PREVIEW: What is a pre-launch marketing strategy and how can you ensure your next product launch is a success? Here’s a step-by-step guide to launching your next great idea successfully.
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So, you’ve got a great idea and you’re ready to start building a business around it. You’re anxious to get started, but how do you launch a new product or service? How do you know if your company needs a pre-launch marketing strategy? What are the best ways of generating buzz before the launch to help generate more interest?
It’s a big risk to launch anything. Even if it’s the next big thing, there is always a chance that the demand for your product isn’t strong enough to sustain it. Additionally, if you don’t market it to its full potential, it may never get off the ground.
That being said, you can learn a lot about the viability of your business idea through pre-launch marketing strategies.
Here is the step-by-step process to a successful pre-launch every time.
What is a pre-launch?
A pre-launch is any activity that starts before your official launch date.
What are the benefits to a pre-launch marketing strategy?
Not only will developing a pre-launch marketing strategy help you build an audience of people invested in your product or service before launch, but it’ll also help you validate some of the assumptions you have built into your business plan.
Keep reading for the strategies to a highly-effecting pre-launch marketing plan. You’ll learn the strategies to confirm the viability of your business idea. As well as allow you to see what is and isn’t working in your niche.
How do I start a pre-launch marketing campaign?
The first step is to build interest. That’s where pre-launch marketing comes in. Pre-launch marketing is about laying the groundwork for your launch. It starts well before your product or service is ready for market.
This guide will give you everything you need to know about pre-launch marketing. This way, you can have an effective marketing strategy to launch like a pro!
What is a pre-launch strategy in marketing?
In short, pre-launch marketing is a multi-pronged approach to introducing your new product, service or business to the world. The goal of pre-launch marketing is to build interest and momentum for your upcoming launch.
Why is pre-launch marketing important?
Pre-launch marketing is one of the most important stages for any business. With a pre-launch marketing strategy, you’ll better understand your customer. Plus, it helps your customers better understand you.A pre-launch campaign can be used in a variety of ways depending on your goals. The best way to use a pre-launch campaign is to collect customer feedback and data. This will help you to create the best product and strategy for your audience. Helping turn visitors into buyers once the actual launch occurs.
So what exactly is a pre-launch activity?
For reference, are-launch marketing strategies are promotional tactics taken before your product/website/service is ready to go live.
What does a pre-launch marketing strategy look like?
These pre-launch activities can include things such as:
- Creating landing pages where people can sign up to receive updates when you launch.
- Creating “coming soon” pages
- Spreading the word about your upcoming site and products through social media, blogs and forums
- Performing PR outreach to generate buzz and brand awareness
- Capturing pre-sale orders to validate your marketing before launch
What type of pre-launch marketing strategy is best?
There are two main types of pre-launches: soft launches and hard launches.
During a soft launch, you’re still collecting information from potential customers. This allows you to get a feel for how visitors respond to different aspects of your offer. Without the pressure of an official launch date.
A hard launch usually comes with a set date where you intend to go live with your offer.
How does pre-launch marketing work?
First, pre-launch marketing is about building relationships with your target customers. People don’t want to buy from strangers; they want to buy from people they know, like and trust. They want to feel confident that what you’re offering will help them solve a problem.
A pre-launch marketing strategy is all about building up anticipation. If you can convince people that what you have to offer is worth waiting for and then deliver on that promise, they’ll be much more likely to become loyal fans who promote your work to others.
You’re essentially creating publicity while you’re building interest and anticipation. So when you do go public with your product or service, you’re able to generate buzz, drive traffic and gain instant sales.
Why should you build out a pre-launch marketing campaign?
It’s no wonder why so many people choose to put off their product launch or skip right over it. They don’t want to go through all the work of:
– Building a lead generation page
– Drafting an email nurturing sequence
– Cultivating an audience that’s actually interested in what they’re offering
Unfortunately, this often leads to not making any sales, or getting any traffic at all. Your pre-launch strategy can determine the success of marketing your offer or not at all. The reality is, pre-launch marketing is critical to the success of your new offer. Without it, you could suffer from a lack of interest, traffic, or sales at all.
When should your pre-launch activities start and how long should you pre-launch?
The best pre-launch time frame depends on your goals. Consider anywhere between 2-4 months before launching your final product. Feel free to reference the following product launch timeline as a guide.
What do you need to know before you pre-launch?
To have an effective pre-launch marketing strategy, there are a few things to know.
What do you need to do before you launch a new product or service?
The first step to pre-launch marketing is determining your goals. For instance:
– Do you want to get early adopters on board?
– Perhaps you want to build a list of people who are interested in your product?
– Maybe you want to generate pre-sale orders to validate your product/service before you launch?
You’ll need to identify the people you want to reach, then find out where they hang out online.
How do you prepare your website to launch a new product?
