There’s one common thread with nearly all of our most successful client launches…

Marketing strategy that includes the pre-launch phase.

The “pre-launch” is essentially a warm-up to your actual launch.

The goal is to, one, GROW your warm audience strategically – so you have someone to buy your product or service!

And two, NURTURE your new and previous leads. (This part is key!)

Our clients who strategically pre-launch with consistency get 12X ROI (and better!)

Essentially, you’re building your audience, then nurturing their Know-Like-Trust factor with you – so that, when launch season comes around, you’ve got leads knocking down your door!

(NOTE – Consider how this might apply to your business during the global COVID-19 pandemic. How can you nurture your audience right now, so they’re a raving fan of your business once things have stabilized?)

In this episode, I’m detailing our highly successful pre-launch strategy, including…

  • How long to “pre-launch” before launching
  • Our “trick” for off-setting the additional ad spend
  • And how to determine whether or not this phase is necessary!

Tune in – and then head over to Instagram (@emilyhirsh) to share your thoughts on our latest post!

Want *instant access* to our latest + greatest client case studies across multiple industries? Head to HMCaseStudy.com to access a treasure trove of data – for FREE!

Key Points:
[3:05] There’s a common theme with successful launches
[4:31] Why does this strategy work?
[6:00] You might profit form this – but that’s not the goal
[10:09] Then you can dig a little deeper into your actual “launch” strategy
[13:55] Ask this question before you ditch the pre-launch phase…

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Episode Transcript:

Emily Hirsh: Hello, my friends. How are you all doing this week? I hope you’re having a great week, crushing it. It’s like, I can’t believe it’s already in March. Time goes so fast when you’re an entrepreneur, seriously. I just feel like, if you take a step back, you accomplish so much in two weeks that it’s like, or even a month… Sometimes I reflect back on our month, and I’m like, “Wow, we did a lot, but it feels like it went so fast, and I don’t even know…” Months are not actually that long. I don’t know, my rant for today about how months go so fast and years go so fast. It’s so crazy, especially when you are busy and you have kids and everything.

I am excited for today’s episode. I’m going to talk about warming up for a launch, and I was inspired to bring this up, because I have been spending a lot of time going through our client case studies, and we’re actually redoing them all, and just adding some more detail, rebuilding out our pages, adding in some new ones, of course. And there were some clients on there that had been case studies since I managed it, and they were awesome case studies, they were fun, so we kept them, but I had to actually go and work on them, because I had the knowledge in my head about that promotion.

And one of the things I was reminded of is a couple of scenarios where I had a client come on, and then we did a prelaunch. We did two phases. We did like a prelaunch phase, a list building phase, and then we did a launch phase. And we also just did that for a client. Last month’s Hirsh Marketing Report client highlight, Manifestation Babe is their company. So, we just did the same thing, and she was our highlight of the month. She had like, 1200% ROI, and so if you want to check that out you can look at… well, I’m saying last month, but this is in March. So it was actually January’s Hirsh Marketing Report client highlight. And you can go to HirshMarketingReport.com, and you can easily get that and download that, plus get the future ones.

But we did the same thing with her. And so it’s like, this theme has kept coming up for me when I’m looking at successful launches, of the importance of having a warm-up phase for your launch, especially if either, you don’t have a warm audience, or your warm audience isn’t where you want it to be. And so in every one of these scenarios that had massively successful… I’m talking like, 10,000… like, I think one of mine was like a 10,000% ROI, it was so crazy. But I mean, 1200% ROI, like 12X ROI on your ad spend is pretty awesome… so these ones that are having these massive results. And we’ve just been doing a lot of launches in quarter one.

They are putting in effort, money, and time into warming people up for their launch. And so the process that we usually go off of is, deciding, “Where does the list need to be before I launch?” And so with all of these examples, that’s what we did. It was, “Where did the list need to be before we launch?” And so we’re going to do a prelaunch… usually it’s like, 4-8 weeks, so 1-2 months of a prelaunch phase, where your goal is to grow the list, and your goal is to get that list to that number you’ve already pre-decided. So, two of these that are in our case studies, I did this. I managed the strategy, because I was still doing strategy calls. It was a couple of years ago, but this still works, clearly, because our January Hirsh Marketing Report client did the same strategy. My team just implemented it and created it, but it works, because it gives you that time to nurture the audience.

