Oh Sh**, Another Damn Product Launch?!

Launch fatigue. Its been an item of discussion lately in some circles, including by Dave Navarro, who had a great article about it. He also mentions a piece over at Productive Flourishing. May was a pretty packed month for product launches – in this market. And those of you who pay attention to it all were feeling pretty inundated and ganged up on. Some of the big annoyances I’m seeing out there are:
  • Artificial scarcity plays. Let’s face it, most of this stuff is digital so you need to have a pretty compelling reason to limit availability on something that is digital.
  • Over-hype. Calling something the best thing since sliced bread when it isn’t. I think I’ve seen about every possible way to hype something, but I constantly find more.
  • Tugged in multiple directions. When you have a perfect storm of launches like there was in May, consumers feel ripped apart. And as any marketer will tell you, when you give people too many options, they’ll often just choose none of them.
As Navarro correctly stated, it isn’t product launches that are the problem. It is the repeated pattern.

Launch fatigue.

Its been an item of discussion lately in some circles, including by Dave Navarro, who had a great article about it. He also mentions a piece over at Productive Flourishing.

May was a pretty packed month for product launches – in this market. And those of you who pay attention to it all were feeling pretty inundated and ganged up on. Some of the big annoyances I’m seeing out there are:

  • Artificial scarcity plays. Let’s face it, most of this stuff is digital so you need to have a pretty compelling reason to limit availability on something that is digital.
  • Over-hype. Calling something the best thing since sliced bread when it isn’t. I think I’ve seen about every possible way to hype something, but I constantly find more.
  • Tugged in multiple directions. When you have a perfect storm of launches like there was in May, consumers feel ripped apart. And as any marketer will tell you, when you give people too many options, they’ll often just choose none of them.

As Navarro correctly stated, it isn’t product launches that are the problem. It is the repeated pattern.

You know it when you see it. The “shot across the bow”, as Jeff Walker puts it. Then, the prelaunch with the obligatory 3 launch videos. Throw in a few “gee shucks” emails. Then, the sales video. Launch on a Tuesday. Open for one week. Hype hype hype. Ooohhh… its closing soon and you better buy now! Did I mention buy NOW? OK, gone. And in some cases, make up some bullshit reason to open it again.

Its a PATTERN and those of us in this market see it repeated over and over again. Sometimes, launches overlap in a crazy way and the market just gets pissed off. In May, that happened.

It is going to get worse, too. I have a couple of good friends working on a done-for-you launch platform which is going to ROCK. I also know that Andy Jenkins is soon going to launch Kajabi. What does all this mean?

Product launches are going to become commoditized. The pattern, in some niches, is going to become so recognizable it’ll flow like a bad horror movie and be about as predictable as one.

Let’s Get Real For A Minute

If you’re paying attention to a bunch of people whose job it is to teach others how to generate money on the Internet, don’t be surprised when they sell stuff to you.

That’s what we do. 🙂

But, you know what? The rest of the Internet is out there. The “make money” market is pretty saturated, and the “make money blogging” market is getting that way. Other markets? They don’t recognize the launch pattern. You could pull off even downright corny launches and they’ll work better in other markets.

They don’t understand the pattern. But, the launch pattern is nothing new. Jeff Walker didn’t invent it. It has been used to launch everything from movies, music albums, new shows on TV, computers, software. You name it, it goes through a product launch campaign.

The only difference is that those campaigns are targeted primarily to people who don’t understand launches. They don’t think like marketers.

So, don’t become an advocate for the “un-launch”. It won’t work. Calling everything a “trick” and knee-jerking the other direction will lead you to nothing.

You can’t just put products out there and hope they get noticed. If you’re in a market which isn’t used to launches, then the usual pattern will work. If you’re in the “make money” market in any way, then you need to begin thinking outside the box. And that’s because you’re…

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

It is a fact. Once a market reaches a point of saturation, all your prospects will have their guard up – immediately. Because they’re expecting you to try to hammer them like a piñata until money falls out.

They’ll think that everything is a strategy and a tactic, almost to the point where they’ll come up with conspiracy theories and make up back-stories. You know, the “I bet he faked that server crash to make it look really busy” kind of crap.

[Reality Check: Anybody who wants your money is never going to make it so you can’t pay them. Server crashes as marketing stunts? It is a myth. Move on.]

If you follow the usual launch pattern, they’ll see it coming from a mile away. Your job, then, is a lot harder. You have to convince people to want your product who’ve already decided they’re not going to buy it. They’ll just get what they can from your prelaunch videos, then move on.

There are some products being launched that are REALLY, REALLY GOOD. People would benefit from them immensely, yet they get written off because they see it as “just another damn launch”.

What To Do About It

I see many new marketers make the mistake of thinking if you’re not one of “those marketer people”, then people are going to like you more and buy your stuff.

Wrong. It won’t work.

Marketing always needs to be done. The question is – HOW?

You’ve got to stir up the typical launch pattern. You want to have an event which is worth paying attention to, not just another shitty launch. So, some ideas off the top of my head might include:

  • Incorporating live events. Webinars still work really well as long as you provide a lot of value. But, what about live broadcasting like Ustream? When I wrapped up my last launch of Blog Masters, I spent the entire last day on Ustream, answering people’s questions. When’s the last time we saw one of these “gurus” hop on Ustream for a day? They probably write it off as a waste of time, but they have no idea how much that will demystify them and make them more real to their market. I also love the concept of the “virtual happy hour” that Nathan Hangen and Susan Baker are using on the Bootstrap Sessions launch. That’s disrupting the pattern. Very cool.
  • Viral Campaigns. There are a number of things you could do to engineer viral promotions. I’m talking about more than just putting a retweet button on a page. What about having people create videos on Youtube to enter some kind of contest or giveaway that coincides with your launch? Get creative.
  • Insane, INSANE value. Real value always works. I’ve seen some launches where the prelaunch stuff is literally so good that the word gets spread quickly. And not by affiliates, just people who think the stuff is awesome.
  • Art. Don’t just give information. Make it into art. Make it creative, compelling and artistic. For example, when Jenkins launched his video course, the Internet was abuzz at the quality of his videos. When Kern launched List Control, the Internet was abuzz at the MTV-like quality of his videos. Can you make your product truly a work of art?
  • Audience Involvement. You can actually engage your audience in the actual creation and leadup to your product. It is like a story that they’re following along with. There are a number of ways to do that.

