This is a guest post from Dave Schneider, a serial entrepreneur & co-founder of shortlist.io, a marketing “un-agency” that serves as an outsourced dedicated marketing team. He has also co-founded Less.churn, a churn reduction app, prior to selling it in 2018. Dave loves to travel the world, and has visited over 65 countries. In his spare time, he writes about SaaS and business at DaveSchneider.me.
The vast majority of product launches fail.
According to a study done by the University of Toronto, the failure rate for new products in the retail grocery industry is 70-80%. And, the situation across all sectors is even more dia, Harvard professor Clayton Christensen estimates that the fail rate of new products across all boards is around 95%.
Evidently, coming up with an innovative and awe-inspiring product you think people will love is simply not enough. In order to mitigate failure and overcome challenges, you will need to prioritize and optimize how you market your product.
Fortunately, this Process Street article is here to provide you with all the tools and digital hacks you will need to successfully market and launch your product.
Feel free to jump to a specific section of this post by clicking on the relevant subheader below. If not, just keep on scrolling.
- How to have a successful product launch
- Building a successful product launch strategy
- How and when to develop an MVP
- How to manage email lists for a successful product launch
- Using Process Street for all your business needs
How to have a successful product launch
Successful product launches are the result of carefully planned coordination between everyone involved in your product’s development and marketing. This coordination depends upon a clearly defined process for your product’s launch preparation, so you can be sure that all of your teams are on the same page, and can support each other in mutual activity while having a clear understanding of progress across the board.
There’s a lot that leads up to a successful product launch; product planning, market research, strategy, goal setting, user feedback. and then finally, the actual launch plan itself, as well as post-launch activities like customer support and any community activity that you might be cultivating.
One of the best ways you can ensure a tight product launch is to use a checklist for the process. Lucky for you, here’s a free pre-made product launch plan checklist which covers everything listed above:
To succeed in your product launch aim to avoid some of the common mistakes many entrepreneurs make. One of which is losing touch with the ever-changing dynamics of your product’s market.
A good tactic to mitigate losing touch of the market’s movements is to prioritize growth hacking strategies.
Many traditional marketing approaches don’t work as well as they once did. Particularly, if you’re a smaller company trying to make a name for itself in an already saturated market.
Nowadays, the way to catch consumer attention is by daring to be bold. Experiment with strategies that you wouldn’t usually find in bog-standard business books (like converting a .PDF to an interactive HTML5 flipbook). And pounce on all opportunities that will help get your product out there.
Building a successful product launch strategy
Before diving into the digital marketing hacks, you must first set the basic groundwork for your product launch. Do you have the appropriate marketing channels in place? Is content prepared for the months leading up to, during, and after the product launch? Do you have capacity to deal with expected support requests? What kind of collateral will the Sales team have on-hand to leverage, and more importantly, does everyone internally fully grasp the MVP of this new product or feature?
All too often, eager entrepreneurs push forward with a project that in hindsight was always set up to fail. With a little preemptive planning, you can put the systems in place for a healthy, robust product launch.
This product strategy template will help you prepare things leading up to and post-product launch. Everything from setting goals and KPIs for the launch, to roadmapping, and finally communicating the appropriate information with your team:
Just click to access the template – it’s free to sign up, and shouldn’t take more than 2 minutes.
How and when to develop an MVP
What is an MVP?
An MVP product is a product with only a basic set of features enough to capture the attention of early adopters and make your solution unique (to read more on MVP check out this Process Street blog).
Even if a product’s concept looks good on paper it may still result in failure. This is why many entrepreneurs choose to keep things simple and take the minimum viable product (MVP) approach.
Despite it being a popular approach, there are some crucial steps you should take before creating an MVP.
The first is to look at the market that you’re trying to enter and identify the main competitors within that market. Consider whether they are succeeding or growing. This will provide you with insight into the number of potential customers there would be for your product.
Secondly, determine how saturated the market is. Consider if there are already a ton of solutions to the problem your product is solving and identify the price points for these solutions.
If there are already a ton of solutions within a broad price range, then the market is already saturated. Meaning – you’ll have a lot of competition.
Establishing your unique selling position
That said, competition in itself isn’t necessarily a limiting factor, providing you have a strong unique selling proposition. That way, it won’t matter if your competitors are offering something similar; you will attract a different demographic of people whose needs aren’t already being met.
