Book Review: ‘Launch’ #TWBR

August 20, 2016 · 4 min read
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You must have heard the saying – not everyone should be an entrepreneur. However, if you want to set your lofty ideas in motion, then ‘Launch’ is the book to read.

With almost 200 pages, Launch makes an engaging and compelling read.
The book shows you how to sell almost anything online, build the business you love, and live the life of your dreams, all from the stroke of having a genuine email list.

The game changing experience

Online businesses make people skeptical. This perhaps explains why the first chapter of the book draws the spotlight on Jeff Walker’s personal life experience.

Before fortune smiled, Jeff was a very broke “stay-at-home dad” caring for two kids, while his wife took up the role of the breadwinner. Even though he wished things were different, he felt helpless.
Eventually, he stumbled on online marketing and with time, he was able to find a secret formula which he referred to as the Product Launch Formula (PLF).

Recalling his experience, Jeff says “when I finally built up the nerve to click the button, the reaction was breathtaking.” “The email went to a server based outside of Green Bay, Wisconsin. And that triggered an email broadcast that went out to the people who had subscribed to my simple email newsletter. Within seconds, the email landed in the inboxes of my subscribers” he adds.

The email was short, it contained less than 50 words. However, at the end of the email, there was a link to an order form on Jeff’s website. There, people could buy the product he had just created.

The email was short, it contained less than 50 words. However, at the end of the email, there was a link to an order form on Jeff’s website. There, people could buy the product he had just created.
By the end of the week, his humble offering made over $34,000. “Almost as much as I ever made in an entire year back in my corporate job” he affirms. Jeff since then, has recorded exponential sales in his product and has taught many of his clients the same secret. “My students and clients have done more than $400 million dollars in sales and counting,” he says.

How it works exactly

A good way to understand the PLF is to build a viable product, and then create huge engagement around the launch to keep people genuinely anticipating it. At  heart, the PLF is made up of sequences, stories and triggers.
Think of this like how Hollywood tries to build a buzz before a movie is released. First, there’s the trailer 6 months before the movie, then there are TV ads leading up to the movie. Then the actors head out on a tour for promotion.

In recent times, a social media campaign kicks off right before the release date.
Apple follows the same pattern as well. A massive campaign leading up to their release date is organized. This creates a huge anticipation and people are genuinely engaged.

However, unless you have the resources and talent of Apple or Universal Studios, you may be stuck with ‘Hope Marketing.’ This is why the PLF-style launch gives you the time and space to connect with your prospect and deliver real value. It lets you cut through the marketing fog and set yourself apart from the competition. It also creates a deadly effective sales machine that doesn’t require you to be a great salesperson.

But the rules have changed: Social media Vs email

While Launch, for a large part, attests to the awesomeness of the PLF. Its potency comes down to having and building a genuine email list.

We live in a transparent world, and the nature of our communication and daily lives has changed radically in just a few years. Compared to a few years ago, when publishing was almost like shouting in the wilderness, the online world tends to speed up and intensify everything.

“That’s definitely the case with your list. In the online world, your list is everything, and it is really hard to fathom the power of an email list until you have a list and you push that “send” button.” says Jeff.

In a world with an ever-increasing level of competition for prospect’s attention, one would wonder how building an email list seem any impactful. However, Jeff in the third chapter of Launch describes an email list as the closest thing one can have to a printing press that will print money for them.

In his words, “what I had was almost the equivalent of a license to “print” money whenever I needed it.” “I had a list of clients and prospects, and that list gave me the ability to create income on demand,” he adds.

But how does that place above social media in any way? Jeff begins by saying “emails are the real power, and that social media list isn’t even in the same ballpark. In terms of response rate, an email list of 1000 people far outperforms a Facebook following of 20000,” he asserts. While one has complete control over their emails, it’s not exactly the same with their social media accounts. The platform and the engagements are controlled by the online social networking companies, and a single change in their rules could prove very disastrous to your business.

“I’ve been hearing the death of emails since 2003, and it’s still generating millions of dollars a year for my business.” he adds.

Jeff concluded his argument by saying – “And make no mistake, once you start to build an email list for your business, you’ve taken a huge step towards controlling your own financial destiny.”
If you take nothing else from this book but an obsessive focus on building your list of clients and prospects, the book may be worth more than its price.

Interestingly enough, the effectiveness of the PLF is not restricted to a particular market and niche. So it may just turn out to be what you need to get that business plan off the ground.

Ifeanyi Ndiomewese

Ifeanyi Ndiomewese


Ifeanyi is a desk reporter-turned administrator. Outside of work, I love to read and travel.

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