Launching a product is an exciting journey filled with potential and possibilities. However, to ensure a successful launch, it’s essential to dot your i’s and cross your t’s. Luckily, with our product launch formula, you’ll have a successful product in no time!
In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the 40 important things to do before launching your product. These steps will help you navigate the path to a smooth and impactful product launch process, ensuring that your hard work pays off and your product shines in the market. So you’ll never have to ask the question, “How do I launch my product successfully” again.
Before we start, if you’re more of a watcher than a reader, check out this great video by Project Life Mastery, which goes in-depth into some of the product launch process that we cover in this article.
Product Launch Overview
What is a Product Launch Strategy?
A product launch strategy is a well-thought-out plan for introducing a new product to the market.
Businesses aim to launch a product and gain rapid growth and success. It involves many steps and people, so a launch strategy helps you stay on track toward your ultimate goal.
How Do I Create a New Product or Service?
Many companies often focus mainly on creating a new product without considering important factors like market research and their target audience. It’s crucial to think about these aspects right from the start of product development. Here are some key things to keep in mind:
- Boost Sales: Find ways to increase sales, like reaching new markets, trying different sales channels, or tapping into untouched markets.
- Explore Opportunities: Look for new chances in various areas or markets that match your product and audience.
- Expand Your Customer Base: Work on getting more customers and connecting with a broader audience through smart marketing.
- Build Your Brand: Create a strong brand and make sure people know about it. This helps build trust and a positive image among your target customers.
- Plan for Problems: Prepare for any issues or crises that might come up, like dealing with defective products or handling customer concerns.
Before you start designing your product, figure out how well it needs to perform and how much profit you want to make. Set a budget and decide how much you’re willing to spend on the new product.
Set clear goals for the new product and create steps based on specific measurements. This way, you can track your progress effectively as you develop and launch your new products.
Why Do Products Fail?
According to the Harvard Business Review, there are numerous ways a new product can fail. However, the most common scenarios include:
- Being unprepared for high demand: If your company is caught off guard by an unexpectedly high demand for the product, it can lead to supply chain issues, customer dissatisfaction, and missed opportunities for growth.
- Delayed launch due to failed tests: When a product fails to pass initial tests or quality standards, its launch may be postponed, resulting in missed market opportunities and potential loss of consumer interest.
- Lack of differentiation from the competition: If your product fails to stand out from similar offerings in the market, it may go unnoticed by consumers who struggle to distinguish its unique value or benefits.
- Insufficient consumer awareness: If consumers are not adequately informed or educated about the new product’s features, benefits, or availability, it can hinder adoption and limit its market potential.
- Lack of market niche: When a product does not fulfil a specific need or cater to a distinct market segment, it may struggle to gain traction and face challenges in competing with existing alternatives.
To mitigate these risks, it is crucial to thoroughly assess market demand, conduct comprehensive testing, differentiate the product’s value proposition, implement effective marketing and communication strategies, and ensure a clear market niche for the product.
Now we’ve covered why it’s important to get prepared for a proper launch, let’s have a look at the 40 things that you need to do before launching your product.
1. Market Research
After coming up with your product idea, you need to understand the market you’ll be launching into.
This involves identifying who your target audience is, how you should interact with them, what their pain points are and so much more. If you’re looking to complete some market research, check out our post on how you can create an efficient marketing plan.
2. Competitor Analysis
While completing your marketing plan, you also need to determine who you’re competing against in the market. You need to understand what their products do well as well as what needs to be improved so that your product can better meet the user’s needs.
3. Determine Your USP
For your product to stand out in a crowded market, it needs something special called a Unique Selling Point (USP). This is what makes your product different and valuable, and it tells people why they should buy it.
Having a USP helps you focus your marketing and show customers why your product is unique. To find your USP, look at what’s bothering customers who use your competitors’ products. Then, figure out how your product makes things better. Make sure your USP really convinces people to buy your product.
4. Validate The Idea
Validating a startup idea means checking if people want your product or service before you spend lots of time and money making it. One good way to do this is by asking possible customers if they like your idea and if it would solve their problems. This helps you see if there’s a real market for your idea.
