“Build it and they will come” might’ve worked for 80’s baseball movies, but to get your audience excited about a new product—and translate that excitement into conversions—you’ll need to do more than just post it on your website.
When planning your product launch strategy, the best place to start is with email. Your email marketing list consists of prospects and customers who have expressed interest in your brand and product assortment, and pushing an email message into an individual’s inbox is a great way to grab their attention, especially when the content is shiny and new.
But to execute a flawless launch strategy, you’ll need to plan ahead and consider how to create buzz and anticipation, drive early orders, and keep interest high long after the initial drop.
“Product launches can be more than sending one email day-of to your larger list. Go beyond the basics by capitalizing on your contacts’ browse and purchase data to create anticipation for upcoming releases, and continue to use email to drive awareness, web traffic, and additional revenue post-launch.”
–Kaylyn Hinson, Senior Manager, CRM & Email at Elite SEM
Teaser emails are a much-debated topic, the success of which varies from brand to brand, depending on your audience, messaging cadence, and how often you launch new products.
In some cases, teaser emails can create a sense of intrigue that translates into a successful launch. By sending a short, mysterious message — “something new is coming soon” or “keep an eye on your inbox for an exciting announcement” — you can capture subscribers’ attention, enticing readers to engage at a higher rate with the emails you send out in the days following.
While sending emails in advance of a product launch can build anticipation, that’s not always the case. One test by Elite SEM’s CRM and Email team showed that contacts who did not receive a teaser email actually contributed 316% more revenue (with a 12.88% higher conversion rate) than the group who did receive the teaser. These results highlight the importance of testing into any new strategy to determine if it resonates with your audience and yields the expected results.
Should you decide to test a teaser email, remember that less is more. Including every bit of detail about the new product in your teaser message doesn’t leave your subscribers with any reason to open subsequent emails. Readers will feel more curious about the product if you allude to a future surprise without giving away too much.
VIP/Early Access Emails
A less risky pre-launch email tactic that our partners find successful is offering “VIP Early Access” to new products. This exclusive invitation can be sent to your entire email database to show appreciation for their subscription, or to a subset of your best customers as a thank you for their loyalty. Better yet, utilize browse or past purchase behavior to give early access to contacts who have expressed interest in similar products in the past. You can consider sweetening the deal with a coupon code, but often the newness alone is incentive enough to drive conversions.
The announcement email is the most important message to get right; you only get one chance to make a splash, and there’s a lot of revenue potential on the line; one Elite client recently saw 20% of their total monthly revenue generated from a single product launch email.
Although you may be tempted to include every exciting detail about the product in the email itself, striking the right balance of content and intrigue can help elevate purchase intent and drive clicks.
Here are our best practices for the product launch email:
- Keep it short and simple
- Use a clear and prominent call-to-action
- Show how new products integrate and coordinate with existing products
- Include highlights, features, and benefits of the new product
- Create a dedicated landing page for the new product(s)
- (Optional) Use animated gifs to show full range of colors/selection/multiple views
Other important things to keep in mind is to come up with an eye-catching subject line, use images to break up text and capture the interest of the reader, and include secondary CTAs that can link to other pages on your site.
The party doesn’t have to end when the product launches. Continue to promote new products in email with additional dedicated sends, resends to non-openers or non-converters from the launch email, and secondary messaging or banners in other emails, including triggered campaigns. For brands that collect user-generated content, utilizing reviews and customer photos in follow-up emails can help lengthen the life of your product launch campaign.
As with any other email strategy, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to product launches. What works for other brands may not work for you, so it’s important to test your way into any new strategy for product launches and beyond.