$1 Million in 1 Day: Pre-launch Strategies to Set Your Product Launch Up for Success | AWeurope 2018
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$1 Million in 1 Day: Pre-launch Strategies to Set Your Product Launch Up for Success | AWeurope 2018

Alright, let’s get started. So, how did you get started?
That’s a good way to get started. So I started my first e-commerce company,
SkinnyMe Tea, six years ago now. Back in 2012, I was 22-years-old.
I had $24 in the bank, at the time. So clearly, we did a presale model which suited well because I was working full time still, at the time. It just was what was convenient for me,
to do a presale model. I’d basically take the orders during the
week and then I’d fulfill them on weekends. So by doing that, we were able to scale
more naturally from there. But we did end up growing quite quickly.
So we scaled from nothing to about $600,000 a month in revenue, in around six months.
So that grew quite quickly. Yes, that’s basically where it all started out. Nice. So when you were first starting SkinnyMe Tea, what was your biggest fear? And what did you do to overcome it? Well I guess my biggest fear was,
everything had started so quickly, and everything had relatively overnight.
And so, I just kind of figured, being me, I’m a bit of an over thinker, that everything
was going to just all be over the next day. I was like, well it started this quickly,
it’s going to end equally quickly. So it kind of took, until a mentor and
I were chatting. It was a Friday, and he was like, “Gretta, if your
worst nightmares came true, and everything did go under tomorrow.
What would you be doing on Monday?” And I was like, “Well, starting again, of course.” It took until I’d heard him say that to
realise, that everything that I was doing, and everything that I was
learning, was repeatable. And so, that’s what I did. I repeated it.
I went on to co-found another company called The Fifth Watches, which is our
topic of the day, and another two e-commerce startups. Now I’ve moved
into more the SaaS space with my influencer marketing tool, Hey Influencers. So what made you want to start Hey Influencers? With Hey, I guess it was just
probably like most SaaS founders, your product is like a productisation
of your brain. At the same time, it was scratching an itch for
me. I thought honestly, if only my team used this product, it would be so
useful for us. Scaling and launching our influencer campaigns that I’d already
have enough value from it. So it just seemed like a logical fit.
But at the same time, I’d also, which I was chatting about earlier on my e-commerce panel, I’d have been on both sides of the market. So I felt like I was in this unique
position to solve this problem. I had been on the brand side of course, with my own brands. We’d collaborated with well over 5,000 influencers. I’m from the
influencer side as well, so I’ve grown, as you said in your intro, my combined
Instagram following to over 16 million followers across maybe around 20,
30 different accounts. Let’s move on to our main topic of the day,
which is The Fifth, your watch company. The Fifth is a very unique story. Tell the audience about why it was so different than everything else. Yeah, so The Fifth. We had a
very particular model. I’ve actually exited The Fifth now,
as well. Which is exciting. But I’m speaking about what we did
at the time, so it’s still very relevant. So basically, the way that we worked was, we only
sold on the fifth of each month for five days. It was a time limited model.
And that actually became our biggest unique value proposition
and market differentiator. So rather than being exclusive by having
a high price tag, like with some fashion items, the exclusivity increases with price tag.
We were exclusive by time not by price. With The Fifth, what came first,
the name or the business model? It’s funny, because the
name came before the model. When we first started the company, my co-founder and I, I was on Fifth Avenue in New York, and we were trying to brainstorm a product name.
I just looked out my Uber window and was like, “Oh yeah, Fifth.
That could work. Sure, let’s go with that.” Basically, we’ve launched the brand.
And on our first day of sales, we sold out of all of our stock.
So our model became more of a solution to a problem, rather than
this pre-thought out thing. It was more of an accident,
that model, in the first place. So it was the solution to selling out.
We had 7,000 other people that were on this waitlist that really, really
wanted the watches, and were emailing us in being quite upset.