Talking to real customers is great for figuring out what they want, but remember, if someone says they’re interested, it doesn’t mean they’ll actually buy it. If people seem really excited about your product, you could offer a pre-order price that they can get a refund for later. This gives a stronger sign that your idea is a winner.
Click here to learn more about validating your startup idea.
5. Check Technical feasibility
Once you know people want your product, you need to make sure you can actually make it. Check if you have the skills or the right people to create it. Also, look into how it needs to be made to make sure there are no problems or limits that would stop you from doing it.
Click here to learn more about whether you need to be a developer to develop a SaaS app.
6. Create a Product Name
To make your product stand out in the market, you need to come up with an interesting name for your product. A unique name helps you to stand out from the competition and allows users to more easily recognise your brand.
Free business name-generation tools, such as Squadhelp’s design contests, can allow you to come up with a great brand name easily.
7. Create a Logo & Branding
A strong and consistent brand image makes your brand easily recognizable and leaves a lasting impression on customers. Your logo, which is usually the first thing people see, is crucial in shaping their first impression of your brand. A good logo should be simple, memorable, and represent your company’s values and mission accurately.
8. Create a Basic Landing Page with Email Capture
After designing a logo for your startup, you need to create a beautiful landing page that sells the benefits of your product and includes an email capture form so that you can promote your product and contact your target audience once your MVP goes live.
9. Create Product Social Media
Using your market research, create social media accounts on the platforms that your target audience uses and publish content that provides high-quality, useful content for users. This will allow you to build a reputation amongst potential users as a trustworthy and knowledgeable brand.
10. Promote Your Product
Add your product to discovery tools and write some high-quality, keyword-specific blog posts to boost your reach to new customers. By increasing the audience that is following your product from early on, you’ll be able to create much more hype for your product launch after you’ve created your MVP.
11. Connect With Your Target Market
Join places where your target audience spends time, like Discord or Slack groups.
Share good content and make real connections with people there to build your brand. Don’t push your product too much when you first join these communities because it might hurt your reputation with your target audience.
12. Join Entrepreneur Communities
While you should be mainly focusing on connecting with people within your target market, you should also join communities of other solo entrepreneurs. Resources such as Solo Innovator, #buildinpublic and Indie Hackers can provide excellent sources of both community and inspiration to help you to succeed on your startup journey.
Make sure you read the 5 core elements of a successful startup if you’d like to avoid some of the most common pitfalls of creating your own business.
13. Create a Clear MVP Goal
Before creating your MVP, you need to ensure that you have clear goals to avoid scope creep and build features that your users don’t need. Your goals should consist of specific, simplified features that your users need in order to complete their tasks.
14. Decide on Pricing
Finding the right price for your product can be tricky. If it’s too high, you might not sell much because people think it’s too expensive. They might choose cheaper options from your competitors. Also, a high price can make your product seem less appealing.
But if your price is too low, people might think your app isn’t good quality. It can also make it hard to cover your costs and make a profit. Plus, you might attract customers who only want low prices and won’t pay more for extra features later.
To figure out the right price, look at what your competitors charge and what your customers are willing to pay based on your research.
15. Pick a Launch Date
Choosing an early launch date is crucial. It helps you promote your product to potential users and keeps your project on schedule, preventing it from getting too big.
Aim for a reasonable launch date – not too soon that you can’t make your basic product (MVP), but not so late that potential users lose interest from waiting too long.
16. Build Your MVP
It’s finally time to get building your product! After performing all of the market research, you should now be an expert in your product idea, knowing exactly what needs to be built and how you’re going to do it!
To ensure that you meet the release date that you set out in step 15, follow these 5 tips:
- Focus Only On Your Goals: The goals that you created in section 13 should have identified the core problems that your product is solving. Focus on these goals for now and write down any new ideas that come to mind for future updates.
- Keep It Simple: The purpose of an MVP is to validate your idea, not to build a fully-featured product. Keep your MVP as simple as possible to reduce development time and to make it easier to iterate on from user feedback.
