Want to avoid the product launch mistakes that so many entrepreneurs make when they release a new program or product out to the world?
Successful entrepreneurs know that there are several things that keep a reader from buying, and how to look out for potential issues up front.
In this article, I’ll share 5 launch mistakes to avoid so that you have a much greater chance of having an amazing launch.
But first… does this sound familiar?
The time is here — you’re ready to launch a new product to your audience.
You spent days, weeks, or even months creating a really great online product that will become your new source of passive income. Aka the Holy Grail of online business.
You slaved for another week setting up your social media plan, drafting your sales emails to your subscribers, and now it’s finally time to launch your sales page.
Ready, set, PUBLISH!
Now that your product page is live, you hit the send button for your email campaign. (Am I the only one that has a brief moment of sheer panic every time I hit send on an email campaign?)
You post across your social media accounts and get excited when you see a few likes on your Facebook post. A good sign.
You wait patiently for the PayPal app on your phone to ding, indicating you made your first sale. Ok, so the first sale isn’t happening as quickly as you wanted, but you know it’s coming.
You hop over to Google Analytics and see that you’ve had 60 hits to your sales page. Awesome! Aaaaannnnny minute you’re going to get a sale.
Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. Now you’ve received 100 hits on the page. And Still. No. Sale.
This is one of the hardest things about being an entrepreneur. The excitement of creating something that will make you money, shadowed by the reality that no one is buying your product.
This moment though — this moment of sheer disappointment — is what either makes or breaks most entrepreneurs.
It’s easy to assume that no one wanted the product, decide to cut your losses, and fairly quicky move on to the next idea.
However, a small few of us know it’s important to deconstruct the process from start to finish to see where the problem actually lies before writing it off as “another idea that didn’t work.” This is when you need to take a step back and look at everything objectively (sometimes this is hard, but it’s essential if you want to have a successful online business).
If you’ve had hundreds, or thousands of views on your sales page, and not a single sale (or only a few sales… the ones from your mom don’t count), it doesn’t mean there’s a problem with your product. There are several potential reasons you aren’t getting sales when you launch a new product.
Reason #1: Nobody wants your product
Notice I didn’t say that your product isn’t a good product. I just said that there’s no demand for it.
Many times, people skip the step of validating an idea to make sure it could be profitable before we spend our valuable time creating it.
Sometimes validating your idea is simply a matter of a Google search. If other people are selling a product like yours successfully, there’s a demand for it. Other times you have to dig a little deeper, but before creating your product, make sure that there’s an audience who actually wants what you’re selling.
If you’ve got lots of hits to your sales page and engagement on your social media posts, that’s a good indication that your product is interesting to your audience.
But you can’t rely on social numbers alone. Sometimes you need to talk to your audience. Ask them if this is something they would buy.
Reason #2: Your price is too high… or too low
I caught you by surprise with the “too low” part, huh? Well, having a price that’s too low can be just as bad for sales as pricing that’s too high.
For example, let’s say you write an ebook and you price it at $5. $5 is almost free. If I land on a page for a $5 information product, I might assume I’m getting something only slightly better than free. Which means it’s probably not worth the time and trouble for me to walk across the room, get my wallet, take out my credit card, enter those numbers, my billing address, etc. You get the idea.
On the other hand, if I saw an ebook that I wanted, and the price was $10, or even $20, I’d actually be more willing to pull out my credit card and buy it, because it has more perceived value. Something worth me taking the time to actually go through the process of buying it. Crazy, huh?
Your time is valuable, your work is valuable, so don’t be afraid to assign the appropriate value to your product. Don’t base your pricing simply on metrics like “# of pages in an ebook.” I’ve seen ebooks with just 10 pages sell for $99.
This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, by one of my favorite artists:
“Look, it’s my misery that I have to paint this kind of painting, it’s your misery that you have to love it, and the price of the misery is thirteen hundred and fifty dollars.” ~Mark Rothko
Just as you want to validate your product, you also want to do research to see what others are charging for similar products in your niche. This will give you a good gauge of what people are willing to pay, and a baseline price to start with. You can always tweak your pricing until you find your sweet spot.
Reason #3: Your sales copy isn’t hooking the readers
This is important, because it’s where most of us go wrong.
We write copy that’s compelling to us (as the creator), but not necessarily the reader. Our natural inclination is to talk about ourselves and the product that we’re so passionate about, when instead, we should be talking about them.
Because you might think you’re selling a product, but you’re not. You’re selling a solution. Your readers came to
your sales page because they’re looking for something to solve their problem. Make the whole page about them, their problem, and how your product will solve it.
For example, et’s say you’re shopping and you see a gorgeous dress that you think might be the perfect dress for a special party. As the salesperson leads you to the fitting room, she starts going on and on about how long the store’s been open, why they opened the store, how long it took them to get everything set up, etc.
At that moment, you don’t give a flying flip about why they opened the store. All you care about is how amazing you’re going to look in this dress.
