How to Generate Sales for a New Product Release
So you’re ready to launch a new product.
Regardless of your business type or industry, it’s important for brands, both new and old, to be innovative to stay relevant. I know how much hard work you’ve put into this new release, so I want to commend you on that.
Whether you’re releasing a new product or an extension of an existing product line, you’ve got to make sure your marketing efforts lead to sales.
Think about all the blood, sweat, and tears you put into this creation. Okay, maybe not blood, but you get what I mean.
This goes all the way back to your early brainstorming sessions as well as your research and development phases. You may have even had some failed attempts.
Oh yeah, and what about all the money you invested in this new product? Can’t forget about that.
If you can’t get consumers to buy your product, you won’t get an adequate return on that investment.
But those of you who are able to effectively promote your new product will enjoy the high sales. I’ll give you some tips and advice that will help you out.
Build hype early
If you wait until your product launches to start marketing it, you’ve waited too long. Those of you who failed to start early are already behind.
But don’t worry. I’m not here to reprimand you. There are still ways in which you can generate sales after the item is released, but we’ll talk about those later.
A great way to build hype in the early stages is by turning the announcement into a big deal. Apple is famous for this with its keynote presentations.
Since the company has been using this strategy for years, consumers now anticipate the announcement itself. By the time Apple announces a new product, people have already decided to buy it.
Announcing new products at a particular event will get your audience ready. They’ll want the latest and greatest product or technology.
The anticipation of the release makes the product that much more desirable. Now you’ve got them hooked before it’s even released.
Consumers will be lined up around the block to buy your new product because they’ve been thinking about it for months. They already know the features and benefits of it because they’ve done the research.
Building hype before the release will help you generate sales on the release date as well as the subsequent days and weeks.
Start taking pre-orders
Again, this strategy relates to the idea of starting early.
You don’t need to wait for your product to be in stock to start generating sales. Let your customers pre-order the product so you can secure profits right away.
Offering pre-orders has tons of benefits. One is collecting money early. But pre-ordering an item also gives your customers a sense of exclusivity.
It will give customers the illusion that they have something before anyone else does. They’ll be one of the first people to have the product in their hands.
Furthermore, if you take pre-orders, people may think there is a chance the product may sell out. If they don’t order it now, they may not have the chance to buy it on the official release date.
Pre-orders ensure your new product gets off to a strong start, which is better than it would do through the average product life cycle.
There’s no reason to have a slow introduction phase if you can avoid it.
In addition to wanting to be exclusive or have the product before anyone else, think of other reasons why a consumer may be interested in a pre-order.
Everyone loves getting a deal. Depending on your brand image and pricing strategy, you could potentially offer a discount to customers who pre-order the product to help drive sales.
Taking orders before release can also help you gauge your inventory. You’ll have a better idea of how much of the product you’ll need to have on hand for the initial release.
This is important information in terms of your production costs, and it will help you maximize your ROI.
Target your most loyal customers
Just because you’re releasing a new product doesn’t mean you need to find new customers.
Don’t get me wrong. New customers are great, and they are always welcome to buy. But you already have an existing clientele of people familiar with your brand and existing products. Those are the customers whom you should contact first.
Your email marketing list is a great place to start.
These are the customers who are so interested in your brand and products that they signed up to hear from you on a regular basis. So send emails before and after the product launches.
Here’s an example of an email sent out by Lululemon:
This email is promoting new colors of an existing product. So it makes sense the company is starting with its existing customers, who may already be familiar with this product.
Even if it was a new product, telling your email subscribers about it first is still a viable strategy.
It’s also worth noting that you have a 60-70% chance of selling to a current customer. But you only have a 5-20% chance of a new customer purchasing a product.
If sales are your goal, focusing on new customers won’t be as effective.
Research shows that it’s six or seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to market to an existing one.
When it comes to your ROI, marketing to your most loyal customers is the best bang for your buck.
Run a contest
Another way to generate sales for your new product is by giving it away.
I know what you’re thinking. This sounds counterproductive. How can you make money by giving something away?
You need to learn how to run a profitable giveaway. Contests will get people interested in what you’re selling. Rather than promoting it by saying “here is our new product,” put a unique spin on it by running a contest.
The cost to run a contest is relatively inexpensive as well. The only major expense is the cost of the item you’re giving away, plus maybe some additional shipping charges.
But the benefits will be worth it. In my opinion, social media platforms are the best places to set up your contests. Here’s why:
Running your contests on social media will expose your new product to a larger audience. As a result, it will help you generate more sales.
Here’s a hypothetical example to show you what I’m talking about. Let’s say you run a contest on Instagram. To enter, people need to post a picture to their personal Instagram profiles and include a relevant hashtag.
Let’s say 1,000 people enter your contest. That’s 1,000 photos of your brand just from one contest. Tons of people will see these pictures.
Of those 1,000 entries, you’re selecting only three winners. But there are still 997 people who want your product, plus who knows how many people who were exposed to it.
They’ve already built up excitement about using it. There is a good chance a large chunk of that group will still buy it.
