New product launches are never easy. They need to be done right.
Having helped over 300 companies launch a new company or launch a new product, I have identified 7 keys to a successful product launch.
Let me give you a 7-point checklist, based on my success with The Weather Channel.
The cable television giant wanted to expand the reach of their advertising by offering small 10-second ad spots to local businesses all over the country.
This was new … and the audience was by its very nature skeptical and has a limited budget.
 Step 1: The Big Question—Know Your Target Audience
Knowing the target audience—their hopes, dreams, fears; what keeps them up at night—is critical to your success.
How do you best reach the skeptical small business owners with a new offer not on their radar? What media and data do you use?
To start, you must understand your audience!
So, my team identified the target group, selected the audience based on psychographic as well as basic selects like the number of employees.
 Step 2: Decide on the most accountable and effective media.
Today’s options for marketing are many … but you must choose the best way to fully display your message. Among the various visible solutions for the Weather Channel, we chose a dynamic direct mail package, a landing page follow-up kit, and a conversion series that would generate new leads—and result in new advertisers.
 Step 3. Create a Powerful Direct Response Offer
The offer you choose can make or break a successful launch, just like understanding and properly targeting your audience. We created a sizzling direct response offer to prospects, one that small businesses would find enticing and irresistible.
The first step was to create a two-step lead generating campaign.
Second, we created a “no obligation” advertisers’ kit. They could ask for value-added details.
Third, we presented the offer as something to try … something that they couldn’t resist! For $495, the small business would get 360 individual ads with personalized voice-overs and graphics created for free.

 Step 4: Use only direct response copy and art, plus a follow-up kit and series
We followed the direct response copy rules for maximum response.
Then we used the science of eye flow to create the largest readership.
 Step 5: Define your USP, positioning, and branding properly
Critical to success is defining three elements:

  1. Your USP: unique selling proposition. What makes your offer different from all others?
  2. Position: How does your product fit into the needs vs. the choices of your prospect?
  3. Branding: In this case, the name recognition for The Weather Channel made the purchase an easy decision.

In fact, one of the tests we used in the testing was whether to use the Weather Channel on the envelope or not. The logo generated 20% higher response.
 Step 6: Be preemptive
What are the greatest objections to or doubts about your pitch?
We recognized for the Weather Channel that the target audience was not eager to spend money. We addressed these concerns immediately to overcome objections. Same with results.
 Step 7: Test, Test, and Test
We tested a variety of creative variables to see what will create greater response.
The results:
We created a new stream of leads for The Weather Channel’s ad department to convert and increase the organization’s profitability.
Launching a new product is always risky. But using direct response launching principles will reduce your risk and help you experience higher response and profitability.
Want to drive up your response and improve your profits? Call me at (310) 212-5727 or email me at craig@cdmginc.com.

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