Ahhhh launching. It can feel like such a stressful, frantic time in your business. From making sure you've got your content sorted…
To queuing up your launch emails…
To building attention around your offer…
To creating your sales page…
To crafting compelling ad copy…
To nailing your webinar…
There is a lot that goes into getting a project off the ground.
And while we have experienced our fair share of stressful launches and promotions, we've realized that it doesn't have to be this way.
In fact, launching your membership site can be a stress-free and, dare I say, enjoyable experience…if you've got the right strategy.
Fortunately, that's exactly what I'm gearing up to break down today.
Ready to launch your membership site in a way that doesn't make you want to day-drink?
Let's dive into it!
How To Plan Your Launch
So here's the thing I see happening a lot when it comes to launching…
A lot of people barely scrape the surface when it comes to creating content around their launch.
What I mean is, they assume that they can send a few emails, maybe run a few FB ads and the rest will take care of itself.
Ummmm not so much.
You see, when you're trying to launch a membership site (hell, anything really), attention is your greatest asset.
What I mean is getting in front of people before you even make an offer is paramount in setting the stage for a successful launch.
So how do we do this?
“Gasp! I thought this post was about membership sites, not funnels!” is what I assume you said in your head.
But here's the thing..
If you are planning on kicking the doors open to a membership site and you want to give yourself a running chance at welcoming in your first batch of founding members, your launch needs to start at least a month prior to the day you open the doors.
Because you need to capture interest.
How do you do this?
How To Create Free Prelaunch Content
Blogposts, podcasts, videos, infographics, livestreams…
No matter which medium you choose, the whole goal of creating free content before you launch your membership site is to build attention, capture interest and set the stage for your impending offer.
We call this content “read magnets” and they are a pivotal piece in all of our promotions.
In fact, you're reading one right now.
So what's our goal with these read magnets?
To answer objections and lead you towards a transformation.
Whether that is helping you realize that yes, you can start a membership site or challenging the belief that memberships thrive only on monthly content, creating these free pieces of content has allowed us to gauge your interest in membership sites and how we can best serve you and your business.
Best of all, these read magnets act as the perfect segue into the next step.
What is it?
How To Create A Prelaunch Lead Magnet
Here's the thing about lead magnets…
I see a lot of long-winded, overly-packed lead magnets.
And while I'm all about giving more than you take, the goal of a lead magnet should serve as the obvious next step AND provide a quick win for the subscriber.
That means ebooks, “reports” and any other lengthy freebie should be shortened or sacked altogether.
Because when you're using content-based funnels to set the stage for your launch, the last thing you want is for a person to opt in, not do anything with your freebie and then (when you go to pitch) think to themselves “well, I haven't even read the free thing they gave me so I probably shouldn't buy that”.
After all, that pretty much sabotages your launch.
Instead, create quick and consumable lead magnets that serve as the obvious next-step in your promotional journey.
Need an example?
Look to the right of your screen.
See that sidebar image prompting you to grab the strategies we use to rock a consistent 93% retention rate?
We created that freebie to act as a no-brainer next step in this sequence.
Because if you're on this page (or have read the other two posts I wrote about membership sites), you're clearly interested in the idea of creating a membership site, right?
And if you're interested in that, then certainly you would want to know what we do inside of Screw U to maintain such a strong membership base and keep 93% of our members paying month after month, when the industry average is around 80%…
So it makes opting in for that freebie an obvious yes.
Which allows us to build up some solid attention around the idea of membership sites, so when we swing into promotion mode we already have a list of people keen to learn more about creating a wildly-successful membership site that allows them to create predictable and dependable recurring revenue in their business.
Then once you have those assets in place, you can sashay your way into the next phase.
How To Build Attention Before Your Launch
This is probably my favourite part of launching a membership site.
You know, except the whole getting members and making money part.
But I digress…
So now that you have the foundational elements in place to launch your membership site (ie. your read magnets and no-brainer lead magnet), it's time to build some serious attention and anticipation around your launch.
How do you do that?
Through a lethal combo of guest posting, podcast and video interviews and of course, our go-to traffic source: FB ad funnels.
