It’s been over two-and-half months since I last wrote about what was happening in my online business.
A LOT has happened in that time so I thought it was time I updated you with all the latest goings-on!
Today I’m going to talk about:
1. My product launch in the stock trading niche
2. My plans to create a membership site
3. “Kick-Start Profits” – My new free internet marketing training course
Ok, let’s dive in!
1. Stock Trading Product Launch
The product itself is comprised of a hard-copy manual (sent out by snail-mail) and accompanying online tutorial videos that teach people how to trade the stock market from home.
As this blog is about creating and growing your online business I’d like to tell you about how the product was marketed and launched as opposed to going into the nuts and bolts of the training itself.
Initially, the idea was to have very detailed step-by-step training in written form. However, there is no substitute for being shown something so I also decided to create a series of how-to style tutorial videos.
I recorded the videos using Camtasia which allows you to record your computer screen whilst you simultaneously explain what you are doing by speaking into your microphone (I used my Snowball USB mic).
Although I had no idea about this until months after I started online, virtually all product launches involve marketing to a list of email subscribers.
Makes sense. But there was only one small problem with this….
Since this was my first ever product launch, I had no email list at all!
So, get around this issue I did what a lot of first-time product creators do which is to team up (or “joint venture”) with some other marketers who do own an email list.
Before launching the product I actually invited 20 random people from my JV partner’s list to beta-test the entire product for free. This testing lasted 4 weeks and was invaluable to iron out little bugs, make changes to the training (usually where I hadn’t explained something clearly enough) and get a general insight into how the system performed in the hands of people with different levels of trading experience.
Once this was complete, it was then time to create the marketing materials for the promotion…
In days gone by, the long-form sales letter was responsible for the majority of successful launches. Writing these is the art of copywriting – a real craft in itself and a very lucrative one at that!
Nowadays though, many product launches don’t really feature a sales letter at all and instead use video to communicate the promotional message. This was my approach and again I used Camtasia to record my Powerpoint presentations and also my awesome Kodak Zi8 for some brief to-camera footage as well.
The process worked as follows:
Day 1: Subscribers were sent an email promoting the first of 3 free training videos on stock trading. On the page where the video was there was a opt-in form which allowed viewers to sign up for 2 more free training videos. This opt-in form allowed us to create a “priority list” of people who were prospects for the promotion.
Day 2 & 3: More emails were sent out to let people know about the free training video.
Day 4: The second free training video was published and a link to it was emailed to the priority list.
Day 6: The third and final free training video was published and again, subscribers to the priority list were notified. At the end of this third video I outlined the product itself and asked the viewers to watch out for a final video which would provide full details of it.
Day 7: The priority list were directed to the sales video. This contained no new free training, but instead recapped on the content that was covered in the previous three videos, outlined the product in detail and finally made the offer.
This kind “launch sequence” is a common thing in many niches and was initially conceived by Jeff Walker (of “Product Launch Formula” fame). Interestingly, Jeff also started off in the stock trading niche – so I hope that bodes well for my own online career!
Anyway, the general idea is not to sell “cold”. If you are a regular reader here at Gain Higher Ground you’ll know how many times I’ve stressed the importance of building an email list, offering the best quality free content you can and doing your best to develop a trust and a relationship with your subscribers.
The idea is the exactly same with product launches. The free training videos allow people to get to know you, learn some free valuable information and decide whether they would like to give your product a try.
Of course, the value-added should never stop there, as it’s equally as important to put every effort into creating the best possible product you can and over-delivering in every respect. This is not only ethical but makes good business sense too as your customers will respect you and are more likely to buy from you again.
However, for a period of 3 days after the launch day we discounted the price to £147. Immediately after this the price went back up to £197 (where it will stay).
During that 4 day period we sold 340 copies at £147 generating revenue of £49,980 (around US$79,000).
It is also interesting to look at the conversion rates….
- 80% of the people who clicked on the click to watch the first free training video also opted-in to get access to the 2 further follow up videos.
- The size priority list ended up being approximately 1,700 people, giving a sales conversion rate of 20%.
Overall, this is very pleasing (by general industry standards) and judging by the vast majority of support emails I’ve been answering the customers are also very pleased with their investment. As part of the product, I shall be doing my best to help and assist them with whatever questions they have going forward.
2. Plans For A Membership Site
While product launches have their advantages, one of their big negatives is that they simply generate short term spikes in income.
It doesn’t matter how big or small this spike is, if you are purely relying on product launches in your online business then you need to be constantly working on brand new products and repeating the whole process in order to keep generating revenue on an on-going basis.
Not only is this a large amount of work but if you launch a product which doesn’t do so well then you run the risk of finding it harder the to recruit JV-partners and affiliates in order to promote your next launch!
One solution to all this is to look at a continuity-based business model.
A common form of continuity is a membership website where subscribers pay a fee on regular basis (often monthly) in order to remain a member and have on-going access to your content.
This is something I’ve been exploring greatly in recent weeks and I’ve even invested in a trip to Ryan Lee’s Continuity Summit 3 conference which is taking place next month in Stamford, Connecticut. I hope I’ll have lots to tell you about when I get back!
3. “Kick-Start Profits” – My New Free Internet Marketing Training Course
The more eagle-eyed of you might have noticed that I’ve changed the “free gift” offering which is displayed on the sidebar of my blog.
Previously, I was giving away a short video on things that I wish I’d known before I started in internet marketing back in April 2010.
However, as time has moved on I became a little tired of this and thought I could do better. Also, some subscribers had also asked if I could provide any step-by-step training in internet marketing on top of the posts I make here.
- It’s 100% FREE!
- It’s very step-by-step detail training on how to start your online business
- The training works for any niche
- No prior internet marketing knowledge is assumed whatsoever
- It’s mostly in video form so you can see me doing everything live on screen in front of you
- Each “issue” is sent out weekly by email
- Oh, and did I mention it’s 100% FREE? 😉
If this sounds appealing then please go ahead and sign up (see the form on the top-right hand side of this page). If you don’t like it you can simply unsubscribe at any time using the link in the bottom of each email that I send to you.
And as you might know, this blog is not monetized right now as I’ve been too busy in the stock trading niche. Although this might change (read: probably will) later in 2011 this means there really is NOTHING TO BUY at all right now.
So go on, take advantage… you’ve got nothing to lose!
I hope you enjoyed this rather self-indulgent post. I’d love to hear your comments, questions and feedback in the section below…