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Product Launch Secrets: Are Product Launches Dead?

Product Launch Secrets: Are Product Launches Dead?

Yes, the product launch is dead.

No, it isn’t.

It depends.

(Way to be decisive Michele!)

Before I dig in, I want to start by defining “product launch.”

Product launches aren’t new. Businesses have been crafting campaigns to launch a new product or program or service for as long as they’ve been creating new offerings. Turning the unveiling of a new product into an event is a pretty standard business and marketing strategy.

However, with the arrival of the Internet, and thanks to a man by the name of Jeff Walker, the product launch now has a completely different meaning.

Walker has crafted a specific formula called PLF, or Product Launch Formula, that has made thousands of entrepreneurs thousands (if not millions) of dollars.

The formula typically consists of dripping content out (three 20-30 minute videos is pretty common) which leads to opening the cart (or offering the product for sale) for a short period of time. Typically, during the time the cart is open, more content is dripped via webinars or livestreams or coach-a-thons.

Now, just because you decide to launch a product doesn’t mean you have to have all those bells and whistles. There are plenty of simplified launches that consist of a webinar or a livestream that leads to an offer.

Or maybe there’s an “in between” that would work for you. Really, the variations of how you structure a product launch are endless.

However, when we’re talking about launches that generate multiple six or seven figures, you typically need to create more launch content than a single webinar, which is why the Product Launch Formula has been so successful.

Until recently, that is.

Over the past couple of years, the big, elaborate project launch has lost a bit of its luster. Many entrepreneurs who had relied on them for years as a major part of their business income began experiencing dwindling returns.

So IS this the end of the product launch? Or is something else afoot?

Let’s dig in and find out.

Scenario 1: Yes, product launches are dead.

Once upon a time, it wasn’t uncommon for entrepreneurs to build their entire businesses around the product launch.

They would have one (maybe two) launches a year, and earn enough income during that frenzied period of time to sustain them the rest of the year.

For those entrepreneurs, life was fabulous. Sure, they had to work hard during the launch, but launch windows are deliberately short (a few weeks at most) and the rest of the year they could spend posting selfies of themselves hanging out at the beach on Facebook.

Alas, that golden time of product launches appears to have come to a crashing halt.

Now, before you start posting comments or writing me emails letting me know about all the entrepreneurs who are still doing this successfully, let me just say that yes, I’m sure that’s true.

BUT, I will contend they are more the EXCEPTION, not the rule.

The overall trend is that one or two product launches can’t sustain a business for a year anymore.

This is partly because product launches became a victim of their own success. They were so successful, everyone started doing them, and the more people did them, the less effective they became (see this post for more about this cycle).

However, the reality is that this was never a good business model anyway. Relying on ONE thing for your yearly income is actually a really crappy way to run a business. It doesn’t matter what the one thing is, it’s never a great idea to put all your eggs in one basket.

So, in this case, I would say yes, product launches are dead, IF you’re relying on them as the entire financial model for your business.

Scenario 2: No, product launches aren’t dead.

It’s been my position for years that the product launch is an excellent tool to have in your marketing toolbox (note: it’s a tool, not the entire box) IF viewed in its proper context.

For many entrepreneurs, the product launch is about:

  1. Making money (sometimes a lot of it … sometimes not so much).
  2. Building your email list (which you’ll need for all the promoting you’re going to have to reciprocate for all the folks who are jumping into your launch).

There’s no question product launches are great in both of these respects. But, there are more benefits of product launches:

