Product launch: have you considered how you can turbocharge your Go-to-Market planning with text messaging?
Launching a new product is a very exciting time, whether you’re a new startup or an existing company expanding your product range. But did you know that of the tens of thousands of new products launched every year, only 5% succeed?
The key to success when launching a new product into your market is planning. And while the design and creation of your new product (including services) are essential, and do take time and effort, you must not neglect to plan for and implement effective product marketing.
Text messaging is one of the most cost-efficient, ROI-rich marketing tactics for new product launches. Why?
- Open rates for text messages are 98%, with near 100% delivery rates.
- SMS campaign conversion rates average almost 30% and can be as high as 45%.
- 90% of all text messages are read within 3 seconds of receipt.
- SMS marketing strategies are considerably more successful than email and other direct marketing channels.
Your product launch marketing requires a broad approach – and an SMS tactic must be part of this.
What is a Go-to-Market Plan?
With so many new products hitting the market all the time, you need to ensure that your offering stands out and is easy to access. It must be memorable and forefront in consumers’ minds even before it launches.
Whether the product you’re launching is a physical product or a service, a good product launch requires a strong Go-to-Market (GTM) plan. This plan maps out exactly which steps are required to launch a new product.
Launching a new product or service requires you to do one major thing…
And what better way to do that than via SMS?
Planning to Launch a New Product
Bulk texts sent as part of your product launch strategy helps you bring your new offering front and centre with your target market. While having a comprehensive strategy exploiting several marketing channels is important, text messaging elicits by far the greatest ROI.
Before you implement your GTM SMS plan, you need to plan ahead:
- Define your target audience to enable direction and consistency in your marketing.
- Cater your messaging approach to your target audience in terms of channel and tone.
- Always comply with your brand identity.
- Understand the problem for which your offering delivers a solution.
- Understand the buyer journey.
- Build your subscriber list.
- Affect a high-value point of difference between your offering and marketing and that of your competitors.
- Be creative and original.
- Know – and tell – your unique story.
- Have a plan to track the success of your campaign.
SMS Ideas for Product Launch
When it comes to your SMS plan and the types of messages you send out, you are limited only by your imagination!
Here are just 15 examples of the types of messages you could send to your subscriber list. We recommend choosing a few different types of messages to maximise your product marketing efforts, but be mindful of sending messages too frequently.
1. Teaser Content
Many advertisers like to start their communications with a teaser message; something slightly cryptic that gets people thinking about what is coming, without giving too much away.
This could work well if you have a base of customers and are launching a product that complements other products they were interested in. Or if you are launching a product from a well-known brand.
2. Product Introduction
If you have a lesser-known brand or product, you may want to start your communications plan with a product introduction, driving the value that the product brings to your customers.
Send a welcome message to introduce your new, upcoming product and alert the recipients to the launch date as well as upcoming specials and VIP deals.
3. Fun Facts
These are “preview” messages that whet the appetite of consumers for your new product and raise awareness and anticipation for it to land. If your product has many benefits, instead of trying to cram them into one message, use each feature as a fun fact and highlight the benefit to the customer.
Countdowns to launch day (eg. 100 days, 50 days, 21 days, 10 days, and 1 or 3 days) are a great way to build excitement. These messages are especially effective if your customers have been on a waitlist for this product.
For example, you asked customers whether they would be willing to buy a proposed product (as part of your product research stage) and added them to a waitlist. Now, this product is nearing its launch date. Letting these customers know how much longer they need to wait will not only build excitement but give them an idea of how long the wait will be. Further, they will appreciate that their feedback was used, helping to create an emotional investment in your product (and your business!)
5. Familiarise Your Brand
Send out a “did you know?” type message with a link to your About Us page (don’t forget to use our link shortener to track clickthrough 😎). This helps to foster a relationship between your customers and your brand, without doing a hard sales push.
This is especially effective if your business has a quirky brand personality or you get involved in community/charity events. Less so if your About Us page is very corporate in nature.
6. Product Launch Reminder
Invite recipients to click on a link to add a launch day reminder to their calendar. If you’re sending a countdown series of texts, this type of message is superfluous.
However, for products that have limited stock or require quick action, having customers set up a reminder may help them avoid missing out.
7. VIP Content
Make your text message marketing audience feel extra special with an invitation to your VIP launch event – whether it’s in person or online, to access the new product before everyone else can.
8. Launch Announcement
Broadcast that your brand new product has launched and is AVAILABLE NOW! Don’t forget to make it as easy as possible for your customers to take action. Tell them exactly how to acquire the new product with a strong call to action.
For example: if you want people to buy your new product in your eCommerce store, include a link to the product page and tell them to buy it now.
9. Thank You Message
Thank all customers who have ordered your new product on VIP and launch days, or attended an event and provide shipping updates.
10. Collect User-Generated Content (UGC)
Invite your customers to submit photos for you to use on your social profiles to further advertise your product. If you can get your product users to send you pictures or videos of your product, or something they created using your product, that’s a fantastic resource. Give your marketing content some diversity; with the polished content, you create around your product and UGC showing great, authentic content out in the real world. Plus UGC is great for social proof of your content.
This works well if senders confirm that you are free to use and repurpose this content however you see fit. For reference, GoPro does a great job at leveraging UGC. Like them, you can incentivise sending in content by creating a competition or giving discounts.
11. Social Sharing
Similar to collecting user-generated content, when your customers endorse your product, it sends a strong signal to their network that your product is worth looking into (and hopefully buying!).
Ask customers to tag your company in their Facebook or Instagram photos with your product using a unique hashtag you’ve created for this specific purpose, and feature these on your profiles. It also serves to help build a community around your business.
12. Invite Reviews
Word of mouth is powerful; even if your product isn’t suited to UGC or social media, potential customers may be seeking out others’ feedback on your product or business. Use SMS to request customer testimonials for your website, on 3rd party review sites or even on social media.
Bonus: if your business gets good reviews on Google and 3rd-party review platforms, there may be additional benefits to your marketing efforts:
- Google Customer Reviews are often visible in the right panel next to search results and thus are often what searchers see first about your business!
- SEO: according to Moz, reviews are taken into account for local business searches 15.44% of the time!
- Google Ads: ever wondered how to get those gold stars in your ads? Google sources feedback from their own, as well as other review platforms like Trustpilot. Once you reach a certain threshold, the stars may appear in your listing.
13. Refer a Friend
Once you’ve had your successful product launch, there’s still an opportunity to maximise sales via text message.
In case we didn’t hit home about the power of referral… another opportunity to get more leads is through your current customer base. Generate these new leads by offering perks and discounts via SMS when subscribers refer a friend.
A particularly popular way of doing this is through incentives that are only valid if two people purchase (similar to buy one, get one-half price).
14. Seek Feedback via Polls and Surveys
Ask customers what kinds of products they want to see next, or which of two product offerings you prefer. These are informative for you and fun for consumers.
Or use surveys to gauge how happy your customers are with their new product, or whether you should consider adjustments.
15. Prime for Future Launches
Set the groundwork for your next offering by thanking your customers and sowing the seeds to “watch this space”.