Launching a new product is something you may have been dreaming about for months, maybe even years. You’ve imagined that the launch of your tool could change the way your first prospects think about a particular pain or problem. Or, hopefully, revolutionize the industry!
To achieve this, a step-by-step approach to preparing for your SaaS product launch is essential. That’s why we have created a simple guide for you to get you on the right track before the big moment.
#1: Map Out a Launch Plan
If you’re set for your SaaS product launch, you’ll probably feel overwhelmed by all the things that need to be done. Therefore, this is the perfect time to create a launch plan to organize yourself.
A good launch plan will help you stay focused and motivated. It will also make sure that your customers get the best possible experience when they start using your product. Last but not least, it will help you stay on track with your deadlines. And prevent last-minute surprises that could derail your launch.
So how do you create a launch plan? Let’s look at some of the key steps to consider:
- Define the steps in your plan and set deadlines for each one.
- Include all the tasks that are required to build and launch your product.
- Identify which tasks involve more than one person. And make sure you involve these collaborators from day one.
#2: Build an Audience
Most founders agree that building a client base before launching a product is essential. Why? Because imagine you have a great product. For it to become successful, you’ll need to find early adopters who will make your product thrive.
Therefore, there will be the ones who’ll try your product for the first time. And you’ll have the chance to collect honest feedback to improve or add features. But there will also be the ones who’ll recommend your product to their acquaintances. And that’s how you build customer loyalty!
#3: Check the Product-Market Fit
According to Marc Andreessen, an American entrepreneur, you can always tell when the product-market fit is or isn’t happening. It’s not happening when “the customers aren’t quite getting value out of the product, word of mouth isn’t spreading and usage isn’t growing that fast.”
However, you can feel if there’s a product-market fit if “customers are buying your product as fast as you can make it. Or usage is growing as fast as you can add more servers.” In short, product-market fit means “being in a good market with a product that can satisfy it.”
The term product-market fit describes the moment when a startup finally finds a widespread set of customers that resonate with its product.
Eric Ries, author of ‘The Lean Startup’
#4: Choose the Right Product Team
If you’re a single founder, you might be tempted to do everything yourself. However, one of the most important decisions you need to make when preparing for your SaaS product launch is who you bring on board. In addition to a strong marketing team, you also need to consider who’ll help you with development, customer success, and sales.
Consider how much time and resources each department can devote to launching your product. And think about all the moving parts of your product.
The key to success is to build a strong and experienced team from the ground.
#5: Write Content for Marketing & Sales Material
Once you have the product ready to go, it’s time to start thinking about what people will see when they first arrive at your website or social media. There are three main sets of content that you’ll need:
This is what you’ll use on social media, emails, and blog posts. It should include information about the product (what are the main benefits of using it?) and why people should buy it.
It’s intended for people who have already decided that they want to buy from you. You can use this page to explain what are the product’s differentiating features (what makes your product stand out from competitors? How does it solve the client’s pain in a unique way?). And how much they cost!
Customer Onboarding Materials
Customers will receive instructions, preferably via email, after buying the product or creating their account on your website.
#6: Become Part of Product Manager Communities
In the process of your SaaS product launch, you can join a product manager community. Product managers are a tight-knit community. They meet at conferences, hang out in Slack groups, and work together on open-source projects. It’s important that you become part of this community so you can learn from your peers and get feedback on your product.
✨ Mind the Product
You can start by joining the Mind the Product group. This is a great place to network with other product managers from around the world, share tips and experiences, and ask for advice from experts who have been in your shoes!
#7: Define Success Metrics
A great part of launching a SaaS product is tracking success and proving the value of your product. Therefore, it’s essential to establish some metrics to measure how successful your launch was and maximize your ROI.
Some of the most common metrics used by founders and startups are revenue, Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), and Customer Retention Rate, among others.
#8: Validate your Minimum Viable Product
Test, test, test! You can’t stress enough how important it is to test your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) before going live with it. Test different aspects of your business model — from pricing models to customer onboarding processes and everything else in between.
Also, test different marketing channels as well, like advertising and email campaigns.
The more data you have about what works best for your audience, the easier it will be to optimize when things change down the road.
A great way of validating your MVP is with early adopters. They will be key clients as they’ll probably be your first customers! Early adopters are users that are usually conscious of their pain points and actively seeking a solution. Therefore, you can contact them and ask them for detailed and sincere feedback.
How to Get Your First 10 SaaS Customers
A great way to get the first 10 customers for a SaaS product is to sign up for communities, events, and conferences where you can meet potential customers.
To get your first 10 or 20 customers, you can join a community whose members are interested in your startup’s niche. Or where you can find people who might have the problem your product is designed to solve.
This way, you not only get customers. But also become part of a group of people who could slowly but surely become a loyal audience for your startup, brand, and/or product.
Communities also give users the opportunity to voice their thoughts and even participate in behind-the-scenes product development. Customers are not only part of the audience. But also collaborate to improve the features of the product they love the most.