We get a lot of potential clients that are just dying to launch a product online. The spectrum of products could be anything.
A new client might have a book launch, stuffed animal toy, board or video game, or full blown training course on any subject under the sun.
But why online?
Let’s face it. The idea of having an online business sure looks good in the brochure.
- Make your own hours.
- Money going into your bank account in the middle of the night.
And although all of those are great benefits, they are not the reason you should launch a business or product online.
“You should launch a product online because it just may be the most efficient, cost-saving, scalable, way to build a substantial business in today’s world.”
There are many options of what to sell online, most of which come down to a “hard” product and a “digital” product.
Personally I prefer digital products.
In some ways they are a bit more difficult to get going…particularly in an information age. But digital products have some big benefits such as…
- No inventory in garage, warehouse, or spare room.
- No shipping charges
- No damaged goods
- No cost of returns (ie: shipping)
- Easy to update, expand, break apart into smaller sales
- Allow others to sell “for” you. (ie: JV’s or Associates)
- Great life span if you choose the right products
That is not to say that I won’t help or don’t think those clients with “hard” goods have a failing business model. Frankly, as I type this, there are no less than 73 hard goods within eyeshot.
Stuff I purchased, from somebody. It might as well be you!
Most people nowadays that sell hard products online don’t even have the product in their possession.
It is called “drop shipping.”
At a 30,000-foot level, you are basically listing products on your site, collecting the money, and passing some of the money on to the drop shipper.
They pack the product and ship it out – directly to your buyer. In many cases the buyer does not even know that it didn’t come from your store (or that you most likely don’t have a brick and mortar store to begin with).
You could have an entire website of products for sale that have someone else doing all the shipping.
The advantages to drop shipping are…
- No inventory in your house. All items are kept at the drop shipper.
- Low Risk. You pay only for the product that has already sold.
- No package, postage. The drop ship handles all the packaging and mailing.
- Great selection. There are millions of products that can be sold online through a drop shipper…so it is easy to add more products and potential sales.
No matter what you are selling, these are the 5 musts of launching a product online…
#1 – Set up a Website
This is your core location where you send people. Not just a page for selling them your new coolest thing, you also need company info as well as some educational information.
Avoid the ‘free’ websites that people offer. This is how you are going to be perceived and there are plenty of features you are going to want (or may want) in the future. You don’t want to hit a dead end before you even get started.
#2 – Email List Service
You are going to need some sort of email service to start taking names and creating a database. Some are free, some are not. This is where you can send out mass emails to your fans…in one shot…very targeted sales opportunities.
#3 – Bribe
A “bribe” is where you offer something in exchange for a person’s email. You probably even saw one on this site somewhere. It is a fair trade that gives you the ability to communicate further with the person – after they have left your website.
#4 – Sales Funnel
Once you have built the list from steps 2 and 3, you are going to want to send a series of informational emails (otherwise known as an “auto responder series”). This is where it gets fun…and tricky. You need to build a relationship before you start selling. Read, “Why Should I Join Your Email List” for some more details.
#5 – Advertisements
Be prepared to run some ads sending people to your “landing sales page.” This has to be handled very carefully and it one of areas (if not THE area) where we spend the most time with clients.
Even if you don’t run advertisements, your marketing message needs to be in perfect alignment with your sale. Otherwise, you miss sales and lose money. Sometimes a couple of simple tweaks make all the difference.
Have a specific question about an online product launch? Just shoot us an email, we are glad to help!