So, you go into the prelaunch phase, you decide where the list needs to be, and then you build the list. Now the trick is, or the strategy is here, with each one, what we did was, we didn’t just put out a list building campaign. There was something to sell on the ‘thank you’ page. So, a self liquidating offer, tripwire, whatever you call it, on the ‘thank you’ page, so that we could offset some of that ad spend, but also so that we could make sure we were getting quality leads in. So, one of them had $111 tripwire, one had $27, and the other I think was about $27, too.

So they’re opting into something very relevant to their [pain points]. One of them was a journal prompts, because she’s in the manifestation space. Another was a guide… a PDF, basic opt-in to get the lowest cost per lead. Because if we did a webinar, we’re going to pay higher, and we’re going to do a webinar anyways for our launch, so we don’t need to do that. So, basic opt-in, and then on the ‘thank you’ page you’ve got something you’re selling, not so that you can make money, because you probably won’t profit from it, but if you even cover a third or half of your ad spend, that’s huge to grow your list for your launch.

So, having that not only will make you back some of that ad spend that you’re investing in that prelaunch phase, but it’s also going to give you the Intel that this is quality people, because they’re willing to buy, they’re willing to spend money on what you’re offering them. And so with all of these, one made half of her ad spend back, the other made a third, and then one of them that I did, [it] was one of the first accounts I ran, we profited off of it, because there [were] a couple of upsells. It was insane. It just converted so well. He had not run ads when he came in to work with me, but he had a pretty big warm audience, but we expanded it. And so there was just all this potential sitting there, and it just exploded.

So, that’s pretty rare to cover all of your ad spend and profit off of a tripwire, but the key with it is that you’re making sure you’re getting in the right people, because you don’t want to spend two months doing this, and be like, “Oh, I think these are the wrong people,” right? We want to make sure at least some of these tripwires are selling. And when I say ‘some,’ like maybe 5-10% of people who land on that ‘thank you’ page [buy], and then you’ve got an email follow-up with it… 5-10% of those leads, if they’re buying, you’re doing pretty well.

So that’s phase one, and it’s like 1-2 months. And during that phase, also, we required that all clients did regular nurturing. So all of these clients, what they did really well was, they regularly emailed their list. They regularly showed up on social media, on Facebook lives, podcasts, whatever their method is, of showing up, but they did that consistently for that whole time. So, all of these people coming onto their list, joining their list, they were getting nurtured, and they were building the relationship, which is the goal with that phase one. The goal of phase one is to, one, grow the list to where you’ve already decided. So what we did, we sat down and we said, “Okay, if we want this many sales… if 1% or 2% of our list or whatever converts, where do we need our list to be?”

It’s that straightforward. “Okay, here’s our number. Here’s our goal for our cost per lead. Here’s our budget for this prelaunch phase.” So, one, we knew our goal was to grow the list to that predetermined, decided number. And so every week we knew if we were on track, we knew if we were on track with our cost per lead, we knew if we were on track with the number of leads being added, compared to where we needed to be for the launch. And then number two, nurture all those people and an existing audience. So, all of these examples had at least a small existing audience. They had something, some bigger than others. Manifestation Babe has a pretty big existing audience, but we wanted to grow the audience even more. But, you’re nurturing the existing audience as well as any audience that you’re adding, right?

So, make sure that that is the goal. It’s, add to the list, grow the list with a predetermined number, not just, “Let’s try to grow our list. Let’s see how it goes.” It’s, we need to add 10,000 people or 2,000 people or 1,000 people to our list. Exact number. And we’re going to spend this much to do it, and we’re going to sell this tripwire on the backend, and we’re going to try to sell this many of them, and then we’re going to go out and do it and see how it converts. And then we’re going to nurture the list, and that’s where our clients have to do the work. And so one thing we put in this Hirsh Marketing Report for this client was, it wasn’t all us. I mean, she did a great job showing up, and so did the clients that I worked with, those two from a couple of years ago that I looked at those case studies, same thing.

They consistently emailed their list, showed up on social media, created videos. They were visible, and they were consistent about it during that entire phase. That is key. So, we do that prelaunch phase. Then we go into the actual launch, which, strategies vary here. One did a challenge, two did a webinar, and for each of our clients, it’s going to be custom what we create. It’s going to be what’s best for that audience and for the offer that they’re selling. But it’s usually some sort of live experience, challenge, webinar, or video series that you’re promoting to warm traffic, all these people that you’ve brought into your list, your existing warm traffic. And then of course, you can open it up to cold, too, which we did.

