Friday Four: Lessons From First Product Launch

by derek on January 21, 2011 · 53 comments

Over the last week or two, you have certainly heard me mention my involvement with the Internet Marketing forum known as Warrior Forum and there have been a few mentions of launching a product. In this edition of the Friday Four, I wanted to share a few of the lessons that I have learned from my first ever product launch.
That’s right, I’ve launched my first product!
Before we dive into the lessons, let me first introduce you to the product that I created – csvSiteBuilderPRO.
With the csvSiteBulderPRO you are provided with all of the code and a step-by-step guide to creating affiliate websites that have been proven to convert sales. The beauty of my product is that you don’t need to be technical. If you can edit a spreadsheet, you can build websites with my product.
These websites are not complex. They are not pretty. As a matter of fact, you would probably look at them and scoff thinking that something so basic and lacking in features would simply not work.
Based on traditional thinking, you would be correct.
However, the way these websites are designed acts as a funnel leading your visitors directly to your affiliate product and nowhere else. Think about it – you’ve created complex, nice looking websites and they don’t convert!
On to the lessons…

Don’t over-complicate things

When I first made the decision to create my own product, I was driving myself mad in trying to come up with the most sophisticated product that would blow everyone away. As you might imagine, I spent more than a few hours spinning my wheels and did not have a single tangible idea.
Then it hit me – stop trying to reinvent the wheel.
Sure, creating an industry changing product would generate a considerable number of sales. By the same token, creating a product that isn’t too complex yet makes someone’s job easier to do can be equally as rewarding. If you’re stuck on the idea for your product, take a step back and look at tasks that can be simplified.

Understand your target market

Once you have your idea, or actually to help you come up with your idea, take some time to truly understand your target market and what it is that they need.
The idea for csvSiteBuilderPRO hit me when I was reading a thread in the “War Room” on the Warrior Forum. The creator of the forum shared a post about this extremely basic website that he created that was generating sales. He didn’t promote the site at all. Not one bit. No back links. No search engine submission. Nothing. Yet it converted with very little traffic. All of the comments in the thread were asking for the script he used to create the website.
There it was!
All of these people were clamoring for the script to generate these websites. Even when he assured them that the script had nothing to do with his success, they still wanted the script.
There is my market and I know exactly what they want – the csvSiteBuilderPRO!

Prepare for customer service

Once you launch your product, you need to be prepared to handle the volume of customer service requests. Depending on the product, there might not be too many questions or problems but you can be sure there will be some. If you’re not prepared to respond quickly with an appropriate answer, people will be turned off immediately.
Given that my target market is people with little to no technical experience, I have had a few inquiries for assistance but it hasn’t been too bad. I’ve made every effort to exceed what someone would expect in terms of customer service, including providing one customer with more thorough step-by-step instructions as he was not familiar with even the terminology being used.
There is no guarantee that your product launch will be successful, but if you deliver poor customer service you can be pretty certain that you won’t generate too many sales – on this launch or any future launches.

Don’t forget to have fun

Creating a product can be extremely stressful. Not necessarily in a bad way but it is easy to get caught up worrying about whether or not it will be successful or if you have overlooked something important.
Throughout the process, you need to remind yourself that creating your own product should be fun. Otherwise you might as well stay punching the clock. Don’t get me wrong, you will have a lot of hard work ahead of you but there is nothing saying that you cannot have fun at the same time.
Likewise, once you launch, have fun with it.
There is no question that we all want to instantly generate hundreds of sales. Don’t consume yourself with how many sales you will have. Let me tell you this, once you are notified of that first sale, I challenge you to not have fun!

It’s a wrap

Now that my first product has launched – and made a number of sales – my work is not done. As I mentioned above, there will be the continued customer service as well as potentially launching a product website and adding it an affiliate network.
Not only that but the gears are already turning on the next product.
Regardless of the success that you have, make sure that you take the time to enjoy the process and give thanks to those that have helped you along the way. Personally, I owe a huge debt to Aaron (“Lazy”) over at CaseSensitive Ads. He went above and beyond what anyone could expect from someone as he helped answer a TON of questions and offered me invaluable input on my launch. Thanks Aaron!
Be careful though, you might become addicted to creating products!

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{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelvin Kao January 21, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Congrats, Derek! Even though I have no idea what your product actually looks like…

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derek January 21, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Thanks Kelvin! Now, I can’t go giving everything away by showing how it all works right up front. 😉

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Henry Bolden January 22, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Hey Derek,I will have to check out your sitebuilder. I hate messing around with any type of code.It’s always good to keep things simple when you’re new in the game like me.

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derek January 22, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Henry, thanks for stopping by! I’ve recently updated the product listing to include a screen shot, sample site, and some Q&A.

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Ben January 25, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Way to go Derek! Hope this is the beginning of a great success. Maybe, if you could have time, you create a software that would submit URLs and keywords to online directories, bookmarking sites, press release, article sites etc….all in one. That way, offsite optimization would be a lot easier and I won’t need to look for someone to do the bits and bats for my site. 😛

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derek January 25, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Thanks Ben! Also, it is always great to hear from people about what their needs are as that helps identify additional markets. Your idea certainly sounds like one that is feasible and I am sure would be of great interest to many marketers. Adding it to the “idea book” now!