It comes down to just BEING REAL.

I find that we’re all just DESPERATE for people who are just real with us, upfront, and honest. We’d rather do business with a dude we feel like we KNOW than some huge marketer who sits in a San Diego mansion and only emails us affiliate links.

This is why bloggers can do so well when executing product launches. If you know the marketing, know the pattern, but know how to shake it up just enough and keep your audience engaged because you are ACTUALLY engaged – you’ll crush it. You’ll absolutely crush it.

So, Tell Me This

So, here’s what I want to know from you.

Chances are, if you read my blog, you probably read some other bloggers in the same kind of niche. And you’re interested in making money from your blog and living the lifestyle that comes with it.

That being said, you’ve seen a lot of launches. And you’re going to see more. I’m going to be launching stuff, too, so it isn’t as if I don’t have a pawn in this chess match. 🙂

So, what would YOU like to see? What ideas do you have?

What would you like for me to do for you?

I welcome your comments.

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Responses

  1. I can't agree more with your analysis Bruce. Dissecting the best of product launches and all direct response marketing is an excellent piece of advice. If we apply that to what David suggests and become creative with the “golden nuggets” of each campaign, then we've done our diligence as marketers. Part of the reason the Jeff Walker/Frank Kern internet mkt oligarchs keep repeating the same pattern is their own laziness. They sell to each others lists to the point of absolute boredom. If they don't start getting creative and changing it up, then their lists, regardless of size and newbie entry, will become saturated and immune to their strategies. It's our goal to avoid that now and create a more transparent and creative approach to both launches and marketing in general.

    Thanks again to both you, David and all others for their comments.

    peace

  2. I email the sales and no real help from internet marketers with the information most tired. Well I know almost nothing at all about the sales pitch sales promotion or JV is really annoying is shipped with every email. I have reasons why we in the first place marketers sign up for the list some other useful information is expected.

  3. Awesome post as usual. Some take away pointers? If the market has been saturated with “product launches”, mix it up. If the market hasn't seen “product launches”, just do it as normal and see what happens. Thanks for the tips David. 🙂

  4. I look at each product launch as a “learning tool” I am already predisposed not to buy because I have all the tools and IM products I want over the years. Nothing new or ground breaking in the past two years. But I liken to observing all product launches like I save all my junk snail mail. “Success leaves clues.”

    Take the time (and notes) to break down what each maven uses in their product launch campaign. It can teach you tons if you just pay attention to the verbage, the colors, the size of the headline, the style of the graphics, the videos, etc. It is a complete package revealed on what to do in a launch. And you could easily “tweak” it to your likening based on your attitudes toward your customers.

    Like many people said here, David puts on a class act presentation and that includes his launches. Obviously David took bits and pieces of the biggest launches here and tweaked it with his own personality and values. It works when you use it in that fashion….

  5. Hi David. I also trust Reese. And I agree his campaign was not as bad as the Shoemoney.

    But knowing that so many trust his product and knowing that he delivers, it was a bit surprising to get so many campaign messages.

    I'm not familiar with Shoemoney's product so can't talk about the product itself. But I was referring to the campaigns.

    For me it is about building a relationship – trust and then like you do deliver (over deliver) and then have a lot of great advocates for your product.

    Cheers.. Are

  6. I'm not sure I'd put Reese and Shoe in the same category. I'm actually taking Reese's course (the last one he launched) and the man delivers. A lot of people got weird over the $2/hour reference, but trust me, when you see what Reese is teaching, he treats his people overseas like absolute gold.

  7. G'Day David,
    I left a lengthy comment about this subject on Dave Navarro's blog last week. Eben Pagan's recent launch was very professional. I think that many launches and pitches treat prospects as impoverished losers waiting for for A Great Web Saviour to raise them up to Web Heaven and Millionairedness. Eben didn't fall into this trap.

    I ran a successful offline business for years. I don't have the slightest objection to people trying to sell me something using the web.

    But I want to be treated as a mature, competent adult. And I expect that sellers will have a clear marketing position, a clear business focus and a specific target market. I don't even mind affiliate marketing. But I'm always surprised when some marketer claiming special expertise in say, traffic generation, is unconditionally endorsing products and services in headline writing,
    pitch page design, banner advertising and self-development.

    The web is a legitimate vehicle enabling consenting adults to conduct mutually satisfying and rewarding business transactions. Any bloggers who don't approve should reaquaint themselves with their “trash” and “unsubscribe” buttons.

    And all of us should make sure we have fun………..on the way back to WIIFM.

    Regards

    Leon

  8. I totally agree. Even knowing the content is going to be quality stuff, the manner in which it is being “launched” is very… predictable. And then it loses it's mojo.

  9. If I had the time and money I'd do every product launch that's out there. Why? Because apart from engaging my interest in something I'm passionate about, if nothing else, Inet marketers are motivational. They really get me going.

  10. Those are excellent ideas to make launches more unique and less predictable.
    I guess my answer to your question is to see more of those techniques you mentioned.

  11. What do you guys use for courses. I'm thinking of a 6 week course with a few videos, pdfs, and a possibly a webinar, How would you set this up securely. I want the course always available to subscribe to but unlock the course modules week by week for new paid students plus have an affiliate scheme.

    Is this done in amember ?

  12. You know, I didn't mind all the product launches. I sign up to someone's list, I'm pretty much expecting to get email from them, and to get links to stuff they want me to buy. It's cool.

    What's annoying me is the live webinar (or link to pre-recorded webinar you can't fast forward) that lasts 90 freaking minutes. Is MY time worthless??? I'm interested in what you have to say and your product, but don't be disrespectful of the time I'm affording YOU. I stopped watching at least two because I'd invested enough time for them to get to the freaking point. I'm a business owner, blogger, mom, etc., etc., I have a life that I need to get back to. Your product caught my attention, but don't make me choose between it and making dinner for my family or answering an important email from a client or simply shutting down for the night. You're gonna lose.