Make sure your website is prepared. You’ll also need to make sure your website has the right infrastructure in place before you start pre-launch marketing. That includes:
– Setting up your email capture system (if you don’t have one already)
– Installing analytics making sure any other systems are in place
– Preparing for your launch will help identify how successful your launch will be.
What is the first step in a pre-launch marketing strategy?
Identify your target audience. Determine exactly who you are marketing to and what their pain points are. Make sure that your product or service solves a problem or improves a situation for a targeted segment of the population. If you are not laser-focused on a particular type of customer, you will have difficulty reaching any audience at all. This is because there will be many different groups who will not relate to your offering.
Make sure that your product or service solves a problem or improves a situation for this group of people.
Speak directly to them using their exact user language. You can search through online forums and social media comment sections. This will help you get the best, most precise user language related to their pain points.
After you’ve done some customer research, you’ll want to use this exact verbiage in your ads, product descriptions and website copy.
Now that you’ve determined your target market, start segmenting it. This may mean creating subgroups within your particular target (i.e., men vs. women, millennials vs. baby boomers, etc,.)
Next, determine how this audience will relate to your product or service. As well as how they like to communicate.
What should a marketing launch plan include? What is product launch checklist?
Here’s a launch asset list you can use as a guide. Feel free to share and save this infographic!
What is the most important factor in pre-launch marketing?
The most important factor in pre-launch marketing is building relationships. Connect with your audience. You can’t just launch a product and expect it to sell itself without telling anyone about it. Instead, it’s important that you spend time engaging with the audience and influencers in your space. Get them excited about what you’re doing.
The easiest way to do this is by offering some kind of freebie or exclusive access when they sign up for updates. This can be a simple eBook or even an offer for more information when your product launches (plus another offer when it comes out).
That’s not the only way to build relationships, though. Building an email list before launch means that you have a warm, engaged audience. A warm audience is a group of people who have already established interest in your offer. You’ll want to ensure you consistently communicate with this list through a lead nurturing email sequence.
Should you execute a pre-launch? What are the benefits of a pre-launch marketing strategy?
A pre-launch marketing strategy will help inform your launch strategy overall. A successful pre-launch will set you up for success.
By getting people excited about your product before you even have something tangible to offer them, it ensures your success! It can also generate sales before launching your product. Which can go towards funding your product development entirely or more marketing strategies if desired.
A good pre-launch is a great way to generate leads and start building an audience. It’ll help build buzz and increase brand awareness before you launch.
How to Design an Effective Pre-Launch Marketing Strategy
Ready to start your pre-launch marketing planning? How exciting!
- Build a lead generation pre-launch landing page
- Perform PR outreach
- Increase email signups
- Connect with your existing audience
- Share user-generated content, testimonials or questions
- Identify (and engage with) influencers
Build a Lead Generation Pre-Launch Landing Page
Before launching your product, you should already have an audience waiting for it. This means that you need to build momentum leading up to the actual launch.
Keep in mind, pre-launch landing pages are all about capturing leads. Examples of a pre-launch landing page can be:
- An explanation of what the product is
- How it’s different
- How they can get involved
- Social proof
- An email collection form
The pre-launch page is all about collecting emails so you can have an engaged audience to sell to on launch day. You can drive traffic to this page through paid ads or social media, for instance. You’ll also want to execute other content promotion strategies. Such as social media posts or blog posts with a link back to your landing page.
Perform PR outreach
Do this by reaching out to various media outlets that cover your industry.
You can also use Fiverr to pay someone to do it for you! They’ll write a press release for you and place it on news outlets/ sites like PRWire for less than $100.
Increase Email Signups
Start building interest using your email subscriber list. Do this by getting people excited about what you’re working on. Document your process and create sneak peeks behind the scenes. This will create excitement for your upcoming launch. You’ll build an engaged audience who could become customers.
Get people to sign-up to your email list and be notified of your launch. Increase your email sign-ups by creating an incentive for people to join your email list. So offer to give away a freebie such as an eBook or free resource.
How to Increase Email Signups
Here are some more ways to build interest in anticipation of a new product through your email list:
- Include information on what stage of development the product is in each email. Give consistent updates as part of each email marketing campaign
- Start blogging about topics related to your launch. Share these posts in your email sequence
- Ask readers what they’d like to know more about in those posts, or by replying to your emails. Then answer their questions in later posts
- Email out teaser images
- Use video content in your emails. This will help you find potential prospects interested in your offer
Connect with your existing audience
Start by identifying the people who already know and love your brand. Or even better, who have been asking when you’re going to launch something new. Then engage them with short videos or pictures showing off mockups of your new product.
Encourage them to share these updates with others so they can see what’s coming from you next!
Existing customers are great candidates to target. This is because they are already familiar with you. Ask them to sign up for updates. If they’re interested, they’ll want to watch as you progress through each phase of development. This will show how much demand there is for your product before launching it.
