You’ve chosen your business name, set up your business legally, selected a manufacturer, and planned out your design and copy—now it’s time for the launch!
Launching your product business is very exciting. But it’s important that you launch your business strategically.
Your goals for your launch are to build your email list, get people excited about your products, create buzz around your business, learn what marketing activities you like and don’t like, learn about your customers, and gather marketing materials for your business.
If you plan your launch well, you will accomplish all of these goals and you’ll start your business with paying customers, excitement, and a strong brand.
Here are the 10 steps you need to follow to set up a successful launch for your product business.
Step 1: Set Up Your Landing Page
The first step in your launch is setting up a simple landing page. This allows people to sign up for your email list before you set up your official website.
Kickoff Pages is a great option—they offer a free 30-day trial, which is perfect for launching your business. You can set up a space for your friends and family to share their email address and join your giveaway. They can share a link for extra entries.
For your giveaway, offer some of your products, and if you want, throw in a few other things your customers might like. For example, if you are selling makeup, you might want to include a makeup case or mirror compact. Make your giveaway enticing enough that people will eagerly give you their email addresses in exchange for your products.
Then set up a free account with Mailchimp and then connect it to your landing page to start generating your email list.
Step 2: Spread the Word
Once you’ve set up your landing page, you can start emailing your friends and family to invite them to check it out and sign up for your giveaway.
Keep your email simple and warm, give them clear directions. Let them know what they’ll get for joining your email list, and invite them to tell other people about it to keep growing your list.
Step 3: Promote Your Launch on Social Media
After establishing your email list and getting some momentum going with your friends and family, it’s time to post about your launch and pre-launch on social media. Have your designer make a few templates for you to use to keep it consistent, or make your own on Canva.
Make posts letting people know how excited you are to be launching your business. You can include countdown graphics about upcoming events, photos of your products and packaging, photos taken at events, quotes, and any other type of content you can think of to engage your potential customers.
On Instagram, update the link in your profile to reflect your launch goals, whether that’s including a link to your landing page or to your Eventbrite event page for your launch or pre-launch party. Direct people to your link or ask them to take another type of action, like commenting or sharing with a friend.
On Facebook, include the link in the post itself and always be sure to invite people to click, join your email list, comment, share, or take whatever action you want them to take.
Step 4: Plan Your First Live Event
When planning your first event, think about partnering with a local business or joining an event like a festival or market.
Create event pages for your prelaunch on Eventbrite and Facebook. Eventbrite publishes events to the general public, so people outside your network will be able to find out about it. You can also create a public event on Facebook, so it will be visible to people outside your circle of friends.
Be sure to invite your local friends to the event, as well as emailing your new email list and tell them what they will get for coming to your event, whether it’s free food and drinks, product demonstrations, giveaways, or any other perks you can dream up.
Step 5: Host Your Event
At your launch event, have products for people to sample. People are more likely to purchase your products, and to keep purchasing them, once they’ve tried them in person.
If you can afford to hire a photographer for your event, do it. Photos of your event will be perfect marketing materials for your email newsletter, social media, and your website. If you can’t afford to hire someone, ask a friend to take photos for you so you can focus on the event.
You can also create an event hashtag and have people share their photos on Instagram using it to gather even more photos and to generate buzz.
Bring a signup sheet or iPad so that you can collect emails for your newsletter. Consider having a raffle or giveaway as an incentive for guests to share their information with you.
Step 6: Launch Your Website
Now that you’ve started growing your email list and thrown a pre-launch party, it’s time to launch your website. Launching your website is like opening the doors to your business because it gives people a way to easily buy your products.
It’s okay if you don’t have a fully fleshed-out website to launch. Just make sure to have listings for your products and product descriptions, a home page, and an about page. (Also make sure you have a distribution channel set up before you start selling your products!)
Step 7: Host an Official Launch Party
Throw a launch party the same week you launch your website. While the purpose of the pre-launch party was to let people know you would be open for business soon, the launch party is to show everyone that they can now buy your products online. It’s another opportunity to get to know your customers and give them a chance to use your products.
If you know someone who owns a retail location compatible with your brand, reach out to them and see if they would be open to partnering with you. If you don’t know a local business owner personally, start researching and calling local businesses that are compatible with your brand.
If you can’t find a local business to host your event, there are lots of other ways to make it happen. Throw it at your house or at a friend’s house, rent a space, or see if you can host it at your local community center or library. You could also host it at an outdoor location like a park or beach.
Follow the same guidelines you did for your pre-launch party. Take photos, make it fun and memorable, have people sign up for your email list, and pay attention to how they respond to your products, your brand, and your marketing. It should be fun and memorable for them and a learning experience for you.
Step 8: Foster Relationships through Email and Social Media
Capitalize on your launch party’s success by fostering relationships with your list and followers. Send regular emails about events, new products, sales, and how to use your products. Your goal is to create a community of fans to rally around your brand.
It’s important to be consistent with your emails. Choose a frequency and a day to send emails that you can stick to and then stay on that schedule. Email marketing is still considered the most effective form of marketing, so make your email list a top priority.
Make sure you also continue to post on Instagram and Facebook and engage with your followers.
Step 9: Have a Sale
One of the best ways to keep the momentum going is to have a sale soon after your launch party. Your customers will already be excited about your brand, and a sale will keep them thinking about you.
It’s great to connect a sale with a holiday. People already expect to make purchases around certain holidays like Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and Mother’s Day. You could also connect it with your birthday or another special day to you.
Advertise your sale to your email list with multiple emails. Offer a percentage off or offer special products.
Step 10: Attend a Trade Show
Once you’ve pulled off your successful launch and built up a relationship with your customers, attending a trade show is a great way to continue your success.
You’ll be able to meet influencers, spread your brand by giving out free products, and build relationships in your industry.
Once your launch is over, you want to continue the momentum you’ve created by making a strategic marketing plan.
Make sure to send regular emails to your list to keep them engaged and stay active on social media. Remember that consistency is key to all marketing!
Check out our post, How to Develop an Online Marketing Strategy for Your Product Business, for more marketing tips.