Have you got a great idea for a new product to add to your existing site? That’s great! Of course, launching a new product (and website, too) comes with a set of brand-new challenges. Marketing and introducing the product to the market is costly, and it takes time to build momentum, which is why your best bet for initial success is convincing your existing customers to take a leap first.
That doesn’t mean that convincing your existing customer base to make a purchase is going to be a walk in the park, either. Not everyone will love your new product or service or be open to trying it, so you still have to put some thought and effort into your marketing.
The good news is that you already know your customer base really well and that they love and trust your brand, so use it to your advantage. Chances are, you also have their contact information and sales history to boost your communications and insights! Here are a few tips and tricks to convince your customer base to convert. Let’s dive in!
Develop a Formal Launch Message
Here’s the thing: we associate launches with new products and new customers. But that’s not always the case. Even though your customer base knows you and your product really well, you should still have a plan of action. Develop a strategy and a formal launch plan, just like you would if you were taking your product to a whole new market. Research your competitors and their marketing efforts to understand which competitive advantages to highlight in your communications.
You already have the advantage of knowing your customers, but chances are they are not a homogenous group. Can you segment them and adjust your marketing plan to suit their preferences and characteristics? What are they interested in? What about your product would appeal to them? Use your existing personas to develop a new strategy for reaching them. You already know what they like and dislike, so implement this knowledge during the launch.
Establish a Timeline for Roll-Out
Now that you’ve done your market research and understood which target demographic you want to reach within your existing customer base, document the roll-out carefully. This includes determining the timeline for the launch, e.g., what information will you release and when? Will you start with an introductory offer and seasonal deals for Black Friday or Christmas in the coming months?
Treat Your Customers Differently
Here’s the thing: while there is a massive benefit in selling to new customers, you should also be aware of the risks. Your customers are loyal and trust your brand, so you don’t need to sell your company to them. They are more likely to recommend you to their friends, are less price-sensitive, and communicate more freely with you. On the other hand, if the new product doesn’t live up to their expectations, you risk jeopardizing or harming that loyalty.
Make sure that your sales approach demonstrates your knowledge and the relationship you have with those customers. You know what they want and need, which is why you recommend this product. Give them an opportunity to provide honest feedback and listen to what they have to say about the new launch.
Generate Buzz Around the Launch
Once you’ve developed a plan, you should start generating excitement around the new product if possible. Hype is a great way to get early adopters to try your product, and if your customer base is already familiar with your brand, you should use their attention to your advantage.
Create awareness early by placing a countdown clock on your website that counts down the weeks, days, hours, and minutes until your new product drops. Use an eye-catching banner above the fold and in your email communications.
Special Offers for Existing Customers
Let’s talk about the one thing that everyone loves: rewards. Sales might be your end goal, but launching a new product is a great way to reward your customers for their loyalty. You can give your existing subscriber base and past customers early access to the product before it’s launched to the wider market, send them promotional samples, or offer them a coupon code for their first purchase. Creating this sense of exclusivity will make your customers feel valued and encourage them to support your business.
You should also give your existing customers the opportunity to pre-order the item. This will reward loyal fans first and create a perception that stocks are limited and that they should act really quickly to avoid missing out.
Use Email Marketing
If you already have a successful business, chances are you have email addresses to use! Email campaigns are a great way to engage your existing audience with minimal cost and effort. When you are launching a new product and have a good existing email base (and permission to email them), dedicate a section or an entire email to provide more information about the product, helping people understand why they should purchase it. You can also use this email to send discount codes to your biggest fans.
Finally, implementing email marketing is smart as there are 4 billion email users, meaning a tremendous number of potential customers. At the same time, one out of five email campaigns isn’t optimized for mobile devices, which is something you need to keep in mind, too.
Consider Referral Promotion
Every entrepreneur has a marketing team, and if you have a loyal customer base, you have a whole group of advocates that you can use to market your product for you. Having your customers promote your new product to their friends and family is extremely valuable. Why not offer your customers a referral bonus or discount if they recommend the product to someone they know? This code should be redeemed at checkout so that you can track how effective it was. It will also help you identify “micro-influencers” within your community that can be utilized for future campaigns.
Create a Dedicated Landing Page
If you already have a well-trafficked website or social media following, why not create a landing page for the launch (with great Evergreen content, too)? This can introduce the product and information to existing fans and customers and give it additional prominence on your site.
Build Suspense on Social Media
If you have a good social media following (YouTube included), you should “tease” the arrival of your product with close-ups, behind-the-scenes images, and countdowns to let your fans know that something unique is coming. Always refer back to your landing page or blog so that readers can find out more.
Generate Paid Traffic
You already know that it takes money to make money, but if you have a good business and great customers, you will need a little less to get going! Create little reminders on your customers’ Facebook newsfeed to keep your product front and center before it launches. Facebook Ads are a great way to reach new audiences, but it’s also a cheap and effective way of communicating with an existing customer base.
Social media marketing also offers you the opportunity to split test your messages between audiences to see which imagery, wording, and selling points deliver the best possible results. And, if you’re not sure how to approach social media marketing, perhaps you should consider signing up for a web marketing guide.
Use Influencers and User Reviews
You should consider giving influencers or top customers early access to your new product in exchange for a review. Most shoppers rely on reviews and referrals, and it can pay off to have community members sing a product’s praises before you go to market. You can also incentivize your customers to write testimonials as part of a competition or incentive program. If they’ve already loved your products in the past, they will probably love the new product as well. Word-of-mouth is probably the most potent form of advertising you can access. Also, if you go down this route, bear in mind that Instagram is considered the most impactful channel.
Run a Competition
Everybody loves a challenge (and a shot at winning something)! Use email, social media, and your blog to encourage your customers to talk about your product in exchange for a chance to win one of the first items on the market. Use the competition mechanism to encourage visits to your store. For example, you could ask your followers to answer a question to enter the draw. To find the answer, they’ll have to visit your new landing page or blog to read more about the product. Keep it simple, e.g., “How many colors will be available?” or “How many features does the new product have?”
You have probably felt hesitant to try something new. You have no idea if it will live up to the hype or if you will enjoy using it. You should alleviate your customers’ fears as much as possible by ensuring that you provide the correct information and after-sales support. If this product is the next iteration of an existing product that they may have already purchased, explain how this new product is different (and similar) to the old one. Make warranties and guarantees prominent in your marketing communications and make sure that your sales staff (if you have any) are able to answer any questions your customer may have.
You’ve worked hard to build up a great customer base, and when you launch a new product, your hard work will pay off. You can reap all the benefits of having a loyal, understanding group of advocates at your disposal. Make sure that you don’t let them down by dedicating your time and attention to creating the best possible marketing plan and executing it properly. Use the things you already know about your customers, their likes, wants, and needs to tailor communication and create campaigns that really speak to them. It’s not only a way of making sales; it’s a great way of showing them how much you appreciate their loyalty. The rest is up to you!