Let's be honest, product launches are DEAD!

104 replies
I've been meaning to write this thread for a long time...

This is isn't my opinion alone but that shared in private to me by some of the most well known marketers around.

Product launches are dying and they are NO way to build an ongoing relationship with your list.

This is what's wrong with product launches... (don't worry, I'm aware of the initial benefits which I will describe later, but I'm talking here about building a long term viable business).


  1. Launches turn off the vast majority of your list. Plain and simple. We all know the ridiculous unsubscribe rates of some of the gurus. Sure they don't care because they refill their list with new candidates the next launch around, but the issue here is that there is little real client loyalty long term.
  2. I hope others are honest about this, but let's face it most so called PLs have 50% refund rates, sometimes even more. I was saddened to hear a particular "expert" flaunt his $3m takijng from a recent launch, when I was aware he had a 70% (no, that's NOT a mistake) refund rate!
  3. Buyers are becoming more aware of this formula and turn more and more to forums like this and friends to discuss the merits of a program before joining. As a result, the so called "gurus" are having a harder time than ever with their launches. Don't believe me, notice how many are moving away into different strategies or even disappearing altogether. I don't want to names drop, but I think you see this with your own eyes.
  4. Worst of all, PLs do NOT help you build a real long term business. What happens when your launch is done? Are you still making money? Usually, the only way a marketer makes more money is to do another launch down the road or promote other peoples products (usually forced upon him/her by obligations made to get affiliates on board the initial launch).

Now don't get me wrong...

I know 1st hand just how much money you can make upfront in a launch (minus affiliate fees/set up fees/payment fees etc -you usually bank around 35% of monies generated after REFUNDS!).

I also know you can build an initial list.

But, that list will sooner rather later run dry. I know several massive list owners (no names, but you know of them as well) who are getting ever diminishing returns on their list. Some of them have severe business problems, not that they would admit it.

I also have friends (again well known marketers) who have left the entire PL modal and wont promote others' products at all.

I think that's a huge mistake as there is some great stuff out there, but I understand why they are now doing this.

Let's have a frank conversation here about this...

I look forward to hearing from some gutsy marketers who are willing to admit the changes they are making in their business moving WELL away from the product launch modal.

I say gutsy, because I still see several well known names continue to teach what they know no longer works for them for their long term business interests.

I know many marketers are still benefiting from product launches. They haven't yet seen the lower returns that are INHERENTLY destined to occur.

I'm sure some of them will defend the strategy, but I's also like to hear from more advanced marketers who have seen with their own eyes the long term problems associated with this approach.

(Other strategies are working BETTER than ever, but that's not our point of discussion here)

Barry
#dead #honest #launches #product
  • Profile picture of the author Gaz Cooper
    I agree with pretty much everything you say except I still think product launches will still be successful and will continue but they must have a sustainable real business plan behind it, rather than the get rich quick types.

    I was having coffee with an insider 2 days ago and we discussed this exact thing and the profit figures were pretty low for PL but then again even 10% of a Million Dollar launch is still $100,000

    I think were just going to go through a correction but i don't think its the last we will see of PL

    Gaz Cooper
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    • Profile picture of the author Barry Plaskow
      Originally Posted by GazCooperOnline View Post

      I agree with pretty much everything you say except I still think product launches will be successful but they must have a sustainable real business plan behind it, rather than the get rich quick types.

      I think were just going to go through a correction

      Gaz Cooper
      Hey Gaz,

      Please explain...How do you sustain a business LONG term when you are getting 50-70% refund rates (people talk about these things...Just take a look at some of the bad mouthing of guru courses you sometimes see here), huge unsubscribe rates and low customer loyalty!

      I know what I'm saying wont be popular.

      I know many marketers will publicly disagree with me, but they themselves are moving away from that approach.
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      • Profile picture of the author Gaz Cooper
        Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

        Hey Gaz,

        Please explain...How do you sustain a business LONG term when you are getting 50-70% refund rates (people talk about these things...Just take a look at some of the bad mouthing of guru courses you sometimes see here), huge unsubscribe rates and low customer loyalty!

        I know what I'm saying wont be popular.

        I know many marketers will publicly disagree with me, but they themselves are moving away from that approach.
        Hey Barry

        You misunderstood me

        What I mean is, the actual product should be a sustainable business model, instead of junk that the purchaser has no real chance of building a real business and able to make money long term.

        If the product is quality and a sustainable business model, then you will not be getting such high refund rates. The reason for the high refund rates is because the stuff being touted is complete and utter crap, if you provided a quality product with a good sustainable business model then the refund rates would drop dramatically.

        I agree that there will always be people out there that will buy anything so again don't think its the last of PL

        Gaz Cooper
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  • Profile picture of the author WebPen
    So you're talking about promoting other people's launches, right?

    Or having your own launch and getting tons of affiliates to do most of the work?

    Because it seems like if you are constantly providing your own list great value, they'll buy and products you launch to them. But maybe that's not what you're talking about.
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    • Profile picture of the author Barry Plaskow
      Originally Posted by AYoungMillionaire View Post

      So you're talking about promoting other people's launches, right?

      Or having your own launch and getting tons of affiliates to do most of the work?

      Because it seems like if you are constantly providing your own list great value, they'll buy and products you launch to them. But maybe that's not what you're talking about.
      I'm talking about your own launches!

      Yes, i know you can make nice money upfront.

      I know how cool it is having hundreds of affiliates promoting for you...

      It works short term monetarily BUT it's a model that's long term unsustainable.

      Unfortunately most marketers can't see beyond short term gain. Many go from launch to launch making good money...

      But, at some point because of the deficiencies of the model, the bubble WILL burst.
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      • Profile picture of the author Shannon Spoon
        Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

        I'm talking about your own launches!

        Yes, i know you can make nice money upfront.

        I know how cool it is having hundreds of affiliates promoting for you...

        It works short term monetarily BUT it's a model that's long term unsustainable.

        Unfortunately most marketers can't see beyond short term gain. Many go from launch to launch making good money...

        But, at some point because of the deficiencies of the model, the bubble WILL burst.
        Interesting... Didn't P.T. Barnum say that there is a sucker born every minute? Or a customer born every minute? (There will always be people buying these products)
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike McAleer
        Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

        I'm talking about your own launches!

        Yes, i know you can make nice money upfront.

        I know how cool it is having hundreds of affiliates promoting for you...

        It works short term monetarily BUT it's a model that's long term unsustainable.

        Unfortunately most marketers can't see beyond short term gain. Many go from launch to launch making good money...

        But, at some point because of the deficiencies of the model, the bubble WILL burst.
        You'd solve this by incorporating a continuity/membership.

        You provide actual value instead of push button software.

        simple as that
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      • Profile picture of the author pk-uk
        Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

        I'm talking about your own launches!

        Yes, i know you can make nice money upfront.

        I know how cool it is having hundreds of affiliates promoting for you...

        It works short term monetarily BUT it's a model that's long term unsustainable.

        Unfortunately most marketers can't see beyond short term gain. Many go from launch to launch making good money...

        But, at some point because of the deficiencies of the model, the bubble WILL burst.
        I think I understand where you are coming from, Barry, but not sure about it being an unsustainable model per se.

        Marketing has been around a long time as have product launches. Long before the internet!! I would suggest that the problem today is the quality of the product(s) to a great extent.

        Also, not so much that the bubble will burst, maybe, but marketing evolving and people evolving with it.

        I am sure those that learn how to build a sustainable business will survive, while the "get-rich-quick" merchants will continue to come-and-go and fall by the wayside relatively quickly - just like it's always been.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Worner
    Barry,

    last time I checked, the IM niche isn't the only market place that has product launches. There's health, gardening etc. Industries which are far from dead, and are constantly having new products introduced.

    Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author TonyNorton
    Hey,

    Product launches are FAR from dead!

    However I do agree that using them as a business model in and of themselves is a mistake. You can't really call yourself a marketer if all you do is call up your friends and ask them to do a mailing for you. You should be able to genereate customers and leads through your own marketing efforts.

    The test is this. If you were to start from scratch in a market with no list of your own and no firends to call on, could you still make it work? That's what marketing is all about.

    Also blanket statements of "XX is dead" are by nature flawed. You can't make such generalized statements and expect them to reflect any kind of reality.

    Tony.
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    • Profile picture of the author Raiel Schwartz
      Originally Posted by TonyNorton View Post

      Also blanket statements of "XX is dead" are by nature flawed. You can't make such generalized statements and expect them to reflect any kind of reality.

      Tony.
      Pearl of wisdom
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    • Profile picture of the author Barry Plaskow
      Tony,

      Thanks for your comment and debate. That's what makes this forum so important.

      I respect your view but have to disagree with you...

      I said PL are "dead" because many astute marketers are now moving away from them.

      Yes they may work in the medium run. Yes, they can make you money.

      But, I maintain, it is very hard to build a long term business around them.

      That's my point.









      Originally Posted by TonyNorton View Post

      Hey,

      Product launches are FAR from dead!

