Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Joel Fortner

Joel Fortner


May 16, 2014

3 Stages To A Product Launch

Today’s post is by our marketing expert Joel Fortner.

Have you ever launched a new product or service and been disappointed with sales?

Product Launch,

Oftentimes, businesses work feverishly to develop something new, or revamp something old, and never say a word about it until it’s ready for launch.

This is a big mistake and a key reason why sales fall flat. The good news is, this is easy to fix.

Here are the 3 stages to a product or service launch.

1. Build desire

Make people want what you’re selling before you sell it. Regularly communicate top features and benefits of the product or service and when they can expect to get it.

2. Announce it’s for sale

Some customers will gobble up your offering immediately, but most won’t so don’t quit there. Instead, convert people who are silently considering it by continuing to communicate what they need to know, as well as testimonials.

3. Limit the offer and close the deal

If you intend to only allow people to buy at certain times, this is a critical step. People need to know and will be moved to act if they know it’s a limited offer.

On the other hand, if you launch something that will be available indefinitely, consider offering a launch deal people can only get for a limited time and make sure it’s communicated well.

Examples of businesses doing it right

A couple of months ago a new grocery store, The Fresh Market, opened in the shopping center by our home.

Months before they opened the doors, they placed a big sign along the roadway that read, “The Fresh Market Coming Soon! January 2014.”

As opening day approached, they hung a banner on the store that read “Opening Day 1/29.”

How to launch a product, how to launch a business, how to sale a new product

The Fresh Market built anticipation before opening this new store, a key part of launching a new product, service or business.

They effectively built anticipation and local buzz that lead a big opening day. Every business can do this but the “how” will vary.

Take FoxyCart for instance.

FoxyCart (client) is an ecommerce company that will soon release their 2.0 product and they’re currently building anticipation with their target market.

They’re doing this by regularly communicating updates, 2.0 features, and more via their blog, email list and social media.

Don’t forget this tiny (okay, it’s huge) detail:

Since most businesses rely so heavily on online marketing, building a quality email list is HUGE. Don’t rely solely on social media and other websites you don’t own or control.

They’re important but you’re slave to their changes.

Product and service launches are busy times. I get it. You’re in the trenches creating and fine-tuning details and working your butt off.

But if no one knows your product or service exists, your effort was for nothing and you’ve helped no one.

Good marketing must be a priority. It’s not an expense. It’s an investment into your businesses’ success and customer’s happiness when you help solve their problems.

Question: How have your launches gone? 

Joel Fortner


December 2, 2013

A Proven 2-Step Method To Turn Dead Leads Into Customers

December 2, 2013 | By | 36 Comments">36 Comments

This is a guest post by Joel Fortner. He is a Small Business Marketing Coach and the creator behind Get Serve Keep.

Just because someone inquires about your product or service and then disappears doesn’t mean they’re not still interested.

It’s very common to mistaken a quiet lead for a dead one.

Selling, sales, email marketing

Don’t mistaken a quiet lead as a dead lead. Sometimes you just need to revive and bring it back to the surface.

The thing is people often inquire when they’re most interested and have time to think about what you offer and how it may help them.

So they email or call and then life happens. They get busy with stuff or distracted or even forget they ever inquired.

The worst thing you can do is write them off and say things like this. “They just must not be interested anymore,” or “If they really want it, they’ll inquire again.”

These statements come from not wanting to be salesy or pushy, or even a fear of rejection.

Don’t do this and instead take the lead.

Here are 2 tested and proven ways to revive leads:

1. The “tiny” email

It goes like this.

Keith – Are you still interested in ferrets?


That’s it. No more. No less. Send.

Now the tendency is to send a sleek-looking, well-crafted and well-intentioned email, pitching your product or service. Don’t do it. Why?

It comes across as salesy, like an ad, and impersonal.

Instead, send a plain text, tiny email in the form of a question.

2. Propose a specific day/time to chat

If your sales process involves talking with people, this tip is good for any lead, not just quiet ones.

That said, leads who have gone quiet may need a little more nurturing. So when they reply to your tiny email and say they’re still interested, propose a specific day and time to talk.

It looks like this.

Hi, Keith! Good to hear from you! Are you available to chat Monday at 3 pm ET? If you are, what’s a good number to reach you at?



This is superior to this alternative.

Hi, Keith! Good to hear from you! Let me know when you’re available to talk about the ferrets!



Leaving it up to them is not as effective because you’re putting work on them and asking them to figure it out. You want to make this as easy as possible at the time they open the email. That’s when they’re most likely to act.

So offer up a specific day and time. Then, all they have to do is check to see if they can do it or not. If they are, great! If they’re not, they’re more likely to see when they are available and respond to you because at that point they’re engaged in the process. That’s key.

I have used this 2-step method numerous times to revive leads and nurture the relationship to conversion. You can, too!

You can go deeper with marketing by downloading Joel’s free eBook, Small Business Guide to Marketing: Ideas You Must Know & Mistakes You Must Avoid, by subscribing to his marketing blog

Question: How do you keep leads alive? Share below!

Chris LoCurto


April 18, 2013

Your Business Is Not Who You Are

April 18, 2013 | By | 40 Comments">40 Comments

To do well in business, you have to realize your business is what you do not who you are.

Committing to that thought changes your decision-making and frees you to win. When you view your business as who you are, you’re so emotionally invested that every decision is cloudy.

Chris LoCurto, Leadership, Business, Strategic Planning

When you realize it’s what you do, you’re able to make decisions that don’t feel like they’re going to hurt as much. And this is key to growing a business that lasts.

In case you missed it last week, I’m recording a videocast soon with my good friend, Small Business Marketing Coach Joel Fortner on how to make your business last.

Joel will interview me on: – How to distinguish your business from competitors – Marketing and sales strategies – How to grow and make your business last It’s not too late to sign up to receive it. Just click here.

Question: How are you working to make your business last?