A SaaS product launch is quite like the big bang. There is a before, a very stressful during, and an after. While it looks easy to launch a product from the client’s point of view, it is a grueling task for SaaS businesses. There are so many elements that can affect your launch and several factors that you can not control. Therefore, it is difficult to have a successful SaaS product launch. Hence, we have compiled a product launch list to help you with your efforts. We have two lists: a pre-launch and a post-launch list you can use to get your launch strategy up to the mark.
Saas Product Pre-launch Checklist
Test your product
The first version of any product is never the last. There is always an element you can improve in each iteration. However, this does not mean that your first product should be shabby and underdeveloped. Contrarily, your product should be effective in its first version. The only way you can achieve a product with value is to test it exhaustively and repeatedly. First, get your team to fix any glaring flaws. Then you can release it to a small group who can give you feedback. After this, you iterate the product with the feedback given. A few cycles later, you should have a promising product.
Gather feedback and apply
When your product is in the development stage, and getting people to test it is challenging. Many companies solve this problem by creating a sign-up page to generate a list of beta users. People who are interested in new products can sign up to be beta testers. The beta testing community is a supportive and interactive one. These beat testers are a small segment of your early adopters and will provide invaluable feedback on your product. Using beat testing also ensures that your product fits the market and that you are going in the right direction with its development. Additionally, there are many websites that you can sign-up for, to connect with beta testers, such as BetaList, BetaBound, UserTesting, etc.
Coordinate your team for the launch
Many factors affect the success of your SaaS product launch. One of them is having an uncoordinated team. Plus, this problem is not limited to just one team. When you launch a SaaS product, your product and marketing team need to work together. Your product team is working on the development of a successful deliverable. Whereas your marketing team is working to set the base for success with content. They also need to work together as they are sharing information and tactics. Your team needs to be cohesive and work in tandem to give you the best results. The stress meter is only going to go up the closer you get to your launch date. Therefore, make sure that both teams know what they are always doing.
Use product launching platforms
You might think that this step is an element that is more of a launching checklist. The more you read, the more you’ll understand why we have it in the pre-launch part of the article.
We know very well that SaaS products are challenging to market and many initially have low traction in the market. Hence, many SaaS startups use product launching platforms to boost early traction and increase brand awareness. Such platforms include Product Hunt, AngelList, Startup Stash, etc. These platforms will help you in your launch planning and make the process much easier. Additionally, you can connect with beta testers, early adopters, and other founders. Since you need to plan when you are launching your product on such websites, you need to have a strategy in place for it. Therefore, decide early on which platforms you will use and how you are going to go about the complete process.
SaaS Product Post-launch checklist
Evaluate launch performance
All types of strategies boil down to the same thing: measuring metrics. If you can’t measure your progress or metrics, how will you know your product’s performance? You need to compare current market performance with expectations set at the beginning. Therefore, track and measure your metrics as soon as you launch your product. Leave no metric unobserved and let no data go unrecorded. Many products and platforms can help you track and analyze the metrics for you (Google Analytics is a popular choice across industries). With this data, you will be in a better position to understand your customer demographic and behavior. Consequently, you can adapt your strategy to better fit your target audience.
Develop onboarding process
Launching a product is not enough to gain customers that will stay with you. After you launch your product, you need to focus on onboarding your customers. This process helps you build relationships with your customers and, consequently, affects revenue since they are a crucial component of your sales. Developing an onboarding process will help you differentiate between short-term customers (impact initial revenue) and long-term clients (provide long-term stability in cash flow). After which you can create different marketing and retention strategies.
Adjust your pricing strategy
You can not price SaaS products like tangible products because they are not the same. Hence, the strategies that work for other products will not work for SaaS businesses. Pricing is a big factor in a customer’s purchasing decisions, so we cannot ignore it. Most SaaS businesses spend six hours on their pricing strategy. If you are guilty of this, then you are missing out on many dollars. Like most strategies, you need to keep updating your pricing according to market trends. Plus, a single person is not enough to optimize your pricing. You need a team dedicated to developing and adjusting pricing strategies in your business to make the most of your market share.
Read More: 5 SaaS Pricing Models for a Balanced Revenue
Build a predictive model
Once you record data, you need to think about developing predictive analysis models for your business. By comparing the performance to expectation, along with the strategy you use, you will gain insight into the cause-effect flow. Consequently, you can predict how certain changes in some factors will affect the result. You can then create a predictive model for revenue growth, market potential, customer lifetime value, and budgeting. There are a plethora of model types to pick from. Choose the model that is best suited to your objectives, needs, and data types. This prediction model will help in the long-term management of resources and capital allocation.