Will Internet Marketing Product Launches Always Work?

Published by 21 Comments

Today Brad Fallon and Andy Jenkin’s StomperNet (aff) was launched and as of writing it appears to be nearly sold out. This was by far the largest ongoing launch I have ever witnessed, both as a prospect and a JV partner. Also launched today, but not quite with as much a build-up as StomperNet, was Scott Boulch’s Click Flipping core group members club.

These two releases were just the latest in a long line of products launched this year and it seems that each and every month sees the release of at least one or two big product pushes in the Internet marketing world. Since the public release of Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula (aff) everyone has had access to the story board formula to successfully release a product online.

I operate in the Internet marketing industry because I am interested in it and have enjoyed some success as an Internet marketer. As expected the industry that is all about Internet marketing make use of the best Internet marketing techniques to market Internet marketing products, and conducting a big product launch has become a standard. Not every product launch is the same, although they all rely on the same tried-and-tested elements. The psychology behind marketing doesn’t change after all, and that’s exactly what a product launch is about – pushing all the right buttons and triggering the appropriate responses from consumers.

Are We Becoming Overexposed To The Product Launch Process?

I have difficulty answering this question. As a person working in Internet marketing I am exposed to a lot of product launches and I can honestly say that most launches appeal to me on some level. I don’t have time to fully absorb everything going into every launch, but at the basic level Internet marketing products appeal because I like Internet marketing. The potential, the opportunity and the education is tempting – and being a person who likes to take action I know that if I really care about it I will put in the work to get results from any product I buy. However that doesn’t mean I actually make a purchase during the launch.

I don’t buy products based on a product launch, I buy them based on how they can impact my business activities or life. I need to be able to action what I learn/buy and have the time available to get to the point where I can take that action. Provided those ingredients are there I will buy Internet marketing products, however most of the time I don’t buy during the launch process, I buy when I need it.

The hype of a product launch certainly gets me excited and I’ve come so close to signing up to all kinds of things over the years during the big push at launch, but each time I pull away before hitting that “buy” button. I have bought into some big products, including Butterfly Marketing (I bought it six months after the launch) and Rich Schefren’s 12 month strategic business coaching club (this I bought at launch because that was the only time you could buy it and be in the core group with Rich and because I was ready to be coached in this area).

The usual marketing triggers work on me – testimonials, credibility enforcing recommendations from people I respect, samples, detailed description of the product benefits – are the key elements that influence my decision making process. The problem with a product launch is that during this process other elements such as perceived (or real) scarcity, hype and over the top copy is used to elicit a “frenzied” buyer reaction to ensure maximum sales based more on emotion than common sense. I don’t like these elements because I don’t trust them. Yes sure, a good product launch should be genuine and back up the hype and claims, but I’ve yet to see one that does. It just makes me tired and distracts me from finding the real information about the product that I want to know. Of course from the marketer’s point of view it works so hey, if Yaro doesn’t buy it’s no big deal, many other people will and marketing is about maximizing sales.

I can say, and I know a lot of you concur with me, is that I am tired of Internet marketing product launches. I think there are too many, I think they are losing their appeal because there are so many and as a result each launch has to be bigger than the previous in order to have impact, creating even more clutter in the market – there is just so much free information out there that comes along with each product launch you could spend a lifetime just absorbing the free stuff. However I believe this only applies to product launches in the Internet marketing arena. I think conducting a product launch in almost every other industry is a huge opportunity because it’s rarely, if ever, done well.

Product Launching A Non-Internet Marketing Product

The product launch process is over-done in the Internet marketing industry for obvious reasons, but in other industries I don’t see nearly as many launches and as a result I suspect the consumers in other industries would react positively to them. Even launches not executed that well would bring in reasonable results since the saturation point is far off – these are “virgin markets” for the product launch process. I don’t diligently follow every industry, that would be impossible, so I could be wrong, perhaps there are many product launches going on online in other industries on a regular basis, but besides the dating product marketplace I’ve never personally seen one outside of Internet marketing.

A consumer is a consumer and marketing psychology works in all industries because everyone sells to the same thing – human beings. There is a golden opportunity for a good Internet marketer (or several) who have experience with product launch (just owning and then following the steps to execute Product Launch Formula should be enough) to either consult or run their own product launches on products outside of Internet marketing. I’m sure there are experienced Internet marketers doing just that now and get paid very well for their expertize.

Will Product Launches Always Work?

