EP 34: The Next Level Launch Strategy

 

 

Episode Summary:

In “The Next Level Launch Strategy,” the Messenger Mastermind team goes over the Next Level Launch Strategy that has allowed them to effectively scale to new heights without additional ad budget. The tips in this episode have helped the MM team achieve 6 figure sales days for their own companies, as well as clients in other industries.

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Episode Highlights:

  1. 2:25 The 3 Phases of Every 6-Figure Sales Day
  2. 3:47 #LaunchGoals: a 6-figure launch day every 3 weeks
  3. 4:44 How C.V.G is selling out of most products within 4 hours
  4. 6:00 Breaking down the most important part: The Hype Step
  5. 7:55 Coordinate your Marketing channels so that you don’t annoy your customers?
  6. 11:30 How to have bigger launch days while decreasing Paid Media Budget
  7. 13:35 Dedicate budgets to building leads instead of driving purchases
  8. 17:17 Can you use the Next Level Launch Strategy for anything besides Product Launches?
  9. 20:07 If you’re interested in 6-Figure Launch days, what should you do?

 

 

Resources Mentioned:

 

  1. Facebook Messenger Tool – Manychat
  2. Email Platform- Klaviyo
  3. SMS Marketing Campaign Manager – Postscript
  4. SMS Marketing – Save My Sales
  5. SMS Marketing – Retention Rocket

Episode Transcript:

 

Jeremy: Welcome, welcome to another week’s episode of The Messenger Mastermind Podcast. As always, I’m your host, joined by my incredible co-hosts, Mark Arruda and Ben Vandal. Things are a little crazy this week, so we’re going to jump right in. You guys want to let us know what you’ve got going on this week?

 

Ben: Yeah, it’s launch week. We’ve got another launch coming up.

 

Mark: It feels like it’s always, always launch week.

 

Ben: If we sound a little different, we are currently recording at a co-shared space because our building has been filled up with inventory.

 

Mark: We’ve got a little 4000 square foot building that is kind of buzzing right now with a lot of stuff going on because of the fact that we have a launch in two days. We have shifted the podcast area over to a co-sharing space. Should be fun.

 

Jeremy: That’s I’m sure a lot of headaches but I’m also sure it’s very, very exciting, especially talking with you guys about product launches in the past.  They’re always a really big deal. I know you have a different recipe of how you do product launches from a lot of the other businesses that we talk to. Can you quickly break down what product launch means to you all and how you execute that?

 

Mark: Specifically, how we do it for both C.V.G. and clients that we work with, we have a strategy that we have named the Next Level Launch Strategy. That strategy is a blueprint or an outline of a variety of strategic touchpoints that are broken into three phases. Phase One: The Hype Phase is everything before the launch. Phase Two: The Day of Launch and then Phase Three which is the post-launch clean-up, follow-up phase. It’s pretty much our secret sauce resulting in six-figure sales days within just 24 hours.

 

Jeremy: That’s incredible. How frequently do you guys run these? How often are you guys driving six figures in 24 hours?

 

Mark: When we first started this, we almost kind of fell into it about a year ago, maybe a little bit longer than a year ago. At that time, we were learning the process and improving over the weeks and months. When we first started, we were running launches every month to every five or six weeks. Since about January, we’ve really picked up the pace on that cadence because we’ve learned the importance of how valuable these launches can be. We’ve actually pivoted our launch cadence to every three weeks. We’re even trying to improve that cadence to a two-week pace.

 

Jeremy: I need to stop you really quick for a second. You just said that you’re doing one of these product launches every three weeks. So, are you doing six figures each one of those product launches every three weeks since January?

 

Mark: It’s our goal to be and it seems to be that it’s realistic that we can pull that off more often than not for different variations. Sometimes it’s not the case. Sometimes it just comes down to the fact we don’t have the inventory to actually hit those numbers. Sometimes we’ll go with lesser quantities to make sure that we sell out and keep some scarcity and urgency going around each of our launches. Six figures is currently our goal every time that we have a launch.

