What Is Launch Jacking? – An Affiliate Marketer’s Dilemma

By Ray Alexander

As a product reviewer, it's important to stay true to yourself and share honest and fair reviews with users. I mean, that's a natural thing to do, right? If you were to leave a consumer review on Amazon, you'd be pretty much honest about the product, wouldn't you? If a coffee machine you purchased had some issues but you still felt it was usable, then you'd give 2-3 out of 5 stars. You would obviously never say "I thoroughly recommend it!"

Well, launch jacking is a method that goes against the rationale. It's an affiliate marketing strategy purely to make money before a product launch, so you can't not thoroughly recommend products. The question is, would you be brave enough to say "Pros and Cons: No cons found" on every single review like other launch-jackers do? Either to build trust & integrity, or take good short-term profits? Is launch jacking really good for you?

What Is Launch Jacking?

What Is Launch Jacking?

Launch jacking is one of the buzz marketing strategies, the phrase of which is often used by affiliate marketers and more specifically, by those who promote products from a couple of particular marketplaces; Warrior Plus and JVZoo. Plus some products from ClickBank

Launch jacking is where affiliate marketers run an advertising campaign of a pre-launched product, i.e. hijacking launches, on behalf of the vendors. They do this because it’s mutually the most beneficial method for vendors and affiliates in terms of generating sales. Vendors often run pre-launch competitions for the affiliates and award cash prizes to those who have sold the highest number of copies during the initial campaign period.

Why Do They “Launch Jack”?

So both vendors (product developers) and their affiliates make good profits using the launch jacking strategy, and here are the reasons behind it.

For Vendors

The majority of products sold via Warrior Plus and JVZoo are online marketing tools such as ready-made sales funnels, lead generation software, YouTube video creators, or “how to make money online” training courses. 

New products are continuously developed and released via Warrior Plus and JVZoo almost literally every day. The market is competitive and quite frankly, the products are all similar to one another. Some of them may be innovative, but hardly any of them are useful enough to become a long seller.

The vendors know this - know the fact that it’s easier to keep developing new products, sell as many copies during the launch period, and let them go obsolete. They make more money that way, rather than to keep maintaining the same product and searching for the new prospects to sell it to. This is the logic that I actually heard from one of the ex-developer/vendors for Warrior Plus.

For Affiliates

The affiliate marketing industry is becoming competitive year on year. There’s no way a new affiliate can write a genuine user review of a popular product and get the page ranked at the top of Google search. The only possible way to outrank the competitors from authority sites is to rather look for a pre-released product and publish a review well before them.

Now, it’s become a norm for launch-jackers to publish product reviews 7-14 days before the launch date, they apply a few more techniques to survive the competition (which I’ll talk about later), but that’s the basic idea of launch jacking.

How Does Launch Jacking Work?

Here’s how the launch-jackers promote their pre-released affiliate products.

1. Find Pre-Launch Products

MunchEye

Firstly, find future product launches. MunchEye is the place to check - this site displays all the future releases that are submitted by the vendors by date. Each product indicates which marketplace it’ll be engaged with - Warrior Plus, JVZoo or ClickBank (or some minor marketplaces such as PayDotCom.) Click any of them and you’ll be able to view the sales page as well as JV page (information for affiliates), if they’re ready.

2. Request to Become an Affiliate

When you decide to promote a product from the list, you need to request the vendor for approval. Go to the marketplace, search for the product by name, and send your affiliate request. Warrior+ and JVZ both have a button to send a request, so you can do this by one click. But optionally you can send a note to the vendor. 

It’s up to the vendor to approve or reject your affiliate request, so new affiliates are advised to tell them who you are; no need to introduce yourself, but to tell them how you intend to the product, and also to tell them (this is important) that you’re not going to spam users or send bot traffic to the sales page.

The majority of ClickBank products are pre-approved so you may be able to get your affiliate link automatically, but the link may not work until the product’s actually released.

