Pre-Launch Strategies

Tourist
3 0 2

Hey all! 

I am anxiously awaiting my product from my manufacturer. It should arrive in a few weeks and then I can go full steam ahead. Until then I have designed the site, created social media accounts, and an email signup with MailChimp. My social media profiles point to my mailing list to capture launch emails. I am active on instagram, tumblr and twitter sharing content related to my niche. What other strategies have you used to create buzz for your upcoming product?

Christian
http://bearfeet.co

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Excursionist
54 0 4

Hi Christian,

**The TLDR is I spent ~£200/month on a prelauch campaign, for a few months, built an email list of ~1500 people, a FB following of ~3000, and had great sales for the first month of my launch. I'm now spending ~£300/month on FB ads, still experimenting mostly, but it's looking promising. Details below...

If you haven't launched your site yet, and you can afford a few months with no sales then I'd really suggest you run a prelaunch campaign first.

I'm not an ecommerce pro, I just launched my first site a few month ago, but I ran a pre-launch to validate the idea first, and it was great.

I just threw up a one page website, with about a paragraph of information saying what the site was going to be, that it would be launching in Autumn, and encouraging people to sign up for a 20% discount on their first order.

I then ran a FB ad campaign @£5/day which was just targetting a saved audience that I generated based on the people I thought would be interested.

Within hours, the first FB Ad Set I'd ever tried on my First store got me an email address!. I ran a few pararrel ad sets each a @£5/day, to see what was working best, and then tunred off the things that weren't so good.

So that's about £150/month on my main ad set, and £50-£100/month on exploration and experimenting.

Within less than a week, I was averaging over 10 email addresses / day. And simultaneously building a FB audience.

My FB page started completely empty, and before I ran my Ad, I threw up a few memes related to the niche, links to some interesting related articles, and a couple of posts about who we are and what the company will be. I was completely honest that I was just a guy trying to build a new brand, and I think people related to it.

FB decided in all it's wisom, that only 2-3 of my ads were primarily being shown to people, and I let them run, as they were getting cheap clicks, but also loads of likes and comments. Every evening, I'd go through the people that liked my Ad, and invite them to like the page. This meant that my ~£200/month was building me a great email list and FB following. I then spent a day finding loads of interesting pictures, articles, videos, etc. relating to my niche, and scheduled about 2 weeks worth of posts @ 3 posts/day, so I wouldn't have to worry about it, and kept going through inviting anyone who liked a post or an ad to like the page.

My FB adience was growing at about twice the speed of my mailing list.

This strategy helped in a couple of ways. About 1 week in, I decided the idea looked promising, so then started ordering sample products, testing suppliers, creating designs, etc. And in the welcome email that I sent subscibers, as well as giving them their voucher code, I encouraged them to let me know what products they would like to see, and I had really good response of people telling me what they wanted to buy. This helped with product selection, as well as keeping people engaged.

When I launched the website, I had ~1500 email subscribers, and ~3000 FB followers. About 2 weeks before the launch, I emailed my list, and posted on FB to tell everyone when we were opening, and again, when I lauched I did the same. Both times I boosted the FB post.

I started getting orders coming in within half an hour of the store going live, and I had a flurry of orders on the first evening. A great morale boost!

After 2 weeks of being open, I sent out an email to everyone that hadn't purchased, and let them know that their 20% off voucher would expire at the end of the month. This brought in another flurry of sales for a few days, then the day before the voucher expired I sent a Last Chance email out to everyone who still hadn't bought, and great results again.

I now run the inital ad set I was using to my homepage, with a signup for 10% off first order. This only pops up if you get to the homepage from the FB ad. My mailing list is still growing, but much slower than during the pre-lauch. So I really recommend making the most of your pre-launch period!

After less than 3 months, I've had a few hundred customers, a few dozen repeat customers, and lots of people browsing and adding to cart. And an engaged audience that talk to me, and tell em what they want.

I'm experiemnting with how best to retarget to the non-buyers to get them back, and that's the stage I'm at. Curently spending about £300/month, trying to get a good ROAS, then I will gradually scale up and see where it takes me.

If you got here, thanks for taking the time to read my response, and I really hope it's helpful. I wish you the best of luck with your store!

I look forward to hearing stories of your success.

