Have you ever wondered about the difference between a website launch, service launch and product launch—and better yet, what that difference means for you?
Welp, today I’m breaking it all down. [*cue cheesy dance moves*]
“I just had a launch, but it didn’t go so well.” ⬅️⬅️ hear this ONE too many times as a launch copywriter, and ya make a video. 😉 It comes down to expectations, because the word “launch” (i.e. a marketing campaign) means different things to different people. In this video and blog, I’m outlining the bigger differences in a website launch, a product launch, and launching your services—even if you think you don’t have anything to “launch” … you do. Applying pressure and a campaign can absolutely help you get more clients.
By the end of this post, you’re going to know the difference in launching a website versus launching a service or product and how to set your expectations (and plan your actions) accordingly.
I’m also going to give you 3 “hot take strategies” for each of those, specifically things that I see work/not work as a launch copywriter to more than 5,000 students and more than 150 1-on-1 clients.
Over the past few weeks onmy channel, I have tried to demystify the word “launch.”
Hopefully I’ve helped you understand the concept of a launch as a marketing campaign and what a launch copywriter’s job is in all of that. My goal is to encourage you to set up sustainable marketing rhythms in your creative small business (check out last week’s YouTube video for more on this). Like I’ve said before, launch is just a fancy word for a promotional period or marketing campaign, usually with some sort of pressure built around it.
How to Launch Your Services
Here’s the deal with launching your services—it is usually a big ol’ missed opportunity chiefly because of not applying pressure. If you have ongoing services that you provide day in and day out in but you’ve never applied any sort of pressure to the booking aspect of that—it’s worth trying.
It’s going to be really hard to commit somebody to book a 1-on-1 package if you’ve never given them a reason to make that decision—it’s like when you have that tab up with some cute sweatshirt that you wanted to buy and you never have a reason to go back to get it. What I mean here: your people may be deciding not to decide or unconsciously deciding not to make a decision. Just like closing the browser tabs made you miss out on the sweatshirt.
I honestly believe by NOT baking some kind of campaign around your services, you’re going to have to devote mental brain space to constantly filling spots—let me explain.
When to do it: When you have a set number of spots to fill. Back to the chalkboard I mentioned in my video two weeks ago—you really need to know your slots! You can do a promo campaign about your services every quarter or twice a year, whatever works for you. I will say, I booked myself 9 months out one time and I’ll never do that again. The goal with a service provider launch is to make a big deal about a specific service you offer, remind people you’re booking, and then book up those spots.
3 hot-take tips on launching your service:
Tip No. 1: Drive urgency. Now with this, you want to make sure that offer message is crystal clear and it’s easy to understand what is included in your service. I’m not going into detail about that now—I’ve already gone more in depth about the differences in a sales page and a service page and how you can hybrid the two, especially if you have a more high-ticket service—check it out here.
Let’s talk strategy and urgency: How can you help coach your people to understand that your services won’t be available forever? How can you drive them to take action? I’ve got some ideas:
- I always think this is the most low-hanging fruit—offer a limited number of spots. Last time I checked, your time wasn’t infinitely available. You, even if you haven’t really sat down and figured it out, will have a set number of clients that you can actually take on. So, limited quantities.
- You can also repackage and reshape your offerings. I did this last year when I launched day rates for the first time. I’d kind of been doing this all along, but I’d never put together a package where it was a named concept in and of itself. I had a set number of day rates—they booked out—when they were done, they were done… it did great.
- Maybe you’re offering limited versions of a design or a productized service that you have.
- Maybe you can start a bunch of clients at once and take them through in sort of a group coaching or incubator style model. That way there’s an urgency to the start and end date.
- Lastly, maybe it is a discount. One time I hopped on a call with a coach I really wanted to work with and the coaching package was $6,000. They offered me a $1,000 discount if I booked on the phone. I definitely whipped out my credit card and booked—you bet I was encouraged to save that money.
Tip No.2 : Use a hype piece. You need to pick a vehicle to talk up what you do. Again, if you don’t tell people about what you do, they don’t know—you can’t fault them for that. (Psst—when I say hype piece, it’s something I talk about in my Primed to Launch™ program, I’m talking about a “pep rally” sort of a concept.)
How can you let your people know what’s going on and hype them up for the main event (the service)?
Maybe it’s a series of live videos, a workshop, or a webinar. Maybe your hype piece is big opt-in that strategically hits a potential client that would be a great fit for a 1-on-1 service—you then have a nurture sequence where you can lead into booking a consult call with you.
Tip No. 3: Overcome objections with your pre-launch content. As soon as you start to put your offer out there, you’re going to hear the objections about why people can’t buy it. It’s okay, it’s natural. I LOVE figuring this out with clients, by asking even when you offer this, why will they say no? The other day on a project call a client said: “they’ll say they know it all, even if they still need the support” so BOOM town, we talked through the idea of putting out pre-launch content that tells the audience why they need to purchase.
