7 Steps for a Successful Product Launch
You’ve finally done it! You have stumbled upon the perfect product idea, created it and now you’re ready for your product launch. The only problem is, you have no idea how to launch a product.
If you’re feeling clueless about your upcoming product launch, this article is for you! We’ll cover:
- A step-by-step guide to do a successful product launch
- Resources needed
- And, much more!
Let’s get started.
Why is a product launch important?
Your product launch is the introduction of your product to the public. First impressions last and your launch is the perfect opportunity to be greeted by consumers with acceptance and sales.
The goal is to attract consumers and set the pace for the market, building momentum from the start.
Behind a winning product is a successful team and an incredible launch.
Take care when preparing your launch strategy as it can mean the difference between having a $200,000 launch like Morgan from Mastermind your Marketing or having your launch flop.
How do you plan a new product launch?
The key to planning a product launch is just that, planning. You’ve got to map out your strategy start to finish then follow the plan and measure your results.
From identifying your audience to preparing your launch goals, bringing on a team will help to make sure it all runs like a well-oiled machine, planning is the secret sauce.
There are many parts of the process and we’ll break it down here.
7 Steps for a Successful Product Launch
Before we dive into the steps, there’s something I want to share that’s pretty important. Once you decide you’re going to launch your product, give yourself plenty of time.
It can take weeks (or longer) to map out your launch strategy. Then, you need time to build an audience, set up landing pages, bring on staff to help, and a myriad of other tasks that may be necessary for your launch.
Take your time through this process and avoid taking shortcuts.
Successful product launches take a lot of time, preparation, and organization.
These are the seven success steps we’ll cover:
- Identifying your audience
- Pick your Launch date
- Doing the Outreach
- Launch strategy
- Launch goals
Take a look!
1. Identify your audience
It all starts with your audience. These are the people you’re serving. It’s who you are selling your products to, your customers.
Do a market analysis.
Figure out where your customers hang out online.
Drill down to understand what these consumers are all about and who they are: married or single, educational background, where they live, hobbies, etc.
It’s important to understand your target market well, as it will play a part in how you develop and market your product.
Be strategic here.
Look at your competitors. Identify what’s working and what’s not working for them. Learn from their success and their mishaps, using this knowledge to further develop your own launch strategy.
2. Plan a Launch Date
This is done pretty early on and the purpose of your launch strategy is to work towards this date. Start marketing to your audience as early as possible, spreading your message about your upcoming product on social media, to your email list, etc.
What you’re doing is conditioning your audience around your upcoming launch.
I see this done all the time when I read the emails that land in my inbox from brands I follow.
They always start by dropping a nugget of information, sharing that “something special” is coming soon.
Then, in every email leading up to their product launch, they share a little more about what’s happening and what they’re working on until finally, the product launch happens.
And, because I have already been hearing about it for weeks or months, it’s no surprise to me and I can finally review all the information about it and decide to buy.
Try to do this as far out as possible, like 2-3 months in advance.
Focus on developing a relationship rather than treating this like a sale to your customer. If customers feel like they’re being sold to, they won’t be eager to buy.
3. Start Outreach
Outreach is all about spreading your message.
It can include:
- Email marketing
- Guest posting
- Podcast features
- Influencer marketing
- Asking your friends, family, and business contacts to share your message with their network
- Social media marketing
- And, more!
Don’t be shy here. Dive in and saturate yourself in the outreach process.
You can do all this before your product is even complete. Start building your email list and collecting leads interested in what you have to sell.
And, target the media, too!
- And, more!
Consider putting out a press release. Pitch media publications. Build backlinks to your product using the free service HARO – a service that connects journalists with sources.
It’s all about outreach!
4. Make your Launch Strategy
You’ll want to lay out what you are going to do and when. This will let you prepare ahead of time and get everything ready. You’ll also have a chance to hire any help you may need beforehand.
For example, if you need to launch graphics, hire a graphic designer to help with this task.
You can have a social media person, a graphic designer, a business manager, a virtual assistant, etc. Don’t be afraid to invest in people. It can help you out big time.
Having a plan also allows you to repeat a successful launch – or tweak your launch next time if needed.
Here’s an example of a strategy you can use for your product launch.
Step 1: Starting talking to your audience
This is when you start talking to your audience about your awesome product launch approaching.
Define the problem they are having and explain how your product is the solution. You can draw out this process over weeks or months leading up to your launch date.
Step 2: Give away information for free
People love nothing more than getting stuff for free. Give away part of the course!
Showcase a video lesson or teach a part of the curriculum to show your audience what they have to look forward to.