3. Publish Content

Publish a “review” of the product on your blog site, YouTube, or on both the platforms. You won’t have the product in hand, so your review will purely be based on what’s being said on the sales page and the JV (joint venture) guidance pages, supplied by the vendor. You need to check the JV page and see if there are any restrictions. For example, some vendors don’t want affiliates to use the word “scam” in any way.

Alternatively, you can contact the vendor and ask if you can have a copy of the product (either a demo or full version) so that you can write an “actual review”.

Another alternative is to write a "how-to" article. For example, if a pre-launch product is automatic video software, you can write about "how to create a sales video for XXX (your niche) without graphic skills". Providing your website niche is rare and the keyword competition is low, your page can rank well. But most of the launch-jackers are in "make money online" niche, the chances are pretty slim.

4. Start Running A Campaign

It’s pointless to simply share a link to your review post or YouTube video on social media at the pre-launch stage when your audience can’t buy it. Also, the social share itself will not affect your blog post’s SERP position unless your followers visit your page and take some actions. So an effective launch jacking campaign will be;

  • Place an opt-in form or a push notification on your review page and offer to notify your audience on the big launch day.
  • Ask your audience to leave a comment on your review page - the sign of a good engagement can push up your Google ranking position.

5. Bonus Offering Strategy

Bonuses

This strategy is used not just to launch jacking but throughout any campaigns. It's almost exclusively used by Warrior Plus and JVZoo affiliates because generally big brands don't allow it.

As an affiliate, you use some downloadable ebooks and software of your choice as a bribe and offer your prospects for free if they purchase the Warrior/JVZ product via your affiliate link.

You can get PLR products easily for free or at a cost yourself (from websites such as IDplr.com), list up a number of freebies on your review page and say, don't buy it from anyone else, buy it from me, then I'll give you all these extra products for free. 

Some of the affiliates offer as many as 30+ freebies. And both the Warrior/JVZ specifically encourage their affiliates to do this by providing a "bonus link" feature. If you use this feature and when a user makes a purchase of the Warrior/JVZ product from your link, they'll be automatically directed to your bonus page right after the purchase.

As I said, this method is only openly allowed by the Warrior/JVZ sellers and, brands often prohibit their affiliates to offer their own freebies to prospects in exchange for making a purchase. So don't try to replicate it with any other products. If you plan to do it, check your affiliate agreement first and ask the seller/affiliate manager for permission.

When A Review Is Not A Review

So this is what I mentioned earlier. The two ways to write or broadcast a review of a pre-released product are;

#1 Copy The Sales Page Content

Basically, repeat what the sales page says in your own words. You can also get some supplementary information about the product from the JV page, supplied by the vendor.

It's hard to make your review sound unique and credible without physically experiencing the product. The problem as we all probably know is, a product "review" on a speculative basis has been a joke for many years - "I'm sure it's going to be great!" Amazon and many other retailers no longer allow users to leave a review of previously unreleased items because...because it's ridiculous!

#2 Ask The Vendor To Let You Try Out

You can ask the product owner to give you demo access or let you use the product in advance. 

One problem is that you'll put yourself in a difficult position to share your totally honest opinion in your review. You go pedantic and keep listing up a few negative points in your review, you may earn good trust from users but you may also be branded as a "difficult affiliate" by the Warrior/JV sellers, and they may refuse to give you early access to the product from the next time.

Well, the whole idea of launch jacking is to "SELL!" So being totally honest in your review may defeat the purpose of the strategy, which is my next point...

Certain People ONLY Look For Positive Reviews

So far I've been talking about the integrity of product reviews. But actually, does everyone in the world want to hear honest, unbiased user reviews? There are certain people who live in a fantasy world, who love to spend money on fantasy. You know what I mean, the people who have kitchen cabinets full of miracle diet pills and seaweed extracts, all unopened - do they spend money because they seriously want to lose weight? No, they're simply obsessed with buying diet products. 

These people don't care about product specifications or how they work. They never read it, and they don't want to understand it. Instead, they're proactively looking for 100% positive reviews. They probably want us to say, "Wow, this works! I've made $4,000 within the first 24 hours!" or "Lost 20lb in 3 days!" And that's enough for them to decide to make a purchase. 

