product launches Archives - Jeff Walker

The Real Reason I Wrote A Book (+ BOOK UPDATE)

by on May 18 2014
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The reaction to the blog post about my book FINALLY being done was AMAZING. There were over 170 comments, and it was fun reading so many peoples’ thoughts and ideas. So I shot this BOOK UPDATE video to share the real reason why I wrote the book, a preview of what’s going to be inside the book, why the subtitle of the book is so long, and a lot more…

Since this is just the beginning of this story, I’d love to hear your thoughts – please leave a comments below…

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The Rest of the Story Behind Those Launches

by on Aug 27 2013
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You know those tales of Product Launches that do thousands in a week, or six figures in seven days… or my story of a million dollars in a single hour? Well, there’s something else going on behind the scenes… here’s the rest of the story… (along with a a peak at my new Secret Headquarters!)

I would love to hear about what you think… please leave a comment below (and please like my Facebook page here)

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The Product Launch Parachute

by on Feb 01 2011
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I thought you might like a bit of a peak behind-the-curtain into a major product launch that’s happening right now…

As I type this Eben Pagan’s launch for his “Self Made Wealth” program is going to be closing down in a few hours.

And this is a launch that’s had a few twists and turns. It hasn’t been all beauty and grace.

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, Eben is a good friend of mine and I have huge respect for him and his business training products. I’ve actually attended three different workshops he put on – that was a total of 12 very long days of listening to Eben teach.

And trust me, it takes an awful lot to get me to sit in a conference room listening to 12 days of lectures!

In any case, Eben’s almost done with this launch – and there’s something that’s a bit unusual for one of his launches…

It didn’t go so well.

Or to be more accurate, it didn’t start off so well.

Now before I go any further, let me say this… I think the actual product – “Self Made Wealth” is AWESOME. And I think it’s really, really important – it’s the material that everyone needs.

I mean, not everyone needs a product about SEO or about outsourcing – or even about product launches.

But I think everyone NEEDS to understand how money works, and how wealth works. Because a lot of it is counterintuitive… and our brains are naturally wired to screw up our finances. Plus, lots of us have really bad “mental programming” when it comes to money and wealth.

So I think the product is IMPORTANT. And I think that Eben’s course does an amazing job of teaching it – taking a complex subject and making it understandable AND actionable.

So why didn’t the launch go so well, and what’s this “Product Launch Parachute”?

Well, in my opinion… people aren’t so interested in buying “education” these days. And I think, in most people’s minds, education about wealth is a bit removed from what they really want – which is actually having more money in their pockets.

In other words, people just want more money. They don’t care about learning about wealth.

I’m not saying that’s smart – in fact, I think it’s very short-sighted. But, in my opinion, that’s the way many (most?) people actually think.

And so, in my opinion, Eben’s offer just didn’t have the “gotta have it” appeal that it needed to sell to the masses.

(And just so I don’t come off as some Johnny-come-lately, I actually had this exact conversation with Eben before the launch… I called him and told him I was worried about his offer for these very reasons.)

In any case, Eben opened the launch last week… and the sales on the first couple of days were pretty slow. Don’t get me wrong… he still made more money on those days than 99.9% of the people in the developed world – but he didn’t get the huge sales numbers that we’re used to seeing from one of these big launches.

But this is where the “Product Launch Parachute” came into play…

You see, the Product Launch Parachute is something that I taught in my latest version of Product Launch Formula.

Basically, when you’re in one of these launches, you can afford to make some pretty major mistakes… and still come out fine. There’s lots of reasons for the Parachute – but two of the biggest are:

1) since you’re giving out great content, you build up a huge amount of goodwill during the prelaunch that people are very engaged and forgiving.

2) you get so much feedback during the launch that you can really read the pulse of the market… and you can re-adjust your strategies to meet the market demand.

And that’s exactly what Eben did…

He looked at the feedback, and he realized that in addition to the wealth training, he needed to give some great BUSINESS training. In other words, people wanted to know how to *make* money, not just a way to manage it and grow their wealth.

So after a couple of days of scrambling, Eben put together a massive bonus offer for Self Made Wealth… an offer that included two complete business training programs (with a total real-world value of $3,994). And that was just the START of the bonus package… there was LOTS more in the new offer.

