Launch: Summary & Review (Jeff Walker)

launch book

Launch (2014) shares a system and a set of steps to help digital marketers and content creators bring their products to market and maximize sales and revenues.

Bullet Summary

  • You cannot leave your success to chance
  • A mailing list is the most essential tool you can dispose of
  • Use mental triggers to amplify your sales

Launch Summary

About The Author: Jeff Walker is an online marketing expert. He defines himself as “the creator of the Product Launch Formula”, a system that helps digital creators effectively market and sell their products.

Introduction: Don’t Hope, Plan

Most businesses succumb to hope marketing.

What’s “hope marketing”?

It’s hoping that by simply preparing a product, people will buy it.

They think their idea is a winner, their product will be successful, and then, when they finally find the courage to launch it and it’s not really selling at all, they quit.

What’s the alternative to hope marketing?

A well-planned approach in your launches.

Use Scarcity

Scarcity is a well-known principle as explained by Cialdini in Influence.

The author says a good way to use scarcity is to say that your product’s price will rise very soon.
For example, you could offer a pre-launch price for a limited time only.

Use Sequences and Stories

Sequences are a great way to build excitement toward the last piece of the sequence.

Think about Harry Potter: what was the book that had fans the most excited about? It was the last one.
Think if you can set your product at the end of a series of sequences.

Stories sell much better than empirical data.
So when you devise your marketing strategy, make sure you do it by telling great stories.

Build and Use A Mailing List

Whatever you do, Jeff Walker says that your mailing list is the most important asset you own.

He introduces the idea of a squeeze page, such as a page where users must either leave their email or leave.
Personally, I find it too aggressive and don’t use it. I know some marketers use their homepage as a squeeze page, but I prefer having an introduction about the course there.

The emailing list is not high-converting, but in values-based business, I explain that my main goal is not to maximize profits but to live well with a business I love and that customers love.

The money is in the list

Product Launch Formula

This is the sequence of a Product Launch Formula:

  • Pre-prelaunch

The name of the game here is piquing interest and getting early feedback before you even start working on the product.
Don’t seem like you’re selling or you will turn people off.
The author has some good tips on how to structure the email for feedback.

  • Pre-launch

Release high-quality content.

First part is why they should care, then what your content will do for them (use a story/case study), and then how your product will help them.

The last part should tell prospects how much they can expect to wait and the sweet deal you’ll give to the very first customers (scarcity).

  • Launch

Release and publicize your product

  • Post-launch

Follow up with your buying customers and with the followers who haven’t yet bought

Joint Venture Launch

I particularly liked the idea of the joint venture launch.

A joint venture launch means partnering with people in your industry to access their own list. You should prove to them that your product sells first (do an internal launch to your list first) and offer them something (a commission on every sale, for example).

If you find good partners to launch with, you could as well double your sales or even more.

launch book

Real-Life Applications

Partner Up!
Link up with people in your space. Don’t just think of them as competition, think of how you can work together.

Plan Up!
Plan your launches. Get early feedback, then build suspense, then release on a market that is already ready to buy.


  • A bit sleazy?

I am not a big fan of online marketing and what I call “persuasion triggers overload”, which I find sneaky and annoying.

Yet, I am aware that if you want to run an online digital business, you need to take them into account.

Still, I don’t always appreciate these techniques, and when I read the full title of “Launch“, I am reminded of why I don’t like them:

Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams

“Secret formula”…?

  • Big Upsell

Launch has a lot of references to Jeff Walker’s website and products. But then again, that’s maybe part and parcel of what a successful marketer is supposed to do. 🙂

  • Mental Triggers

Some of the mental triggers Launch recommends are well known and everyone is already using them.
As a matter of fact, am I the only one who’s put off by ads with a “limited time only” sticker?
To me, it reads spammy right away and makes me not want to buy a product.


Solid Foundations
The ideas of getting early feedback, planning, and preparing your market are all solid concepts.

Great Steps for Product Launch
For people without previous knowledge, the steps for a product launch can be real game changers

Launch Review

I’m not (yet) an expert on online marketing so giving a major recommendation at this point would be premature for me.

It’s not earth-shattering information and you can find the same information online.

But as a newbie, I definitely did find lots of value in Launch.
And as of now, I can only recommend it.

Read more summaries or get the book on Amazon

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