Product launches are exciting, yet vulnerable times for your sales and marketing team. You’re on the verge of releasing something new to your target audience, but will it be able to achieve the visibility it deserves? Will you be able to hit the sales targets you’ve projected?
As Infer explains, there are multiple stages to launching a product, from initial background research and strategizing, to your initial announcement and subsequent follow-through. How you communicate to your audience throughout these stages will have a significant bearing on whether or not your launch is ultimately a “success.”
As you may already know, one of the best communicative mediums you have to engage with your audience is email—and how you use email can make or break your product launch.
How to use email marketing for a product launch
There are hundreds of variables that make return on investment (ROI) different for every brand, but overall, email marketing is still one of the highest-ROI marketing strategies you can pursue. Here’s how to use it effectively to support your product launch:
Build a list of active, interested subscribers.
Your emails won’t mean anything if they aren’t going to enough people, or if those people aren’t interested in what you’re selling. Your first step is to build a list of people who are actually interested in your product—which means, first and foremost, do not simply buy a list of subscribers. Instead, start cultivating these followers with signups and content related for the new problem you’re trying to solve. You could also work from your master email subscriber list, and create a new segment of subscribers specifically for your latest product, possibly filtered out based on demographic information or previous purchase behavior.
Tease your users with an “announcement” to come.
Before you come right out with your product launch, tease your users that you have a “big announcement,” or that you have something special in the works for them. Your most loyal customers will be watching their inboxes for news to come, and you’ll build mystique and value for when the time comes to actually launch your product. Here are a few example emails to do this!
Formally announce your product—when the time is right.
For a product launch, timing is everything. You’ll want to consider a number of factors when projecting the best time to announce your product’s release. For example, you need to make sure all the kinks are worked out of your prototype, that you’re going to be ready to launch on time, and that your audience will be available and eager to hear your announcement. You’ll even want to choose the right day of the week and time to make the announcement, and coordinate that announcement across multiple channels.
Follow up with sales, discounts, and other initiatives.
Next, you’ll want to support that product launch with other incentives across multiple emails that come days, weeks, or even months after your initial announcement. For example, you might give your email subscribers an exclusive discount when buying your product, or you might have temporary “flash sales” that drive new interest as a temporary measure. In any case, this is a phase of support for your product, and any way you generate new visibility and interest for it can be valuable. Design your emails carefully, and optimize your messaging over time by paying attention to engagement metrics.
Support your product with ongoing content.
Beyond the sales and promotions, you’ll also want to support your product with better content in your email messages. This might include FAQ, help, or tutorial content about how to use your product, purchasing guides for anyone interested in buying a product in the same category, or even user-submitted reviews and testimonials. This is an indirect and unobtrusive way to generate interest for your product, and it can really pay off over time.
General Best Practices
Throughout the strategies above, you’ll also want to follow some general best practices to achieve the best results:
Maintain your brand consistency.
Even though your product is new, the brand behind it is the same. Keep your brand voice and imagery consistent throughout your email blasts and new announcements.
Don’t get too promotional or gimmicky.
When you start coming up with sales and promotions, it’s easy to slip into a “sales” mentality, with gimmicky tricks and overly persuasive language. Instead, be as direct and transparent as possible to earn more trust.
Use multiple strategies together.
Email isn’t the only strategy you should be using to promote your product launch, but it can be used to complement and support your other strategies. For example, you’ll want to submit a press release about your latest product, which you can then showcase in your future emails.
With these strategies and tactics in place, you should be able to host a successful product launch and support it through your email efforts. The more valuable your messaging is to your audience, the more they’re going to respond, so select your subscribers carefully, and make sure everything you send them is valuable.
How have you used email marketing to support your company’s product launches? Share your stories in the comments below.