My 9 Favorite Tools for Launch Management & Automation
Launches are a lot of work. At least, they are at first. But just like you’ve (hopefully) created standard operating procedures and templates for your day-to-day work, you can also create systems around launching. You don’t have to be the one pulling all the widgets and hitting “Publish” on all the platforms — that’s why the good internet folks created certain apps and tools.
If you want to automate your launch so you’re not managing every teeny-tiny detail, keep reading. I’m sharing my 9 favorite tools for managing and automating launches.
What it means to "automate" a launch
Managing your launch can be overwhelming if you are doing everything manually. But the idea that you can “fully automate” a launch so you don’t have to manage it is a bit of an influencer pipedream. Setting up your launch automations also doesn't mean that everything is totally done for you and you can sit back and sip piña coladas on the beach.
Instead, it means that you have most things running smoothly behind the scenes so that you can actually keep track of how your launch is going — while it's going. This way, launch management is much more manageable and you’ll probably cry a lot less. Just kidding. Kinda.
So… which parts of your launch can you automate?
The biggest problem I’ve seen with business owners who try to “automate their launches” is that they tend to choose really complicated tools that actually make management difficult. Instead of investing in the fanciest platform out there, it might just make more sense to list out the facets of your launch that you need help with — and find tools that excel in those areas.
Here are a few of the areas that I really recommend for launch management and automation:
Launch marketing automation
You know you don’t have to send every Instagram post and every email yourself, right?? This is usually where new business owners and first-time launchers get super overwhelmed, but I have good news. You can schedule emails and email sequences without a super complicated tool. You can also schedule social media posts — and even Stories and Carousels for Instagram now (via the Facebook Publishing Tool). For general scheduling, I like Later.
As far as email goes, you can set up pre-launch sequences that promote your webinar or challenge and remind people about the event they signed up for. Then, once your “kickoff” event has ended, you can send emails that sell your new offer directly. Some people even get real fancy and create “non-purchaser” email sequences, where they basically ask why someone didn’t buy or offer a downsell (a lower-cost offer). Take a minute to write out the email sequences you’d actually want to create and then find a tool that lets you create them.
Want an email scheduling tool recommendation? Drip is my email service provider of choice, but ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, and Kajabi also work well.
You wanna get paid during your launch, right?! This is where automations come in clutch, because you’ll lose money and potential buyers if you don’t make payment easy (and safe). You don’t have to send a manual invoice to someone for your latest product or program — you can automate it.
Find tools that support one-off purchases, subscriptions/recurring payments, and payment plans. ThriveCart* makes a beautiful checkout and integrates with Stripe, PayPal, and other merchant accounts, but if you can also integrate Stripe or PayPal right onto your landing pages with tools like LeadPages. And many course platforms (including my bff, Kajabi*) also have their own checkouts so you can keep things all in one place.
Plus, if you want to add a little celebration to your launch, you can set up a Zapier “Zap” — an automation — between your checkout and either SMS or Slack so you get a ping when people buy. It's a fun way to celebrate either on your own or with your team!
Launches might feel like they’re all about getting people to click “Buy,” but don’t neglect what comes after. You want the people who’ve just bought your new offer to be wow’ed and that starts with:
- Automated new student welcome messages or emails
- Immediate course and/or community access
- Clear roadmaps and relevant resources
Personally, I love Kajabi* for automatic welcomes, log-ins, and access for courses. They even have their own email sequence features so you can share important information, let people know where to get started, and more.
If you’re launching a community, Mighty Networks* has an awesome automation for new members. Once your new member gets added to the system (which you can set up with a Zap!), they’re automatically given access, they get any pre-created messages you want to share, and they’re good to go.
No more waiting to manually add people, send them their resources, or even create individualized welcome email with someone’s login info. It’s just automatic — and your new buyers will love how instant it is.
Adapt a launch plan that’s easier to manage and automate
Hopefully, these three areas help you manage and automate your launch with less overwhelm. It’s not about the tools so much about the problem you’re looking to solve. Do you want to make it easier for you to consistently show up? Schedule posts and emails. Want to make it easy for people to buy in the way they want? Get a payment tool with multiple buy options. Want to wow your new students or customers? Focus on that post-purchase onboarding.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to launching or launch management. There just isn’t. If someone is selling you that — run. The truth is, launches are a bit like cooking (not baking). You can add an extra dash of this and even substitute that ingredient for something else. You can explore new mixtures and varieties of flavors. Your dish can be totally different from someone else’s, and that’s the beauty of it. The same goes for launches. You can definitely use a recipe to start out, but know that all the best dishes have a little something personal added in.