If you want a hassle-free product launch, you have two basic jobs to do. The first is to know exactly what Amazon requires from you during the launch process, and to do it. And the second is to have a plan for getting your product from zero to hero.
Let’s tackle the Amazon requirements first. Amazon has its rules, and you need to play by those rules, so make sure you know what they are, and don’t break them when you’re launching a new product.
Remember that Amazon can (and does) change its rules from time to time, so you should check the latest news. However, the most important rules are those relating to honesty and transparency, and to safeguard Amazon’s status as retailer for your product.
• You must not make warranty claims.
• You may not mention awards or prizes.
• You must not include links to external websites, or try to encourage customers away from Amazon to any other site.
• You must not denigrate competitors or compare your product to others.
• You must not plagiarize another product description.
• You must not make unwarranted claims.
• You must not offer any incentive for customers to review your product (this applies to product literature and advertising too).
Rules on reviews are particularly important. For instance, while you can ask customers on an insert to review your product, you must use neutral language. “We are always happy to know how things turned out” is fine, but “If you liked the product, give us a review” is not. You must not manipulate reviews, and while Amazon is probably going to be pretty relaxed about your mom buying your products because she’s your mom, if your entire family is 90 percent of your initial customer base, there are going to be a few questions asked.
Doing down your competition will also get you in trouble. Faking bad reviews on their products will get you barred. Baseless IP complaints against competitors will get you barred. Selling counterfeit products is also a sure-fire way to get your account suspended.
Don’t try to game the rules, either. Amazon cracks down every so often, and you’re risking your business if you’ve been trying to get away with a ‘creative’ treatment of the rules.
The second part of a hassle free product launch is having a proper launch plan. You don’t just turn up at Cape Canaveral and say “Hey, let’s launch a rocket!”, there has to be a plan in place.
So you need to plan your Amazon advertising, and spend a bit of money on it, to get those initial sales and get your product notice. You need a social media plan to strut your stuff and maybe get a couple of influencers on your side. You need to have really thought through your pricing, and maybe run a launch offer to make your product particularly competitive.
Doing your keyword research ahead of time is important; it’s not the kind of job you want to do when you’re under pressure. Look at competing products to see what keywords they are using (this is called a Reverse ASIN Lookup). Make your own list of keywords, including keywords that describe the customer problem that your product solves, as well as those that describe the product. Look for long tail keywords, as these will be cheaper to advertise; “organic mocha coffee” will cost less than “coffee”, and “waterproof hiking socks” will cost less than “socks” but will also attract exactly the customers who are looking for what you have to offer.
Then you need to set your advertising budget around the keywords you’ve selected. Or you might spend half your budget on your selected keywords and the rest on an automatic Amazon campaign.
The last thing you need to do is to schedule plenty of time for managing the launch. This is the past everyone forgets, but if you actively coddle your product during its first few weeks of life, you can help it grow a lot faster.