Now that Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula launch is over for this year, it’s time for all of us students to get to work on creating our own launch. Over the next few posts as I go through the PLF training once again, I’ll be sharing my thoughts and the lessons I learn (or re-learn) along the way as I prepare to launch a new training program.
So, let’s get started…
How The Sideways Sales Letter Came To Be
For decades, one of the best ways to sell stuff to a mass audience, both in print and online, has been by using a sales letter. Now the typical sales letter uses the Problem, Agitate, Solve framework, which works pretty well as a way of helping people realise they have a problem, and explaining how a product or service can solve that problem for them.
The problem with sales letters (or sales videos) is that they don’t create a lot of value for the people reading them, and therefore they aren’t all that efficient. Typical conversions for sales letters or videos are between zero and 2%, which means there’s a lot of money left on the table
That’s why Jeff Walker came up with what he calls the Sideways Sales Letter.
Now some people looking at a launch sequence without the benefit of owning Product Launch Formula still think you can just take any old sales letter or sales video, split it into 3 pieces, and deliver it as content.
But the problem with this is there’s still not a lot of value created, and it relies on the Problem Agitate Solve framework which still doesn’t work all that well.
The Sideways Sales Letter is completely different in that it teaches, inspires, and sells over a period of time, using what Jeff calls Pre-launch Content (PLC). And he typically uses 4 videos for the content of his Sideways Sales Letters.
How To Structure Your Pre-launch Content
So how should this Pre-launch Content be structured, and what should you cover in your pre-launch videos (or posts, emails, podcasts or other content). Here’s how I’m going to be doing it for my next launch…
The working title of my new product is currently Digital Message Secrets, and it will show business owners and managers how to use email and text messages in unique ways to sell a lot more of their products and services with very little effort.
PLC #1 – The Opportunity
I’ll be using video for my Pre-launch Content, and my first PLC video will look at the opportunity my audience has once they understand the power of using highly personalised email and text messages to build relationships, and then promote their products and services to (and through) those people.
At this point in any product launch, most people will not be aware there is a going to be a product for sale, but I’ll be doing what Jeff and others do, and subtly ‘hinting’ that the videos they are watching are part of an upcoming launch of a new product.
The goal with this first video is to start to develop trust with your audience by sharing content that is outstanding and truly helps them to achieve a result. As Frank kern says, you want to help them by actually helping them!
Who knew that would actually work LOL?
In your first piece of PLC, you’ll want to do what I’ll be doing and teaching your people how to solve the biggest problem you KNOW they face. Throughout your training, you should sprinkle in mental triggers such as:
- Authority (show how you know your stuff)
- Likability (just being a nice person)
- Social proof (reviews, testimonials, comments from others)
- Anticipation (tell what’s coming next)
- Proof (testimonials, screen shots of results)
- Interaction and Conversation (have Facebook comments installed and invite people to comment below your PLC)
My audience’s biggest problem is generating very targeted leads in a cost effective way. The solution I’ll be sharing with them is a simple way they can re-purpose and re-activate many of the leads they have already generated, instead of trying to attract more new people.
I’ve spoken about this with dozens of people, and when I ask them if they ever have leads or prospects who fall through the cracks and don’t end up buying, they always say ‘YES”. So my first video will show them how to get a good percentage of those people back into the business, and then get some of them to become repeat customers or clients.
Then after I’ve helped them solve what is their biggest problem, I’m going to highlight another problem they are facing (which is being able to follow up with their audience in a low-stress, no-pitch way, that also sells heaps of products and services).
Then I’ll let them know that in the next video, I’ll show them how to solve that problem as well, which will open a mental loop that they’ll need closed before they feel comfortable again.
NOTE: In Jeff Walker’s case, he promises to teach the three types of product launches, and how to know which one is right for you and your business.
PLC#2 – The Transformation
The second PLC video should close the mental loop you opened at the end of the first video, and should teach about the potential for transformation, (in my case, how to follow up regularly while ‘selling’ without always having to ‘pitch’ products and services), and how their lives will be better once they understand how to use these personalised messages in their own business.