  13. To be honest,i'm tired of those sales emails with no real help and information from most of the internet marketers. Well i know that it's all about sales but sending almost every email with some sales pitch or JV promotion is really annoying. I expect some other helpful information from marketers cause that's why we signed up for the list at first place.

  14. That is a great post. I am quick sick of all the product launches that come through my email account. Sometimes there is something of interest but the only one that I have really gone for was one with a cheap entry price that offered tools in addition to training.

  15. Or — here is what I experienced this week.

    InfoMarketer A (not in MMO) announces a product relaunch. Says — until Jul 11 it's going to be this special discounted price from normal.

    Discounted price — closer in line with what I think it's actually worth than normal. I buy. I get NO email — no receipt, no confirmation, no download page. I contact them.

    They tell me — oh, yeah, so many people are responding that our shopping cart is having problems. We didn't get your order. You have to repurchase.

    YEAH RIGHT — no thanks — lost my sale right there.

    About an hour later, InfoMarketer A sends out a letter — oh yeah our mentors told us we were crazy for dropping the price this low. They were right! We've got more sales than we can handle and our shopping cart can't handle the volume. So we're pulling our offer — now you only have til Jul 5 (24 more hours) to get it at the low discount price. Seeing as how we're being too successful for our own good at selling this.

    Ticked me off — so much I unsubscribed from their list.

  16. Or — here is what I experienced this week.

    InfoMarketer A (not in MMO) announces a product relaunch. Says — until Jul 11 it's going to be this special discounted price from normal.

    Discounted price — closer in line with what I think it's actually worth than normal. I buy. I get NO email — no receipt, no confirmation, no download page. I contact them.

    They tell me — oh, yeah, so many people are responding that our shopping cart is having problems. We didn't get your order. You have to repurchase.

    YEAH RIGHT — no thanks — lost my sale right there.

    About an hour later, InfoMarketer A sends out a letter — oh yeah our mentors told us we were crazy for dropping the price this low. They were right! We've got more sales than we can handle and our shopping cart can't handle the volume. So we're pulling our offer — now you only have til Jul 5 (24 more hours) to get it at the low discount price. Seeing as how we're being too successful for our own good at selling this.

    Ticked me off — so much I unsubscribed from their list.

  17. @Erica

    You said it best when you said “Blehck” bc, as you stated, that this “whole discussion had devolved into a capitalism vs. 'marketing from the heart' discussion.”

    What's wrong with “marketing from the heart” AND being a capitalist? Absolutely nothing! If we want to make money we have to be capitalistic! Capitalism is NOT a bad word. We also need to be ethical in our capitalism. Marketing with morality and integrity is equally as important as knowing the technical aspects of how to sell your products. They are BOTH important, and should never be thought mutually exclusive if you want to make an honest living.

    Being capitalist and being ethical are NOT mutually exclusive and work well together! I think this is what Dave is trying to say! And I'm glad you expressed it so well, Erica. 🙂

    Love live ethical capitalists!

    krissy knox
    http://twitter.com/iamkrissy

  18. I was just thinking about this topic the other day. I thought, if anyone can launch, David can! And not only that, he keeps it real and gives us real value! I am impressed each time you do something for us. I think, well sure, he's asking for money, he's in the business of making money. But he gives a lot of info out for what he takes in. Perhaps too much info. 😉 But keep on doing it!

    I remember the first time I “met” you, David. You were pulling what I would call a USTREAM marathon! I thought you were “only” going to be on for several hours, but when the time came for you to end, you continued for several more hours! I learned SO much from you, and you had me hooked on your blog and products ever since. That's bc you are such a giver. I guess your potential buyers know that, even while products are being “marketed” to them, it's fine, even benificial, because you're going to sell them a quality product.

    So, what would I like to see from a launch?
    I'd like to continue to see more of Ustream as well as Webinars.
    I love the idea of contests that are rewarded with a product.
    I love the idea of giveaways, but find they are more valuable when preceded by an actual contest (in which we must work for something) instead of a random giveaway.
    But a giveaway where a random reader wins a product is certainly fine also! 🙂
    And, as aformentioned, nothing beats quality products. Continue to provide us w those and you'll always go viral!

    Some ideas of my own for a prelaunch:
    ~ opening a traditional chat room where you chatted w readers and potential buyers, and they chatted with you. There would be pros and cons to this over using traditional Ustream as well as webinars. But bc of it's pros, you may want to consider it, if you could ever find an excellent chat venue.
    ~ a hashtag chat on twitter to launch a product. You could do #BlogMastersLaunchChat or if that sounded too spammy, something like #WinAMembershipChat. Okay, so I can't come up w any good hashtags, but you get the idea! Some people won't go listen to you on Ustream, but WILL read you on Twitter, and esp take part in a hashtag chat. The advantage of Twitter is that your influence could become very large, because as your followers and mutual friends tweeted, their friends and followers would see what they were tweeting and join in the hashtag chat also. It could become large.
    ~ If you feel this could be too spammy (launching a product on twitter in hashtag form), then perhaps you could have a #AskDavidAnythingChat. The purpose of this would be, of course, to give you and your blog more exposure. Drop your blog link a lot. With every other tweet! Why not, LOL? You may think it wouldn't be worth it bc you wouldn't be selling a particular product, but visitors would come by your blog, and would find your products, at least eventually. Remember, many people love hashtag chats, they usually only last an hour or two, and could bring you good ROI (more in the twitterverse would know you bc you are tweeting to your followers — whose followers then see THEIR followers tweets and join in, and so on), you should get more traffic to your blog, eventually you'll sell more products, more would come to know you through these chats, etc.). Perhaps you may feel tweeting in such a way would not be good ROI and not worth your time, but I think it's something to think about! I'd certainly join in!
    ~ Just an idea for a marketing tool, a little prelaunch idea — whoever tweets you or writes a blog post about your product could get a very small ebook (you could even let them know the ebook was two pages or something, so the tweeter or poster wouldn't be expecting more). If you did this, you would get tweeters and posters from many different places, who would be influencing different audiences. I think you would go more viral this way, and have many more readers of your blog tweet your launch this way. Word of your launch would spread wider, so I think it might be worth it to do the ebook to get the additional sales you would get. And we would get something that would be priceless to us, a little more information from you. Sure we could probably find it in your blog. Maybe. But everyone loves ebooks. It puts all the information in one place. As far as you and for those who would tweet your product, it would be a win-win situation!