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Ben January 25, 2011 at 2:08 pm

The pleasure is mine.

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trixie@Hannah Banana, Ooh La La Couture January 25, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Being complicated in web designing sometimes ruin the chance of being indexed by google.
I just have a question, is Ben’s suggestion legal? I mean with regards to the white hat technique? (honestly clueless).

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David Leigh January 27, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Creating products can be good fun, but product launches can be a real headache too. It doesn’t matter how hard you plan it all out it always seems like there are thinks you’ve forgotten – or maybe that’s just me.
I’m currently about to launch a product aimed at the IMers that want to avoid getting involved with the techie side of things and it has taken MUCH longer than anticipated.
Hope to launch next week, more than amonth late!

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derek January 29, 2011 at 12:03 pm

David, you’re right that it seems no matter how much time you spend trying to make it perfect that there will be things that you did not include – or things that people want but are not part of the system. For instance, on my product one customer thought that my product included all of the content for him so he didn’t have to do anything at all.
I’d be interested in learning more about your product, sounds like we are both targeting similar markets.

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web marketing adelaide January 28, 2011 at 1:31 am

Your product csvSiteBuilderPRO. sound very interesting and useful for website creation and promotion. In teams to promote the product with proper marketing strategies are very essential for success of the product . I think you gain good experiences and all of you points are very beneficial for product lunches

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derek January 29, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Nom nom nom…product lunches are tasty! 😉

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surkhab khan January 30, 2011 at 1:14 am

inspiring information! I am looking forward to reading more from you!

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Kyle@FinallyFast.com February 1, 2011 at 8:56 am

Congratulations on the launch. As they say “experience is the best teacher” and is seems as though you’ve already learned a lot through this process.
I also wanted to chime in and mention that your points on customer service are dead on. Regardless of your product, market size, or target demographic quality customer service is essential.
Someone will always find a flaw or just have some kind of difficulty with your product and that first experience they have with you on the customer service level will dictate their opinion of your product and your brand moving forward. And if your service is terrible you can expect blogs, youtube rants, facebook posts, tweets, and all manner of internet chatter about how terrible your brand, product and customer service are. Take care of your customers and they’ll take care of you.

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derek February 15, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Kyle, thanks for the congratulations and the support regarding the importance of customer service.
This has been a great learning experience, and as the sales trickle in at this point I have been hammering away at the next version that will make the product even that much better.

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Negocio desde Casa February 8, 2011 at 10:12 am

Congrats on your new product launch, sounds like it will be a hit!

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derek February 15, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Thanks, much appreciated.

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Alana1980 February 10, 2011 at 12:45 pm

‘Don’t Forget to Have Fun’ Love it! Sometimes we put more pressure on ourselves than the boss-man ever would. Congratulations on the product launch. Sounds like all the hard work was worth it – very inspiring.

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derek February 15, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Alana, thank you for the feedback! When you keep a healthy perspective on things and remind yourself to have fun with the process, it makes it all that much more rewarding in the end.
The hard work is definitely worth it, and that is realized when you receive feedback from your customers about how helpful your product has been for them.

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Keith February 10, 2011 at 2:36 pm

I joined the Warrior forum a few months ago, and the WSO section is one addictive place. Lucky for me I have limited my time spent in that part of the forum, because I was always buying WSO’S. Good luck with the product, looks like you have a winner on your hands.

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derek February 15, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Thanks Keith! You’re absolutely correct that one can easily fall into the trap of spending too much time – and money – in the WSO section and not enough time on actually taking action.

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Leigh February 11, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Some very valid points, Derek. I’m impressed to see that you’ve briefly mentioned your follow-up strategy for after the big launch. I hope you’ll keep us informed of new developments. Perhaps, a little way along the line, do a post on how to see recurring benefits from a product over a longer period of time?

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derek February 15, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Leigh, since launching the product I have been busy making improvements to make things even easier for my customers. Shortly after launching, I provided an update to all of the customers that included 15 new header images – as I realized that not everyone is comfortable editing graphics.
At the present time, I am busy working on the next version that is going to make it as simple as possible to build complete websites that are designed to earn affiliate income. A follow-up post will definitely be in the works once the new version has been out for awhile.

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Tommy February 12, 2011 at 7:13 am

great discovery csvSiteBuilderPRO. very useful for website creation and promotion.. Good luck for the product.. 🙂

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derek February 15, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Thanks!

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bucket bbq February 21, 2011 at 2:40 am

some great tips here – i am a member of the fantastic warrior forum and people always talk of operating their own products/product lines. i’ve heard it to be very lucrative but alas i do not have the time commitments to go that route just yet. hoping to put something together in the future though. all the best!

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Jesse@stuff March 1, 2011 at 8:44 am

Congrats! I hope your product is a huge success!! I’m so glad that you are focusing on the customer support side of things. So often you hear about product creators who don’t respond to questions and problems. I for one don’t invest in anything when I see users complaining that they receive no response to their emails and queries. Hope your product is doing well!

