Launching new products in your store is always an exciting time, but the stress of wondering whether the product will be a success, will justify any costs in launching, or will solve your customers’ needs can be taxing. Fortunately, since your store is powered by WordPress, there are a lot of really useful plugins that can help you market new products for your store, regardless of which eCommerce plugin you use.
Here are six strategies that can help you successfully launch and market new products in your shop, and some plugins that can help you implement these strategies.
Marketing your new product needs to begin before it’s even available, so there are some pre-launch strategies you can use before launch.
Anticipation is one of your greatest allies when you’re launching a new product. Building up the hype before a product launches can get your customers excited about the product and ready to purchase as soon as it’s available. This also gives them the opportunity to share with friends.
Accepting pre-orders for your upcoming products is a fantastic way to generate immediate revenue and ensure that customers are interested enough in your new product to purchase. WooCommerce Pre-Orders ($129) is a really useful plugin here, as this lets you create pre-orders and charge the customer when the order is shipped or charge immediately.
Giving out coupons for the upcoming product can also build anticipation. You can email these to your customers at launch, or you can include them with packing materials for orders before the new product is launched (using cheap business cards is a great way to do this).
This lets customers who are already interested in your shop know what’s coming. You can even continue to include packaging promotions after launch until the word about your new product spreads.
If you’re using Easy Digital Downloads, you can generate coupon codes using the Discount Code Generator ($29), and email these codes to existing customers before or when your product launches.
Speaking of discounts, you should be in touch with your existing customers. They’re your most valuable marketing resources, as they’re already interested in your store and have purchased your products before. Send email campaigns prior to launch and once your new product is available.
Discount codes are always great to encourage existing customers to purchase your new products, so you can generate them and include them in an email for the customer. Email tools like MailChimp make this simple to do:
- Import a CSV of your mailing list, and include a “coupon_code” column that contains a code you’ve generated.
- This will be added to your members’ MailChimp profiles. Now you can create a merge tag for this field like
- Include this in your emails, and every customer will have their unique code in the email to use on the new purchase.
The EDD Discount Generator can export a CSV of coupons, so you could add this to a CSV to import into MailChimp. While WooCommerce won’t generate codes for you, you can create a spreadsheet of codes to use in MailChimp, then import the coupons using the Customer / Order / Coupon CSV Importer ($79).
You can also make it easy to purchase when you send emails to your existing customers. WooCommerce stores have a couple of options here, as the URL Coupons extension ($49) can let you send a link that adds the new product to the cart, redirects to a page of your choice, and automatically apply a coupon. This minimizes the friction around purchasing.
If you have more than one new product, or you just want to use a URL without a discount, the WooCommerce Cart URL extension ($49) is also a very good choice. This plugin lets you build a cart with multiple products or quantities in it, then get a link that can be shared to automatically create this cart.
Finally, EDD can also let you add a download to the cart via URL to make it easy to buy new products.
You’re already going to leverage your own social media channels — Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc — but you’ll need to spread the word about your new product even more. This is where some old-fashioned partnerships can come into play. Get in touch with blogs or online magazines in your industry to help announce your new product(s) (i.e., “Apparel_is_us launches spring clothing line!”).
Letting them run giveaways of your products can get customers excited about your products and give you contact information for potential customers who are interested in your products. For people who enter the giveaway and don’t win, sending a coupon code can also be a great strategy, as this list of entrants is very targeted and they’re definitely interested in your product.
You can also agree to cross-promote each other — they can help you share your new product with readers, and you can send a promotional card for their site with your shipped orders.
You could also host giveaways of your own if you have a large blog or social media following. My favorite plugin to run giveaways is KingSumo Giveaways, which can be used on any eCommerce site.
While accepting pre-orders is one strategy we already talked about, early access is also something to consider. If your customers typically have repeat purchases, or you can segment customers into your top purchasers, you may want to offer early access to these customers so they can try your product, be rewarded for their loyalty, and share it or write your first reviews.
You could give early access in a couple of ways:
- Most WordPress eCommerce plugins can password protect the product page so that entering the password is needed for the product to be accessed and bought. You can do this and email the password to your VIP list so they can purchase the product first.
You could use a membership or content restriction plugin to give purchasing access to certain customers via a membership. WooThemes wrote a great article including this tip recently specific to WooCommerce, but most eCommerce plugins have an add-on that will help restrict content. You could also use the Groups plugin and manually add your VIP customers to an “early access” group.
While offering coupons or other promotions for your new product can be one strategy to increase launch sales, creating value adds instead can be effective. This could be something like offering personalization of the product or a small complimentary product that goes with it.
You can do this easily with the WooCommerce Product Add-ons extension ($49), and can offer both free and paid add-ons to the the product. Once your promotional time period is over, you can remove the add-on, or make it paid.
Reviews are extremely important for eCommerce sites, so gathering reviews should be a priority for your new product. While seeding your reviews may seem like an easy solution, you want to ensure that customers trust your reviews, so authentic reviews are your best bet.
Many eCommerce plugins include review capabilities already, even if they’re basic. You can add reviews to Easy Digital Downloads products with the Product Reviews extension ($32), or add them to most any plugin with Easy Ecommerce Reviews ($49).
WooCommerce has built in reviews, but also offers an advanced reviews plugin: Product Reviews Pro ($79).
To encourage reviews, make sure you ask your first customers for them, and you can also incentivize them with discounts. You can create these manually and send them to customers, or automate this with WooCommerce Review for Discount ($29).
Building anticipation for new products by creating pre-orders, coupons in advance of launch, or promotional materials included in shipments can help you begin to market your new products before they’ve even arrived. Once your product has been launched, you can continue to market it by informing existing customers it’s available, providing early access for loyal customers, creating value adds or promotions for the launch, partnering for promotions or giveaways, and encouraging product reviews from early customers.
There are lots of extensions available to help market your new products using these strategies, and there are definitely more that we haven’t listed. We’d love to hear about them if you have favorites 🙂 .
Here are the ones we mentioned:
Easy Digital Downloads: