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Running a Successful Prelaunch Subscription Box (and how you can too!)

"I think it's really important to, as you've said before, just keep them engaged. Keep them involved. When you're sharing messaging around when the launch is coming and that kind of thing make it about them."

Jessica Principe All Girl Shave Club Founder

13%

email conversion

Conversion from email list from the initial launch campaign

90 Days

Campaign Length

Ideal time to run a Subscription box launch campaign. 

6 Month

Subscription

An ideal prize for people who enter to win.

3-5

Referrals

Number of referrals for people to earn launch discounts.

Key Takeaways

Success is not instant, nurture the audience you built and turn warm leads into purchases.

"So I would recommend that even after prelaunch, don't let it go cold. You've built this asset, after you've launched continue to nurture them and continue to provide value to them so that they will come back and buy."

Nurture Your Email List

Once you have built this list from your contest, do not let it go cold. There is a reason for having good communication with your email list. Keeping regular contact will bring your leads on a journey with you and help convert them to purchases later.

"crafting that email series is really important because there's no use in working really hard to build an email list if you're just going to let them kind of go cold. They're not going to remember who you are if you're ready to pull the plug-in launch in a month or two months or even three months"

"So we want to keep them nice and warm and kind of bring them on a journey with us. I call that nurturing our email list."

"I think building your email list is such a worthy investment. So I would recommend that even after prelaunch, don't let it go cold. You've built this asset, after you've launched continue to nurture them and continue to provide value to them so that they will come back and buy."

Your Product Doesn't Have to Be Perfect at Launch

Getting your launch itself ready to go is the most important step to making your giveaway happen. There really isn't a need to get wrapped up in perfecting your entire product or spending thousands on everything pre-launch. Get your branding consistent and appealing, and really focus on what your target audience may be interested in and go from there. This also helps for doing some audience hypothesis testing before you launch your official product.

"So I'm really thinking about keeping consistency. You don't have to launch your subscription or your product with your end-all branding, right? You don't necessarily need to invest in a designer right off the bat. The whole goal for pre-launch, in my opinion, is to validate your idea and to make sure that your idea actually has legs."

"that's kind of what I think about when I think about branding. Just making sure that it feels cohesive. Also knowing who your audience is and what will resonate with them."

Learn Your Demographic

Create a target audience and market/ design to them. Also adapt when it changes. Pay attention to the data and don't for get to keep them involved- ask them questions, gage what they are most excited about or even what their pain points might be.

"you learn a lot through engaging your community as well and you can get amazing marketing messaging from using their words as well."

Continue Engagement

Create engagement post-contest by leading your audience back to your business with a "thank you" and continue to talk to them. They may not have purchased during your giveaway but if they signed up- you can assume some interest was peaked. Nurture that by keeping the conversation going post- contest. Don't always email just to create purchases but give them something interesting or even personal to follow along with. 

"I think it's really important to, as you've said before, just keep them engaged. Keep them involved. When you're sharing messaging around when the launch is coming and that kind of thing make it about them."

Company:

All Girl Shave Club

Campaign Goal:

All Girl Shave Club started their campaign as a way to get ready for pre-launch by growing their audience and securing a warm email list. They also continued using an email opt in form to collect new leads and give new leads a chance to win monthly.

Key Features Used:

Contest Type(s): giveaway - waitlist - Milestone Rewards

Interview Bio

Melissa picture

Jessica Principe- Founder - All Girl Shave Club

Founder of All Girl Shave Club, Jessica Principe, has built a thriving female-focused brand dedicated to helping women everywhere enjoy a little bit of everyday luxury. She has taught hundreds of business owners how to leverage the power of recurring revenue as a speaker, author, and subscription strategist. Jessica's greatest passion is to help others start, launch and grow a subscription box business that they'll love. Her best inspiration is often found while enjoying time outside with her family & golden retriever, Rudy!

Visit Jessicas Prelaunch Prep School and receive $50 off when you use code "KickoffLabs".

Full Transcript

Josh:
All right, I got the notice that is recording. So we are now a go. Hi everyone, thanks for joining me today on the On Growth podcast. Today my guess is Jessica Principe. She is both the founder of the All Girl Shave Club subscription box, and also a subscription box mentor and also has a class that you can take online at jessicaprincipe.com/prelaunch, and we'll link up in the show notes the link to her class for the prelaunch prep school. So the first time I found Jessica she was running the All Girl Shave Club pre-launch on KickoffLabs and they had a successful campaign and I love talking to people who run successful campaigns as part of the podcast, everybody knows. So the schedules didn't line up, we weren't able to find a time to chat.

