At the end of January I received an email inviting me to be part of a joint venture launch.
I gotta tell ya….I was pretty excited. There were 21 other women participating in the promotion who are super smart, and whose work I really admire.
Plus there was one more thing. I’d never done a “launch” before. It was unchartered territory.
Sure I’ve released products. But that’s just it. I’d released products. They just sort of make an appearance without fanfare….never had I formally been through the whole hoopla of a launch and subsequent promotion.
This was going to be awesome. New experiences, chances to learn, a little moolah and all that jazz. Happy days!
The Launch Process
The product of mine selected for inclusion was the Disobedient Directory (link removed, currently off the market), which was cool with me. But at the time I was also in the early stages of putting together a new product, Site Snapshot. The cogs start turning.
What better catalyst to light a fire under this new product than to include Site Snapshot as an additional contribution to the swag of products for the launch.
Brilliant! Up there for thinkin’
As we roll into February, I begin to realize just how much work I have ahead of me.
Murphy’s law being as it is an’ all…everything that could possibly raise its ugly head to slow me down, distract me, or throw me off course made its stage debut during this time.
So I spent all of February feeling like I couldn’t surface for air. Now don’t get me wrong, I luvs me some pressure. I’m one of those lunatics that work stupid hours to meet self imposed deadlines…but this was just a little too freakin crazy for my liking.
Needless to say I was working right down to launch hour. But hey, I’m still here to tell the tale, so it’s all cool…I’ll be fine when the medication gets rid of the twitching.
The First of Many Lessons
Don’t be offering products that aren’t ready to go right now. Shit happens, just when you don’t want it too. You haven’t got the luxury of shutting down other areas of your business to focus on one thing only.
Promotion is a glove on the hand of a joint venture launch.
When you get involved there is an expectation for you to promote. Fair enough too. After all what’s the point in being involved if you’re not going to put the word out.
Now this particular promotion was to be kept under wraps until launch day, and the length of the promo was only 42 hours. Short window indeed. So if you’re gonna promote well, you really needed to have your shit together with everything lined up ready to go.
My Map for Launch Promotion
- Blog Post: This was released on the morning of day two, which also went to RSS, and was bookmarked on a variety of sites, like stumble, delicious, reddit, diigo etc.
- Email To Lists: Scheduled through Aweber to go out the morning of launch to a few of my lists that had the appropriate audience.
- You Tube: Created a short video with Animoto as a promo to be shared on twitter, facebook, google+ and embedded in the blog post too.
- Twitter: Lined up tweets through Hootsuite for every couple of hours or so at varying times, and lots of variety of text over the two day period. Some linked directly to the sales page, some to video,& some to blog post.
- Facebook: Posted both to page and profile two to three times during both days. Also created a Facebook Ad campaign to drive some extra traffic directly to the sales page.
- Google Plus: Posted video and link to sales page a couple of times here.
I think you’d agree there’s a reasonable amount of promotion there for a two day sale.
So how did it all come out in the wash, and what did I learn?
Examining Results – Thoughts and Observations
Blog: It’s difficult to catch your audience within a short window. Not everyone reads you blog posts when they’re released. Many people catch up with their reading at the weekend.
Blogging for promotion is fine if you have a big enough window to play with. In this case perhaps not.
Email: I don’t overwork my email lists and as a result my open rates are generally north of 60%, so providing they saw it in the time frame, shouldn’t be a problem with getting some click throughs. Unless of course Aweber decides to have a major glitch, be down for several hours and your email goes out at the wrong time! ARRRGGGGHHH
You can’t always rely on automatic scheduling. If it’s time sensitive, keep control by not queuing it. Go in and manually send it when you’re ready. Impact was lost due to link not being live at the time the email went out.
You Tube: Now obviously with the sale being under wraps I couldn’t upload the video until launch time had arrived. But I had previously done some keyword research so was good to go with this one. The video to date has received 8 views. Crap eh?
