispense with the long sales letter and just create a Powerpoint screencast video using Camtasia.

b) Members Area

This should be protected from public access (using your Wishlist Member plugin) and create pages for:

Login Page
Wishlist Member will automatically create one of these for you at www.yourproduct.com/members

Actually this will be a public page of course so people who aren’t logged in can do so.

Download Page
Have this at www.yourproduct.com/download or www.yourproduct.com/training. This is where your customers will be able to access what they have purchased.

If you like you can add additional pages on a dropdown menu as I demonstrated in my last post here – see the video at 7 mins, 30 seconds.

Bonus Page
Bonuses are a GREAT way of increasing value to your customers.

A bonus should take you no more than 15% of the time that you spent creating the main product. Keep it nice and simple but something that people will find useful.

Put this at www.yourproduct.com/bonus

Support
www.yourproduct.com/support

This is essential! Customers should be able to contact you with any question they have whether it’s for billing, members access or content related.

You can either just put your email address (support@yourproduct.com which you can create in your hosting C-Panel) or use some helpdesk software. You’ll find free helpdesk software if you search Google.

c) Affiliate Tools

www.yourproduct.com/affiliates or www.yourproduct.com/jv

This is something that I have been working on in the last few days for my new product. It’s great to have other people promote your products and naturally, you want to make it as easy for them as possible.

So your Affiliate Tools page should have details of how to sign up to get affiliate links (see next step) and also sample “swipe” emails that they can copy and paste to send out to their list.

If you want to go further then great! Why not get some banners created on fiverr.com that affiliate can place on their blog to promote your product?

Step 4: List Your Product On An Affiliate Networks

Now we’re getting to the all important marketing side.

Remember there is a big graveyard out there online for products that haven’t sold a single copy – so marketing and promotion is absolutely essential for success!

Depending upon your product I recommend listing it on either JVZoo, Warrior Plus or Clickbank.

If it’s your first time I highly recommend JVZoo as it’s free to list your product and affiliates will get instant commission via PayPal which is a BIG compelling reason for them to promote!

Also, these affiliate networks will let you integrate your autoresponder which obviously is crucial as this means all customers will be put onto your list.

Step 5: Recruit Affiliates

Many people think that the listing your product on an affiliate network is enough to get affiliates sending traffic.

In some cases it is: A couple of months ago I listed one of my products on JVZoo (which took about 15 minutes) and did NOTHING else. The result has been 3,237 visitors and 173 sales, ALL driven by affiliates.

But PLEASE don’t rely on this. I just wanted to test it and see what would happen and maybe I was lucky that time!

You must do your best to get affiliates onboard and promote your product. The great news is this is a lot easier to do than you might imagine AND you can do it sat in front of your computer without having to speak to anyone (although “networking” does help obviously)!

The first thing you need is to create a spreadsheet and build a list of potential affiliates:

  • Steal your competitors’ affiliates by seeking them out in Google
  • Find existing affiliates who are active on eZine articles
  • Get the contact details of high profile bloggers in your niche
  • Find YouTube videos related to your product’s subject matter that don’t have any links in the comments
  • Email newsletters/Ezines

Add all of the contact details to your spreadsheet and create a standard email which tells them about your product and the commission you are offering.

And don’t forget to follow up a week or so later!

This is immensely powerful and is exactly what I do. If you are a GHG Member then check out the live training session we did a few weeks ago on which contains all the juicy strategies.

So….

Launching a product is exciting and fun. YES IT IS!

Follow the steps above for a 90%+ success rate.

It’s a brilliant feeling to have created something from nothing that genuinely helps people AND you get paid for it too!

And that’s one of the many reasons I love this business 🙂

I hope this helped you? If so, all I ask in return is please Like, Tweet and spread the word. Do let me know of any questions and comments below as well….

,

24 Responses to The Ultimate 5 Step Product Launch Checklist

  1. Ralph October 30, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    Hey Rob, timely post here for me. We’re launching the first online paid product for a customer of our this week and are working on the launch plan, releasing the first free content after our survey last week.

    He has a live coaching product that he sells for $15k (he has a handful of students) and we are pricing it $5k less to a list of a few hundred or so in the real estate investing niche. Aside from the trepidation of selling to such a small list and a very expensive product (competitors sell similar ones for $10-50K btw) we are working on the sales page too.

    Based on all that, long form sales age or video sales page? Thoughts on the whole thing? Thanks.

    • Rob October 30, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

      Hey Ralph,

      Long time no speak, I hope all is well and the super-storm didn’t impact you?

      For this high ticket item I would go for a webinar myself. So do it live, then in my experience, you’ll get probably 60%+ people watching the replay. If all the details are in the webinar then you don’t need a sales page at all, just a link below to the cart.

