Part I: Follow-along / case study / marketing in action

One of the images of new stock at Mee a Bee, used in a newsletter

One of the images of new stock at Mee a Bee, used in a newsletter

I made the decision to re-open my store Mee a Bee. It's been closed since June after "the incident". Rather than simply take the store off vacation-mode and make an announcement on Facebook I thought it would be fun to re-open with a big LAUNCH. It's going well and has been exciting so I thought you might like to follow along.

The idea to go big came from Jeff Walker's book Launch. He makes it seem so easy to blast your expectations out of the water rather than go quietly into the night. I haven't done Jeff's main training but picked up a few tips from the free video training he posted online to support the launch of Launch (the book launch).

The strategy in a nutshell is to provide useful information to your fans/ prospects across a series of emails. At some point you talk about what you have to sell and make your pitch. It dovetails nicely with the strategy of another person I follow, Ryan Deiss, The Digital Marketer.

This is what I have done so far and a few of the results. I am "mid-launch" if you want to talk jargon. I haven't made any overt pitches, my aim has been to get people excited about the store re-opening. And even to get them chomping at the bit to get in there. 

Back in September I started posting sneak peek pictures on my Facebook page. My core group of 'hyper-fans' were happy to herald my return, leaving comments, sharing and generally breathing some life and energy back into the page. I also posted here and there on Instagram. And actively decided to forgo Twitter (I was spreading myself too thin, something had to go).

I made the announcement below on Facebook. It's a very subtle technique that Jeff Walker uses: ask for a favour. It not only shapes the product - giving people what they really want - it also gives the prospect a sense of ownership in your ideas. If they see their ideas come to life in your product they can't help but want it. It also served the purpose of informing them to stay tuned for NEW products coming soon, something in the works. 

From Facebook:

"Good morning! I need your help. I'm re-opening the shop (FINALLY). The little kid's messenger bags are the most popular bags at Mee a Bee but I want to make sure I have all the right bags for you. What kind of bags would you like to see? To carry what? To use when? Thanks for your help!"

Onto the email campaign

At the beginning of the week I sent out the first email. I'm using tips from Ryan Deiss to re-engage my fans. I'm planning to send four or five emails over the course of the week. (I know it seems like a lot, fingers crossed it works out!). 

I have also posted links to the newsletters on Facebook, as well as posting portions of it at different times of day. So far three newsletters have been sent out. The response has been very positive, again from my super-fans. I gained seven new fans on the FB page (lost a couple too, which is also good).

A new tactic I am applying is the use of a Lead Magnet - some kind of juicy thing to offer that fans will want to get straight away. Usually it's some kind of report or download, maybe a free webinar. In the case of Mee a Bee, which is a physical product rather than an information product, I am offering a 15% off coupon as the Lead Magnet. It's working well and is helping me build a new and highly-engaged newsletter subscriber list. They had to sign up with their email address, which means they REALLY want that offer and are REALLY excited about the store re-opening. 

All the emails have been sent out with Mail Chimp. Right now I have the basic free account. At some point I may upgrade to some fancier version but for now it's getting my information out in a really easy-to-read and pretty format.

Email #1 - a general email, just saying hi, recapping on what I've been up personally to in recent months, just touching base. Right at the end, I mentioned the shop is re-opening. I also introduced the coupon sign-up.

Email #2  - giving the shop re-opening information teaser-style - new bags, opening at some point 'soon'. Trying to add in some personality and humour. Trying to build anticipation. The main goal is to get people grab the coupon - and reconfirm their interest in Mee a Bee. I could have made a more direct sales offer but I felt they needed a subtle nudge since I had been so inactive for so long. Nobody wants to get the email saying BUY my STUFF after a whole year of silence.

The first email was mainly about me. That appealed to the fans who know and love me.

The second email was more about the products. It should have appealed to the people who love the bags and are not so connected to me personally.

Email #3 - in an effort to provide useful information and make no sales push whatsoever. I sent out a longer email about design choices, a size guide and a brief background about Mee a Bee. I still linked to the coupon. 

one of the new bags at Mee a Bee

one of the new bags at Mee a Bee

Email day 4 - ?

Email #5 - ?

This style of email marketing is new to me and I still have a lot to learn. For now, mid-launch, I am excited about the heightened interest in Mee a Bee and am expecting the re-open to go well. Fingers crossed!

I will post more as the launch unfolds fully. I hope to be able to help you do a mini-launch of your own one day.