These days, a lot of online product launches are like zombie attacks.
One day, everything is fine. The next day, there’s a legion of crazy people banging on your virtual doors and windows, wanting to feed on you.
Who the hell are these zombies and how did they get my address? Time to break out the shotgun, or in this case, the Delete All button.
And it gets worse. That group of friends you hang out with from time to time? Yeah . . . they’re zombies too.
“Wait dude, I thought we were cool . . . why are you . . . Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”
You can always tell when the first wave approaches, because your inbox will suddenly fill up with variants of the same message. And the guy who hasn’t talked to you since his last launch is suddenly your best friend again.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m the last person to hate on someone for trying to make a buck. But let’s face it, some of these guys are doing their reputations an injustice by treating their customers this way. Product quality aside, in some markets we’ve become so immune to these tactics that zombie leaders are forced to gather new streams of recruits each and every time they launch an invasion.
So what’s my point?
Instead of forcing yourself to do the hard work of constantly capturing fresh flesh to
lunch on launch to, why not implement a strategy that takes the best parts of the product launch model and combines them with high-quality content marketing?
That way, you not only build trust and authority with your readers, but you also keep them ready and eager to listen to you. (In other words, you make yourself zombie-proof.)
That’s what they do here at Copyblogger, and it’s why so many other bloggers have been able to form six-figure businesses without having giant lists and hundreds of superaffiliates.
It works like this:
You let your content do the talking and you build your lists the old-fashioned way.
That means building an effective blog, providing value, and following up to help your readers be successful in their own right. You take your time to show off some of your best stuff before you ask for any cash.
When it’s time to launch your product, you will have already built trust and authority with your readers, so they won’t be wondering why you are emailing them out of the blue. And although you might use a big tribe of affiliates, a long-form sales letter, and a variety of techniques to build excitement about the launch, your audience isn’t turned off by what you have to offer. In fact, they can’t wait to come along for the ride.
What makes the difference?
Well for starters, your audience knows you already, because they’ve been reading your blog for months before the launch. They probably got your name from another satisfied reader, a retweet, or a link from a blogger they trust. So you start out with a good shot of social proof.
Second, unlike certain clumsy marketers, you don’t abuse that trust. You treat people as friends, not food.
And finally, when you’ve closed the sale and converted your readers into buyers, you follow through on your promises by (over)delivering what you promised. Not only that, but you stay in touch.
You aren’t the hit and run marketer that we’re used to
The funny thing is, the original Product Launch Formula created by Jeff Walker is totally in sync with this approach.
That’s probably why Brian Clark found PLF so useful several years ago when he used Jeff’s ideas to start building Copyblogger into a powerhouse business, not just a powerhouse blog.
In fact, lots of Third Tribe-style marketers use the strategies outlined in PLF. Because they work. But we’re using them to build businesses, not just one-shot
brain buffet launches.
As a marketer, consider building an army of fans rather than traveling from town to town in search of fresh victims. The difference might be small, but over time, the benefits are tremendous.
Alternately, you can build your own legion of zombies and consume everyone on your list. I don’t know about you, but to me, that sounds like a lot of work.
Besides, something tells me that brains don’t actually taste very good.