Josh:
Then I noticed that her KickoffLabs referral link was referring us a bunch of KickoffLabs customers and I wondered why. So I dug into it and I found she had launched a class, which is amazing, on doing pre launches. I reached out to her and I was like, "Okay, this time we have to find a time that works so that we can talk about this and your approach to pre-launching products online, because I saw people taking your class also having successful pre-launches." So it's great to go to the source and see, "How is that going?" So that was a long introduction. How are you doing?

Jessica:
I'm doing great, Josh. Thank you so much for having me. It's going to be fun to chat with you today.

Josh:
Perfect. Yeah, I'm looking forward to it. So before the All Girl Shave Club, so what's your background? You come from a marketing background, a creative background? How did you get to the All Girls Shave Club point of your life?

Jessica:
Yeah, that's a great question. So I actually do have my business degree in marketing and small business management. But I actually was working for 14 years for a company that my mom started, which is a vocational school training nursing assistant. So I was completely not in the online space at all. It couldn't be further from the opposite, actually. We were training people how to become nursing assistants and I was working as the director of operations there. So I really just started to get an itch for doing something on my own. I had just had my second child and I really wanted something a little bit more flexible, something I could do from home and also a creative outlet that I could kind of explore. So the idea for All Girls Shave club was born in May of 2016. I was thinking about shaving and how much of a chore it is.

Jessica:
Then I started to think about how I could make that experience better for myself. Along that process, I thought, "I can't be the only woman who feels this way about shaving. Maybe this is something I could build a business around and try my hand at." So that's exactly what I did. I started the business in 2016 and took it full-time, left my full-time job about a year in. Now I also mentor and coach other aspiring subscription box owners and how to get started as well.

Josh:
That's an amazing story. So I'm curious, because I had the same discussion myself when we started KickoffLabs. What led you to say, "Now is the time to go full time into this as my job." What was that decision point for you? What happened?

Jessica:
That was always the end goal for me, right? I didn't want to side hustle forever. I really wanted something that was going to be able to replace my income and still allow me to kind of have that flexibility. I was really nervous about doing that, as I'm sure a lot of entrepreneurs are. You just don't know, "Have I built something strong enough to sustain me and is it going to continue this way? What's going to happen?" But I honestly, two things. One is I had incredible support from my husband. He believed in me maybe more that I believed in myself, which really helped propel that decision. Then the second thing was I had to have unexpected surgery. So I was home for eight weeks on recovery basically and I realized, if I can manage this time without working, I think this is the time when I'm just not going to go back. So I gave my notice and I just took that risk.

Josh:
That's amazing. That's great. And I assume you're still happy you did it?

Jessica:
I am so happy I did it. It is the best decision I ever made. No regret.

Josh:
Oh, that's amazing. I love hearing it. Okay. So what I wanted to do, and we talked about this beforehand, was I kind of wanted to walk through, I think your class outline that you have on the class website is a great kind of outline for walking through the concepts of doing a pre-launch, especially for a physical product or a subscription box service in the context of the All Girls Shave Club that you've done, using that as the example. So the first thing that we tell people when they're setting up a contest is always planning, and that's also coincidentally enough, I think the first module on your class. So planning the pre-launch. So tell me what went into your thoughts on planning, the All Girls Shave Club launch.

He explained to me that I can expect between 5%-10% of my email list to convert to buyers at launch. So I knew by doing the math backwards, if I wanted to launch with 100 subscribers, I needed to get anywhere between 1,000 or so email subscribers on my list. So that was kind of the benchmark and that was the goal.

Jessica:
Yeah. So in the beginning, obviously I had no experience in launching a product. So for me it was really important that I knew that I was going to have an audience to be able to sell to. Because when you're launching a physical product versus maybe a membership product or a digital product, you have to invest some of your own money and some of your own resources into buying that first set of inventory. So I knew that I was going to be investing some of my own personal funds and I wanted to make sure that I mitigated that risk as much as I could by ensuring that I had built an audience of customers, potential customers before I even pulled the plug in launching the business. So planning it out, I kind of had to do some research. Again, there wasn't a lot of information or trainings or anything like that at that time, this was late 2016, around starting a subscription box business.

