Pin Me Baby One More Time!
Your launch doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
There are lots of awesome plugins, programs and services that can simplify the whole process for you. With so many options out there, how do you choose?
Instead of spending countless hours testing everything under the sun, you can kick back and relax because I’ve done the legwork for you.
Here are my 13 favorite tools for launching. Grab the cheat sheet here so you have it! Click here to get your copy of Farideh’s Favorite Launching Tools to your inbox.
Launching has a lot of moving parts, and what makes LeadPages so great is it helps you do a lot of lead generation activities from one spot. You can quickly put up landing pages without needing a designer to create them for you or any fancy plugins for connecting them to your email list.
LeadPages has over 70 nicely designed landing page templates that convert really well. All you have to do is fill in your information. And you can use them for all kinds of launch promotion activities, like sales pages, webinar hosting pages, email opt-in pages, and welcome gate pages.
Until now, I didn’t have a cheap option for email marketing outside of MailChimp. Sure, there’s Infusionsoft and ONTRAPORT, but they’re pricey and you need to hire someone to manage them for you.
Starting at $29 per month, ConvertKit is handles your all of your emails and makes automation really easy. So when launching, you can write your launch emails and set up your follow-up sequences just like you would in MailChimp.
And here’s where it gets even better: I really love ConvertKit because I can sell multiple things, and it makes doing upsells and cross-sells really simple. If someone signs up for my free Launch Mini-Playbook, I can put them on a targeted upsell list for the paid big kahuna version, The Launch Playbook. If they don’t buy that, I can then sell them something else.
I can also give people the option of opting out of specific lists without having to leave my main email list. This way, I don’t have to worry about being annoying by sending too many emails. Don’t want to get promo emails? Still want to get my weekly newsletter? You can give subscribers those options and more.
Launching a product? You don’t have to setup and manage a small ecommerce website to sell online info products. Gumroad is my go-to place for selling ebooks and other PDF downloads, like The Launch Playbook.
The whole process is automated for you:
- Customers purchase your product.
- Gumroad takes a percentage of the sale.
- Gumroad sends customers a link for instant download.
Once you upload your stuff for sale, the only thing you need to do is promote it and watch your bank account grow.
I use WordPress.org to host my websites for my online courses, including any videos. Not only does it provide a great course environment, but once you set up one membership site, you can easily duplicate it for your next one, and then tweak the website content to fit your new course.
Selling a course? You’ll need a membership site to go with it. If you have a WordPress website, WishList Member is a best option for this.
What it does is it handles everything from registration to running my course. When someone signs up on my website, WishList Member takes care of getting payment, issuing a username, and granting them access to only the things I want them to see.
There are other options out there, like Teachable and Thinkific, but you have to pay a monthly fee to use them above the basic level and you essentially rent the platform. You also have to factor in their transaction and credit card fees, which can really add up.
On the flip side, once you’ve setup WishList Member on your website, you don’t have to pay anything because you own the platform. It’s a one-time fee of $197 for one site, or $297 for multiple URLs. The only fees you pay are the ones for merchant services, like PayPal, so you get to keep more of the money you bring in.
If you’re promoting your launch with an affiliate program, you need an affiliate center. Otherwise, there’s no real way to track how your affiliate marketing is doing.
Programs like Infusionsoft and Ontraport can do the trick, but they’re pricey and probably not worth the money unless you’re raking in the dough. So I use the WordPress plugin AffiliateWP, and it’s considerably cheaper at $65 a year.
My affiliates sign-up through this plugin, which gives them access to all of the images they need for promoting my launch, plus they can see how many people have clicked on their links and converted into customers. This also gives me a glimpse at how effective the program is because I can see who’s buying from affiliates versus who’s buying from me.
Managing my team as well as all of the launch tasks, projects and to-do lists is simplified with Asana (and it’s free!).
Asana is a project management tool that allows seamless communication between you and everyone on your team: launch strategist, graphic designer, writer, virtual assistant, and so on. It gives you a long-range view of your launch, plus it takes the guesswork out of staying on top of deadlines because they’re housed in one spot.
I love PayPal for launching. Setting up a merchant account is fast and free. You can use it to take money, issue refunds, review your transaction history and more.
It syncs with so many other launch tools I love, like ConvertKit and WishList Member, so when customers buy my courses, they can automatically get signed up, submit payment, get a receipt, and go into the right email follow-up sequence.
Facebook & Instagram Ads
Advertising is one of the fastest ways to get your launch in front of other audiences who might buy from you. I use Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads to promote my webinars and sales pages. The only real difference between the two is in the setup. Not sure how to make them work for you? Get your ads up and running today with FB Ads for Launching.
I use my iPhone for the visual and social aspects of launching. Android phones work just as well. Here are some ways I use it:
- Videos: Shooting videos for Facebook ads, sales page intros, and webinar sign-up pages, with no extra equipment needed
- Periscope: Broadcasting live behind the scenes of my launch and answering questions from potential customers
- Instagram: Sharing photos related to my launch and having quick access to hashtags in my notes
- Twitter: Keeping on top of who’s tweeting and retweeting your launch promos so you can thank them quickly
- Texting: Messaging friends when overwhelm hits you in the face and you want to cry, or for when you want to #humblebrag because of how much your PayPal account is exploding
Click to Tweet
Make it as simple as possible for people to share your launch. You can use Click to Tweet to promote your launch in all kinds of places. Here are some that I like:
- Sales pages
- Launch emails
- Webinar confirmation pages
- Facebook group promo days
I keep all of my courses and freebies hosted on Amazon S3. It’s a secure alternative to storing all your PDFs on your website, which can really bog it down. Slow page loads cause people to bounce, and faster site speeds are good for your overall SEO.
The free tier includes 5GB of storage, and beyond that, you only pay for the space you take up. I have a significant amount of downloads uploaded here, and I’ve never had to pay for it.
Any form you create using Typeform is hosted on your website and is mobile responsive.
Not only is it easier on the eyes than Google Forms, but you still have the option to export your data into a spreadsheet (which you can easily copy and paste into a Google Sheet if you prefer to house data online).
Here’s how I use it:
- Gathering information from potential clients or group programs
- Creating surveys to find out about what my audience is interested in learning
- Collecting testimonials after wrapping up projects or selling products
While it isn’t cheap, it’s real pretty. There’s a free basic option you can check out and use forever, but it’s limited. Or you can upgrade to a pro plan starting at $35/month (or save some cash by getting two months free with an annual plan.)
Now that you know my favorite tools for launching, what would you add to this list?