 

Jeremy: I’ve just got to pull back another layer there. You just said that sometimes you run out of inventory. Are you selling through all of these new products in that 24-hour window?

 

Ben: This process is always a testing ground for us. We started out way back. As Mark said, we did a different cadence about a year ago. We went back to the drawing board. We really refined the process and cut it down to about three weeks and at this stage in the game, we’re still refining our inventory as far as ordering goes because we have had an issue of we’ve been selling out within 24 hours. Sometimes, within four hours of most of our sizes of clothing.

 

Jeremy: Four hours?

 

Ben: Yeah, the opening four hours is pretty pivotal for the launch and it gets a lot going for us so we can tell pretty quickly of what we’re going to run out of that day.

 

Mark: Because of the way that this launch strategy is outlined, it’s all based around the fact that when we say, “Go,” when we say this product is live, that we are going to see massive spikes. Our following and audience is going to be prepared to purchase right at that time. It’s not a slow burn, usually, it’s dive right in. It happens very quickly.

 

Jeremy: Break down that process for us. You’re talking about moving six figures worth of product in four hours. I assume there’s some prep work that has to go into that. What’s going on from the marketing side of things that you guys are driving that much demand?

 

Ben: To go on the first step that Mark talked about, the Hype Step. This is our most important and drawn out process. We sit down and we pick out what products we’re going to launch, how we’re to hype them leading up to a certain date. We do have a cadence as far as that goes. We go with a unified message across a bunch of different channels. Our top channels and our secondary channels, as Mark calls them. Our top channels are our big hitters like email, our Facebook group, our Facebook Messenger and our secondary tiers are things like push notification, SMS, our organic social channels, vlogs, YouTube, all that other stuff.

 

Mark: Talking about more specifics of the top tier, Ben mentioned email. The reasons why that’s valuable is that customers are extremely comfortable with it and it converts. We all know this. Facebook Group is extremely valuable because that it is the organic social proof that’s happening within our community and it’s pretty much the heart of the buying frenzy. This is where the live action is happening of people making their purchases and sharing their purchase with the rest of the community. Facebook Messenger, we consider our top tier channel also, just because of the fact that we have instant touchpoints with 80-90% view rates on the messages that we put out.

 

Ben: While we think this strategy does work for every single company out there, the tiers might be different for your particular business depending on what your strength is. We know our strength is email and Facebook Group and Facebook Messenger, so we consider those our top tier channels. Some other companies might have a great SMS marketing game. They might have great organic socials so they might be able to slide those into a top tier and maybe move something else into a secondary tier as well.

 

Jeremy: That’s really interesting. Do you need to use all those channels? It sounds like a lot of channels to manage for a launch. One, do you need them all? Two, if you do, how do you coordinate them all so it’s not like you’re blasting out a text message, Messenger, social posts, all at the same time to the same people with the same message?

 

Mark: Do you need them all? No. Do we recommend having as many as possible? Absolutely. For the top tier channels of email, Facebook Group, Facebook Messenger, we recommend that’s it’s best to have at least two of those. If you don’t, we recommend having at least one extremely strong channel out of those three that you can use to splinter and build the other top tier channels. Regarding the second tier, the more that you have, the better. We like to, out of our second-tier list, we like to tell our clients that it’s ideal to have at least four strong second tier channels. If a client isn’t quite there, then it’s important to spend some time building out those channels because they are important in the launch strategy. To make sure that the channels are used correctly, to answer your second question, that’s really the secret sauce to everything because how the channels are used are extremely specific. You’re not just blasting out a message all at the same time to all of the channels. That would defeat the purpose. That does not increase the likelihood of someone seeing your message. We have a very strategic plan of touchpoints at different days and different times in each of those, serving different purposes in the three phases of Hype, Day of Launch, and Follow-up.

