How to build demand before you launch
It’s what you feel when your favorite band announces a new worldwide tour. You get excited! You can’t wait to see them live.
Iron Maiden is one of my favorite bands. In five months I’ll be flying to Edmonton to see them in concert for the first time. But Iron Maiden didn’t just email me to announce that tickets were on sale. They built anticipation over months. Here’s the timeline:
- Three months ago: Iron Maiden announces that they’re going on a worldwide tour. This news starts to get me excited. I see they’re going to be touring in Canada. No dates or specific locations, but I’m hoping it will be near me!
- Two months ago: Maiden publishes four Canadian tour dates. Now I have a date and a location. I also know when tickets will go on sale. I put that date in my calendar.
- One month ago: “Tickets now available!” For me, this meant figuring out if I was going to fly to Edmonton or Vancouver. I start asking friends if they’re going, and buy my tickets as quick as I can.
Anticipation builds demand. Bands understand this. It’s like walking into a bakery, and the smell of fresh bread makes your mouth water.
I like how Joey Sargent articulates this here:
Mounting anticipation brings out the competitive nature in people. The longer they wait, the more they fear missing out. The more they worry about not getting what has been longed for, the more likely they are to invest greater and greater amounts of money to get that special thing.
Building anticipation during your product launch
Building demand is key. People don’t know you’ve been working on your project for months. You need to get them excited! You can’t build all that excitement on launch day. It takes multiple touchpoints to effectively wet people’s appetite.
One of the best ways to do this is with an email launch sequence. You should be collecting email addresses from day one. But don’t just email people on launch day! Build desire with your audience by sending them regular updates.
I recently published a book called Marketing for Developers. This is the launch sequence I used for the waiting list:
- 4 weeks before: announced the official launch date.
- 7 days before: gave people 7 day advanced notice. Defined who the book was for. Explained the tiers, and shared the price.
- Day before: shared sneak peek. Answered FAQs. Reiterated prices, launch discount, and tiers.
- Launch day: sent an email that just listed the packages, with prices, with direct links for people to buy.
- Day after: shared one testimonial, and then linked directly to the purchase page.
- “Last chance” email: right before the launch discount expired, I sent one more email.
You might think: “wow, that’s a lot of email to send.” But it works because each step helps create demand. Over 80% of my launch revenue came from my mailing list.
Don’t surprise people with your launch
A launch should never be a surprise. Think about Apple. Sure, they’re secretive, but they’re really good at building demand before their launch day:
- They hint about new products in press interviews.
- They release teaser ads.
- They put subtle hints in the invitations to their keynotes.
Take time to build excitement and expectation. Give people something to look forward to!
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