Since those ad funnels are our most effective strategy for building anticipation for a launch, I'm gonna focus on that instead of just scraping the surface trying to cover all the things.
How To Use Facebook Ads to Build a List for Your Launch
So here's how this plays out in our business…
I create a top-notch (if I do say so myself) piece of free content around a specific interest area or pain point.
Right now it happens to be about launching your membership site.
From there, we create a “clicks to website” ad campaign inside our FB ads dashboard and start driving these ads to our existing audience AND to thousands (and thousands….and thousands) of people who have never heard of us before, a.k.a. cold traffic.
The minute they express interest in the topic and click the ad, they land on this page which is pixelled.
That means we can then follow them around Facebook and show up in their newsfeed (and in their sidebar) in a big way.
Why is this important?
Because it allows you to identify a group of people who are not only interested in the topic of your launch, but it allows you to serve hyper-relevant content to them, ultimately locking in a massive amount of trust and reciprocity.
But it doesn't end there.
Oh hell no.
You see, if someone clicks through to our read magnet ad and reads the content, but doesn’t opt in for our list of proven retention strategies, we serve them up an ad that prompts them to opt-in and grab their freebie.
Because sometimes people are too immersed in your content to opt-in…
Sometimes they don’t notice your CTA…
And sometimes they forget.
Which is why we follow them around Facebook using a “website conversions” ad objective, reminding them to grab their freebie.
Again, this allows us to build a list of people who are actively interested in the topic of our launch so when the doors open, we already have a list of people who are listening.
From there, it's all about opening up the doors and letting people know.
Going Live with Your Launch
Alright so now that you've got your pre-launch content mapped out and you've got your promotion strategy ready to roll out, it's time to kick this beyatch off on a big note.
To do this we use a 3-step process made up of webinars, email and a little thing we like to call “founders pricing”.
Here's how this plays out…
Launching Your Membership Site with Webinars
Here's the deal…
Hosting free live webinars have been our most effective and “easiest” way to launch anything.
From delivering high-impact and actionable training to having the captive attention of hundreds of people, you simply can't beat the results webinars provide when you're looking to sell just about anything.
So here's how we roll when it comes to launching a membership site with webinars…
About 5 days before the webinar we send out an email to our launch list that invites them to our value-packed live training, breaks down the core strategies they will be learning, gives them a link to sign up and teases a secret bonus.
In addition to that, we get extra dangerous and run some targeted FB ads that gets that free training link into the newsfeed of everyone on our launch list.
When the big day rolls around we send another email out to anyone who hasn't registered to remind them of the training going down that night and give them one more chance to register.
Then once we go live and people start joining the training, we use the first 50-60 minutes of our webinar to rock our attendees worlds and give them actionable takeaways before transitioning into our pitch.
Or in other words: We teach the “what” so we can then sell the “how”.
Once in the pitch, we use that momentum to introduce the audience to our membership and introduce our “founder pricing”.
What the heck is founders pricing?
It's an introductory monthly rate we offer on our launch webinar as a “fast-action bonus” that allows people to lock in a “founder's rate” before the price increases.
Why do we do this?
Because we want to get as many members in the door as we possibly can in that small window of time so we can create a strong connection with our founding members that will stand the test of time.
Do you have to use price increases to do this?
You can use content-based bonuses if that works better for your business.
The key is to incentivize joining your membership during this launch window to create your baseline community.
We also use this time to give people a tour through the membership site so that they can see what they get once they join the community.
Basically, we let them try it before they buy it.
Then once that webinar is over and we have our first group of founding members, we queue up a string of strategic emails for anyone who hasn't bought on our launch list.
These emails work to address a person's objections, answers their questions, demonstrates how our membership can help them achieve the outcome or result they are craving and sprinkles in some heavy urgency that prompts the reader to act.
What's more is this launch strategy is repeatable, will rip your business out of feast or famine mode and help you create a secure and dependable business that generates recurring revenue…month after month, year after year.
And honestly? It doesn't get any better than that.
So tell us…are you planning on launching a membership for your business? If so, tell us in the comments below what you're doing to make sure you have a successful launch…