Launch

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Peri Elmokadem

Written By

Peri Elmokadem

Peri is the content marketing manager at Uscreen. She writes to teach the world about the ways of video monetization. She’s also a visual artist, traveller and dog lover (although she’s starting to warm up to cats).

How to Finally Launch Your Video Website

Congratulations!

You’ve done a ton of work to get to this point. It’s time to launch your VOD website!

In many ways, this is the most exciting part of starting a business. You’re ready to see all your effort pay off. Sales are coming soon.

But creating great content isn’t enough. You need to get the word out to the right audience and give them a reason to buy your products or subscribe to your video website.

The launch helps make sure you get off to a strong start.

In this section of the Uscreen Video Business School, we’ll cover launch essentials.

Worry is your enemy. Worry will tell you you’re not ready, you’re not going to get any sales, you’re going to embarrass yourself – you know the drill.

Worry turns a concern into a problem and then into a crisis.

Here’s how to overcome worry:

Follow the simple steps below.

Don’t make the mistake of rushing the process and launching before you’re prepared. A little planning here can lead to big results.  

Critical Things to Know Before Nailing Down Your Launch Strategy

First, there are two pervasive lies about launching an SVOD site that we need to put to rest:

Launch Lie #1: You have to throw a HUGE launch party

You’ve probably seen some of your favorite online gurus go wild on a launch. They sink tens of thousands of dollars into the launch effort and expect to generate hundreds of thousands (or more) in revenue.

That’s fine for them, but it may not be the launch strategy you want for your business. Maybe you don’t have that much extra cash in the bank, or maybe you don’t want to risk doing something quite that flamboyant just yet.

You definitely need a launch sequence for your SVOD site, but you aren’t required to start a forest fire in the process. Maybe a bonfire would be enough for you right now.

You get to set the goals that best suit you. Let the gurus set the goals best for them.

Launch Lie #2: You need to have completed filming your video course before you can launch.

If you’re selling access to a series of trainings, you really need to have finished only the first one before you can launch. It can take some of the pressure off to have more in the can, but it’s not necessary.

Many SVOD channel owners find the feedback from the first video in the series leads them to make changes in the second. If it’s not complete yet anyway, those changes can be easier to implement.

Here are two things you really do need before you push the launch button:

  1. You should’ve worked through the pre-launch section of the Video Business School. The pre-launch tests your offer, tests your systems, and primes the pump in anticipation of the actual launch.
  2. You should’ve built a suitably sized responsive mailing list. To determine what “suitably sized” means, use the audience size calculator in the pre-launch section. By “responsive,” we mean the people you’re communicating with actually open and interact with your emails.

The higher your open and click-through rates are now, the more sales you can expect to see on the launch (assuming the list is composed of genuine prospects for your offer). See the Video Business School section on email marketing for help with list building.

The Components of a Successful Launch Sequence

It’s natural to get tense when you’re making preparations for the launch – even if it’s not your first time working through the process.

At its core, though, the launch is like any other sales sequence – except that it’s the grand opening of the shopping cart. You can use the same procedure described below to introduce new videos or courses after your SVOD channel is established. There really aren’t many moving parts to be concerned about.

Here are the essentials:

1. You need a landing page with a video sales letter

This is where your copywriting skills get a good workout. Revisit the copywriting section of the Video Business School before you begin. Put the principles of persuasion to work here.

You’ve identified the people most likely to respond to your offer. Now you need to explain the benefits they’ll get from the opportunity you’re presenting.  You need to get them engaged.

If you set up the sales page well, clicking on your call to action (CTA) button will be a no-brainer for the qualified prospects on your list. Your benefits will outweigh the cost so far that any rational person will say “Yes” in a hurry.

Be sure to give them a good reason for taking action NOW. That could be a generous, limited time availability price reduction, special bonuses for those who are ready to buy, or some other enticement.

Without a solid reason WHY your prospects should get in on the offer right away, most will “think about it” and quite possibly end up forgetting about it.

2. You need to triple test every part of your system

Take special care to confirm the payment processing flow is smooth and flawless. Test, test, test. The very last thing you want to do is push the launch button only to find out the CTA button in your email isn’t working or that people are trying to buy from you … but can’t.

3. You need the first day’s portion of the email campaign ready to go

Here’s where your list-building efforts pay off. The larger and more targeted your list, the better results you can expect to achieve.

