Jane Tabachnick is a marketer, strategist and product launch manager. I’ve asked her to share her insights, in this guest blog post about how she successfully launches products online. Her firm Exceptional Launchh offers product launch management, and is a member of the Jeff Walker platinum inner circle.
Whether you are launching a product online or offline, the Internet and social media are must have tools that play a key role in your success.
Millions of dollars are wasted each year when products launch without proper preparation, unprepared to meet customer expectations and requirements. This is truly unnecessary as the tools are readily available, often already at hand. The tools I am referring to are the Internet and social media.
Successful launches have a number of things in common. They routinely engage with customers during the development process and respond to customer feedback and requirements in preparation for and during the product launch. Why not give the customer exactly what they want, in the way that they want it? The adage ‘the customer is always right’ is one to keep in mind.
Let’s look at four key elements of a successful launch; it starts with a great product at the right price. It includes user friendliness in an easy buying process and the product itself. Lastly, it needs to have social proof in the form of customer testimonial or product reviews to lend credibility help buyers make an informed decision.
The Internet and social media make it easy to:
Have customer feedback in real time
The mechanisms can include a form on your website, an online survey, blog comments, customer reviews, feature requests, suggestion box or twitter stream.
A recent beta launch of a new software raised complaints about the lengthy sign up form, something we had never considered would be objectionable. Within an hour we were able to edit and simply the sign up form eliminating the obstacle to doing business with us.
Respond promptly and openly to customer feedback
People want to be heard and have their opinion valued; they gain greater respect and value for a company that responds to their suggestions, wish list, challenges and even complaints promptly and with the true intention of continuous improvement and to make their customers happy.
A few months back I bought a subscription to Widget box. I was impressed when the head developer answered my quest for help on their support forum promptly. While he didn’t have an immediate solution for me, he let me know that they are aware of the problem and will be rolling out a solution in the near future! I left less frustrated about the solution and became a raving fan! That is powerful; imagine what this can do for your business – the ability to turn a frustrated customer into a brand evangelist!
Test your pricing and offer quickly and easily
Getting the pricing and offer right can be as much art as science. Utilizing the proven concept of AB split testing, you can try out your pricing and offer quickly and effectively using any number of mediums from a web page or email blast to a tweet. You can than launch knowing you are offering the option that gives you the highest conversions.
Get and display social proof
Social proof can influence behavior, and in this case buying decisions. Simply put, its the key to higher conversion rates. Product reviews have been shown to drive conversions rates significantly higher. Utilizing video testimonials or video product reviews as social proof exponentially increases your sales even more, as video alone has been shown to increase conversion rates as much as 40% on a site.
With the advent of the flip camera, Youtube, Viddler and other video sharing sites it makes it easy for anyone to create a video testimonial or review. There are numerous plug ins and apps to help add social proof like comments, reviews, rating systems and videos to your website or blog, or share on twitter.
Raise and counter objections
Uncovering customer’s objections or obstacles to buying gives us an incredible gift of information. If we address those objections and publicize our responses, we have done more than just get the sale; we have improved the product, usability and/or delivery based on the feedback. We have also deepened our relationship further with the prospect by having a dialog, and actually listening to them.
Speak Your Customers’ Language
The cumulative input of all the aforementioned is a body of comments, testimonials and objections stated in the language or exact words and phrases your customers use. This is a tool you can use to better market your product. By writing copy that incorporates the very language used by your customers, in a technique called mirroring, you have a higher chance of resonating with them and making them feel like you are one of them, increasing the likelihood that they will buy from you.
The Internet and social media provide an every growing array of easy to use tools that help you develop and execute a successful launch while engaging your audience and deepening your relationship with them. Sweet.