In Part 1 of this series, I gave you an inside look at SamCart’s first $1 Million product launch.
At the time, it was the largest launch I engineered. And needless to say, I learned a thing or two in the process. If you have not yet read that post, I would recommend doing that before reading on.
Read Part 1 of 3 here >> “13 Secrets of a $1,180,151 Product Launch”.
Well that post just about exploded my inbox. I about drowned in comments, calls, text, emails, messages, voxers/voxes…whatever you call them.
In the flood of questions I received, there was one topic that kept coming up. And the question goes a little something like this…
“What the HECK is in your Pre-Launch Videos?!”
A fair question.
The Illegal Product Launch Funnel
For the uninitiated, there might seem to be a bit of black magic involved. Reading that post will expose you to a strategy that has generated millions in sales for me.
I first learned it from the brilliant Jeff Walker. Jeff is most well known for a course he publishes, “The Product Launch Formula” (aka “PLF”).
Back in the day (aka: 2011), I stumbled onto PLF. Someone was talking about how they used some “formula” to sell some new product. Apparently, this formula brought in more sales in 1 week than they captured in 6 months.
So I started digging.
That’s when I found Jeff Walker. And PLF’s $2,000 price tag. So I did what any self respecting broke 22-year-old would do…
I torrent downloaded the entire course.
Jeff, if you’re reading this, please forgive me.
Before anyone thinks less of me, I have gone back and purchased everything Jeff has ever created. And am now part of his Plat Plus Mastermind, with a cool price tag of $30,000/year (and it’s worth every penny).
I’m pretty sure we’re even.
But the point is, at that point in my life I couldn’t dream of spending $2,000. My wife would’ve killed me and buried my body in the woods. But if I had known how much money that $2,000 investment would make me, I would have paid 10x as much.
Kids, don’t steal stuff. Buy local. Eat your veggies.
My Pre-Launch Blueprint
Ok so a “Product Launch” is pretty simple. It is a strategy used to promote and sell a new product so you never release anything to radio silence.
It allows you to build rapport with an audience, educate them about your solution, and build anticipation. And the end result is you releasing your product to a sea of people who cannot wait to buy.
The most important part of the entire thing is the “Pre-Launch”. This is the time immediately before you release your product and start accepting orders.
Pre-Launches come in many forms, and follow many different patterns. But when I piece together my product launches, I always organize my Pre-Launch into 3 videos.
I’ll get into the content of these videos in a minute. But for now, just know that I release pre-launch videos one at a time. Usually with a few days time between each new video, so my audience gets a chance to digest everything.
So if you take my example from the recent blog post I wrote up, my Pre-Launch schedule looked like this…
- July 1st: Open Video #1, “The $15.42 Facebook Fan”
- July 7th: Open Video #2, “The Funnel Revealed”
- July 10th: Open Video #3, “A Sneak Peek”
As you can see from those links, the next video is “locked”. So on July 1st, you could watch Video #1, but nothing else.
This builds anticipation, and turns a random viewer into an “Insider”. You create the feeling that your viewers are part of an exclusive group. A group discovering something brand new that others are not privy to.
This one feature alone is tough to make happen. There are tools that help build “Launch Funnels” these days, so setup is easier than it used to be. But this stuff takes time.
And don’t forget about moderating comments, offering free downloads, having viewers opt-in for the next video, installing retargeting pixels, perfecting your social sharing metadata, finalizing the page design….
You get the idea.
And to be 100% honest, creating the launch is nothing compared to the big step. The one step everyone wants to hear about.
Creating the pre-launch videos.
I am going to walk you through each of my 3 pre-launch videos. That is 858 individual slides in keynote, over 40 minutes of recorded video, and countless hours of my time.
Don’t get scared off though, this stuff is 100% worth it. Just want to be clear that a lot of work goes into this stuff. Let’s jump in…
1) Tell An Amazing Story…
Ok, so you’re scripting out your first pre-launch video. What do you say? What’s the story? What’s the “open-loop” you’ll answer in video #3 to keep people coming back? What’s your call-to-action?
Lots of questions to answer. I’m going to just chat through my preferred format for my pre-launch videos. Take it or leave it, but this has worked well for me.
