This was my first paid product launch since quitting my traditional tech job. I didn’t know what to expect, but it was definitely not 10K straight out of the gates. Grateful for my 4000 newsletter readers who set me up for this launch.
Product Toolkit: a comprehensive toolkit that covers full product development cycle + strategies to fast-track your product career.
Wanted to share my process, what worked vs. flopped, and questions for this community:
- Dynamic, FOMO pricing works! It gives people a reason to buy now vs. wait and forget about it. It also rewards your early supporters with a better deal before you have reviews and testimonials as credibility signals
- Use visuals to illustrate what you're making - it's the fastest way to help people "get it". Sales copy only goes so far
- Monetize depth, not breadth. Give away the "what" and "why" for free; consider charging for the "how". Most people don't care for the nitty-gritty details, and just want the glam summary. By turning the nitty-gritty details into a paid product, you select for the right audience that cares, while keeping the general audience engaged for when they are ready for the "how".
- I knew my readers would be the best first audience, so I did a series of interviews where I learned that while there's an abundance of content, there's a lack of depth that helps people apply theory into their lives
- I screenshot an outline, put it at the end of a post, and said I was opening up 25 early access seats for this new product that would go into the nitty-gritty. I settled on $50 / seat as an early way to gauge demand
- I expected 25 people over a few days, but I got 27 people in under 2 hours and had to shut down the link early (27*50 = $1350)
- I shared updated outlines every week and collected 300 emails on the waitlist
- Friday night, I shared early-bird special for the waitlist which would expire on Sunday. Since then, I've received over $9K in preorders, totaling just over $10K in 3 days
- The outline screenshot and continuous visual updates clearly explained what I was making, and drummed up excitement
- Staged the preorder launch phase into two: early access (to gauge demand, get feedback / early testimonials) and early-bird special (to reward waitlist people with a good deal and gather momentum)
- Dynamic, FOMO pricing: I gave people a reason to buy by specifying how many seats there were, and that the prices would go up afterwards
- How I settled on the price: this is always a black box, and I didn't have the luxury to AB test. I picked $50 (which is on the pricier end for a product that does not exist), but I knew that many of my readers would be able to expense this since it applies to career development. Comparable products are in the hundreds of dollars, if not thousands (pretty insane)
- None of this would've happened had I not built trust with a base of readers! I've published every week since May 2020
- Launched early-bird special over weekend, but people check emails more on weekdays. A number of people reached out saying that they weren't sure if they could expense this, and needed a weekday to check
- Because of the short early-bird window, I only sent 2 emails; each email boosted sales, so I should've mapped out the cadence in advance and considered time for a third
- The way I executed dynamic pricing was confusing because I had mentioned the starting price in static emails, but I increased it after every 20 copies sold. I should've updated Gumroad with the # copies sold to make it clear why the price had gone up. Alternatively, I could've left the price off the emails and used the link instead to avoid mixed messaging which anchored people
- Promote publicly on Twitter
- Iterate on feedback and make the Toolkit awesome
- Build a proper landing page, not a random Notion page
- Launch on Product Hunt
- Experiment with paid ads
- What am I missing? Anyone have tips on how to do the above well?
Special thank you to @janel for reminding me to use my pre launch wisely!!
If you'd like to follow along my journey, I'll be sharing more updates in my newsletter: productlessons.xyz