      However I do agree that using them as a business model in and of themselves is a mistake. You can't really call yourself a marketer if all you do is call up your friends and ask them to do a mailing for you. You should be able to genereate customers and leads through your own marketing efforts.

      The test is this. If you were to start from scratch in a market with no list of your own and no firends to call on, could you still make it work? That's what marketing is all about.

      Also blanket statements of "XX is dead" are by nature flawed. You can't make such generalized statements and expect them to reflect any kind of reality.

      Tony.
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  • Profile picture of the author dadamson
    Yeah I agree. I think it comes down to the trust you can build over email these days. People are very wary of fellow marketers intentions through email (especially in the IM niche).

    I personally don't read anything that comes from an autoresponder, but that's just me.

    If I need the latest new product, I go out and find it myself and do my research rather than wait for an email to catch my fancy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert M Gouge
    I'm really confused, with 70% refunds, these guys must be selling complete garbage or making some really absurd promises.
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    • Profile picture of the author Barry Plaskow
      Originally Posted by Robert M Gouge View Post

      I'm really confused, with 70% refunds, these guys must be selling complete garbage or making some really absurd promises.
      Robert, you are right, but think about that for a minute...

      If your business model requires you to create ongoing high priced products to survive, then the quality is always going to difficult to maintain.

      Again, that's one of the things inherently wrong with the model

      ...And that's why the model doesn't work.

      Also, do you think affiliates are going to be happy long term seeing 50-70% of their money being refunded?

      Eventually, the model breaks.

      I've now seen this with so many times that it is time to speak out.

      I really hope some of the more experienced guys who have moved away from this model will speak up on this.

      It's about time!
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      • Profile picture of the author Robert M Gouge
        Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

        Robert, you are right, but think about that for a minute...

        If your business model requires you to create ongoing high priced products to survive, then the quality is always going to difficult to maintain.

        Again, that's one of the things inherently wrong with the model

        ...And that's why the model doesn't work.

        Also, do you think affiliates are going to be happy long term seeing 50-70% of their money being refunded?

        Eventually, the model breaks.

        I've now seen this with so many times that it is time to speak out.

        I really hope some of the more experienced guys who have moved away from this model will speak up on this.

        It's about time!
        I didn't realize selling garbage and/or making absurd promises was a business model?

        Obviously I'm not experienced with product launches (although I understand how they work).

        Wouldn't it be smarter to use this massive launch model to just push out high quality products, 1 or 2 a year at $100,000-$250,000 with residual sales would make for a nice yearly salary no? I guess that is your point though, that in order to keep the cash flowing you'll have to do this year after year. In that sense, no, the model isn't sustainable for most.
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        • Profile picture of the author Barry Plaskow
          Originally Posted by Robert M Gouge View Post

          I didn't realize selling garbage and/or making absurd promises was a business model?

          Obviously I'm not experienced with product launches (although I understand how they work).

          Wouldn't it be smarter to use this massive launch model to just push out high quality products, 1 or 2 a year at $100,000-$250,000 with residual sales would make for a nice yearly salary no? I guess that is your point though, that in order to keep the cash flowing you'll have to do this year after year. In that sense, no, the model isn't sustainable for most.
          Exactly...

          And in the long term you are right.

          Unfortunately, supporters of this model have a hard time seeing beyond their next launch.
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      • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

        Robert, you are right, but think about that for a minute...

        If your business model requires you to create ongoing high priced products to survive, then the quality is always going to difficult to maintain.

        Again, that's one of the things inherently wrong with the model

        ...And that's why the model doesn't work.
        I hate to break it to you, but the model has worked, does work, and will continue to work. Being difficult to maintain doesn't mean impossible to maintain. That just means the model isn't perfect. What is?

        Also, do you think affiliates are going to be happy long term seeing 50-70% of their money being refunded?
        It depends on how much they're making with the 30%-50% that don't refund. How difficult is it to send a couple of emails to a list? And let's not pretend that's a fixed number that applies to every affiliate. Just because affiliate A lies, misleads, and over hypes a product to his list, resulting in a higher refund rate, doesn't mean affiliate B will do the same thing. And just because affiliate A doesn't build a relationship with his list doesn't mean affiliate B can't do so with his.


        I've now seen this with so many times that it is time to speak out.

        I really hope some of the more experienced guys who have moved away from this model will speak up on this.

        It's about time!
        Why is it about time? I couldn't care less if product launches aren't working for Joe Shmoe Guru man. Why do you care? If someone wants to engage in a model that you say doesn't work, that's their business. And if it doesn't work, guess what? They'll stop doing it. Sounds more like a crusade based on some emotional reason instead of anything fact-based. There's some other reason you have a problem with product launches. It's not because you're worried about some stranger's bottom line.

        Can they make money in the short term -heck YES
        Can they get you super exposure-YES
        Can you build a long term sustainable business with 50-70% refund rates-ABSOLUTELY NOT

        That's it.
        If you can make $5-$10 million in the short term, who cares?
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        • Profile picture of the author Michael Shook
          I just did a subscription launch. A very abbreviated version of a PL because the market I am launching in is in general very low on the hype side.

          But it still worked pretty well for me.

          I don't do this as a business model, though, I save it for times when I actually have something new to market.
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          • Profile picture of the author drmani
            Originally Posted by JMichaelZ View Post

            I just did a subscription launch. A very abbreviated version of a PL because the market I am launching in is in general very low on the hype side.

            But it still worked pretty well for me.

            I don't do this as a business model, though, I save it for times when I actually have something new to market.
            Me too. Last month. Quiet, in-house, not a flood of sales...
            but VERY nice to my bottom-line

            In my case, it was something very good (though old, hadn't offered it
            since 2006) - and most of my audience was hearing of it the first time.

            Deliver value, and you'll enjoy nice results from product launches -
            big, or small

            All success
            Dr.Mani
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            • Profile picture of the author Michael Shook
              Originally Posted by drmani View Post

              Me too. Last month. Quiet, in-house, not a flood of sales...
              but VERY nice to my bottom-line

              In my case, it was something very good (though old, hadn't offered it
              since 2006) - and most of my audience was hearing of it the first time.

              Deliver value, and you'll enjoy nice results from product launches -
              big, or small

              All success
              Dr.Mani
              How nice is that?

              Done with a product you genuinely care about and marketed to folks who have a genuine interest in the benefit of your product, product launches are fun.

              They had some spiciness to your day in a good way. Why not be excited about your new business or product or revamp of your older product model? It is one of the extra benefits of having a business.

              Deliver good products in a way that you and your customers enjoy, in an exchange of value that leaves both sides understanding that they have gotten what they wanted as a result of this interaction.

              I just can't wait to get up and get going in the morning.
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        • Profile picture of the author Barry Plaskow
          Originally Posted by Black Hat Cat View Post




          If you can make $5-$10 million in the short term, who cares?
          You nailed it!

          That's exactly what the PL guys are doing...

          That's why I stressed, this isn't a way to build a long term business.
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          • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
            Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

            You nailed it!

            That's exactly what the PL guys are doing...

            That's why I stressed, this isn't a way to build a long term business.
            You might be biased against product launches for all sorts of reasons, and that's fine. But until you've actually engaged in one, you really don't have the factual basis to broadcast to everyone about how they're dead, how the business model doesn't work, ad nauseum - because it's purely conjecture on your own part.

            I can tell you this much... right now I am in the middle of a launch in a non-make money online space - although it is a marketing/business sector. The product is a very high end membership site subscription ($400 a month). We haven't closed the launch yet and we're at 183 sales on a single list of 100K business owners. That's recurring revenue too - not just a big one-time spash, because it's a membership subscription.

            Now, for someone who insists that there's simply no recurring revenue, you're simply misguided - because our product IS recurring revenue.

            And even if it wasn't, we have this big-azz list (one of many) that we continue to market into for other things, over and over.

            So how can you remotely proclaim that the model isn't a way to build a long-term business?

            Do you even understand the concept of direct response marketing (aka list or database marketing)?

            You have a list. You sell something to that list. You still have the list. You sell something else to that list. You still have the list. You sell, yet again, something to that list.

            At what point is this not sustainable in the long-term?

            I'm not sure what kind of "long-term business" you're envisioning, but I can assure you that as a direct marketer, I will continue to make sales as long as I continue promoting to my database. It will only stop when I stop.

            My advice is to stop being so myopic.
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  • Profile picture of the author claytonkeirns
    I am actually in the middle of a product launch in the Microsoft Excel niche.

    This market hasnt really been through much PL's so I think this market is OK for right now, but after this launch my partner and I are going to look towards adding massive value and then running casual promotions that bring in a constant stream of income.

    My first product launch in this market did over $19,000 profit which was good.

    But for the internet marketing peeps it is pretty much dead because there is NO excitement anymore! You already know something is coming and there is no adventure or wonder in it anymore.

    I think in markets that haven't been exposed to them will be fine for a little while longer, but I think they should be used maybe only a couple times per year.
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    • Profile picture of the author Barry Plaskow
      Originally Posted by claytonkeirns View Post

      I am actually in the middle of a product launch in the Microsoft Excel niche.