Your pre-launch should always tell a story.
A good story says 1000x more than plain words. A story evokes emotion. A story brings in context. A story can be a powerful tool to connect you to your viewer.
And did I mention that a good story can sell stuff, too? I would bet my ownership in SamCart that infusing a story into your sales message will bring in more revenue.
If you want to see some world-class storytelling, check out this commercial from Apple…
How much does that iPad cost? How big is the screen? How much memory does their upgraded model carry?
Who knows?! And who the heck cares? This commercial tells you NOTHING about the iPad. Yet, it is one of the most compelling advertisements you will ever see because it shares stories. It shows how the iPad interacts with real people, in real life.
These guys have been doing this for years. And they have changed the way people sell their products. You might even watch that commercial and think, “That’s what everyone does”. But back up a few years, you’ll find Apple sharing stories while everyone else talks about how big their screen is.
Storytelling is powerful. And I always start off with a story.
2) Show The Transformation…
A good story should connect you to your audience. Remember, your audience is watching your video, not the other way around. They think you’re a rock star. Use a story to come down to their level. Let them know you’re feeling their same pain.
Have you ever wondered why every super hero has an “Origins”? Why do people care where Captain America grew up? Why should anyone care about Peter Parker before the spider got him?
We care about the origins because it ties us to them. Before the spider, Peter Parker is just some dude trying to impress a girl. Everyone can relate to that!
So in Video #1, I tell my “Origin Story”. My story starts out in a paper-shredding factory. I was out of college, unemployed, and living in my parent’s basement.
My “job” was a $12/hour gig at a dust-covered paper-shredding factory. Which my fiance was thrilled about…
I bet you’re already a little hooked, aren’t you?
And in case you’re wondering, she did end up marrying me. 7 years in October. Bonus old school wedding picture…
But the point is, people care about The Transformation. What was the series of events that led me from Mid-Atlantic Paper Shredding to writing this blog post as the owner of a software startup?
Your transformation is important. Don’t write your story off, no matter how bland it might seem to you.
So here’s a quick outline for you to follow when you sit down to write your own transformation…
Your Story: The Before
The before is where you get to connect with your audience. Focus on what your mind dwelled on, how you spent your time, what you worried about, etc.
I was wasting away at a crap job trying to find out how to replace my income so I could spend more time with my wife. I worried about failure, not providing the life I wanted for my family, and being stuck at a desk my whole life.
Sound familiar? I would bet that you can relate to AT LEAST one of those feelings. And hearing them from me likely triggers those familiar feelings yourself.
Take some time, and write out your “Before”. People care a lot more about Peter Parker when they know what a dweeb he was for most of his life.
And by the way, I stand by the Tobey Maguire Spiderman. At least the first two were pretty solid. Maybe not that third one.
Your Story: The Event
What changed your course? What caused “before” you to turn into “after” you?
We all know why Peter Parker can swing from buildings, climb walls, and shoot webs out of his wrists.
What’s your event?
It does not have to be one single moment. Not every story turns on a single moment, like a radioactive spider bite for example. But every transformation has an event that changes the entire story.
For me, focusing on building out a backend funnel in my business made all the difference. When I stopped just collecting emails and praying, my whole life changed.
I implemented a 6-step backend sales funnel, and started making serious money outside of my 9 to 5. Of course the word “funnel” is everywhere now, and for good reason.
But during my 2014 launch, talking about a 6-step funnel was a brand new idea. And it intrigued the hell out of people.
Your Story: The After
The after is the easy part.
What’s life like now? What do you think about? What do you spend less time worrying about? What are your results like?
Doesn’t matter if you’re selling Facebook Marketing or Snuggies (that guy is living the dream). Talk through what has changed as a result of this paradigm shift, this event that has changed your path.
People aren’t jealous of Peter Parker’s new washboard abs, they cheer him on. The outsider nerd just became freaking Spiderman!!
You want the same effect? Share your before, your event, and your after.
3) Use Open Loops Everywhere…
Have you ever read Andre Chaperon’s Autoresponder Madness?
