As a marketer or business owner, how many times did you hear the word “funnel” or “launch” this year?
Our answer is a lot. Like…a lot, a lot.
And there’s a reason we hear these terms so often—they’re the 2 major ways of selling products.
Either businesses are running product launches that generate thousands to millions of dollars in a few weeks or they have funnels that are constantly selling.
At DigitalMarketer, we’re very familiar with both of these strategies. We’ve lived through the pros of launches and funnels, and we’ve definitely experienced the cons.
Product Launches vs. Funnels
Product launches run for 14-21 days and are broken up into 3 parts. The first part is the pre-launch, a.k.a building excitement and anticipation about the product for 7 days (assuming you’re running a 21-day product launch). All of the attention you’re creating is driven to 3 pieces of pre-launch content.
On day 7, you shift into opening day. This is the open cart stage and your goal becomes to get as many people to close as possible. You’ll be in opening day mode for another week until day 14 hits, and you start to create urgency and scarcity.
This is the official closing part of a product launch, when you’re telling your prospects that the product is only available at this price for a week longer and/or there are only so many seats/units left.
While product launches only last for a maximum of 3 weeks, funnels are always running. Prospects find their way into funnels by clicking on an ad, going to a landing page, and opting-in for a lead magnet or to make a low-tier purchase.
Since funnels are always live, they’re like evergreen content—they can keep going (and going, and going). A well-executed funnel can easily drive continuous sales for a business, unlike a product launch. You can send back-to-back funnel emails, but you can’t push product launch after product launch.
You’ll exhaust your customers… and your team.
We love launches because you can sell a lot of products really fast, but we hate how high risk and difficult to test and optimize they are.
We also love funnels because they tend to work for a long period of time, but we’re very aware that every funnel will always perform a little worse over time. Each time someone purchases, that’s one less customer interested in your product and able to convert in your funnel.
What if there was a marketing strategy that gave us the benefits of launches and funnels, without the cons?
Let’s talk about the Blitz Launch.
A blitz launch is a 7-day multi-channel awareness campaign that focuses all traffic into a single, “Big idea,” content piece, which then drives to a relevant and urgent special offer.
The blitz launch is the ideal balance that sits in the middle of a launch and funnel. It has the pros of being high reward, high awareness, and brand-building without being high risk, difficult to optimize, and only able to happen 1-2 times per year. It doesn’t have diminishing returns because it’s only launched once and it’s easy to use your past results to optimize your next blitz launch.
Pretty cool, right?
Here’s how to run a blitz launch and sell products online.
To run your blitz launch, you’re going to follow this framework:
- Flagship “Big Idea” content piece
- 3-part email promo series
- 1-minute video describing your “big idea”
- 1-3 Instagram stories
- Video carousel ads (3-5 15-second text-based videos)
- Long-form social post (Written version of 1-minute video)
- Anticipation builder social posts
- Optional: Primer Content (blog posts priming the overarching problem and building anticipation)
A big idea content is a stand-alone piece of high-value content (blog post, video, article, manifesto, etc.) that causes your audience to acknowledge and accept a new reality/paradigm, and then take a recommended action based on this new belief.
There are 3 types of big idea content:
- Major change
- New discovery
- Massive failure
Remember: Big idea content is not a direct promotion, gated content, or third-party hosted (it must go on your own channel).
Your big idea is going to cover the following 3 basis:
- Big, Relevant Change
- Core Desire
- Call To Action
For example, here’s Apple’s “major change” big idea:
“A completely new type of mobile phone has been invented…”
(Big, Relevant Change)
“So you can finally have one device that does everything a phone, camera, music player, and computer can do, and fits in the palm of your hand…” (Core Desire)
“And, therefore, you must line up for days in advance so you can buy one when it comes out…” (Call To Action)
Here’s the Keto Diet’s ‘new discovery’ big idea:
“Doctors have discovered that fat doesn’t actually make you fat…” (Big, Relevant Change)
“So now you can eat all the cheeseburgers and bacon you want (sort of) and get super skinny…” (Core Desire)
“And, therefore, you must adopt this new diet…” (Call To Action)
And here’s Salesforce’s ‘massive failure’ big idea:
“With the rise of cheap, reliable, high- speed internet, software as we know it has fundamentally changed…”
(Big, Relevant Change)
“You no longer have to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in expensive on- premises hardware and long-term maintenance contracts for enterprise- quality business software…” (Core Desire)
“Take a free trial to our ‘cloud-based’ subscription software and see how it works…” (Call To Action)
During your blitz launch all traffic is going to go into a single piece of big idea content. This is the only thing that anyone associated with your brand should be seeing for 7-days.
In 2018, Nike launched ‘major change’ big idea content by launching their Colin Kaepernick campaign, which won them outstanding commercial at the Creative Arts Emmys.
Dollar Shave Club had a ‘new discovery’ big idea in “a great shave for a few bucks a month” that directed all traffic to their website, featuring their comedic advertisement.
And DigitalMarketer launched our very own ‘massive failure’ content big idea in 2018 when we messed up our email list, pointing traffic to this video of me explaining our mistake.
Once you have your big idea, then we’re going to build a movement around it by using 3 marketing techniques you’re probably already used to:
Your blitz launch is going to involve a high frequency of ads, emails, social posts, etc. during the 7-day period it’s live. To reach the intensity that you need for success, you need to choose frequency over reach—a smaller audience sees a lot of content about your big idea.
You also need to be multi-channel, posting about your big idea and linking to your big idea content on every channel you have available.
The focus of your blitz launch isn’t across 3 pieces of pre-launch content like it would be in a regular launch. In this strategy, everything is going into a single landing page hosted on your website.
Look at this photo and tell me—what do you notice first?
Is it the yellow duck in the second row from the bottom all the way to the right? No, you noticed the purple duck.
You need to be as novel in your blitz launch as that purple duck.
You want to be known as the brand that brings that purple duck to the party. If that’s you, it’s impossible to be ignored because you’re always doing something new and novel.
“Customers don’t renew because of what you did…they renew because of what’s next. What you did only causes them to believe in the story of what is coming next, but if you don’t have something ‘next’, it won’t matter what you did…” -Greg Daines, CEO Client Velocity
Do you have a CTA that leverages some form of scarcity?
Unlike other launches, your urgency isn’t solely tied to the price of a product increasing after this launch or the product being taken off the market. The urgency comes from the big idea itself and the motivation that if your prospect doesn’t hop on board now, they’ll get left behind.
Normally, when you try to do two things (like combine a launch and a funnel): you end up with a spork. And sporks suck.
The way to ensure you aren’t turning this blitz launch into a spork is to make sure that you’re dealing with a truly great idea and delivering great content.