I'm sure you've seen (as well as read about it) - how high-powered dedicated servers melted during mega product launches - especially if the big gun gurus are involved.
Some may think it is just a "ploy" to get people all worked up or "social proof" - but it (server meltdown) do happen, and WILL happen if you are not prepared.
This article will give you some ideas on how to "bullet proof" your next product launch in ClickBank to minimize this risk.
If you plan to get the big guns on board, you need to contact them a few months ahead of time because their mailing schedules are usually packed.
Once you've confirmed who your JV partners are, try to gauge the size of their lists - if they can tell you - all the better. A ball park figure will do.
This will give you an estimate of the number of people who will be hitting your site on launch day.
For example, if you have 5 big guns guru promoting, each with a list size of about 50,000 - there will be 250,000+ people hitting your site on launch day!
This is excluding your other affiliates who may send a few hundred visitors EACH to your site. All these hits will add up and will bring your server to its knees if you're on shared hosting.
Check with ClickBank if there is any scheduled maintenance/downtime during your launch period.
ClickBank will usually post schedule maintenance a few days in advance - for example, on 9th March 2010, it posted a maintenance notice scheduled on the 16th.
On 2010-03-16 between 8:00 a.m. PT and 8:45 a.m. PT ClickBank will perform maintenance. As a result, the ClickBank.com website will be unavailable (both outside and behind the login). In addition, instant notifications, the API, and the customer support ticket system will be unavailable. Also, sales notifications and receipts will be delayed. Hops and orders are unaffected by this maintenance and will process normally during this time.
You definitely do NOT want to launch your product during a scheduled maintenance. Sometimes, emergency scheduled maintenance may crop up - if this is the case, then contact your JV partners and re-schedule.
Again, you do NOT want to launch during a time when Clickbank is doing maintenance on their servers. Murphy's Law usually strikes when you least expect it.
Similarly, check with your host if there's going to be any scheduled maintenance during your launch period.
Also, ask them to ask their Data-Center (those guys handling the data pipes) - whether there are any planned maintenance/downtime during your launch.
3 things to ask your host:
* You'll probably have to pay for some/all of the above.
Will you be doing videos and/or audios?
Will you have audio/video testimonials?
Will you have plenty of graphics, screenshots?
If yes, you definitely need a VPS (Virtual Private Server) or even a dedicated server.
I would recommend that you use Cloud Computing technology to host your videos and audios. Reason being - the "cloud" technology allows it to increase its bandwidth and computing power on demand. If more visitors hit your site, the "cloud" will just adjust itself by increasing the bandwidth and computing power. (**note: remember to talk with the tech guys in charge of the Cloud - tell them you need "unlimited resources" on launch day).
Examples of Cloud computing:
And many more. Do a quick search in google if you want more.
Tip: You can host your videos on Youtube.com if you want to minimize cost. But reliability may be an issue - but at least, your videos won't crash your server.
So, to recap, host your sales letter and graphics on your VPS/dedicated host - and host your multimedia files on the "Cloud"
If your sales page has many graphics pieces, it is a good idea to 'spread' them on multiple domains (if you have multiple domains/sites).
Reason being, the current browsers will "load" 4 pieces of graphics (from the same domain) before it will load the other graphic pieces.
For example, if you have 16 graphic pieces on your sales letter, a visitor's browser will load the 1st 4 graphics before attempting to load the next 4 pieces and so on.
BUT, if you host these graphics on different domains, e.g.
1st 4 graphics set - hosted on www.domain1.com
2nd 4 graphics set - hosted on www.domain2.com
3rd 4 graphics set - hosted on www.domain3.com
4th 4 graphics set - hosted on www.domain4.com
That will cause the browser to load "ALL" the graphics at once - since each set is hosted on different servers.\
*Disclaimer - since browser technology move at the speed of "light" - this could be obsolete by the time you read this ?
The other thing to note is if you use tracking/analytic software:
If you use them - please put the tracking code at the VERY BOTTOM of your sales page.
If the tracking software (or tracking host provider) freezes, your sales page will still load.
(If you put it at the top of the page, then your sales page won't load until the tracking script has loaded)
Similarly - if you have those social widgets (Facebook, Sharethis, Tweeter, etc) - put them at the very bottom of the page as well.
Do you have a pre-launch sequence? If yes, that will allow you to test out your launch setup - especially if you have videos and audios.
You can then gauge whether your site is loading fast and eliminate potential bottle-necks before the actual Launch Day.
Get your JV partners to mail for you during the pre-launch sequence.
Track the number of visitors your JV partners are sending you. This will give you some clues on the number of visitors/hits on the actual launch day.
Get lots of sleep prior to the launch day if possible - you are probably going to be staying awake the whole night on the launch day itself.
- Check ClickBank's notices again to make sure there is NO last minute maintenance. It's good to check the Clickbank's notices every day (3 days prior to your launch date. (If you have dedicated ClickBank rep, you can ask him/her about it as well).
- Notify your host regarding the potential surge in Bandwidth, RAM and CPU resources. If possible, ask if they can supply a tech guy to be on standby
- Check with your Cloud Provider - and whether they can supply a tech guy to be on standby as well.
- Do you have any custom scripts installed? Make sure you (or your webmaster) know how to 'disable' it IF mysql starts to "choke up". This is the beauty of ClickBank - you can still rely on the good old 'hoplink' IF your host's MySQL server fails.
- Finally - make a strong pot of coffee and wait for the "Ka-Chings"!