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Stop Manipulating Your Customers With Live Product Launches For long-term success, you need a different strategy.

By Scott Oldford Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

sidmay | Getty Images

When you launch your next product, should you use a live or evergreen product launch strategy?

I asked this question for a long time, and having used both several times, I now have my answer: I hate live product launches!

Related: 8 Steps for the Perfect Product Launch

I know that goes against the grain, as the popularity of live launches continues to grow. I understand why they're so popular, because I, too, have used a live product launch strategy to sell courses and programs, and they often result in a big payday.

That's great.

Except there's a fundamental problem with this. And it's a problem that gives you short-term success with no long-term gain.

Why you should Illuminate, not manipulate

A live product launch strategy relies on one aspect: scarcity.

  • Countdown timers
  • Limited bonuses
  • Special prices
  • A "three day only" event

I understand the need for scarcity, as most people need an extra push to pull the trigger. The problem isn't that we use scarcity during a live launch, but rather build everything around it.

Through scarcity, you manipulate your audience to take action when they may or may not be ready.

When it comes to a short-term payday this is great, but if you want to build lasting trust with your audience ... not so much. But, it's trust that's fundamental to your success in 2018, because more than ever you exist in an over-crowded and highly competitive space.

Manipulation sets you up for short-term success at the expense of your long-term growth. It gives you money today with zero security for tomorrow.

So, instead of relying on manipulation, consider the art of illuminating your audience's pain so they buy your product at a time relevant to them.

Related: 4 Great Tips for Planning a (Nearly) Perfect Product Launch Party

The good and bad of a live product launch strategy

None of this is to say there aren't a lot of benefits to a live product launch strategy. I've used them myself many times in the past, and depending on the situation, I may do so in the future.

After all, a live product launch strategy creates:

  • A lot of money right now
  • A lot of attention and exposure right now
  • A lot of traffic and leads right now
  • A lot of opportunity for partnerships and JVs right now

All this is great and can certainly help your cash flow in the short term. Yet, once the dust settles, you tend to realize your live product launch was:

  • A lot of work, meaning you're now exhausted
  • Not that profitable after you take into account your ad spend and commissions
  • Great at bringing new leads in, but most of them have since unsubscribed

Plus, your launch is now over and you have to think about when your next big payday will come, so you go through this entire process every few months. It isn't a good time, but I'm happy to say there is an alternative.

Related: 5 Mistakes That Can Destroy Your Launch

Why an evergreen product launch strategy works

Building your business around a live product launch strategy isn't that smart when you realize you're placing all your eggs into a single basket. You're at the mercy of your product launches, as these are the only things that bring in money.

The problem is, all this money comes in within a few days, leaving you with little else for many months. This achieves only one thing, and it's your continued need to "hustle" for everything.

This is reason enough to choose an evergreen launch strategy, but it isn't the biggest reason. The greatest reason of all is that an evergreen launch strategy allows you to optimize.

With a live launch, you have no idea how effective your funnel is. You don't know whether your video works. You're unsure if your emails and Facebook ads are on point. You don't know much of anything!

You base your entire product launch strategy on assumptions, which is great if it comes off. But, what if it doesn't? What if your sales page, message and webinar is off? What then?

A lot of wasted time and money, that's what!

An evergreen product launch strategy allows you to test and iterate without worry. So long as you drive traffic into your funnel you can improve it over time. Best of all, you spread out your success, meaning your business no longer relies on a few big paydays each year.

Related: You May Have an Awesome Product, But It Won't Mean Much Without a Marketing Plan

How to build trust and create prolonged success

The more I think about it, the less relevant live launches will be in the future.

  • They do not help you build trust with your audience.
  • They do not help you build a robust business model.
  • They do not help you place your operations onto autopilot.
  • They do not help you test, experiment and improve over time.

Your job isn't to manipulate your audience for success today; it's to illuminate their pain so you can help them long into the future. An evergreen product launch strategy allows you to do this, building their trust and educating them over time so they don't feel rushed into pulling the trigger now.

With trust like this, you don't need to worry about scarcity tactics. So long as you provide a solution to their problem, your audience will become your customers. Not in small bursts, but throughout the year so you can enjoy prolonged success and build a business that lasts the test of time.
Scott Oldford

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Mentor, Advisor & Investor for Online Entrepreneurs

Scott Oldford has helped build and scale countless 6, 7 & 8-figure online businesses in the education, certification, coaching, consulting and courses niche.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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