Luke Francis Interview

You may have an excellent idea for a product or service. But do you know how well it will do in the market? Many business owners rush into manufacturing and production and end up with low sales. What happened? Any successful product launch, digital or physical, takes more than just the idea. 

In this episode, AppSumo’s Luke Francis shares his experiences and insights with launching products. He discusses crucial fundamentals you must cover and what trigger moments to watch out for. Luke also shares their special running offer and how AppSumo can help you! 


This episode is for you if you launch successful products!

Here are three reasons why you should listen to this episode:

  1. Understand the key fundamentals of any successful product launch. That includes knowing your market, testing your idea, and getting people on your list.
  2. Learn how to increase your revenue by matching different products and services.
  3. Discover how AppSumo works and how to start listing your products. Know how to prepare your listing and boost sales with reviews and optimizations. 

Episode Highlights

[00:27] What Luke Worked On Before AppSumo

  • Luke used to work in marketing at an enterprise SAS company. He then went to sell a watch and moved to China. 
  • His business took off the ground. A year later, customers started asking for replacements since their watch didn’t work anymore.
  • Luke couldn’t resolve the issue with the factory. He eventually closed the business. 
  • He then went on to help other people launch their physical products. 

[03:41] Fundamentals of Any Successful Product Launch

  • Know your target market. Also, use digital mockups to test if your product will work. 
  • Try running ads with your mockups and see whether people are interested in your product.
  • Luke also recommends reaching out to people personally. That can also help you improve your product. 
  • Get at least 100 people on your list. 
  • Learn through iterations.

Luke: “The most important thing I tell everybody is like, it starts way before you even start designing your product. It starts with the idea and figuring out if the idea is even compelling to your target market. And a lot of people say, ‘well, who's my target market?’…there's your problem. Like you need to start there. Figure out who you're selling a product to and then go offer that product to them in some digital format because you don't want to go and waste a bunch of money designing a product and then go manufacture it and then hope somebody's gonna buy it once you put it out there.”

[09:52] Know People’s Level of Interest

  • Remember that people in your email list may not necessarily convert into paying customers. You need to validate levels of interest. 
  • For example, if people are willing to put in as little as a dollar, it shows a high degree of interest. 
  • Remember, digital and physical products are different. Be mindful of the costs of goods.
  • You can also have pre-release offers to generate feedback.  

[15:46] Your Market Develops Your Message

  • A starving crowd sometimes doesn’t know they’re starving. It’s our job to help them understand why they need our products. 
  • Once you have found your market, craft a message that resonates with them. 
  • The more you talk to and understand your market, the more commonalities you can find. You can tap those as your message. 

[17:40] Matching Your Products for Increased Revenue

  • In the episode, Luke shares how you can release a physical product with other products. 
  • He shares helping launch a kit for basketball players. He wanted to increase the revenue per customer. So, he added a subscription service that provides instruction videos.  
  • Communities and education are good matches for physical products. 

[21:09] Different Trigger Moments to Know 

  • Your market discovery phase is the building of your first 100 or 1000 waiting list. Be patient in the early stages. Have a phase when you’re testing out your message. 
  • Check if it can convert consistently. There’s a problem if your conversion rate is 1% or less. Aim for a conversion rate of at least 10%. 
  • Before starting production, know your financials and MOQ. You must know how much you need to sell your products. See a sample spreadsheet in the episode!
  • Make sure you know what metrics to hit before moving to another phase.

[29:53] Introducing AppSumo

  • AppSumo is the number one marketplace for digital product entrepreneurs. It used to be the go-to place for lifetime deals on SAS.
  • Just last year, AppSumo opened up to everyone with a digital product. You can create a listing in as little as two days. 
  • AppSumo is a great place not only for entrepreneurs but also selling to them. 

[35:14] How Luke Got Into Entrepreneurship

  • Launching digital products in AppSumo is fundamentally similar to launching physical products. The only difference is in manufacturing. 
  • Interest drives marketplaces. Interest will naturally drive your algorithm and ranking.   
  • If you’re putting up a product in AppSumo, drive as many early sales as possible. Having at least 25 reviews in the first week is a good benchmark. 
  • AppSumo doesn’t have a cap on prices. You can have a starting price and change it when you want. 

Luke: “If you can get between five and 25 reviews within the first week of listing, you'll be setting yourself up for pretty substantial success. And so for this course that launched on AppSumo, in the first 14 days did 42,000 in sales simply by driving 25 reviews in the first seven days.”

[40:00] How Reviews and AppSumo Can Help You

  • Having at least instant 25 reviews will get your listing on top of placement. In addition, AppSumo sends an email push to over 1 million people. 
  • AppSumo offers a team of experts to help with your product setup. 
  •  You can still grow over time even if you can’t get 25 reviews instantly. Use keywords and optimize your listing. 
  • AppSumo gets over 1 million visits per month in web traffic.

 Daryl: “if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it. Does it make a sound? The reason why I asked that is if someone was somehow not confident or had a new product or new idea — it's like how much traffic is your website getting right now just by being on AppSumo in a category or even matching the keyword. This is the reason why people used to pay for commercial space in a mall… instead of an advertising budget, you were paying higher rent and that was your advertising budget. And so that's kind of what I wanted to say here is that it's free for you to get listed in the AppSumo Mall. You could even get it done by an expert team for free to help you get listed in the AppSumo Mall.”

[46:38] AppSumo’s Offer

  • AppSumo is currently running an offer until November 17th. The first 400 people to put up a listing will get a $1000 bonus. 
  • The next 2000 people get a $250 bonus. In addition, everyone who enters will get a chance to win $10,000.

About Luke

Luke Francis is the Subscription Marketing Manager at AppSumo. It’s an online marketplace for online entrepreneurs and by online entrepreneurs. Since 2015, Luke has helped launch several products on Kickstarter or Indiegogo. He has also gained insights into online marketplaces and product launches. He is also the founder of Sleep Shifu, a sleep startup company.   

Check out AppSumo’s exclusive offer here

You can also connect with Luke directly on his website, LinkedIn, Twitter, and email ([email protected]). 

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