      This market hasnt really been through much PL's so I think this market is OK for right now, but after this launch my partner and I are going to look towards adding massive value and then running casual promotions that bring in a constant stream of income.

      My first product launch in this market did over $19,000 profit which was good.

      But for the internet marketing peeps it is pretty much dead because there is NO excitement anymore! You already know something is coming and there is no adventure or wonder in it anymore.

      I think in markets that haven't been exposed to them will be fine for a little while longer, but I think they should be used maybe only a couple times per year.
      I hear your point...

      If it's a strategic tool, then it could help you.

      If rolling out launches becomes your model, then what I said above holds true.
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      • Profile picture of the author TonyNorton
        Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post


        If rolling out launches becomes your model, then what I said above holds true.

        I totally agree that product launches CAN'T be the whole business model if you want a sustainable, sellable business.

        However, they ARE a viable and profitable PART of any business model.

        In either case blanket statements of "XX are dead!!" are inherrantly flawed because they're too generalized and as such will ALWAYS have exceptions. Thereby making the statement untrue.

        Just wanted to clarify my position a little.

        Tony.
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  • Profile picture of the author drmani
    Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

    Let's have a frank conversation here about this...

    I look forward to hearing from some gutsy marketers who are willing to admit the changes they are making in their business moving WELL away from the product launch modal.

    Barry
    "Product Launch", when clubbed into a single broad term, makes little
    sense to many infopreneurs (which is the audience I work with, know
    well and understand, so will confine my remarks to/about).

    Maybe it's taken to mean the 'Big Bang' JV hoopla alone. But small,
    under-the-radar, closed-doors, in-house launches are PLs too.

    As are the kind of 're-launch' promotions that roll on with a new
    group of JV partners at intervals.

    And while I've never been a fan of the 1st kind (though I've done
    it successfully, like when I launched "Think, Write & Retire" to
    the top 100 on Amazon.com when it was my first ever print book),
    the other methods work quite well for me - and that's just in the
    MMO niche.

    I'd suspect (though I don't take that approach myself) that they
    work just as well, if not better, in non-IM-MMO niches.

    The fall-out of the blitz of classic PL promotions that I've felt
    the impact of has been a decreasing response rate to email marketing,
    and that's understandable because of the sheer overload of email most
    subscribers are laboring under.

    But that, in a sense, is a "marketing problem" - because it is now
    my responsibility to educate my clients about "intelligent email
    consumption" (with a convincing case for why they should keep
    on reading mine, and ignore/delete everyone else's)... and that
    boils down to having a credible, compelling USP (unique selling
    proposition).

    In short, if you can convey to your target market WHY you are
    the best possible solution to their most pressing problem(s), you
    don't quite have any "competition" - and won't rely upon the
    histrionics and drama around a "product launch" to see results
    that are satisfying and profitable.

    My 2 cents

    All success
    Dr.Mani
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by drmani View Post

      "Product Launch", when clubbed into a single broad term, makes little
      sense to many infopreneurs (which is the audience I work with, know
      well and understand, so will confine my remarks to/about).

      .
      .
      .

      My 2 cents

      All success
      Dr.Mani
      Alas...the voice of reason.

      It's no wonder I love this man so much.
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      • Profile picture of the author HorseStall
        I think launches have changed. The venues for launches are different, social media is as important as print media, but I think launches can still work the way they happen and the channels however are very different than they once were.
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        • Profile picture of the author Matt Morgan
          Originally Posted by HorseStall View Post

          I think launches have changed. The venues for launches are different, social media is as important as print media, but I think launches can still work the way they happen and the channels however are very different than they once were.
          Marketing techniques can adapt and change as time goes on, though core fundamentals can stay the same.

          Jeff Walker will probably post his view on this topic.
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          • Profile picture of the author Barry Plaskow
            Originally Posted by Matt Morgan View Post

            Marketing techniques can adapt and change as time goes on, though core fundamentals can stay the same.

            Jeff Walker will probably post his view on this topic.
            I would love Jeff Walker to let us know his opinion on this...

            I will be the 1st to accept a good counter argument.
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            • Profile picture of the author Matt Morgan
              Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

              I would love Jeff Walker to let us know his opinion on this...

              I will be the 1st to accept a good counter argument.
              He's probably putting the final touches to Product Launch Formula 7 as we speak (or which ever one/number he is upto)
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              • Profile picture of the author Barry Plaskow
                Originally Posted by Matt Morgan View Post

                He's probably putting the final touches to Product Launch Formula 7 as we speak (or which ever one/number he is upto)
                \
                In all seriousness, I honestly think that the product launch system used to work a lot better than it does today.

                Things have changed.

                The amount of products (which the model inherently demands you create) leads to lower quality products.

                If Jeff were to join the conversation, I would ask him...

                1. Why are some of the bigger names moving away from this model? Does he admit that's the case?
                2. Why are there 50-70% refund rates for some of the bigger launches?
                3. How to deal with the 50-70% refund rates without ruining one's long term reputation?
                4. How do you maintain long term customer loyalty when you may have so many unhappy customers.

                Again these are just questions.

                I'm trying not to be dogmatic and am open to hear a different view point.

                One thing needs to be said here though... and that is product launches shaped our industry for a long while. The ideas behind them are sound and certainly work.

                I , together with others, just see that they no longer work to build a long term business.

                Perhaps the model just needs to be refined to fit the issues I raise above.

                Barry
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                • Profile picture of the author SpikeS
                  Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post


                  1. Why are some of the bigger names moving away from this model? Does he admit that's the case?
                  2. Why are there 50-70% refund rates for some of the bigger launches?
                  3. How to deal with the 50-70% refund rates without ruining one's long term reputation?
                  4. How do you maintain long term customer loyalty when you may have so many unhappy customers.
                  I've never lauched a product, but, I'm sat here reading your post asking myself:

                  'if most their customers are unhappy, and they are refunding alot of sales, then surely they are over-pricing or flat-out not giving customers a good deal'. ??

                  I know nothing about you, or your friends you dont want to mention that are moving away from PL's. But to me it seems, from what you've said about 70% refund rates, unhappy customers etc, that these people are promoting the 'Make 10 million in 10 Minutes' kind of products? If thats the case, I'm not surprised people are so unhappy.

                  People want stuff that works. Stuff that solves problems. Stuff that gives results and at good value. I'm a newbie and only just made my first 4 sales in IM, but even I get it: deliver value.

                  Maybe if they over delivered on value, their results might change?
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                • Profile picture of the author Greg Jacobs
                  Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post



                  1. Why are some of the bigger names moving away from this model? Does he admit that's the case?
                  2. Why are there 50-70% refund rates for some of the bigger launches?
                  3. How to deal with the 50-70% refund rates without ruining one's long term reputation?
                  4. How do you maintain long term customer loyalty when you may have so many unhappy customers.
                  1 - Webinars work well too. People do what works. end of story.
                  2 - 50-70% refund rate is standard for a crap Clickbank launch. Usually its done by the same group of guys) who just shuffle new actors in every week. The products are ripped or recycled. they spend more time on the sales lettter and funnel than what they are actually delivering. The refund rate is expected and they don't really care because they make more money on the backend (webinar upsells and hosting etc..) and remailing the leads then they do on the actual payouts from the product.

                  the sad thing is each week these "new products" end up in the review section of the WF with people trying to dicest whether it is a worth it or not/ ... its sad when the same group of people get sucked in by the hype week after week and it is just the same small group of puppetmasters cycling in actors and new names/

                  If you are going to have an intelligent discussion about "product launches" then get straight what you are talking about

                  3 - See above. Get a new actor. :-)

                  4 - See above


                  That all aside. I can tell you that product launches definitely are not dead, I have been involved personally in two separate million $ launches this year and my reach is not that great. (average refund rate for "good" products still hovers about 20-30% if you market properly, less than that and your sales letter is probably not aggressive enough)

                  if you have the connections and a great product you will do well/ However you can do well other ways. I have made more $ in my days from webinars than from launches. But that doesn't mean I kick the launch... there is value on all sides.
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            • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
              Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater here.

              There are good and bad points to most marketing methods -
              including product launches.

              There's also good execution of an effective strategy and
              poor execution of an otherwise effective strategy.

              The good points of launches are that they focus the attention
              of some of your market on a time-specific event instead of
              having a product that's available 24-7. Without the attention
              of people in your marketplace, you can't sell sh!t.

              The book, movie and electronic industries have been using
              launches effectively for years. Anticipation marketing 101.

              In fact, J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame is using a pre-launch for
              her latest 'secret' project right now:

              YouTube - ‪JKRowlingAnnounces's Channel‬‏ (No affil.)

              That said, I dislike the way that many of the top product launches
              are executed in the Internet Marketing field and the question the
              motives of most of the product creators and affiliates who promote
              them (particularly those who push the $1,997+ programs).

              The plain fact of the matter is that the top launches are motivated
              by greed with affiliates salivating at the $1,000 commission checks.