A platform will only be as good to you as you have been to it. You tube is like a long lost cousin in my case…no surprise really that the video went nowhere. Cest la vie.
Twitter: I’m a regular on twitter putting in an appearance probably 5 out of the 7 days a week. Averaging half a dozen tweets a day. So no major stresses here, although I did worry about putting through tweets every couple of hours. Shit was I about to become one of those douchebag marketer types?
Promotion is acceptable to your crowd providing its not your only method of operation. I did get a reasonable amount of clicks and I don’t seem to have suffered mass unfollows as a result..phew!
Facebook: Now the two of us…Facebook and I that is, need to get a little better acquainted.
I do post there, but I’m not as active as I could or should be. So I knew there would be little traffic as a direct result of page posts. So I thought I’d throw a little advertising into the mix.
The whole process was pretty simple and thanks to some great tips from Jen Sheahan from FBAdsLab, I was able to pull a better than average click through rate. (There’ll be more on this in another post).
For untested waters I was happy with the click through rate. Though it probably was not ideal for testing against blind copy where you have no measure of conversion.
Google +: Again, Google plus sort of falls into the same camp as you tube. I’m there, but not prolific enough to make a dent. But I figured in for a penny in for a pound. You never know who’s eye you might catch.
Given that I only posted a couple of links here, it wasn’t a time investment to worry about. If I managed to pull a little traffic from here, all good…but I certainly wasn’t expecting to.
The Payoff – Reflections & Theories
As you can see there are some pretty good lessons in this exercise. So you’re probably wondering what the payoff was for this JV launch virgin?
There were 2 sales made from my end. Yup that’s a whole 2. Surprised?
I wasn’t expecting to rake in bundles of cash my first play on the merry go round. Honestly my lists and network aren’t big enough for that kind of reach…yet
I was happy to to treat it as a learning experience. Hell if a broke a few sales in the process and if it brought some fresh eyes to my work, then it was worth the work in my book.
I can’t tell you what the other ladies did as individuals. But based on the overall outcome of the promotion I don’t think I was far off the average with my results.
Everybody has to start somewhere, and thats my reason for telling you this.
While it’s cool to hear about all those big buck launches, reality is, it takes time to get to that kind of level and they’re certainly not the everyday occurrence that you may think they are.
In the end, I can only say, I did the best I knew how with this promotion.
Yes I made some rookie mistakes; like only creating one tracking link…I wish, wish, wish, I’d created a different one for each traffic stream to better assess the data.
But over the two days I did send more than 650 people over to the sales page, which isn’t too bad for a first time effort.
Value = Sales…. Not Always the Case
Joint venture sales like this provide a great amount of value in the resources they provide. You certainly couldn’t fault the calibre of products or contributors that were included in the package.
You do your job and send the potential buyers and hope to convince and convert them when they arrive on the scene. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t.
Maybe the fact that there was no warm up to prime buyers and get them ready to buy, like they do for example with the Only 72 sale.
Only 72 is a sale that runs for 72 hours (bet you’d have never guessed that) But it does give plenty of advance publicity, with the sales page online with a countdown timer, and no buy buttons for at least a few days before going live. People can work through the info, assess and come back time and time again to convince themselves. Then all that’s needed is to reveal that buy now button and they’re away.
At the end of the day we can hypothesise till pigs fly.
Maybe it was no warm up, maybe it was the copy on the sales page, maybe my leads weren’t the right demographic, and then again maybe being in pre Mercury retrograde threw a spanner in the works…who knows?
You can only measure, assess, learn and improve the next time around. I certainly won’t be shy to try it again.
What about you. Have you ever been through a launch. What lessons did you learn from the experience. Why not share your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to hear them, and I’m sure they’d be valuable to other readers too.
I hope you found some value in this post and if you did, then please click a couple of those buttons on your left to send it round the interwebz. Thanks
Oh and if you’re interested in finding out more about Site Snapshot, all the info will be live on the site next week, be sure to come back and check it out.