Once you have a product that has a strong USP and isn’t entering an already saturated market, the next step is to put you and your product in a position to succeed.
As you move forward with your product launch, you may find that your priorities, your product features, and even the fundamental principles of your product start to shift. Don’t worry, with all the research you’ve been doing, this is to be expected.
At times of uncertainty concerning your product, it is vital to have something to fall back on to keep you grounded.
Developing your MVP
This is where developing an MVP comes in.
An MVP is not only good for verifying your product’s focus, but it will also play an essential role in building anticipation for the eventual product launch itself.
To create your MVP, strip down your product of all its additional features and leave only the very core of what differentiates it from everything else on the market.
With your product stripped down, you may even find yourself with a unicorn MVP🦄- now that will definitely capture the attention of any future prospects and investors!
Once you have stirred up sufficient buzz surrounding your product and the investors are piling in, it is time to leverage the hype and begin inviting people to join your tribe.
Incentivize referrals for a successful product launch
Everyone loves incentives, right? Especially if all it takes to earn rewards is recommending a product that you already LOVE.
This is exactly how referral marketing works.
Providing it is done correctly and you follow the referral marketing can be a very powerful tool.
As a business, building trust with your audience should be a top priority. A good method for building trust is to harness your existing prospects (these include anyone who has shown an interest in your product). Get them to share your upcoming product with their friends, colleagues, and family.
Sometimes, you will get lucky, and people will share an upcoming product simply because they like it. But more often than not, you will need to take a more proactive approach.
A good strategy is to incentivize product referrals by offering a deal, discount, etc. to your prospects to encourage them to take the time to share your product.
You may have seen this tactic used before, especially with digital products or SaaS-type models. In fact, Process Street has a referral program. To read more, either visit the help page or read this blog.
How to manage email lists for a successful product launch
Now you are clued up on how to use referrals to get people interested in your product. Let’s take a look at managing your email list.
By inviting people early on to support you and your product you begin to build a loyal following. Building email lists early provides you with a built-in audience that can be used for early roll-outs of your product.
Even if the product itself is still in development, it is still good practice to encourage people to be on the mailing list. This will ensure that they get updates on the product’s progress, have access to special discounts, early access, and other incentives.
Pro tip: To get more email subscribers, make the process of referring your product as streamline as possible. Create an effective landing page designed specifically for referral leads, and continually optimize it to ensure you consistently get new sign-ups.
Your email list is only as useful as you are capable of using it to maximize sales when your product launch day eventually dawns.
If you haven’t done so already, you will need to figure out how to create a newsletter. Or in simpler terms: put together a basic plan of what you’re going to send out to everyone on your email list.
Fortunately, this free Email Marketing Campaign Template will guide you in getting your email content ready. To gain access simply click the embed below.
You should also use your mailing list to gain insights into what your audience actually wants from your product – this is one of the biggest benefits of compiling an email list at this stage.
It is best practice to encourage your subscribers to send feedback, requests, or general observations about what they like and don’t like about your product or product idea. This information will help you to develop and optimize your product to meet your customer’s needs before it has even been launched.
Another way to harness your email list comes into play when you are ready to launch. When launching use your list to do a pre-launch sequence that has been tailored to meet the feedback that you collected from your email list.
With a bit of luck, you’ll have an email list full of people eagerly waiting for an opportunity to try your product.
Master Cold Emailing
Cold emails may not be everyone’s favorite thing to receive in their inbox. Nevertheless, when used in the right way, cold emails can save you and your business time and money.
Personally inviting each individual customer to subscribe to your email list is a timely task.
Fortunately, there are other, much more valuable techniques that can come in handy.
Namely, if you want to generate exposure for your product a good tactic is to reach out to key figures within your industry. They will be the players who can help attract an audience towards your product.
Unsure how to reach larger audiences?
A good approach is to get in touch with a few bloggers and ask them to spread the word about your product. It is also useful to put out content that positions you as an authority in your marketplace.
Although, depending on the market, you may not always be in a position to exert this kind of power.
In which case: this would be the perfect moment to send a carefully-crafted cold email. Your cold email will enable you to get through barriers and make your brand more visible on the market – making your product and brand more powerful.
Use retargeting ads for a successful product launch
You may not capture all of your leads first try. But luckily, with the help of retargeting ads, you won’t have to.
