So you created a digital product and you’re ready to launch. But how the heck do you launch a digital product?
When you’re gearing up to launch a digital product or service, it’s important to have all your ducks in a row. You don’t want to launch too soon without having everything in place. No matter if it’s a small ebook or a full-length course, you should plan a launch to make sure that people know you have a product for sale. It doesn’t matter how good your product is, if no one knows about it, you won’t make any sales.
Table of Contents
What Is a Digital Product?
A digital product is a downloadable file or online program that offers something of value to the user. Digital products can be anything from e-books, software, and apps to courses, templates, or fonts. Each type of digital product has its own unique set of features and benefits.
Digital products solve a problem for your customer. People purchase digital products for a variety of reasons, including convenience, cost savings, access to new technologies, and the ability to customize their experience. Digital products also provide an opportunity to support independent creators and small businesses, as well as having a smaller environmental impact than physical products.
What Is a Launch?
A launch is a marketing term used to describe the process of bringing a new product to market. When you have a new product, you need to create excitement around it in order to make sales.
Creating a launch is putting together all the different pieces like a sales page, email sequence, social media posts, graphics, and paid ads. You’ll be using all those pieces in order to get attention and make it easier to buy your product.
That’s a lot of work! And it’s not always easy to put together. But it can be done, and it’s definitely worth it.
In this post, I’m going to show you how to create a successful launch. I’ll go over what you need to do before, during, and after your launch to make sure it’s successful.
Let’s get started!
How to Create a Digital Product Launch Plan
Before you launch a digital product, it is important to have a detailed launch plan. This plan should include all of the marketing tactics you will use to promote your product, as well as the time frames for each step. Your launch plan should also include a clear call to action so that your audience knows what to do at each step.
Creating a launch plan can be overwhelming but will save you so much time and energy if you take the time to plan out each piece.
What should a launch plan include?
The first step to creating your launch plan is to create a timeline. This will help you map out each task that needs to be completed and when it needs to be done in order to stay on track.
Next, you should set a budget for your launch. This will ensure that you do not overspend and that you have enough money to cover all of the costs associated with your launch. Make sure to think about more than just paid ads. Do you need to hire a graphic designer? Or a copywriter? Figure that into your budget too.
After that, you’re ready to develop your marketing strategy. This will include creating a marketing plan, developing marketing materials, and determining how you will promote your product. Will you include finding affiliates to help sell your product? Do you have contacts with a podcast you could appear on? What are some other ways you can promote your product to new people?
Next up is writing your sales copy for your sales page, emails, social posts, and ads. Check out The Copy Block System for help with writing compelling sales copy.
Then you’ll build out your funnel using the copy you just wrote. You’ll need to build your sales page, checkout page, email sequence, social posts and ads, and any other promotional materials. Don’t forget to test each step to make sure links and automations work!
Before you get to the final step of launching, prepare your audience so they are excited about your offer and ready to buy. Send them emails, tease the launch on social media, appear on podcasts, and anything else you can think of to prime your audience.
Finally, it’s time to launch your digital product!
Pre-Launch Your Digital Product
Build your list
How big of an email list do you need to launch a digital product? Truthfully, there’s no magic number of subscribers you need for a successful launch. However, I do recommend that you have an email list that you’ve worked to grow with targeted customers before you try to launch a product.
Your primary focus should be quality over quantity.
If you go out and just ask anyone to join your list no matter what their interest is, it really doesn’t matter how many people you add. A smaller list that you’ve taken the time to build and nurture will have a higher conversion rate than a huge but random list.
As you plan your launch, make sure that you continue to communicate with your list. Don’t drop off the face of the earth before trying to sell them something. Stay engaged and send them useful emails that add value to their lives.
Research your customer’s pain points
It’s important to know exactly who you’re talking to in your copy. Defining a customer avatar will help you do this and really narrow down your ideal customer.
Instead of worrying about what multiple people will think about your copy, launch, and offer, you will just be talking to one person. Think about what their pain point is and how your offer will help solve it. Focus on using words and phrases that really help your customer avatar feel heard.
Before you start putting together your launch, it’s important that you do your research. You need to understand your audience and what they want.
You can do this by talking to people in your target market, reading forums and blogs, and doing surveys.