According to Eben, it is literally his highest value offer that he’s every had.

But the important part about the bonus was not the crazy over-the-top value… the important part was that the bonus filled in a big gap that lots of people perceived in the offer. They were interested in the “wealth and money” part… but they really wanted training on how to put that money in their pockets in the first place.

And the results?

Well the Product Launch Parachute came through… the day after the new bonus offer was announced was the BEST DAY of the launch – and the next day was EVEN BETTER.

And the orders are spiking today in a HUGE way. Of course, it’s the last day of the launch and the product is getting pulled off the market tonight… so the big spike today is pretty typical. People like to wait until the last second to jump onboard. It happens every time.

In any case, that’s a real-time story of how the Product Launch Parachute came through once again.

And in the end, Eben ended up with a very successful launch… AND he did it by creating more value with a better offer – so he wins, and his new students win as well.

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Paula Abdul and Product Launches…

by on Jun 10 2010
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Paula Abdul and Jeff WalkerSo a couple of days ago I flew into San Francisco – I was going there to give a talk at Brendon Burchard’s “Expert’s Academy” workshop.

When I stepped off the plane in San Francisco I had no freaking clue that within an hour I would be helping “blueprint” a product launch for Paula Abdul – a product launch that will likely kick off with appearances on all the biggest talk shows on network TV.

(That should make for a nice pre-prelaunch!)

What a crazy world… I start the day flying out of my one-gate airport in tiny Durango, CO and a few hours later I’m helping strategize the best way to use a series of appearances on the biggest TV network talk shows as part of a product launch.

This is the deal… it was one of those times when all the travel went smoothly. Got off the plane in San Francisco on time, found my driver right away… and made it to the hotel in no time.

I walked into the lobby and there was my old friend Frank Kern and new friend Dean Graziosi (Dean is on TV every day, and his company does $1 million in sales every WEEK – all driven by infomercials).

Turns out Dean is working with Paula Abdul on releasing a new product… and he was hoping to get some help from Frank and I with figuring out a product launch sequence. It was all a surprise to me, but it sounded cool – so we got right into it.

And that’s how I ended up sitting at a table with Paula Abdul, and Frank and Dean… doing some big picture strategic planning for this launch.

Now frankly, I don’t have any idea about the inner workings of all those TV talk shows (it sounds like there’s a lot of gamesmanship about which show you’re going to appear on when) but I’ve got a pretty good idea on how to drive a TON of traffic from an appearance on those shows (think of the most famous TV talk shows – yeah, you know the ones I’m talking about. Household names. Millions and millions of viewers.)

And trust me, Paula and her manager were VERY interested in our strategies. Paula told me that mainstream Hollywood is just starting to wake up to Internet Marketing… and that the agents and studios are both fascinated by it and scared to death of it.

(What’s really cool is that Paula’s launch is for a product that could make a serious – and very positive – impact on the hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. and beyond. Within minutes of meeting Paula, it was obvious she’s got a HUGE heart and she’s on a mission to help a lot of people. And with Dean’s help, she’s been able to tap into our crazy world of Internet Marketing, and the whole product launch world.)

Which all goes back to my “Powered by Internet Marketing” blog post… as I mentioned, us Internet Marketers are going to continue to play a larger and larger role in “real world” big business. It’s going to happen gradually at first… but look out world, here we come.

- Jeff

P.S. I didn’t forget about that Flip video contest… we had soooo many amazing comments in the “Powered by Internet Marketing” post. In fact… it got me EVEN MORE fired up… and I’m going to be expanding on what Internet Marketing means to me… but for now I just want to announce a winner for the Flip.

So here we go… the winner is Mel with comment #83. Congratulations! You’ll be getting an email from Betty on my team to arrange for shipment.

P.P.S. A product launch for a major celebrity using mainstream TV… pretty cool, eh?

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Fake Server Crashes and Marketing Morons

by on Jun 03 2010
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So last week, after a couple of months of preparation, I rolled out this new blog and published the very first post… and then I emailed my list to tell everyone about it.

And the server crashed.