And so we’re like, “Okay well, how can we turn this negative
scenario into something positive?” Or how can we even, just slightly
look like, “Oh yeah, we meant that.” We said, “Okay, at The Fifth, we are actually called The Fifth because we only sell on the fifth of each month.” We’d actually launched on the fifth cause it was my co-founder’s birthday. And we only sell for five days.
In that way, we were able to grow in a more sustainable way because
we didn’t have to worry as much about all the product scaling issues, and
ordering enough stock to last. All we had to do was order enough
stock to grow. Every month, we could reinvest that capital back
into buying more and more stock. So we could grow quite organically.
and it worked really, really well because we’d sell out all the time and it
created this entire need to redesign our entire brand experience
around this model. Smart. So you basically redesigned your
entire brand experience around the model. Can you give everyone an idea about what this
looked like during the month versus the launch? Yeah, so during the month,
our site would be transformed into a lot more of a lead generation site.
So we’d replace all of our call-to-actions, the general call-to-actions on a website.
But you’d still shop in the same way. But rather than shopping, you were
entering your email address. We’d replaced the call to action for add to
cart, with signup to our VIP waitlist. And people had this real need to sign up to
the waitlist because during launch, the website was password protected as well.
So you were emailed a password before launch, and that would unlock the site.
And you were able to enter the site, and shop. We just had crazy, crazy conversion rates
for the first hour or two of sales as well because people were so actively engaged with the brand, that they would go to the website, and get this email, then go to the website,
then unlock it with the password. That shows a lot of buyer intent at the same time. That’s basically how it looked
during the months, or at launch. Then they would go on, they could
shop ahead of everybody else. And styles would often sell out in a minute,
so you had to be on right at that time. Honestly, it was crazy.
It was like The Hunger Games. People would set their, well now bots
would do it or something, I’m sure. People would set alarms in their phone or they’d set all
different sorts of reminder systems. We’d send calendar invites. We’d help them
set automated reminders in their phone, We’d send them push notifications. We had all these different ways of
notifying people that this event was happening. And they would respond just instantly
because when you’re notified something, if you’ve gone to the extent of setting an alarm
or a reminder in your device like that, then you’re going to probably end up
converting and performing that action. Right and the model definitely worked.
So it says on your first birthday, you turned over $1 million in a single
day of sales. And in the first minute, sales were over $232,000 alone.
So it’s basically a quarter of the revenue in the first minute. So it sounds like
the scarcity strategy must have worked. What is that like? The scarcity and exclusivity side, it was definitely
the marketing psychology behind the brand. Something that my boyfriend says sometimes is,
“You sell the sizzle, not the sausage,” which is such an Australian thing to say.
But definitely, it’s more about selling that model, and that idea, and that mindset
rather than just the products. We entered a very, very saturated market.
The director consumer watch market is so competitive but we were
able to differentiate ourselves with that exclusivity and with that
scarcity that would increase demand and increase perceived value of the product.
So it was just this really interesting way to operate. Love it. So most of the time,
about 25 days a month, you’re mostly concentrating on growing your
VIP waitlist. How did you go about that? During the month, and I guess this is the more in depth part of the talk, and the more actionable part, we would use a lot of different tactics.
Definitely more on the organic side, than the paid marketing side. The three main kind of tactics that I want to talk about today are the three Is, as I call them. And those are
Instagram, incentives, and influences. Let’s start with the first one, Instagram.
What did you do with Instagram for The Fifth? With The Fifth in general, we created what
I call a vertical account, which is what a lot of my different accounts are.