This is a great way to “sell” your course.
Step 3: Segment your list
Based on your response in your email campaign, segment your list further, identifying people who clicked on links, those interested and not interested.
There’s even a way you can include in your emails where people can click a link to opt-out of receiving further communication about your product launch. Do this!
This way you can niche down your email list even further, uncovering the part of your audience super interested in your product, without irritating those who have no interest and risking them unsubscribing.
Step 4: Launch and execute disappearing bonuses
Then, you launch!
And you can do this really effectively with disappearing bonuses.
How do disappearing bonuses work?
You can start by offering a bundle of bonuses and then as the launch progresses, each day one bonus drops off.
This will incentivize your email list to act now, for fear that they will miss out on all the bonuses if they delay their decision to buy.
Examples of disappearing bonuses:
- Private Facebook group
- Private Slack group
- 1-on-1 coaching consultation
- FREE access to other courses, books or materials you offer
Step 5: Close your launch
Then, close your launch. This can be done for evergreen or open-close launches.
For an evergreen course launch, it will conclude when your disappearing bonuses are all gone. For an open-close launch, you’ll notify your audience that the window for enrollment is closing and then close.
Feel free to adopt this launch strategy and apply your own personal tweaks to make it your own.
How to Hire Staff
As you create your plan, it’s likely you’ll need some help to execute. If you are looking to hire, head to staffing agencies or freelancer networks like Upwork to find contractors to join your team.
Make a list of requirements for each position you are hiring for, ask for samples, resume and/or portfolio. You can even interview prospects to ask more detailed questions about their history and background.
Look at the big picture and work backwards from your launch date. List out all the tasks you need completed, your goals, and timeline.
Then execute your strategy.
5. Set a Launch Goal
This is the fun part. It’s more than daydreaming about hitting that one big number. Think realistically and pick a goal you want to achieve from your product launch:
- X number of sales
- X amount of revenue
Your launch goal should be actionable and measurable.
The pre-launch is all about building anticipation prior to the launch.
It’s a lot simpler than you might think.
Put up a landing page to collect emails of interested consumers. Create a buzz. Grow your list.
Buzzsumo creates this helpful 5-step pre-launch checklist:
- Build a lead generation pre-launch landing page: They call this page the center of everything you’re doing. It will house all the information you want to reveal at this stage of your pre-launch and it should be hosted on your website.
- Create interest: Generate buzz within your email subscriber list and engage with your email list. Create an email sequence that you can start funneling interested subscribers to so you can follow up and make announcements.
- Select and engage with key influencers: Find influencers that can help you spread the word about your product. These people can even be your own affiliates who can be your best fans!
- Set up your editorial calendar: Your editorial calendar will help you map out your entire pre-launch strategy, from the emails you’ll send out to the change in graphics you’ll execute on your landing page, and more. For teams, everyone can have access to your editorial calendar with tools like Trello and Asana.
- Segment your audience: Then finally use the data and segment your audience. This will help you create a better-targeted message and better-targeted marketing campaigns.
For your pre-launch, here are some resources we love:
- Convertkit: This is for email marketing, email sequences and landing pages. You can create opt-in forms, sequences and automations with ease. And, their landing pages come in a bunch of different templates that you can pick from then customize to make it your own.
- Teachable: Teachable is known for their robust online course platform which is great if you are teaching a course to students online. They also have landing pages. For landing pages you will get a professional-looking, attractive landing page with everything you need to collect leads. Here are some examples to check out.
- Asana: Asana is for communication amongst team members. Asana can help track, manage, and connect projects across your team.
- Trello: Use this tool for communication and productivity. It’s good for assigning different projects and tasks to team members.
Lastly, you will launch your product!
Everything you have been planning for will come together and you will execute the last step in the process, introducing your product to the public.
During your launch, make sure lines of communication are open between your team. Ensure you respond to customer questions as quickly as possible.
Throughout the launch period, don’t slow your efforts. Continue promotion, share your message across social media, etc. You will already have this part mapped out with your editorial calendar.
Lean on technology. It can help you automate, save time, save money, and get better organized.
Make notes as to what worked and what didn’t so you can optimize your next product launch. Like anything else, you’ll get better at launches as you go.
Final Word on 7 Steps for a Successful Product Launch
Remember, things don’t have to be perfect in order for you to have a successful product launch. If things go wrong, be flexible and pivot to cope with the changes.
Stick to the plan, measure your results, and keep going.
If you’d like to learn how we craft multiple 6-figure launches with our products, check out this podcast episode.
Do you have an upcoming product launch?
Where are you at in the process? Share your comments down below.