- Feedback, Feedback, Feedback: You should consistently receive feedback from your potential users during MVP development to ensure that you’re addressing their pain points.
- Use Existing Tech: There’s no need to reinvent the wheel while creating your MVP. Research and utilise any existing technologies that can speed up your development.
- Iterate and Pivot: An MVP is a learning tool, not a final product. Be prepared to make changes to your product based on customer feedback and market conditions.
Check out our developer’s guide for building your MVP on time here.
17. Promote Your Product During Development
It’s incredibly important to continue to promote your product while developing your MVP.
Use the social media channels that you created for your product to promote what features you’re working on and how they will address your user’s pain points. This will help to sustain your potential user’s interest in the project and potentially drum up more interest for your upcoming release.
18. Create a Promotional Video
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then a 30-second video is worth 30,000.
Make sure to create at least one promotional video to show off the features and value proposition of your product. This will allow you to drum up more excitement about your product and can be used for future product releases on sites such as Product Hunt.
19. Beta Testers
Once the development of your product is far enough along to provide at least one useful feature, contact a few of your potential users and invite them to a beta testing program of your product. This will allow you to gain an incredible amount of feedback about bugs, user journeys and feature improvements.
20. Fix Bugs
The users who have signed up for your beta testing program will no doubt have found a whole host of bugs in your MVP.
Prioritise and record these bugs and ensure that you fix any that break the application, impact security or significantly reduce the usefulness of your application. Small UI / UX bugs can be left until after your product launch to allow you to meet your project deadline.
21. Run Pre-Sales
Before you officially launch your product, allow users to purchase your product for a reduced price, promoting your application on social media platforms and in the communities that your target market hangs out in.
This will allow you to receive and fix much more last-minute feedback about bugs and feature issues with your product, allowing you to improve your product before launch.
22. Advertisement List
Whilst waiting for users to sign up and try out your product on your pre-sale, create a list of bloggers, journalists, and other resources that could promote your product during your launch.
Create template emails/messages to all of these contacts that are specifically targeted to the individuals, allowing you to quickly send out the messages on launch day.
23. Complete the Landing Page
As you last touched your landing page before you had created your MVP, it’s now time to update it to show off your new product features, include some beautiful screenshots and sell your product to your users.
24. Add Legal Documents
Throughout all of the excitement of launching your product, it’s important not to forget about any legal obligations that you need to perform for your product.
If you’re looking to create the legal documents for your startup, check out our legal document checklist and templates.
25. Add Analytics
While not completely necessary, it’s useful to include analytics on your website. Tools such as Umami or Fathom provide valuable information about the sources of your traffic and user engagement on different pages of your site. This can help you to double down on marketing efforts on certain sites and to improve pages that receive low user retention on your site.
26. Collect Social Proof
Social proof provides credibility and reassurance to potential customers as they can see that other people are using and benefiting from the product. Social proof can take many forms, such as customer testimonials, case studies, customer reviews and ratings, and industry awards and recognitions. By providing social proof, companies demonstrate the value and effectiveness of their product, which helps to increase conversions and sales.
Contact beta test and pre-sale users and ask them to write a testimonial to use on your landing page. These testimonials can then be submitted and uploaded to one of the many testimonial sites that are available online. If you’re interested in using a testimonial tool, check out our guide to the 10 free tools that can help you kickstart your business.
27. Stress Test Site
If your product launch goes to plan, then you can expect a huge spike in traffic hitting your landing page. Make sure that your website and application (if applicable) are ready for this traffic by stress testing your site before launch day.
28. Create a Marketing Plan
Make sure that you have a solid plan to market your product on and after launch day. You should come up with a few creative ideas to get your product in front of your target audience so that your product can continue to grow after your initial launch.
28. Notify Waitlisters of the Launch Date
Contact the users on your email waitlist, as well as on your social media channels that your product will be going live soon. This will help to build expectations and will ensure that you get the best possible launch for your product.
29. Prepare Promotion for Launch Day
In order to launch successfully, you’ll need to be getting in contact with a lot of different people. Make sure to prepare your social media and community posts ahead of time so that you can focus on other things on launch day.
