2 Sure Ways to Launch a New Product Online. And 2 Sure Ways to Blow It.
Ian Lurie Jan 22 2008
You’ve got something new, and nifty. You’re excited about it. Of course everyone else wants to know about it, too. But how to get the word out?
2 Good Ways To Get The Word Out On the Internet
Both these methods are about audience building. You build audience by giving them information, not a sales pitch. David Ogilvy knew that, long before the internets came along.
- Find the 50 most influential writers and bloggers in your space. For example, if you’re a travel company, find travel bloggers. If you’re a car company, find the car sites. Then send them one of your product, for free, with a personal note asking them to please review it. They’ll write about it.
- 6-12 months before your product launch, start your own blog. Establish your authority in your product’s space. If you’re writing an internet marketing book, blog about that (cough cough). But don’t just talk about how wonderful you are, either. Give them useful information. When your product launches, you’ll have a prefabricated audience.
Yes, these things take time and effort. They even cost some money (gasp). But do a little math, will ya?:
If you get 10 relatively influential folks to write about you, then at least 100 bloggers who haven’t had a creative thought in their lives will pick up the story and run with it. That gets you links you wouldn’t have otherwise had, and gets you leverage for your long-term search marketing efforts. That’s the worst case.
Best case, you get an endorsement from someone with real authority, and customers flock to your virtual doors. All for the cost of 50 products and some of your time.
And writing your blog for 6-12 months may cost you an hour a day.
But Ian, you cry, I don’t have an hour a day!
Wait… What? You don’t have an hour a day to sell your product? If you aren’t going to spend any time selling your product, who will?
Uh huh. Go write your blog, will ya? Or hire some clever internet marketing company to do it for you (cough again).
2 Bad Ways to Get the Word Out On the Internet
These methods are all about miracle cures. And they work about as well. If you want to choke to death trying the cure, by all means, try them both:
- Buy or rent an e-mail list. In 13 years as an internet marketer, I’ve never seen a rented list perform. By ‘perform’, I mean ‘do better than if I stood in the street with a T-shirt advertising the product and let myself be run over’. Just don’t do it. Rented lists rarely work. They’re typically collected using methods that guarantee a horrifically bad response. Just don’t do it.
- Banner ads. Banner ads are great branding tools. But they don’t sell bupkus. See my getting-run-over technique, above, for a superior alternative
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More