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’ve identified 7 keys to a successful product launch.

 

Here’s 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 ad spots to local businesses all over the country.

 

This was new … and the audience was by its very nature skeptical … and had a limited budget.

 

Step 1: The Big Question—Know Your Target Audience

When I launch a new product, the foundation of the launch is properly identifying the target audience.

 

Knowing the target audience—their hopes, dreams, fears: what keeps them up at night—is critical to your success.

 

So, with the Weather Channel, how do you best reach 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!

  • Who are they?
  • How best to target them?
  • How do you segment them?

 

So, my team identified the target group, then selected the audience based on psychographic as well as basic criteria … 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.

 

For most clients today, we will do a targeted, integrated, multi-channel approach: email, Facebook, Google, pre-roll, postal – all to the same names.

 

Among the various visible solutions for the Weather Channel, we chose a dynamic direct mail package, a landing page, a 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.

 

The offer is what the prospect gets. Discount? Savings? Premiums? Guarantee?

 

For the Weather Channel, 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. We enticed the target audience just to raise their hands so we could collect the lead for follow up.

 

For our offer, we created a “no obligation” advertisers’ kit filled with value-added incentives.

 

Plus, we presented the offer as something to try … something that they couldn’t resist! For only $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

For all the marketing materials, we followed the direct response copy rules for maximum response.

 

Then we used the science of eye flow to create the largest readership with our art.

 

Many campaigns fall short because they use traditional advertising copy or editorial/journalism copy and art– not direct response copy and art.

 

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.

 

Step 7: Test, Test, and Test

 

In any new launch, scientific testing of copy and offer is critical.

 

For the Weather Channel, we tested a variety of creative variables to see what would create greater response.

 

The results:

 

Follow these 7 steps to launch a winning campaign.

 

For the Weather Channel, this formula 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.

 

Do you have a new product to launch?

 

Want to drive up your response and improve your profits?
Call me at (310) 212-5727 or email me at craig@cdmginc.com.