Launch by Jeff Walker

launch-jeff-walkerI’ve been reading about, and experimenting with, selling digital products for a couple of years (ebooks, e-courses, video courses etc), so when I came across this book I was pretty excited!

I expected this book to teach me how to:

  • Create and build up an email list
  • Generate ideas of what digital products I could create to sell to them
  • Test those ideas on small samples of my email list to find which one gets traction
  • Create a digital product
  • Write a series of emails that builds anticipation and trust
  • Make millions

But I was wrong.

It didn’t teach me those things.

All it did was share about 15 stories of Walkers clients using his secret process to achieve “amazing” results.

But it didn’t actually teach me how. It just kept pointing me to his website so I could buy his course.

Frankly, I felt a bit ripped off.

It certainly reinforced this pre-conception about online marketing: “The best way to make money online, is to teach other people how to make money online!”

And then Walker added this bit to my thinking “And the way to catch more people is to write a book promising your secret method, but instead of actually revealing this secret, just tell a bunch of stories and point them to your website where you sell an online course!”

But all is not lost!

I did actually give me 5 ideas that I can share with you today. 🙂

#1. Sure, testimonials on your website establishes trust, but perhaps long-term email conversation are even better?

Before prospects will buy from you they need to trust you. And having lots of testimonials on your website is an excellent way to establish trust (I’ve led many projects for clients using my recipe for collecting testimonials), but Walker added another dimension to my thinking on building trust: Time.

Walker says: “Time makes it much easier to trust people. Ensure repeated interaction with your prospects.”

Could you put an email list together and start a long email series, fill it with valuable content (like these book summaries), injected with a bit of your personality?

Do you think that would help prospects get to know you better?

When the time comes for them (or someone they know) needing your services, do you think this would increase the chances of them calling you first?

#2. Running a one-person-business? Should you pretend to be a bigger company than you are?

I have a large network of friends and acquaintances in one-person-businesses, many of them are freelancers and contractors. This is an argument that I’m always having with them.

For the “About Us” page on my website I have a head-and-shoulders photo, my name, my email address, and my mobile number. I suggest to all of them that they do the same.

Instead, most of them build their website using words like “we” instead of “I”.

On their “About Us” pages, they have a PO Box and a contact form to hide the fact that is just them, and they hope to be perceived as a multi-person business.

Walker says “People generally like to do business with other people more than with a large faceless corporation. In the age of ever-increasing digital communication, we’re all looking for increased connection and authenticity.”

#3. Scarcity motivates buyers, but how can digital products be scarce?

Scarcity is a powerful motivator. It injects this thought into your head “If I don’t buy this right now, I’m going to miss out!”

Walker says: “One of the things that scarcity does is force people to make a decision. The vast majority of people will put off a decision if you give them a choice, especially when it comes to spending money. One of the key objectives you have in your marketing is to force people to make a decision. That’s what scarcity does.”

But this book is about launching digital products. And the thing about digital products is that their supply is unlimited.

So how do you introduce scarcity into the pre-purchase process?

The simplest way is promising that your price will go up after the launch.

(Also, you could remove bonuses. Finally, you could promise that the offer will go away.)

#4. The top 4 reasons why people don’t buy

Walker provided a list of the top 4 reasons why people don’t buy which I thought was interesting:

  1. The first and most common reason is that they’re not interested in what you’re selling.
  2. The second reason people don’t buy is that they don’t have the money.
  3. The third reason people don’t buy is that they don’t believe you.
  4. The fourth reason is that they believe you and they believe you’re right about the product and that it actually does work. However, they don’t believe the product will work for them.

#5. What should be in your pre-launch emails?

Finally, in the closing sections of the book, Walker provided a bit more detail on the content of 3 pre-launch emails.

So if you intend to launch a new product or service via email one day, you may find this list a useful starting point.

Pre-Launch Email #1

  1. Show the opportunity. Show/tell how their life is going to change with your product.
  2. Position. Show/tell why they should listen to you.
  3. Teach. It’s important not to just go on and on about the opportunity; you have to deliver value.
  4. Raise objections and either answer them or promise to answer them in upcoming videos. No matter what your offer is, there will be objections. You need to face them head on.
  5. Foreshadow Pre-Launch Email #2. Let them know there’s another video coming, and spark their desire by revealing some of the really cool stuff that they’re going to learn in Pre-Launch Email #2.
  6. Call to action. Ask for a comment on your launch blog or in social media.

Pre-Launch Email #2

Pre-Launch Email #1 was all about the “Why,” your second piece of Prelaunch Content is all about the “What”—what is this transformation or opportunity and how is it going to change or transform your prospects’ lives?

Pre-Launch Email #2 is more about teaching; you want to teach some type of tip or trick that is truly valuable.

The general recipe for a strong Pre-Launch Email #2:

  1. Thanks and recap.
  2. Recap the opportunity.
  3. Recap your positioning.
  4. Present a Case Study or do some real teaching.
  5. Objection crushing.
  6. Foreshadow Pre-Launch Email #3.
  7. Call to action. Ask for a comment on your launch blog or in social media.

Pre-Launch Email #3: The Ownership Experience

So Pre-Launch Email #1 was the “why” and Pre-Launch Email #2 was the “what.” Now in Pre-Launch Email #3 you will start to answer the “how” question.

Here’s the recipe for Pre-Launch Email #3:

  1. Express thanks and excitement.
  2. Quickly recap the opportunity and your positioning.
  3. Possibly present a short Case Study.
  4. Answer the top questions you’ve been getting.
  5. Explain the big view and how to make it happen. This is where you step back and look at what’s really possible. What’s the ultimate transformation or change that your prospect can have in their life if they buy your product?
  6. Pivot to your offer and create a soft landing. Tell them that in your next video you’re going to have an offer for them,
  7. Seed the scarcity of your launch offer.
  8. Call to action. Ask for a comment on your launch blog or in social media.

Your Thoughts?

What do you think?

Did I rescue a few good ideas from this, the longest sales letter I have ever read?

Have your say in the comments below.

6 Replies to “Launch by Jeff Walker”

  1. Hi Sheldon,

    I agree with the above in that the book really undelivered in strategy & tactics.

    I would go as far as to say that “Launch” is really just a 206 page promo for Jeff Walker’s “Product Launch Formula” program.


  2. Your review is spot on Sheldon. At least the book is priced well under his courses which range in the hundreds—like $500s. And those deliver the sale long sales letter. In audio format.

  3. Hi Sheldon,
    Thank you for this honest review! I am just starting with taking my business to another level, and I do not have time to waste into reading a book that is not going to deliver or help to achieve my goal.
    You saved me some precious time…
    PS: your website is a keeper!

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