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The secrets behind a $1 million launch (and how you can do it too!)

The secrets behind a $1 million launch (and how you can do it too!)

March 29, 2009

Top 4 Biggest Mistakes entrepreneurs make in a launch:

Big Mistake #1: Create a product first and then try to figure out how to sell it. This is a classic mistake. Instead, first put yourself in your customers' shows. What do they want or need right now? (Money, freedom, prestige or are they just looking to survive?) Then, design a product that fills their needs.

Big Mistake #2: Never asking, 'What's in it for the customer?' This goes back to the first big mistake. Everything starts with what the customer wants or needs ' not what you have to sell. Otherwise, your marketing will never identify with your customers. Your goal is tap into their emotional hot buttons and show how your product or service will help them.

Big Mistake #3: Never asking, 'What's in it for the JV?' Why should a JV do business with you? Will they make more money (and will it be enough for them to market your product)? Will they get to win cool prizes? Will the product you're offering help fill a need for their customers that they currently don't offer? In a launch, you're marketing as much to your JVs as you are to your customers. Keep it exciting for them too. Appeal to their competitive spirit by creating a competition among the JVs. In one recent launch, JVs got the chance to win a 2009 Dodge Challenger and a Harley Davidson.

Big Mistake #4: Assuming the JVs will market your product. In Mai's cases, only 60% of his JVs marketed his product. Give your JVs all the marketing they need so they can just send it. Sending the marketing is time consuming so make it as easy as possible for them by giving them as much ready-to-use material as possible. 'Just as hard as you promote your pre-launch to your customers, you have to promote it to your JV partners,' Mai says. 'You have to remind them, 'Look at all the money you're going to make. Look at all the awesome content your customers are going to get.' Some JVs are only in it for the money and some are only in it for the content their customers get. So you have to remind them about both.'

3 questions to ask to calculate your pricing for a Product Launch:

How much are your hungry fish willing to pay? Survey your customers and prospects. Tools such as Zoomerang.com and SurveyMonkey.com are excellent online survey tools that are easy to use and relatively inexpensive. Interview your prospects. Find out what they've paid for similar products.

What's the Lifetime Value (LTV) of your customer? This is the amount of money your average customer spends with you over a period of time. Example: in Mai's case, he sold a $197 monthly membership. His LTV is $1,700 per customer per year.

How much can you afford to share with your JVs? Most partnerships offer a 50/50 split on the initial sale. If you're selling back-end products such as a coaching program or other upsells, you also must decide if you're willing to share those proceeds too.

Every now and then a 'game changer' comes along that completely changes how we do business.

This article is about one of those in which business owners are now making millions of dollars using a new and innovative product launch formula that I'm about to reveal to you right now.

First, some background. Put simply, a product launch, or a launch as I'll refer to it, is nothing more than an event-based promotion.

The movie industry has been doing this for years by building anticipation with teasers and trailers before the movie's release on a particular date. Product launches for the iPhone and Wii also use the same formula.

And now business owners across a variety of industries are starting to get into the act by doing their own launches, according to Tim Mai, a real estate investing coach and architect of several launches including one he just did that earned more than $1 million.

There are three phases to a launch: the pre-launch, launch and post-launch. This article will walk you through each of the 3 phases so you can do your own for whatever business you may be in.

These are numbers that will make you say, 'Tell me more!'

Why bother? Just take a look at Mai's numbers from his last launch that offered property leads to investors: 5,000 sales for a product that costs $197 per month earning him just over $1 million in initial sales and another $800,000 in upsells. One month later, he sold another 200 from a list of 4,000 people who asked to be on a wait-list! Assuming all those people continue to pay the $197 per month membership fee, he will earn more than $12 million! (All that money won't go to him and all those people aren't expected to stay the full 12 months. More about that in a moment.)
Even if he makes just half of that, it's no wonder entrepreneurs are trying to find ways to integrate a launch into their business.

So how is a launch different from any other product roll-out? 'A launch is nothing more than event-based marketing strategy,' Mai says. 'Instead of sending out an email or a direct mail piece and saying, 'Here's my product, go order it,' a launch is where you say, 'Here's my product I'm selling but you can't buy it today. I'm doing a special promotion and that's when you can buy it.''

How would you like to have customers lining up to order your product?

The secret of a launch is to create excitement around the release on a certain date. 'It builds up all this anticipation,' Mai says. 'The customer says, 'That's really good. I want it. But I can't have it yet.' And so when you're ready to open it ' they have a reason to buy it before it's sold.'

For example, let's say a furniture store owner wants to hold a 50% off sale next weekend. He'll call his competitors and ask them to promote his sale to their prospects and customers and offer to give them half of every dollar he earns from their customers on his sale (the standard split is 50/50). And in return, you promise to market their sale to your list the next time. Now you may say, 'Wait a minute, you're crazy if you think I'm going to advertise for my competitors!'

That's often the reaction I hear. But listen to what Mai says '

'What's counter-intuitive about that is that you and I know customers don't buy from one furniture store. They buy what they want, not really from the store. When my wife and I went shopping for furniture we must have went to 20 stores. You're na've to think that your customers only buy from you and no one else,' Mai says.