      If for any reason a webinar isn’t your bag then a video accompanied by a quite long sales letter would, in my opinion, be the second best option.

      Cheers, Rob.

      • Ralph October 30, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

        Hey thanks Rob, great ideas as always. I know you launched a pretty high ticket product for the trading stuff a while back and helped a mate of yours (notice I said “mate” lol) – wo we wer going to do the webinar and pitch the product in the end. When you do this, do you then have a sales page for people to refer back to after the webinar I assume? Well keep it open for probably 5 days then shut it down.

        BTW, you see my Patriots whoop up on the Rams at Wembley? Were you there?

        • Rob October 30, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

          You’re welcome mate!

          Yes, that’s the basic process. That one actually involved around a week of prelaunch with emails and the 3 training videos prior to opening the cart. I’ve done that style a few times, including in the stock market niche, but to be honest it’s a lot of work and I think these days people have short attention spans which is why a webinar is a nice way to do it. But yes, either way you need that final video or webinar up for a few days until your places are filled then shut it. No false scarcity either, but I know you wouldn’t do that anyway. Just set a date or number of places limit and shut up. From doing this several times I find over 50% of the sales come in the final few hours before shut down. Amazing how people leave things until the last minute!

          I missed that at Wembley but am determined to go. I did a tour of the stadium last year and that’s the most oversubscribed event of the year apparently!

          Cheers, Rob.

          • Ralph October 31, 2012 at 3:01 am #

            I guess it’s true – the NFL will actually expand to the UK after all!

            When’s the English Premier League comin here? I love it but it’s on at 1 in the afternoon!

            Thanks for the ideas. We’re a bit worked up over this one. Big money at stake.

          • Rob October 31, 2012 at 7:10 am #

            Not sure about that one Ralph – I heard soccer is growing a bit in the US though so maybe soon!

            Good luck on the big one then, looking forward to hearing how it went.

            Rob.

  2. Mark Salmon October 30, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    Hi Rob,

    Could you be a little more specific about how you find potential affiliates – for example, how do you find them in Google and the other places listed?

    thanks

    Mark

    • Rob October 30, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

      Hi Mark,

      Sure, one example for you: Look at the affiliate tools page for a competitor’s product, copy a sentence of the swipe copy they provide and put that into Google. This will bring up a list of their affiliates who are already active in your niche. As I said in the post you’ll find more in the members area training session.

      Cheers, Rob.

  3. colin October 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    Cracking information, as usual.
    One thing, though, have been reading missives by a lot of top end copywriters, and a couple of low end too, who poh pooh the dismissal of long copy sales letter – but perhaps they would, they are copywriters by profession after all……………..
    Colin B

    • Rob October 30, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

      Hi Colin,

      Thanks for your comment glad you found this useful.

      Long copy is still very much alive and well. But obviously video is very powerful and to be honest often a lot easier and cheaper to create. I’ve used many combinations and it’s really a question of testing.

      Cheers, Rob.

  4. Sergio Felix October 30, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    Hey Rob, one quick question…

    Are we allowed to list a product on JVZoo that is already listed on Clickbank?

    Thanks in advance man! 😉

    Sergio

    • Rob October 30, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

      Hi Sergio,

      As long as it’s your product then yes you can!

      Cheers, Rob.

      • Sergio Felix October 30, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

        Fastest response EVER haha thank you Rob, really appreciate it! 😉

  5. Robert Morrow October 30, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    As usual the advice is concise and accurate.

    The big challenge is going through the entire process in a reasonable time period without losing interest, especially if you are working at things part time.

    However I will continue to take your advice and stick at things even if it takes time.

    • Rob October 31, 2012 at 7:08 am #

      Hi Robert,

      Yes, that’s can be a challenge but the “chunking” really helps and if the hunger is there then so to is the motivation.

      Stick at it 🙂

      Cheers – Rob.

  6. Peter October 31, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    Hi Rob

    Thanks for that ‘Steps’ breakdown – helps alot with the understanding!

    In Step 2 wasn’t sure though what was meant by making checklists which summarize the information in my reports.

    In Step 3, presumably having got OptimizePress, does that mean I would just need to install Wishlist member on my website? Not sure what you mean in this instance regarding controlling customer access.

    In Step 5, how would I find high profile bloggers in my niche?

    Best wishes

    Peter

    • Rob October 31, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

      Hi Peter,

      1. Checklists are 1 page PDF reports that summarize the steps in a longer report you have written.

      2. Yes, install the Wishlist plugin. You only want customer to get access and not people who haven’t paid. This is one thing that Wishlist will take care of for you.

      3. Search in Google, press Blogs on the left. Or use Technorati. And just keep an eye out for them in your niche 🙂

      Thanks for getting involved and your questions.

      Cheers – Rob.