We recommend two emails for day one:

Email #1 is short and sweet. You’ve built anticipation with your pre-launch, and you’ve a hungry crowd chomping at the bit waiting for the gate to open. The first email announces the cart is open for business and links to your sales page. You can use bonuses or other pot-sweeteners to add value to the offer.

Email #2 is a bit longer. Send it about three to five hours after you’ve sent #1. You reaffirm the “opening of the cart” (launch lingo that means you’re now taking orders), pump up the enthusiasm, and hammer down on how becoming your customer or subscriber is going to add value to the lives of the people you’re speaking with.

Once you send Email #1, you’ve officially launched the campaign. Congratulations!

4. You need to monitor the action and make adjustments as needed

Consider your path to purchase and identify the key performance indicators along that path. Typically, those will include open rates, click-through rates, and the sales conversion rate at a minimum. Your job now is to patiently watch results and look for trouble spots. The more traffic you’ve generated, the more accurate your observations will be.

Potential tweaks (or split tests) you might employ are changes in the calls to action and switching up the type of subject lines used in your emails. There are additional resources listed at the end of this section that can take you deeper into the concepts mentioned.

5. You need to send daily emails to your list on each succeeding day of the launch

Don’t worry about sending too many emails and “burning your list.” That seldom happens. Most of the time, the problem is that you speak with your list too infrequently, not too often.

Much of your email campaign strategy will necessarily hinge on the relationship you’ve established with the people you’re emailing and the level of interaction already built – but an email each day, once the cart has opened, certainly isn’t excessive.

How long should your launch run from start to finish?

We’ve found the sweet spot to be about five days. Seven is probably the top end and three the lower end. The most important factor is that you’re able to build and maintain momentum – then wrap it up with the grand finale.

6. You’ll need to build the buzz and demand to a crescendo as you near the close of your launch

Begin using the scarcity card a day or two before the launch ends. The bonuses you’ve tacked on will no longer be available, the subscription price will double – whatever you’ve chosen as reasons to buy NOW – those special launch offers won’t be available after the cart closes. Those who want in need to get in before the door slams shut.

You sent two emails on Day #1 and at least one email each day beginning with Day #2. On the final day of the launch, you want to set the big guns loose. Send five or more emails. Get the word out. Make it plain to everyone on your mailing list – this is it.

Give those who’ve yet to take you up on your special offer (or offers) one final chance to respond. A volley of emails sometimes awakens them to the opportunity and gets their attention. The final day of the launch is infamous for generating the most sales of any other day in the launch.

It’s do or don’t time. Give them plenty of reason to respond.

NOTE: Email isn’t your only available means of communication. You may want to leverage social media platforms, advertising, and other means of getting the news about your launch in front of the people who need to hear it. That’s fine, but most SVOD channel owners are wise to make the email campaign the core of their launch.

7. You’ll want to follow up after the launch ends

The truth is that your marketing efforts should never stop. The launch isn’t the end of your marketing strategy, it’s simply a part of it.

Follow up with those who didn’t buy. Seek to find out why they refused such a tremendous opportunity. Your interviews with those people will help you do better on the next marketing campaign. Not only that, but many of them will still end up becoming paying customers.

You should also follow up with those who did buy. Give them world-class customer support. Tack on a surprise bonus or two. You want to reinforce the idea that buying from you or subscribing to your SVOD channel was one of the best decisions they ever made.

Happy customers are repeat customers.

Staying in touch and building on the relationship will do more to reduce cancellation and refund rates than anything else. They want to know you are concerned about their success and that you’re going to be there for them. Take care of your customers, and they’ll take care of you.

The Final Requirement for Loving the Launch

You know your stuff is valuable. You know it can help thousands of people and provide tools they can use to accomplish their goals.

One final question:

Are you eager to share your knowledge, or do you hesitate to “bother them” with your marketing messages?

If you’re of the opinion that “selling” is a dirty word, it’s crucial that you think it through. There are scams that rip people off and there are legitimate offers that enhance lives.

Your work is in the latter group.

Your work is well worth the price you ask.

When you get the opportunity to speak to those who need you, don’t hold back. Be bold, be happy, and enjoy the journey.

This launch could open doors that lead to a lifestyle better than any you can now imagine.

Go do it.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Preparing for Launch: The Ultimate Email Campaign Checklist

The First 5 Critical Steps to Creating Sleek Video Sales Letters

How to Write Email Subject Lines that Make People Stop, Click, and Read

 

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