Do You Hate Product Launches?

Posted by | April 29, 2010 | Ask Gobala | 9 Comments

How many of you reading this right now were around before product launches became accepted as a standard marketing tactic?

Not too long ago, an Internet marketer created a really good product worth talking about. Then he approached a selected few of his trusted friends to help him promote as an affiliate.

It caught on, people talked about it, and some of the better ones truly changed people’s lives.

They did not care about making $1,000,000 in 7 seconds, or whatever.

A slow and steady increase in sales actually helped them cope. They cared about support and giving customized, personal assistance to each customer. They cared about their product.

Fast forward a little ..

You’re now in the product launch era.

It started somewhere around 2005 with Jeff Walker’s classic “Product Launch Formula” mega-launch. It was an awesome product. It changed everything, and everyone.

Then Mike Filsaime did it. John Reese did it. Michael Cheney did it. All the guys that licked scraps out of these guys’ bowls did it to. It was rinsed and repeated.

The problem with truly great ideas is that they are always duplicated and mass produced till they become.. well..  lame.

File:Ford assembly line - 1913.jpgToday everything is about the process of launching a product, and almost nothing about the product itself. It’s like the Henry Ford version of Internet marketing.

Mass production and sales. Structured, rigid “assembly lines” that churn out a new product every few months.

Customer individuality is replaced by a one-size for all mentality.

Out source the creation of the product. Hire a ghost-writer. 

OTOs. Conversion. Back-end sales. Forced continuity. Limited quantity. Limited time.

Now anyone can launch a product, regardless of age, authority or any real passion for the subject matter. In my earlier post I commented about the big problem with information products, which only serves to compound the problem of product launch “overkill”.

However, I have to admit that product launches work like magic. Or at least they used to.

I raised over $65,000 in 7 days in 2007 with my partners Melvin Ng and Vince Tan, which bought us air tickets to US and a whole lot more. In 2009 when we launched Rahsia ClickBank, I made more than RM200,000 in 30 days with Zamri Nanyan.

Product launches work.

But I strongly believe that they work much, much better when the product that is being “launched” is worth being talked about in the first place.

You can take a pile of shit, wrap it up, invite a few big names to hype it up as “magic shit”, and you can make some quick cash. It’s been done before. It’s still being done.

But it’s not what I like to do.

The problem is, I find more and more Internet marketers in love with the process – inviting JV partners, creating an affiliate contest, sending out hyped-up “affiliate leaderboard” emails, etc.

When they want to recruit you, they tell you how much money you are going to make, who are the top dog hungry to promote for them, and what great Apple products you can win. They tell you how well their product is converting, and how deliriously happy their customers are.

Most of these guys are lying through their teeth.

Affiliates hardly take the time to read or review a product before recommending it to their lists. All they want to do is get on the Top 10 list so they can brag about it till the end of days.

That’s why after a while, I gave up on most product launches. I only participate in launches by people I know and have grown to trust.

After reading Seth Godin’s Purple Cow (as lame as some people may think it is), I’ve come to a conclusion:

Product launches will soon be part of the “noise” that everyone ignores. In order for me to stand out and survive, I need to focus on creating products that are better than everyone else’s offer. It may mean I will have to spend an incredible amount of time researching and designing products, but in the end it will be worth it.

Well, that’s MY conclusion anyway. What do you think of product launches?

Does it really help you, as a customer, to get caught up in the hype and high-pressure sales tactics in product launches?


  • @Ilya – I feel you man. But then again this is the Internet and you can always target the US based market.

  • Ilya says:

    My traffic is from NL. I can try and launch products all I want, but the Dutch are not that much interested in the kinds of products that would do splendid in other countries. Without any effort you can easily launch succesfully in the US…same goes for affiliates that sell those product; in NL nobody buys no affiliates active (well at least not that I know of). I do mean catering to actual Dutch traffic.

    I kinda dislike the whole quantity over quality thing on the internet…but that’s why I only make a decent living with good content instead of a fabulous living with all these clever stunts :P

    Take care!

  • Tzu Ming says:

    Nice piece. I personally think there is nothing wrong with the process of the product launch itself. I think the issue is how it is being used in niches which are already so saturated that the psychological effects of the launch are already watered down so much because everyone knows what you’re up to. I am happy to say it still works wonders for me in niches outside of things like IM.

  • Yeok Heng says:

    I think some of the internet marketer just care about making money instead of helping others. The product launched have a very great name but the information in that product is almost the same. They just twist and turn the same technique and add on their “creativity” into that product. Then it become their products. If the product is useful, the owner will gain the reputation and the money will come itself. So, I think product launch MAIN objective is to help others instead of make money.

  • mandan man says:

    More and more days passed by, you’re becoming the ‘true you’…By reading your article quite some time, I know that you’re dying to reveal EVERYTHING ‘dirty’ inside that you have been kept sooooo darn long…..But that’s not the way how it work, isn’t it? You’re smart enough to take it step by step, so that you will not find yourself all of sudden in a ‘war field’…Right?

    • @mandan man – there’s nothing much “dirty” to reveal actually. Of course there is what I prefer the industry to be, and what it is in reality, and I have to walk somewhere in between.

  • Fariq Hamdan says:

    Only the really good ones, however i agree with Seth Godin.

  • jude says:

    Thanks Gob for the frank assessment of the PLR hype. Not many gurus will admit it. I have been trying for the past 5 years on and off without any success at all in IM. I even signed up for your newsletters but never did anything with them. Last week I had a frank talk with a close friend and we were talking about life, debts, dreams and what not and somehow this has prompted me to get back seriously to my own dream – to be a successful Internet marketer in 3 years time Which brings me to the next point. I am very keen on blogging. I have a few blogs lying around but not monietized. They are not the typical money making blogs but something personal. But I want to change that. This last week I’ve been reading and researching into making future blogs that would return a reasonable amount of money. I know a bit about Adsense. I also checked up on Autoblogging resources. I see there are a lot of plug-ins and resources out there but I am wary of “copy paste” and “stealing” other people’s rights. Whatever I do must be ethical. I know you too have a “blogging empire” going! My request is simply this: Could you show me a way how I can do this effectively? I am not “loaded”. I work for a GLC. I have a ton of credit card debt that I want to clear off. I’m hoping that blogging will my ticket out of this mess. I am 48 years old and want to have a successful online marketing business before I retire in 8 years. I would love any input from you. Thank you.

  • PV Reymond says:

    Hey Gobala,

    You touched a very important point, now everybody and their dog can have a product launch, as you said we are living in the “product launch era”.

    Yes, they work and work very well. You can make an incredible amount of money in a very short period of time if you have a good product launch.

    I agree with you when you say that people will begin to ignore product launches and that in order to really succeed you have stand out creating super high quality products.

    ^PV Reymond

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