  7. mike October 31, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    Hi Rob
    I read this with interest. Back in April I spent a month writing an ebook in the dating niche. I wrote the sales page, got input from a few forums and started adding articles to get long tail traffic. I also got a pop up opt in offering a free mini course.

    …the problem….I got annihilated by the recent ‘exact match domain’ update….so traffic is down but I am still getting some….

    so question…what is more profitable: 1)making sales of the ebook from the opt in list from the website or 2)making sales by listing the product on JV zoo and clickbank etc and getting affiliates? or do you recommend both strategies?

    Also, how hard is it to get an ebook on Clickbank? what are the criteria? do I get a refund of my $50 if they dont accept my product?

    My product has great potential, but I got demoralised when my traffic felll by 2//3rds. Please can you give ideas for affiliate marketing of the ebook. Cheeers.

  8. mike October 31, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

    Also another question….can I really just expect people on Clickbank to promote my product? Is it as easy as that?

    • Rob October 31, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

      Hey Mike,

      Thanks for your input on this, you’ve got some awesome questions…

      My points:

      1. Firstly, you’ll notice from this post that I don’t mention Google and you’ll also notice from my other posts on this blog that I am not a big fan of Google. 🙁

      This is precisely for the problem you experienced. They can change the rules on you any time, and they do on a regularly basis. Things are getting tougher and tougher with SEO and ranking your websites. I also spent about 7-8 months doing SEO when I started in 2010 and saw virtually no results from my efforts. As soon as I moved away from it to joint ventures, affiliates and (non-SEO) free and paid traffic.

      My advice with Google is don’t ignore it. I have SEO set up on this blog. But also don’t RELY on it, as it will surely let you down. Less than 10% of my traffic comes from the Big-G.

      2. I recommend both strategies:

      a) Getting affiliates to promote your sales page. I’ve had well over 30,000 visitors for free driven by affiliates so far this year and it’s converted into sales at a very high rate (I’d say over 8% which is an excellent average for any business).

      b) Driving free or paid traffic yourself to your squeeze page. I’ve done this extensively and obviously it’s not as passive as the affiliate method but it’s also profitable.

      3. It’s easy to get listed on Clickbank in my experience. However, it can take a few days (maybe 4-5) to get approved. Just read their terms and conditions first and you should be fine. In my case I missed a couple of things and they came back and asked me to add some Clickbank information to my sales page. So they work with you, albeit with slightly slow responses. Follow this and your $50 will be very well spent. Alternatively, list on JVZoo for free 🙂

      4. There are some ideas for getting affiliates in the main post and also see my response to Mark above where I give one example. For the full treatment on all of this check out the Basecamp section in the members area.

      5. No you can’t rely on Clickbank to automatically get you affilliates. People will almost certainly pick your product up and promote it but you’ll probably only get a small amount of traffic (certainly in my experience). So, as per the main article above, you need to actively recruit affiliates by contacting them. This is a lot easier than people think but also you have a head start as you’ve already tested your product so tell the affiliates about this to encourage them further to promote.

      Cheers – Rob.

  9. Graham Wilson November 2, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    HHello Rob,

    I continue to find your emails very informative but have yet to sign up to your member’s area. I guess that’s simply down to information overload and the huge number of opportunities “out there”.

    However, I have just created an instructional e-book on the sport of golf. I have yet to download it to Kindle which will probably be some time next week – just doing the final proof read – but in the meantime I need to look at the various means by which I can market it, (drive traffic to Amazon). Are you aware of any packages that can help me do that while at the same time explaining clearly why whatever method that might be, works?

    Thanks,
    Graham

    • Rob November 2, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

      Hi Graham,

      Thanks for your comment and great to see you are finding the updates useful 🙂

      First a disclaimer: I have never published a Kindle book and therefore am not an expert on this! However, a similar approach of contacting influencers in your niche would be very worthwhile. How about sending them a free copy to introduce yourself and then following up to suggest if they think it would be worth recommending to the audience? They can promote via the affiliate program (you could even offer a bonus to them to get them off the fence). Also, the more reviews you can solicit in this way will help massively too.

      Facebook & Twitter are other good distribution channels. Find people with big followings in your niche and see if you can get them to recommend it to their followers. Above all though, try to work on the relationship first, this is why giving a free copy to them is a nice idea.

      Hope these thoughts help Graham!

      Cheers,

      Rob.

  10. Toby November 18, 2015 at 4:44 am #

    Hi Rob,

    Great Post.
    I’ve launched my product in a fairly similar way. What do you think would be the average time between signing up a few affiliates and making sales?

    Thanks

    • Rob November 18, 2015 at 6:31 am #

      Hi Toby,

      Thanks for your comment, glad you found this useful 🙂

      I would say a few weeks. But really it all depends, sometimes affiliate promote the next day, other times they wait until your launch date.

      Kind regards,

      Rob.

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