Launching a new product for your business is exciting. You have something amazing that you’ve created, and now you get to share it with your audience and bring something new into their lives.
But at the same time, it can be pretty scary. After all, if you’ve put a lot of time and energy into something, there’s always the risk that your launch won’t go as planned, and you won’t have the sales you’d hoped for.
Of course, some amount of risk comes with the territory. But there is a way to launch with greater confidence–and it doesn’t require months of user testing or market research. All it really requires is an audience (or the ability to build one) and a simple email sequence.
With a strategic email mini-course, you can gauge interest in your new product and get leads to sign up for a beta list for your newest launch. That way, you know exactly how much to invest in your launch—not to mention that you have an eager customer base right out of the gate.
This approach also gets you feedback and conversation with your audience, which in turn helps you to create the exact product they need. By allowing them to become invested in the process of creation, you’re providing enormous value to your audience during the pre-launch period and after the product is released.
Email 0: Find the Most Interested Contacts on Your List with a Trigger Link
Before you try to sell anything, you need to determine your target audience. You have to know who your solution is for, and what problem they’re facing that you can help with.
If you’ve already been building an audience for your site, or have even created a product and sold it before, you have an audience of potential customers already. And, while it’s not a bad idea to email your entire list just to see whether they’d be interested in the new project you’re working on, you’ll want to do special outreach to potential customers you’ve already segmented based on what you know about them.
Before you start trying to sell anyone, you can use Drip to prequalify the list you already have.
One of the simplest ways to do this is to create an email survey using trigger links for the answers.. If I were a fitness entrepreneur who had a new yoga-related product coming out, for instance, I might want to segment my list to weed out people who just aren’t interested in yoga. I could ask a simple question like “what kinds of workouts are you interested in getting more information about?” and tag the yoga lovers, so that I can target them for my new product.
Even more simply, you could just ask your list if they are interested in hearing about a new project you’re working on or joining a brief email course on a new topic you’re exploring.
I might set up a simple survey like the one above as a broadcast to people already on your list. In this case, I would create a trigger link for “yes!” and I would use it to apply a tag.
When it comes time to target my ideal customer for a new product, I can just mail those tagged as interested in my new product.
If you don’t yet have a large enough list to do this, you can start by building a targeted list. Start by adding a Drip opt-in widget for the pre-launch mini-course to your website if you’re getting plenty of traffic there.
If you don’t have a substantial email list or much site traffic, you still have options. Start by setting up a simple squeeze page that encourages people to sign up for your course and send traffic to it via social media ads, AdWords, or partner lists—whatever makes the most sense for your audience.
Emails 1–3: Educate Your Audience on What’s Coming
You email course is an opportunity to build rapport and trust with your audience, but it’s also the time to establish yourself as an expert on whatever topic you’re building a product around—especially if the topic isn’t one you’re known for quite yet.
If you’ve already written blog posts that are relevant to what you’re launching, trim several of these down to 500-750 words so they’re easily consumed within a single email. Sections that serves as asides or tangents in previous posts might shine on their own in this new context.
In the yoga product example above, I might have included a section on yoga in a post about “5 Ideal Workouts for Extremely Busy People” that I can repurpose as a course lesson.
If you haven’t created much content about what you’re launching, create some now. It’s time well spent, since you can turn these lessons into blog posts or product-page content later.
Give your readers step-by-step action plans or homework assignments if you can, and space your emails out so that readers have the time to take action.
If you’re making a difference for people already within the course, you can bet they’re going to want more from you.
Emails 4–5: Prepare for Launch
In the last couple of emails, after providing truly helpful content, it’s time to start the process of selling your prospects on your new business idea.
Depending on how developed your product is, you can start asking for feedback on what else your audience might want to learn from you about the topic early on in the course. This might be as simple as asking for replies in the first few emails. You could ask “Do you have any questions about the material I’ve covered or how it might apply to your own yoga practice? Click reply and I will respond and answer your questions.”
If you have a larger list, it might not be practical to promise replies to every single person, so you could set up a survey or google form.
This might help you to develop your product a bit further and more focused on the needs of your audience. Plus, helping shape the product will give readers a sense of real investment in what you’re doing.
Save your selling for the last couple of emails, but don’t be afraid of it at that point. If a reader has made it through all of your best content and is still sticking around to read more, chances are that your product offering will be really helpful for them.
In the P.S. of your fourth email, for instance, you can mention your product and the opportunity to get on the beta list for it. Mention it in the sense that if your readers found your initial emails helpful, they’ll probably benefit from more information, and you can help provide that. Then, let them know you’ll share more information in your next email.
On Day 5, you can provide more information and context about the beta list of your new product, and provide the link where people can sign up right away.
Remember to keep your beta list in the loop and value the feedback you get from them, and you can use this strategy to build your product together, so that you and your customers get as much out of it as possible.
Would you use a series like this to launch a new product? Let us know how you would implement it in the comments!