If you haven’t, you need to. Andre is a master at “open loops”. It’s where your story leaves on a cliffhanger. Like how every episode of 24 used to end (Jack Bauer for President).
You want to keep your audience engaged? Want Video #2 to have even more views than Video #1? Learn how to use open loops.
Heck, just read Andre’s homepage. He’s putting on a clinic right there for you.
[Sidenote] Andre was our top affiliate in this same launch back in 2014. And he did it with an email list a fraction of the size of everyone else.
So, when it comes time to end Video #1, you end on an open loop.
For us, that meant asking people if they wanted to see my 6-Step Backend Sales Funnel. Video #1 is all about my transformation. How when I implemented this 6-steps to my backend, my business changed forever.
So at the end of Video #1, I showed this slide and ask if everyone wanted me to walk them through it.
For everyone in their right mind, the answer is yes. And it’s off to Video #2…
4) Identify The “Hidden Problem”…
So Video #1 is a story, and a promise. A promise to reveal what is behind the scenes, what fueled your transformation.
For me, that meant it was time to walk through my 6-Step Backend Sales Funnel. And that’s exactly what I did.
But never forget, Video #2 is an extension of Video #1. Which means, the story keeps going. And the story does not end in Video #2…
At the beginning of Video #2, it’s always good to recap. Remind everyone about your transformation. Talk about the problems that you faced (and your audience still faces), and then dive right into how you are about to solve them.
But here’s the kicker, there’s one thing you have to do before you share….
You have to identify the hidden problem.
The hidden problem is the obstacle that no one sees coming. Everything up until this point has been pointing towards blue skies and happy times. But as with any transformation, there are obstacles along the way.
For me, the hidden problem was how difficult it was to setup a backend sales funnel. And oh how true that is. Designing a funnel takes time, testing, design work, tools, and some serious writing skills.
So why rain on everyone’s parade? Most people are waiting for someone to pop their balloon. Waiting for all their fears and worries to be confirmed. So why bring this up at all?
The “Hidden Problem” is what your product needs to solve.
5) Identify YOUR Solution…
Video #2 is the first time I like to call my product out by name. I want to plant a seed in my viewers minds. A seed that my product can help them over that one last hurdle, the hidden problem.
So here’s a quick look at how I introduced FPF early on in Video #2…
“The funnel I’m about to show you took months of my time, tens of thousands of dollars, and countless hours of work. But inside of Video #3, I will show you the brand new blueprint you can follow to save time, money, and headaches…”
Just in case you haven’t picked up on how to write good sales copy yet, your product is the solution. Forever and always, your product needs to be the solution to your customers’ problems.
Video #2 is where you tease the idea that you have a product, and it’s here to cure your hidden problem.
6) 1 Piece of Amazing Content…
The rest of the my Video #2 is spent teaching. I enjoy making sure people can take something away from my stuff. Wether they buy or not, I want to teach them sometime valuable.
So Video #2 is a big amount of content. I spend time walking through my sales funnel, outlining how everything works together.
I almost always stick in a free download here as well. In this example, I offered a downloadable graphic of my sales funnel. Useful, yet incomplete.
The download is tangible, and helpful. But it only reinforces the need for FPF. Someone might take my downloadable funnel graphic and copy everything I do. But it’s much more likely they will see my graphic, and feel stronger that FPF can help them do the tall tasks of building a sales funnel.
When your teaching time is over, start “seeding” Video #3. What I mean is you should be opening loops. Cover specific items your audience will discover inside of the next video.
Always leave your audience wanting more. Remember, you have a product coming out, and your audience does not know that much about it. So I always have a few open loops about the product, what it can do for them, real life results, etc.
7) Future Cast…
Ok, so we’re here. The final stop before we get ready to open the cart, and take live orders. Video #3, here we go…
Your final pre-launch video is all about the product. Now, this is not the time to lay out all the specifics of your product, included bonuses, and all that. Now is the time to “Future Cast”, letting your audience know what it will feel like to own your product.
And I’m emphasizing the word “feel” there. Back in Video #1, I talked about sharing how you felt and what you worried about before your transformation. Well now it’s time to focus 100% of your efforts in painting a better future with your product.
