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article imageOp-Ed: 6 Ways to prepare the world for your product

By Jenna Cyprus     Jul 24, 2013 in Business
Launching a product can be nerve wracking and will often make or break a company - especially a startup. Here are some tips for ensuring the launch goes out without a hitch!
The period leading up to a launch is exciting ... and often scary! Months of hard work, production, trial and error, and securing funding all lead up to launch day, and that's a lot of pressure for any entrepreneur or firm.
The good news is, there are a few tricks to preparing a product for launch that can help ensure its success. Ready to make the most of this auspicious day?
Below are six ways to prepare for launch day. It's a good idea to activate all of them for the best results. Don't just wing it, because that can flush all of your previous hard work down the drain. A strong launch requires planning, organization, and getting everyone on board. Try these out for the best results.
1. A marketing plan
Few people can utilize a marketing plan when it's only in their head. Have it written out, with concrete goals that include outreach, who will be contacted, when they'll be contacted, and samples of newsletters or videos. Different days of the week and even times of day are better to post on social media or send emails, depending on the product. Research when the time is right.
2. Teasers
Like a movie trailer, a video teaser about your product posted on social media sites like YouTube and Facebook can get people excited. Don't bombard them with teasers, though, and invest in a solid production if you go the video route. It's also crucial to make sure the teaser isn't better than the product. That could jinx future launches and might even be considered false advertising.
3. Bring in the pros
Few entrepreneurs or small business owners moonlight as PR professionals. Especially for a first launch, it's wise to turn to professionals for marketing and outreach. Choose from a la carte options, or learn the basics so you won't need as much help the second time around. There's no substitute for a professional campaign.
4. Reviews
Create focus groups or have selected demographics test and review the products before the launch. Get those reviews uploaded on places like Amazon or Yelp, if possible. Otherwise, you can put them on your website. People respond to word of mouth, even when they don't know the reviewer. It's one of the best ways to persuade customers that the product works.
5. Email marketing
Email newsletters can be a great pre-launch tool, but they require the right approach. There's a skill and an art to creating a quality email newsletter, and of course the time and day that it's sent can make a huge difference. Having data like email addresses of solid prospects is sheer gold, so make sure to treat it that way. One wrong move can have people requesting to be taken off the list in droves.
6. A killer website
Never let a website go live until it's fully functioning. If people are interested in a product, one of the first things they'll do is Google it to find the website. This is the online location where the company has complete control over the content, and can feature images and videos of the product. Customers will easily reach for more information. A great web designer and SEO are probably required here.
From responsive design in website creation to having a solid plan in place, launching a product is nearly as tricky as launching a spaceship. After all the hard work designing a product, now is not the time to drop the ball.
A product needs to be babied from inception until well after it's available to the wide world, and the launching period is perhaps its most fragile time.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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