Jessica:
But there was a Facebook group that I was part of. In that Facebook group there was a mentor in there that really just kind of helped me along, kind of coached me in understanding how a pre-launch really worked. He explained to me that I can expect between 5%-10% of my email list to convert to buyers at launch. So I knew by doing the math backwards, if I wanted to launch with 100 subscribers, I needed to get anywhere between 1,000 or so email subscribers on my list. So that was kind of the benchmark and that was the goal. That's what I teach in pre-launch prep school as well is to kind of work the math backwards, to figure out where you want to land. If you're going to buy boxes, you want to make sure that you're not over buying and getting your cash flow all stuck in inventory. You want to make sure that you are buying the amount of boxes that you can then sell out when you launch.

Jessica:
So to work the math backwards, to figure out what is that sweet spot, how many people in my audience do I need to have?

I believe that between, especially in a subscription box space, between 50 and 100 subscribers is a really great benchmark goal for launch because usually that will cover a lot of your early stage operating expenses, as long as you've priced it properly.

Josh:
Yeah. That's a great point where you see so many people who ask, "How do I get the most successful launch possible?" I tell them, "I think you're asking the wrong question." The question is, "What do you need out of the email list? How many do you need? Do you need 100,000 on an email list to be successful? Or do you need 10,000?" They're like, "Oh, how do we figure that out?" You start telling them, "Okay, work backwards, if you think you're going to convert this many people, this is how many emails you need to collect before you start it." It's a similar thing if you're doing a Kickstarter launch or subscription box. It all works similar. Just think about the math backwards. So great. So you were figuring out your costs, you were figuring out how many boxes you wanted to have. How did you set that target for saying you wanted to have 100 boxes or whatever the number was for subscribers? Was that a revenue target? Was it required amount to lower the cost of the goods you were putting into the box? How did you come up with that number?

Jessica:
Yeah, for me, I believe that between, especially in a subscription box space, between 50 and 100 subscribers is a really great benchmark goal for launch because usually that will cover a lot of your early stage operating expenses, as long as you've priced it properly. We talk a little bit about pricing and that kind of thing in the course. But you want to really aim to have 50 to 100, because that will cover those early expenses, like your PO box and your accounting software and all the things that you're going to need to run your business out of the gate. So that's kind where I was thinking as well. It's like, "Well, 100 subscribers would make the best sense as far as the math and the profitability goes." So that was my goal. When I did launch my subscription, I actually did convert more than my goal and I was able to launch with more than 100.

Josh:
So, did you do better than the 5%-10% estimate?

Jessica:
I did. I did about 13%.

Josh:
A 13%? That's great. Yeah, no, the 5%-10% is a pretty common answer that we hear from people as well. Because we don't see the sales numbers afterwards in most cases so when I ask people that's a number that does stand out a lot, the 5%-10%. Anything above that is kind of gravy for most people.

Jessica:
I would agree with that. I try to explain that to my students too. We're estimating conservatively, 5%-10% I think is pretty conservative, but it's always a wonderful surprise to see a higher conversion. And if that does happen and you haven't got enough products, it's awesome to be able to say, "We sold out." That just builds in more exclusivity and it makes it more exciting for the next month when you open again, like, "We sold out last time, get in and get it now."

So I'm really thinking about keeping consistency. You don't have to launch your subscription or your product with your end-all branding, right? You don't necessarily need to invest in a designer right off the bat. The whole goal for pre-launch, in my opinion, is to validate your idea and to make sure that your idea actually has legs.

Josh:
So now that you have a concept of numbers, and these are really goals in mind that you're telling people. You're saying, "Hey, set up your goals, run your numbers, how much it costs, how many you need, what your expenses are." It's kind of a little bit of that to set the goals for the pre-launch of how many emails you want to get. Now the next step is to create your pre-launch assets, is how you say it. So things like the branding, the landing page, that kind of thing. So how did you think about that for All Girls Shave Club?

We want it to look cohesive and it's a trustworthy site or a trustworthy brand. But we don't have to bend over backwards to spend thousands of dollars to have the end goal branding in place.

Jessica:
Yeah. So I'm really thinking about keeping consistency. You don't have to launch your subscription or your product with your end-all branding, right? You don't necessarily need to invest in a designer right off the bat. The whole goal for pre-launch, in my opinion, is to validate your idea and to make sure that your idea actually has legs. So we want design to look good. We want it to look cohesive and it's a trustworthy site or a trustworthy brand. But we don't have to bend over backwards to spend thousands of dollars to have the end goal branding in place. We just want to kind of launch with our minimum viable branding, if that makes sense.

that's kind of what I think about when I think about branding. Just making sure that it feels cohesive. Also knowing who your audience is and what will resonate with them.