 

Ben: Maybe just to give a little real-world example and take this off the digital side. This is something similar to you wake up and you turn on the tv and you see a commercial there from your favorite company. You hop in the car; you get a radio ad from them. Then you’re driving down the highway and you see a billboard. All three are doing three different things with three different messages, three different vantage points, but they all unify together to sell the same product. That’s a lot of what we’re doing here, just using different digital channels, making it organic on that particular channel so the customer sees it and knows what’s going on no matter where they are.

 

Mark: I think the important part of what Ben points out there is that these three touchpoints that he gives in his real-world example are all happening at different times. It’s very important to not just stack them all at the same time because the full effect of everything happens by people seeing it gradually throughout the day or throughout days over time.

 

Jeremy: I think that makes perfect sense and that’s something we talk about a lot. Some might view their email but they’re busy and they’re not going to come back, but you send them a follow-up text message or Messenger or push and at that point, they can take an action. One interesting thing, though, that I haven’t heard yet is you guys talk about is paid media.

 

Ben: Again, going back to the original story of this, we saw our launches working well and we were struggling to scale our paid media efficiently and cost effectively. We saw that the price of paid acquisition on Facebook and Instagram was getting extremely expensive. We went back to- like we often do when we’re struggling- we go back to fundamentals. What do we do well and where can we improve those? So, we went back to channels that we owned, and we really focused them all into one unified message. Mark came up with this great cadence and the Next Level Launch Strategy and that’s the origin story of this. We have tremendous release days without increasing our paid media budget. That was a goal of ours to start and that’s still what we maintain today.

 

Jeremy: We need to take step back really quick. Ben, did you just say “without increasing” your paid media budget?

 

Ben: We do not increase our paid media budget at all during this process.

 

Mark: I think that this is an important thing to focus on because I think this probably relates to a lot of people.

 

Jeremy: Yeah, definitely.

 

Mark: If you’re in the e-commerce space then you probably spend a lot on Facebook ads. We certainly do spend a lot on Facebook ads. However, we do spend about 40% less on Facebook ads than we did at this time last year. We sell more this year than we did last year. What we know is a sure thing is that Facebook ads are forever going to become more expensive. They are never going to be cheaper. They’re only going to become more competitive which means prices going up so the whole point of the restructuring of our business model for C.V.G. was to cut ad spend, become more profitable, and grow at the same time. This launch strategy has allowed us to do that.

 

Jeremy: It’s interesting and kind of counterintuitive. I think a lot of businesses, especially my experience, you typically significantly increase the paid media specifically around product launches, and especially day of. It’s fascinating that you guys have been able to go about this cadence for essentially every three weeks you’re having these massive product launches without having to incur those additional increased costs. Can you quickly walk us through what you’re doing with the money that you’re spending on paid media to drive to the site and then where are all these purchases coming from if you’re not driving a ton of cold traffic?

 

Ben: What we’re doing is kind of death by a thousand paper cuts. We use our ad budget leading up to a release to acquire leads because most of our Next Level Launch Strategy is over a lot of owned channels. We go after email addresses, Messenger opt-ins, text message opt-ins as much as we can which we can get at an effective rate without increasing our budget. Then we prime those channels with the cadence that we’ve outlined. The day of the launch we switch that prospecting budget that we were using to get leads into re-targeting those same leads. They’re getting the message in the initial hype ad. They’re getting it over the paid channels that they opted to be in, and then the day of, they’re seeing re-targeting ads in addition to our regular messages. We are building a tidal wave of information coming their way, so they are prepared that day to take action.

 

Jeremy: So the paid media shift is from a purchase conversion focus to a lead generation conversion focus and then from there, you’re just using the lists to build them up ahead of each launch and then obviously, leverage the three phases that we talked about earlier.

 

Ben: That’s really the only way we’ve seen that we can increase efficiency on the paid advertising side. Leads are cheaper than conversions, so we focus on the leads first and then get the conversion in a different way.

 

Mark: It’s also important to mention just creating awareness through paid media is also much more cost effective. The fact that we’ve had established audiences that we’ve built out over time allows us to reach people that have purchased from us in the past very affordably to let them know when these launches are going to happen. It really is the life blood of the whole process.