So there's a demand, but it doesn't take away the fact that you'll essentially be scamming them. What would you do with launch jacking to make money? Tell users something overly unrealistic, so that sensible people know that you're lying while some others love to buy into it?

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Let us hear your opinion - what do you think about what you've read so far? Leave a comment below. Any question or request will be welcomed. We'll get back to you as soon as we can!

Published by: 

Ray Alexander

Hi! I’m Ray. Over the past 15+ years I have been involved with web designing, programming and online marketing. I work from home and have a passion for exploring new tools, services and programs in order to make money online. I’m here to help you succeed in building a profitable business by sharing my experiences. Any question, don’t hesitate to ask!

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  1. Wow, this is so informational and eye opening! I didn’t know about bonus offering technique, I didn’t even know about warrior plus an jvzoo. I must follow the exact techniques to follow your success. I know you feel dilemma but what you say is so motivational and if you are making such great success with launch jacking technique why can’t everyone copy it to at least try? Thank you for the awesome post. I am now following every step.

    1. Hi Eddie, thanks for your comment. If it’s a joke, I don’t get it and if you’re saying it seriously, that’s not what I intended to say in my post, my apology for any confusion that it may have caused. All the best!

  2. Some reviewers are scammers. I once saw a review of a bitcoin mining software by ***** & like it. I was ready to buy it but when I clicked the button it told me the software was not out yet. Instead I started scam emails 2-3 times a day from him. I sent a complaint but still was not unsubscribed. I then discovered his photo was fake. People are complaining about him. Do not buy anything from *****

    1. Hi Ali, thanks for sharing your experience. Sorry I had to black out the name of the reviewer because my job is to review products and either recommend them or disapprove of them. It’s up to the users to trust my review or anyone else’s review. I cannot single out any of other reviewers and tell people to trust me instead. But I’m aware of that particular reviewer (and his photo is fake, indeed) and I agree with you, there are many other fake 5-star reviews like I mentioned in the post. Very few launch-jacked product reviews are genuine, after all. Thanks for your comment, I appreciate the info. I wish you all the best!

  3. Hi Ray, first of all I love your article as always! I appreciate, we should all appreciate your knowledge in affiliate marketing methods and your honesty. Too many people say launch jacking is the way to go because otherwise they cannot make money because content marketing is too competitive. Now new beginners think it’s ok to deceit people with fake reviews then they start to question integrity. I have seen some people criticize Warrior plus and people who do launch jacking severely in Reddit and was wondering if it’s true but now you say it, I’m glad to know the truth.

    I don’t think you should sell it to people who want to buy fantasy. There may be a demand but it’s just like helping people with gamble addiction with a casino opportunity. Affiliate marketers should help people ethically. They might be able to make good money in short term with launch jacking but what goes around comes around and they will lose trust and everything one day. This is my opinion but thank you, your article was mindboggling for me. I loved it. Sam

    1. Hi Sam, thanks for your comment. I couldn’t agree with you more in terms of ethical promotions. Many product creators prohibit the affiliates to spam or use overly deceptive ways to promote their products, but so long as the sales page claim unrealistic income claim, the product itself is advertised in a deceptive way in the first place. I would like to take advantage of the wrong beliefs. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Sam, I appreciate it. I wish you all the best!

  4. Hi, good information about launch jacking. I completely understand what you saying now as I always wonder how people were writing reviews before the product launch days. I also understand that some people keep been scammed because they don’t read reviews properly and they believe they can make money when they hear other reviews say.

    But it’s not good for reviewers in any ways to lie about products just to make money. I think a lot of affiliate marketers are scams if they are not honest. thank you for your honest review because people have to know about the truth about every product. I like your work. Thank you.

    1. Hi Ahmed, thanks for your comment. You’re absolutely right, whether pre-launch or post-launch, not good to lie about products as a reviewer, you’d be a partner in crime otherwise. On the other hand, if you keep pointing out all the negatives you may never make any money as an affiliate. Hard to find the balance and that’s a dilemma.

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