The trick to marketing a new product online
The best product launches drive action. They inspire people to want what you're selling so much that they'll wait in line—sometimes even for hours—to be the first to own it. But it takes a strong brand and eCommerce marketing strategy to achieve this level of success.
Case in point: when the first iPhone launched in June 2007, the hype around it was so immense that Apple and AT&T sold over 700,000 iPhones in a weekend. Half of Apple’s stores sold out of iPhones in under a day, and AT&T's inventory was depleted to nil.
Apple leaned heavily on their brand value alongside a big marketing budget to set their iPhone up for success. But they also relied on something that any business of any size can leverage for a successful new product launch: a well-planned product marketing strategy.
How to market a product (a famous example)
Apple’s successful iPhone launch wasn’t an accident. The company had been priming the market for their soon-to-be flagship product well before the phone was available to consumers. That first successful weekend of sales was the culmination of a six-month promotional campaign that began with Steve Jobs introducing the iPhone at the Macworld conference in January 2007.
In addition to their partnership with AT&T, Apple leveraged partnerships with top brands like Viacom, Disney, and Google who contributed features and apps to compel consumers to invest in the expensive new phone. Apple also generated buzz for its new phone by getting press in top news outlets like the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and CNN.
Apple leaned heavily into the iPhone's features to differentiate the phone from others on the market—particularly the 3.5-inch touchscreen. The PR and media blitz highlighted the screen as an “industry first” in the months leading up to the iPhone’s groundbreaking release.
Apple’s first ad for the phone, which ran in February 2007 during the Oscars, additionally made a splash. It featured one-second movie clips of actors answering phones, transitioning from ancient phone technology (i.e., land lines) to cordless phones to flip phones and then—there it is—the iPhone and its glorious touch screen.
Now, 15 years after the first iPhone was introduced, the number of iPhone users in the U.S. is expected to exceed 118 million by the end of this year. So, how can this example inform your product launch? We’re glad you asked.
How to market a new product (even if you're not Apple)
The good news? You don't need to be a tech giant to successfully launch a new product. You can apply some of the same product marketing strategies that Apple used, plus many that weren’t available to Apple at the time. You don’t need an Apple-sized budget to be successful either.
Below are eight tips for successfully launching your product.
01. Use a multi-step email campaign to build anticipation
Suffice to say, email is a powerful tool, and it’s no less important when it comes to marketing your new product.
Consider sending a series of emails in the months, weeks, and days leading up to your launch. Highlight various benefits of your product. Tease its unique features. Feature quotes from beta users.
As an example, your email marketing campaign could look something like this:
10 days before launch: Introduce the product and highlight key features
Eight days before launch: Share how the product can be used in everyday life
Five days before launch: Offer a “limited time” l discount for the new product
One to three days before launch: Tease product with compelling content (e.g., a behind-the-scenes look at how it’s made)
Launch day: Announce that the product is now available for purchase
Of course, your campaign could span any number of days or approaches. The key is to build up anticipation over time versus sending one, bulky email that’s easy to miss in an inbox.
02. Invest in ads to reach a wider audience
No matter the size of your budget, it’s worth experimenting with ads. Whether you test Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Google search ads, or a combination of these—paid channels allow you to reach new, established audiences immediately.
Did you know: Wix merchants can get ads up and running quickly via Wix’s out-of-the-box integrations with Google and Facebook ads. Harness Wix’s powerful machine-learning algorithm to automatically optimize and target your ads.
As you build out your email campaign, keep these below tips in mind:
Use attractive visuals - Leverage colorful, high-quality images and videos that catch your buyers’ eyes. Make a point to display your most compelling features of your product and showcase your item in action.
Keep copy short and focused - Announce your product and highlight its most compelling and unique selling points. Remember to show, don't tell. Apple flashed a sexy image of that long-ago iPhone and included exactly one written word in its product introduction ad—"Hello."
Include a CTA - Tell your recipients exactly what you’d like them to do. Invite them to visit your website to learn more about your product, or to sign up for your emails to get notified when your product drops.
Consider retargeting - Run a retargeting campaign that engages people who’ve already purchased from or visited your site before. Retargeting ads tend to be very affordable and highly targeted.
03. Use cross-selling and upselling techniques to promote your product
While cross-selling promotes related products to customers, upselling focuses on motivating customers to purchase more of something (or a more expensive version of something that they’re interested in).