30. Stop Development
Although this might sound counter-intuitive at first, it’s important to stop developing your product in the days leading up to your launch. New features or changes could introduce breaking bugs that could impact the core functionality of your MVP.
While you may be tempted to add one extra feature to your product, it could end up costing you many customers from users becoming frustrated while trying to use a buggy product.
The time has finally come, let’s launch your product!
While Product Hunt is the most common place to launch, check out these 100 alternative places to launch your product. The more places that you launch your product, the more chance that your target audience has of seeing your product.
Make sure that you’re following the rules of each community, as some of them have very specific best practices on how you can promote your product.
32. Notify Waitlisters
Let the people who are already excited about your product know about the launch! Add an explicit call to action on the messages to your waitlisters and existing users asking them to upvote your product and to share it to gain more traffic.
33. Promote on All Channels
Don’t just stop with your waitlisters, promote your product’s launch on your social media channels as well as the communities for your target audience. If you’ve built up enough of a reputation and the community rules allow it, people will be more than happy to give you some support for your launch.
34. Quickly Address Feedback
There’s no doubt that you’ll encounter issues with your product during the launch. With a large volume of people using your product, things are bound to go wrong. Make sure that you promptly respond to all issues and feedback to show the community that you care and are responsive to work that needs doing about your product.
To prepare for any issues, consider creating a free status page from Status Hive to allow for easy communication with your users.
35. Follow Up Emails
Send follow-up emails to the addresses that signed up for your waitlist but didn’t convert into users. As they were interested in being informed about your startup in the first place, they are more than likely still interested in the project.
Why not send another quick email informing them that you have launched?
36. Follow Up With Customers
After waiting for a week or two post-launch, get in contact with your new customers in order to get feedback about your project. While you’re there, don’t forget to ask your users to submit a testimonial for your product, as reviews are king in this early stage of production.
After completing your first launch, it’s time to review the goals that you set at the start of the process. Assess how well you met the goals, and most importantly, how you can improve your launch for next time.
38. Implement Feedback
After your first launch, your product will definitely have lots of feedback and feature requests. Spend a few weeks implementing the necessary changes to your product and fixing any issues that arise. As your product now has a lot of users, it should be much easier to obtain feedback on new updates, allowing you to alter your product to further meet your user’s needs.
After implementing a number of new features from user feedback, schedule your product for a second launch, promoting these new additions.
New launches are an easy way to promote your product to new users so should definitely not be missed by any startup looking to succeed.
39. Implement a Post-Launch Marketing Plan
Now that the initial excitement for your product has died down, you need to focus on how to keep new users coming to your platform.
Marketing techniques such as affiliate links and connecting to more communities can be excellent ways of reaching new potential users. If you’d like to be inspired by some unique marketing methods, then check out these 10 innovative marketing ideas.
After working hard on your product, make sure that you take the time to celebrate your successes and rest after your launch.
Tips for a Successful Product Launch
Making the decision to invest significant resources in a product launch is a crucial one, as success is not guaranteed. It is essential to ask yourself key questions and thoroughly analyze the market, as your objectives may vary for each product launch. Consider the following possibilities:
- Diversify your product range: Expand the offerings under your brand to cater to a wider range of customer needs, providing more options and increasing market share.
- Establish a flagship product: Introduce a star product that showcases the highest quality and embodies the essence of your brand, elevating its reputation and attracting discerning customers.
- Capitalise on emerging trends: Identify a new trend with significant sales potential and emulate successful competitors in that space to tap into the market demand and gain a competitive edge.
- Enter new markets: Expand your business into untapped customer segments or geographical regions to broaden your customer base and drive growth in previously unexplored areas.
- Pursue consistent sales or exponential growth: Determine whether your goal is to achieve steady, incremental sales over time or to strive for explosive growth and achieve significant sales figures.
- Attract new customers: Develop a product that appeals to a fresh audience segment, helping you reach and engage with new customers who may not have been part of your previous target market.
