Like a hairdresser cringing at someone box-dying their hair, or a chef watching someone make pasta in the oven…
As experienced digital marketers, we find it so difficult to watch businesses launch their online programs & struggle to hit their targets because they didn’t follow the right steps.
At LKO, we’ve helped our clients run multiple successful online launches over the past 6 years.
Recently, we helped one of our client’s wrap up their most successful launch to date through our launch strategies and management (we’re SO excited for them!).
So, to celebrate, we’re sharing our top 5 must-do steps for launching, so that YOU can have a successful launch as well!
We used these principles and steps to launch an online program for one of our clients, which brought in north of $350,000 USD.
So let’s dive in…
Step 1: Planning & Research
The more time and effort you put into planning and research, the more successful your launch will be. Period.
There are a few key things you need to have figured out;
- Who is your customer and what are their pain points?
- What is your offer and how does it solve your customer’s pain points?
- What are your customer’s potential buying objections, and how will you overcome them?
The key is to develop an understanding of what your customer’s actual state is (what they’re feeling or experiencing right now) and what their ideal state is (how they want to feel or what they want to achieve). How will your program shift your customer to their ideal state?
Take your time to get this research right, as understanding your customers and their needs is one of the most important things you can do.
We recommend that you start this process no less than 6 months out from when you plan to launch. We see so many people trying to launch their courses in too short of a time frame. This is DETRIMENTAL to success.
Plan ahead, do your research and make sure you give yourself plenty of time for the next step in your launch plan…
Step 2: Lead Generation
Now that you know exactly who your customers are, and how your program can help them, it’s time to connect with them.
Lead generation is the process of providing something of value (called a lead magnet) to your target market, in exchange for their contact information.
There are two main types of lead generation content useful for online program launches:
- Educational resources:
- Case studies
- White papers
- Useful resources:
- Cheat sheets
- Mind maps
- Swipe files
- Resource lists
- Software download
The type of lead magnet you decide on MUST be chosen based on the needs and desires of your ideal customer avatar. Time to go back to your research. What type of resource will they find genuinely useful? And what format would they prefer to consume the content?
If you know your target market are busy single mothers, providing them with a 400 page ebook probably won’t be successful!
Once you have your lead magnet(s) created, one of the most impactful ways you can build a high quality list for your online program is through Facebook advertising.
With advanced pixelling and retargeting capabilities, you can be sure you’re gathering a list of high-quality leads who are genuinely interested in your brand and offering.
However, if your Facebook ads strategy is implemented without a thorough understanding of what makes a successful ad AND an understanding of the ever-changing algorithm, you’ll end up with no quality leads.
That’s why outsourcing your Facebook ads to the LKO team (a group of highly trained digital marketing experts) is a great idea. Click here to learn more about our Facebook advertising services.
You need to spend at least 3 months on lead generation before you launch your program. This will give you enough time to build your list and complete the next step in your launch plan…
Step 3: Lead Nurture
Now that you’ve got a wonderful list of quality leads, it’s time to nurture them. This is a step that is so commonly missed, yet it’s absolutely critical for executing a successful launch!
What exactly do we mean by lead nurturing? Well, think of it this way…
Imagine you have a crush on someone, and you have your first date (yas!)
The next day, they get down on one knee and pop the question.
That’s a pretty big jump to go from just meeting one another to a marriage proposal. Taking your new leads from just being introduced to you to becoming a customer works in the same way.
You’ve got to nurture your new leads and let them get to know you first!
Before you marry someone, you go on dates, talk to each other, hang out and get a feel for each other. Likewise, before purchasing, your customer needs to get to know your brand, your offering and why you’re the solution to their problem.
There are SO many ways to nurture your new leads, from messenger bot funnels, content marketing and using email marketing to get you in front of your customers-to-be.
At LKO we LOVE helping our clients put together strategies to nurture their leads. Need a hand in this area? Get in touch with us here to find out how our advanced nurture techniques, tailored to your brand can help grow your brand!
Step 4: Create Hype & Excitement
You now have a group of hot leads – a community of potential customers who are genuinely interested in your upcoming program.
You’ve nurtured them well and they are beginning to know, like and trust you.
Now, it’s time to get them excited!
Hosting an online event right before, or during your launch is a great way to do this.
Some of the most successful online events we’ve created for our clients are:
- Free online classes
These events build excitement and engagement – two things you want lots of during your launch.
Along with creating a hype, now is the time to communicate the deeper benefits of your program and address any buying objections.
Remember, features are not benefits.
Yes you want to include the features of your program, but what do those features really mean?
Think about the features of your program and then ask yourself “so what?” This will help you reach a deeper benefit.
It is these deeper benefits that you want to communicate to your customers, as they will resonate in ways that features simply cannot.
Step 5: It’s Time to Launch!
When it comes time to launch, a killer sales page is non-negotiable.
Your sales page needs to have exceptional copy, eye-catching designs and strong calls to action. Include key information your customer wants to know in a digestible format, as well as copy that speaks to the heart and the desires of your customers. Bullet points, videos and charts work well.
You don’t have to invest a lot of money in a beautifully designed sales page right off the bat. However, you do need to make sure that it is well put together, formatted and easy for the eye to look at.
Mismatched images, different fonts and large blank spaces on a sales page all look unprofessional and hurt your credibility, which impacts your sales and conversion rates too.
There are many marketing techniques you can use on your sales page to boost conversions. Our current favourites that we’ve seen the best results with include:
- Live chat for customers with questions
- Countdown timers to create scarcity
- Social proofing plugins which tell visitors when others are purchasing
If you have properly nurtured your leads and implemented strategic sales funnels through Facebook advertising, email marketing and the other strategies listed above, your website visitors will be warm or hot leads, resulting in a high conversion rate and a successful product launch!
How does it feel to have launched your program and hit your revenue goals? Pretty amazing, I bet!
But it’s not quite over yet…
After celebrating your incredible multi 6 figure launch, there’s one more really important step…
The last thing crucial for long term success is to take a deep dive into the statistics and analytics of your launch process from start to finish. Assess what went well, and what could be improved.
Understand what your customers responded well to, and what they didn’t. Look at your email subject lines and their open rates, look at your Facebook ad engagement and your successful and unsuccessful audiences.
When we say look at everything, we mean everything.
All of this information is GOLD when it comes time for your next launch. You’ve got to look at what worked and didn’t work, and use that information as you move forward.
So the next time you’re thinking of launching an online program, make these steps your roadmap. If you feel unsure about how to successfully implement any of the 5 steps, make our services page your next stop.