Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Launch Strategy That REALLY Works!

If you're about to launch a new product, book, website, or whatever and don't know where to begin - then you MUST read this...

After launching multiple products, websites and creating the marketing launch plans for several books that hit Amazon #1 in record time - such as books by Michael Masterson and Bob Bly- there's a proven formula that works every time no matter what the actual "thing" is you're launching. In a nutshell, its coordination and synchronization of multi-channel marketing efforts all culminating around a specific time period (i.e. certain a day of the week).

These efforts include:
--Staggered emails. These will go to your list and other synergistic lists (affiliates, JV partners, friends, industry contacts) and aim to build anticipation and create a pent up demand. Qualified people that demonstrated an interest before the launch can be your "hot list". These names will then have potential to be your top buyers for related products.

--Social media. Putting posts on blogs, bulletin boards, forums. Recording a video of yourself and posting it on YouTube. Ultimately, creating messages that have the potential to go viral and create buzz around your launch.

--Pay per click. Bidding on your relevant keywords and having a mechanism and offer to collect names and build your hot list.

--Online PR. Getting your message out quickly and cost effectively. The release will get picked up by blogs, media websites, industry websites, and online news aggregators (such as Yahoo and Google) and not only increase awareness, but also give you back-links (SEO!) as well as have the potential to go viral.

--Editorial and Article Syndication. Write articles for print and online media about the topic that ties into your launch. These should have some useful and newsworthy information that would be appealing to the readers and encourage click through to whatever your call to action is.

All of these efforts build up slowly, and create momentum and online traction to the day of your launch. You're basically creating market demand, traffic and buzz about your product or offer.

Is Co-Registration Worth Testing?

Co-Registration (or 'co-reg') is a form of online marketing where your subscription or promotional offer appears on a webpage AFTER the primary transaction of the publisher whose site you're advertising on occurs.

For instance, let's say you're on a site like MSN.com. You see an ad for one of MSN's free enewsletters. After you sign up for one of MSNs free newsletters and hit 'submit' a Thank You page may pop up with other publisher's offers. These offers usually are laid out as a bunch of small advertiser logos accompanied with a short description of the offer. This tactic of online marketing is usually used for lead generation purposes since the word count is so limited, it's often a challenge to sell a product with limited space. However, it doesn't much space to convince someone to try something for free in exchange for their email address.

The key in getting co-reg to work for you is to follow up with any leads that come in quickly. The names collected through this mechanism need to be segmented from the other names in your file since these co-reg leads are virtually "cold" to you -- meaning, they really don't know your company at all and need time to buy into your gurus, philosophy and mission. These people also tend to forget who and where they signed up for free offers, so targeting co-reg names with a timely, specific offer reminding them where they signed up and the benefits/value proposition of your enewsletter is a helpful with keeping these names on your file longer.

To get the most from co-reg names and improve your conversion rate and potential life time value, you'll need to bond with co-reg subs first and then hit them with a special cross-sell offer. It's usually best to have a series of introductory emails that try to accomplish this and after the editorial 'bonding' stage, you insert your first solo promotional offer. Popular offers are 'limited time introductory offers' with discounts such as 10-25% off you're front-end product.

The average CPA (cost per acquisition) in co-reg agreements can range from $1.50 - $5.00 per name. Make sure this is "net" names - after any bad emails or duplicates (names you already have in your file) are removed.

Like most online marketing, my belief is not to rule out any tactic until you've at least tested it. If you have the budget to accommodate a test, it's definitely worth trying as long as you have your strategic plan and autoresponder series mapped out in order to get the most of the test.

Grab Your Website Visitor's Attention Now!

Whether your goal is cross-selling or lead generation, interstitials are a great way to get someone's attention.

An interstitial is not a pop up ad. And typically doesn't get blocked, like pop up ads, by many website or search engines. (For example, Google Adwords won't approve an PPC campaign if the redirect URL goes to a website that has pop up ads).

An interstitial ad is a full-page ad that appears before the actual webpage. Your webmaster or web programmer can put in place via an html script. In a nutshell, it's an ad in the front/center of the screen (some sites even keep the ad in place if you scroll up or down, which I find annoying). The ad is in color and typically has a strong headline, call to action and graphic. Then the background of the ad is greyed-out where you can still see the website behind the ad, but it's faded - so your focus is on the main ad - the interstitial. There's also a clear and obvious way to close the interstitial. No tricks or hard-to-find 'x' buttons.

Interstitials are ideal if you don't have room for banner or text ads on your website or you don't want to affect the current layout of you home page.

Not all interstitials, however, are created equal. I've seen some implemented that are not only unattractive, but are also ineffective with its copy and execution.

A text book example of an interstitial ad can be found at EarlytoRise.com. if you go to the home page, wait 10-25 seconds, the ad will appear in the center of the page with the backdrop shaded.

The beauty of this is that you can make your actual ad space as big or small as you need. Your offer can be to sell something or to obtain an email address. You can include eye-catching images or have a countdown box to an event. Whatever your offer or need ... an interstitial can deliver.

And best of all, you don't have to wonder if your website visitor saw the ad or not. It's no doubt they did. You are just giving them the option to act on it OR close it.
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