              And the 'gurus' at the top get together on regular occassions to
              fix the market and prices and decide who promotes what and when.

              What about focusing instead on meeting the needs of the most
              important person of all in any business - i.e. the paying customer?

              Dedicated to mutual success,

              Shaun
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            • Profile picture of the author Matt Morgan
              Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

              I would love Jeff Walker to let us know his opinion on this...

              I will be the 1st to accept a good counter argument.
              Also it would be good if Steve Jobs gave his input too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Fletcher
    It really depends how you define a product launch.

    Yesterday product X wasn't available for sale, today it is. So it was launched into the market.

    It's your choice whether you make that into an event (Apple anyone?) or just never bother to market it (I don't really have an example of this by definition).

    But personally I know I'd rather have people's attention on my product when it's first available to buy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nick Bykov
    Banned
    Product launches are pretty much dead, which is understandable.
    Free webinars (with a massive sales pitch in the end) are still alive.
    Who knows what would be the next "big thing"?
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  • Profile picture of the author cderenberger
    I agree.. which is why many marketers are moving their PL's to Plimus to help ease the refund rate.. but what I found out today was that Plimus will no longer accept IM PL's I believe starting Monday.

    They probably got hammered with refunds as well. As an affiliate marketer, it is very discouraging when you promote someones product, make a killing then check your sales a week later to see that 50% have refunded..

    I don't agree that all PL's are failing.. just those surrounding IM.
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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi Barry,

      Let's be honest, product launches are DEAD!
      ...then...

      I said PL are "dead" because many astute marketers are now moving away from them.
      ...then...

      ok, perhaps I should have written "are dying".

      My main points still hold true.
      Against a backdrop of -

      Launches turn off the vast majority of your list.
      they are NO way to build an ongoing relationship with your list.
      Buyers are becoming more aware of this formula
      It's interesting that your comments about launches not being so powerful in IM (correctly) relate to the hype/mislead factor.

      Yet your approach to the thread (IE headline and follow up statements) took precisely that approach, but then required some adjustment (IE thread 'refund rate').

      Not a criticism, an observation which I find genuinely interesting.

      Old habits dying hard, perhaps?
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  • Profile picture of the author Willie Murray
    Hey Barry,

    I'm not sure on the stats, but agree just relying on PL isn't a good business model... I'm all for generating a residual income, generating a long-term relationship with my list and adding real value.
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  • Profile picture of the author magiclouie
    That's why we need to think outside the box. The only constant is change.

    Anyway, thanks for putting this together. I have fully understood you.

    So, good luck to our fellow warriors who are about to launch their product.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    One marketing technique that will never die is the use of sensationalist pronouncements in order to create a buzz and increase personal visibility.

    If you limit your definition of product launches to "over-hyped and under-performing products sold at high prices with 70% commissions and big prize lists," and your definition of the market to "the IM niche" ... You might be right.

    I'm curious... How many of the people declaring product launches dead have actually studied Jeff's PLF?


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  • Profile picture of the author Jimmy101
    is it possible for product launches to die,new folks come in and go out from im daily,the gurus keep doing their stuff,its realistically impossible.
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    • Profile picture of the author Barry Plaskow
      Ok, I'm thinking of changing the title as several people are focusing on side issues.

      I will try and make my point clearer...

      Product launches, IE the system by which you build your business by doing ongoing bigger and bigger launches through the use of affiliates and buzz marketing, are unsustainable in the format many of the experts are used to doing.

      Can they make money in the short term -heck YES
      Can they get you super exposure-YES
      Can you build a long term sustainable business with 50-70% refund rates-ABSOLUTELY NOT

      That's it.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
        Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

        Ok, I'm thinking of changing the title as several people are focusing on side issues.

        I will try and make my point clearer...

        Product launches, IE the system by which you build your business by doing ongoing bigger and bigger launches through the use of affiliates and buzz marketing, are unsustainable in the format many of the experts are used to doing.

        Can they make money in the short term -heck YES
        Can they get you super exposure-YES
        Can you build a long term sustainable business with 50-70% refund rates-ABSOLUTELY NOT

        That's it.
        Barry,

        Interesting topic. You should know by now that people are going to bring up side issues, especially when the subject makes a general claim that something is "dead" or dying. Also, some of us are looking for clarification.

        Are you referring only to the MMO market and selling picks and shovels to IMers? Or does this also include other markets such as weight loss, dating, wedding planning, health, etc.? Since many of these are drastically different than the MMO market or selling to other IMers.

        While one marketer admitted to a 70% refund rate, do you know what the average refund rate is for whichever market or niche you're referring to in your original post when referring to product launches?

        I'm asking because I've been an integral part of over 120 product launches in a wide variety of markets since 2001, none of them having to do with Making Money Online or selling to other online entrepreneurs (as of this writing) and have learned that each market (and demographic) has it's own subtle nuances.

        The way you've defined product launches with a "50-70% refund rate", I'm inclined to agree it's not a sustainable model, but I've yet to be part of a market or industry that has that kind of refund rate, which makes me wonder if your definition of a product launch is a viable and realistic example.

        From my experience, well thought-out and planned product launches that incorporate multiple distribution channels are extremely effective and will never go out of style, but that's not how you defined it, which doesn't leave much to debate, which is why I was asking which market you were referring to.

        RoD
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    Barry,
    Why are some of the bigger names moving away from this model? Does he admit that's the case?
    Do you see the logical trap you've set in the second question?


    Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author Barry Plaskow
      Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

      Barry,Do you see the logical trap you've set in the second question?


      Paul
      I have edited the point. Point taken. Thanks!
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Barry,
        I have edited the point. Point taken. Thanks!
        I was referring to the use of the word "admit," with the connotational lading that goes with it. I believe a more neutral form of the question would substitute the word "agree."

        Those are the kinds of word choices that can change the entire tone and direction of a discussion.


        Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Kevin AKA Hubcap
        The first thing you meed to do is define product launch. That phrase covers a vast amount of territory. It would be helpful to whittle it down a bit.

        The purpose of a product launch is to launch a product. Not maintain a relationship with your list or build a long term business. Those are separate issues (though some overlap might occur). It's a tactic that can be very effective but is not meant to operate in a vacuum.

        IMO high refund rates are not a function of a product launch but a reflection on the quality or lack thereof of a product and/or promises made in sales material that are not kept.

        You mention marketers you're close to as having sky high refund rates. You conclude its a result of the method the product is introduced to the market, but have no opinion on the quality of the product???

        Maybe its just me but I'd guess that the product itself, not the product launch, might be to blame. If nothing else it's definitely worth investigating.

        It must be nice to live in your world. Where people who do things you're against will inherently fail and those who agree with you are advanced marketers.

        Product launches have been around for a long time. Much longer than internet marketing. They're used to introduce the public to all types of objects from cars to computers to hollywood movies. They're not going anywhere.

        Kevin

        P.S. If your associates (well known marketers) have excessive refund rates you might want to reflect on why. A disconnect is occurring somewhere. Furthermore do you really want to attach your name to these marketers knowing what they're refund rates are?? If yes...why??
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        • Profile picture of the author magiclouie
          Originally Posted by Kevin AKA Hubcap View Post

          The first thing you meed to do is define product launch. That phrase covers a vast amount of territory. It would be helpful to whittle it down a bit.

          The purpose of a product launch is to launch a product. Not maintain a relationship with your list or build a long term business. Those are separate issues (though some overlap might occur). It's a tactic that can be very effective but is not meant to operate in a vacuum.

          IMO high refund rates are not a function of a product launch but a reflection on the quality or lack thereof of a product and/or promises made in sales material that are not kept.

          You mention marketers you're close to as having sky high refund rates. You conclude its a result of the method the product is introduced to the market, but have no opinion on the quality of the product???

          Maybe its just me but I'd guess that the product itself, not the product launch, might be to blame. If nothing else it's definitely worth investigating.

          It must be nice to live in your world. Where people who do things your against will inherently fail and those who agree with you are advanced marketers.

          Product launches have been around for a long time. Much longer than internet marketing. They're used to introduce the public to all types of objects from cars to computers to hollywood movies. They're not going anywhere.

          Kevin
          I couldn't agree more!

          Hey Kevin, you have spoken well and wisely.

          You are definitely making a lot of sense here.
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    Launches are far from dead.

    Communicating with a list solely for the purpose of promoting a launch might be less effective.

    But pre-selling a product or service is quite alive and well across many industries.

    Go thumb through any serious automotive magazine and read articles about upcoming models of cars.

    Hollywood won't stop filming trailers anytime soon.

    Maybe ****ty execution of the product launch strategy might be less effective for some people who really chop it up - but I could no more say that product launches are dying than I could say that broad sweeping generalizations are true and correct.

    And when you understand launches, you can also understand the idea of marketing channels being independent of each other.

    Instead of launching to all channels at once, you launch to partner channels on an ongoing basis.

    Now the business model is a little more sustainable.
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  • Profile picture of the author ballhogjoni
    I don't think they are, maybe for the IM niche but not for all niches
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    understand the idea of marketing channels being independent of each other.
    Amen!