Which was really, really lame… but on one level it was sorta funny – because there’s this “conspiracy theory” out there about people intentionally crashing their servers during product launches.

The only problem with that theory is that it’s completely insane. It would be an idiotic move.

OK, so once and for all… just in case there is any confusion – NO ONE who has a clue wants their server to go down when they launch. It’s a horror show and an embarrassment when it happens.

The whole point of a launch is to do your best to focus all buying emotion onto your launch day. You don’t want to frustrate people with a “Server Not Found” message at that moment.

There are all kinds of great analogies here… but just think about spending a lot of time getting a romantic partner ready for a special, romantic time, and then at the last second saying “never mind“… not good. Same thing with a product launch.

With my PLF 2.0 launch, my server crashed within 30 seconds of opening the shopping cart. The server was down for about 36 minutes.

That was an agonizing 36 minutes… and they cost me $20-30,000 in customer service costs. Those are hard costs I can quantify.

The costs I can’t quantify are the lost sales because I frustrated people… I have no idea what that was, but I’m willing to bet it was at least $100,000 in sales. Maybe a lot more. I’m sure it also cost me a fortune in goodwill.

Not to mention what this does to your affiliates… it’s pretty embarrassing to send an email to affiliates saying “Mail, mail, mail NOW” and then 15 minutes later to send an email that says “Don’t mail, don’t mail! We’re having server problems”… not good. Really, really, really not good.

Trust me, you don’t want your server to crash when you launch. It’s a disaster.

Now there’s a second thing… and that’s the idea of “pretending” that your server crashed – and then using that as an excuse to send an email to your list telling them that the server crashed.

The theory is that it gives the marketer a reason to email the list a second time, and conceivably builds some social proof about demand for an offer.

I’m sure this happens. I have no idea how often, but I’m sure it happens. Personally, I think it’s really lame. It’s a lie, and I don’t think good things happen when you lie to your list.

And besides, it’s just way too easy to come up with other reasons to mail your list. No reason to make up a lie about a server crash.

In any case, our blog crash last week wasn’t even for a real product launch… I was just launching this blog.

It was really nuts – the server was just overwhelmed by the traffic. That really shouldn’t have happened – the traffic came from me emailing my list… but this is the deal, the traffic really shouldn’t have been enough to take down the server.

And since the traffic was being driven from my email, it was somewhat “muted”… in other words, it wasn’t like I said “we’re going live at noon” and everyone was sitting at the site hitting the refresh button.

Now THAT is hard on a server.

But the traffic from an email is more gradual… and the spike will come on gradually over about the first 30 minutes after you mail.

In any case, our hosting company (Liquidweb’s Storm On Demand) enabled an “advanced firewall” to stop ALL the traffic while they rebuilt everything from scratch… on a bigger, more powerful server.

(Lucky for us… that process only took about 20 minutes, because we were theoretically using a “cloud” hosting service… unfortunately, the Storm On Demand service doesn’t scale automatically… at least as of now.)

In the end, once the dust settled, we decided to move everything over to a new host (once we realized the situation, that decision took about three seconds)… and our new host seems to have a more robust capability of scaling immediately whenever needed.

We finished that move yesterday… which means I’m free to put up a new post about it today.  :-)

So that’s the deal with the server… and I hope I cleared a few things up. Bottom line, you don’t want your server going down. And if you run into someone who acts like they know what they’re talking about – and they suggest it would be good “social proof” if your server crashed… well all that means is that you’re talking to a marketing moron.

OK, this post was originally going to be about the AMAZING reaction to my last blog entry — Powered By Internet Marketing – I was thrilled to see so many people share their thoughts… but I decided I needed to cover this whole “server crash” thing because there’s SO much mis-information about it.

So I’m going to hold off until my next post to give my reaction to the awesome conversation in that last blog post… and then there’s that little detail about announcing the winner of that Flip video camera – I’ll do that in my next post as well.

So that’s it for now. Just remember, you do NOT want any server crashes. They just plain suck.

- Jeff

P.S. I would love to hear your take on all this… the fabled “server crash” controversy, as well as all the other myths that fly around about product launches. Some of the stuff I hear is just plain weird… let me know your thoughts in the comments section…

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