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Great launch, no therapy

5 min read
by Alena Parfisenko
Photo by Michael Burrows
With an upcoming new collection, you’ve got a lot of work. And it can get really frustrating since a considerable portion of it depends on other people. All the delays, all the changes, no web pages are completed, and those cursed photos that first can’t get shot, then approved, then designed…
We feel you. That’s why we created this guide: to help you help yourself. Sure, we can’t just snap our fingers and get rid of all the bureaucracy, but we can tell you how to reduce the amount of last-minute work. The next time they send you the information six hours before the launch, you’ll be ready. And you’ll create a great campaign.

Good old chaos

It all begins with the good old production chaos. There are many different specialists involved in the launch process, and constant coordination between them is almost impossible. Changes are made here and there, and something that was approved just a day ago is now to be reworked. And in this co-dependent chain, every slight change means a lot of work for many people. It happens over and over, again and again.

And it results in delays. Constant delays, more and more. As a marketer, this puts you in a tough spot. You’d like to prepare everything in advance, but it’s borderline impossible. If all goes well, you’ll receive the approved photos a day before the launch - how can you plan anything?
To plan and produce a good campaign, you need to consider a lot of factors. There are visual aspects, such as product pictures or collection style. There are specific details like prices and names. There are technicalities - links to online product pages and the pages themselves. All these tasks are done by other people, and you need them for the campaign.
There’s an entire list of jobs to be done:
  • Segment the audience to avoid spamming irrelevant information to people;
  • Plan the sending of the emails so they don’t intersect with other brand activities - and have a good Open Rate;
  • Prepare CTAs, texts, headers, and preheaders that will stand out and attract attention;
  • Make sure the emails are working correctly on different devices and the dark mode doesn’t butcher them;
  • Put the correct links and prices into the emails to avoid confusing and losing customers;
  • A lot of other tasks and subtasks that can either make a campaign great or ruin it.
But in the end, you likely have to do everything the night before. Or a few days before. It doesn’t matter: you don’t have enough time. And this is terrible for the quality of the launch.
You need to find a way to work around this process and prepare everything you possibly can in advance so that no delay or sudden change can ruin your campaign. How can you do it?

Make a calendar

The most crucial parts of planning can be done without additional materials. The structure of the campaign stays the same: map it out, and you’ll be able to quickly adjust if needed.
Plan the sequence in advance. Both the timing and the message are essential for the campaign’s success.
Teaser email
Let your audience know that something cool is coming. You can give them a hint or two, but don’t reveal too much: we’re building anticipation here. The only goal is to engage your subscribers and leave them waiting for the next email.
Send it two weeks before the launch, unless you want to send more than one teaser email.
Announcement email
Show your audience what’s soon to come and tell them more. Now they can learn the launch date and the details about your collection. The suspense is no more, so feel free to give them pre-order information to keep the anticipation up.
Send the announcement email one week before the launch.
Launch email
Notify your audience that the collection is finally out. It’s a big deal, so let them feel your enthusiasm and encourage them to buy! If you promised sales on release, it’s the right move to remind the subscribers about it, too.
Send the launch email when… We’re sure you know when to send it.
Follow-up email
When the hype is starting to fade away and the adoption is slowing down, it’s time for a follow-up. Remind those of your subscribers who haven’t made a purchase yet about the new collection. They might have missed it, so they’re lucky to have you!
Send the follow-up email one week after the launch or when the initial interest is starting to decline.
Selecting the right time to send those emails is as important as putting together their contents. They should keep your audience engaged while not being intrusive at the same time. A week-long gap between the emails is a safe play.

Set up a master template

Since there always are new products or collections, consider creating a master template. It will save you a lot of time and effort in the future. You’ll be able to just place the new pictures and information into the pre-build sections and change their order if needed.
Use your company’s brand book or your website’s design as a reference. Not only will it save you time on design, but it will also help your new subscribers recognize you through visual associations.
In this article, we talk in-depth about master template creation, so definitely check it out and learn how to make a master template. This is a one-time investment and if you haven’t done it already, you’re going to thank yourself so much later. Any time you’ll be rushed to complete your campaign, you’ll already have a great design to use.

Use a checklist

To make sure you don’t miss anything, checklists are a great tool. Include everything you need to check and double-check. Then triple-check it, when the time comes. Checklists are handy both for everyday work and for the last-hour rush: either way, you’ll never have to worry about forgetting your tasks.
We already made a checklist for you. It includes all the main steps, but you can always vary it to suit your needs.
Choose the right segments of your audience
For a new collection launch, target your loyal customers. People that purchased from you more than three times or made a purchase during the last month are the right play.
Make sure all the links are correct
Don’t do this once and check the box: it’s crucial to double-check before sending the campaign, too.
Make sure the emails are optimized
Mail tester is a great feature - take advantage of it and find all the bugs in your emails.
Make sure the emails’ visual appearance is stable
Send test emails to different email services and devices of yours. The emails must appear correctly both in desktop and mobile versions, in Gmail and Yahoo!, in default and dark mode.
Check the headers and preheaders
Especially the latter - you don’t want your recipients to see a wild mixture of logos and categories.
Check if everything is loading correctly
If there’s an overabundance of images, some of them might get cut off, and the email will look broken.
Check if the prices and product names are correct
Sometimes you go for a straightforward approach and offer your customer to buy right off the bat. When it’s the case, make sure that the information is correct. And especially the prices. The last thing you need is to be accused of false advertising or fraud.
Set the timer
Whether the collection is launching simultaneously for different locations or it depends on the local time, your emails are to be sent accordingly. This also affects the timer you might have included in your teaser email.

Break the curse

Often, the circumstances ruin all the plans you’ve been making. It can be frustrating and exhausting, and you may even think that planning means nothing at this point. Those cursed photos will always get delayed until the last second, everything will be stuck in the cycle of getting changed, approved, and changed again, and terms will always move.
“By failing to plan you are planning to fail.”
This famous quote belongs to Benjamin Franklin. What does it mean? It means that you should always make plans and prepare in advance, otherwise failure is predetermined. Things won’t go the way you planned, but it’s far easier to adapt when you already have a solid base.
Your templates are ready, you’ve proofread everything, and the emails are optimized. The cursed photos may not even arrive - make the bold move and start a campaign without them, Abercrombie style!
You’re ready, and it makes any tough situation much easier to navigate.

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