New Product Pre-Launch Strategy
Posted on 22 June 2016
Product Pre-Launch Strategy: Referral Marketing
Last blog post, I wrote about how my company generated $100,000 of pre-sales revenue in the first month our e-Commerce launched–with no inventory. I did forget to leave out the bad news: my partner and I broke up =*(. He wanted a lifestyle business and I wanted to scale the business–I know, another blog post–and since I’m a 45% minority shareholder, I’m out.
So here I am, in the midst of a legal battle for the company and I’ve entered the market with a competing product. The road to revenue seems far away because our “cash cow” product’s peak season is January 2017, so I can’t enter the market until the fall….OR CAN I? Yes I can..yes I will.
Here’s my plan: I’m going to start a 30 day referral marketing campaign for the month of August with the main objective to go viral. Customers will pre-order our 2017 product, but by sharing our brand on social media, they’ll receive free products immediately.
What I have going for me:
- A customer email list of 10,000 (I’m counting on these guys to help me grow)
- A closed Facebook Group of 2,400 early adopters (our brand ambassadors)
- My face. (I was the spokesperson in the other company, so I have some credibility)
- Limited capital
- Limited personnel resources (I’m not the technical guy)
- Pending legal issues
Phase 1: Rally the Troops & Resources, Now-July 25
Instagram and Pinterest Sprint. My former partner has saturated our Catholic Facebook audiences in the United States and any paid advertising I run becomes very expensive. He is NOT doing anything on Instagram, so for the past few weeks I’ve been building up our Instagram account and we are at 4,000 followers. During Phase 1, I’ll be sharing user-generated content, posts 2-3 times a day and conduct giveaways of our product.
- 12,000 followers by July 26th
Build a Brand Ambassador Program. Using our email list and Facebook Group, I’m aim to recruit loyal ambassadors to represent the new brand.
- Free product
- Involvement and an occasional customer spotlight
- Create user-generated content
- Guest blog-post
- Complete 1 product survey
- Write or video record a testimony for the website
- 50 Ambassadors by July 10th
Writing Blog Posts. I should have been doing this from the start, but there is only so much time in the day. I’m look to have brand ambassadors post as well.
- Goals by July 25th:
- 3 company blog posts
- 1 guest blog post
- Goals by July 25th:
Test New Advertising Campaigns. Although our audience has been saturated and over-served with the same ad, the advent of Facebook’s new ad feature “Canvas” offers an opportunity I’ll look to test. Canvas is a micro-site served on Facebook’s mobile newsfeed only. Also, Instagram recently added a call-to-action button on their ads, which introduces another opportunity.
- Master and Test Canvas
- Serve 2-3 cost effective ads across IG and Facebook
Build the Platform. I’m making good progress on our website re-build through Shopify. I plan to use a rewards program, an app within Shopify, which will allow customers to track their rewards progress via leaderboard throughout the campaign.
- A fully functioning rewards program by July 25th
Phase 2: The Campaign, July 26th-August 31st
So I have all my platforms ready to go, have increased brand awareness and have tested advertising channels throughout Phase 1. Now it’s go-time. Here are the critical tasks:
- Provide weekly email updates to campaign participants
- Ship free prizes as needed
- Measure campaign’s effectiveness daily
- Scale Paid Advertising
- Introduce the Podcast (a stretch, but it would be ideal)
- Empower ambassadors
Zooming out, I could look to offload the following:
- Client Servicing
- Program/Webpage Built-Out
- Instagram and Pinterest
- Paid Advertising
Offloading these tasks requires forfeit of certain resources. Nevertheless, I have some work to do.