Do Product Launches Still Work?

rocket.jpgYou may be wondering if product launches “still work”. Marketers ask this question all the time. Everyone knows how to do it (or more accurately stated: they think they know how to do it), but is it still worth doing? Why?

Using product launches is a great strategy, one that works as well as ever. However, the “standard” product launches aren't producing the same results that they did a year ago.

By “standard” I mean: copying only the externally obvious tactics, and neglecting the psychological triggers that make launches so effective. The only person I know of who teaches those triggers is the guy who invented the whole idea: Jeff Walker.

To make a successful product launch now, you need to follow a formula. Let's face it, all the low-hanging fruit has already been picked. But with this formula, created by Jeff Walker, you can have a successful product launch. Here's an example…

You may have heard of the Membership Site Bootcamp launch. Jeff was the quarterback for that launch (I wrote much of the copy), which created $1.7 million in the first week! So, yes, product launches are still an effective way to create a profit windfall.

I encourage you to check out Jeff's Product Launch Formula. Even if you don't plan on purchasing his course, he still gives away great free information on this site.

Here are three tactics you can use to boost launch results:

Use a “reverse squeeze page”. This term was created by John Reese, I believe, and not too long ago at that. In this case, you offer free content before you ask for their opt-in information. As an example, you offer them a free article or video. At the end, advise clients that you will be creating more of the same. “If you'd like to get more videos absolutely free, fill in your name and e-mail address.” In this case, you give something to get something.

Give them your best material up front, for free.

No, I'm not crazy.

When I suggest this, the most common response is, “But if I give them my best stuff for free, there won't be anything to sell them!” In fact, this is not a problem. The great copywriter Eugene Schwartz, author of Breakthrough Advertising, pioneered this method, and it works! He found that when you gave away something terrific, people's perceived value of your other products increases. Readers think, “WOW! If this is what they give away for free, their other stuff must be incredible!”

So what happens if they get into your site and find that your product isn't as good as the stuff you gave away free? That's when you benefit from the “Halo Effect”. People will be amazed by your great freebies, and so credit your saleable material as being better than it may actually be. It takes no manipulation on your part.

Share your story with your sublist.
Don't e-mail them to tell them that you're going to sell to them (“watch your email Monday!”). That's not a story – it's a statement. People love stories. Offer them personal insights into the business, tell them how the launch is progressing, or take them to blog posts. Use all the principals of influence that Jeff teaches in his course. It's worth it!

I highly recommend Jeff's Product Launch Formula, and think it's a wise investment. If you can't get it right now, use these three tips for your next product launch. You'll improve your conversions and get more business.

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at

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  • Ray:

    Were you involved in Armand Morin’s 18 January 2008 launch of his new product: Internet Marketing Explained?.

    I noticed that you provided an outstanding audio/video testimonial. Very nice.

    Also, can you give us some inside scoop on the outsourcing that led to the outstanding preview styled movie called “The Re-launch”.


    • Ray Edwards

      I was involved, yes; I did not write the copy. He wrote that himself (Armand is a great copywriter, even though he claims not to be).

      As to the movie, Armand dreamed it up and did the storyboarding.

      I think he hired a video guy to do the special effects, although he often does his own video stuff just because he loves doing it.

      The voice guy is a friend of mine from my days in the radio business.

  • Cheryl Antier

    Hey Ray,

    I have to add something to this (I know, surprise, surprise!) But I had something interesting happen last week. First of all, I am always on the lookout for great products or services that I can recommend to my clients. But I have a rule that I don’t recommend things I haven’t tried out personally.

    So when I’m checking someone out, I usually start by signing up for their list, and seeing what kind of “free” information they provide. And then I check out their products, and see if there’s something that will help my clients – and if there is, I buy it and try it myself.

    So anyway, I found this guy that gives great free stuff. I’ve been thrilled. And then I ordered one of his products – (the sales page was fantastic – in fact, it made me wish I’d written it!) And I waited patiently. (Sometimes shipping to the south of France takes forever.)

    And when I got it, I read it in like an hour – and I was totally disappointed. I not only didn’t find anything new in it, but for a workbook that was supposed to make things easier for me to do a specific task – I was still the one doing all the research and spending all the time and doing everything by myself – so I felt like I could have gotten the same results without his product.

    So I requested a refund. (That’s something that I’ve only done three times I think in the last four years.)

    Anyway, here’s where I think this guy’s customer service fell down. When I asked for the refund, I explained why I wasn’t satisfied, and then I offered to call their customer service department and answer specific questions as to why I wasn’t satisfied with the product – and I mentioned that I liked everything else I’d seen of this guy’s.

    And I never heard back from them, other than a form letter saying my refund had been processed.

    So while for me the “halo effect” that you talked about didn’t work – I do feel like they also missed to very important steps after their product launch. The first was not to make sure that the product lived up to its sales copy, and the second was not to have someone follow up with me (and any other dis-satisifed customer to ask specific questions and really grill me!) When I’m working with a new client who’s getting ready to launch – or relaunch – a product, one of my first questions is always who has tried it that hasn’t liked it and why not! Don’t you think you can get a lot of really great information – for answering objections, fixing and tweaking problems, writing articles, even press releases…from the “bad” stuff? Or is that just me? (Sorry this is so long again – I’m going to work on that, I promise!)

  • Ray Edwards


    Great comments.

    Don’t you think you can get a lot of really great information – for answering objections, fixing and tweaking problems, writing articles, even press releases…from the “bad” stuff?

    Yes, you are correct. Most companies don’t bother to do that, though.

  • Do product launches still work?

    Of course launches still work.

    Launches are getting more sophisticated.
    Yet, the fundamentals remain the same.

    Even after the top marketers stop using them,
    the fundamentals behind them will continue to work.