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
It was several months coming but my stock trading product finally launched on May 13th.
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.
The full price of the product is £197 (roughly $315). Yes, that’s right, it’s actually priced in British Pounds Sterling as the email list of my JV partners was primarily UK based.
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.
My answer was to create “Kick-Start Profits” which has the following benefits:
- 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…
Good on you Rob, you must be very pleased with the results. This shows it takes time to set it all up properly but as a long term investment it is clearly the right way to do it.
Now where is that new product of mine……….
Meanwhile I shall keep reading your Newsletters as they are just what is needed – plus Action
Good luck and well done
Nice to hear from you.
Thank you very much – I appreciate that.
The process has shown me that there really is no “get-rich-quick” to making money online! Effort definitely is required… 🙂 It’s a lot of fun though!
Hello Rob – I like your style – like a UK based Chris Farrell.
Try not to go totally his way though, not that long ago, you could write to Chris and get an answer.
Recently when his wife was ill, I sent a brief note wishing her well only to be sent an acknowledgement advising me of the new ticket system for enquiries!!
STuff that – unsubscribed straight away.
Anyway I look forward to anything you can offer.
I hear you but don’t be TOO hard on old Chris! He’s definitely a great guy and I suppose he just hasn’t got the time to respond these days. A shame really, like you say.
I’m sure he will have appreciated your words of support though (albeit through his VA)!
Thanks for your comments – really glad you like my stuff. Let me know if there’s anything I can help you out with.
Congratulatoins on your success. Self indulgence is justified I think under the circumstances! Patience always pays, and I think a lot of people get impatient and then wonder why they fail.
Thank you Dee!
I always feel a little self-indulgent writing these kinds of posts but I hope it helps others.
You’re dead right on patience – it’s definitely one of the keys to success in my book!
Cheers – Rob.
Hey Rob, great going sir! Congratz on this huge success!
I hear what Colin is saying – I’m pretty rubbish at a lot of what I try to do online but this is one area which is of real importance – don’t slack when you are in receipt of personal emails. No disrespect to Chris Farrell here as I’m sure it was a very difficult time for him.
Looking forward to learning more about your membership site Rob!
Hey Joseph. Many thanks, I think I’ll know a lot more on the membership site when I get back from the conference! Cheers, Rob.
I too consider Chris F to be the tops and and had a couple of friends sign up to his membership site (NOT me being an affiliate either!) but it is a salutary lesson – once you lose the personal touch, you have “lost it” where people like myself are concerned – but on the other hand, I suppose it means he has hit the big time and is raking it in….
However, write to the Queen and while she doesnt reply herself, you will get a Dear Colin reply from a real assistant and not a ticket!
From one we are lead to believe there is many a man in Bangok or wherever who for a few cents will reply for you.
All a little tongue in cheek, but as Joseph says, don’t slack on the personal touch.