Now phase two also needs to be defined. So the strategy needs to be defined with exactly what you’re doing and what people are implementing with that strategy, and then it also needs to be defined in terms of numbers. So let’s say you have a webinar. How many people do you need to get signed up for that webinar, total? You can use your email list and you can use your warm audience, but also you might need to use ads. You will probably need to use ads, and how many people do we need to get in from ads? How many people do we think we can get in from our organic, our email list, what’s our total webinar registration number that we need, and what are we estimating that we’re going to have to spend to get that? And then of course, our sales goal, and what is… every piece should have a goal going into that phase, not in the middle of it, but we got to know if we’re on track every day, because every day is crucial, especially when you get to this phase two.

So you’re promoting this live experience, you’re getting people to sign up to register for the webinar, for the challenge, for the video series. It has dates, it’s very preplanned. Ideally, the team has been planning it for that whole first phase of the launch. So the landing pages are good, emails are built out, all of that is done. Launches are a lot of work, for sure. And then you go into that live experience, and then you usually have an open cart period. So, two of these were seven days, one was a five-day open cart, and that’s obviously when you have, not only the cart’s opened, the doors are open to buy, but you have various bonuses, and so you have different things that would expire, whatever urgency you can push during that time period.

And then of course, you’re just hitting the entire warm audience at that point. Anyone who has [come] on the list in the prelaunch phase, anyone who signed up for the webinar, the live experience that you have for your launch, anyone in your existing warm audience. Everyone knows about this open cart, and it’s a big deal. And so retargeted ads are huge. And if you go look at that Hirsh Marketing Report and see the example ads that we ran… we were very, in all of these, targeted with our ads. So we had ads for people who had gone to the sales page but didn’t initiate checkout yet, had gone to the sales page and initiated checkout. We got very specific. Same with the other examples. People who had gone to the webinar and not watched it yet. So, we’re hitting these people at all the different places that they might be during this period to get as many sales as we can.

So, this kind of turned into the full launch strategy, but my bigger point out of this, I wanted to share, because I just was kind of reminded multiple times over the last five days, how important it is to plan for a launch with that prelaunch phase, and have that warming up phase where you are growing your list intentionally with a decided number and a decided budget, and you’re also massively nurturing your audience so that when you decide or when it’s time for you to start selling this, whatever your offer is, people are ready to go. They’re engaged with you, they’re loving your brand, they trust your brand. They have that… trust with you is key to success, especially if you don’t have a big audience or you have to grow it.

If you look at your audience, and you’re like, “Oh, we should be able to meet our sales goal with our current warm traffic,” then you may not need a prelaunch phase. But […] really the decision comes down to, if you sit down and you set your launch goals, and you say, “1% or 2% of my list, if they buy,” and then you’re able to reach your sales goal with that calculation, you may not need a prelaunch phase, but if you sit down, and you do that, and you say, “If I want to sell a hundred courses, I have to add 5,000 people to my list to be able to do that,” you have to have a prelaunch phase where you’re doing that, where you’re adding people to your list. And a lot of times with live launches, what you do before and after and in between those live launches, is actually more important than the launch itself.

The prepping and the nurturing and the building of that audience is the most important part of the success of the actual launch. And people kind of skip over that, mostly because launches are so much work, they skip over it. So it’s like, “Gosh I don’t have any [energy]. I’ve got to just get my launch live,” or they have this urgency to open the doors, but it’s going to be so much more effective if you’ve planned and preplanned for it, and put time, energy, and money into this pre launch phase.

So, this is a strategy we build out for a lot of clients. We have for years, clearly, because I was doing it, and now my team, honestly, probably does it better than I was [doin it], just because we have so much data about the things that are working. Our retargeted ads are like next-level. Just, we’ve improved over two years, when it was just me compared to now when it’s my team, and the Intel, and also the live launches we have been a part of on the backend, with some really big influencers, obviously give us even more strategic experience and data that we can use on all of our client accounts.

So if you have a launch coming up, plan for that prelaunch phase. Plan your launch goals in enough advance that you make time for that prelaunch phase if you need it, and make sure that you put a lot of effort and energy into nurturing your audience, building those relationships, and showing up, because you can’t just show up when it’s time for the launch. It won’t work. At least it won’t work as [effectively] as it will if you do it the other way. If you want support with an upcoming live launch or you want Team Hirsh to support you with strategy, you can go to HelpMyStrategy.com to apply to work with us. Thanks so much for tuning in today guys, and I will see you on the next episode.