Now is the time to focus on customer testimonials. Now is the time to bring out real life examples of success, happiness, contentment, pride, and everything in between.
Tell stories of success, no matter how big or small. Like this example I chose to share inside of Video #3 for FPF. It was the story of the smallest Facebook Ad campaign I probably ever ran.
But this tiny ad campaign is relatable! None of my viewers care about a $10,000 ad campaign. They want to hear stories they think they can accomplish.
And that means no success too small to start out.
8) Smash Their Objections…
Video #3 is also the time to obliterate your audience’s objections.
If you’re like us, then you have comments on your pre-launch videos. At the end of each pre-launch video, I like to ask viewers to leave a comment with the answer to a single question…
“What is your biggest question?”
That question brings out the top objections. And if you can fight the biggest objections your audience has, you are in business.
Here’s a sample of the big objections we heard again and again from our audience.
- “How do I send traffic to my funnel?”
- “Will this work for my business in [insert market here]?”
- “What if I am not a techy person?”
So what do you think we did for all of Video #3? We blasted these objections to oblivion.
We trotted out testimonials and stories about how FPF can show you how to drive traffic. I played videos from customers in weird niche markets talking about how FPF worked for them. Shared my own story about struggling through tech stuff, and how I can help them avoid it.
And then finally, you make promises. Without actually outlining all the specifics of your product, make promises about what it will do for them.
Talk about the benefits of buying. Focus on emotions, experiences, worries. As in, “You will never have to worry about _____ after FPF”.
Like the picture above from my Video #3. Comments revealed that my audience is afraid of writing bad sales copy in their funnel. So I made a bonus for FPF where I give away my own copy.
So in my Video #3, I can tell my audience that they don’t need to worry about copy. FPF will take care of it.
9) Build Anticipation…
That’s the hard stuff. All that is left is to give everyone a time and date. Tell them where to line up. Give specific directions on how they can be first in line to buy.
It isn’t enough to say, “My product is coming! Get ready!”
You need to sound more prepared. “On Monday, July 21st, at 7:00 AM Eastern, you will receive an email titled, ‘We’re Live!’. Open that email, click on the link, and have your credit card ready….”
It sounds dumb, but trust me, the more specific you are, the better.
The next time you talk to these people, your sales video will be live. So this is your last shot to breath life into someone.
This might not be ideal copywriting, but I always take a second to edify my audience. Most people think they can’t. What “it” may be, they think they can’t do it.
I always end with something to lift them up. Like this slide below…
Because I shared the intimate details of how I started out, I have a real opportunity to breathe life into my audience. They know my humble beginnings in my parent’s basement. They know my “Origins”.
So here’s my shot to inject some belief! I guarantee my audience that they starting off on a better foot than I was. That my story can be theirs.
Well, that’s it. 585 keynote slides, 40 minutes of recorded video, and countless hours of my time and effort. Not to mention the money it took to get the whole launch funnel up and running.
And you have a killer pre-launch series. This pre-launch knocked it out of the park. $250,000+ in sales on the first day my cart was open for new orders.
But of course, I have to tell you that this took months of hard work. This is not quick work. You won’t find a bigger believer in product launches than myself, but do not mistake this for a shortcut.
Want the “Easy Button?”
If everything in these last two posts seems overwhelming, you’re not alone. This launch includes 21 different strategies, 2,704 keynote slides, 6.5 hours of recorded video, $34,000+ spent designing and developing, and over 1,000 hours of my time.
With that said, I have been testing a way to condense a lot of this work down. And I mean way down. It eliminates the risk, but keeps almost all the profits.
Same winning formula, but a fraction of the time. If you’re looking for a quick win, then this could be exactly what you need.
And the beauty of it is, all you need is an email and a checkout page. Anyone who has been paying attention to my stuff lately has seen this in action. If you want the easy way to launch new products or put together marketing funnels that deliver customers on autopilot…you need to check out our brand new ‘1-Page Funnel’ program. Just click the banner below now…
If you think you would like to test out this condensed launch model, pull off a quick win, then click above right now. You’re going to love this because it will be the easiest money you ever make online.
Have you put together (or thought about putting together) your own product launch? Tell me your story below…