Are you launching a new product or service?

Often when I hear “how do I market my product?”  the first thing I ask about is the business owner’s pre-launch planning process.

Quick warning. There is quite a bit of work involved in a successful product launch. Be prepared to roll up the sleeves a bit. As an entrepreneur, that shouldn’t stop you.

Let’s dive in…

Here are the 5 secrets to planning your product launch:

1)    Define Your Launch Objectives – Is this an internal launch or an external launch? Are you going to launch to your existing customers first? If you have an internal list, this is usually a great way to start and test your launch before investing in a full-blown launch to a wider audience of prospects. Get clear on the type of launch, and then get clear on your objectives. Are you trying to sell a product, or are you trying to build your list. These are really two totally different approaches. Without a solid and measurable objective, your efforts won’t be directed.

2)    Take Inventory – After you are clear on what you want to accomplish in your launch, it is time to take inventory of your launch assets. Your launch assets include your mailing lists, email lists, joint venture partner lists, video, audio, and any other assets you have at your disposal for your launch. If you are launching your product online, you may need to include assets like your website, Web copy, etc.

3)    Craft The Killer Offer – Now that you have taken inventory, it is time to create the offer.  If you haven’t done this yet, now is the time to dig deep and outline the features and benefits for your prospect. Why should they buy your product or service? What guarantee are you going to offer? How are they going to pay for the product or service? How is it delivered? You need to really identify the core drivers for your prospect to move to action and purchase your product. Think about the problem your product solves and make sure your offer speaks to the solution.

a-team4)    Your “A” Team – You are going to need a team to help you with your product launch. Even if it is a small team, you are going to need help from your Web developer, copywriter, Web host, graphics designer, and fulfillment staff. Depending on the size of your launch, you might be wearing all the hats here. My advice is to identify where your strengths are, then outsource and assemble a team to help you be successful.

5)    The Launch Plan – Your launch plan is your blueprint to your entire product launch. It combines the tasks involved and, more importantly, the sequence of events in your product launch. Your launch plans should include email and print copy creation, video creation, landing page creation, and day-by-day plans for the release of content during your launch. One productive way to create the plan is to get your team together for a couple of hours to make sure you have a comprehensive plan covering all areas of your product launch.

When you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I’m sure you’ve heard this before. There are so many details in a good product launch that you need a script to follow. This starts with the pre-launch tasks and goes all the way through fulfilling the orders. Don’t forget to leave some time in there to test prior to firing your first offer out. There is nothing worse than having a great offer only to find out your shopping cart doesn’t work, and prospects can’t place an order.

Product launches are a lot of fun. Don’t get stressed out, just make sure you follow these five steps and you will find it easier to get your product to market.

The good news is that after you create your first product launch, you can recycle many of the assets and planning efforts for your next successful launch.

Go Target, Attack, and Profit with your launch!

ducttapemarketingbadgeMatt Murren is the founder of MarkeFin. MarketFin is an Authorized Duct Tape Marketing Coach and Product Launch Specialist.
Matt specializes in helping business owners manage their product launches online. Follow Matt on Twitter @marketfin!

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