 

Jeremy: It sounds like most of these launches are to either existing customers, returning customers or customers that are aware of you. If you’re comfortable sharing things like return customer rate or other data points around what’s the repeat ability of this process from the customer standpoint?

 

Mark: Just to give some metric of standard from our usual day-to-day, on a regular day, not on a launch time, we have an average order value of about $65 and we have a repeat customer rate anywhere from about 45-50% which is already fantastic. When it comes to launch days, those numbers absolutely skyrocket. Average order value goes from $65 up to anywhere from $80 to even close to $100 and return customer rate goes as high from 80-90%.

 

Jeremy: Sorry, what? 80-90% return customer rate?

 

Mark: This sounds like maybe it’s unbelievable, but it’s actually expected because we’ve spent our time to build our list, to prime our list to be aware of the fact that we have this release. Just building our audience over time to understand that the nature of our business is to every couple of weeks do a launch that could potentially sell out. Customers come back all on the same day to make sure that they can take advantage of their purchase.

 

Jeremy: This is blowing my mind. We’re talking about you launching a product every three weeks and every three weeks eight or nine out of ten people are coming back to buy more stuff from your store.

 

Ben: Yep, that’s how it works.

 

Mark: You got it.

 

Jeremy: Okay, that’s very cool. Moving on, do you guys use this strategy just for product launches? What about major promotions that you guys that you guys have or any type of sales?

 

Ben: Just going on a major promotion type of thing that everybody can relate to, Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, that’s kind of where this process was born. We saw that worked well and obviously we were like, “Wow, how can we replicate this every month? That would be really cool.” We built that out in this strategy and that’s what we do. Now for that process we’re trying to figure out how we can elongate that to really make the launch over a three-day, four-day period that everybody’s buying from. Our Black Friday/Cyber Monday plan now is extended out. It’s the same cadence, it’s just bigger.

 

Mark: To answer your question directly, this is not limited to just product launches. We do this same strategy for sales, promotions, if you’re doing buy one, get one 50% off, or free shipping. You need to clear inventory type of thing. It doesn’t just have to be specifically product launches. This is just the formula we mainly use for C.V.G.

 

Jeremy: I’m a little biased here because I’m a big fan of this process and I love the results we’ve also seen from some of our clients so far where we’ve implemented the same thing and they’ve seen great results as well. We’ve talked about how the business has completely changed from a marketing perspective, from an inventory perspective, even from an office perspective today. Are there any kind of higher level, bigger changes to the business that this has brought about in the past year?

 

Ben: Yeah, a lot. When this process started working well for us, we’ve really gone into trying to get- like I said we’re testing our ordering process, how much inventory can we handle, and that puts us further out on our ordering calendar. We’re already looking at bigger buildings now which is exciting stuff, to hold all this inventory. It has drastically altered the business in every way, shape, and form. Like we said, we’re keeping our ad spend the same and we might even actually have less ad spend this year with more sales so that’s another focus of ours. We can use that revenue in different ways to grow the business and set us up for the future.

 

Mark: I think we’re on pace to do about 50% more in sales this year than we did last year, and I believe we’re on pace to spend about 40% less than last year.

 

Jeremy: Nice. That sounds like a lot of new profit to invest in growth. That’s super exciting. I feel like if you’re still listening at this point in the episode, hopefully you are as excited as I am. You guys just want to quickly walk through if someone is interested in getting help and seeing the same changes for their business? Where they can go and what path they can start going down to start making these changes for their business?

 

Ben: We’re always excited to talk with new companies and see how we can make it work for them. If you head over to our website www.messengermastermind.co  we actually put together a PDF for you called the Launch Optimization PDF. It’s tactics and information that we use in the Next Level Launch Strategy. It’s a lot of bullet points and high overview of what you can do. If you really want to get a customized plan and talk to the team about building something for your best launch ever, send us an email hi@messengermastermind.co  We’d be happy to work something customized fully for your business.