Josh:
Yeah.

Jessica:
So it's really about creating a color palette of colors that really work well together, or typography that works well and not having a whole bunch of different fonts and a whole bunch of different flashing colors. You can do this really easily right on Pinterest. That's actually my favorite place to go, is just make a mood board there. I just start pinning a bunch of things that resonate with the vibe and the feeling and the audience that I'm trying to reach. If it's a feminine audience, or women that are between 20 to 30 year olds, I would think about like, "What is that vibe? What is that feeling?" I'll create a mood board there and kind of pull out colors and fonts that I think pair well nicely together. And so that's kind of what I think about when I think about branding. Just making sure that it feels cohesive. Also knowing who your audience is and what will resonate with them.

Josh:
Yeah. At this stage too, you're talking about putting together potentially a logo and the fonts and the colors, and then the landing page. You hit right on one of the big pieces of advice we give people all the time too, which is especially in this stage, go simpler if you can. So don't go crazy with 13 different fonts on a page. If you're not a designer, you probably don't know how to pair them and match them so pick one or two fonts and stick with them for a headline and a sub headline. Pick two or three primary colors that represent your brand. Don't think about like, "Oh, there's secondary colors and all the tertiary colors for your brand." You don't need all of that at this point. You don't need as much of the flushed out vision of the company, as much as it is, like you said, it's getting proof of concept.

Josh:
The other thing that I wanted to add to that is I think you're not just ... What I tell people is you're not just proving that the idea is good, because a lot of ideas are potentially good. You're proving, do you have the ability to get people to sign up for something?

Jessica:
That's right. Oh, I love that you just mentioned that because this is something that comes up a lot with my customers too, my students as well, or even just in general in Facebook groups. It's so much easier to actually get somebody to leave their email address with you than it is to have them make a purchase with you. So if it's really hard for you to get those emails collected, then it's going to be even harder to make those sales. So we really want to hone in on those things that will trigger that email opt in or that email collection now and refine it, like our copy and our images and those kinds of things, and really narrow in on that so that we can make sure that we are going to be more successful at launch.

Josh:
Exactly. I always feel bad, I have a bad feeling when we do have the customer who will come to us and say, "Well, our pre-launch didn't go that great. Our customers weren't interested in giving their email. We think they'll be interested in purchasing the product." I'm just like, "Oh, I don't know if that's going to work out so well. It's so much easier to get an email than to get them to put a credit card in for something." So the next phase now that you've got some of these brand assets put together, color palette, a logo, probably some copy that you thought about, your pitch to customers that you're going through. You talk about setting up your tech. So this is where you're creating a landing page, an email service provider. How did you discover KickoffLabs for putting together the landing page?

But what was really appealing to me about KickoffLabs is that built in social share feature. None of the other ones at the time had that available.

Jessica:
Yeah, so I did a lot of research. There was a lot of different landing page software options available at the time. I just kind of like went through and started to do some high level research. But what was really appealing to me about KickoffLabs is that built in social share feature. None of the other ones at the time had that available. I was just thinking about how, as a consumer, if I were presented with a Facebook ad for a new product or a giveaway I might click through, I don't know, I might, I might not. But if I saw a friend sharing a new product or sharing about a giveaway that they participated in, I would be much more likely to do that. So I thought that was just really brilliant and being able to kind of leverage the leads that I was already gathering to kind of be like my own little mini marketing army and to help kind of spread the word and build an audience faster that way.

Josh:
Do you remember any of the numbers from the campaign in terms of what percentage of people you got from sharing as part of the campaign?

So once they saw my landing page and they started opting in, then of course they started spreading and sharing the word with their friends and family.

Jessica:
I wish that I had more memory of that. I don't remember what my viral view number was, I'm so sorry. I wish that I did, but I don't. I do remember it being pretty substantial. Because what I did is I leveraged my own visibility. I didn't have an audience, I wasn't a blogger or influencer or anything like that. I didn't have a audience. But I did have my ideal customer in my life. Right? I was part of a mom's group on Facebook. So I was sharing with them what I was doing and women and moms were my target audience. So once they saw my landing page and they started opting in, then of course they started spreading and sharing the word with their friends and family. So it really was just that kind of viral, organic, not viral, but organic growth that way.