They’re like a niche account. There’s a difference between a vertical page,
and your actual business account. We run funnels from these vertical
accounts which is, for example, your brand might be SkinnyMe Tea,
but a vertical account could be @detoxtips, or @detoxwater, or @befitfoods, which are
some of the accounts that we do own and run. That was a way that we
launched The Fifth on Instagram. We started building up this niche
account before we’d even launched. It’s a lot easier to start because clearly,
you don’t actually have a brand yet, but you’re building this audience
before you start building your product. We understood that we were going to sell watches. We knew the types of people that we wanted to speak to. So we started to build this community
before we’d launched, and then were able to transition that page and account,
which was called The Fifth view at the time. So we started The Fifth View, which was just basically
this page of flat lays because people were interested in flat lays, and The
Fifth View was a view from above. The flat lays and that community was just
the kinds of people that we were looking to attract for The Fifth in the first
place. So we built up this account, and then we transitioned that account across
into our business account, once we launched. So when we did launch the company entirely,
we had about 70,000 Instagram followers before we’d launched the brand. And we’d coverted about 8,500 of those into our VIP waitlist, which doesn’t sound like a really, really huge
starting point. But we did end up selling over $100,000 worth of
product in our first day of business. Those leads were highly, highly qualified. Every single person on that list honestly wanted to buy a watch. So it was definitely a quality
over quantity sort of thing. Nice. So I’ve seen your three Cs of community
on your instagram. Can you tell us about those? That’s another way that we were able to
grow the account. I’ve put those down. I obviously like my three letter acronyms.
I’ve given you my three I’s and then the three Cs were content,
collaboration, and consistency. From a content perspective, of course
everybody’s gonna say very similar things like, “it’s all about adding value,” and whatever else. So I’m going to skip over the general things that people say about giving valuable content on Instagram.
And I’m going to switch over to some of the more tactical things that I like to do when it
comes to content. One of my favorite things is identifying viral content to repost on
your account. The way that you do this is you look at the content on other niche accounts, and you see the content that performs maybe around 30% better than the content that they usually post. So say,
they might usually get maybe 2,000 likes in a post, and then one suddenly gets 8,000 likes.
That is obviously a more viral piece of content. A lot of people think that, that only is
the reason that viral content performs better when you repost it is just because the audience already likes and engages with that. But it’s actually more algorithmic as well. Instagram uses visual recognition software to identify things. And they started out just using it to
identify things like nudity, or violence, and things that they had to take down. But now,
they actually use that in their popularity calculator. In the algorithm, they can understand
when one piece of content is more popular, generically than others, and that content
will be boosted in organic reach. So if you identify this viral content and repost it,
it’s much more likely to perform better, get higher organic reach. My little hack there is, once your post starts outperforming other posts on your account, be sure that you include your own handle. And this sounds kind of strange, put your own Instagram handle in
the caption. So just directing people because obviously, people follow a
natural flow of information. So say, my account’s @Gretta.
If I have a viral piece of content, just having something like,
“Follow @Gretta for more content like this,” at the end of that, converts into so many
more followers than the people that just would have viewed your post organically,
otherwise. That’s my hack in that area. In terms of content, that is probably my biggest tip. Identifying and reposting viral content, as well as giving your audience what you want. Weighting your content a lot more toward the posts that do perform better,
rather than the posts that you might think that you should be posting for your audience.
So that is the first C, which is content. I’m gonna move on quickly to collaboration.
Obviously, I have an influencer marketing platform myself. So I understand the value
of collaborating with influencers at scale. There’s a few different types of collaborations
that you can do, but the main two types are mutual collaborations, and paid collaborations.
