From Idea to product launch.

Once upon a time, getting through a product launch was a strategic and technical NIGHTMARE. It required custom scripts working in a million different directions and a tech guy on call (at the On-Call price, of course), fire extinguisher in hand for when shizz exploded (and make no mistake, shizz ALWAYS exploded). Let’s not leave out the precise moment when your server crashed and required a series of frenzied calls to your host’s support team because your cart page went on the fritz. Sound super fun! (insert sarcasm emoji here)

All hail the Universe, we’ve come a long way, baby.  Flash forward to modern day and we now have at the ready a ton of turnkey solutions for every step of our launches. The world goes ahead and heaves a collective sigh of relief.

After doing five launches that hit the million dollar mark, we’ve managed to figure out a few things to keep disaster at bay when it comes to the technical portion of your launch logistics.

Launch to-do list

Here’s the basic run down, but we’ll dive deeper into each one in just a moment:

  1. Avoid analysis paralysis. Go for software reliability.
  2. Notify your payment processors of the impending activity spike. Have a backup payment option at the ready.
  3. Set affiliate management to “last cookie” method.
  4. Set up a dedicated affiliate line or email.
  5. Ensure your landing pages are hosted on sturdy servers.
  6. Host your videos on Youtube.
  7. Train your support staff well, and stay in communication.
  8. Be sure you can easily manage your content delivery system and that it integrates with your payment processor. Test. Test. Test.

Now, let’s get into what that all means…

First, it’s soooooo easy to get lost in the abyss of options. We’ve all gone down that rabbit hole a time or ten. There are tons of products that do a ton of things. So, don’t spend a ton of time analyzing to death each and every one. A simple guideline is to go for reliability.

You can also save yourself some trouble and check out our Company Tool Kit.   If we’re using it, you know it’s been tested and is reliable.

If you’re navigating this territory on a maiden voyage and we haven’t listed what you need, keep reliability at the top of the necessity checklist. Can you trust the software? Great. Try to avoid getting bogged down by analysis paralysis.

Second, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS notify the account representative at your payment processors that there is going to be a spike in activity. This includes Paypal and all merchant banks. Nothing screams “fraud” like an account suddenly seeing thousands (hopefully) of payments come through in just a few days. You don’t want to find out mid-launch that your payment processor has either blocked you or will be holding your money for 180 days. The HORROR! That may as well be forever for some of us.

This can be very destructive in terms of affiliate payout and expenses, so be sure to get on the horn, let your payment processor know what’s happening, and budget for any limitations they want to put on your account. It also helps to have a backup for accepting payments that you can quickly swap if things go south. The peace of mind this affords alone is worth it. It’s always a good use of your time to do whatever you can to ward off the evil spirits.

Third, set your affiliate management program to credit the sale to the LAST affiliate who sent the person to your page. This is also called the “last cookie” method. Multiple affiliates can send a person to a page, but the last one before the sale is the one who should get credit.

Fourth, be sure to keep an open, dedicated line or email for your affiliates to contact you. Before and during your launch, your partners may need direct access or help. If the line is dedicated to this purpose, you’re more apt to answer quickly and allow your affiliates to feel cared for, as they should.

Fifth, when it comes to landing pages, you can choose to use either your own WordPress site or any of the page builders out there. If you are gearing up for a huge launch, be sure to use a robust server, and talk to them about caching options so you can keep the database load low.

Sixth, host your videos on Youtube. When you have a launch and are getting good traffic, your bandwidth bills can skyrocket with video hosts that charge you. Youtube is reliable, it never breaks and it works right out of the box.

That said, with Youtube you’ll be sacrificing advanced video analytics, such as time stamp they click away, however you can always get that data later on if you turn the presentation into an EverWebinar. Hint hint.

Sidebar*** If you’re wondering if webinars should be a part of your business plan, either live or automated, the answer is a resounding “Absolutely!” Having live elements like scarcity and urgency adds a pricelessness that is hard to replicate without it.

Next, #7, let’s talk about helpdesks. There are a number of helpdesk solutions from self-hosted small scripts to full-fledged customer management systems. You absolutely MUST have a helpdesk where people can reach out to you. Be sure to train your support team about the product with pre-sales questions in mind. No matter how in depth your presentation is, people WILL ask questions before they purchase. Plus, a knowledgeable support staff is a great reinforcement of your sales message.

 Help desk agentMake it a point to communicate with your support staff on the regular. Things can change quickly and unpredictably during a launch. You’ll be pitching offers, bonuses, and discounts everywhere. It is imperative to keep your support team in the loop so they know how to handle customer issues. Do not let them flounder.

Last, but not least, the 8th point on the list… Content delivery. Set up a simple members area using Amember, Kajabi, or Kartra (when it’s ready). Whichever one you choose depends wholly on your specific needs – just be sure that it is easy to setup and manage, and that it integrates with your payment processor.

Once you know the content delivery system integrates with your payment processor or processors, please TEST it. Then, test it again. Have your friends test it, too. Be sure every purchase creates an account and sends out the login details. If this final check isn’t working consistently, it needs an immediate fix.

Follow these guidelines and prepare to have a successful, sane, no sweat product launch!


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