Josh:
Yep, exactly. I like to caution people when they think a system like the social sharing gives people viral growth. There's kind of a concept, or misconception that, "Oh, I just have to tell one person and that one person tells two and then two tells four and then four tells eight," and it explodes that way. I have to remind people, "Oh actually almost none of the success stories you've read about, like the Harry's launch, the Robin launch, none of them actually worked that way in reality." What they did is they would get to certain milestones and then that would get them a bigger level of press coverage, which would then amplify the message and the virality and the sharing, always I tell people it's more of a boost. So if you were going to spend $100 worth of effort, the social sharing aspect of creating the landing page that you get with KickoffLabs gives you a 30%-50% boost on that $100 to make it feel like you spent $150 in marketing.

So different tiers after certain milestones, if you will. The first one was just for entering, you're going to be the first to know. So we kind of built up that exclusivity, and you'll be entered to win a six month subscription.

Josh:
That there's nothing that'll make you go from $1 spent to $150 spent feeling, but there's things you can do to go from, take your $100 and make it efficiently feel like $150 spent into marketing effort. What incentives were you giving people, if any, at this stage to share the page with a ... You talk about a referral and reward system, what incentives did you choose for your service?

Each level was incrementally higher, but we wanted to make those first few kind of attainable. It felt like they were able to kind of reach it and they would try to get there.

Jessica:
Yeah, we had different levels. So different tiers after certain milestones, if you will. The first one was just for entering, you're going to be the first to know. So we kind of built up that exclusivity, and you'll be entered to win a six month subscription. So that was kind of the first one. Then the second one, I marked pretty low. I only asked for or required about five referrals. I think it was maybe six referrals. They were able to get the next one, which was a discount at launch. So an exclusive discount at launch. Then from there we did a free product. Then from there we did a cash prize. Each level was incrementally higher, but we wanted to make those first few kind of attainable. It felt like they were able to kind of reach it and they would try to get there. Then those higher levels we reserved for people that actually had influence. If I did stumble upon an influencer or whatever and somebody who would want to share it with a larger audience, they would be more incentivized to do that because they'd see that cash prize there.

Josh:
Absolutely. Do you remember how long before your launch you had this page up? That's a common question we get is, "How early should I be putting up and doing this pre-marketing and validation?"

Jessica:
Yeah. So I started my landing page in October 2016 and I launched at the very end of December. So I ran mine maybe a little bit longer than most people do, but I think anywhere from 30 to 90 days is a good timeframe. That's what I teach in prelaunch prep school.

Josh:
Yeah. You're actually right in the sweet spot there for what we see for successful launches. Because I feel like people break up the launches, and we'll probably get into this and to marketing. I tell people to think about breaking up the launches into thirds. The first, if you're doing it for six weeks, the first two weeks are you're learning, you're changing the copy, you're seeing what works. You're maybe testing Facebook ads or different groups that you're explaining it to. Then the second two weeks is, okay, you figured out what works, the second third of it, now let's amplify that message. Then the next two to four weeks or however long you want to run it is like, okay, now I'm trying to get to my goal that I'd set in the planning stage of now if I need 10,000 at the rate that I'm going, I need four weeks of launch.

Josh:
If I need 20,000, I might need eight weeks of running the campaign to collect the emails that you're collecting. So I think the important thing that I noticed that you're doing in here is that no matter the length of time, you talk about writing a compelling welcome email series that welcomes them and gets them onboard. Can you talk about what service you recommend for that and how frequently are you emailing the list? Because that's another question we get about, "I feel like I'm spamming them. I don't want to send them that many emails." The answer is probably always more than most people think. So I'm curious what your view is on that.

I use Klaviyo as my email service provider. That's what I recommend. I love that it integrates directly with KickoffLabs so there's not a whole lot of copying and pasting.

Jessica:
Absolutely. I run into the same thing because often the women in my audience are brand new to this type of business. So it's very early stage, they don't have any experience, so this is all foreign to them. So I use Klaviyo as my email service provider. That's what I recommend. I love that it integrates directly with KickoffLabs so there's not a whole lot of copying and pasting. When I was running my prelaunch I used MailChimp. But now I love Klaviyo. Then crafting that email series is really important because there's no use in working really hard to build an email list if you're just going to let them kind of go cold. They're not going to remember who you are if you're ready to pull the plug-in launch in a month or two months or even three months.

crafting that email series is really important because there's no use in working really hard to build an email list if you're just going to let them kind of go cold. They're not going to remember who you are if you're ready to pull the plug-in launch in a month or two months or even three months.