For example, let's say you sell winter gear and you're introducing a new line of scarves. You can cross-sell scarves to customers who are buying a coat, or upsell them by bundling a coat together with the scarf.
In this way, cross-selling and upselling can be an effective, more natural way to recommend your new product. With a platform like Wix eCommerce, you can easily add “related products” modules to your product pages, just as fashion brand CeliaB did to create its "Complete Your Look!" product gallery.
04. Use live stream to give customers an authentic look at your product
Live stream shopping is authentic, personal, and interactive. You can use it to give customers a detailed look at how your product is made, and how it can be used in everyday life. Think: Apple’s live streamed event, which generates tons of hoopla each year.
Whether you record an unboxing, give a product demonstration, or host a Q&A, a live streamed event allows you to connect with users in real time. Here are a few pointers when launching your own stream:
Select the right on-screen talent - Find a brand ambassador (this could be someone on your team or an influencer) to be the face of your broadcast. The person you choose should be comfortable on screen and know your product inside and out.
Invite people to join your event - Reach out to customers, prospects, journalists, and influencers prior to your event as opposed to hoping they come across your event when the time comes.
Incentivize participation with special promos - Tease free giveaways or special discounts to those who attend your live stream or get others to sign up.
Stream to multiple channels - While you’ll want to be mindful of which channels attract which types of audiences, you can stream your event to multiple platforms at once. Wix Video, as an example, lets you stream videos directly on your eCommerce site and/or pull from live videos on YouTube, Facebook, and other live-streaming channels.
Follow up with attendees - After you’ve wrapped up your live event, make sure to reach out to your attendee list while their memory of your event is still fresh. Encourage them to purchase your product and/or pre-order it if your product has yet to be launched.
05. Host a flash sale to inspire purchases (and generate FOMO)
People love a good sale, especially when the discounts are significant. One way to sell products quickly and create a sense of urgency is by running a flash sale.
With a flash sale, you offer a special discount on your products for a limited time—usually 24-48 hours. Flash sales are often used to clear out existing inventory, but they're also a great way to generate excitement (and sales) for new products.
Pro tip: announce your flash sale in advance via email and social media to give customers time to plan their purchase. You can also use a countdown clock on your website to count down the days until your product sale event. Wix users can easily add a fully customizable countdown clock with Wix’s integrated app.
06. Announce your new product with homepage and on-site banners
Use the valuable real estate on your homepage to introduce and showcase your new product. Homepage announcements and banners can be useful for directing visitors to a dedicated product landing page and/or promoting a special offer.
Or, CeliaB highlights new products on a separate site page, specifically for items that are "new in" their store.
If using pop-up or slide-in banners, make sure that they're easy to spot. At the same time, avoid intruding on your buyer’s experience by limiting animated banners to one per page. Pay special attention to the user’s experience on mobile. Ensure that your banners are easy to read, plus easy to click out of if your customer isn’t interested.
07. Accept pre-orders before your launch date
A strong pre-order campaign can be beneficial to your marketing plans and inventory management. It allows you to create a sense of urgency, plus gauge interest in your product even before you manufacture it.
As a general rule of thumb, start accepting pre-orders four to six months in advance.
You can reserve pre-orders for people who are a part of your email list or enrolled in your loyalty program. Alternatively, you can offer pre-orders to the general public to drive the most activity. Consider coupling pre-orders with special offers, such as a free gift for the first 100 pre-orders.
08. Start with content, end with content
Ecommerce content marketing is pivotal for shaping how your product is introduced to the world and how you keep the momentum going. Among the various tactics you can employ, the following are instrumental in getting the word out about your new product:
A press release announcing the official launch of your new product
Regular blog posts or gift guides for inspiring purchases
Customer stories showcasing how real consumers have benefited from using your product
FAQs and reviews helping to alleviate any doubts
Tutorial videos showing how to use and get the most out of your product
Comparison pages articulating how your product differs from competitive products
Size charts, infographics, and quizzes helping your customers to select the right products for themselves
Social media posts, emails, and ads to amplify your content
Level up your eCommerce marketing with Wix
Wix eCommerce is an all-in-one platform that can support your product launch through every step of your product marketing strategy. Manage everything from your website and blogs, to your ads and email campaigns—all from one place.
Editor, Wix eCommerce
Allison is the editor for the Wix eCommerce blog, with several years of experience reporting on eCommerce news, strategies, and founder stories.