    Of course I've never done any marketing and don't know much about traffic. I just have a blog (page rank 3) and I haven't even been able to start my niche blog yet as my husband keeps going back into the hospital. But I do have lots of ideas! 😉 Do I think a little like a marketer, LOL? I've never been trained…

    So that's a little of what I'd like to see! Hope you liked some of those ideas. 🙂

    krissy knox 🙂
    connect on twitter: http://twitter.com/iamkrissy

  19. I like Mike CJ approach – be honest about it..

    Overkill is just a major turn off. The Shoemoney campaign went overboard for my taste. And I think that campaign was at the same time as you had the Blog Master Club campaign.. Well,, you know my choice..

    I think John Reese is starting to move into the danger zone with his campaign.. Have some similarity with how the Shoemoney campaign was in the end.

    I liked your BMC approach, many bloggers can learn from your approach.

    Cheers,, Are

  20. I personally don't think there is a right or wrong way to market, but as a buyer, and a seller, I like to see people do things different. Like when you did the uStream thing, I was there, and I saw how it made you “just one of the guys” to every person there. I think THAT is missing in most product launches, being approachable. (I know I have already said that to you several times, but it is probably what I like most).

    I think it is finally time to check out Inner Circle for myself too…. see ya on the flip side!

  21. I'm actually getting an information product ready to be raunched. Still somewhere in the middle of been started and ready for the first sale though. I did notice a lot in May but I didn't really start to pay attention until I realized I might need to learn a thing or two. You brought up some great points to think about and I think one of the reasons that I love coming back here is the insane value that you provide. I'm a financial blogger and at Financially Digital I try to emulate the comfortable voice that you have hear. I think what I would like to continue to see is offering products from our eye level, no the over hyping, not the faux supply limitations, but just calling things what they are. Maybe giving a sneak peak or two along the way..I mean I appreciate it 🙂

  22. Oh, no worries, David. A point of clarification though – the “no affiliates” thing isn't some “new rule” I'm adopting forever and ever, amen. It's simply because in this particular instance, the price point is SO low that I don't think it's worth it. Also, I truly want to see in the spirit of scientific inquiry what will happen when people recommend a product WITHOUT the affiliate relationship. What happens? More social proof? Less? No difference? I honestly don't know. I want to know, and this is the only way I know to find out.

    List bombing – that's a real problem that I see, but I think it might be a question of semantics at play here. I have no issue when people send me honest to goodness content via email – a “head's up, I've got a new video” is fine. Five “it's coming, and it's going to be SO great” emails in a row over a one week period? That's what I meant, and that's not something I'm interested in.

    At any rate, this is all really good stuff — I'm happy so many people are actually TALKING about this honestly and openly. 🙂 And frankly, the more varying opinions, the better, as far as I'm concerned.

  23. Yeah, I don't like to jump on the big launches as an affiliate for that reason. The last big one I helped with was John Reese's Outsource Force launch. My reason for that was because I wholeheartedly believe in what he's doing – so much in fact that I plopped down $2K of my own money to take the course.

    But, if people come to expect the same copy/paste swipe file emails from me that other affiliates send, they'll write me off and not believe my endorsements. So, I'm careful.

  24. First, don't think I was going after you or anything. I'm not. I think your points on your post were VERY valid, and I agree. Here' the part I don't agree with:

    (1) No affiliates.
    (2) “No list-bombing. Just a few posts here at the blog, a few tweets, one mention on the Facebook page — that’s all you’ll get from me.”

    My concern with this approach is that you're going so far in the other direction that nobody is going to even notice you. Having affiliates doesn't mean anything weird or dishonest is going on. And not using your email list to make an offer – that seems really dumb.

    What I don't want to see people do is start carpet-bombing every single tactic done during a launch, and in one fail swoop saying it is dishonest. It isn't. Most marketers that we all pay attention to are perfectly honest people. The problem is only that they're all doing the same things – hence the pattern is getting tiring.

  25. Thanks for the link! 😉

    Interestingly, what you're describing as your recommendations sounds a lot to me like what I wrote in that post as the “unlaunch” launch … I'm not recommending (and didn't, anywhere) NOT marketing. Marketing is not evil – and I'm not sure the complaints are about marketing or making a buck per se. From my perspective, it's about the overtired, trite, deceptive-at-its-heart nature of the pattern we keep seeing over and over, ad nauseam. It's making a buck *at the expense of integrity.* It's disrespectful to our buyers, and it's unnecessary.

    That's what I wrote, that's what I'm trying — and I have to say, I do think it will work. If it doesn't work as well in terms of the bottom line of these $1000+ modules and packages, well, that's more likely to be due to my relative newness to the field than to any inherent flaws in the unlaunch plan.

    Thanks for contributing your take to the conversation – it's an interesting question. In the end, I have to agree with Marissa who noted on my blog that it's time to try new stuff and see what works. That's where innovation comes from.

  26. Exactly Bitey. And that's where a revolution is waiting to happen. That's where we are headed, IMO. A movement of people realising that we can do what we're passionate about and make a good living from that. A good living doesn't mean just big $$ and 1st class travel, it can be way simpler if one chooses.

    I was one of those people for a couple of years (in a 12 year working career) till I got out to travel and do what makes me happy. It hasn't been an easy road by any means but one I would not change for anything in the world.

    Some people LOVE selling and being salesmen. Those are the ones that should do it, not the ones doing it for money and letting their souls get sucked out. I believe that we all have something we're good at and something we're good AND passionate about – and that's where we need to be looking when it comes to choosing a career.

