What Is Launch Jacking? (And Should You Do It?) The Pros & Cons Uncovered

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Dale is a former electrician that has since gone on to generate over $1 million in all-time affiliate commissions & become officially recognized as a Super Affiliate by the world's largest affiliate marketing training platform. Alongside running his own affiliate marketing empire, he now also teaches affiliate marketing to others through the Commission Academy platform.

Quick Answer: Launch jacking involves publishing content online (such as a review) prior to the launch of a product (or just after) in an attempt to take advantage of the low amount of competition so that you gain a lot of visitors very quickly when the product goes live & people begin to search for it.

So you’ve heard of launch jacking, or you’ve heard about people talking about the insane amounts of money that they’ve made with launch jacking & now you’ve started to wonder, what is launch jacking?

And more importantly, should you do it?

Well, the good news is that you’ve landed in exactly the right place because in this blog post I’m going to uncover the pros & cons of launch jacking & explain why this fantastic method can also end up being a real nightmare.

What Is Launch Jacking?   |   Is Launch Jacking Legal?   |   Does Launch Jacking Work?   |   Is Launch Jacking Profitable?   |   Pros & Cons   |   Step-By-Step Guide To Launch Jacking   |   Wrapping It Up

What Is Launch Jacking In Affiliate Marketing?

Launch jacking in affiliate marketing essentially refers to the art of “stealing” customers from other businesses by taking advantage of their new product launches & for many affiliate marketers, it’s their go-to strategy to use.

You see, basically before a company launches a product they often do a lot of “pre-selling”. So essentially they’ll build a subscriber base of people that may be interested in their product & they’ll build up a lot of hype about it with them to get them super-excited about the upcoming launch.

Then, when it comes to launch-day they’ll send out a notification about the launch to their subscriber base & if their subscriber base is big enough, this could result in thousands, 10’s of thousands (or even hundreds of thousands) of people all suddenly searching the internet for information about this brand new product.

And as you can imagine, this gives affiliate marketers a big opportunity to cash in, especially if they know about the launch before it’s actually going to happen because then they can take advantage of the low competition.

As An Example

Imagine Apple is going to launch a brand new iPhone & they send out an email to their email list notifying their existing customers about the new upcoming phone, including details of its new name.

If you were quick enough, you could “launch jack” the new phone by publishing a review about it on a blog or YouTube. You’d be taking advantage of the low competition (since there’d likely be no other reviews or very few) & you’d be setting yourself up to be in a great position when the phone goes live & everybody searches for it.

The likelihood is that your post or video will be immediately ranking on page 1 of the search results.

Then on your blog or YouTube video, you could then either recommend the phone (via your affiliate link) or if you didn’t believe it to be a great phone you could suggest an alternative model (also via your affiliate link).

And you can do this exact method in any niche, with any product.

All you need to do is simply find upcoming products, publish content about them before they launch (or right after they launch) & then either promote the product itself or recommend a better alternative.

The method of launch jacking itself is indeed perfectly legal, however, there is a little caveat to that. In short, it all depends on how you’re doing launch jacking as to whether or not it will be deemed legal or illegal.

For example, if you notice an upcoming product, publish an honest (and positive) review about it & then recommend it as an affiliate, that would be perfectly legal.

Similarly, if you notice an upcoming product, publish an honest (but negative) review about it & then recommend an alternative that you believe to be better as an affiliate, then that would also be perfectly legal.

However, if you notice an upcoming product & published a dishonest negative review purely to promote an alternative that you were affiliated with then that could certainly get you into some hot legal trouble.

Put simply, slander is a legal term used to describe defamation or the act of harming a person or business’s reputation by telling one or more people something that is untrue and damaging about them. Slander can be the basis for a lawsuit but must be proven by the subject in civil court.

Investopedia

And that’s one of the problems with launch jacking. It can be “risky territory” to say the least. Even when you’re being completely honest, many companies still won’t like a negative review & could threaten to take you down.

But the trend here is honesty. Providing you do it in a completely honest way, you should have no problems at all.

And if somebody does threaten to pursue legal action unless you take your content down, so long as you’ve been honest you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Your honesty would actually be helping consumers & if it actually did get taken down the legal path, that would certainly be favoured & you’d likely win with ease.