- Foster customer loyalty: Create a unique product that captivates your existing customers, encouraging repeat purchases, higher retention rates, and longer customer lifecycles, thereby improving key performance indicators (KPIs).
- Target early adopters or the general public: Decide whether to initially focus on early adopters who are more receptive to new products and can generate buzz, or directly target the wider consumer market.
By carefully considering these factors and aligning your objectives with each product launch, you can increase your chances of success and effectively allocate your resources for optimal outcomes.
Product Launch Checklist
Download our free product launch checklist here to make sure you don’t miss anything when launching your new business.
What is a Pre-Launch Campaign?
A pre-launch marketing campaign encompasses the activities carried out to promote and advertise an upcoming product or service to its target audience before its official launch. The primary objective is to generate interest and excitement around the product, ultimately enhancing brand visibility.
It is important to note that a pre-launch campaign should not be confused with the actual product launch, which focuses on the roadmap and strategy for introducing the product to the market at the most opportune time. The pre-launch campaign, on the other hand, begins during the product development phase and addresses key considerations for a successful product launch.
The campaign serves as a valuable tool for entrepreneurs and marketing managers, enabling them to gain insights into market dynamics, identify the target audience, experiment with different marketing channels, and strategically plan their business approach accordingly. By conducting a pre-launch campaign, businesses can gather valuable feedback, generate anticipation, and refine their marketing strategies before the official product launch.
Why is a Pre-Launch Marketing Strategy Useful?
The success of your new and innovative product/service even before its official release lies in the power of a well-executed pre-launch campaign. Imagine having a groundbreaking product with superior features and benefits that surpasses any competition. However, without an effective campaign, it may fail to capture the attention of your target audience.
A pre-launch campaign serves as a catalyst to amplify your product’s presence in front of the right audience, creating awareness about its unique qualities and generating anticipation for its upcoming launch. By promoting the product during the development stages, valuable feedback can be collected, allowing developers to refine and enhance it before its official release.
Furthermore, a pre-launch campaign enables marketing teams to evaluate the effectiveness of various advertising platforms and determine the most fruitful ones for generating vital leads. When executed properly, a pre-launch campaign can help you achieve the following objectives:
- Establish a strong digital footprint, including an SEO-optimized website, and cultivate a robust presence on social media platforms.
- Collaborate with social media influencers and brand ambassadors to expand your business’s reach and impact.
- Identify and engage with the relevant audience who are eager to purchase your product and become brand advocates, facilitating word-of-mouth recommendations.
- Develop a comprehensive marketing plan that revolves around identifying your target audience, effectively reaching out to them, and implementing strategies that align with your business goals.
By harnessing the potential of a well-planned pre-launch campaign, you can generate excitement, build a loyal customer base, and set the stage for a successful product/service launch. Click here to learn more about creating a killer marketing plan.
How Do I Launch My Product Successfully?
Launching a product successfully involves several key steps:
- Market Research: Understand your target audience, their needs, and your competition.
- Create a Unique Value Proposition: Define what sets your product apart and why customers should choose it.
- Plan Your Launch Strategy: Develop a clear and detailed launch plan, including marketing, timing, and goals.
- Build Anticipation: Create buzz around your product through teasers, sneak peeks, and engaging content.
- Leverage Social Media: Utilize platforms to reach your audience, build a community, and generate excitement.
- Optimize Your Website: Ensure your website is user-friendly, and consider pre-launch sign-ups.
- Secure Partnerships: Collaborate with influencers, affiliates, or complementary businesses.
- Collect Feedback: Gather input from beta testers and make improvements based on their insights.
- Launch Event: Host a virtual or physical launch event to generate excitement and engagement.
- Track and Adjust: Monitor your launch’s performance, adapt your strategy, and continue to engage with customers post-launch.
Remember, a successful product launch is an ongoing process that requires dedication and adaptability.
How Can I Plan an Effective Pre-Launch Marketing Campaign?
Executing a pre-launch marketing campaign for your product necessitates meticulous planning, including segmenting your target audience and implementing effective online promotional strategies. The objective is to create buzz and anticipation surrounding your upcoming product, ultimately leading to increased sales.