A mutual collaboration could be a cobranded giveaway, for example, with another page. Or a
mutual shoutout, like a shoutout for shoutout, where you both mention each other. And on the paid spectrum, you have paid shoutouts, where you can just pay a page, or a person to speak about you. That includes influencer marketing as well. Nice. You definitely talked about influencers, around collaboration, and your new company, Hey Influencers. If there’s word that describes the power of
influencers, what would that be? I would definitely say it would be relationships. Influencer marketing is all about relationships. Whether that relationship is your brand and your influences, and the relationship you’re building there in terms of brand affinity, or whether that relationship is the influencers relationship with their audience. I think that relationship is probably the best word to encapsulate the power of influencer marketing. And that is why we’ve structured our
platform very much so around relationships. We call ourselves an IRM, influencer
relationship management platform rather than a marketplace per se. And we
operate a lot more in that space of building relationships, and growing and
cultivating relationships. So the app, functionally, is more like a
dating app for influencers and brands, than it is a marketplace. Marketplaces work really really well for things like cars, or houses obviously. But they don’t work as well when it comes to people. And the dating scene actually had done quite a good job at cultivating relationships in that way. What happens is, a “Hey” is like a reach out. So if you Hey an influencer and then they Hey you back, then you match, and can collaborate and work together. That’s the way that the platform works as a whole. When it comes to finding the right influencers for your brand, what factors should advertisers be looking at? I spoke a little bit about this in our e-commerce panel before. Again I have a three letter acronym, of course. It’s the three Rs here. The first one is reach,
which is like the following of the influencer. And this is something that I see a lot of brands
get wrong, is over prioritising the value of reach. They see an influencer more as a partnering, advertising
partnership, or something like that. They don’t understand that the perfect
fit in influencer marketing isn’t just created by finding the influencer with
the largest reach, but it’s also in terms of relevancy and relationships. In
terms of relevancy, are they relevant to your product and niche? Do you have
a good brand alignment with them? In terms of relationships of course, it is the relationship that the influencer has with their audience. That is the most powerful factor that
moves the dial for influencer marketing. For example, one influencer that
we collaborated with at The Fifth, She just had such an incredible, incredible relationship with her audience. At the time, we paid $1,000 for a YouTube video and within a week,
she’d had $23,000 of attributed sales just for that one video, and it was a YouTube video.
So that’s pretty ever growing content. And that video still converts for us with her discount codes. So when you can really nail those three together, you find an influencer that has the
reach, you find an influencer that has that relevancy and that connection to
your brand, is the right and the genuine authentic person to be speaking
on your brand’s behalf, and then you find that relationship,
that is just the magic formula. What’s one mistake you see that
brands make, time and time again? There’s a lot. Probably the main one would be
not optimising their profile for conversions. Again, I mentioned this in the e-comm panel.
But I’m going to actually go into detail on it now. What I mean by not optimising their profile for conversions is that, your influencer marketing campaign, it’s a funnel. The influence of posts,
the follower bounces across to your profile, and then they perform a certain action
that you want them to perform, or ideally the action that you want them to
perform. That action might be following you, might be visiting your website, it might be signing up to your email list, or it might be just purchasing right away. Your profile should almost act like a landing page
for your influencer marketing campaign. If your social media profile, for example
your Instagram isn’t optimised toward this, you’re just going to drop the ball straight away.
So you might have done everything else right in influencer marketing up to
this point. The best campaign, then collaborated with the perfect influencer,
but as soon as they get to your profile page, if you can’t convert them from there,
then there was no use in doing the rest. The three main things that I would look to optimize
there would be your newsfeed, your bio, and the link in your bio. In terms of your newsfeed, you want the look and aesthetic of your newsfeed to be very similar to the influencers that you’re collaborating with. So that when their followers bounce across to your page, it’s already familiar. It’s already something that they understand and know, and that they would follow again because they’re already obviously
following, engaging with that influencer. So that would be step number one,
is making sure that your newsfeed aesthetic is really similar to
the aesthetic of the influencers that you’re working with. And then, step
number two is optimising your bio. People should be able to go to your page
and instantly know who your brand is, and what you’re talking about. The three things
that I like to include in a really good bio are what your product is, and why they should
trust you, and a call to action. For example, with SkinnyMe Tea,
it would be a simple two step program. Just a cup in the morning, and a cup at night.
