I found myself with four weeks between semesters, so needed to occupy my time getting my learn on. So, despite my animosity towards self-help books, I indulged in a few to give my completely biased opinion about them, for your sake. The best thing about buying used books from Amazon is I can sell them back for damn near the same price, and in some cases make some money from them. Here is my review of Launch by Jeff Walker.
Title: Launch An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams
Author: Jeff Walker
From just checking out the cover, this book screams money making scam. In all honesty, the actual information in this book could be summed up in a dozen blog posts, but with the sheer amount of stories of Product Launch Formula students and the author’s personal anecdotes about his own success bloats up this book quite a bit. Hell, it wasn’t until page 21 that the author even told you what the Product Launch Formula was because the author was talking about his own successes.
A lot of the information in the book is basic internet marketing strategy. Building a list of e-mails and sending e-mails to that list when you have something to sell. This is perfectly fine for someone who has not done any amount of research before. Unfortunately, Jeff Walker only skims the surface and insists you join his paid membership program for more information. In fact, he drops that you should go to his website about four times per chapter, for more resources and more case studies.
Here I was, reading a book I bought for information, not to get sold on more products. It’s not all bad, however.
It’s not all bad, however. There is a sizeable amount of good information for people with zero knowledge on e-mail marketing as well as beginners, with one benefit being it’s all in one place. For example, the mental triggers chapter.
In chapter five, Walker explains nine mental triggers to influence the masses.
- Authority – the white coat effect. People listen to someone who looks like they’re the boss telling them what to do.
- Reciprocity – when we receive something, we feel some obligation to return the favor.
- Trust – people are more likely to buy something from someone they trust.
- Anticipation – the hype around something improves someone’s want, like the latest Star Wars movie.
- Likeability – how personable and relatable you are.
- Events and Rituals – turning your release into a party of sorts.
- Community – the green lawn effect. My neighbors have a green lawn, I better have a green lawn.
- Scarcity – have a limited quantity of something makes people want it more. Watch the video below to take a look at the streetwear brand Supreme.
- Social Proof – testimonials, friend recommendations, other people talking about the product, etc.
These all come in handy when building a sequence of e-mails used to get people to purchase your product. Of course, these are only half of the triggers talked about in the bigger program. You have to go to the website to find out more. Again.
Using Walker’s model, the launch sequence used to launch new products has three phases: the pre-prelaunch, the prelaunch, and the launch.
The Pre-prelaunch In the pre-prelaunch, you survey your e-mail list to see exactly what they need. Walker’s reasoning behind this is so you do not release a product that doesn’t serve a need and doesn’t have a market.
- For example, I would take one of my fiction eBook mailing lists and see what stories the people wanted to read. That gives me the product to create.
- If I surveyed people and they wanted a solution to cover creation, that could be a great idea for a tutorial.
The Prelaunch The prelaunch is when you begin to build up hype for your product. This, as it appears to me, is the most important portion. You build up massive amounts of hype for your product using a combination of the mental triggers. The e-mails are used in conjunction with extra material, be it videos, case studies, reports, or any other bonuses that can be given away.
- For one of my fiction eBook mailing lists, I could give away a chapter or two with each e-mail or another incentive to purchase the book on launch day.
- Going back to the cover creation solution, I could do videos on which graphic creation software to use, templates to utilize, coupon codes from cover creator friends, etc.
The Launch This is pretty damn self-explanatory. You stick to your guns and you ‘open up the cart’ as they say in the book on the release date. A lot of the examples used in the books were only open for a few hours/days to create a scarcity mental trigger.
Anyone who’s ever been on a landing page before knows they’ve run into one that said it was ending in a few hours or going up in price in a few hours. Check those same landing pages a few days later. If it’s the same old message, you can bet the product is not worth it. Whoever made the landing page was, and in most cases still is, a scummy, dirtbag internet marketer.
Additional Launch Types
After explaining the launch sequence, Walker explains two additional launch types. One for those in the very beginning stages of list creation and those with a strong network.
The Seed Launch The Seed Launch is essentially the beginner’s launch, useful for those just starting with less than 100 e-mails on their e-mail lists. You do a pre-prelaunch exercise with your list and create the product as you go.
The JV Launch The JV in JV Launch stands for Joint Venture. This is essentially using affiliate marketing to get your product in more eyes, but instead of any affiliate marketer being able to sign up, you have personal connections with people and pay an affiliate commission to them.
- Great for beginners for initial launch planning
- Intermediate marketers can benefit
- Glossary of terms in the back of book for beginners
- Can stand alone as a system for launches
- Walker regularly lets you know this is not the big product
- Too many feel good stories
- Numbers don’t add up all the time
- I understand there are outside factors, but when someone sells 2,000 of a $15 product, and it says they made $45,000, as a reader I’m curious where the extra $15,000 came from
- Walker repeatedly does this “I’ll tell you about it in a later chapter” / “too soon to tell you” / “I’m getting ahead of myself” thing
Final Verdict If you are a beginner and have already started a website, consultancy, etc. and know what your niche is, go ahead and give this a read. If you’re having inefficient launches, give this a go to a different way to go about your launches. This book will not help those who don’t have an idea of what they want to do yet. For that, I recommend heading to the resources page.
If you already know how to build a mailing list and are having successful product launches, give this one a pass. You will get the feels from reading other success stories, but the actual information would just be reassimilated.
If you think this book can help you out, hover over or click the cover below.
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