  1. They can grow your exposure and visibility. Product launches give you an excuse to email your prospect list more than normal, to advertise on social media sites (or just do more organic posting), and to have other people promote you. All of the above will help you get more exposure and visibility. Even if your ideal prospects don’t opt in to your list (which is, of course, the most desirable action), the sheer fact they’re getting an introduction to who you are and what your business is about is huge, and can reap big rewards down the road.
  2. They can grow your credibility. When other people recommend or promote your work, they’re sharing their credibility with you. This is an excellent way to build your reputation and your influence.
  3. They can jumpstart your marketing momentum. It happens to all of us; we get stuck in a rut, especially when it comes to marketing and sales. Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is launch something. The sheer act of launching generates energy and momentum that can carry over into other areas of our business, even if the launch itself isn’t as financially successful as we would like it to be.
  4. They can push you out of your comfort zone and cause you to face your fears. I’m a big believer that everything you want is on the other side of your greatest fear. But, for that to happen, you need to actually, you know, FACE your fears. So, you’re likely going to have to take some action to make your fears surface. And launches are an excellent way to trigger those fears, so you can move through them. (Plus, it doesn’t matter if your launch is a big failure OR a big success–both of those outcomes will likely trigger more blocks and fears.)

My belief is that, if you view a launch as a more holistic tool that will (hopefully) also generate some additional revenue for you, you’re far more likely to be happy with the results. If you’re just focused on how much money you’re making, you’re far more likely to not only spend the entire launch completely stressed out, but to also be disappointed by the results (and who wants to put herself through that?).

Scenario #3: It depends.

At the end of the day, it’s really up to how you view the product launch if you consider it dead or alive and kicking.

In my view, product launches can be an excellent tool in your toolbox, so if that’s how you’re using it, a product launch can be exactly what the doctor ordered.

If you don’t want to create three videos and a webinar and a livestream and line up a bunch of affiliate partners, you don’t have to. You can choose the precise love-based marketing tactics and approach that makes your heart sing.

And it still can be successful.

But, if you’re relying on a product launch to financially fund your business for six months or a year, it may not be the wisest choice.

I’m a strong believer in creating a business you love AND that loves you back, and making peace with the product launch is key to that. I’ve seen too many entrepreneurs freak out, melt down, abandon their normal self care practices, even abandon their integrity and compass, all because they’ve turned the product launch into something bigger than it was ever intended to be.

For instance, I’ve seen entrepreneurs who are typically rock solid around carving out time for meditation or exercises stop all of that during a launch. And, if their businesses are all about mindset practices, along with being out of balance when they need it most, they’re also out of integrity with what their business stands for. Or, normally love-based entrepreneurs switch to fear-based marketing tactics in the middle of the launch because they’re panicking over the numbers.

When the smoke clears and the launch is over, along with dealing with whatever the results of the launch were, they now also have to deal with the remorse of losing their way during the process.

Needless to say, that’s definitely not the way to build a love-based business.

The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s completely possible to enjoy all the benefits of the product launch without it descending into a launch hell, and it starts with you being clear on how it fits into your business.

If this resonates with you, you may like to take the teachings deeper with my book, “Love-Based Online Marketing: Campaigns to Grow a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back.” It’s available here.

Email Writing Tips for Effective Emails, Part 2

Email Writing Tips for Effective Emails, Part 2

Note: This is the second post in a two-post series, where I’m sharing my favorite email writing tips that convert prospects into buyers or leads into customers. For Part 1, go here.

By now, you know it’s important to use email to connect with your potential buyers on a personal, authentic level. When you do that effectively, your emails convert: readers take the actions you want them to take.

That’s why this series has focused on email writing tips to encourage people to open your emails, feel engaged with what you’ve written, read all the way through AND take some kind of action.

Now, let’s dive into the next three email writing tips that are designed to help you get your emails read from start to finish—or from subject line to PS!

Tip 4. Make Your Emails Personal.

The reason email works so well is that it is personal by nature. Your communication is like a letter to each of your community members. So when you’re writing an email, pretend you’re writing a letter to one specific person. When you master this, each of your ideal prospects will feel like you’ve written specifically to him or her. When they get the sense that you’ve taken the time and energy to focus on them and write something that matters to them, they’ll reward you by opening and reading your emails.

Tip 5. Write Great Subject Lines.

Think about it: when you’re looking at that long list of emails in your inbox, you’re filtering: deciding which ones you’ll trash immediately, which ones you’ll read later, and which ones you’ll read right away. How do you make those decisions? You look at the subject lines. So, what makes subject lines great, or effective?

