These are the seven steps of a failed product launch:
1. Get an idea for a product.
2. Write or design the product.
3. Print or manufacture the product.
4. Advertise the product.
5. Watch the marketing campaign flop and generate no sales.
6. Sell or give away the product to family members and colleagues.
7. Store the unsold inventory until it is thrown away.
Never try to launch a product by using the “I know best” approach illustrated above. Remember that what you think means nothing. It is what you know that counts.
So, how do you know your prospective customers will want your product? You test and test and test some more.
In this Internet age, testing is easier than ever before. If, for example, you are torn between two titles for an e-book you want to market, don’t go with your gut and don’t go with what your friends tell you. Test a couple of pay-per-click (PPC) ads and see which one gets more clicks.
Don’t worry about not having your product ready while you’re testing your PPC ads. Develop the ads and let them run for five to seven days. When potential customers click, let them know that you are building a “hot list” and will contact them as soon as the product is ready. Or give them something else in the meantime.
You can use the same plan with banner ads, text ads, and even dedicated e-mails to ensure you are on the right track – before you spend the time and money to develop your product.
This is a cheap and easy way to test product ideas without expensive R&D costs. Plus, you have the added benefit of simultaneously building a list of interested prospects.
Remember: When you test anything, make sure the results of your test scream, not whisper.