    Tough it out through the week to live on the weekends? Or find out what you love, and find a way to do that throughout the week without getting to the “TGIF” stage? It makes me sad every time I see that status update on FB or twitter.

    How long can people carry on living that way? They don't. Comes a point when many people sit up and question what they're doing with their lives and that's when changes start.
    Wouldn't it be great if we could see that change happen before, not as a result of burnout?
    Why can't it happen that way? It can, it will and it is happening all around – we just need to reach a critical mass. I'm very positive about the future of passion based workforces.

    This goes back to changing the education system & people's mindsets early on so not sure if it's within the scope of this discussion but thank you for bringing that point up. <soapbox> 🙂 Tia @TiaSparkles

  27. You described the best tactic for recruiting a loyal following and being able to market to them. The reason this isn't the most common type of marketing is because most people don't feel that way about their jobs. “No one grows up wanting to be a salesman” is an old saying because people's passions are usually different from what makes them the most money. Few people grow up wanting to work at low (or even high) wage jobs, but it makes them more money than what they choose to do on weekends so they tough it out. Cookie cutter product launch marketing only makes the lack of passion more obvious.

  28. It's all about research… well, maybe not all. But a successful product launch is roughly 90% research and 10% implementation. That research should not only include what your target customers are looking to buy from you, but where and how you are going to appeal to them to buy from you.

    Big difference.

    A great product launch to me (which I know I could do better at myself) includes connections and relationship building… and that's how you can break through all the noise in a saturated market. Question is, what strategy and then tactics are you going to use to execute that connection?

    What I might like to see more of from you is how you go about doing your research.

  29. A couple of years ago, there was a group of people who started doing this and everyone got sick of it and them. That gave birth to a new vanguard, the 'good' marketers, who showed us visions of non icky marketing that was client centric and tribe based.

    Then, they did the same thing. So it got old. Now everyone's looking at everyone scratching our heads and asking 'what next'? It's already happening: talking about soft whisper marketing, starting conversations, getting creative with launch ideas, rebuilding trust and credibility, expanding your reach out of the seemingly incestous pools to find those who aren't saturated yet.

    How? By taking it offline. Yes, internet marketing means being online and yet, with the information & product overload we're all facing, finding new people to pitch to = getting off our chairs and taking it IRL. Not talking about tech or blogging conferences either, I'm talking real life people. For that, being passionate about what you do, articulating your purpose and how you can help people and really, truly, caring for them (damn cliches!) is needed.

    At Charlie's blog, I gave the example of Jeannette Maw @GoodVibeCoach who doesn't do affiliate product launches – instead, she'll do a series of calls about a topic, blog about them in a relatable this is my experience kinda way and send out ONE email about her product. That's it! From there, people buy her products, become affiliates and sell them on their sites if they like it. What stands out about her is 1) generosity and 2) genuineness you can smell a mile off.

    Even when she doesn't have any new products to sell, she's always doing calls and guest interviews and giving her knowledge and gifts away. Not in preparation for the day she wants to sell, but because she really loves doing it and it shows. This doesn't harm her, it comes back to her tenfold. And yeah, she's doing damn well for herself.

    This may not work for everyone so the point I'm making is – what do YOU resonate with? What feels good to you? Don't do what everyone is doing just cos that's easy or you think it's what works. Meditate on it, really ask “how does this tactic or this method make me feel”. If you are alive with joy and super excited about it, DO IT!!

    If you're in doubt, throw it out. Be brave, let some of the instant profits go in favour of the long term profits and sense of real achievement you'll feel knowing you did it your way. I'm saying – be Intentional in your business AND your life for they are not separate. How you do anything is how you do everything.

    The most important thing to know? Rome wasn't built in a day. This takes time. Are you in for the long haul? Then follow your integrity and do what feels good and you know in your heart is right for your people.

    So there you go, some thoughts & ideas on what we can be doing differently. Tia @TiaSparkles

  30. A couple of years ago, there was a group of people who started doing this and everyone got sick of it and them. That gave birth to a new vanguard, the 'good' marketers, who showed us visions of non icky marketing that was client centric and tribe based.

    Then, they did the same thing. So it got old. Now everyone's looking at everyone scratching our heads and asking 'what next'? It's already happening: talking about soft whisper marketing, starting conversations, getting creative with launch ideas, rebuilding trust and credibility, expanding your reach out of the seemingly incestous pools to find those who aren't saturated yet.

    How? By taking it offline. Yes, internet marketing means being online and yet, with the information & product overload we're all facing, finding new people to pitch to = getting off our chairs and taking it IRL. Not talking about tech or blogging conferences either, I'm talking real life people. For that, being passionate about what you do, articulating your purpose and how you can help people and really, truly, caring for them (damn cliches!) is needed.

    At Charlie's blog, I gave the example of Jeannette Maw @GoodVibeCoach who doesn't do affiliate product launches – instead, she'll do a series of calls about a topic, blog about them in a relatable this is my experience kinda way and send out ONE email about her product. That's it! From there, people buy her products, become affiliates and sell them on their sites if they like it. What stands out about her is 1) generosity and 2) genuineness you can smell a mile off.

    Even when she doesn't have any new products to sell, she's always doing calls and guest interviews and giving her knowledge and gifts away. Not in preparation for the day she wants to sell, but because she really loves doing it and it shows. This doesn't harm her, it comes back to her tenfold. And yeah, she's doing damn well for herself.

    This may not work for everyone so the point I'm making is – what do YOU resonate with? What feels good to you? Don't do what everyone is doing just cos that's easy or you think it's what works. Meditate on it, really ask “how does this tactic or this method make me feel”. If you are alive with joy and super excited about it, DO IT!!

    If you're in doubt, throw it out. Be brave, let some of the instant profits go in favour of the long term profits and sense of real achievement you'll feel knowing you did it your way. I'm saying – be Intentional in your business AND your life for they are not separate. How you do anything is how you do everything.

    So there you go, some thoughts & ideas on what we can be doing differently. Tia @TiaSparkles

  31. Consider it stolen.

    BTW, if you bank enough cool, this really is all you need.