    Preach it, brother Michael!
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  • Profile picture of the author James Brown
    What a great lively debate..

    Lots of great points being raised here. Personally I believe PL are dead.

    9 times out of 10 its the only way products & services with NO real value
    or even remotely a decent USP are forced feed into the market place.
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    • Profile picture of the author QuickSurf
      Not surprised, just look at the junk being promoted today... especially when they don't even know what the product is, is about, or reviewed it themselves. They only promote it b/c if you check out the "creators" page for affiliates their usually offering ridiculously bonuses and prize. Samething for the "launchers" and "product" promoters on here... I've pretty much unsubscribed from all list inc guru's. This last year as seen so many products launched that are either complete junk, rehashed bs over and over and over, or flat out scam. You can just read reviews on here and elsewhere lol.

      Honestly I think it's b/c their desperate now, and their list have shrunken way down and their doing whatever they can to try to keep making money. Just look at how many send emails almost daily or every other day with offers... :rolleyes:

      Jeremy Kesel I think is one of the few who has actually purchased and reviewed/tested products out himself before promoting.
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    • Profile picture of the author vickybabe
      Rather than have launch after launch after launch, why don't they set up one launch of a massive residual membership site where they can offer these "NEW" techniques to their members on a monthly basis. Seems to make a bit more sense to me. Refund rates drop, members are happy, no need for launches, etc. Think about the products we have all spent money on from the same guru. This could easily be incorporated into a membership site. And just like that you have a sustainable product launch.
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      • Profile picture of the author kellyburdes
        I know that they like to sell you on the fact that they are lazy *******s who never work and smoke dope and surf all the time...but do you really think that the guys who have risen to the top in this business haven't tested what they are doing? Do you really think they are not doing whatever it is that they have found maximizes their profits?

        Originally Posted by vickybabe View Post

        Rather than have launch after launch after launch, why don't they set up one launch of a massive residual membership site where they can offer these "NEW" techniques to their members on a monthly basis. Seems to make a bit more sense to me. Refund rates drop, members are happy, no need for launches, etc. Think about the products we have all spent money on from the same guru. This could easily be incorporated into a membership site. And just like that you have a sustainable product launch.
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        • Profile picture of the author Barry Plaskow
          Originally Posted by kellyburdes View Post

          I know that they like to sell you on the fact that they are lazy *******s who never work and smoke dope and surf all the time...but do you really think that the guys who have risen to the top in this business haven't tested what they are doing? Do you really think they are not doing whatever it is that they have found maximizes their profits?
          Kelly, that's why you will find several of them moving away into evergreen models!

          In testing they have seen diminishing returns and higher refund rates.
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          • Profile picture of the author kellyburdes
            My entire business model is pretty much to be launching and then upselling more expensive products.

            I don't do the typical JV model seen in IM, but I'm doing very well. My sales and profits have grown every quarter for 2 1/2 years now in the stock market options, and ETF niche.

            Just recently I partnered with one of the top producing realtors in Florida to market a course to other realtors. At this point we are relying entirely on JV's for traffic and the Product Launch Model for sales. Our first launch, of a $697 course, did $223,000 in sales, our second did $454,000. Our next one, at the end of the summer, I am expecting to be my first ever $1million launch.

            I'm not involved in IM at all - maybe the model is less effective in IM now vs what it used to be, but it's steaming along outside IM, even in pretty big niches that see a lot of marketing.

            -K


            Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

            Kelly, that's why you will find several of them moving away into evergreen models!

            In testing they have seen diminishing returns and higher refund rates.
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  • I heard product launches are dead 5 years ago, they are dead for 99% of the people and not dead for the 1%
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    soon people... Relax...
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Mine aren't dead. Sorry to hear of your loss.
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  • Profile picture of the author uebomoyi
    It's very true that product launches are dying out but if you venture into newbie territory, like the IM4newbies forum and then you start building a list in those types of areas then product launches are sure to help you generate a steady income. But yes it is true that they are dying out if you already have a list you've been marketing to for awhile
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  • Profile picture of the author WAWarrior
    The key to a successful launch with little refund is delivering a product that is value for money. Many have seen sales pages that over-promise ( we are all familiar with the hype in many IM products ) versus the actual product. That results in a user feeling short-change. With the refund policy, it's not surprising that the unhappy customer wants to get his point across - and ask for refund.
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    • Profile picture of the author kellyburdes
      You should also keep in mind that if your doing a good job of hitting the emotional hot buttons of your market your going to have a certain level of refunds. John Carlton says that if you don't have at least 20% refunds your leaving profits on the table, and I've found that to be true as well. In the ETF and Stock Market Options market where I am most active if my refund rates are under 25% during a launch I've screwed up. Now - outside of the launches if they are that high I think I'm screwing up - they are about 5% then...but during a launch you should push and a certain degree of refunds is to be expected.


      Originally Posted by WAWarrior View Post

      The key to a successful launch with little refund is delivering a product that is value for money. Many have seen sales pages that over-promise ( we are all familiar with the hype in many IM products ) versus the actual product. That results in a user feeling short-change. With the refund policy, it's not surprising that the unhappy customer wants to get his point across - and ask for refund.
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  • Profile picture of the author trevorhickey
    i completely disagree - product launches aren't dead. new products come out all the time - how would the public know about them if they weren't advertized? do we expect consumers to go door to door asking people if they've heard about any new products lately?
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  • Profile picture of the author oneplusone
    Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

    I also know you can build an initial list.

    But, that list will sooner rather later run dry. I know several massive list owners (no names, but you know of them as well) who are getting ever diminishing returns on their list. Some of them have severe business problems, not that they would admit it.
    This has got nothing to do with product launches, this is a lack of understanding of what lists are for.

    It drives me crazy having to explain/warn many newbies and even experienced marketers of how idiotic they're being by neglecting the front-end of their business.

    A list is NOT a business.

    The back-end is NOT a business either.

    I quote my own recent post:

    Originally Posted by oneplusone View Post

    A list should not be seen as a regular source of income, that's a very dangerous mindset to have.

    You build lists to increase the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) of your buyers, or the Prospect Lifetime Value (PLV) of your prospects.

    The most important thing with list building is to keep adding quality prospects or buyers to your list on a consistent basis.

    Lists are simply a tool or platform to increase the CLV or PLV.
    The usual response I get is they say they've got "repeat customers", "regulars" etc ... so they don't need to worry about the front-end any more.

    It's a false sense of security and a lack of understanding of the maths.

    Mathematically, any business that stops bringing in new customers, clients or prospects is basically doomed.
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    I think the problem is that a lot of folks live and breathe in this myopic world of the make money online market. So the things to which they're exposed with biz op are are automatically assumed to be the sunrise and sunset horizons.

    That's why it's important in any and all business to benchmark outside of your tiny slice of the world. See what others are doing. Understand the implications (and APPLICATIONS) of various strategy and tactics.

    Remember, the make money online slice of internet marketing is a tiny piece. What Frank Kern, Jeff Walker, Mike Filsame, et al do is simply a tiny piece of what's really going on in the bigger world of teaching people how to make money using the internet... and an even more microscopic speck of what's going on in the wider world of marketing products and services on the internet.

    Begs back to Rod's questions to the OP about context.
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert M Gouge
    When I think of "product launches", I tend to think of a company like Blizzard Entertainment.

    The are in the gaming niche and are probably one of the best at hyping future products. They release maybe 1 game every other year or so and the hype and buildup for these products is astounding. I remember StarCraft2 hype beginning 4 years before it's actual release!

    And once launch day rolls around, people are in a frenzy, camping overnight at gamestop to get their copy. Their initial burst of sales is obviously high, and because they release a quality product, they continue to do great sales until the fuss dies down a year or so after launch.

    This is what a "launch" is to me. What you describe in this thread Barry, to me, is nothing more than scam promotion. Building up massive hype for a product that the creators are well aware is going to under deliver, largely due to the quality of the product and the over-the-top advertising campaigns and promises.

    It's not a surprise that this model is failing, you can only sheer a sheep so many times before it dies.

    When you talk about 70% refund rates being common among the launches you are discussing, it sounds to me like these models are basically banking on the fact that a certain % of the purchasers they "hyped" into buying their garbage will be too lazy to refund. That's not a business model, that's a scam model.

    It shouldn't take a rocket scientist to see why this type of promotion is not sustainable. The fact that people are able to pull this more than once without significantly diminished returns and/or community outcry (Don Lapre anyone?) really boggles my mind.
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  • Profile picture of the author sameerjoad
    PLs are dead? Not exactly, but i agree with one point - high refund rates are bad for long term buisness.

    How to survive?
    1. Don't have to many PLs = Don't annoy your list. Lets face it someone on your list is on someone else's list also. And from a personal point of view if i get spammed one day i go on a 'unsubscribe' rally for the rest of emails i get, irrespective of who it was from or what they got to offer.