Always is a strong word and I doubt anything will always work without constant change and reinvention, however based on current results the product launch formula works, even in the saturated Internet marketing world, and will no doubt continue to. Whether that’s because we are all suckers for emotional marketing triggers, or people like me, who are over-exposed to product launches, are in the minority, is another question. I don’t know exactly why, but I do know as long as the launch process continues to work there won’t be a good reason not to do a product launch, even if a small group of people grumble about how many product launches there are, and how they won’t be “suckered” by the hype. Ultimately these people are probably just not the right target prospect for the product in the first place – that’s always been the easiest way to dismiss people who grumble about anything in Internet marketing. As long as those grumblers don’t become the majority, everything will be fine.

Yaro Starak
Conducting a product launch and grumbling about them too…

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21 Comments

  • Personally I’m very tired of these “launches.” In the last few days, pretty much all of the “gurus” have earned an unsubscribe from me. If it’s a good product I don’t see the need for the hype…I’m hyped out. Tell me the benefits in plain english let me decide.
    Also, I’ve realized that chasing the latest fad is very bad for my brain and my business.

  • I have also been unsubscribing from everybody’s newsletters recently except for the people that I have known will give me good info in the past, and other than 2 or 3 the rest are off as soon as they buy into the next product launch JV offer that comes their way.

    It’s just been getting a bit rediculous lately with the sheer number of launches and the sheer number of people launching the EXACT same thing.

    The problem with the internet marketing niche is that you wind up on all the same lists because that’s where the good stuff is, at first. However, once the good stuff in the autoresponder is gone, then you are stuck with the affiliate marketing that comes after.

    I just don’t have time anymore. I’ll just keep unsubscribing and then resubscribe when I find a new need to educate myself about.

  • Hey Yaro – I hear you pal.

    The total pre-meditation of these things really gets on my nerves. e.g. “The servers are crashing….we had to take the sales page down…”.

    But I don’t doubt that it’s an effective strategy – the Brad and Andy one seems to have gone pretty well anyway.

    You make a great point about taking the product launch strategy offline. Done well, I have no doubt that it would have the effectiveness of an atom bomb…just like the internet ones did when they started.

  • The site says it is currently sold out. I put in my email address anyway, just to see if a “position suddenly comes available”.

    In the end you have to do the work to create a site and get traffic. Just because something is working for me doesn’t mean that other people will benefit following the same steps.

  • You’re all crazy.

    I am increasing the number of “guru” email lists. Don’t you hate the word guru? I always see the person meditating with a bong and saying things like. “The way of Internet Marketing is the way of the swallow with an empty belly.”

    I love this stuff, I love all this being sold to. Why? because most of these dudes are making buckets of cash and that’s why I’m here, well that and Scorcese kept returning my scripts.

    I’m keeping my subscriptions because I want to know what these guys are upto, you have to keep plugged in, things in the industry change so fast. Get in on the next new thing early and you can ride that sweet wave all the way.

    It’s the same with copywriting, it’s easy to say I’m sick of the 22pt, bright red lettering. Thing is, it works and I’m not online to be Hemmingway.

    No I wont be buying Stomper, it’s way too expensive, you are better off spending the money going to a real conference and networking with real people.

    I only had time to scan the stuff and the sales letter did not bite me, probably because it wasn’t aimed at me.

    Nor any of you other guys, which maybe is why it jarred. But I wanna know what these guys are upto because they have what I want to have.

    There is only so much time in the day to ingest all the info around, which makes time management and focus – two things which I am terrible at even though I write about it – more important.

    I’m not saying read everything, buy everything. But you gotta keep your ears to the ground. Know whose doing what and what’s the latest thing cooking.

  • Hi Yaro – nothing wrong with the product launch process – its actually quite educational and brilliant in terms of bringing together many elements of marketing into a replicable system.

    As you mention – the real opportunity is to apply it outside of IM space.

    Something that IS a problem though, the underlying assumption and reliance that people have a valuable product or service to market as part of these launches.

    Many aspects of the launch (testimonials, proof, strong message to market match) all depend on having done exceptional strategic planning, soul searching and market research.

    Unfortunately, I see many people purchasing package after package based on the hype and NOT having a solid business upon which to market.

    Great article by the way!

    Jeff

  • Luc

    All hype aside… i had a look of Andy and Brad’s campaign. Pure emotional spending. Creating panic over a great product is not needed if the product is great. Getting business owners and potiential business owners to part with money is a skill but if the quality of what you offer sucks thats another story.

