This is Chapter 7 in our 9-part Subscription Guide. (If you missed it, our previous chapter was Chapter 6: Setting Up Your Podcast Subscription Program.)
You cannot expect to do well in subscription podcasting without promoting properly. And the first chance you’ll have to promote properly is through your launch.
Here are the key steps to prepare for a successful subscription launch.
Pick the perfect date for your podcast subscription launch
There is no “perfect” time to launch a product. Unless you have an exceptional degree of insight into factors that will make or break your product’s success, trying to make your launch “too perfect” is just procrastination with more effort involved.
Don’t avoid releasing your paid product until the ideal circumstances line up or the product is absolutely perfect. Circumstances will never be ideal, and your product will never be perfect until you get feedback to improve it. Even if your launch is a failure, what you learn and the content you create is valuable.
Pick a specific date and time so you can tease it and build excitement.
The only exception to this is if you know you have an upcoming episode that you know will perform exceptionally well (either because of subject matter, guest, etc.) If so, you can plan your launch around that episode release date. Otherwise, just pick any date that lines up with your free episode schedule.
Decide on your podcast subscription launch specials
Everyone wants to feel like they’re getting a deal.
Why not incentivize early sign-ups by offering a discount to early subscribers?
E.g. “Sign up before the end of the month and get 30% off the yearly plan”
Remember: You’re asking for financial support in exchange for premium benefits. You don’t need to be too generous with your discount.
Identify the channels you’ll use to promote your podcast subscription launch
The final chapter in this subscription guide provides a range of examples on where to promote your podcast subscription.
But as sneak peak, you’ll want to prepare promotion for these channels:
- Your free podcast
- Social media (Twitter & Instagram)
- Your YouTube channel (if you have one)
- Email list (if you have one)
- Website (if you have one)
Pin down & record your launch messaging
But how do I sell my subscription to my free podcast listeners?
The whole next chapter is dedicated to what makes the perfect podcast subscription pitch, so don’t forget to read that.
But in the meantime, make sure you leave enough time to prepare, record, re-record, and edit the following on-air promo that you’ll play on your free podcast episodes:
1) Your launch announcement pitch
- Placement: Played at the start of your launch episode (either before the episode starts or as a ‘housekeeping’ / ‘intro’ segment.)
- Duration: 1-10 minutes.
- Content: It explains in detail why you’d like people to sign up for your subscription and what they’ll get in return.
2) Your post-roll reminder
- Placement: Played at the end of your free episodes.
- Duration: 10-30 seconds.
- Content: Remind listeners to sign up for your subscription after they’ve finished listening to your regular episodes.
3) Your pre-roll reminder
- Placement: Played at the start of every episode following your launch episode (since the launch announcement - #1 above - will take priority).
- Duration: 10-30 seconds.
- Content: Remind listeners that the best way to support your show and enjoy premium benefits is to sign up for your podcast subscription.
Prepare the content for all promotional channels
We just spoke about your podcast promo. Now it’s time to prepare and schedule promotion on all other promotional channels.
Write and schedule that email blast.
Create and schedule your social posts.
Stage changes for your website’s homepage & navigation bar.
For inspiration, check out the final chapter in this guide.
Tease your podcast subscription launch
Generate anticipation in the days leading up to launch on social media, email and any other channels: “On Monday’s episode, we have some exciting news. Don’t miss it!”
Here’s a basic promotional formula you can use:
- Give your audience a heads up on the upcoming launch (it could be a day, a week, or a month away).
- Tell your audience the day it goes on sale.
- Tell your audience the hour it goes live.
Launch your podcast subscription
Launch day has arrived! Now is the time to:
1) Publish your free podcast episode containing:
- Your launch announcement pitch
- Post-roll reminder
- Your sign-up page link in your episode description
2) Send out email campaign
- Blast your social media channels with your subscription sign up
- Pin and add to bio your sign-up page on all social media accounts
Keep the momentum going
In the days following launch, share any positive member feedback on your social media channels to demonstrate social proof.
Congrats - awesome effort!
You're now in the perfect position to have a successful launch!
Not sure how to ask your audience for money? Read what’s next in our Subscription Guide with Chapter 8: Crafting the Perfect Sales Pitch for Your Podcast Subscription.