    2. Do a PL for a Product you know is going to 'beneift' others, or promote one that you know will benefit. Most IMers are faced with the dilemma - mail for quick bucks or wait for a good PL? The sad part, hardly any good PL's so we need to survive and hence promotions and bad products = lots of refunds and unsubscribes.

    3. Which leads to another important point - an age old concept says 'don't put all your eggs in one basket'. For all of you who depend on lists alone (trust me 90% of you share the same people you promote to due to ad swaps, solo buys and '100% commission traps') simply move to other ways to earn online - build a business. I know i am too young? or maybe too un-experienced to say that being only a blogger and struggling myself to make up my mind. But honestly you can't depend on just PLs, can you?
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    • Profile picture of the author High Horsepower
      LOL, far from dead. Maybe in Online Make Money but I know a Real Estate Marketer who's making Millions with evergreen type launches. Has nothing to do with the internet, period.
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

    Launches turn off the vast majority of your list.
    No they don't.

    CRAP PRODUCTS turn off the vast majority of your list.

    If you have an awesome product, worth several times the price, sold at a price your list can afford, your list will jump up and down shouting "goody goody gumdrops."

    But if you hype some retarded garbage and charge $2k to stuff it up their butt, yeah, they'll mostly be upset.
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    • Profile picture of the author kellyburdes
      Crap launches too.

      If you actually follow the formula of something like Mass Control, Online Profit Multiplier or Product Launch Formula, and the launches you cross promote do as well - your going to have a great relationship with your list.

      A good launch isn't just about the sales you make, it is about the relationships you form as well. Obviously at the end of that is a good product, but also put out high quality content during the launch etc and people will be thrilled to be on your list - even if you send em promotions every single day.




      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      No they don't.

      CRAP PRODUCTS turn off the vast majority of your list.

      If you have an awesome product, worth several times the price, sold at a price your list can afford, your list will jump up and down shouting "goody goody gumdrops."

      But if you hype some retarded garbage and charge $2k to stuff it up their butt, yeah, they'll mostly be upset.
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  • Profile picture of the author NerdGary
    I agree.. Im not the type to send out "pre-sales" or "pre-launches".. I like to jump right in and start promoting/selling.
    Albeit I start slow and split test...and once I see results, I start blasting.
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    • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
      Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

      This is isn't my opinion alone but that shared in private to me by some of the most well known marketers around.
      I call shenanigans.

      Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

      Product launches are dying and they are NO way to build an ongoing relationship with your list.
      That's because that's not what they're for. They still remain a great way to START an ongoing relationship with new people becoming part of your list.

      Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

      Launches turn off the vast majority of your list. Plain and simple. We all know the ridiculous unsubscribe rates of some of the gurus. Sure they don't care because they refill their list with new candidates the next launch around, but the issue here is that there is little real client loyalty long term.
      False. Launches can generate excitement even in an old, stale list. A launch is all about taking a product and turning it into an EVENT, anchored in time, happening RIGHT NOW. The rest of this statement is kind of gibberish that betrays an underlying misunderstanding of what a launch is vs. what a list is.

      Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

      I hope others are honest about this, but let's face it most so called PLs have 50% refund rates, sometimes even more. I was saddened to hear a particular "expert" flaunt his $3m takijng from a recent launch, when I was aware he had a 70% (no, that's NOT a mistake) refund rate!
      More talking out of your ass. "Most" compared to "ONE" particular expert. Name names or shut up. Otherwise, don't paint an entire spectrum of people and products with what you've heard said about one guy. YOU be honest. Rumor is not fact. Say what you know, or say nothing.

      Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

      Buyers are becoming more aware of this formula and turn more and more to forums like this and friends to discuss the merits of a program before joining. As a result, the so called "gurus" are having a harder time than ever with their launches. Don't believe me, notice how many are moving away into different strategies or even disappearing altogether. I don't want to names drop, but I think you see this with your own eyes.
      Name names or shut up. I'm personally tired of people who want to make "gurus" into bad guys but don't actually know WTF they are talking about, and just hide behind generalizations. If you want to take your dick out, you best be ready to ****. Seriously, if you have some kind of great revelation to make, make it, or crawl back under your rock.

      Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

      Worst of all, PLs do NOT help you build a real long term business. What happens when your launch is done? Are you still making money? Usually, the only way a marketer makes more money is to do another launch down the road or promote other peoples products (usually forced upon him/her by obligations made to get affiliates on board the initial launch).
      Clearly, you are an outsider to this entire industry, or else you wouldn't make such a bizarre statement. How do you think it's possible that the people known for launches can do multiple ones annually?

      Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

      Now don't get me wrong...
      You've gotten nothing right so far...

      Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

      I know 1st hand just how much money you can make upfront in a launch (minus affiliate fees/set up fees/payment fees etc -you usually bank around 35% of monies generated after REFUNDS!).
      Sounds like a good deal to me, what's the issue?

      Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

      But, that list will sooner rather later run dry. I know several massive list owners (no names, but you know of them as well) who are getting ever diminishing returns on their list. Some of them have severe business problems, not that they would admit it.
      The list has nothing to do with the launch beyond the launch being how it was acquired. If you don't have a post-launch list management strategy, that's a whole separate issue. If you also have severe business problems, that doesn't have anything to do with launching as being a viable strategy for other businesses.

      Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

      I also have friends (again well known marketers) who have left the entire PL modal and wont promote others' products at all.
      Good for you and your friends.

      Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

      Let's have a frank conversation here about this...
      You usually don't begin a "conversation" by taking a **** in the swimming pool. You wanted to make some alarmist statements to generate some knee-jerk "YEAH!" responses. You really have nothing of substance to add to the discussion of the business model of launching, or even an awareness of what actually happens between launches.

      Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

      I look forward to hearing from some gutsy marketers who are willing to admit the changes they are making in their business moving WELL away from the product launch modal.
      Admit what? Launches still sell millions. Period. Please, move away from the model so others can thrive and all the pretenders that don't understand the model can go do something else and leave it to the people who can handle it and know what they're doing. All the "shortcomings" you point out can be mitigated by planning and are not part of the model, but part of an incomplete strategy.

      Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

      I say gutsy, because I still see several well known names continue to teach what they know no longer works for them for their long term business interests.
      YOU be gutsy and name these names you allegedly know and talk to. Or else I call bull****.

      Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

      I'm sure some of them will defend the strategy, but I's also like to hear from more advanced marketers who have seen with their own eyes the long term problems associated with this approach.
      So you only want to hear with people who agree, and everyone who disagrees is destined to fail? I thought you wanted a conversation. Sounds like you want something else.

      Sorry to be a bit aggressive in my response here, but this post is part of the reason I don't really spend a lot of time here. It's hater nonsense. "The people who can use strategies to make money are the bad guys and it's not working but they still tell us to copy them!!!!" I don't even know how to respond to that kind of whining.

      OK, go do something else then. Anything. Launches work. Period. Not just for creating products, but for injecting new personalities into a given niche. Not just in IM, but ANYWHERE. Not even just in business, but in politics, and various other fields. The "launch" is simply a way to take a "what" or a "who" and turn it into a "when". That's all.

      Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

      One marketing technique that will never die is the use of sensationalist pronouncements in order to create a buzz and increase personal visibility.
      WISDOM!

      Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

      If you limit your definition of product launches to "over-hyped and under-performing products sold at high prices with 70% commissions and big prize lists," and your definition of the market to "the IM niche" ... You might be right.
      Except he's still not right...

      Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

      I'm curious... How many of the people declaring product launches dead have actually studied Jeff's PLF?
      None, they don't make enough to afford it.

      Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

      In all seriousness, I honestly think that the product launch system used to work a lot better than it does today.
      Proof?

      Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

      Things have changed.
      Proof?

      Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

      The amount of products (which the model inherently demands you create) leads to lower quality products.
      Proof?

      Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

      1. Why are some of the bigger names moving away from this model? Does he admit that's the case?
      Loaded question. Also - name names. WHO is moving away from it?

      Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

      2. Why are there 50-70% refund rates for some of the bigger launches?
      Name names. Who has those kind of refund rates?

      Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

      3. How to deal with the 50-70% refund rates without ruining one's long term reputation?
      Name names. Who has been affected in this way?

      Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

      4. How do you maintain long term customer loyalty when you may have so many unhappy customers.
      The reverse is the question you should be asking. If they have so many unhappy customers, how could they maintain such long term customer loyalty?

      Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

      I'm trying not to be dogmatic and am open to hear a different view point.
      Shenanigans. You want to make a blanket statement and either you believe what you're GUESSING is true and don't think anyone will counter... OR you don't actually believe it, but don't think anyone who knows different will say anything and you get to be carried up on some palanquin of guru hater nonsense. Whatever. I see through it. It's a weak try.

      Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

      One thing needs to be said here though... and that is product launches shaped our industry for a long while. The ideas behind them are sound and certainly work.
      HAHAHA. So do they work or don't they? Hedging your bets much?

      Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

      I , together with others, just see that they no longer work to build a long term business.
      That's not what a launch is for. It's part of a business. It's a way to release a product. That's all. YOU are the one that is saying it's not a complete model when NO ONE who uses it with success has EVER treated it that way.