    Personally i think that launches like this cheapen the percieved value of a system that Andy and Brad are offering making it harder for skeptical people to buy until word of mouth kicks in on a personal level from a networking contact who swears by andy and brad’s system. Till then i find it hard to truly see the value of buying something like this.

    Being hit with daily hype is standard but it holds me back from buying such products.

    Luc

  • Hello Yaro;

    That was an excellent post you did on the “8 pitfalls to avoid when starting an internet business.”

    I was one of those who was almost suckered by Andy and Brad into the ridiculously high price of $800/mo for what is pretty much just general SEO. They could have culled the herd a lot easier if they just released the price ahead of time. Instead, they made desperate people believe they could get rich for less than $1000. It’s sick really. You should see some of the letters I’ve received from people who were ready to spend their last dollar on these false hopes, and then they are crushed when they realize they were deceived right up to the ‘buy’ button, when they see they can’t afford it. Touching stuff.

    It got me so upset I started a site that myself and a bunch of other concerned people will be evolving over the next short while.

    http://www.SEOGuruBusters.com

    Hopefully, exposing all these hypsters will bring awareness to the market to help make it a more business-like and professional offering.

    Thanks again, excellent work here. We’ll definitely be referring to you on our new site – an excellent resource.

    Regards,

    Paul

  • On a personal level, I enjoyed Brad & Andy’s launch, (+ the Rich Jerk’s contribution) – it was a marketing/product launch education unto itself. As well as amusing at times. :-)

    That said, theirs has been, by far, the best launch I’ve witnessed since Jeff Walker’s PLF came out. I’ve been tiring of the report+blog+launch formula in the IM industry, and I think marketers are going to have to step things up a notch/come up with some innovations when marketing to other marketers, as it’s obvious simply from the comments above mine that some of these tactics aren’t as effective anymore.

    Outside the IM market, they seem to work quite well – I had an April launch that used PLF elements and was blown away by the results it produced, as well as the long-term relationship it helped build with my customers. Good stuff.

    Anyway, for those who aren’t wanting to see “hype” or receive affiliate offers along with their “content rich” newsletter subscriptions, this *really* is the wrong industry to be in. Seriously – you want to be in marketing but are offended when marketed to? I don’t get it.

  • Michelle,

    It’s just like I want to be able to go shopping without every clerk in the store being like a cheap used car saleman with endless pitches and emotionally manipulative closing tactics.

    If that’s what you call “marketing” then, I don’t want to be “in marketing” either I guess.

    To me marketing is what companies like Apple or Starbucks do. I’d call these launches more like credit card seductions.

  • Hi everyone,

    I must say there is quite the varied opinions out there on product launches.

    Some people love them because they are so effective at making sales. In this case it’s the outcome that really counts and they see a product launch as a fantastic formula for maximizing outcomes – sales. If this is indeed the sole purpose of marketing then it is hard to argue against this point of view.

    Some find the process powerful as a marketing tool but find the hype tiring, regardless of how effective it might be on a certain group of consumers to product sales. I think I’m in this group – it’s hard to ignore the sales results, yet I don’t want to be a purveyor of that kind of hype. Then again, defining what a person considers hype is difficult – when I write a sales letter that I don’t consider over the top another person may consider it extremely hypey, it’s very hard to qualify.

    I think it’s possible to be successful and not use excessive emotional manipulation, but then again I’ve never done it to the degree of success that the top Internet marketers who use product launch have, so I’m not really offering any proof to back up my point of view. Maybe hype really is the only way to get big results.

    Lastly there are those people who just flat out hate the product launch process and will boycott those who use it complaining of excessive hype, emotional manipulation and all kinds of awful things.

  • I find the who psychological process of the purchase fascinating, there is a book called Why we Buy, Paco Underhill. About the science of shopping. Explaining why fruit and veg are at the entrance of a supermarket and why the space just inside the entrance is always large (apparently you need time to slwo down after the brisk walk from the car to be able to soak in the buying signals.)

    My point is, all selling is psychological, it’s all emotional. When we are sold to our perception is being manipulated, our emotions are being massaged to the point where we will buy, be it a sugary fizzy drink, an Italian red sports car or an Internet marketing ebook.