Jessica:
So we want to keep them nice and warm and kind of bring them on a journey with us. I call that nurturing our email list. I actually recommend that we email our list every five to seven days, and we can even do more frequently if you'd like. But I think for people that are brand new and feeling a little bit hesitant to even send an email in the first place, that's usually around that sweet spot where they're com comfortable and confident enough to do that and to stick to that consistent cadence. But yeah, I kind of walk them through all the different things that you can email them about because really it's about bringing them on a journey. It's not about just constantly selling, selling, selling. You want them to kind of be invested in this process with you. I think that was one of the things that was successful about All Girls Shave Club is I did bring them on the journey. I got them involved. I asked for their feedback.

So we want to keep them nice and warm and kind of bring them on a journey with us. I call that nurturing our email list.

Jessica:
I sent surveys. I sent them behind the scenes that was going on and they helped me to pick the packaging. It was just a really fun experience. They felt like they were part of something bigger than just razors. Right?

Josh:
Yep. Yeah. And I think that's a, you raised two important things there. One is the concept of making it collaborative with people and not just speaking to them. Because there's two approaches to this email sequence. Well, three approaches. The worst approach is just like you said, letting them go cold. The next approach is constantly just pitching, saying like, "Here's where we are. Here's what we're doing. Here's what the price is going to be, get ready to buy on this date." Just constantly speaking at them with the marketing message and the benefits. Which you want to sprinkle in so people understand the product, but you get a much better response from maybe asking some questions. Like maybe an email is just going out like, "What are you excited about with this product? Which of these two things is more interesting to you? Do you like this box cover? Hit reply and let us know."

Josh:
Those emails tend to be, at least in our experience, we see them get opened more when you're asking a question and we certainly get replies to the questions that we ask as well, rather than just broadcasting out the things. Because as I tell people, you want this audience engaged presumably, right? You want their feedback because they're going to be customers, and if they're customers you want to hear from them about what about the product resonates? Or what is good or bad about the product after you've launched it even. You want them to be willing to give you that feedback. So starting that practice early is really helpful.

you learn a lot through engaging your community as well and you can get amazing marketing messaging from using their words as well.

Jessica:
Yeah. You can learn so much too from them. I remember learning when I was launching All Girls Shave Club, I thought that my demographic was maybe younger than they actually turned out to be. The people that were opting in and participating in my content and my prelaunch, when they had them do the demographic surveys, they were actually between 30 and 45 years old. When I thought they were going to be a much younger demographic. So you learn a lot through engaging your community as well and you can get amazing marketing messaging from using their words as well.

Josh:
Yeah, even just finding out little things like that is great because then if you're going to run Facebook ads, you can check the age demographic and be like, "Okay, I was going to run 20 to 35, but maybe I should run 30 to 45 as my demographic." So that's really good to find out and that's why it's important to talk to people. So this kind of covered, we kind of jumped into module five on your audience, nurturing your audience and thinking them through. So you go to module six, validate your idea and next steps. So what is validating your idea mean to you? Or how do you tell your customers what validating is?

Jessica:
I want to make sure that A, like we talked about earlier, the email list is growing and that it hasn't been pulling teeth to try to get people on the email list. That's one area that we really want to focus on. If you're not able to grow that list, then we need to either refine our messaging, maybe refine our product offering, refine our audiences, those types of things. But if the email list is just growing and it's growing well, then we want to look at our engagement rates. We want to look at our open rates and our click through rates and our emails to see like, are people engaged? Are they ready for this product? We also want to think about, what are we going to do at launch? This is the time when we're going to take all of that feedback that we've captured from them, think about how we're going to create this product so that it exceeds, not only meets, but it exceeds their expectations at launch.

Jessica:
I have this whole kind of launch decision trade that they can go through that kind of asks them questions as they're going through, "Have you hit your goal? This is one of the things that we want to look at. We set our goals in the beginning of the course and are we there yet? Have we met our goals there?" So it kind of walks them through the decision of, is it time to launch? Or do we need to go back and change things or tweak things just a little bit? Because we don't know what our goal is, we don't want to invest a ton of time and money into launching a product that is not going to be what the market wants. So that's kind of the whole goal for prelaunch for me.

Josh:
So you mentioned kind of after at the end of module six talking about a launch week strategy. So I'd love to hear you talk a little bit more about what that means to go from you've nurtured this email list, you've got it and now you're maybe one to two weeks away from having something people can purchase. How do you tell people to think about their time and how they talk to their audience in that one to two weeks leading up? Then the one to two weeks after you've had something for them to purchase?

