When you create a new product that you plan on launching on your website or blog, it takes more than just a good product idea for it to be successful.  It needs to be marketed properly to your target audience.  A few things I learned from when I released the Link Builder’s Toolkit, was the pre-launch marketing execution can be as time consuming as the actual product creation.  However if the pre-launch is done correctly it can significantly increase your sales.

Pre-launch Product Checklist

1.  Lead Generation Setup

Hopefully you already have a nice in-house marketing list that you can leverage to reach out to your readers about your new product.  If not, you should start right away.  The more e-mail addresses you can collect, the better chance you have for more exposure and sales.

  • Freebies – Start by offering a piece of content for free, in exchange for their e-mail address.  Giving away the 1st chapter of your eBook, a video interview you did, a podcast or a whitepaper are great incentives for gathering e-mail addresses.
  • Giveaway Sign-Up – Give an incentive that if they sign-up they will be entered into a drawing to win your product for free.
  • Optimized Contact Form – Make sure the lead gen form is simple and easy to fill out, with minimal information needed from the user.

    2.  Reaching Out to Industry Influencers

    • Give Your Product to 5-10 Industry Influencers – By doing this you can leverage their readership and traffic to try and create some buzz about your product.  Try asking them to write a review about the product or maybe ask them to conduct an interview on you, that they can then use on their blog.
    • Ask to Guest Blog – Reach to reputable blogs to see if you could write a guest post that covers topics related to your product.  Then add a soft sell in your author bio about the new product launch.
    • Gain Feedback – While you are still putting the finishing touches to your product, it is important to get some feedback from other in the industry.  Doing a focus group or reaching out to the people who you gave your product to gain some feedback on how it be improved.

    3.  Affiliate Area

    • Create a Page – If you choose to offer an Affiliate Program where people can earn commission for marketing/selling your products, you should have a section on your site that speaks directly to them.
    • Create Marketing Materials – Provide your affiliate with all the necessary materials they will need to market your product.  Include banner ads (various sizes), training materials, sales letters, incentives, coupon codes, etc…
    • Create Incentives – Starting a contest or offering incentives for your affiliates will give them a reason to heavily promote your product and entice them to want to make your product more, over others.

    4.  Landing Page Creation

    • Create  a Landing Page or Micro-site – Depending on the quality and value of the product you will want to have a central place where you drive readers to.  If you are selling something at a low price like an Ebook, it would probably make sense to have a landing page on your current domain.  However if your product is more complex like a Training Course or login area with premium content, you may want to create a new domain that matches the name of your product.
    • Add Promo Graphics – Make sure that you have multiple spots on your site where you can help promote the product.  Usually in the sidebar, at the bottom of a blog post and at the end of an RSS feed are great places to add a promo graphic about your new product.
    • Include Conversion Best Practices – Make sure that your landing page is using all the best practices to increase your conversion rates including capturing headlines, feature/benefit statements, special pricing, optimized checkout process, money-back guarantee, testimonials, etc…

    5.  E-Mail Newsletter Creation

    • Auto-responders – Have a series of auto-responders for anyone who signs up to be informed when the product launches.  Include various content that talk about what’s included in the product, how its going to help you, and timely offers if they act right away.
    • Branded Template – This is not mandatory but it would be nice to have a newsletter template that has the same look and feel of your website.  This will help improve branding and associate your logo/colors with the product.

    6.  Create Social Buzz

    • Post Updates to Your Social Profiles – Post updates on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin about anything newsworthy that relates to the product launch.
    • Monitor Keyword Mentionings – Reach out to people who are discussing similar products and topics. Create a strategy that engages with these people and makes them aware of your upcoming product launch.  Offer these people a discount or reason to fill out a form so that you can follow up with them when the product launches.