    Case in point: Frank Kern (again). His emails are usually very short.

  32. Gotta go back to what @remarkablogger and @dave said about an hour ago…..I completely agree about opting out of launch promotions to avoid singing what's already been sung. If 20 people are marketing to the same list – the fat lady has sung….it's over. I mean, how many launches did we see in May for “Cash-Flow,” List-Building, and dozens more. That's the way you have to play it, even if you are leaving some sales on the table. Here's my take: While this would have probably come to a head at some point in the near future, it's been accelerated by all the same-platform co-ops, partnerships and jv's. We all felt the economy crunch (however big or small) and co-oping or tag-teaming has served us well. Now that we're list sharing, we've got to diversify again – and carve our own individual paths. Being an affiliate and having affiliates is great, but if they have the same list…well – you can see where that would be a problem. Thanks Dave for addressing this – it's a hot topic…obviously.

  33. Not all content is designed for everybody, but taking time away from the purpose of the video (answering what the product is and what it does) is not good. It's like hearing about a great new way to cut your travel time from one city to another…then watch the video for a half hour and it's finally revealed that it's a car! Watch the next two hours of videos to find out more! If you've never heard of a car before, you probably have more to learn than two hours of video could teach.

    “Adding real value” is a cliché because it's good. It's not *sleazy* to waste viewers' time, but if a marketer does waste time it looks like the product is only for people with lots of time to waste. If there is so little content that the marketer has to hold back on the secrets of the course after 20 minutes of video, that makes it look very bad.

    Maybe the lesson is “don't hold back when you describe your product” or “if you DO hold back, people should assume your product is fluff.” That's a little harsh, but real value is obvious in a 2 minute video or 20 minutes.

  34. I always like the server crashes also…or “sent a wrong link” yesterday. come on.

    I think you handle your marketing fine. It's built upon trust and loyalty and that's where it starts.

    But can you please start adding about 5 more layers of upsells to them??? That way they are consistent with everyone else's?
    Kidding. 🙂

    Brandon

  35. Interesting feedback. However, regarding that “unlaunch”, you would likely have never seen that unless I linked to it. And that's my point… How are you going to get any attention if you bar off doing any marketing?

    Marketing isn't sleazy. It can be done in a sleazy way, but in and of itself, it isn't sleazy.

    As for the guy playing guitar, chances are you weren't his target market. For people who jive with him, it'll resonate. Not all content is designed for everybody.

  36. Yes, engaging other people to create content for you is good. But as a buyer I really prefer the Unlauch strategy you linked to. As someone who wants to focus on money when I look for money information, I don't have time to wade through videos that do not offer specifics. Reading cuts the crap faster and easier by far because you know you should skim or skip testimonials and just scroll down for the price and bonuses. Did anyone see that waste of time where a guy played guitar for half the video, then made the shocking pronouncement that you can make money if you sell what people want to buy? He took 20 minutes to do it! My new rule is that if I can't skip ahead 5 minutes into a video and see something interesting, I just jump ahead another five minutes, run it in the background while I do real work, or skip it altogether.

  37. Just finished writing the sales page:

    It's good
    It's about interesting people
    It's well written
    You'll enjoy it

    *Add to Cart*

  38. Mike and I interviewed Gwen Bell about this yesterday and her take was along the same lines…it takes years, not days or weeks.

  39. I agree on offering something I KNOW is PLR, especially if it is something I've already picked up myself for free. However, I know offering a little something extra is a great way to entice buyers. But I hate when I am offered what looks like 100 bonuses. Offer me one, really awesome bonus and I will probably be all over your offer. When you offer too many, the consumer gets fatigued just scanning your list of them. I know that it deters me from even considering buying.

  40. The WAY people buy is changing fast, but the REASONS they buy will never change. If you sell stuff, some people are just going to complain. Except of course…all your happy customers 🙂 Those are who you're trying to find, and they are all that matters.

    I honestly think the only people are *launch fatigued* are those are aren't in the target market any way. I mean…if you're reading so many MMO blogs that you're just plain sick of seeing launches, there are only two explanations…

    1. you're either in the business yourself (i.e. you have nothing to complain about…it's your JOB to consume this content) or…

    2. you're way too busy reading way too much content, instead of actually USING what you learn and applying it in your business.

  41. It is bound to happen. We evolve as humans so must our marketing techniques. There was a time when the long form sales letter was king, but video killed the letter, now people are getting tired of the three-pack video, something else will kill it.

    I'm guessing that person will be as big as Jeff Walker. I like the idea of uStream, an the contests. It is all about making it an event.

    Apple losing one its newest iPhones in bar sounded suspicious to me. Maybe you will have to forget one of your BMC CD's at a conference somewhere, David 🙂

  42. I've read both Marissa's and Dave's articles (both were excellent) and this is a HEATED issue. I see the issue being cut, decidedly, into two camps; those who market and want to do so effectively and “authentically” (I'm really beginning to hate that word) and those who (seem) to think that people who sell things on the internet are somehow evil, grubbing thieves. I know it's not that cut and dry; I'm generalizing (horrifically, I realize. Brevity is under-rated). But at the end of Marissa's post (which Charlie moderated brilliantly), the whole discussion devolved into a capitalism vs. “marketing from the heart” discussion.

    Blehck.

    So here's what I want. I want to know that “internet marketers” aren't ashamed to sell their cool shit (if it IS cool, natch). I want to know that “from the heart” marketers (whatever the hell that means) are just selling a different way – not a better way – but a different way. On some level, everyone is SELLING. Some are simply more discreet and subtle about it and focus more on relationships and connections but not doing so does not make a marketer dishonest and evil.

    There is nothing inauthentic or unethical about selling products (genius products, even) on the internet. There is nothing inauthentic or unethical with wanting to help others succeed in their business. And there is absolutely nothing inauthentic or unethical with wanting to make a living doing so.

    So I want to cut the “capitalism” bullshit that I'm seeing and get to a point where we'll all discussing and brainstorming and creating new and innovative ways to bring what we offer to the table without having to apologize to do so. If you’ve got cool shit, for crying out loud, feel free to let me know.

