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Have you done a pre-sell for your products ever?
Like, try to find paying customers before finishing the product.
It massively de-risks the product creation when you already have paying customers even before it’s creation.
If nobody is willing to pay, then maybe the problem isn’t painful enough to create a product around.
Saves you time 🤷
I’ve done this a LOT!
And I mean a lot.. Last year I did the 25in25 challenge where I tried to launch, sell and ship 1 product every week for 25 weeks..
It was as crazy as it sounds.. probably crazier.. (l
For every product I ran a pre sales campaign on Twitter and in my newsletter.
And only once I had some validation in terms of money/audience did I actually ship that product.
If I didn’t get validation, I didn’t build the product, shelved the idea.
Doing that process of “launch → sell → ship” 25 times, taught me a lot.
Today, I’ll share the 5 essential elements you need to run an effective pre sales campaign.
Let’s dive into it 👇
I’ll be honest…
If you don’t have an audience, don’t try to presell a product.
Offer free products and content to build up small audience first.
But you don’t need a lot.
Have at least 500 Twitter followers or 500 newsletter subs or both.
It’s not that your product is not valuable if you don’t have an audience,
it’s just that you will not get any data to make an informed choice about your product.
You may be misled to believe that a product is bad just because it didn’t get any traction. While in reality it might be quite good, if only it had more eyeballs on it.
So do everything you can to build an audience first.
And create a buzz around your product a few weeks before it’s launch.
I’ve seen people try out Google/FB ads to their landing pages to validate their idea.
But that can only work if you’re a paid marketing genius and have a bunch of money lying around to spend on ads.
Pre-launching to cold traffic is hard to crack.
2. Landing Page
I have written a couple of detailed posts on landing pages (
But for a pre-sale, your landing page should highlight 2 things more than anything else -
A Launch Date - Make it very clear that this is a prelaunch, and people will NOT get the product right away.
They will get it on the launch date.
Make it clear in the product name and in the description copy.
Problem Focused Copy - There are many copywriting frameworks out there, many fancy ones as well, but I like the good old PAS for this. Problem, Agitate, Solution With a presale you’re essentially looking to validate a problem more than your product.
You want to see if the problem is painful enough for your audience to take out their credit cards and give you money.
So use PAS, emphasise the problem as much as you can, and describe in clear terms how you intend to solve the problem for the customer.
3. Social Proof
This is an interesting one, because you have no product right now, so it’s impossible to get testimonials for it.
What you can do is piggyback on other forms of social proof.
So gather testimonials from your other work - other projects or clients who may have said good things about you.
A pre-sale is as much a bet on you as it is on the product.
So build trust through any form of social proof you can get.
You can even use media publications or quotes from influencers that support your value proposition.
For example, when I first launched Indie Masterminds I had no social proof, no beta testers, no previous experience of running a mastermind.
So I leveraged the stories of successful entrepreneurs who had benefited from being part of a mastermind.
So I talked about Napolean Hill, Henry Ford, Bill Gates and Mr. Beast and shared their experience with the mastermind principle.
This is the copy from the old Gumroad landing page I had -
The amazing thing is that, thanks to this copy
I made $430 in 7 days, with no product and 0 social proof 😅
Of course, as the program has grown I’ve added real testimonials from members who have gone through the program.
(the new landing page
rossed 25 testimonials earlier this week)
But my point is - get any form of social proof that you can.
Any credibility is good credibility! 4. Urgency and Scarcity
These are really fun to implement.
The idea is that since you’re running a presale, you reward the early adopters of your product.
People who’re willing to take a bet on you without a product.
So you offer a solid discount for early adopters.
You can also do a tiered discount, where you raise prices after a few sales. (
I do this a lot)
This helps people take action right now.
Otherwise it’s too easy for your audience to postpone the buying decision.
So try and create a sense of urgency and scarcity during your pre sales period.
I asked around on Twitter, and and my friend Mike gave a great example of this -
5. Onboarding Questions
This is crucial.
Get you pre-sale audience to fill out a form as soon as they make a purchase.
Ask them 2-3 interesting questions about the solution you’re building.
Ask about their
biggest pain points and what they need the most help with.
This is valuable data that will inform the product you create.
This is the biggest benefit of a presale, it helps you build the perfect product for an audience that is actually willing to pay for a solution.
This worked really well for me when I launched the
It was a 14 day challenge to help people create and launch an e-book or a course.
As soon as people signed up I had them fill out a form where I asked about their biggest challenges and goals.
This informed the content of the course itself.
What resulted was a highly actionable and impactful product that people absolutely loved.
Set it up using a simple form builder like Google forms or Tally forms and you can never go wrong with the product you build.
So quick recap, to have a successful prelaunch, you need the following -
Audience Landing Page (Launch Date + PAS focused copy) Social Proof Urgency and Scarcity Onboarding Questions
Try this out and let me know how it goes.
I’ll try and promote your prelaunch whenever I can.
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