When you’re launching new products, a lot of time and effort is spent on developing these products and getting them added to your store. Typically, customers won’t find out about new products unless you have a marketing strategy specifically around the launch. Your new products may get buried under the list of your existing or popular products.
You can highlight the launch by showcasing the products on your homepage or in widget areas. But, unless customers are coming to your site, they won’t know about these. Below are a few marketing tips you can use to build awareness, and generate sales for new products prior to, during, and after launch.
Email is still one of the best ways to create awareness and generate sales. You can use an email marketing platform, like MailChimp, to build an email subscriber list, and create email marketing campaigns.
The MailChimp for WordPress plugin can integrate into your WordPress site so that you can start building an email list for newsletters. You can also let customers opt in to receive newsletters at checkout if you use Easy Digital Downloads or WooCommerce.
Here is a quick overview of the plugin:
Email marketing creates one of the highest return on investments amongst other online mediums, like social media. Through MailChimp, you can create mobile-friendly emails about the launch of new products. You can also track how many people click on links within these emails to see what type of messaging works best.
You can create anticipation for the launch of the new product by sharing teasers and updates about the product development leading up to the launch. In addition, to incentivize email subscribers, you can offer earlier access or discounts to new products for email subscribers. This can further build traction and anticipation by creating exclusivity.
You can set a discount for the first few weeks after launch to build sales for new products. By setting a discount, customers perceive a higher value through the savings, and a lower risk for trying out something new. A launch discount also creates urgency in customers which can drive purchasing decisions.
The easiest way to create a launch discount is to set up a specific coupon for the new product(s), then share this with your customers via another medium, or with a site notification using something like Hello Bar.
In WooCommerce, you can create a coupon specific to your new products by:
- Selecting the type of discount. For new products, select either the dollar amount or percentage “Product Discount”.
- Set the discount amount. You can set either the dollar value or the discount percentage.
- Set an expiry date. You can select a date few weeks from launch.
Next, select the new products for which the coupon is valid under Usage Restrictions. If you’ve launched a new product category, you could also select the category for which the coupon will be valid instead (see the WooThemes documentation about coupons).
Many other eCommerce plugins can set up similar discounts. For example, Easy Digital Downlodas will let you create requirements for the coupon, then also restrict the discount to those products only:
To reach a wider audience, you can try to advertise your new products on other mediums.
You can send samples of your products to be listed on gift guides. This can especially help boost sales during holiday seasons or special occasions. Search for gift guides that cater to your target market, and reach out to the site authors or owners.
You may have to pay a listing fee to be included on their gift guide, but these gift guides may already rank highly for search terms you’d like to be featured in, and they can help you get in front of new customers.
You can try to get your products listed in local newspapers or online magazines by creating a news release for your products. You will have to select the medium and publication in which you want your release to be included. Then, reach out to the contact person regarding news releases.
Not every site publishes news releases (for example, we do not), but if you reach out with release notes and perhaps a discount for the publication’s readers, you can get your product in front of a new audience.
You can send samples of your products to influential bloggers in your market. If they post a review of your products, this not only allows you to reach the blog followers, but also helps create a review and test of your product that you can use as social proof or link to from your own site.
Depending on the agreement you have with the blogger, you may have to pay a direct fee or affiliate commission.
Affiliate marketing provides incentive for bloggers and reviewers to write about your products. You can send samples of your products to affiliates that cater to your target market on their own sites.
Here is how affiliate marketing works:
- Each affiliate gets a referral link that they include in their promotional materials about your products – in blog posts, banners, social media posts, etc.
- Customers can click on the link to be redirected to your store where they can purchase the products, which also includes information about the affiliate that referred the customer.
- If a customer makes the purchase, the affiliate gets a part of the purchase as commission.
In this way, the more affiliates promote your products, the more money they can make.
You can use AffiliateWP to create an affiliate marketing system for almost any WordPress-powered store, as it integrates with WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, and tons of other plugins. Never set up an affiliate program? Check out our tips for getting started and how you can drive conversions with an affiliate network (while focused on forms, it’s got useful general points).
Run customer contests to promote your brand, and reward customers by giving away your new product for fulfilling contest tasks. Depending on the strategy you want to focus on at the time, you can set the tasks that improve your key goals. These tasks can be:
- Social followers: Enter customers into a drawing to win your new products for following you on social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
This WPBeginner article is a great tutorial for setting up a giveaway with Rafflecopter
Email Signups: Giveaways are an excellent way to build your email list, and the bonus is that potential customers who enter to win your new product are most likely highly interested in it and your other products, giving you great new email leads.
We’ve written about using KingSumo Giveaways for email sign up giveaways. You can even send a discount to anyone who didn’t win to get a discount on your new product since they’re interested.
Customer reviews: Enter customers into a draw for posting reviews and testimonials about your products. This helps build customer content on your store site, helps to drive sales from review content, and has the added bonus of giving you customer feedback.
As most product reviews for eCommerce plugins are stored as WordPress comments, you could use a comment exporter to export reviews to get a list of emails / reviewers to use for the drawing.
Purchase amounts: You can give away your new product if a customer has a minimum dollar amount in the cart. You can notify them of this with something like Hello Bar to encourage them to meet the cart minimum.
Running such contests can help build your brand by increasing customer interaction. Customers also feel rewarded for choosing your products over others’. In addition, you build awareness and generate users of your new products.
The launch of new products can be a challenging time for you. You put a lot of research and effort into developing new products, and when these are launched, it’s important to get them in the hands of your customers to build awareness and get feedback. And of course, generate sales.
Customers typically won’t know when you launch a product if you’re using the same marketing strategy as the the one you use for existing products. Use the above tips to create a special marketing strategy for your product launches so you can build traction from the get-go.
What type of marketing works best for your product launches? Tell us in the comments.