    I am, after all, perfectly capable of deciding what I want to buy and where I want to place my support. That’s it. Like it? Buy it. Don’t? Hit delete.

    Yeesh.

    PS – I don’t launch a thing. But I do operate a digital business. For, you know, “authentic clarity”.

  43. For me the issue is about market and product type. There are too many launches in a small market. There are plenty of markets other than blogging and making money on the internet. If we don't have the creativity to find a new market, a different niche, then eventually it will all seize up.

    My plea is for people to create new, different, products and open up markets that are not yet served. Let's so what we are passionate about rather than what everyone else does. Let's be creative not just in how we launch, but also in where and what we launch.

  44. “Creating a crafty launch by providing value in an unmistakably original manner is what creates a buzz.”

    I really like that quote, Ryan. Well said.

  45. In the busy world we are all in, I think what happens for me is when I see the same thing coming over and over again from several different people, I just put on a filter and start ignoring it. While I do realize the value of affiliates spreading the word, when you follow some of the same people, it becomes overload. I did BMC because of your live event on UStream. Someone I follow had recommended it, I was curious, and that live event did more to tell me what I would actually get than any sales page could have done. It also made you real and that helped.

    I also do a lot of my reading now in Google reader. Recently some of my frustration has come that someone will offer a great free product, but of course you have to sign up on the list to get it. If I really want it, I do that, but then I end up unsubscribing soon afterward because I don't want my email box flooded. Not sure there's an answer to that one because I have a free report on my site that operates the same way. Just a comment. I may still buy the product in these cases, but I won't do it because I'm on a list that gives me yet another email.

    I don't respond well to launches that tell me I have to watch a different video every day for a week before I can really get to the meat of what something is and what the investment is. If I have to do that, it's not likely that I will do it simply because my time is too short.

    I'm fortunate to be in a group where they aren't used to product launches. Still, in the end, it comes down to trusting the person you're buying from. It is about building relationships and offering value. In a short survey I just did with my biggest list, it's pretty clear that people do like live events. Even when the products are digital, hearing someone explain it just makes it more real for people.

    Thanks for asking David. The topic has been on my mind a lot as I have felt a bit inundated with offers lately.

  46. Hi David,

    I appreciate your insight 🙂

    The RealNess factor puts you over the top. I think of it as creative showmanship. Hyping a product is a sign of desperation. It's the lazy marketers way of advertising: trying too hard to tap into human emotions without taking the time to create substance to back it up.

    Creating a crafty launch by providing value in an unmistakably original manner is what creates a buzz. As you mentioned the high quality videos achieved this goal.

    Be real. Stay real. When feeling as if you've strayed from being real move back to adding value with flair. Impress this idea on your mind 1000 times a day. Really.

    Thanks again!

    Ryan

  47. Very true. You can read all about internet marketing by just reading direct-response books from the 70's. 🙂

  48. Your gut reaction is becoming the new norm. We, as marketers, need to get past that by breaking the usual pattern.

  49. I personally think long-form sales letters are so MUCH the pattern that they don't work well anymore. I'm about to relaunch 3DayMoney.com and will be completely ditching the long-form letter. And when I relaunch Blog Masters, same thing.

    As for bonuses, etc, that's just marketing. Not a ploy. Now, assigning uber-high price tags to them, that CAN be a ploy. I've seen people throw in graphics/icon packs as bonuses and say “valued at $497” when I know full well they just bought some PLR crap. I've seen the same graphics everywhere. But, offering bonuses isn't a ploy. Don't knee-jerk to thinking all of it is a ploy. It is about being honest.

  50. Yeah same here. I got approached for many launches in May and didn't promote any of them. I was going to promote Navarro's because I like his stuff, but I was a bit late to the punch. Just too slow. 🙂

  51. Perhaps you have tunnel vision on launches. Launches are happening everywhere. Did you see what Apple just did with the Ipad?

    I've done launch campaigns for my tech site, too. Worked there.

    A launch is just a marketing campaign. It works in LOTS of places, not just make money markets.

  52. I wrote about the same exact thing today. I think the only real way to change things from what we saw last month (in this niche) is to put as much effort in to making the launch art as we do the product.

    The “make money” market is a subset of the “marketing” market. It says a lot about the quality of what someone is trying to teach me about marketing by how they choose to actually market THEIR product. I can't possibly think they have much new to say if their launch looks just like everyone else.

    I do agree though that all of these tactics that look worn out to us would do amazing in markets that have not seen them.

  53. Good article, guess I'm showing my innocence..but is there ever a product launch that isn't about making money on the internet.? Can't someone have a tool or calculator or something that doesn't ring with spammy make big money on the internet.?

    Businesses talk about how the internet is to open all these markets and level playing field..blah, blah blah, but they still want your phone # they still want to send you a 100' long sales letter to overcome all your objections..just seems like the majority of crap has switched from direct mail to the internet..

    Had a blogger that I followed, good reliable info. had talked to him personally online a couple of times, answered commets etc…then all of a sudden he talks about this FREE!!! report then some big long sales letter…it's like the conversation stopped and the carnival barker began..Was disapppointed.

  54. I like the idea of making Art of it – if you can engage and entertain me while I actually learn what I need to know to succeed at this thing – in practical ways that can actually be done without having to become total hostage to the computer – that's what I'd like to see.
    And I'd like a product that promises what it says it will. At the end I want to feel as if I got what I paid for – I don't have money to waste.

  55. This is why I didn't promote nearly any of the horde of launches that recently took place. Did I leave money on the table? Surely. But sometimes too much is just too much.

    I like your points on what to do about it. The fact is, the more your customers trust you, the less obvious of a launch you have to do (though you still have to do one).

  56. I will be blogging about this from a consumer's standpoint next week. I am sick of sales pages that are so long it takes me 2 to 3 minutes to scan it. I don't want walls of testimonials, two or three really well done ones will suffice. I don't want seven lists of what I am getting or a long list of “bonuses” that you claim are worth more than the product I am buying. I am sick of “join now before the price goes up” campaigns that last a week or more. I know some of these tactics are used by people like yourself, but it does seem to be the marketing norm for those who aren't using a blog as a platform to get out there and get known. Most annoying, I say.