As what the product is. The next stage would be 350,000 happy customers worldwide, or that we’ve sold over eleven million cups of tea
worldwide. Just something that is an authority building component to that as
well, add some social proof there. And then, your call to action which should
link directly to the link in your bio. Your call to action should be the action
that we spoke about before, that you want that person to perform. Whether
that’s signing-up for your waitlist of your pre-launch, or whether that is
converting in some other kind of way. The link in your bio is the
third most important part, and that should link directly to your call to
action. So it should be like, “Sign up for our 28-day water challenge to
make sure that you drink enough water during a day via the link in our bio,” and
then obviously the water challenge is unlocked with an email so that
would be an email acquisition one. There’s lot of different ways that you can do
that. Just making sure that each part of your profile is optimised so that when
you do run your influencer campaign, you’re able to actually get those people to
perform the actions that you wanted them to And another thing is getting that link
to just work a little bit harder for you obviously, by adding Google UTM parameters. So that you can retarget to it, or making it
link through to a shoppable Instagram feed, or just making sure that it’s all optimized. Can you tell us about your favorite kind
of influencer campaign right now? One of my favorite influencer campaigns
is working really, really well at the moment, and I can’t say that it will ever stop
working either so that’s always handy, is what I call an influencer cluster campaign. This is a group of influencers that are
interconnected in some way or another. So that interconnection could be
because they are all in the same city, it could be that they’re in the same friendship group, it could be that they’re in the same family
like the Kardashians and the Jenners, for example. It could be any number of factors,
it could be the activity that they’ve partaken in. What you do is you collaborate with these influencers that are a part of this cluster, or group at the same time to amplify the effects. And it gives that
kind of omnipresent effect of the “everybody is doing it” effect, basically.
Because there’s so much audience overlap between these people. A really
good example that I’ve seen recently, was a laser hair removal device,
randomly enough in Australia, called Happy Skin Co and they’ve
collaborated with all these people that were recently on the Australian Bachelor,
basically. Every girl that was just on Bachelor in Paradise is now using
this IPL laser device, and the thing is, their communities and their audiences
are so directly related that they’re probably just seeing the same
thing again, and again and being like, “this device is everywhere.” But it’s not
everywhere, it’s just those same people are using it again, and again. Reality
TV is a particularly powerful one as well, because a. it converts very, very well
because people feel like they have that have that stronger relationship with
those people. One of my friends, may or may not be in the audience, recently
collaborated with one of the Bachelor stars from Australia. I think it was
about a $500 post, and they got around $20,000 in attributed sales from that
$500 post. So again, just nailing that relationship aspect can
seriously convert. Definitely, the influencer cluster campaign
would be my favorite at the moment. Okay, so we covered two of the three
Is, instagram and influencers. Now we have incentives. What do you
recommend around incentives? Incentives. Okay, clearly I have another
three thing. Theres three Gs in incentives. There’s gifts, there’s giveaways,
and there’s gamification. To incentivise with gifts, that’d
obviously be things like free shipping, free gift with purchase, or even a discount.
You can think of that as a gift. Gamification will head onto that one, would be those platforms
like viral loops, for example, or Gleam. I don’t know if you guys have
heard of this. Gleam is an Australian one that we used for The Fifth, and we
gave away 14 watches over 14 days, and were able to gather around 80,000 emails
just giving away around $500 worth of product. Because I already have
this large community on Instagram, and using that gamified way of incentivising
people to sign up for our wait list meant that we were able to convert
our Instagram followers into our email subscribers. And that’s one of the
main reasons that a social following is so powerful and so useful, is the ability
to be able to convert your followers either into email subscribers or just
into paying customers. In terms of gamification, that worked
really well. And then giveaways. A lot of my accounts, I grew a lot through a
giveaway tactic called the tag to win campaign, which I’m sure you guys have seen around on Instagram before. you basically tag a friend on the post and, either one of you or both of you goes
in the draw to win that product. At The Fifth once, we grew 20,000 followers
overnight just giving away two watches. That was just a tag to win. So it’s basically
like a really, really fast referral campaign. The person is tagged, and then they have to follow that account to go in the draw to win as well. As a piece of advice for that campaign, a lot of brands I see doing them just give away one product. It doesn’t really incentivise the other
person to then follow your brand. So it’s a lot better to give away two
products, which just sounds obvious. But if you give away the two, and say you both need
to be following the brand for a valid entry, then that just increases the people
that do end up following you back, and not just tagging a friend.
That works really, really well, as well. I love it. Thank you for
sharing all your strategies.

About Ralph Robinson

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