As you can see, something as simple as giving away three items can generate hundreds or potentially thousands of sales.
Offer a discount
Typically, most brands don’t offer discounts for new items. When a new product gets released, they discount older items.
While I can understand the thinking behind this concept, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s correct. People love to get a deal. Put your pride aside for a moment, and recognize that consumers are price sensitive. They’re also more intelligent than you think.
If they realize your new product will eventually go on sale, they have no reason to buy it right now. But by the time it goes on sale, they may have forgotten about it and lost interest.
While the product is fresh in the minds of the consumers, close the deal.
Mark down the price right away. If you want, use an age-old marketing trick. Jack up the initial retail price, then discount it making sure you can still profit.
Psychologically, it’s going to be tough for people to justify paying a full price for a product when they see cheaper items surrounding it on your site and in stores.
Blog about it
Use your blog to your advantage.
Start talking about the product in your posts before it gets released. Continue talking about it after the release as well.
As you can see from these numbers, your blog can help you generate new leads. Consumers trust advice from blogs.
Sure, it’s obvious your readers will know your opinion is biased. They realize you won’t say anything bad about the products you want to sell.
But that shouldn’t stop you from writing about your new release. You can also reach out to other websites and try to get featured in guest posts.
Set up a link directly in the posts that brings the readers to the checkout page with the new product in their carts. Reducing the steps in the process increases the chances of driving sales.
If your new product is boring, is the same as your other items, or is already available from other retailers, people won’t be thrilled to buy it.
But if it’s unique, improves their lives, and enhances their customer service experience, they’ll be much more willing to spend their hard-earned cash.
Start by conducting the right market research.
What do your customers want? Give it to them.
Try to make drastic improvements to existing products that have problems. If your product is revolutionary, it will sell like crazy.
Highlight the new product on your website
Now that your product has launched and is available for purchase, don’t bury it on your website.
Showcase it on your homepage. Take a look at this example from the GAP website:
The new arrivals are the first thing featured on its homepage.
Do you notice anything else about this site? It also offers discounts on its new items, a strategy I’ve previously discussed.
You can feature your new product in other places of your website as well.
Let’s say your site has a search filter, which it should, so I’m assuming it does. When someone searches for something by name or by a category that fits the description of your new product, it should be the first item they see on the page.
If they have to navigate through pages and pages of results to find your new product, it will decrease the chances of them buying it.
Here’s a look at how Michael Kors sorts products on its ecommerce page:
You can employ a similar strategy to increase the exposure of your new products.
This will help you generate more sales.
Timing is everything
Your new product might be great. However, if you release it at the wrong time, you won’t get lots of sales.
For example, let’s say you’re planning to release a product on a Thursday, which just happens to be July 3rd that year. You can’t just do that without taking things like that into consideration.
July 4th is obviously a national holiday celebrated by Americans. Lots of people will take July 3rd off work and enjoy a nice long weekend with family and friends.
They could be having a barbeque, traveling, or spending the day on the beach. They probably won’t have tons of time or incentive to buy something online.
Your opening weekend is going to be a dud. This won’t build much buzz around your product release.
On the flipside, if you were releasing a product that could be used on the 4th of July, such as American flag apparel, you’ve got to make sure the release date gives your customers enough time to get the item before they need it.
If they need it for the 4th, releasing it on the 3rd won’t get you sales either.
You should also keep seasons in mind as well. For example, nobody in New England is going to buy snow gear in the summer.
When it comes to proper timing, ecommerce brands can build hype for the holiday season. You’ll want to release your products when consumers are ready and willing to spend money.
Use video content as a promotion tool
Don’t just share pictures of your new product. You’ll want to give people as much information as possible about what they’re buying.
That’s why video promotions are a viable strategy. There are lots of ways in which you can accomplish this.
You can use commercial style promotions to showcase your product. This can be done before and after your product is released.
Once the new product is available for purchase on your site, include a video demonstration to show website visitors how it works.
Recognize what type of content your target market wants to see. Consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it.
Furthermore, 90% of consumers say videos about products help them make buying decisions. Customers are 64% more likely to buy a product online if they’ve seen a video about it.
Share the videos on your website, social media platforms, marketing emails, and all your distribution channels.
Jump on the live video bandwagon. Showcase the product with live video streams as well.
These tactics will help you drive sales for your new product release.
Releasing a new product can be intimidating. You put so much effort into the release that you need to make sure everything goes smoothly.
If you don’t generate sales, your new product won’t turn a profit.
That’s why it’s important for you to start building hype for your product before it gets released. Take pre-orders, and start collecting money right away.
Rather than looking for new customers, promote the new release to your most loyal customers.
Come up with an innovative product. Run contests, and offer discounts as promotional methods. Talk about the new product in your blog posts.
Showcase the item on your website, and consider the timing of your release.
Create video advertisements, and share them on all your distribution channels.
If you follow the advice in this guide, your new product will generate sales and drive high profits as a result.
What marketing strategies are you using to drive sales for your newest products?