Retargeting ads can be as much as ten times more effective than regular display ads. That is huge! Especially when you’re launching a product and need to convert as many people as possible (and you’re on a limited budget💰).
Instead of trying to pursue new prospects, you should focus on the ones that have already shown interest. These prospects can be found by analyzing your click-through rate (CTR).
For more on CTR check out this Process Street blog on Content Optimization.
It is best practice to use social media channels to showcase different aspects of your product. To achieve the top results, personalize your ads as much as possible. Set up different campaigns depending on what pages each prospect visited. Experiment with different ad types and other variables to further optimize your ad performance.
Building suspense to ensure a successful product launch
Few things generate attention to a product launch quite like a bit of good ol’ mystery.
If your product has intriguing or quirky features (that aren’t available elsewhere), make keep an air of mystery around how you disclose these features.
As you approach the pre-launch of your product, plan a schedule of little teasers showcasing its features for your social media channels, email list, and blog.
By publishing timely and relevant snippets of content and information you will begin to generate anticipation for your product launch.
How to harness influencer marketing for a successful product launch
Influencer marketing is great for creating memorable launch campaigns and sparking interest in your product. However, it is crucial that you take a strategic approach and commit to investing the time and resources necessary to make it happen.
Alternatively, click on the embedded checklist below.
Make sure to start building relationships with the relevant influencers in your market as early as possible. Collaborating with influencers will help you to fine-tune your pre-launch campaigns and create a timetable for content releases.
One tactic you could use involves providing a prominent social media figure with a pre-launch sample of your product to review. The influencer could host a giveaway centered around your product, or their feedback could be used as part of your product development.
The ultimate goal of influencer marketing is to harness the influencer’s reach and promote your brand and product to their audience.
One key thing to remember is the importance of a website to work alongside your influencer marketing strategy. Your website should be a place where all of your online channels can connect. It is where your social media links, influencer posts, news, product details, and announcements can all coexist.
Using Process Street for all your business needs
It’s free to sign up, and you can choose from many pre-made templates or go ahead and start creating your very own. To get clued up on the difference between a checklist and a template visit this help page – although it is pretty simple: a template is the master version of a process and a checklist is a single instance of that same process.
For a visual introduction to Process Street, check out the video below.
Or, to find out more about some of the features that make Process Street so superpowered click on the following links:
- Stop tasks ✋
- Conditional logic 🧠
- Dynamic due dates ⏱
- Task permissions 👀
- Task assignments 👤
- Role assignments 👥
- Webhooks 🎣
- Embed widget 🌐
- Approvals ✅
- And more! 🚀
Once you are signed up you can launch checklists and begin checking tasks off as you work through them.
You can also use Process Street to connect to thousands of Apps through Zapier and automate your workflows even more.
Process Street is the easiest way to manage your product launch and ensure its success!
To see Process Street in action, watch the webinar below.
Time for your successful product launch 🚀
So there you have it.
We hope that you now feel equipped with all the tools and hacks you need to successfully launch your product.
Remember to always make sure you are on top of the game and take the time necessary to keep track of the latest marketing trends. Ensure your product is unique and caters to the needs of your customers. Listen to your customers’ feedback and keep them happy. Your dedication will be rewarded in the end.
If you would like more information check out some of the related articles linked below …
- 3 Ways To Save Time and Automate Your Sales Process
- What is Conversion Rate Optimization? 5 CRO Hacks to Boost E-Commerce Sales
- 10 Ways to Use Personalized Marketing to Boost Your SaaS Sales
- Outlook Add-ins for Sales: How to Best Convert Prospects into Customers
- How to build a scalable sales process (Q&A webinar)
- Learn How to Sell: Sales Basics With Champion Jeffrey Gitomer
- The Most Effective Sales Negotiation Skills to Boost Customer Satisfaction
- How Global Ag Input Solutions Uses Process Street to Communicate With Sales
- 9 Tips to Improve Sales Process Adoption in Your Organization
- 7 Reasons Why Social Selling Is A Must For Every Salesperson
- Ten Ways Sales Managers Can Motivate and Inspire Their Teams
- How To Handle Sales With Fewer Employees
- 100+ Sales Statistics to Drive Your Strategy
Are you thinking of launching a new product? Or, perhaps you already have recently launched one. If so, what are your thoughts on this blog post, do you have any tips and tricks for others who are launching their products??
Write down your comments below! 🧠