'You have to accept the fact that your customers are buying from your competitors, so you may as well profit from it.'

How to create a JV partnership

Creating a joint venture (JV) partnership with your competitors is one of the biggest ingredients to a launch that makes it so much different than any other launch.

IMPORTANT: If you don't feel comfortable endorsing a competitors' product don't do it. Only JV with competitors who you trust and feel your customers or prospects will benefit from their product. If you sell organic juice, you may want to partner with someone who sells gluten free wheat. If you sell swimming pools partner with a landscaper.

Partnering with your competitors comes from what I call, 'living in abundance' as opposed to 'living in scarcity' in which you're always worried about losing. So when you're partnering with competitors don't think of your market as a pie with only eight slices to it. Think of it as a pie that actually gets bigger as you partner with more people. It really is better to have a smaller piece of a larger pie than it is to have a bigger piece of nothing. It's about living and believing that there's enough for everyone.

Here's what's interesting: many of Mai's customers may buy his competitors' product, but they prefer to buy those products through him! So he's still earning money on those sales. They buy from Mai because he's built a relationship with his customers. They trust him. So if he recommends something they're more likely to buy the product from him than they would from someone else.

'I promote my competitors' products to my customers all the time and I've never worried about losing them because I know I do a much better job of building a relationship with my customers than 99% of my competitors,' Mai says. 'It's not a game of who has the most customers. It's a game of who has the most loyal customers and who has the best relationship with their customers.'

Tip: the best way to build a relationship with your prospects and customers is to communicate with them often via email. Mai sends emails to his list daily with little snippets about where he's travelling, tips to help his prospects make more money and ideas to help them in their business.

Another tip: You don't have to be a great writer to send the emails. Just share short one or two paragraphs and move on. And be willing to share photos and stories about yourself. The more people get to know you, the deeper the relationship you'll build with them. Here are the steps for a launch:

Step 1: Design your launch

Like an architect who first designs a home before even beginning to build, you must also plan your launch well in advance. This is the time when you determine the wants and needs of your hungry fish. Develop your POOBA (Promise of an Obvious and Obvert Benefit Always) before you begin to build your product. Once you've determined the product and pricing, you can begin to recruit your JVs.

Step 2: Pre-Launch

Remember, the key to a launch is to build anticipation and excitement around a release date. So if the launch date is 30 days from now, you'll want to begin sending emails or mail to prospects 2 weeks in advance.

The marketing should promote a free gift that contains your most valuable information to encourage prospects to give you their contact information so you can notify them when the product is live. Mai chooses to deliver his best information in a video because he says people are more likely to watch a video than read a report.

'This is very counter-intuitive because people think, 'I want to save the best stuff to get them to pay',' Mai says. 'But actually, you want to give your best stuff up front so people think, 'Wow if he's going to give me this in this free video I can only imagine what he will give me when I pay him something.''

Mai includes 4 more videos in his pre-launch telling prospects the story behind the launch and giving some of his best tips to prospects. He also includes some funny clips, such as one of him and his two boys racing remote control cars to once again help build a relationship with him and his prospects so they can see he's a real person and 'not a made up person behind the computer,' Mai says.

The pre-launch is all about pre-selling your customers and constantly reminding them about what they'll get. If done correctly, you won't even need to sell them on the day of the launch.

He said most people didn't even read the sales letter or watch the video on the day of the launch. In fact, he made more than 1,000 sales in just the first 61 minutes. By the time the launch came around they were ready to order.

Step 3: The Launch

As you can see, most of the work is done in advance of the launch so you're collecting orders by the time the launch rolls around. Usually, a launch can run for several days or several weeks. This will help create scarcity and urgency and is another technique to get your prospects to act. But it's also important to close it when you said you would so you don't lose credibility. Don't worry, you can open it again (more about that in a moment).

Your JVs don't want to continually market your products either so it's a good practice to come up with an ending date to the launch. In Mai's case, the launch was open for 3 days. During that time, he asked his JVs to send at least 1 email letting their customers know that the launch was open. Prior to that, he gave his JVs 3 emails to send out in the pre-launch. However, he prefers that they send 3 emails during the launch in addition to the 3 sent during the pre-launch.

Step 4: Post-Launch

This is the time when you can go back to the people who didn't order before the launch closed and give them one more chance to buy. Here's what you do. When you close the launch, post a message on your website that says 'Sold Out' and invite prospects to submit their contact information and be placed on a wait list.

Then, a few days or weeks later (earlier is better while they're still hungry!), you can open the launch again and invite them to order the product. In Mai's case, he re-opened the launch for 12 hours to 4,000 prospects on his wait list and made 200 more sales!

He's now working on launching his service again and has a goal of signing up 200 JVs (he already has 121 on board) and plans to break his record of $1 million in sales.

For more details and to get Mai's $1 Million Launch Map go to www.YourBusinessGPS.com/teleseminar.