The goal for this video is to get people to believe that THEY can achieve the transformation. NOTE: In Jeff’s case he teaches the 3 types of launches and how to choose which one suits where you are in your business. The mental triggers you can use in this video are:
- Credibility (show results and other credibility boosting elements)
- Social proof
- Reciprocity (people will usually want to reciprocate when you do something for them)
- The common enemy (if possible, bring up a common enemy and position yourself on their side against this perceived enemy)
- Reason why (giving people a reason why makes everything your doing much more believable)
- Community (build the conversation in the comments section)
Then at the end of my second PLC video, I’ll be highlighting the next biggest problem my audience faces, and that is in not having enough products or services of their own to fully satisfy their markets desire for more stuff. I’ll promise to help them solve this problem in the third PLC video.
NOTE: The problem Jeff brings up at the end of PLC 2 is, “Well now you know the 5 major types of launches, but you also need to know the details of how to launch if you are going to do it successfully”, and he lets people know that he’s going to go through The Product Launch Blueprint in the next video (which opens another loop that people will feel the need to have closed).
PLC#3 – The Ownership Experience
In the third PLC video, your goal is to cover the ownership experience and what it’s like if they really had this transformation, and what it’s like to own your product or service.
Im my third PLC video, I’ll be sharing the simple system I have for turning any business into a ‘Distribution Centre’ for a range of high profit products and services. This system takes very little time, effort or money to implement, and gives exceptional results for just about everyone who uses it.
The mental triggers you can use in this video are:
- Scarcity (your launch is coming to an end, and now’s the time to mention the class is coming up, and there will be some kind of deadline or limit to places)
- Social proof
- The common enemy
- Reason why
I’ll be starting off by revisiting the two techniques shared so far, and will then teach them the system for turning their business into a high profit Distribution Centre for a range of other products they don’t have to source or create, stock, handle, deliver or supply customer support for.
NOTE: In Jeff’s content he starts off by saying, “So now you know the sideways sales letter, and you probably know which launch you are going to do, and now I’ll take you through the Product Launch Blueprint” which is an overview of how to do a launch, but it cannot possibly give all the details.
At the end of that video, I’ll be letting people know that my new program is starting in a few days, and in the next video I’ll give them all the details if they’d like to join up.
Jeff announces his Product Launch Formula training is opening up for new members soon, and the next video will give them all the details and show them how to join.
PLC#4 – The Open Cart/Sales Video
In the 4th piece of pre-launch content, you release your sales video or sales letter. The format of this content is (courtesy of Frank Kern as taught to him by John Carlton):
- Here’s what I’ve got
- Here’s what it will do for you
- Here’s what to do next
When people have gone through your prelaunch content and it has actually helped them, and if you present your audience with a great offer, this 3 step process works like gangbusters for converting them into clients and customers.
In his 4th PLC, Jeff releases the sales video that explains a very compelling offer for PLF, and invites people to join.
Once you’ve released your Sales Video, you’re in the ‘Open Cart’ period, which we’ll cover in another post.
For now, remember this…
According to Jeff Walker, this product launch process has helped him make millions of dollars for his own business, and has helped his students make around a billion dollars in sales through product launches.
There are NO guarantees, but when used correctly, the PLF process can probably help you too.
So if you’d like to learn more about how to successfully launch your own product or service by using Jeff’s Sideways Sales Letter process, check out his Product Launch Masterclass by registering here.
P.S. Being able to create a Perfect Product is a great start, but you also need a way to generate sales in a consistent way. Running a Product launch is a proven way to not only build your list, but generate Social Proof and make a large number of sales quickly. To learn how to launch your product successfully, check out Jeff Walker’s free Product Launch Masterclass here.
PLUS: When you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you to grow your business using product launches:
1. How To Build A Profitable Launch List.
Building an email list is critical if you plan on doing a launch for your product, service or business. List Warrior will show you a proven way to use free software to build a responsive list of prospects who are ready to buy from you during your launch. Click Here.
2. How To Create The Perfect Product
Creating a product that is perfect for your audience does not need to be difficult. How To Create The Perfect Product shows you how to build high value products your audience will love one after the other. Click Here.
3. How To Attract Buyers To Join Your Launch List So They Can Purchase Your Perfect Product.
Once you have created your Product Launch List and your Perfect Product is ready to go, you need to attract people into your world so they can buy from you. One Minute Free Traffic gives you a proven way to attract buyers with ‘Automated Traffic Machines’ so you can send those people to your optin page, your sales page, your Facebook Group or anywhere else you choose. To learn more Click Here.
And don’t forget to check this out 🙂
How to Earn $20 in 20 Minutes With Any Topic, Niche or Hobby