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Settlement Purchaser March 1, 2011 at 5:26 pm

So how has the product launch gone so far, can we get an update?

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Aloys @ Yeast infections in men March 5, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Congrats for the launch. Selling your own products is the way to be an accomplished internet marketer. Your product sparked my interest and I’ll keep an eye on the warrior forum thread. Hope the launch is a success.

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Jenna March 8, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Look very interesting. Have you maybe any trial version?

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DailyAppNews March 8, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Hi Derek,
Congratulation for your new product..
I’m curious to csvSiteBuilderPRO. Is it true can help us to promote our blog/site? can it increase blog traffic? is it legal and suitable of Google Policy?

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Gold Star March 11, 2011 at 8:28 pm

It looks like a great value for $47. I love your tips here. Now I’m thinking of having my own affiliate site for profit. 🙂

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Barnsley Wedding Photographer Mark Pearson Photography March 12, 2011 at 3:04 am

Congrats on the launch, will head on over and join the Forum!

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Clark Hetherington March 16, 2011 at 1:06 am

Congratulations Derek! I’m glad your online business is good nowadays despite of so many spammers and competitions around. Good job and hope you will prosper more. I would love to visit again here. Cheers!

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Gary Corbett March 18, 2011 at 10:02 am

Hi Derek, I agree with the stressful part of creating a product, you do need to try and enjoy it at times. Any updates on how this is going?
And also what does the ‘csv’ stand for?
Thanks

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Scott March 18, 2011 at 3:25 pm

I actually dont believe in affiliate websites. I think people spend too much time creating them and making no money. Google Adsense is a better solution in my opinion.

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Steve@Burger King Coupons March 19, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Hey Derek,
Congrats on the product launch, that has always been a goal of mine….. eventually.
The whole customer service aspect of the launch process has been keeping me back though, I don’t rally want to be answering emails all day. How has the email/service ticket volume been for you?
Steve

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Tina @ defuzed March 23, 2011 at 12:16 am

Creating products can be good fun, but product launches can be a real headache too. It doesn’t matter how hard you plan it all out it always seems like there are thinks you’ve forgotten – or maybe that’s just me

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Anne @ lifestyler treadmill March 24, 2011 at 12:46 am

Congrats! I wish I could launch also my very own product someday. Nice post!

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Alex@Jocuri March 25, 2011 at 8:19 am

Hello Derek,
I didn’t yet bought your product but I read the warrior forum page and it seemed pretty good, although I’ve seen that people interest has really went down since the page left page one. You should bump it up in order to receive more attention from prospective buyers.
Oh and by the way, did you get a great response? Is WF great for selling?

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Efren @ Gadgets and Gizmos March 28, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Gratz on your product! Any updates?

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Gold Star April 1, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Hi Derek, how was the product going? Great lessons from you here! Hoping to hear more tips from you. 🙂

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Mark Spencer April 2, 2011 at 5:43 am

Inspiring information! I am looking forward to reading more from you!
Congrats on your new product launch

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Gold Star April 3, 2011 at 11:21 pm

Hi Derek, I just signed up for Warrior Forum because I think I would learn a lot from it. What’s your name there? Is it the same?

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derek April 4, 2011 at 12:07 pm

All,
There have been a number of questions about how the product is going so I thought that I would provide an update. After the initial release, I hooked up with another Interweb marketer and we began working on a new version of the product. I’ve added a great number of features to make the product even more seamless, while this other person was working on creating a much more thorough guide.
As sometimes happens, we have hit a snafu in the timing of everything and things are at a bit of a standstill right now. Overall the response to the product has been pretty good and the feedback from customers has been well received. It has been a great experience and I would not trade it for anything. The process has taken longer than I would typically like but at the same time I feel it is important not to rush anything.
I do want to say thank you to everyone for the comments, feedback, and suggestions. It is all truly appreciated!

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Anne @ lifestyler treadmill April 6, 2011 at 6:36 am

What an achievement!!! Hope someday, I could also be a successful internet marketer like you. I know it will take me lots of hard work and perseverance. I know that there will be ups and downs but I will never give up. I’m doing internet marketing so I can give my kids the best things in life. Thanks for sharing with us your knowledge.

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Markhall May 20, 2011 at 2:21 am

This is a very comprehensive post. The variety of content and features that you’ve mentioned is very helpful

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Victor Jacobs@Cadouri August 5, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Very important aspects exposed and discussed. It’s very important to have a plan and follow a schedule, so you won’t do any step wrong and know exactly what you’re “hunting”. It’s important to stay focused on your work and put accent on customers’ needs.

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Brian Kinkade@boulder homes August 9, 2011 at 7:00 am

I’m sure you’ll have more products to introduce for years to come. Price is very reasonable. I wish you success!

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Jean @ Used Tires March 27, 2012 at 1:05 am

Good advice, Derek. Not overcomplicating things is very important. A lot of people can’t help but do just that unfortunately, instead of focus more on what they need to, like figuring out the market as best they can or conjuring adequate customer service and so on.
-Jean

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Martinhall April 20, 2012 at 12:43 am

Nice posting, whenever I come across a websites that really has some excellent unique content I always want to say thank-you.

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