Oliver worked so hard on his new digital product, and now he’s ready to launch. And hopefully, change the lives of his readers with his new creation. But Oliver needs to make some income from this new solution, and hopefully his audience will see value in his efforts and hard work.
He created with a sense of passion and discovery late into the night for weeks creating a new solution for his audience. He knew they struggled with a certain aspect of a task, and to make things easier, he spent time writing tutorials, blog posts, created videos, and produced a 92-page eBook with step-by-step instructions. By the time he was finished, Oliver was exhausted.
There’s a lot that goes into creating a product alone. But then, when you have to announce it, introduce it, and market it, it can feel like all your energy has been drained. And all you want to do is list the product and be done with it.
Trust me, I’ve been there. Want to know how many times, starting out, I spent hours upon hours working on marketing materials, carefully wording emails, and creating a sensational offer, only to have 1 or 2 sales from it? It can be beyond frustrating, I know.
But let’s go back to Oliver’s situation.
Oliver Contemplates His Past Product Launch Success Rates
He contemplated sending out one of his typical emails that reads something like, “Hey, I created this if you’re having trouble with this one challenge” type emails. But they always had lackluster results. Maybe 700+ opens with maybe 5 sales as a result. That’s a sad, measly .7% conversion rate. His desired conversion rate was 10%, but he just couldn’t seem to even get to the standard 2-3% conversion.
Something in Oliver’s launch marketing was amiss. But what was it, exactly?
He couldn’t figure it out. This new solution was going to save so much time, energy, and money. All valuable to his audience. So why didn’t they understand its value? Why wouldn’t they want to invest in a solution like that? Why were so many people not even clicking into the product from the emails in the past?
The Variables that Impact Product Launch Success
There’s a lot of “why’s” to answer in evaluating Oliver’s problem.
But there’s only one answer to all of those questions.
Oliver wasn’t connecting emotionally with a meaningful story with his audience. And that is a problem that plagues so many entrepreneurs who create massively helpful solutions and creations. The email list, audience, and traffic might all be there, but when it comes to launching, the torpedo sinks to the depths of the ocean floor.
So you might be wondering, what could Oliver have done differently with his product launch marketing campaign?
If you’ve ever had this problem yourself, you know that there are a ton of variables to consider… such as:
- time/day the email was sent
- image use and style
- pricing point of the product
- length of the email – too wordy or not enough detail?
- lack of features or benefits necessary to make an informed buying decision
- terms and conditions of use
- color / size / platform / variants
But let’s assume that Oliver did all of those things correctly. What else was he missing from those launches?
The Missing Elements from Oliver’s Product Launch Story
Connection & emotion. And both can be solved with a story that helps connect the reader to the story so they can identify with the main character and see themselves as the hero, while experiencing all the same emotion. This creates a sense of empathy for that character. And once you’ve accomplished that within your product’s explanation, benefits, and description and email marketing, you’ve succeeded in creating a connection with your reader.
So if you’re experiencing the same challenge as Oliver, you may want to consider using a story to share with your product launch. And I don’t mean the kind that is all about other customer successes and testimonials, because let’s be honest: your reader is more interested in what you can do for THEM, not what you’ve necessarily done for others.
Story Ideas for Product Launch
Here are 10 product launch story ideas you can share in your product listings, your email marketing, as well as your product launch campaigns.
1. Tell the story of how your product or service will get your reader from one reality to another. Currently, you know they struggle with a challenge. And with challenges, comes a whirlwind of emotions. What emotions will they experience along the way on their journey from their current situation to the one you have in mind for them with your solution in place? How is your product or service transformative or deeply meaningful… or even positively impactful on their lives? Write a story that shares how your reader’s current situation doesn’t have to be that way, and that a new, positive reality is just around the corner.
