Due to their inability to generate traffic, the majority of online stores fail. “pre-launch marketing“.
When starting a business that is almost exclusively focused on identifying and promoting the appropriate products, many new ecommerce owners have an almost singular concentration.
The worst ecommerce fallacy is that to persuade customers to use their credit cards and make a purchase, you need to have the correct products, an attractive website, and outstanding product photography. Those are the admission requirements, the baseline.
If you open your store to a crowd that was already interested in what you were doing, you could prove the exception. However, the majority of stores debut to the incorrect audience, if any.
Because of this, the entrepreneur is forced to scramble to attract customers, offering products at steep discounts and coming up with marketing strategies that seem more like begging for money than those of a trustworthy brand that understands what it's doing.
What is pre-launch marketing?
A variety of marketing initiatives are employed in pre-launch marketing to create anticipation and buzz for a new product or service before it goes on sale. The idea is to generate curiosity and anticipation so that when launch day finally comes, clients will be ready to purchase from you.
10 pre-launch marketing strategies to try
1. Secure your audience before the launch
Make sure you have a sizable audience interested in what you're offering before launching a new product.
Making a landing page for lead generation where visitors can pre-register or subscribe to your email list is one approach to this. Traffic can be brought to this through:
- Paid ads
- Content marketing
- Organic social media
- Traditional advertising
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
The conversion—the process of getting site visitors to provide their contact information and grant permission for you to contact them in the future—is what matters. With a tempting incentive, like early access or a discount for email subscribers, you may drive these conversions.
Example: After a questionnaire that visitors may take to select the ideal product for their requirements, the sexual wellness brand Dame gathers emails. Visitors receive their findings through email when they submit their questions, making them the first to learn about new products.
2. Start early
Building relationships with potential clients far in advance of launch day is crucial. When you're finally ready to launch, they'll be giddy with excitement for your amazing new service. It's critical to begin your build-up far in advance of the big day since you don't want to launch to the sound of crickets and a silent register.
Take email marketing as an illustration. You have several possibilities to drip-feed information to a mailing list in the months before your launch. The choices are endless. You might describe how your concept came to be, how you developed it into the final product, where you got the materials, what problem it answers, and more.
Example: After collecting over 23,000 emails for its list, the Xion CyberX eBike was released on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo. When the campaign began, this led to sales of more than $800,000.
3. Release teasers
Customers connect with a variety of information, not simply behind-the-scenes material. People's interest in your product, or a certain feature or package option they might be enthused about, can be greatly increased by teasing them with information about it.
They'll feel like they're a member of an elite group that knows more than everyone else, which will delight your early admirers. Before the big reveal, you can display close-up product images that merely hint at a portion of it.
You may display several parts, a portion of the package, or excerpts from your planning documents. When you post a mysterious image of a brand-new product with the words “Coming Soon,” your admirers may start speculating about what it may imply.
Example: With an alluring email campaign, the interior design brand Havenly teased the arrival of a new service: “Next week, we're introducing something new, something we know you'll adore.” Customers are intrigued by the brand's launch despite its simplicity.
4. Run a contest
Free things are really popular, thus using this pre-launch marketing tactic to generate excitement is a terrific idea. Running an Instagram competition, for instance, might increase your social media activity and bring in additional customers for marketing.
Make sure the entry procedures are simple and enjoyable to complete when organizing a giveaway, sweepstakes, or contest, and that the prize is appropriate. In this manner, even those who don't win will still have a favorable impression of your brand.
5. Build hype through influencers
A great strategy to develop your business online is through influencer marketing. It's the process through which a brand is promoted by someone who has a following in a certain industry.
They might be well-known on the level of celebrities or just have a small number of followers in a very niche. In either case, they'll serve as a crucial link between you and possibly new customers.
You may work with an influencer in advance of launch to distribute exciting information about your planned product in exchange for cash (or the goods themselves).
Freebies are often well-received, but the more popular they are, the more probable you will need to invest some marketing money on a charge. Given that it's a more genuine approach than many conventional advertising methods, it may be worthwhile.
Example: Thinx, a direct-to-consumer underwear brand, used influencers from the fashion, health, and wellness industries to introduce a new product line.
6. Create a press kit
Making it as simple as you can for bloggers and publications to write about you can help you have a successful product launch.
Having a press kit prepared and ready to go is a smart idea if you want to be featured in well-known publications. Journalists may simply access this database of details about your company and products while they're working on a story.
Press coverage will still require an angle, so what are you doing that is different? Are you building a name for yourself through your unconventional business tactics, or are you benefiting your neighborhood? Journalists like these kinds of tales, and a press kit makes it a lot simpler for them to write some useful coverage for you.
Example: Impossible, a beer brand, includes a press page with a collection of images that journalists may use, as well as a FAQ page with information about the creator.
7. Throw a launch party
One-on-one meetings, phone conversations, or emails cannot produce the same sense of unity that a huge group of enthusiastic individuals in one place can. Invite more than 50 prominent and driven friends, show them your Kickstarter video, and give a speech outlining why you need their support as well as what you specifically need them to accomplish.