The more you know about your audience, the better you’ll be able to create a launch that appeals to them.
Build your minimum viable product
Before you launch a digital product, the first step is to build your minimum viable product (MVP). This MVP will have the essential features of your product and will be used to test the market and gather feedback.
To build your MVP, you must determine what features are essential to your product and what can be left out.
Once you’ve built out your MVP it’s time to get feedback from potential customers. Once you have this feedback, you can iterate on your MVP and launch your product!
I highly suggest not skipping this step as it can save you from frustration. Pick a few people you trust to give you honest feedback and let them use your product. Then hop on a call with them to ask what worked, what didn’t work, what was confusing them, and how they would improve the product.
Use this information to make adjustments and add and remove pieces. It is also a great place to start pulling ideas for sales copy. And if they like the product, ask them if you can use their words as a testimonial on your sales page.
Don’t forget the bonuses!
One of the best ways to encourage people to purchase during a launch is to offer expiring bonuses. A live class, templates, coaching sessions, or even supplementary videos from other people can all be great bonuses.
Take some time to think about what would take your digital product from amazing to out of this world. The bonuses should improve the offer in some way, not just be random additions.
Pick a promotion
There are a variety of ways to promote your product. You’ll want to think about who your audience is, your budget, and the type of product you are selling before you choose your promotion.
- Webinar – A webinar is a live, online seminar that allows interaction between the presenter and the audience. There is often a special offer for those viewers who stay til the end. Don’t fall into the trap of turning your webinar into an hour-long commercial, actually teach something! Great for digital courses, coaching programs, and SAAS.
- Challenge or Video Series – A challenge is a multi-day experience where you will offer guidance to help your audience complete a project. They’ll often need to finish this before they start working through your digital product. A video series can be similar but is less about completing something than learning about a topic. Great for coaching programs,
- Affiliate Marketing – If you have lots of friends in the same digital space as your product, creating an affiliate program can be a great promotional strategy. You offer people a percentage of each sale as an incentive to promote your product to their audiences. Works for pretty much any product.
- Contest – Run a contest and give away a free copy of your digital product. You can even build a whole bundle of things to go with your product that is only available through the contest. Perfect for an app, SAAS, templates, or ebooks.
- Paid ads – You can run ads on Facebook, Instagram, Google, or other platforms. They can either directly promote your offer or promote your webinar, challenge, or video series. Works for pretty much any product.
- Email Sequence – No matter what, you need an email sales sequence. It can stand alone as your promotion but works better with one of the options above.
Set a price
Some factors you may want to consider when pricing your digital product include the cost of production (did you hire a VA or copywriter to help?), the perceived value of the product, the competition, and what you believe your target market is willing to pay.
Don’t forget to factor in payment processing fees, platform fees, and your time for anything that’s live.
I can’t give you a magic formula for this part. Do some research on what your competition is charging, ask your target audience what they’d be willing to pay, and settle on a price you are comfortable with.
Build your funnel
A sales funnel is a series of steps that a potential customer goes through during their buying decision.
The first step in the funnel is usually some sort of advertisement that leads to a landing page. On this page, you are focused on collecting email addresses by offering something for free. An active email list is going to be your best asset and the greatest help in converting prospects to customers.
You can offer a low-price product after they’ve entered their email address. This is called a tripwire and is usually between $7 and $19. It can be a small part of your larger offer, something that goes alongside your larger offer, or just something in the same general topic area.
The next part of your funnel will be via email. You might be educating prospects about your product, or convincing them to book a discovery call or schedule a consultation. Focus your emails on building your know, like, and trust factor.
Finally, the last part of your funnel will be closing the sale. It might be on a sales page, on the discovery call, or during a consultation.
Before you start setting up the pieces, you’ll want to decide what your ultimate objective is for the funnel. Creating the funnel starting from the end goal is a good habit to get into. If you create all the pieces backward then you won’t have to go back and link all the parts at the end.
What you need to build:
- Opt-in landing page
- Thank you/Download/Tripwire page
- Email sequence with around five emails
- Sales page
- Thank you/Upsell/Download page
- Facebook/Pinterest/Google Ads
Set goals for your launch
Before launching your digital product, it is important to set clear and achievable goals. Setting goals will help you measure your success and ensure that you have a clear focus on what you want to accomplish with your product. When setting goals, make sure they are measurable so that you can track your progress and make adjustments along the way.
