Launching an ebook requires a lot of planning. It takes time to build a successful digital publishing business, but it can be done.
I’ve made my living online since 2004, and I attribute that success to one thing: strategic marketing. The way to succeed is simple-put your head down, create a plan, and stick to it.
With that in mind, there are no shortcuts to success.
But this is your quickest route there.
Making sales on launch day
You launch your ebook, and immediately on day one, you see sale after sale.
This is the dream, and it can be achieved.
Achieving results like this doesn’t happen by accident. Instead, it requires a lot of strategic planning.
So let’s start.
Build An Audience Before Launching Your Ebook
I cannot stress this enough; start building your audience BEFORE you publish your book – the longer, the better.
I want you to launch a profitable ebook, and this is the best way to do it.
This is vital no matter what genre of writing you’re planning on doing. Without an audience, there’s nobody there to buy your ebook.
But what if I told you that you already have an audience, sort of.
Your friends and family are ready-made audiences. Granted, they might not be your target audience, but as P.T. Barnum once said, “nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd.”
If possible, get friends or family members to follow you on social media so you have some social proof to begin with.
Don’t be afraid to ask them. They want to support you, but they might not realize how best they can do it.
You can build a following on social media from there.
Once you’ve got a few hundred followers, build relationships with other influencers in your niche bloggers who review books are great candidates for this role and. Ask if they would like an advanced reader copy (ARC) of your book.
Funnel your audience into an email list
Because I want you to have a successful ebook launch, I’d like to see you making sales on day one; launch day.
The best way to generate sales immediately is with an email list.
Your marketing strategy depends on driving targeted traffic to a sales page where they can purchase your ebook.
To make this happen, you’ll need to get people onto your email list.
It sounds like it takes a lot of work upfront, but it doesn’t, and the long-term benefits are worth every bit of effort you put into building your reader list early on in your ebook publishing career.
Create a landing page
Take the time to create a landing page for your ebook.
A landing page will ask people to subscribe to your email list.
This is one of the most critical success factors, in my opinion. A smart way to entice people to subscribe to your email list is by offering a free gift in exchange for their email addresses.
This is called a “lead magnet,” and every ebook landing page needs one.
Examples of lead magnets include a report, checklist, worksheet, or some other useful resource that is related to your niche.
Or you could offer the first chapter of your ebook instead.
Lead magnets are great because they generally don’t cost much time or money to create, and they can be distributed via email in exchange for subscribers.
Engineering a successful ebook launch
You have a choice.
1) You can let natural word-of-mouth spread by itself, or 2) you can build hype and anticipation for yourself by working hard in the days leading up to launch day so when the time arrives, your ebook makes sales.
The first way depends on something called “hope marketing.” First, you hope people become aware of your ebook. Then, you hope they trust you enough to buy it.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like depending on “hope” when making business decisions.
That’s I prefer the second option; engineering success.
With the second option, you’ll take control of your success with a carefully planned and executed marketing campaign.
This way, everything that happens after launch is controlled by you.
You can reduce the risk this way because you can control when interested people are exposed to information about the ebook through email campaigns. This gives you a higher level of independence.
In order to have a successful ebook launch, you need to build anticipation and buzz.
Build buzz for your book before launch day
Do you ever wonder how some ebook authors manage to generate so much buzz about their book, even before it’s launched?
I’ll tell you how they do it.
And one of the most effective ways they do it is by using their email list.
It’s no secret that you can send an email to your list promoting anything under the sun, and people will buy, especially if they trust you.
How this works in practice is simple:
Plan your launch date a couple of months in advance.
Spend the first month sending useful emails to your audience. Address their pain points, deliver helpful content and position yourself as a trusted friend and advisor.
You’re not asking them to buy anything yet.
Remember, you have two months to build an email list, so have fun with this.
Then, in month two, announce your launch date – for 30 days time. Now you have a full month to tease, build anticipation, and excitement.
A smart way to do this is through a countdown sequence.
Emails that tell your list “3 weeks to go” or “7 days to go” will communicate that something special is happening, and they should feel excited.
The closer to your launch date, the more frequently you can email them.
Generate sales immediately
In addition to a countdown sequence, you should also promise special discounts, bonuses, or free gifts for a limited number of customers.
An example could be “the first ten customers will get a free 15-minute consultation”, “the first 500 customers get 10% off”, or “the first 200 customers get a free video.”
This creates scarcity, which helps convince potential buyers that they need to act quickly if they want to be part of this limited deal.
You need to tell them ahead of time that a special bonus will be available. This makes sure your email subscribers are paying attention to launch day, waiting for your open cart sequence to begin.
Once you’ve created a sense of urgency and scarcity, plus encouraged people to act quickly by promising a special bonus, you need to follow through with the open cart sequence.
This sequence builds the excitement by giving your list members something to look forward to and thus increases the chance they’ll buy.
Open cart sequence
Like all good things, your special offer must come to an end.
The open cart sequence is a pre-determined email sequence where you stop offering the special bonus.
Once you’ve announced an endpoint, remind them that if they miss out, it’s their own fault: Tell them what they’re missing out on (the bonus) and then ask them to do something about it, either click-through or place their order now while they still can.
1) On the first day, an email goes out announcing your ebook is available for purchase, including the bonus.
2) On the second day, another email goes out reminding them about your ebook, the bonus and telling them the discount or bonus is ending soon.
3) Third day (last chance): Another email that tells them the special deal is ending today, and it won’t be repeated.
It’s very important that your special offer really does end. Fake scarcity is a plague in marketing, and it erodes trust, so don’t do it.
Cart abandonment campaign
Promotion doesn’t stop at the end of your launch week. It continues all the time.
A cart abandonment campaign consists of emails to subscribers that visited your sales page but didn’t place an order.
It attempts to re-engage them and convert them into a customer.
Cart abandonment campaign emails should be sent within a couple of hours after someone visits your sales page but didn’t purchase.
Have you ever added a product to your shopping cart, and then forgot about it for a while, only to be reminded via email?
That was a cart abandonment campaign in action. They are proven to increase your conversion rate.
And best of all, they can be automated to run automatically. Most autoresponders and email service providers have this functionality built-in.
When you know how to launch an ebook the right way, it becomes easy.
The most important aspect of a successful ebook launch is marketing. Building tension, excitement, and anticipation is the secret ingredient to a profitable ebook launch.