8. Use Amazon Live
Customers now have a new option to research products and communicate with the designer thanks to Amazon Live. You may showcase your product on Amazon Live, demonstrate how it functions, and offer consumers a sneak preview of what's to come. In the chat box, you can also respond to any queries prospective consumers may have.
Large brands are included in this streaming shopping experience, and they pay Amazon five figures to develop their shows. However, a variety of influencers also host more exclusive events for their devoted fan groups, providing them with personalized product demos on a platform where they are prepared to make a purchase. For the new age, consider TV shopping channels. This can open up a fantastic new possibility for you to test out your product before you release it.
Example: An Amazon Live regular, cosmetics, and beauty blogger Carla Stevenné promotes and unboxes new beauty products while chatting with her admirers in the discussion.
9. Run audio ads
A great technique to communicate with potential clients in a direct, concentrated manner is through audio ads. People might be targeted depending on their demographics, hobbies, and even what they're doing (for example, commuting or working out).
You don't necessarily need a significant budget to employ the customized ad alternatives offered by platforms like Spotify and Pandora.
You can think about using podcasts as a channel. You may either develop your own podcast to talk about your product, interview business leaders, and generate buzz before the launch date, or you can sponsor an already-running program that is popular with your target demographic.
Example: When the mattress brand Eight Sleep used audio to advertise a new high-end mattress product, the results were better than anticipated in terms of return on investment. It discovered that radio and podcast ads provided the time and care necessary to thoroughly describe its features—essential for high-priced items.
10. Connect with niche communities
Product development has historically been driven by niche groups. However, it is much simpler to engage with them in the modern digital environment and enable them to play a major role in creating excitement for new launches. And this is particularly crucial if you want clients to buy your products by giving them a personal touch.
Niche fans like trying out the newest items and recommending them to others. You may gain insightful advice from devoted professionals and perhaps win over a tonne of new converts to your cause by exposing your product to a niche group. It's all about trust, therefore follow their instructions, and adhering to the group's protocol.
Example: Image Skincare advertised their new Vital C Anti-Aging Serum to 1,000 members of PopSugar's Dabble beauty product community. Even though just 13% of users were familiar with the brand, 96% of them said they would refer the product to a friend.
Pre-launch strategy case study: Healthish
Healthish works in a crowded industry: health goods. When introducing a new product, there is no shortage of competitors in this $6.6 billion business. Healthish, a more recent brand, needs a clever pre-launch plan to increase awareness before releasing a new product.
Co-founders Emily Chong and Nathan Chan used specialized influencers to create buzz before launching their company's flagship product, a water bottle that analyses hydration.
Healthish provides complimentary water bottles to fitness influencers, fashion bloggers, vloggers, and other groups linked to their industry to reach their target demographic. Following that, influencers post photographs and videos of their products online—but only if they are pleased with them.
Tips for a successful pre-launch
Here are some of our favorite tips for nailing your next product launch:
- Offer samples. Trying before you buy is an important factor in purchasing decisions. Get your product into the hands of potential customers as soon as possible to help them bond with it and want it even more.
- Incentivize early adopters. Early adopters might be critical in the days after a product's introduction. If they're happy, they'll generate a buzz, so why not thrill them as much as possible?
- Collect useful feedback. You may solicit comments for the product you're introducing to shape future versions—new variants, premium editions, localized iterations, and so on. Consider getting input on new product lines that fix problems or address demographics. Take note of what individuals are saying and start with the most prevalent difficulties.
- Track sales performance. Even if it's a small-scale launch, you can't judge success just on gut instinct. Use all available tools and platforms to measure important indicators, such as which product versions are selling well and which aren't.
- Test everything. Consider your launch to be an experiment. Some things will work, while others will not; the only way to find out is to try them. Don't be dismayed if things don't go as planned. Collect as much data as you can—hopefully, this is the first of many launches, and you can use your learnings to improve post-launch efforts.
Run a smart pre-launch marketing strategy next launch
The goal is to make your early adopters feel unique as if they have some ownership in what you're doing and to encourage them to naturally share what you're doing.
You may ensure that your product does well when it eventually enters the market by creating anticipation before it launches. But these methods don't simply affect the product in issue; they also help your firm grow and transform many clients into lifelong admirers.
It's never too early to get out there and connect with your target market, no matter what stage of product development you're in. The benefits might be enormous in the long run.
Pre-launch marketing FAQ
A pre-launch marketing strategy promotes a new product or service before it is available. Businesses in the pre-launch stage create excitement for their product by teasing their consumer base with a debut date and special promotions.
An evaluation of advertising ideas, prospective marketing channels, packaging possibilities, and other marketing campaign components is provided by pre-launch market research. Your message may be improved with research, and you can develop a launch strategy that increases brand recognition and preorders.
The focus of a pre-launch marketing campaign is hype. Customers' interest in your product should be piqued. You should also create buzz, promote social sharing, and obtain recommendations from friends and family. It's a good idea to advertise on social media and work with influencers to promote a product before it launches.
2. Audio ads
3. Social media
4. PR outreach
5. Product Marketing
6. Content marketing
7. Influencer marketing