How to Launch Your Website
These definitely all come down to expectations. This is the type of launch or marketing campaign that you are going to put out when you’ve got a new website or even just a website refresh. Remember, this is the type of launch out of the three that is *least* likely to lead to the money right away—that’s okay!
3 hot-take tips on launching your website:
Tip No. 1: Set realistic expectations. The biggest thing I can say here is why on earth does it matter for people to go to your website unless you tell them why or give them a reason? If you’re not figuring out why your website launch matters to your people, that’s hurting you. What’s in it for them if they visit? Otherwise, it’s just a yay comment on your Instagram—that’s another thing we need to talk about…
Tip No. 2: Couple it with a KPI that you can track as a lead, like your email list. Traffic stats are great—but I care about if you captured these people to follow up with them.
- How can you go ahead and capture that traffic when they land on your website right away?
- Can you pump out a brand new opt-in or a low price offer that they can only get during that launch week on your website?
- Can you hide Easter eggs or coupons all around your website and give your people a scavenger hunt to go through?
- Can you go big and have some sort of giveaway in tandem with your launch?
Find out ways for your audience to engage with you in your website launch. Don’t just make this passive for them.
Tip No. 3: Run quality assurance. When you’ve looked at your website so many times—it’s easy to overlook things. Have you put in SEO properly with page titles, meta descriptions, and alt tags? Are all of your forms functioning? Is the thank you page redirecting properly? Do all of the links work?
This may sound basic—but these things will never be easier to check off all at once than right before you launch your website, so make sure you get it done.
How to Launch Your Product
Now let’s talk about product launches, the type of launch that most of us in the digital space are very familiar with. I want you to understand the reasoning behind applying some energy to your offers so you can do it in a way that channels your efforts and works for you.
When I say product, I mean physical or digital, physical being like a hand-dyed ribbon collection or line of curated boxes, and a digital product being something online or virtual, like a collection of templates or courses.
3 hot-take tips on launching your product:
Tip No. 1: Focus on your cart page BIG time. What can you do to have a better cart page? First and foremost: include testimonials—collect good testimonials and put them in place. Then you need to remind them of the entire offer stack they get, down to the bonuses and what all is inside with your guarantee listed. When they click on the buy button, do they feel like you’re money snatching? Are they feeling like you have their back on this? Where can they reach out if they have questions—can you give them a phone number? A Google voice number?
Now those are some main factors on your check-out page, but thinking back to the page before the check out page, it’s probably a short to long form sales page.
Tip No. 2: Let copy dictate design, NOT the other way around. Don’t you dare let conversion die on the hill of pretty. I see this constantly as a problem in the creative realm and it’s a hill I’m definitely willing to die on 😉 Let me be clear: the design functions as a vehicle to help them consume the message on your sales page. You have to make this page digestible to all the types of scenarios—the person who’s just checking it out, just skimming and needs all the headlines to clearly help her decide what section is what, different sections are in there for different personalities. Some need the stories, some need to understand the long term game and strategy.
People read long copy. They don’t read boring copy.
They also don’t read poorly designed copy that they can’t get through.
Sales page is a new fangled word for sales letter: a strategic vessel to help someone understand an offer and what’s on the line if they choose not to purchase. Do not let design get in the way of that—I could soapbox on this forever.
Tip No. 3: Leak about it. You’ll notice the more you launch something or have it available the more people know you have it, duh, but sometimes in the craziness of launches, we forget this. Your goal with your first launch may be to get it out, make back your investment, and pay yourself for a couple of weeks. That’s ok. Brand and product awareness is *really* hard to measure—it is one of the intangible parts of a launch.
You have no idea how many people are looking at what you put out thinking wow, I want to get that in 6 months, I just can’t right now. The first time I launched my productivity course, this was half the battle: people knew me as a copywriter, getting them to understand I could teach productivity was another thing entirely. Now? That course sells super well, because people know I’m the girl who can get ish done. 😉
Now that you understand the difference in the types of launches and that when you’re not in launch you’re pretty much in prelaunch—that can feel like a whole lot of content. Make sure to watch last week’s video on my YouTube channel—I take you through how I repurpose content over, and over, and over again in my business.
Overall, no matter what type of launch, website, product, or service you’re doing, there are things you’re going to be doing regardless. You’re getting clear on your message, doing some sort of audience building, you likely have some sort of PR or ad campaign, and you have some pre-launch content—stay tuned, I’m going to talk about that in a couple of weeks on my blog & YouTube channel!
Remember this: when you’re not in launch, you’re in pre-launch.
If all of these things are swimming around in your head right now, no fear.
Grab my launch copy and content checklist freebie. Thousands of creatives have grabbed it and enjoyed it—I think it may help you out as well.