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#63: The Best Launch of 2023

4 launch lessons to inspire your next campaign

A few months ago, my friends Andy and Jason asked me what I thought was the best launch of 2023.

I had a hell of a time deciding. Canva’s AI launch topped my list. But, sometimes I think large companies like Canva have an advantage. I wanted to choose a great launch from a smaller team.

That’s where Passionfroot came in. It’s a platform that helps creators manage sponsorships. Their launch of Passionfroot Discovery was so good, it took the crown in episode one of Ready for Launch. And it topped my list of best launches to learn from.

Today, I’m going to break down their launch strategy and show you why it worked. Hopefully it will provide inspiration for your next launch.

Let’s get into.

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The Best Launch of 2023

Passionfroot Discovery launched in November 2023. Discovery is a marketplace that connects creators and advertisers to each other to facilitate more advertising opportunities.

I have to admit, I use Passionfroot to run my own sponsorship storefront for my newsletter. So I was able to experience this launch on two fronts: as a customer and as an outside observer.

Here’s what stood out to me about the launch.

Large-scale campaign from a small team

The company started in 2021 and has less than 20 employees. They actually don’t have any dedicated marketing staff, and this launch was a collective effort from many team members.

What makes this extra impressive is that it’s a double-sided campaign — they launched to both creators and partners. This required double the effort and meant they needed to nail both sides of the launch to make it effective.

🚀 Launch Lesson: You don’t need a big team to dream big

Iterated throughout beta

Because I’m a customer, I received an email in September inviting me to their beta program. I noticed that they were testing a few different names for the product. It was referred to as Passionfroot Partner Network or Passionfroot for Partners when speaking to advertisers, and then Passionfroot Discover when speaking to customers (creators).

But, when they launched the project in November, they streamlined the naming. They launched it for both sides as Passionfroot Discover. They took feedback throughout beta and launched with a name that worked for both sides of the marketplace. This made it feel like one cohesive product, not two separate products for different audiences.

🚀 Launch Lesson: Build out loud and gather feedback along the way

Committed to one channel

The Passionfroot team chose specific channels to reach each ICP. They launched to creators via email and to partners via Product Hunt (a channel I love!). And, it worked. They landed top 3 product of the day and #2 product of the week in the marketing category. They also received over 1,000 upvotes and hundreds of comments.

Even better, they pivoted quickly on launch day. Mid-day, they were sitting at the top 3 product spot. They quickly turned around a LinkedIn post to try to get a late-day boost. It’s a great example of responding to feedback in real-time and adjusting your launch accordingly.

🚀 Launch Lesson: Choose the best-fit channels for your ICP and focus your efforts. Sometimes, less is more

Created urgency to drive action

Passionfroot created urgency for the launch by providing a special offer for the first 48 hours. Advertisers could skip the waitlist and join for free. After that, it would cost $99/month and they’d have to get on a waitlist.

I emailed the CEO and he said that during the Product hunt launch week, they saw a 3X signup rate. So, I’d say the offer was effective.

🚀 Launch Lesson: Include urgency drivers as part of your launch plan to build early momentum

Check out episode one of our new podcast Ready for Launch to dig deeper into our fave launches of 2023. We breakdown why they work and how to apply the learnings to your own launches.

Want us to cover a launch you love? Hit reply and send your examples my way.


📚 Reading List: Is anyone else as obsessed with Fourth Wing as I am? I call it “my dragon book” to anyone who will listen. Let’s start a bookclub.

🎧 Playlist: This Tony Robbins interview on My First Million made me stop, rewind, and listen again. I love how he talks about the 90-second suffering rule and the power of the mind.

Until next week,

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