More about them, less about you.
Another mistake people often make is focusing on the features more than the benefits. It’s easy to do because features are facts. They don’t require a lot of thought.
But facts don’t sell products. Benefits do.
Benefits explain how the product will make your life better.
Here’s another example: Let’s say you’re shopping (are you sensing a pattern?) and you see a pair of amazing Jimmy Choos. I mean, these shoes are so fabulous they give you heart palpitations.
If we were to describe the features, we might say:
- Made in Italy
- Leather Sole
- Patent Leather Upper
Those features (which I pulled straight from the website where I found these shoes) would not entice me one single bit to buy these babies. Those features could be describing a $14 pair of shoes at Payless, for all I can tell.
What if, instead, they just had a big page, with a large image of the shoes, and the copy:
Sexy stilettos will make your legs look fucking fabulous.
Men will want to do you, and women will want to be you.
I wear a size 8 in case anyone’s feeling generous. (Image courtesy of Raffaello Network)
Those 3 things (fabulous legs, sex appeal, and admiration from other women) are benefits. Benefits sell products. It’s the benefits that make us say, “I have to have that!”
So make a list of both features and benefits, and highlight the benefits throughout your sales page.
You can include features as needed — things such as the number of pages of an ebook, or bonus resources that are included with a program, or length of the program. But you want your main focus to be on the benefits.
One thing that helps is to ask yourself the following questions:
- What do their lives look like before your product?
- What will their lives look like after your product?
Now, just connect those dots for them in your sales copy, and you’ll have the makings of a good sales page.
Reason #4: You have too many distractions on your sales page
Another mistake I often see bloggers make is that they have too many distractions on their sales page. The sidebar is there, with all of its “shiny objects”, there are ads on the page (yes, I’ve actually seen this), and at the bottom, there are sharing links.
When you’re trying to sell someone something, you want ZERO distractions on your page. The reader should only be able to take ONE action, and that’s to click the buy buttonYou want ZERO distractions on your sales page. The reader should only be able to take ONE action, and that's to click the buy button.Click To Tweet
Take away your sidebar — you want them fully focused on the product you’re selling.
Lose the 3rd party ads on your sales page. This page is all about your product. Don’t give people a reason to click away from your site.
And ditch the social share buttons. I know a lot of people think this will help get more eyes on their sales page, but it’s nothing more than a distraction.
If someone’s planning to buy, they aren’t going to share with their friends at that moment. If someone isn’t planning to buy, they probably aren’t going to share it with their friends, either. So the share buttons are a waste of space.
What I would recommend is putting share buttons on the sales confirmation page that they land on after they buy. This makes much more sense. They just bought, so they’re still excited.
You could say something like, “Thank you for buying my [insert badass product name here]! I know you can’t wait to get started on it, but real quick, would you mind taking a few seconds to share this with friends who would also enjoy it? Thanks again!”
Isn’t that better?
So eliminate the distractions on your sales page. Have only one action they can take: to buy your product.
Reason #5: Tech glitches and overall user experience
The tools that help you sell your products might be awesome, but the fact remains that sometimes things break. There are bugs in the plugins we use, compatibility issues, the rest of our tools aren’t supported, etc.
Before making any sales page live to the public, it’s essential that you test the entire process first.
If you’re using WordPress, you can publish a page or post in “private” mode so you can test everything. Just go to the box above the Publish button, and click “edit” next to where it says “Visibility: Public.” Now switch it to private, then hit Publish. This will allow you to see it in as long as you’re logged in to WordPress. No one else will be able to.
Now, test your sales button(s). Go through the entire purchase process, and actually buy your product. Did everything check out ok? Did you get a confirmation email (if your process is set up to send one)? If your product is digital, did your digital delivery system send you the actual product or link for you to download it?
Launch day certainly isn’t the time you want to find out that something’s not working. Test it on different browsers, test it on mobile, test, test, test!
In addition, how complicated was the entire process? In other words, are there too many steps for you to go through as a buyer?
If your buyer has to jump through too many hoops to get your product, it becomes a pain in the ass, and you may lose them midway through the actual buying process.
Ideally, the buyer simply has to click one button, which takes them directly to the checkout page. Boom, boom, done. Make it crazy simple for them to buy your product.
Recap: 5 launch mistakes to avoid when you release a new product
- Validate your product idea, so you don’t waste valuable time creating something that no one wants
- Scope out similar products in your field to get an idea of what people are willing to pay, but price based on value. Don’t be afraid to charge what you’re worth!
- Step into the stilettos of your readers, and write sales copy that resonates with what they want or the problem they need solved. Focus on benefits — how will your product help them or make them better?
- Remove all distractions on your page, and have one clear, concise call to action for the reader to buy your product
- Test for tech glitches, and make sure the entire purchase process is smooth and painless
Now that you know these common launch mistakes to avoid, you’re more likely to have a successful launch next time.