How to Set Up a Product Without Creating It First | The Basics
Setting up a product without creating it to make sales may seem a little scary at first, but in all honesty, you set it up the same way you set up the final product. Once your final product is made, you'll just add it and switch the text from Pre-selling to Launching.
Like most products that you sell online, you will need a sales page, a download page, and a way to collect money and capture information from the buyer.
A sales page for a Pre-sale is just like a sales page for a product you've fully created. The only difference is if you fail to produce everything on that sales page for the customer, you could wind up with some unhappy buyers. For this reason, ensure that you include everything possible on the sales page in the product or don't put it on the page. You can always add things later as you go.
At some on the sales page, you'll want to make it clear that this is a Pre-sell or early bird sale. You don't have to tell them that the product is not finished yet at all. Be clear about when they'll receive what they purchased in the text on the sales page as well as within the shopping cart and buy buttons. Further, ensure your first message to them explains more about when they will get the final product but also what they can do now ahead of time.
Thank You + Download Page
Since you are not finished with the product yet, what is on this page will vary. You might include an agenda for the launch and what they can expect going forward. You might have something they can download now, such as a preview chapter of your book, or one module of your course, or one video from another webinar about the same topic if you're doing a live webinar or event. However, you'll want to ensure that you put something on it that thoroughly explains everything to expect, again.
Once you fully launch the product, you'll just go back to each page you've created and slightly change the wording. Adjusting after full launch will take only a few minutes. You can also include links to other helpful information on your download or thank you page - such as links to your social media platforms, links to any private groups you've created, tips to prepare, and so forth. Don't waste one inch of valuable real estate on your download or thank you page.
Email Marketing Software
One thing you really do need to accomplish this, which you likely already have, is some type of email automation software. You can get by without specific landing page software because you can make landing pages manually, but nothing will substitute for email marketing auto-responder software.
Each auto-responder software offers different benefits, so you'll need to check out various options depending on your needs. Please read the fine print. Some auto-responders like Mailchimp, for example, don't like affiliate marketing. Some offerings are new to tagging and charge you multiple times for the same list member. My favorite email auto-responder is Constant Contact, you can set up multiple email sequences to go out to different email lists, and you can include surveys, polls, video content, as well as make your emails shop-able with links to your store/products. There customer service is great as well, and I really like that you can call them up and speak to a real person, ask questions and get help when needed.
Content You'll Need
You'll need sales copy for your landing page, understandable explanatory copy for your thank you / download page, content for your email auto-responder, as well as blog and social media copy to inform, teach, and engage your audience. You'll need to ensure that the content you create around the product gives all the information that is required to help eliminate confusion.
The great thing about Pre-launching is that as questions and issues come in, you can update the content to make it clearer and more effective. Don't forget to add email content that solicits feedback and testimonials that you can use, too.
Software That Helps
We mentioned email software. Don't skimp on this software if you want to be successful online. However, if you don't have a large list constantcontact.com offers a 14-Day Free Trial and then if you have less than 2000 email subscribers is online about $25/month after the free trial. You'll need a system that collects email addresses but also organizes them based on their journey. You also need a way to build a functional website; we recommend using self-hosted WordPress or Shopify and a host that cares about you like Godaddy.com or Momwebs.com
If you want to further automate your funnels, using landing page software like Instapage.com, Drip.com, Leadpages.net, and others can also make everything work more smoothly. It can facilitate the immediate delivery of purchases, too. However, you can start without that expense, merely using the right website software, along with the correct email software like Constant Contact.
You'll also need some form of a shopping cart. You don't want to use just a PayPal button because you're going to make more money if you use a shopping cart that also enables you to use affiliates to help you market.
Many digital product sellers like using Amember.com, eJunkie.com, Kajabi.com, Clickbank.com, JVzoo.com, and others. I will say that if you are going to have your own website on Shopify.com you can incorporate affiliates on that platform as well and it works great.If you want to make it super easy, you can get going right now with just your regular site, a sales page, a download page, a shopping cart, and an auto-responder. If you're using the right tools, setting up your proof of concept will only take a couple of hours if you start right now.
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