  • Being specific. If you have a deadline coming up, or a webinar showing on a certain date, include that in your subject line.
  • Being a little “off-the-wall” or invoking curiosity. Some examples are, “Winter is coming,” or, “It worked … kind of.”
  • Mixing it up. If, in most cases, you write straightforward subject lines, try throwing in a few “off-the-wall” subject lines every few emails. Or, if you typically write mysterious subject lines, throw in a few straightforward subject lines here and there. This may help you cut through the email clutter.

Tip 6. Write Powerful PS’s.

Did you know that it’s extremely common for a reader to skip from the top of an email straight to the PS? In fact, the PS is known to be the second-most-commonly-read element in an email (behind the subject line). So this is “hot real estate” in your emails! There are several different ways to write a powerful PS — to get you started, I’ve included a few email writing tips below:

  • Address an objection. The most common objections people have when buying your product or service are time and money. They’re not sure whether they can afford the time or financial investment. So think about what you can say to overcome those objections.
  • Share one of your clients’ real-life success stories. Whether you summarize the story in your own words, or insert a quote from one of your clients, this is a powerful way to illustrate that you’re helping people get great results.
  • Position the reader’s choice about whether to invest with you as a choice to remain in their current situation, or to move forward and get the results you can provide them.
  • Recap a juicy benefit of the product or service you’re selling. For example, set it up as an “imagine” statement: “Imagine finally knowing exactly what to do when it comes to your marketing, rather than feeling overwhelmed and uncertain of what to do, when.”

In Conclusion …

I think the best part about writing effective emails is that it’s fun! It’s fun to be yourself, share with your community, and build relationships that thrive as your business does.

If this topic resonates with you, you may be interested in my book, “Love-Based Copywriting System: A Step-by-Step Process to Master Writing Copy that Attracts, Inspires and Invites.” It’s available here.

Tips for Writing an Effective Email, Part 1

Tips for Writing an Effective Email, Part 1

Note: This is the first post in a two-post series, where I’m sharing my favorite strategies for writing an effective email that convert prospects into buyers or leads into customers.

In today’s world—the world of building businesses online—most entrepreneurs understand that building an email list is extremely important.

An email list is one of the best ways to build your business because it gives you the opportunity to connect with potential buyers on a personal, authentic level.

But (you knew that was coming, right?) an effective email is only as effective as your open and click-through rates.

If nobody’s opening your emails, and nobody’s clicking on the links you put in them, then your email list is not actually working to build your business.

And that can be discouraging.

It takes lots of time, energy, mental power, and money to build a list and to write content regularly.

So today, I’m going to share three of my favorite tips for writing an effective email that converts (and I’ll share three more in my next post, so be sure to check back in a few days).

Tip 1. Make Sure Your Emails Are Mobile-Friendly.

I know. It sounds pretty obvious. Also, emails not being mobile-friendly doesn’t really sound like a deal-breaker, right? Wrong.

Here’s the thing: an increasing number of studies and statistics show that a growing number of people use phones and tablets to shop (not computers). In fact, one of the reports I read said that up to 70% of sales happen on phones or tablets.

If your emails look “off” or load improperly and aren’t easy to read, your readers are going to click “delete,” period.

So here are some mobile-friendly-related considerations to make as you create and compose your emails:

  • Whether to use a banner. Recently, I’ve noticed that entrepreneurs see better conversion rates when they do not use a banner.
  • The user experience: technically. People reading on teeny tiny mobile devices are more likely to skim than people who read on computers. Make it easy for people to consume your emails by incorporating white space, shorter paragraphs, and shorter sentences.
  • The user experience: emotionally. Be sure to think about how your subscribers feel when they get your email. They’re living, breathing, busy people, so give them something worthwhile.

Tip 2. Make Your Emails Easy-to-Read and Understand.

As I mentioned above, your ideal prospects are likely skimming your email. That being said, is it easy for them to follow what you’re saying? Are you using words they quickly and easily understand?

Are you making them think too hard?

Of course, I’m not saying you should “dumb down” your message. But you should also be sure to use language that your ideal prospects use (not jargon from your industry).