I think it's really important to, as you've said before, just keep them engaged. Keep them involved. When you're sharing messaging around when the launch is coming and that kind of thing make it about them.

Jessica:
Yeah. I think it's really important to, as you've said before, just keep them engaged. Keep them involved. When you're sharing messaging around when the launch is coming and that kind of thing make it about them. So it's not just like, "Oh, we're launching next week." It's, "Oh, and next week you're going to be able to get X, Y, Z box that is going to help you do X, Y, Z." Right? It's telling them the solution that they're going to be able to get when the launch happens. That's really what they care about is how's it going to help them and what's in it for them essentially. So using language that really gets them excited about it, and also helps them to kind of count down with you, but in a way, that's about them, not about you. So we always kind of tell our audience that it's coming, we give them a date of when it's coming and what they can expect.

Jessica:
We actually give them, I teach them to give their audience early access. So anybody who's on the email list is going to get early access to the launch versus everybody else who may be following them on social media or in other areas. So that kind of helps to build up a little bit of anticipation as well if you get 24 hours to shop early. Maybe you give them a special discount above and beyond what they've already earned in their rewards, or maybe you give them free shipping or free shipping for life or something like that to really incentivize them to make that purchase on that day.

Something that I didn't do with All Girls Shave Club that I wish that I had done is collaborated with influencers, collaborated with other maybe influencers or even other brands that shared a similar audience. I think leveraging other people's audiences, it's a great way to grow your own audience provided that they are super aligned.

Josh:
That's perfect. So what other things, or tips and tricks would you give people that we haven't covered as part of this or things maybe that you wish you'd done with the All Girls Shave Club that now you realize is a good best practice?

Jessica:
Ooh, that's a really good question. Something that I didn't do with All Girls Shave Club that I wish that I had done is collaborated with influencers, collaborated with other maybe influencers or even other brands that shared a similar audience. I think leveraging other people's audiences, it's a great way to grow your own audience provided that they are super aligned. That's something that I wish that I had done and that I teach my students how to do now so that they can grow their audience even faster. Again, my students are really brand new to this space and so running Facebook ads and paying for things like that are just kind of out of their scope at this time. So we need to get really creative in how we grow and build our email lists. So one of the ways to do that really is to collaborate.

I think building your email list is such a worthy investment. So I would recommend that even after prelaunch, don't let it go cold. You've built this asset, after you've launched continue to nurture them and continue to provide value to them so that they will come back and buy.

Jessica:
I always want to say too, that I think building your email list is such a worthy investment. So I would recommend that even after prelaunch, don't let it go cold. You've built this asset, after you've launched continue to nurture them and continue to provide value to them so that they will come back and buy. Maybe they didn't buy at launch, but they'll come back eventually provided that you're nurturing them the best way possible. So I think those are two things that I wish I would have done a little bit differently. I did nurture them, but not as well as I probably should have post launch.

Josh:
Yeah, absolutely. Do you recommend people, I mean, you talked about influencers, do you recommend people set up things like retargeting or Facebook pixels or anything like that as part of the launch?

Jessica:
So I don't teach any paid ad strategy in my course. But yes, I do think it's a good idea and I do teach them where to install their pixel, where to install their Google analytics tag, those kinds of things. So that if they decide that they do want to leverage that they totally can and they're prepared to do that.

Josh:
Another note I took that I wanted to go back to is you talked about in your launch getting a lot of the customers and early signups from different Facebook groups that maybe were in your target audience. So I'm curious how you went about searching or finding the groups that you were participating in and how you approach those groups. Because A, I find people have difficulty finding the audiences and then B, they don't know how to approach the audiences or what the right approach is without sounding like, "Come sign up today," and you're talking to this new group of people that you've never met and they're like, "Go away. We're talking about golf." Or whatever the audience is that you're targeting your product to. How do you recommend people find it and then approach the audience?

Jessica:
I totally get it. So there's kind of two tracks here. The first track is really about leveraging your own existing visibility. We all have it, whether we believe that we have influence or not, we do. We have a network of people that we can reach. So that's kind of the first layer. For me, it was a mom's group that I was already in. I was already there talking about raising babies and what to feed and all of the things. So it was just integrating what was going on in my life. So, "Oh, I'm feeding the baby, but I'm going to be working on my new business in a few minutes. Do you want to see what I'm working on?" That kind of thing. Sharing organically with women that I already knew and we had that relationship with.