You want to build as much interest as possible so that when you do launch, people are ready to buy.
Share user-generated content, testimonials or questions
Users will always be the biggest advocates for your product, so why not share their stories? Behind every successful business is a community of users who have created amazing things with the product. So don’t keep those stories to yourself!
UGC and testimonials act as social proof.
Showing prospective users how other people are benefiting from your product or offer is powerful. This validates the legitimacy of your business/offer as well as encourages others to try it out.
Identify (and Engage with) Influencers
Influencers drive consumer purchasing decisions. Whether it’s a well-known blogger, a friend on social media, or someone from your network. Influencers can be instrumental in helping make your product launch successful. Be sure to identify them before launch. This way, you can reach out to them once you’re ready to go public with your new product or service.
Engage with them by asking them questions. Then answer their questions on social media and other channels.
If they are promoting your product or service because they genuinely like it, they work with you for things like:
- A shared affiliate link
- Free samples of your product
- Discounts or
- Actual compensation
How do I start a pre-launch marketing campaign?
In five simple steps, plan your pre-launch content as follows:
- Identifying and segmenting your target audience
- Define how you’ll reach them
- Create a content strategy
- Plan for drip campaigns
- Draft your editorial calendar
1. Start Segmenting Your Audience
Segmenting your audience means dividing them into groups based on their interests and behaviors. You can segment people by various factors. Think:
- Demographics (age, gender),
- Psychographics (personality traits) and
- Behavior (what they do when they visit your site)
2. Define your outreach strategies
Now that you’ve identified your target audience, think about how you’ll reach them.
Before you can reach out and engage your audience, you need to know where they are. They’re not going to find you; you have to go to them. So you’ll need to do some research. Start creating content on new and emerging platforms. This way you’ll be able to capitalize on potential opportunities for exposure!
3. Creating a Content Strategy
For starters, decide what types of content would be best to share on platforms. Create content to attract your target audience and build interest in your product. Here are some ideas:
- Write a series of blog posts that talk about one specific aspect of your product (i.e., how it came to be or how it works)
- Share tips or advice on how to use your product
- Create a video tutorial about how to use your product
- Share stories about how people are using your product now, or how they plan to once you launch
- Create listicle posts about why you created your product, the benefits or why it’s worth buying
- Create a series of “before & after” photos. Add captions explaining what was done in each photo and why. For instance, before vs. after photos of your exercise program and their results.
Content marketing is based on the idea of producing valuable content that attracts potential customers who are searching for products like yours. The goal is to provide them with the answers they’re looking for without directly selling to them.
Focus on creating valuable and SEO-rich content that increases your online discoverability.
4. Planning Drip Campaigns
Marketing drip campaigns are one of the most important pre-launch strategies. A strong drip campaign creates anticipation for the launch of your new offer. Your pre-launch drip campaigns should be planned out at least 2-4 months before your product goes live. This will help you build up interest and get people excited about it.
A drip campaign strategy helps you sequence your content. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience all at once. Otherwise, this will likely only have them tune out after the first few updates.
5. Drafting Your Editorial Calendar
Creating your editorial calendar can be done in two ways: manually or with the help of an editorial calendar template.
Templates will save you time and allow you to focus on the important things. Such as creating content and setting up your email marketing campaign.
Remember, you may not have time to write blog posts or other content during the crunch of launching your business. Except that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be ready with some pre-written content you can use as soon as your launch is over.
The best way to make sure you’re prepared is to draft an editorial calendar in advance. This will:
- Outline when your content will go live on social media channels, blogs, press releases, etc.
- Help you create consistent messaging
- Allow you to pivot if anything goes wrong in execution
Creating an editorial calendar allows you to plan out the content that you will publish before and during the launch of your product. It also allows you to divide resources and time accordingly. In this way, everything gets done on schedule and according to your plan.
Leverage pre-sales to your advantage
Finally, if you’re looking for a way to get your first launch off the ground (and you need money to do it), focus on pre-sales. Getting people to pay upfront is always a good idea. Have them provide a bit of contact information, and offer a discounted pre-sale price for your first few customers.
You’ll have all the data you need to communicate with your new leads right away. This is where pre-launch landing pages really shine. Your goal is to get as much information about these new leads as possible without being too pushy.
A pre-launch is like an actual launch, but with a few key differences.
You could almost view it as a dress rehearsal. Your pre-launch marketing efforts will determine your success.
It’s very important that you put in the work during a pre-launch stage. You want to build up the hype and momentum of your product or service. When you launch, you’ll be showing off a product or service that people know about and want to buy into.
These pre-launch marketing strategies should help get your new launch off to the best start. Yet, they’re only part of a bigger picture.
If you want to make the most of your new product launch, you should be promoting both before and after your official debut.
Don’t rely on a single strategy. Mix things up to keep your marketing fresh and effective, and you’ll be rewarded with more sign-ups and sales.