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My 3 favourite ways to launch a digital product

by Louise Blakely in Digital Products, Online Courses
May 18, 2021 2 comments

When launching a digital product, it’s not enough to just put it out there and expect people to buy. Instead, you need to create an experience! This is so they can sample your goodness, get to know you and then trust you enough to buy from you. 

That’s why creating a launch event is so important. A launch is an event you’re inviting people to, like a party. You want as many guests at the party as possible. 

People get to experience a sample of your work, or take action with you towards a certain goal. They get to know you, and start to trust you. Then you offer them an opportunity to purchase your digital product and any special bonuses, with a deadline.

There’s quite a few different types of launch events or launch methods, but I have three firm favourites, for different reasons, different niches and different situations. 

In this blog, I’m sharing the 3 favourite launch methods, who should use them, and the pro’s and con’s of each. 

Webinar Launch 

A webinar is simply an online presentation where you teach, and then sell your product. Sometimes they also referred to as a free masterclass or free workshop. You invite people to sign up to the webinar, then present your content followed by your offer. At the end of the webinar, you open the doors and invite people to sign up there and then. 

Who should do a webinar launch? 

It’s not really about what industry you’re in, but what industry you’re serving, as well as the type of person you want to buy your digital product. 

Are they the type of person who would set a time in their schedule and watch a training for one hour? Yes? Then a webinar could be a good choice. 

If your target market are busy high-level corporate leaders, would they be the type of people to find one hour of free time in their busy schedules? If not, then you’re best to look at another option (hint, an email launch would be the go-to for you!). 

It also ties in with what you’re teaching. If you’re a yoga teacher and you’re launching your digital membership to people who want to practice yoga in their own home, a webinar isn’t the best launch method – you’re better off with a challenge. 

However, if you’re a yoga teacher who is now teaching up-and-coming yoga teachers how to build a profitable yoga studio, then a webinar is the perfect launch method for you. They’re more invested in learning, whereas the yoga students just want to do their exercises, there is less intellectual training going on. 

Pros of a webinar launch

There are many advantages of a webinar! Not only do they have a good conversion rate when done well, there are many other perks.

  • You show up for an hour and your launch event is done, and the doors to your digital product are open. 
  • You can repeat a webinar many times, even within the same launch. Ideally you do your webinar at least twice within one launch period, so you give people more than one time option. 
  • Webinars build expertise, authority and trust within a very short period of time. 
  • A highly-converting webinar is easier to automate than a challenge (when it’s time to go evergreen). 

Cons of a webinar launch

While webinars are great, there are also some downsides.

  • They do rely on your tech working, and you’ll need to use a webinar platform. 
  • It can be tricky presenting and keeping an eye on questions from the audience at the same time. 
  • A webinar might set off the public speaking nerves.

Challenge Launch 

A challenge is a launch event that is spread over a few days (usually 3, 5 or 7 days – sometimes longer). It’s a series of small steps that a participant can take to move closer toward their goal. During a challenge, you can teach, motivate, shift beliefs and sell your product.

A challenge can include videos, emails, written lessons – or a combination of the above! Some challenges have some kind of community aspect, like a Facebook group where everyone can connect as they move through the challenge together. It’s not totally necessary though. 

Who should do a challenge launch?  

Again, it’s not about you but about your audience. 

Challenges work best for something that is presented in step-by-step sequence. So if it’s action-focused and less learning-based, challenges are perfect. They’re also perfect if you want to get your audience moving instead of just consuming more content. 

I particularly like them for the fitness niche, as they just work so well for how that industry already exists. 

They are a great option for anyone who wants to run a launch where there is lots of interaction with the participants, and you really want to build a community fast! 

Pros of a challenge launch

I’m a huge fan of a good challenge, there’s so many advantages that will not only benefit you during the challenge but afterwards too. 

  • You don’t need any fancy tech, all you need is a way to send out the daily challenge content (email!), and if you have a community element, a Facebook group is all you need. 
  • You’re showing up in real-time over a series of days with your challenge participants, so you can build a really deep sense of community, connection and trust very quickly. 
  • Challenges are amazing for building your email list and building a deeper connection with these people through your challenge content. 

Cons of a challenge launch 

There are a few cons though, it’s good to be clear on these before you decide what is best for you. 

  • You need to be around and active while the challenge is happening. They perform better if you’re engaging with your challengers and going live. This is across multiple days, unlike a webinar that is over quickly. So if you have other commitments and can’t spare time each day, I suggest you don’t go with a challenge. 
  • There’s a real tendency with challenges to fill up challenges with too much content (yes, too much content is a thing!). This can make it overwhelming for participants to keep up. So if there’s too much work involved and they don’t get it done on Day 1, they are unlikely to show up for the rest of the days. Bite-size actions each day is the key. 
  • There can be a tendency to over-deliver and almost turn your challenge into a mini-course, therefore making conversions to your paid product harder (they will be thinking “I’ve already got everything I need!”.  A Challenge should be less about teaching and more about shifting beliefs and providing a stepping stone of accountability. If you’re prone to over-delivering, you could create a paid challenge instead. 

Email Launch 

I don’t hear many launch experts talking about an email launch – it’s probably because they seem too good to be true! They’re definitely a great tool to have up your sleeve. One of my recent clients added 22 new members to her membership with a quick, easy breezy email launch (and it was fully automated!). 

Who should do an email launch?  

I believe that everyone should use email launches as part of their repertoire. They are a great way to launch in-between launches, or if you need income quickly, with relatively little work! 

If your audience is incredibly time-poor (thinking of high-flying corporates who don’t spend a bunch of time online), then an email launch is probably going to be your go-to. 

There is one condition though – you MUST have an email list. And you need to be actively growing that email list and nurturing your new leads in between launches. You can’t just keep repetitively launching via email list to the same people. 

Pros of an email launch 

There are so many pros of doing an email launch: 

  • Compared to the other launch methods, there’s very little work involved for an email launch. You just write a bunch of emails (with strategy, of course). 
  • Once your emails are written, you can automate the whole thing. Talk about launching on autopilot! 
  • If you’re busy and got other things to do, great! Go and do them while your launch happens. 
  • Email launches can also be great for your hot leads on your email list – if they’ve been eye-ing up your product already, they can buy quickly without having to spend any time doing a challenge or attending a webinar. 
  • You don’t need much tech – just an email service provider and a sales page will do! 
  • They are great if you are about to raise your price, or retire an older digital product. 
  • You don’t need to share about your launch on social media, but you can if you want to.

Cons of an email launch 

All sounds too good to be true? There are a few disadvantages…

  • You can’t do an email launch without a decent-sized email list. What’s a decent size? Well, the bigger the better. However, one of my clients did an email launch to a list of 700 people and made $2200 in 4 days, without sharing the offer once on social media. 
  • Email launches won’t be successful for long if you don’t have a strategy to grow your email list in-between launches. 

I hope by now you realise the importance of creating an event around your launch, and using a launching strategy. In fact, if your digital product isn’t selling, then you need to try one of these!

With this information, you should be able to make a decision on what launch method is best for you. Let me know in the comments what kind of launch you’d like to do for your next launch! 

 

2 Comments
  1. kim garside says:

    Love your stuff Louise 💗

    1. Thanks Kim! Hope it helped you in some way xx

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