      Originally Posted by Kevin AKA Hubcap View Post

      The purpose of a product launch is to launch a product. Not maintain a relationship with your list or build a long term business. Those are separate issues (though some overlap might occur). It's a tactic that can be very effective but is not meant to operate in a vacuum.
      I'm glad to see some sense here. Thanks.

      Originally Posted by Kevin AKA Hubcap View Post

      IMO high refund rates are not a function of a product launch but a reflection on the quality or lack thereof of a product and/or promises made in sales material that are not kept.
      That's not just your opinion, Kevin. That's actual BRAINS being applied to the idea in question. Kudos.

      Originally Posted by Kevin AKA Hubcap View Post

      Maybe its just me but I'd guess that the product itself, not the product launch, might be to blame.
      You don't have to be Columbo to put that one together.

      Originally Posted by Kevin AKA Hubcap View Post

      It must be nice to live in your world. Where people who do things you're against will inherently fail and those who agree with you are advanced marketers.
      I would very much like to find out who grows and sells the herbs this gentleman smokes as well.

      Originally Posted by Kevin AKA Hubcap View Post

      Product launches have been around for a long time. Much longer than internet marketing. They're used to introduce the public to all types of objects from cars to computers to hollywood movies. They're not going anywhere.
      Debutante Balls, anyone? A launch is ancient. Nothing new.

      Originally Posted by Kevin AKA Hubcap View Post

      P.S. If your associates (well known marketers) have excessive refund rates you might want to reflect on why. A disconnect is occurring somewhere. Furthermore do you really want to attach your name to these marketers knowing what they're refund rates are?? If yes...why??
      Yeah, his friends really suck at marketing, apparently. And they are giving him some bunk advice and making him look like an idiot evangelist by picking up that banner.

      But hey, I could be wrong. Maybe launches are dead and we should all get hot dog carts.
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      • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
        Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

        Maybe launches are dead and we should all get hot dog carts.
        Haven't you heard? Lunches are dead, too.
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  • Profile picture of the author JoeMbulu
    Here's my 2 cents.

    Product launches are not dead. I believe the way "me too" IM gurus do launches is dying. The focus has been too much on hype, hype, and more hype, but then the product or service fails greatly.

    As a relative model to IM Guru product launches, take a look at WSOs. Looking through Warrior Plus WSO stats, you'll notice a lot of IM courses being pushed with very low refund rates and high conversions. Why? There's 2 reasons. First, there is the social proof. Real people are telling you how great or bad a product is by validating the quality as a launch is going on. If IM product launches have social proof, there would be higher conversions and lower refund rates because the community votes up or down. Secondly, refund rates depend on quality. You need a degree of hype to sell, but if you can back it up with quality material, you won't turn off your list.

    I believe the WSO style social element can be replicated to create a successful model for future IM product launches. The reason why there's such high refund rates currently is because quality really isn't a concern. They're worrying about volume.

    At the end of the day, if someone buys your product and they get results, you have a customer for life. If you push crap, people will demand refunds. Millions of dollars are created through WSOs inside the Warrior Forum each year. There is no reason why you can't use social proof to add more credibility to IM launches outside the Warrior Forum.

    The problem isn't Product Launches. The problem is People copying a failed way of doing product launches.

    As far as the sustainability of having to do multiple launches, if you're a good marketer or SEO, and are currently testing and implementing real ways to make money online, you'll never run out of material to package into courses. Real marketer are students of the game.
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  • Profile picture of the author dagaul101
    It's true getting repeated offers turns many subscribers off, and can't wait to unsubscribe from said list, which is why trust must be enabled first, before showing them some of your recommended offer
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    • Profile picture of the author kellyburdes
      I make offers to my lists every single day and my unsubscribe rate is very low and my business continues to grow.

      The key is that your not just giving a pitch, your giving valuable content with the offer..and if you do that your going to build a good solid relationship with your list and train them to buy too.

      I think it's important to give offers to your list often, not just content. A lot of people give away a ton of amazing content to their list, but don't make sales, even when they do make an offer...and my feeling is that this occurs because they don't make offers enough...ie the list is trained that "I just get a bunch of free stuff from being on this list"....you need to be making offers to your list every single opportunity you have.




      Originally Posted by dagaul101 View Post

      It's true getting repeated offers turns many subscribers off, and can't wait to unsubscribe from said list, which is why trust must be enabled first, before showing them some of your recommended offer
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  • Profile picture of the author GetMoreTraffic
    The number of $1000-$2000 launches has declined a lot in the last few years. I think maybe too many people have realized that they would be better off keeping that money ni their own bank account.
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  • Profile picture of the author magnates
    Originally Posted by Barry Plaskow View Post

    I've been meaning to write this thread for a long time...

    This is isn't my opinion alone but that shared in private to me by some of the most well known marketers around.

    Product launches are dying and they are NO way to build an ongoing relationship with your list.

    This is what's wrong with product launches... (don't worry, I'm aware of the initial benefits which I will describe later, but I'm talking here about building a long term viable business).


    1. Launches turn off the vast majority of your list. Plain and simple. We all know the ridiculous unsubscribe rates of some of the gurus. Sure they don't care because they refill their list with new candidates the next launch around, but the issue here is that there is little real client loyalty long term.
    2. I hope others are honest about this, but let's face it most so called PLs have 50% refund rates, sometimes even more. I was saddened to hear a particular "expert" flaunt his $3m takijng from a recent launch, when I was aware he had a 70% (no, that's NOT a mistake) refund rate!
    3. Buyers are becoming more aware of this formula and turn more and more to forums like this and friends to discuss the merits of a program before joining. As a result, the so called "gurus" are having a harder time than ever with their launches. Don't believe me, notice how many are moving away into different strategies or even disappearing altogether. I don't want to names drop, but I think you see this with your own eyes.
    4. Worst of all, PLs do NOT help you build a real long term business. What happens when your launch is done? Are you still making money? Usually, the only way a marketer makes more money is to do another launch down the road or promote other peoples products (usually forced upon him/her by obligations made to get affiliates on board the initial launch).

    Now don't get me wrong...

    I know 1st hand just how much money you can make upfront in a launch (minus affiliate fees/set up fees/payment fees etc -you usually bank around 35% of monies generated after REFUNDS!).

    I also know you can build an initial list.

    But, that list will sooner rather later run dry. I know several massive list owners (no names, but you know of them as well) who are getting ever diminishing returns on their list. Some of them have severe business problems, not that they would admit it.

    I also have friends (again well known marketers) who have left the entire PL modal and wont promote others' products at all.

    I think that's a huge mistake as there is some great stuff out there, but I understand why they are now doing this.

    Let's have a frank conversation here about this...

    I look forward to hearing from some gutsy marketers who are willing to admit the changes they are making in their business moving WELL away from the product launch modal.

    I say gutsy, because I still see several well known names continue to teach what they know no longer works for them for their long term business interests.

    I know many marketers are still benefiting from product launches. They haven't yet seen the lower returns that are INHERENTLY destined to occur.

    I'm sure some of them will defend the strategy, but I's also like to hear from more advanced marketers who have seen with their own eyes the long term problems associated with this approach.

    (Other strategies are working BETTER than ever, but that's not our point of discussion here)

    Barry
    Hi Barry ,

    Permit me to say this but I think you are just being negative. I have seen first hand the power of a product launch .I was part of the team of a product launch that made $164,847.81 in one day and ended making $1.6 million in 10 Days . I have personally seen it

    Even you are earning over 35% of the amount , that $560,000 from a product launch . Would you not do the same again and again . Will you not launch a product every month if you could

    Now , I am not saying that PL is perfect . It is not but PL uses leverage and engages the community . When there is leverage , magic happens . Limits are broken.

    If you have no integrity and you are trying to sell something that doesn't work or a magic software then you should be worried about your refund rate . That is trying to get their money for nothing because you are are not offering anything in exchange for the dollar they have worked very hard for

    Of course , you would get a high rate of refunds . If however , what you are sell works and helps people build a real business and you give people realistic expectation of when the results would come , you would have to find too many affiliate because your customers will be your affiliates .

    Just stating my opinion .Ofcourse , i could be wrong . Nothing is perfect and that includes Product launches . rather than pointing out the horror stories of people who did PL and did not overdeliver on the value , what solutions do you offer for the shortcoming of Product launches ?

    Change your attitude and look for solutions
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  • yes totally agree with u.

    this product launches are so useless.

    the real quality stuff are not in the launches.

    there are in personal blogs and forums like this.

    discussing and helping people.

    if u are really earning money the way this product launches claim they are then why do they need to product launch? lol

    irony rite..
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  • Profile picture of the author MatthewNeer
    First off, Product Launches ARE NOT DEAD! If there were, you wouldnt seen any more of them. DUH!

    Yes, the may be less effective than they first were because every damn marketer exploits the sh!t out of them. But that doesn't mean they dont work.