    The only problem I have is when the product is bad then we should be able to tell. I don’t use stompernet because I don’t think it’s for me. But that does not mean that others will not benefit. A focused, closed foum like they have could be rich in info. Unlike anarchic places like Digital Point where you have to dig hard for the nuggets.

    I think it’s easy to get a bit snooty over how some products are sold. Personally I am more worried about the quality of the product than the sales technique.

    I like most people here are online to make money, as long as we sell worthwhile products that are what we say they are I don’t see the problem.

    If you find the hype tiring it probably means you are not the target audience. I find the hype around Nike trainers tiring too, I think people who buy into the emotional sales technique of the top brands are crazy. But then I am not in the target market.

    The soft sell of the multinationals can be just as insidious as a hyped up ebook creator. At least with the ebook guy you know you’re being sold to.

  • Dear Yaro,

    What Storyboard formula are you referring to above?

    Fred

  • Product Launch Formula by Jeff Walker (link is in the article above).

    There are also other products that touch on it including Mike Filsaime’s Butterfly Marketing Manuscript (review here) .

  • Which do you think is better the Butterfly or the Product Launch Formula? I am trying to figure out which one to go with.

  • Fred, they are kind of the opposite side of one another from what I can tell (I have not yet bought the full product for either, but have bought the BM manuscript).

    The PLF is for getting the sales and what to do before launch. Butterfly Marketing is how to build your product to continually produce income for you.

    Both products intersect in a lot of spaces. PLF is basically do this 1.2.3. BM is build this, and keep making sales this way.

    From what I can tell, both products are worth having, but my inclination is to build my first product, get PLF and use that to sell it, and then once I have the income from that to buy BM and use that for subsequent projects.

    ————

    As for unsubscribing from the guru lists, I do aprpeciate the education in seeing how they do their launches and what they are selling and such, but I just do not have the time to deal with all the spam or to read variations on the same sales pitch for something that I am not going to buy or market.

    I plan on resubscribing in the future when I am needing new info, but right now I need to buckle down and actually produce something rather than just try to educate myself about something.

  • Fred – I haven’t used PLF but it’s high on my list of purchases – right at the top I’d say at the moment.

    I do have BFM though and I like it a lot, especially the software.

    The two programs are more complimentary than competitive. There is a slight overlap in the product launch discussion but they really are completely different products. You buy BFM to build a viral membership site and you product launch techniques to launch it.

    If you had the cash available for both the logical sequence is to first plan what you are going to sell/market, buy PFL, study it and then put product into BFM. During the launch though BFM goes hand in hand with the PLF techniques you would use.

  • Hi all:

    First of all forgive my poor English, I’m spanish. I was a bit tired of the Stomper launch sequence too, but I must be pragmatic:

    I think a pre-launch really works, maybe a certain group of people like us is starting to be more reticent because we are subscribed to the same group of “guru lists” and when a little time passes we see how they tend to become very similar, how sooner or later they use the same tactics.

    We are developing some kind of “alarm” that early detects when a marketing tactic is trying to affect us (scarcity, “proven” headlines, almost identical pre-launch sequences…) but for the great masses, (those what matters for the money), it works.

    I know that “common people” is not an “Infomation junkie” as I am and is not susbcribed to dozens of lists, so they are not over-exposed and they don’t develop the “inmunity” to that marketing tactics. If people use that kind of techniques is simply because it works in the great numbers…

    In my country, Spain, Internet Business is light years after english speaking countries, and frankly, product launches are totally unknown, probably if someone makes some with a bit of knowledge and planification it should be strike hard because is an unknown technique and none has developed an antibody for that tactic.

    So maybe we that write here are a bit tired, it’s a side effect in “information seekers” that the people behind theses strategies know that’s happening, but they don’t care very much, because it works for the rest of the people, the great mass that buys…

  • [...] Intereting post and comments over at Entrepreneurs Journey in regards to product launches and whether they’ve become a tired formula and/or there’s too much hype. [...]

  • Nic

    Product launch is a complex process and there are no guarantees. The important thing is to remain focussed on the consumer target group. Put yourself in their position and design and launch your site to them. It may take time if you have a small budget, but use the tools available like blogs, great content, articles and word of mouth.

    Good luck

  • I’m in the process of launching a new product at the moment, and I must admit I’m a little nervous about the potential results we’ll be achieving.. mostly ‘cos the average South African consumer isn’t as Internet-savvy as in other parts of the world, and our product is based almost entirely around the South African consumer

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