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is setting goals that are totally unachievable. The average conversion rate on a sales page is 3-5%. If you want to sell 100 copies of your product, you need to have two to three THOUSAND people see your sales page. If your email list isn’t that big, then you’re going to need to spend some serious cash on ads in order to get that many pageviews.
I like to have three sets of goals. A low-ball set that seems so achievable it’s silly, a mid-range set that is a little bit of a stretch but still doable, and a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG).
Create a launch timeline
This is the final thing you’ll need before you launch a digital product. Sit down and figure out which days you plan to launch then work backward. In addition to asking yourself: what do you need before you launch? continue to ask specific questions like:
- When do I need to have the sales page done?
- When do I need to have the sales email sequence done?
- When do I need to start on my Facebook ads?
You’re going to want to work backward and work through all those different processes that need to be done. Set timelines for everything. Give yourself due dates.
I know I always work best with a due date. Otherwise, things never get done. Just make sure you’re writing everything down to stay consistent.
It’s best to choose a date at least 30 days in the future to give yourself plenty of time to create your funnel. It’s possible to do it quicker, but you’ll be working long hours to get it all done.
Test the entire funnel
Remember to test all of your buttons, links, and lead capture forms to ensure they are working correctly. The last thing you want to happen is to launch your product and not know where your traffic is coming from or find out the buy buttons don’t work!
When you’ve started putting your launch plan in motion, it’s time to jump. Just do it. Hit the button and launch your product!
Launch Your Digital Product
Market, market, market
Don’t be shy! Tell everyone on every platform what you are selling. Answer questions, send links, make updates and put yourself out there.
Every day sit down and think, who can I tell about my launch today? Make a list of people to reach out to and share what you’ve been working on. Reach out to contacts who are in the same industry as you. Don’t let yourself depend only on your scheduled emails or social posts. Be creative!
Social media posts
I usually like to schedule most social posts before the launch starts. If I feel like I’m getting a lot of questions on one aspect of my product, I’ll fill in some posts to make sure I’m covering that information.
I’ll also do live videos during the launch. Go live and answer questions or give a demonstration. Talk about successes that you or a customer has had with the product. Live video can really help you connect with potential customers and get them to know, like, and trust you.
Email your list
During your launch make sure you’re emailing your list at least once per day. You can get away with 2 emails on the first day and 2-3 emails on the last day.
You’re going to sell most of your product either the first day or the last day, but you will have people trickle in over the course of the launch so make sure you’re keeping in touch and reminding them that this is happening.
Your launch is finally over, but your work isn’t. There is a lot of follow-up work you can do to figure out what to change in the future.
What worked and what didn’t
Make a list of what you thought worked and what didn’t work. Look over the questions you got about the product and figure out how to include that information better on the sales page.
Other questions to answer during your launch evaluation:
- Where did your sales come from?
- Were your ads profitable?
- Which emails got the most clicks/engagement?
- Which affiliate had the most sales? Follow up with them on how they marketed your product.
- Did your webinar/challenge/video series get engagement? Did it make sales?
The conversion rate tells how many people have bought your product versus how many people have seen the page and it gives you an idea of whether your page is performing as best as it can.
Average conversion rates for a sales page for a product or service are going to be three to five percent.
If you’re in that zone, you’ve got a great start and you’re good to go.
If it’s lower than that, there are things that you’re going to want to change in order to bring that sales page conversion rate up.
If you’re higher than that, don’t touch a thing because you’re doing awesome!
The first thing you need to do is go into Google Analytics and you need to find the sales page to see how many people have visited it.
You can view this by going to Reports > Engagement > Pages and Screens.
This lists all of the pages on your website. If I’m looking for a specific page, I just click in the search box and type in one of the keywords of the page.
The conversion rate formula is (Sales / Page Views) x 100.
For example, your sales page had 300 views and you made 15 sales. Your equation would be (15/300) x 100 = 5%.
That is a very healthy conversion rate and you can be assured that you have a strong sales page.
If you run paid ads, make sure to check those conversion rates as well!
Adjust and adapt
If your sales page has a below-average conversion rate, here are the top 3 things you should work on to improve your conversion.
