What do Beyoncé, Kyle Jenner, and Popeyes have in common? Well unless you’ve been living under a rock these brands all have launched products that have sold out literally seconds after becoming available.
As a business you’d have to be out of your mind if you said you didn’t want to have a launch where everything sold out in a matter in minutes. We all crave that desire to make something that people can’t wait to get their hands on.
So what does it take to plan and launch something that people are sitting at the edge of their seats for?
I’m today’s episode we talk about the steps you can take to not only plan but how to execute a website launch that can help you sell out your service or product. Let’s go!
Everything I Learned on How to Plan a Website Launch
As you may know everything I share here on the blog at this moment in time are about lessons I’ve learned as a web designer that can help you as a business owner. Some of which I learned by making mistakes and others that I learned from straight up experience.
Now this is valuable for you because you can take note of what worked for me and try it for yourself instead of spending hours and hours researching how to do it by yourself.
With that being said, let’s start with the first thing that helped me with successfully launching websites that get good traffic and sales.
Start with a Checklist.
There are way to many intricate parts that’s go into a website launch to just wing it. I’ll be the first one to say I love winging it and going with the flow! But when you have no clue what you’re doing, what ends up happening is going to be obvious- chaos!
Common things you can forget are creating content, not having proper collateral (aka your elevator pitch in the form of a picture, etc.) not having a social media plan, so on and so forth.
The best way to solve this problem immediately, is to have a list of action items that you can check off along the way.
Break Your List Down into Pre-Launch, During Launch, and Post Launch.
While your customers may only see what’s going on in the front, behind the stage you’re really planning your launch in three parts: pre, mid, and post.
Plan Your Pre Launch Activities.
In pre-launch, your mission is to create so much buzz that people can’t help but be curious. For example, many brands will start by sharing a sneak peak of their new logo, the new color, or a picture of the process.
The key to the pre-launch is telling a story that unfolds piece by piece.
I’ve had clients who have done the following:
- Mentioned it on their podcast
- Mentioned it to their email list
- Give a weekly progress report using a vlog
A great example here is with Marie Forleo’s book launch for “Everything is Figureoutable.” The year prior to it launching she announced that she was going to write a book. Then she created a vlog series called Unplugged that went behind the scenes to show us the process. She also shared the concept and thought process behind the design of her book cover. I loved when she snapped a few photos to share with people during the book cover photo shoot.
It’s these things that really get people rotting for your launch AND help people start spreading the word. We can use all these tactics for a website launch too!
The reason this works is because people feel as though they are also a part of the process. Almost like they’re responsible for making the launch a success too. This psychological ownership keeps them engage and invested in the process before they even see the physical product or service.
When it comes to your website, here are a few pre-launch things you absolutely must not forget if you want people to get amped for your launch:
- Take some high quality branded pictures of not only what the service or product is but behind the scenes
- Make sure you copy is on point! Have someone proof and edit your pages.
- Set up your payment portals and try to run tests to ensure it’s working.
- Collaborate with other brands! Super important because this helps you spread the word. And to be honest, you’ll notice this is probably the one task that makes the largest impact on how successful the launch will be.
- Make sure your media (images, audio and video) is tagged and labeled to be searchable
- Set up a landing page or coming soon section with promo content (I highly recommend video!) You could even use a countdown to really create anticipation
Plan Your Mid Launch Activities.
Next is mid launch. Mid launch is when you finally reveal what you’ve been working your butt off to complete. This is the time to shout it from the roof tops and brag, brag, brag.
Now as we’ve seen with companies like Adidas x Ivy Park and Popeyes, people should be coming by the boat load to check out your site because they’ve been anticipating the launch.
Ivy Park x Adidas collection. Credit adidas.com Popeyes Chicken Sandwich
On launch day you’re going to be:
- Sharing the graphics of your product or service on social media
- Writing to media outlets to let them know about your launch (this is mostly if it’s related to a product or subscription).
- Going live to go into more detail about the actual service/product and answer questions
- Checking your email for any troubleshooting messages that may have come through
- Monitoring your site traffic to make sure nothing crashes
- Sending out about 2 emails (on the same day) to introduce the new site and then to let people see reviews about it
Execute Post Launch Activities.
Bet you thought everything was done when your announced the launch? Nope! What I’ve learned as a web designer is that what you do after the launch is just as important as what you do when you launch.
If you find your launch didn’t sell out in the first couple hours, then post launch is going to be your opportunity to spike that buzz again.
Now you can have a ton of fun with this! What I’ve see that has been super successful is:
- Sending thank you emails with a special promo offer
- Having a launch party (virtual or live) and preferably recorded
- Sharing the launch story on your podcast
- Sharing the experience on Instagram and Facebook using your branded photos from the photo shoot
- Sharing media coverage that you received
- Follow up with your collaborations
These particular activities will help you bump up your website traffic and are revenue generating activities! That means these activities help translate into sales.
Outside of promotion, for your website post launch you’ll want to:
- Apply suggestions for improvements (for example increasing the size of text for mobile or moving a call to action button)
- Adding logos from the media outlets you were featured on
- Writing a full blog article about the launch and results (don’t forget to include the launch day live recording)
Phew! As much as we would love to all be like Beyoncé who seems to put her magical juju on just about everything – what we really find that whether you are Beyoncé, Popeyes, Marie Forleo, or just a small business owners trying to make a living, you’ve got to put in some work!
- Create a checklist so you don’t forget anything
- Break your list into three parts (pre, mid, and post launch)
- Plan and execute pre-launch activities including setting up your shopping carts, and putting up your coming soon landing page or section to name a few.
- Planning your actual launch day activities.
- And finally, keep the momentum going post launch by updating the website with all the launch results.