2. How will people profit from your product? Remember, profit doesn’t always equate to money. There are other profitable things to consider–like time saved, the ability to use it for multiple purposes, or even the ability to build upon it to make something from what is supplied and factor in a multiplier. What positive emotions do you anticipate happening for the characters or hero in your story and how can you get the hero (your reader) from experiencing pain and suffering to joy and happiness?
3. What are the three most recent funny (or awkward) situations you experienced with building your product? The blooper stories that brands sometimes share can be extraordinarily entertaining. It shows the persistence and pursuit of excellence behind the brand. Initially, you may not have gotten things 100%. You may have even been 50% of the way through your product’s creation and realized a plot hole (something missing or something that doesn’t make sense).
4. Why have people before not found the solution you now provide? If your product or service is a solution to a lingering, existing problem that lacked a solution, answer the question as to why they may not have been able to search for it in the past. Or perhaps didn’t know it existed. Some people in your audience may not even realize they had a challenge that needed to be dealt with in the first place.
5. Describe a sourcing story that explains to your audience where your materials are sourced or how you dream them up. Sometimes, your materials are creations from your own imagination. Sometimes, you have to source them from other people or brands. Today’s shopper is keen to where their products are created, the materials that go into them, or how they’re created. Sourcing matters to a number of people, so you could share the story behind the source, and lead with it.
6. Share a story that shows how you connect your product to the needs of your target audience. Lead with the story the specifies the hero who has a need, and align it with the product that you offer. What does the majority of your audience need? What problems do they have with their existing status-quo? How does your product fix this and why is it essential for them to invest?
7. Along the same lines as the connecting of product with needs, explain how your products or services meet your audiences’ wants and desires, which may differ from their needs. This kind of story works well for luxury brands or non-necessity items/services as well. Make sure you call out the hero and connect who the product is / is not for.
8. Tell a story that communicates a challenge. Does your audience have a particular challenge that your product or service solves? Why should they care about this challenge and what emotions are attached to it? In the story, lead your product page with a bold, startling statement, like “Marketing is a vicious time hog, and if you feel the same, keep reading.” Something that gets their attention and is entirely opinionated. Relate those feelings, frustrations, and challenges directly to your hero, and how they conquered the monstrous challenge.
9. Share the story behind why you created your product or service. Use a narrator voice or perspective to cut through the noise or to even remove yourself from the dialogue. Why this product? Why not invest in something else? This relates directly to your unique value proposition statement, and helps you key in on why your product is different or better.
10. An inspirational story around your product will help people envision themselves using it or using your services. Show them the possible outcomes from using the product, and what it can do. What facts about the product or service are sources of inspiration? If you look at the Product Launch and Storytelling Checklist (free download), you’ll find that using data is a key element in your product launch, and that alone can foster a story that leads to a moment of inspiration. Find inspirational aspects about your product or service’s benefits, as well. You could also share a before and after story, how someone profited or made huge gains from your work, etc.
The goal to product launch is not just to get all those listed items on your product and marketing correct, but to establish answers to the “why”. And sometimes, illustrating the “why” with a story is much easier than just listing out explanations within the benefits. We tune into stories better than our ability to remember listicles and bullet-point items.
Try sharing a story, even if you have to use fictional characters, to help your reader find meaning and value in your product. The features and benefits sometimes aren’t enough to create that coveted connection with your reader. And with connection, comes loyalty. Trust. And the knowing that as part of your brand promise, you won’t let them down with your new product.
The brand mantra here at KLD is to lead with a story. By doing so, you’re going to capture the attention of your reader, and turn on all kinds of chemical responses in the brain. Because we crave connection with each other, and to find the common ground we seek, storytelling is one of the key things we all share. So use that core foundation we share together as a means of promoting your product launch.
You’ll find all kinds of storytelling techniques, hooks, ideas, and concepts in Storytelling for Creatives. If you’re not a student or haven’t downloaded the guide, I highly recommend enrolling in or downloading either option so that you can build your skillsets in marketing. And in the process, you may find a writer within just waiting to emerge.