Cheers,

Steve

2 Likes
Tourist
8 0 1

Hello Christian,

Steve makes some great points about trying to build a following before launch, I would suggest you try to do as much of that for free, get your friends and family involved ect.. Regarding paid advertising on FB and Google, I would wait on paid advertising until you have a product to sell. You are in a hot industry with lots of competition, your per ad cost will most likely be on the high end. If your priced right, and believe you have a great product, you will need to invest consistently in advertising. Study the analytics, If you learn something from every dollar you spend in advertising, no dollar is wasted. Continuely try to best yourself on conversion rates. This will take time and money, but if you have something the people want, it will work over time. Remember your up against companies with huge ad budgets, you need to spend your budget smarter, keep your target focused in the beginning, and expand from there. Find a service to retarget visitors. There are a few out there. Its essencial to build trust, name recognition. Hope some of this helps.

Best of luck

Janice K.

1 Like
Tourist
3 0 2

Great info! Thank you for sharing!

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Excursionist
54 0 4

Janice,

You make an interesting point about not doing paid advertising for the pre-launch, which surprises me.

I don't have a lot of experience with this, and definitely not in Christian's industry, but I would have thought that it would be easier to get an email address than a sale? And therefore if paying to get traffic and leads during a pre-launch would be too expensive, then doesn't that also mean that actually making the sales will likely be more so?

Perhaps I've misunderstood something from what you said, but it seems risky to me to not test whether you can get a return on paid advertising until the product is launched.

I'm really interested to better understand your reasoning.

Thanks,

Steve

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New Member
6 0 0

Hey Christian Collard


If you haven't launched your website yet then you can try social media marketing. Facebook and Instagram paid marketing would be beneficial to your e-commerce website. You can even try Pinterest also. I think regular posting on social media would create a hype. you can post about what kind of product you are going to launch or when it will launch. In this way, you can engage your customers.With the great and meaning captions and hashtags, you can easily reach out to your targeted audience.

And If your website is live and everything is set then I suggest you start On-page and off-page SEO. Once you will find suitable keywords for your project then you can start Google Adwords also. It is more effective than any other paid to advertise. If you have never tried On-page or Off-page SEO then I would suggest you hire the professional company who is expert in this field. If you are still confused then we are here to help you out. Vrinsoft Technology has been in the industry for more than 10 years and has done numerous project of digital marketing including e-commerce marketing. We can help you to get on the 1st page of google and get your business targeted users. Our SEO expert performs advanced techniques to achieve a significantly improved client’s website ranking on different search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing etc.

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Shopify Partner
21 0 2

Hey Cristian,

Some good advice in here so far and you'll have to decide what's best for your situation and budget of course. 

The biggest piece of advice I can offer at this stage around building an early following particularly with social media can be summed up with one word: Targeting.

I advise you to read info from any reputable source you can find on how to hone in on exactly who your target audience is. Easiest (and most expensive) is to use the advanced targeting methods of Facebook and Google. The most time consuming (but least expensive) way is to simply find them yourself on the various networks. 

The importance of this can not be over stated. For an example, let's say you are going to pay to have 5000 people visit your shop on opening day from a general ad campaign. 5000 people who are vaguely interested or simply don't care about your product, or even can't afford it, are going to do you no good. You'll be lucky if anyone of a group like that converts. 

On the other hand, if you had just 500 visitors on day one, but they are all people who have been exposed to the product and are excited about it, they really see the benefit of it in their personal lives, and they can afford it, perhaps have signed up for a waiting list or an early bird coupon, you can see that much smaller (but targeted) group will do much for for you reputation and ultimately the bottom line that a much larger "general" group. 

All the best

George

Need more sales (or that first sale)? Check out these 7 FREE apps that will help you grow in 2018 https://goo.gl/5QL35w
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Highlighted
Shopify Partner
36 0 5

I think Steve has covered pretty much everything. I would just add one more thing - 

Consider getting on to one the browser notifications apps out there and use that to build your marketing list. Given that push notifications perform far better than email, the response/CTR's would lead to higher conversions.

Hope this helps. 

Cheers

Vivek 

iZooto.com - Web Push Notifications for E-Commerce, Bloggers and More
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Shopify Partner
84 0 43

Hey Christian,

It sounds like you have all the right pieces in place. 

I used the same basic infrastructure to build a virtual "line" of over 1000+ customers waiting to buy, plus thousands of instagram fans, and dozens of pre-orders before my last launch. 

I've laid out the strategy in depth so I'll just post the link. 

https://unoboy.com/1000-rabid-buyers-prelaunch-campaign

Hope it helps. 

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Tourist
3 0 2

Thanks. I read your article. However it mostly relies on Instagress, which is no longer active. IG has cracked down on automated apps. Might have to update the article! 

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