By Nik Sharma
Happy Sunday! (and Happy Easter!)
If you’re reading this, I hope you’re full from eating some good food and you’re kicked back with your feet up and have a bottle of water with some Waterboy mixed in — they don’t have the sweetest taste, but they hydrate you really fast!
I quietly launched my website — nik.co — and it’s got all my old newsletters as well. Under “About”, just click “Resources” and boom! A big shoutout to Diamond Hook for their work on that website.
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If there’s one thing that does a good job spiking revenue and also creates new avenues to attract new consumers to your brand, it’s a good product launch.
New product launches, or even something as low-lift as merch (sweats, hats, socks, etc), have always done well with our Sharma Brands clients to create some hype, get previous customers excited, build brand loyalty, and get new audiences in the door. Without naming clients specifically, I’ll walk through some of the things we do, to make sure we nail the launch.
Every good product launch starts with a good landing page, and sometimes with 2 versions to start. If you have 2, that’s because one is meant to drive sales with existing customers, and one is meant to educate consumers about why they should buy it, like a normal landing page.
You want to make sure the first headline of copy they read addresses exactly what benefits someone gets from buying the new product. Think of it like someone is coming to a party with a ton of hype. If they open the door and right away they’re not standing with their jaw dropped, then you’ve already lost.
Then, like a normal landing page, focus on all the things that make up that new product or collection. Answer the same questions over and over again:
- What is this product?
- Why does this company deserve to launch it?
- What do I get out of it, as a customer?
- Why is now the best time to buy/try it?
- How do I get it fast (in the context of site UX, not shipping speed)?
If you’re driving to a page for existing or past customers, then I would highly recommend throwing in a little % off. There is a big difference between offering no discount and 15% off as a discount, with the discount winning. But when going between percentages, the difference is much smaller. People want a discount, for the sake of having a discount, not always for the monetary savings, especially if they’re already a customer.
If you can’t make landing pages in-house, then I would recommend HOOX.co — landing pages as a product.
A Creative Campaign/Messaging Angle
Have you ever heard when a performer says the crowd gives them energy when they’re on stage? It’s because energy can be easily reciprocated when it’s there to begin with. That’s why when you launch something new, you need an exciting campaign that gets people excited, themselves.
If it’s not a full campaign, cause that’s not always a bootstrapped-friendly option, then I definitely recommend going overboard with good copywriting. When we launched Poo~Pourri’s bidet, the leading copy was, “Meet the new lean, mean, booty-cleaning machine by Poo~Pourri”.
You want something people will remember, that’s uniquely tied to your launch.
Ads (creative, media, channels)
Once you have a lander built out and an idea behind your messaging/campaign, it’s time to get some eyeballs.
Make some ad creative. Whatever works well for your brand, or maybe for this space (if the product is far from what you currently sell)… make that.
UGC? Reach out to customers, seed product, see what people think, capture it, edit it. Animation? Animate it! Reaction videos? Go film some content, hand it to the editor, and export. Use editing to emphasize that it’s a new product or that people can place a pre-order.
I would deploy that creative on your paid media channels you run — TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snap, etc. If your ads start doing well, juice them (and finance it, for cheap, with Wayflyer).
Outside of digital, you can run some very efficient direct mail with a partner like PostPilot. Post Pilot is direct mail on steroids, compared to other vendors we’ve worked with, and this strategy works especially well for consumable products (personal care, snacks, etc).
If you’re looking to drive retail traffic for this launch, or just want to hit the gas harder, then you can run some efficient out-of-home ads. Quan Media Group does this really well with DTC brands who want to stay performance-oriented and retarget people who saw the ad (it’s possible!).
You could also work with a partner like Adgile where you get on the side of trucks for an efficient fee and then retarget people on digital channels, who saw the truck on its route. Big shoutout to the technology behind collecting mobile device IDs for retargeting!
Your existing customers are really who will be your true partner in any product launch. They don’t do any of the upfront work, but when you launch something it’s their dollars, their reviews, their word of mouth, their earned media content, and their excitement that’s going to propel the growth in the early days of a new product.
Give your existing customers the ability to buy before it’s available for everyone else, and with a discount. Encourage them to share on social media, or to write a review with their honest thoughts for your site. If you’re using Tapcart as a store channel, give it to your Tapcart customers before anywhere else to also drive installs of the app.
A random idea — host a virtual event with your customers who want to attend, and share more with them — what went into the product, who created it, why was it created, etc. It adds another dimension to just an email/text alert or an ad.
Earned Media (PR, creators)
When something launches, you want hype. Hype requires good products and earned media. Here is the checklist for what you want to have ready to go:
- Trade/industry press (great for b2b accounts + buyers)
- Consumer press (great for visibility + awareness)
- Affiliate/internet sites (great for driving profitable sales)
- Brand super fans with large followings (awareness)
- Influential niche creators (great to reach a more targeted audience with validation)
Past influencer relationships (you’ve already worked with them, send them the new product on the house)
In addition to driving awareness, this solves the void of what happens when someone Google searches your product and doesn’t see anything motivating or promising, encouraging them to buy it.
Do. Not. Go. Out. Of. Stock. If you have a launch that does incredibly well, you have to do everything in your power to not go out of stock. I recommend connecting Cogsy to your store fast, so you get an alert as soon as their AI thinks you need to place a re-order.
You will not only piss off customers pretty quickly but also the person who’s running growth and has to shut off some efficient campaigns.
What else do you do that I forgot to include? Just hit “Reply” and send it. Even though it’s now a workweek.com email address, it’s still Gmail, and I get everything myself!
On to some fun stuff…
Vendor of the Week:
Black Crow AI — The First Party Data Audience Retargeting Platform Worth Trying
If you’re the founder, growth marketer, media buyer, or CMO of a DTC brand spending more than $40,000 per month on Facebook, this is for you.
Black Crow is fancy software, but here’s the punchline: Black Crow uses its AI technology to create the most efficient retargeting segments. Using data points it picks up with its own pixel (location, device type, scroll depth, time on site, source of traffic, and hundreds of other signals), it will virtually narrow down your site traffic to what it considers high-quality prospects, allow you to load it into your ads manager, and make those campaigns more efficient.
You get ROAS improvement, CPA reduction, and you can make up for some of the performance that was lost with Tim Apple’s major update.
Bearaby used Black Crow for Facebook, Snap, and Google retargeting audiences and saw their ROAS go up by 120%. They’re just one of many case studies with DTC brands.
You don’t need to be alone and have ROAS FOMO, click here and get your own demo of Black Crow AI!
Jobs of the Week:
- Long Wknd — General Manager
- Gateway X — Brand Manager
- ASYSTEM — Growth Lead
PS — A few people reached out asking to have a job featured here. You can just submit it here, and magically it’ll appear in this section!
Brand of the Week:
Double Soul — The socks you didn’t know you needed until you slip them on for the first time
I met the founders of Double Soul at a dinner a few weeks ago and ordered some to try. They’re SO comfortable but also stylish and very chic.
The sock itself is made sustainably with a recycled blend, colored with earth-safe dyes, and arrived in recycled packaging. It’ll be fun to see how this brand evolves, but I’m excited for whatever they’re launching next, based on these socks! Try them, here.
Question of the Week:
What’s your favorite restaurant you’ve ever been to, and why (in one sentence)?
Reply to this email with the answer. Whoever has the best answers will have their answer featured next week in the newsletter & get a $50 MadHappy gift card!
That’s all for this week!
I hope you enjoyed the newsletter and were able to pick up a couple of valuable nuggets. Get those 9 hours of sleep tonight, stay hydrated and stay safe! I’ll see you in a week! 😊