To achieve this, you need to strategically plan and execute the following steps:
- Audience Segmentation: Identify and segment your target audience based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. This allows you to tailor your campaign messages and promotional activities to resonate with each specific segment.
- Promotional Campaigns: Leverage various online marketing channels such as social media, email marketing, content marketing, and paid advertising to promote your upcoming product. Craft compelling messages and visuals that highlight its unique features and benefits to captivate your audience’s attention.
- Teasers and Sneak Peeks: Create teasers and sneak peeks of your product to generate curiosity and intrigue among your target audience. Offer glimpses of its innovative features or exclusive benefits to build excitement and anticipation.
- Engaging Content: Develop engaging content, such as blog posts, videos, and interactive experiences, that educates and excites your audience about the value your product offers. This helps in building trust, credibility, and a sense of anticipation.
- Influencer Partnerships: Collaborate with influential individuals or industry experts who align with your brand values and target audience. Engage them to create buzz and endorse your product through their social media channels, blogs, or reviews.
- Limited-Time Offers: Create a sense of urgency and exclusivity by offering limited-time promotions, discounts, or early access to your product. This incentivizes potential customers to take action and make a purchase before the official launch.
- Customer Engagement: Encourage audience interaction and engagement through contests, giveaways, or user-generated content campaigns. This fosters a sense of community and involvement, building a loyal customer base even before the product is released.
By carefully planning and executing a comprehensive pre-launch campaign, you can effectively build hype, generate anticipation, and ultimately drive higher sales for your product when it is officially launched in the market.
What Do I Need To Do For A Pre-Launch Marketing Campaign Steps?
The key steps in a pre-launch marketing campaign are:
- Identifying the Target Audience: Determine the specific demographic, interests, and behaviors of your target audience. This helps you tailor your messaging and promotional efforts to reach the right people.
- Establishing a Landing Page: Create a dedicated landing page that highlights the key features, benefits, and value proposition of your upcoming product. This page serves as a central hub for information and allows interested individuals to sign up for updates.
- Devising the Product Release Strategy: Plan the sequence of activities leading up to the product launch. This includes determining the timing of teasers, sneak peeks, promotional content, and other marketing initiatives to build anticipation and generate excitement.
- Setting Realistic Goals: Define specific and measurable goals for your pre-launch campaign. These could include metrics such as email sign-ups, social media engagement, or website traffic. Setting realistic goals helps you track progress and assess the effectiveness of your campaign.
- Tracking Campaign Success: Implement analytics tools to monitor the performance and impact of your pre-launch campaign. Track key metrics and analyze data to gain insights into audience engagement, conversion rates, and overall campaign success. This information informs future marketing strategies and allows you to make data-driven decisions.
By following these steps, you can effectively identify your target audience, create a compelling landing page, devise a strategic release plan, set achievable goals, and track the success of your pre-launch campaign. This approach maximizes your chances of building anticipation, engaging potential customers, and driving interest in your upcoming product or service.
What Should I Do Before Releasing My Product?
Understanding your target audience is paramount prior to product release. Begin by constructing a landing page that facilitates customer engagement, enabling seamless interactions. This will assist you in formulating an advertising strategy tailored to your audience’s preferences and behaviors.
Establishing clear and achievable goals for the product launch is essential. Monitor your performance and progress to ensure that these milestones are met. By tracking your results, you can make necessary adjustments and improvements to guarantee success.
- Launching a product requires careful planning and execution to ensure success.
- A pre-launch marketing campaign is crucial to generate excitement and anticipation for your product before its official release.
- Segment your target audience, create a landing page, plan your release strategy, set realistic goals, and track campaign success for an effective pre-launch campaign.
- Before releasing your product, understand your target audience, construct a landing page, establish clear goals, and monitor your performance to make necessary adjustments.
Now that you’ve successfully launched your first product, have a look how to create an effective marketing plan for your startup. Or, if you’re at the start of your startup journey, find out how to come up with a great idea for your new business.