Ultimately though, going down the legal route costs a lot of money & even though somebody may be “annoyed” about your content & threaten legal action it’ll likely never go ahead… And if it does then 9 times out of 10 you’ll be given the opportunity to remove the content prior to the action taking place.

But it’s that good old case of risk vs reward. Launch jacking carries the risk of getting into some legal bother (even if you write an honest but negative review), but it can also provide very fast & excellent returns.

Many people are simply just prepared to take the risk. Only you, however, can decide what’s right for you.

Does Launch Jacking Work?

Absolutely. In fact, both myself & Simon (the other instructor here at Commission Academy) heavily participated in launch jacking towards the beginning of our affiliate career & even still do somewhat to this very date.

There’s no denying that launch jacking is a very easy method that can generate results fast.

But there are a couple of major problems with it…

Firstly, there’s the fact that it doesn’t always work. You see, your launch jacking efforts ultimately depend on how successful the actual product launch is. This means that you might spend hours creating content in an attempt to get ranked high prior to the launch, only for the launch to be a flop & all your efforts to turn out to be a waste.

Thankfully, in time you generally get better at figuring out which launches will be successful & which ones won’t.

But secondly, there’s also the fact that more often than not, launch jacking doesn’t make for evergreen traffic.

You see, when you publish a product review to take advantage of a launch, you’ll usually get a lot of traffic right around the launch itself, but then that’ll die down & for most products, it’ll eventually trickle back down to zero.

The reason for that is that most products just aren’t evergreen themselves. So whilst a certain iPhone may be “hot” at the moment, once a new one comes out most people will simply forget about the older ones.

iPhone 8 search trends according to Google Trends

This means that whilst launch jacking can feel great (since you can get lots of traffic really easily & quickly), it can also leave you feeling like you’re chasing a tail a bit since you’ll constantly be having to create new content.

Whereas if you were to focus on evergreen content that is going to be relevant forever, or at least for a very long time (such as an article like this one) the rewards may come slower but ultimately you’d be building a more sustainable & more passive business in the long term.

It would be very rare for a business solely built on launch jacking to ever become entirely passive unless you were literally just hiring other writers/content creators to create the launch jacking content for you, but then it would still lack sustainability.

But could you do a mixture of launch jacking content & evergreen content? Absolutely.

Is Launch Jacking Profitable?

Heck yeah, if you do it right, launch jacking can be profitable for sure. In the same breath, however, if you don’t do it right then it could turn out to be a complete waste of time.

So there are some important things you need to do…

Firstly, you need to make sure that you get the name of the upcoming product correct. Sounds silly, but I’ve seen many people try to jack a launch only for them to have gotten the name of the product completely incorrect.

You see, many product creators are wise to the concept of launch jacking so for the initial run-up to the launch they may use codenames or they may not give the name at all. This is where you’ll need to do extra research to make sure you’ve got the right name, and if you’re unsure then it may be worth avoiding that particular launch.

Secondly, you need to make sure that you’re confident the launch will actually be a success. This is because if you create content to jack a launch & the launch itself is a failure, you’re not going to get any traffic (visitors) so ultimately it’s going to turn out to be a waste of your time.

Now, there’s no way to “guarantee” a launch will go great. Some launches that look like they should go really well do end up flopping (it happens) but there are some telltale signs you can look out for.

For example, is the product backed by a big marketing team, a well-known marketer or a big budget? Does the sales page look like it’s had a lot of time/money spent on it, or does it look amateurish? Is there any chatter about the launch anywhere online? Does Google Trends suggest that it may be a hit?

Those are some of the kinds of things you can look for.

And thirdly, you need to make sure that the content you create is high-enough quality to stand up against any competition that may come along after you. By being the first to publish a review you will certainly get a head start but that doesn’t mean you’ll stay at the top of the ranks.

If somebody comes along after you & publishes something more relevant or helpful then they may end up going above you in the listings & your result may get pushed down meaning you’ll get less of that launch traffic.

So it’s important to really go in & create a solid piece of content to target the launch especially if you think it’s going to be a big one with a lot of interest as others will be more likely to try & target it.