I always recommend my students, have your landing page right in your profile. Have it acceptable for people to be able to stalk you a little bit and opt in if they want to.

Jessica:
So that's the first thing is to think about where you're already visible to your target audience, because nine times out of 10 you are already visible somewhere and it just takes one place to get started. Now, the second part is to leverage existing Facebook groups that maybe you're not as involved in. Really you can't go in there and be like a spamasauras. You can't just go in and be like, "Hey, I have this new product, everybody sign up to my pre launch campaign." It just doesn't work that way. It's really about thoughtful engagement and engaging in ways that position yourself as the expert around your product. So it's a slow burn, right? It's not going to happen, you're not going to get hundreds of subscribers off of each Facebook group immediately. It's kind of taking time every day to go in and engage on topics that are relevant to what you're offering. People are curious, they're going to be like, "Who's this girl?" Or, "Who's this guy that's answering all these questions about shaving?" They're going to pop through.

Jessica:
So I always recommend my students, have your landing page right in your profile. Have it acceptable for people to be able to stalk you a little bit and opt in if they want to.

Josh:
Yeah, absolutely. When we, I mean this is a long time ago now, but when we were launching KickoffLabs I remember of our first $100,000 in revenue, I think $20,000 came from ... I could directly tie back to questions we'd answered on Quora because we just went into different marketing groups that we're talking about launches and software and marketing types of things. We probably answered 50 or so different questions. So it's not that many, really, if you just do a few a week answering the questions over time in that first year. But then, you never know which one is going to be the big hit, but then all of a sudden there were four threads that became really popular on Quora and they got voted up and everything, and those four threads were like $20,000 revenue for going through in our first $100,000 revenue.

Josh:
So totally worth the time to get engaged. We started from zero, I wasn't in that community before. But when we had the launch for KickoffLabs I was like, "I should start answering questions and seeing what ..." I started personally because I wanted know what people in that space were asking so I knew how to better market the product. Then as I was there, I was like, "Oh, I can answer some of these questions." I wasn't even thinking at the time that we'll get a bunch of follow up revenue from it. So I didn't even notice until we started running reports and saying, "Where are these people coming from that are purchasing?" Then we look at the referrals and the link IDs that they were using. Thankfully I was using some unique links for Quora so I could tell that they were coming from there, but when we tied it back, I was like, "Wow, that was worth it."

Jessica:
That's so cool. See, just straight from your mouth. That is amazing. I love that. Yeah, just spending a few minutes every day is something we all can do. We can just carve a little bit of time and jump in there and jump right out. Right?

Well, if anybody is interested in pre launch prep school, I'm happy to have them join us at jessicaprincipe.com/prelaunch and I would love offer your listeners $50 off with code KickoffLabs.

Josh:
Yeah, absolutely. So, thanks for your time today. This has been super educational, super helpful. I loved walking through it. Do you have a pitch for your product or your launch school that you want to give at the end here and where you're going next with it?

Jessica:
Yeah. Well, if anybody is interested in pre launch prep school, I'm happy to have them join us at jessicaprincipe.com/prelaunch and I would love offer your listeners $50 off with code KickoffLabs. So easy peasy. Yeah, I just want to be available to help support people who are looking to launch a subscription or physical eCommerce products without the stress and the drama of, "I launched, I spent all of this time building my business and building my products and I launched, and it's just crooked." We don't want that for anybody. That breaks my heart every time I see it.

Josh:
Yeah.

Jessica:
So that's really why pre launch prep school was born and I'm happy to help if I can.

Josh:
Absolutely no Jessica's advice is spot on. She hits on all the right notes, the highlights of the course. I can just tell from having seen her students and then other people doing launches, these are all the things that are required for having a successful pre-launch. I think the advice is, you're focused on subscription boxes here, but I think the advice is actually worth it if somebody's thinking about a Kickstarter or some other launch of a business. This is very universal advice, you may be focused on the subscription box side of things, but any launch shares all of these characteristics that people are doing. So it's worth checking out and heading to Jessica's site and giving it a look. Oh, and then check out KickoffLabs. So come to KickoffLabs, once you've got your brand assets come to KickoffLabs and set up your pre-launch page. Thanks for listening today. This has been a joy and I look forward to talking to you again in the future.

Jessica:
Thanks so much for having me.

Josh:
Absolutely.
 

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