1. The headline
The headline is the thing that people are going to read first, and it’s going to be the thing that tells them “this is for me” or “this is not for me.”
Make sure that your headline is pointing people further down the page.
- Keep it interesting.
- Make it so that people agree with it. Maybe it’s a question and you’re going to ask them if they have a problem. Make your headline something that, if this person can be helped by that headline, they’re going to want to know more about your product.
2. The button text
The second thing that you might want to tweak is your button text.
Something like “Buy Now” can get the point across, but it’s kind of boring.
Try something like “I’m so ready for this” or “Let me in!!!”
Say something that’s a little more exciting and speaks to your ideal customer.
3. Call to action
The next thing you could tweak would be your call to action.
You might have a headline above your button or just some text on the page in different places that are asking people to buy.
Make sure you’re really, really focused on that point and you are actually asking for the sale and not just sort of offering them something.
You want to be really, really sure that you’re saying things like, “Click the button to buy now” or “I’ll see you on the inside. I can’t wait to get started!”
Use language that tells people that this is something they can buy, this is something that they can buy now.
The one thing you need to think about when you are working on improving a sales page is don’t do too many things at once.
Make one change, let a hundred more people see the page, and then see what your conversion rate is again.
If it’s gone up, great. Keep that change and try another small tweak.
If it’s gone down, go back to what you had last time and try again.
This is called A/B testing. If you can, create two pages and send people to each page randomly in order to see which page performs the best.
Frequently Asked Questions About a Digital Product Launch
Should I close my cart at the end of my launch?
One of the things I think people get confused about when it comes to launches is — do you have to do an open/close cart launch? The answer is no, you don’t have to close your cart. However, you will miss out on some of the urgency that a cart close can provide.
Realistically speaking, the majority of sales are going to come on that last day. Once you get people excited, they’re going to put off buying even if they know they want to get into whatever your offer is. They’re going to put it off until the last possible minute because we are all humans and that’s what we do.
Having some things that create that sense of urgency to tell people “all right, I got to do this right now, I’ve got to sit down and find my credit card,” or whatever it is that they need to do. Closing the cart is one of those things that’s really going to get them to bite the bullet and just buy your thing.
What is a semi-closed cart launch?
It can be really good to do an open and close cart. But you don’t have to. There are ways around it if you want to have an on-demand webinar that cookies people when they watch it. Then they get sort of their own personal deadline using something like Deadline Funnels. You can have an open/close cart and then kind of have a secret evergreen funnel that goes along for new people that sign up so that you’re not really closing the cart for other people.
Although you don’t want to lie. So make sure that if you are going to keep it open the people that you’ve been marketing to actually do get a closed cart. Make sure you close it for them because you don’t want to tell them, “Oh yeah, no, this is closing!” and then the next day they get an email that they could still buy it because that’s just slimy.
Is it still a launch if the product or offer isn’t new?
Absolutely. You could launch your product three times a year, once a quarter, or open your membership every two months.
Just because it’s something that you’ve put out there before doesn’t mean that it’s not worth launching. You can totally do a whole build-up with a new opt-in, challenge, or freebie to get people excited again and then relaunch the same product that you’ve launched before.
What platforms should I use to launch my digital product?
There are so many ways to launch a digital product! I can’t say that one platform is better than another because it involves so many different factors. What type of product are you selling? Who is your ideal customer?
The types of platforms you’ll need though are checkout software, a place to host your sales page (like your website, LeadPages, or an industry-specific platform), an email service provider (like ConvertKit or MailerLite), and your preferred social media platforms.
How much does it cost to launch a digital product?
This can range greatly depending on your goals and budget. You can do a launch for relatively cheap if you write, build, design, and post all the parts yourself. You can have a slightly bigger budget if you want to hire someone to help with your sales copy or graphic design. And you’ll spend a bit more if you decide to invest in paid advertising.
How long should my launch be?
I recommend between 3 and 7 days for a launch. Going longer than 7 days will fatigue your audience. And less than 3 doesn’t build any momentum.
Launching a digital product can be daunting, but with the right know-how and preparation, you can ensure your launch runs smoothly. This guide has provided you with the essential tips to help you get your digital product out there in the world without breaking a sweat. So don’t wait any longer, grab a copy of the Launch Planner today and launch a digital product like a pro!