Pros & Cons of Launch Jacking In Affiliate Marketing

If done right & combined with the creation of evergreen content, generally the pros of launch jacking outweigh the cons but in order to give you an overview of what they all are, here’s a quick list, starting with the pros:

Pros

  • Fast way to start generating traffic
  • Can help you to begin generating revenue much quicker
  • A relatively easy method to carry out
  • Doesn’t involve much cost (unless using paid advertising)

Cons

  • Can result in legal trouble if you’re not careful
  • Generally isn’t a very evergreen method
  • There are no guarantees your efforts will pay off
  • Can annoy the companies whose launches you’re jacking

Your Step-By-Step Guide To Launch Jacking

Whilst you can use paid advertising to take advantage of the launch jacking method, generally launch jacking is more often done using a blog or YouTube channel so those are the 2 methods I’m going to focus on here.

Step 1

Your first step, of course, is to identify a product launch to jack… And to do this, the best way is generally to sign up to the email lists of the companies that are relevant to your niche (if you have one) & monitor them closely.

Alongside that, you could also keep your eye on new products launching across affiliate networks by using sites like Muncheye, Offervault & so on. There are brand new products added to affiliate networks every single day.

Step 2

Once you’ve found the details of a new product that’s set to launch (or one that has just launched) your next step should be to head to Google & YouTube and check what type of things are ranking for the product’s name.

If it shares a name with a similar, existing product & there are already many pieces of content from established websites targeting it then it may be worthwhile avoiding targeting that particular launch as it could be more difficult to rank.

However, if there are no relevant results (or very few) then it sounds like you may have a winner. It’s now time to do your due diligence on the product to try & determine if you feel like it will be a big launch worth targeting.

Step 3

Once you’ve determined a launch worth targeting, your next step is to go ahead & actually create the content to target it & 9 times out of 10, that ideal type of content for launch jacking is a product review.

The reason for that is because when a new product launches people want to see if it’s actually worth their money & one of the first things they do to make that decision is to look for reviews to find other people’s opinions.

So if you can quickly create a review, whether written or in video form (or both) & then publish it on your niche website or YouTube channel (as we show you how to do in the Commission Academy training) then you can take advantage of the low amount of competition to quickly gain a high rank & be the “go-to” for that information.

iPhone 8 review examples on YouTube

Then, as an affiliate, you can then either recommend that they purchase the product that you’ve launch-jacked or you can suggest an alternative that you believe may be better. Either way, you’ll be set to cash in from the launch.

Step 4

From here it’s a simple case of rinse & repeat. You’ll want to be actively looking for new products that are launching that you can take advantage of to launch jack & use to funnel traffic through your affiliate links.

But remember, as I mentioned further up in this post, launch jacking typically isn’t a very evergreen method so you’ll also want to be mixing in some evergreen content with your reviews (and other launch jacking content) to prevent yourself feeling like you’re constantly chasing your tail.

By adding evergreen content alongside your launch jacking content you’ll also build up a more sustainable stream of visitors so that even if the product launches were to dry up for a bit, you’d still be getting some traffic coming through to your niche website or YouTube channel so that you can still generate commissions in the meantime.

Wrapping It Up

Launch jacking can be an absolutely fantastic way to get lots of traffic through to your affiliate offers in a very short space of time with very little cost (other than the small cost of your own time spent producing content).

It’s an especially method great for newer blogs & niche websites that do not yet have the authority to rank for more competitive keywords. It can enable owners of newer blogs/websites to gain momentum quickly.

However, if launch jacking is your only method then you may find yourself getting frustrated down the line because it is very difficult to generate sustainable passive revenue from launch jacking tactics. Instead, you’ll likely find that you have to actively create new content otherwise your income will quickly come to a halt.

That’s why it’s extremely important to mix launch jacking with the process of creating evergreen content too.

And as mentioned earlier in this post, it’s always super important to be completely honest when publishing content to jack a launch. Never create false or misleading information about a product or service purely to sway people via your affiliate links as in doing so you could easily end up finding yourself in some legal bother.

But anyway, hopefully, this post proved to be insightful to you & if you’d like to learn more about the launch jacking method or would like to learn how to launch a niche website that you can actually use to leverage the launch jacking method then do be sure to check out the free Commission Academy training before you leave.

And as always, feel free to leave any questions or comments below.

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