Planning a product launch is a daunting task. After months or years developing and tweaking, it’s tempting to shove the finished product out the door and onto the market as fast as humanly possible, so you can start reaping the rewards of all that hard work. But your product deserves better—it deserves a carefully planned release that will give it the best possible chance of taking off.
Here are some tips for planning a launch worthy of your creation…
Choose your moment
Timing your launch for maximum visibility and impact can mean the difference between a successful product and a missed opportunity. Before you set a date, get a feel for your market. Review customer feedback from previous launches to see what worked and what didn’t. Check out competitors’ release practices and how well they’ve been received. Look for industry events or trends that you can associate with your release. Gather as much info as possible, so that you’ll be ready to seize the right moment when it comes.
Tell a story
In a world of constant software releases and upgrades, crafting a narrative to define your product and justify your timing can set your launch apart. The launch story you tell the public is your opportunity to illustrate the value of what you’re offering and distinguish yourself from the competition.
Messaging is especially critical when the benefits of your new release or upgrade aren’t immediately obvious to the user. So, tell the world what, exactly, you’re bringing to the table and why you think now is the time to buy it. You need to make a compelling case if you expect customers to make a switch.
Set specific goals
What’s your best-case scenario for launch day? What would be considered a minimal success? What would be considered a failure? How many existing customers do you expect to buy or upgrade in the first day or week? How many new customers do you hope to attract in that time?
Concrete, predetermined targets will give your team an ongoing sense of how well the product is being received, and the information you collect will be invaluable for planning future launches.
Drum up interest
Before you launch, let people know that changes are on the way. Depending on how you typically communicate with the public, you may want to post an announcement on your website, send out an email (or a series of emails), or create an in-app notification. Each method has its advantages, depending on how aggressive you want to be.
Meanwhile, to attract potential new customers, contact the media in advance of your launch, as well as any prominent influencers or reviewers in your industry space who might be interested in your product.
Plan for problems
Few things in life are more frustrating than installing a shiny new software package, only to find it’s completely non-functional for mysterious reasons. It happens, though, and inevitably, it will happen to a (hopefully) small fraction of your customers.
Even if it requires additional support staff or extended hours, don’t get caught without a robust support system right out of the gate. Early adopters’ experiences will serve as word-of-mouth advertising for your product. Make sure their experiences are good.
Follow-up with stragglers
After the launch day chaos settles down, take some time to follow up with customers who haven’t made the switch yet. Some customers shy away from risk, including the risk of purchasing untested software. Circling back to these potential late-adopters after a few weeks or months can open up a whole new pool of buyers.
For more information on how gather the data you need to plan a successful launch, contact CI Radar today to set up a free demonstration.