In April I launched my latest product, an email series to help small business owners market their business off social media. It’s certainly not the first time that I’m launching a product. But this time, I went about it very differently from what I did before. Rather than going for a hard, time-sensitive launch, I went for a soft launch and an evergreen product. I loved launching my product slowly and gently like this, and am sharing what I did in this post.
During previous launches, I went the standard route that many people use (and which works for them). I did most of my sharing about the launch on Instagram: teasing that I was working on something new, ramping up posts as I neared the deadline, offering a pre-launch option for people that signed up for my newsletter and contacted small business owners who might be interested personally via DMs. I also announced the new product through my newsletter, and sent one or two extra newsletters as the deadline for the launch approached.
Of course, how a product ends up performing depends on many more things that just our marketing strategy. And not all of these elements are in our control.
my old strategy: results + how it felt
In early 2021, I launched my social media guide for small business owners: a paid product that helped business owners change their relationship with social media in their business. I started drip-feeding or teasing the guide in the week of February 15th 2021, with posts on Instagram and in my newsletter. For the coming weeks, I posted about the product at least twice a week, with additional stories and even a reel (!). The pre-sale started on February 28th, and I used the time between then and when the guide went on sale (March 4th) to really hype it on social media. Only people on my newsletter list would get the pre-sale price. On February 28th I also asked about ten people to share my post with their audiences: I have no doubt that this had a huge effect.
I sent two extra emails to my newsletter list: one announcing the pre-sale and a reminder of the pre-sale three days before it went on sale (with a higher price).
- 15 new email newsletter sign-ups after announcing that people had to get on the list for the pre-sale
- 12 pre-order sales
- 3 regular price sales
what felt good about this launch:
- sharing about the guide with others + asking them to share with their audiences/communities
- having people sign up to the newsletter
- writing the newsletters
- having a relatively short launch period (although it was still 3+ weeks)
what felt less good about this launch:
- Instagram-overload: I spent way more time on the app than I wanted
- clash between the launch and my energy levels: I just can’t keep my energy up for 3+ weeks (can anyone?!?) and that added a lot of pressure
launching slowly and gently: my new method
The biggest difference for how this launch felt was that I had decided to make this an evergreen product. Creating an evergreen product fits in really well with my main marketing channels, Pinterest and my newsletter. Pins on Pinterest keep their value (and often increase in views) after weeks, months, even years, so spending time creating pins is really worth it. Because it’s an evergreen product I’m able to add it to the free resources that my newsletter subscribers have access to.
what helped to make this launch feel good:
- not being on Instagram: without the constant scroll and refresh, without the stories and the reels, I felt less temptation to mention the series all the time. I love this email series and think it’s really valuable, but I don’t want to be talking about it all the time.
- the email series is an evergreen product, which means: no deadline for the launch! Deciding for an evergreen product also allows me to market the way feels good to me, through Pinterest.
- the series is a really organic part of what I offer for free and paid. If people enjoy my blog posts, the email series is a natural next step, for instance.
Marketing was also made easier because I was really clear about what I wanted from this series. I wanted to grow my newsletter, of course, but primarily my aim was to sell my 1:1 mentoring spots. The email series is a great taster of what working with me is like.
Marketing was made easier because I was really clear about what I wanted from this series.
the practical things I did in order to launch slowly and gently:
- I used my regular newsletter to announce the series, and discuss how I moved my business away from social media. In the following newsletters (I currently send 2 a month), I added a link to the series as well, but I didn’t feel the need to send any additional newsletters
- I added the link to the series to my welcome-sequence + resources
- banner at the top of my website;
- I added the email series to my list of resources on my website. Again, this is where the benefit of having an evergreen product comes in;
- I now have a number of (free + paid) products that support small business owners to redefine the role of social media in their business, including moving their business away from social media completely. I’ve made a page on my website to collect all of these together, making it easier for me to link to them all at once in blog posts and elsewhere.
- using communities and my network:
- Pinterest: I created a bunch of pins for this series (112 of them, using my Pinterest strategy), and scheduled them to go out until at least the autumn of 2022.
- blog posts: I’ll be writing and publishing some more blog posts on social media in (my) business over the coming months, which will also link to the series.
- podcast interviews: I pitched to two podcasts that I’ll be interviewed on over the coming months. The main topic will be moving your business away from social media.
- nearly 30 new people signed up to my newsletter for the email series
- 37 people signed up for the email series when I first launched it.
In terms of sign-ups, it certainly helped that this email series is a free product. It absolutely makes sense that people are more likely to sign up for something free than to buy something. But a free resource like this email series has a logical place in my marketing strategy, and in my product ecosystem. It is important to me to make money in my business, and I feel comfortable charging what I charge also because I also offer really valuable free resources.
Despite the fact that the email series did not make me any direct money–like a paid product would–it has brought new subscribers to my newsletters that are also sticking around. The series itself and my regular newsletters give a really great idea of what working with me is like, so subscribers are more likely to sign up for 1:1 mentoring.
And importantly: launching slowly and gently felt so much better to me than the old way of launching. Yes, I run a business with which I want to make money, but not at the cost of running myself into the ground. Launching slowly and gently is the answer for me.
are you ready to build a slow, gentle and profitable business?
Find out more about ways of working together through 1:1 mentoring. I’d love to get to know you 🙂
I hope this blog post gave you some ideas on launching slowly and gently, and inspired you to tweak how you launch products and services in your business. I’d love to help you figure out how to make launching feel good (and have results) in your business. Discover how we can work together here.