    And as far as your claims go, I would like to see some documented proof on those refund rates. Now if you're talking about those scammy CB launches I totally believe you...

    But if your talking about any product launch with INTEGRITY, then no, thats never the case. Those suckers hold their customers like the ocean holds water.

    Also, if you know any of the REAL gurus who are BANKING PHAT right now, its automated webinars. I've been an affiliate for many of them and have been cashing in pretty well man.

    So, yes, I agree with like 50% of what you said. Marketers with integrity will continue to do well with the PLF while the scammy ones will continue to fail. Now what about a Perpetual, Evergreen Product launch? Different?

    I personally believe we will see more of those in the near future as well as more automated webinars.

    Why?

    Cause thats the sauce baby!
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  • Product Launches (as we IM'ers regard them) are nothing but a specific way to present your product to an audience, therefore they cannot be "dead". Saying that PLs are dead is like saying that one-page sales copies are dead. Or like saying that video-based sales presentation are dead.

    Sure, the formula is well known to the public... so what? if your marketing message is sharp, and your product is solid, then I see no reason why you wouldn't make good money off a PL.

    Is it because your subscribers know that they're involved in a sales process? so what if they do? we all know we're being pitched when we watch TV infomercials at the shopping channel, yet they've been there for years and still going strong.

    "Product Launches" are not dead.
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  • Profile picture of the author LetsGoViral
    Oh, here we go again.

    "X is dead".

    Yeah, sure.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dean Jackson
    Dr Mani nailed what I was going to say.

    However, there is a psychological reason why "product launches" work too.

    It's not just for small, private launches either... same rules go for big goo-roo launches with JV's crawling out of the woodworks and such.

    Creating anticipation and excitement is ALWAYS going to generate big results (initially). Once the product is "available", it's not as in-demand anymore... hence the interest goes down.

    The same concept applies to sales letters, emails, squeeze pages... they start off with a big promise and stoke your desire until you're almost DESPERATE to get your hands on it. Then when you actually have it, it doesn't seem like magic anymore... (probably why people fail to take action - the excitement and desire is gone).


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    • Profile picture of the author drmani
      Originally Posted by RobTheCopywriter View Post

      The number of $1000-$2000 launches has declined a lot in the last few years. I think maybe too many people have realized that they would be better off keeping that money ni their own bank account.
      Err... I'm just beginning my $1,495 launch, so that would be bad
      news for me

      I believe that people realize they'd be better off keeping their
      money rather than buying the next "Shiny New Thing". But investing
      in real value won't ever go "out of fashion" (my 2 cents!)

      Originally Posted by Dean Jackson View Post

      Dr Mani nailed what I was going to say.

      However, there is a psychological reason why "product launches" work too.

      Creating anticipation and excitement is ALWAYS going to generate big results (initially).
      Well, it's quite a challenge to make product CONSUMPTION an 'event'
      as one can do relatively easily with a 'launch'... but master that
      and you'll have delighted clients who put what you teach them to
      good use - and then keep coming back for more.

      Of course, that pre-supposes sellers have something worthwhile to offer
      them in the first place

      All success
      Dr.Mani
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  • Profile picture of the author nathanj
    This is an open ended statement, and no single answer can come from it.

    My thoughts are that this is you having a swipe at the hype filled blind offer product launches, that ultimately promise the world, we've seen lately. I'm with you.

    These launches are making customers more wary... so if you don't want the crazy refund rates, unsubscribe rates, negative reviews then don't copy what they are doing.

    It's all about value. Plain and simple.

    If you have a product jam packed with value that the customer is happy with and deems it at an acceptable price they will love you for it.

    • Worst of all, PLs do NOT help you build a real long term business. What happens when your launch is done? Are you still making money? Usually, the only way a marketer makes more money is to do another launch down the road or promote other peoples products (usually forced upon him/her by obligations made to get affiliates on board the initial launch).
    This is both true and false... Yeah it isn't a long term business if they haven't got anything working for them behind the scenes. But the fact of the matter is most savvy guys that produce valuable products will also have other products of the same standard or better (because they'll usually be higher priced, or they are just all round champions!) that deliver on other aspects of the product they launched.

    (Other strategies are working BETTER than ever, but that's not our point of discussion here)
    Ok... so if there are better strategies then why aren't they a point of discussion? No no lets bash the crap out of product launches and give no solution to those who might be looking for one when reading this.

    I think the statement in brackets still includes product launches in the 'Other strategies'. Guys are just going about their launches differently and not in the email-offer-pay sense.

    Other strategies could be working better than ever... but still not as well as a product launch. So that doesn't mean you're going to drop everything your doing to pick up a strategy that wont net you as much, but hey it will make me more than it would of before.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve McBride
    I was thinking about this. A lot of people are mentioning that the only real problem is the large amount of CRAP products that are being hyped up and over promising results that won't happen when the product can't deliver. Apparently people are worried that this will saturate the market and turn off buyers from ALL products.

    Here's what I have to say. If you are one of the people who are pumping out garbage products over and over then PLEASE, CONTINUE TO DO SO. Put another one out every week if you can. EVERY DAY for all I care. I want you to piss off every last customer that is out there. I want the entire internet marketing community about to riot about how there is nothing but crap out there.

    You know why? Because when I launch MY products, I will over deliver on quality so incredibly and I will provide such an epic amount of value to my customers that compared to your crap products I will stand out as a savior! I will be the messiah of awesome, and because my customers will see that some products ARE worth it and do provide them with exactly what they need, then they will tell others about what I have made. And I and others like me will have all the money, not because we scammed it, but because we EARNED it, because we provide the real value that people crave. Because we will have EARNED trust and loyalty, not through empty promises of riches, but by sharing knowledge that will TRULY show the customer how to obtain the money that they desire.

    So please, if you are trying to scam customers, or pump out worthless overpriced products, PLEASE continue it. I encourage it. You're only helping me out in the long run.
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  • Profile picture of the author kellyburdes
    My favorite argument in the whole wide world: Product launches must be dead because we are seeing more of them! DOH!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author MarketItAll
    I'm glad that these launches are dying, because for a while there it was getting totally out of control. It's still annoying to see them all, but it's nice to know that they aren't as successful. I think it's a group of them that keep rotating around with the same old hashed material, selling off to each others lists. It's disguisting.
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  • Profile picture of the author HigherPrThanGod
    I've never built a list and probably won't. But one thing I would suggest is this - When you send your e-mails, be sure to explain why your sending it out. If it's just to send them to a sponsor, then say so. If it's a free tool, be sure to say that up front. lol
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew NY
    Im not exactly a big fan of the $1000+ product launches. I think that they really just are filled with promises unkept. They are essentially just looking to see how many ignorant people they can get to pay the money and end up not doing the work, and lose the investment.

    I do believe however, that there are plenty of products out there that still continue to deliver. Price aside, for all of those greedy guru's out there, there are plenty of demi-guru's less greedy and very selfless in their release of what they know to newbies.
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  • Profile picture of the author harrel
    People who understand IM at ninja level are still doing product launches. Launches are still working. In PLF 3.0 Jeff told that product launches are in IM niche is getting a little low responses. The reason is the bombardment of launches.

    But in other niches, if a launch is done properly, it will get a good response.

    Like me and few of my partners did a launch on silicon valley start ups. I didn't contributed anything much in it except a 1 hour 20 minute long video, but it worked much better than what we expected.

    If you got a product, you gotto to do a launch, otherwise how will you make it live?
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    • Profile picture of the author Barry Plaskow
      Originally Posted by harrel View Post

      People who understand IM at ninja level are still doing product launches. Launches are still working. In PLF 3.0 Jeff told that product launches are in IM niche is getting a little low responses. The reason is the bombardment of launches.

      But in other niches, if a launch is done properly, it will get a good response.

      Like me and few of my partners did a launch on silicon valley start ups. I didn't contributed anything much in it except a 1 hour 20 minute long video, but it worked much better than what we expected.

      If you got a product, you gotto to do a launch, otherwise how will you make it live?
      Harrel, I'm talking about product launches in the format we have seen done by the experts.

      I'm not getting launching a product. I'm against using PL as a business model.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nick Brighton
    Change this thread title to "Crappy products are dead" and I'll take it seriously.

    Product launches are dead? Tell that to Apple, Microsoft, Porsche, Retail Stores (I could go on for days...)
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  • Profile picture of the author vok
    I think people advertise the refund policy to much, I don't see apple.com advertising the fact they offer a refund. People always want something for nothing, you're only advertising that fact they can achieve that by buying your product physical or not.
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  • Profile picture of the author mrdanilodiaz
    I think you are right. I haven't launch any products of my own but I think it is dying.
    People are learning from their mistakes. And they know that make money online products are crap.
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    • Profile picture of the author kellyburdes
      You have nothing to base your opinion on. You saying that launches are dead or dying is like a virgin offering opinions on how to get laid.

      Originally Posted by mrdanilodiaz View Post

      I think you are right. I haven't launch any products of my own but I think it is dying.
      People are learning from their mistakes. And they know that make money online products are crap.
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