  57. Show me the product and let me decide if I want it.

    I know that's an oversimplification, but the reason I signed up for Blog Masters was because of the webinar you held. You walked us through the program step-by-step . . 'here's what's in this module, here's what you'll learn, etc.” Nothing came across as hype, there was a ton of valuable free information handed out on the webinar, and I could see how the product would meet my needs.

    Granted, the tough part is getting people to that webinar, but low key and conversational works better for me than the hard core stuff. Even though I'm in this business and know how it works, I don't trust people once they start hitting me with the old style launches. I automatically think their product is a scammy piece of crap. Not fair, but it's a gut reaction.

  58. None of the sales tactics marketers use these days are new. They're all old as hell actually. Selling stuff isn't a new game…the internet is simply a new(er) platform for it. No one has ever liked being sold. The issue is not in coming up with a new tactic or a new formula. There aren't any new tactics. The way to get past this “launch fatigue” phenomenon is to simply build your network, sell to people who TRUST you, and don't worry about everyone else who bitches.

  59. Its the time to rise up the matter as you did . Good job . I felt disturbed with all the automated responder. Even try to give the correct e-mail still required to retyped again. I`ve received repeated mail 4 to 6 times. flooded my list. I lost my track with you because I did subscribe others.

  60. So, Mike, on the next launch of Beyond Blogging – quit planning everything and strategizing. Just scrap it all. Just be honest, and it'll all fall into place. Phew. I bet that makes you feel better.

    😉

    Yeah, blanket statements like this do nothing for those who actually want to learn and grow.

  61. Absolutely. There are any number of ways to make a launch interesting. UStream just happens bo be one that I did.

    And, yes, from my experience with BMC, my 2 biggest contributions to closing sales was the webinar at the beginning, and Ustream at the end. Both live events.

  62. Thanks Greg.

    I'm not sure if Kajabi and the other thing will hurt the market, tho. It will just make the people who succeed really need to step up their game. The guys that I know who are working on a launch platform are very legitimately trying to remove the usual technical hurdles of doing a product launch. It isn't going to make the launch for them, but just make it so you don't have to battle the server gods. 🙂

  63. Good points David! Something I echoed in the comments over on Navarro's post.

    I really like what you said about getting in front of the audience and engaging with them – especially with a medium like uStream. The launch I am in the middle of has been great b/c of the community getting involved. We have them asking questions, then we actually answer them, one by one. This makes them feel like they are a part of the big picture.

    There is nothing wrong with marketing to them. One of the things I learned from Kern is to just be upfront. In all the blog posts this week I have started them by saying something like, “so here's another video to pre-launch our product. The video kicks ass and will help you, but yea its part of a launch. Next week we will be back to our regular awesome posts and stuff.”

    The other thing I am scared of are the Kajabi's and the project your people are working on to make launches turn-key. That is going to hurt the market IMO.

    What we need to do is really take the time and learn the market we are in. In my niche, the music industry, they are used to album launches, but not product launches, so I have a little wiggle room. But I need to build that trust first, give them cool stuff and show them that I can change their business. If everyone starts thinking about helping their market first, and not the one size fits all so I am going to make a ton of cash motto, we will start to see some cool stuff evolve.

    Have a good weekend bro.

  64. I thought the U Streaming was an inspired idea, and suspect it contributed to the success of BMC. Trouble is, if we all start doing it, it becomes a damn pattern again!

    I've been thinking about this for days now and following the debate. I'm not clear in my head yet, but I'm thinking that one option is to create a real “story” around the launch, something that inspires general interest, rather than just focusing on potential buyers. I think Guillebeau was on the right lines with his train journey launch, but I'm working on some more interesting options.

  65. Valid post, especially today

    I agree with the over-launch process. Most people just churn out one product after another – the you-have-seen-it-a-gazillion times. Making ART and giving away sick amount of value is also a grrreat combination.

    I believe it all comes down to caring about your client and improving his life as much as possible.

  66. Valid post, especially today

    I agree with the over-launch process. Most people just churn out one product after another – the you-have-seen-it-a-gazillion times. Making ART and giving away sick amount of value is also a grrreat combination.

    I believe it all comes down to caring about your client and improving his life as much as possible.

  67. I still find it a bit odd that people will do things off-line, like pre-order video gaming systems, phones and iPads and wait for weeks until the manufacturer delivers. Online, it's an issue for many.

    A similar circumstance exists with affiliate marketing. Your friend may insist that you go to dinner at a certain restaurant because the food and service was great, receiving nothing for the referral, but online it's often an issue. Must be a trust thing.

  68. There's nothing wrong with a pre-order of a digitial product. It serves a couple of different purposes for both the buyer and the seller.

    1. The buyer gets the product at a “real” discount. Such as %50 off and the seller get's feedback on the product before going for the full scale launch.
    2. The seller also get's a cushion of cash to to work/live on as they are completing the process.

    I don't care what anyone says. Product creation (videos, PDF's, Audio, graphics etc) it all takes work. I don't care what anyone leads you to beleive.

    This isn't non-profit and I believe it comes down to your perception of abundance on whether or not there is anything “dishonest” about pre-sales. There are many peeps like Dave and Nathan for example who are extremely ethical marketers.

    Pre-sales are not dishonest. It's an opportunity for both parties to benefit before going to market with the full product.

  69. Well, I don't see anything wrong with pre-ordering. That would be based on an assumption that ANY kind of sale is dishonest, which isn't true. Just because a product is digital doesn't mean the creator cannot offer deals for valid reasons.

  70. David, I do hate all of the shenanigans like “pre-order now”. Why? It's a digital product and there's no reason to pre-order…?? Stop hyping the product with an ugly sales page and horrible videos.

    I'm not 'that kind' of a buyer. I don't like it when digital products are sold this way. Like Edward said, be honest and you'll get an honest kind of buyer.

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