On another note, be crystal clear about which action you want your readers to take. Set links apart so readers know exactly where to click. If it’s not crystal clear, your readers likely won’t take action at all.

One of my favorite tips for creating a crystal clear call to action is to start with the end in mind. Before you even start writing the email, be clear in your own mind about which action you want readers to take—whether it’s to enroll in your new course, buy your book, or read your newest blog post.

Building your email that call to action is a great way to make sure you’ve just created an effective email. And don’t forget to keep it simple!

Tip 3. Connect with Your Ideal Prospects.

Your community is unique. It’s important to ensure you are connecting with the members of your community on a personal level.

Here are a couple of examples:

I’m on a list where the business owner writes very long emails a few times each week. To be honest, although I’m seeing better conversion rates with shorter emails, this entrepreneur’s emails are entertaining—a great mix of content and stories from his life.

And, they always include some kind of offer at the end.

I’d typically caution entrepreneurs against sending out too many sales emails, but this particular business owner has it nailed: I am certain he gets a lot of email opens and a lot of click-throughs because his emails are informative and entertaining!

One of my clients has had a great response from shorter, punchier emails that have a kind of “hook.” She’s often directing people to read her blog posts, and she makes her emails short and sweet and to the point. Although this effort is the opposite of the one I explained in the first example, it works!

It’s all about knowing what your ideal prospects want from you.

In Conclusion…

The next time you sit down to write an effective email, I’d encourage you to keep these tips in mind. When your emails are easy to read, when they are easy to understand, and when they resonate with the members of your community, you’ll see your conversion numbers improve.

And your business will grow as a result.

Check out Part 2 and the next 3 tips right here.

Meanwhile, if this topic resonates with you, you may be interested in my book, “Love-Based Copywriting System: A Step-by-Step Process to Master Writing Copy that Attracts, Inspires and Invites.” It’s available here.

[Video] Flip It! Are You Using the Wrong Marketing Strategy?

[Video] Flip It! Are You Using the Wrong Marketing Strategy?

If you’re not seeing the success you want to be seeing in your business, it’s very possible it’s because you’re using the wrong marketing strategy .

Let me explain: There are two types of marketing strategies — long-term and short-term.

Long-term strategies are designed to build your business over the long term. The benefit of using them is you can be reaping the benefits of what you built for a long time — months or even years — even if you stop using it. Examples of long-term strategies including blogging, SEO, podcasts, other types of content marketing and even list-building.

Another way of looking at a long-term marketing strategy is any strategy that focuses on building a community. You aren’t making an immediate sale, instead you’re focusing on building a solid, loyal community that will buy from you over and over again.

Hence the weakness of long-term strategies — there’s no focus on cash flow.

That’s why you need short-term strategies. Those are designed to make a sale right now. Product launches are short-term. So is any sort of sale.

All healthy businesses need both long-term and short-term strategies. The problem happens when you are either focusing exclusively on one marketing strategy or you’re focusing on the wrong strategy for your goals and where you’re at in your business right now.

For instance, if you’re focusing solely on long-term strategies when you really need cash now, you can be creating a lot of financial stress. However, over-focusing on short-term strategies can trade short-term profits for long-term disaster.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Watch and decide for yourself:


(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book — you can check it out here.

[Video] Flip It! Is Email Marketing Dead?

[Video] Flip It! Is Email Marketing Dead?

If you have an online business or you’re looking to start an online business, you’ve likely been taught to build an email list — which is a list of emails belonging to your ideal clients — and market to them by sending out emails.

And, that’s a very solid business strategy. Email marketing has been proven to be one of the most effective way of marketing your business.

The problem is, it certainly seems like it’s a lot less effective than it once was. The number of people opening and clicking on emails seems to be going down all the time. And, while it used to be you could send an email out to your list and make some sales, now you may only hear crickets.

If that’s happened to you, it can feel really discouraging.

So, what gives? Is email marketing dead?

Take a moment to watch and decide for yourself.


(Wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my Love-Based Copy books: Love-Based Copywriting Method and Love-Based Copywriting System, both available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes and other online retailers.