10-Step Product Launch Checklist

A well-executed product launch can generate media attention and increase sales. Make sure your launch goes off without a hitch with this product launch checklist. 
 

After spending weeks, months, or even years developing a new software product, what’s the worst that could happen? 

The answer: nobody notices. 

After spending so much time and resources on a development project, companies need to sell their product in order to ensure the project is a worthwhile investment. 

Because of this, alerting customers to the launch of a new product is key to the product’s success. By developing a product launch plan that promotes and markets their new and available software, companies can create buzz surrounding their product and jumpstart sales. 

A product launch plan outlines all of the steps that need to be taken to get a software product into the market. Like a timeline, it should detail exactly what needs to be accomplished for a successful launch starting 4–6 months before the official launch date. 

Use this product launch checklist to outline your plan and make sure kickoff goes smoothly.

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Product Launch Checklist

  1. Test your product 
  2. Conduct market research 
  3. Outline a positioning statement
  4. Discuss with stakeholders
  5. Create a a go-to-market strategy 
  6. Set goals
  7. Launch internally 
  8. Create buzz
  9. Assign responsibilities to team members
  10. Evaluate the launch’s success
     

Test your product

Before announcing the launch of a new product, software companies need to make sure that it’s ready to launch. Nothing is worse for a brand than putting a product on the market that is faulty, full of bugs, or doesn’t provide a great user experience. 

To make sure a product is ready to launch, companies need to conduct thorough testing. By discovering problems ahead of time, development teams will be able to resolve them quickly and improve performance. 

In addition to improving the product, this sets up a more successful launch that can increase user acquisition and retention. 

Read, “8 Steps to Implement Testing Automation and Boost Your Team’s Productivity.

Conduct market research 

In order to successfully target your intended audience, software companies should thoroughly research their market. 

While this was probably done when they first began to consider the viability of a product, a better understanding of what customers are looking for can greatly impact the effectiveness of the launch campaign.  

Software companies should be able to identify their target audience’s goals, motivations, and pain points. 

By interviewing a dozen or two prospective customers, the promotion team will be able to provide curated content that will appeal to that audience.

Once they’ve identified who they want to target — based on customer information such as job title and industry — companies should get a better understanding on their audience’s behavioral information. 

To gather behavioral information, be sure to ask questions such as:

  • What functions do you particularly like about this product? 
  • What are some of your pain points during this process? 
  • How do you like to be contacted? 
  • How do you make your buying decisions? 

This can help create a marketing strategy that will generate some buzz around the product’s launch. 

Read, ‘A Step-by-Step Guide to Interviewing Customers to Build an Ideal Customer Profile.

Outline a positioning statement

A positioning statement is a general description of what the software product provides and how it fits into the market. 

It’s an internal tool that can help internal teams align their marketing efforts with their brand and value proposition. Additionally, it should include: 

  • What the product does
  • Who the target audience is 
  • How it stands apart from competing products 

This information will be key for pitching the product to stakeholders and developing a go-to-market strategy. 

Discuss with stakeholders

Once companies have outlined their positioning statements, they need to present it to stakeholders to ensure that everyone is on the same page. 

Stakeholders include everyone from top investors to executives, employees, and suppliers. Even the development team should be on board with the positioning statement so they deliver a final product that meets everyone’s expectations. 

The best way to do this is to create a presentation that outlines the positioning statement and answers questions from each stakeholder group. 

Create a go-to-market strategy 

A go-to-market strategy explains how companies plan to introduce their product to the marketplace. This part is key to setting the product apart from others in the market and convincing customers to buy the software product.  

In addition to generating interest in the product, companies can use this stage to boost brand awareness 

Since the promotion team has already identified a target audience, conducted market research, and developed a positioning statement, companies can use this information to develop an effective marketing strategy. 

Here’s how to build a go-to-market strategy for your product launch: 

  1. Create and test messaging 
  2. Optimize and test ads
  3. Select a sales strategy 
  4. Identify points in a buyers journey and how to move them through the marketing funnel

Once they’ve established an initial go-to-market strategy, companies can adjust it to accommodate an ongoing marketing strategy. 

After the product has been launched, they will be able to reduce customer acquisition costs, shorten the sales cycle, and retain customers. 

Set Goals

Like any project, it’s important that companies set goals to align the team and make sure the product launch is on track. 

Some goals for a product launch include: 

  • Finding a niche in the market
  • Capture new customers
  • Build product awareness
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Improve industry reputation 
  • Resolve any bugs 

Those looking to outline their goals should think about what they’re hoping to accomplish as well as what they’re hoping to learn from the launch. 

Great goals should be SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. 

Be sure to specify when you will measure the impact of your launch and evaluate how successful the launch actually was. 

Launch internally or have a Soft Launch

To make sure the product is ready to go, consider launching it to your internal team or conducting a soft launch. This allows companies to hammer out any last-minute kinks, identify technical problems, and resolve issues.

A soft launch is when a product is released ahead of its promoted release date. Without promoting the launch, this limits the number of users, allowing developers to simulate real-world interactions, and fix issues as they come up. 

Think of it as a dress rehearsal before the big event. 

This also allows companies to test different markets and adjust user acquisition strategies, so when the product really launches, everything is guaranteed to go according to plan. 

Although it may limit user acquisition at first, soft launches can reduce risks associated with hard launches. Because developers are able to resolve issues before there are too many users, they can provide a better user experience. 

As a result, companies can improve how people perceive their brand and increase retention in the long run. 

Create buzz

Assuming the soft launch went well, companies need to generate interest from potential customers. The best way to generate some buzz is to contact industry media outlets and promote the product. 

To create a media plan, companies should identify the best way to appeal to their target audience and link to where they can learn more about the product. 

Consider your industry and market research to identify which strategies are right for you. For example, software for hospital management probably won’t appeal to social media users, but would do better in a leading hospital management publication such as “The American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration.”

Here are some ideas that can help promote your new product: 

  1. Press release
  2. Social media 
  3. Email campaign
  4. Reach out to journalists
  5. Blog content

Press release

Press releases are a great way to capture media attention in your industry. They’re easy to share, are affordable, establish your brand as an industry leader, and build links to your site. As a result, they’re very effective at generating interest in your product. 

They can also be picked up by other news outlets, resulting in more traffic and interest in your product. Here are a few press release services that can help announce your new product. 

Top Press Release Services

Reach out to journalists

When your press release is published, contact journalists in your industry. Both print and online publications are constantly looking for interesting news stories. Industry leaders rely on these publications to stay abreast of a changing technological landscape and market. 

By earning media coverage, the software appears more credible and trustworthy. Additionally, this can capture the attention of potential customers who are in charge of making buying decisions. 

Social media 

Social media can grow awareness of your product by reaching new audiences. 

With various formats available, social media allows companies to create various types of content, such as video, and take advantage of other tools like live streaming. 

Consider hosting a live streaming event to show potential customers a product demonstration or highlight the benefits of your new product. Invite 

Email campaign

Email campaigns are a great way to target specific audiences. Companies that have an ideal customer in mind may want to do some digging to come up with an email list of contacts who may be likely to purchase the product. 

Use this campaign to provide updates on when the product will be available and what benefits it offers to appeal to readers. However, you should also  

Read, ‘The Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing.

Blog content

Blog articles, tutorials, and videos on your website are a great way to bring traffic to your site and inform readers about your new product. These pages can act as landing pages for the rest of your marketing efforts and continue to inform potential customers even after the product launches. 

Hard launch

With all of the promotional efforts the company has produced, the final step is the hard launch. This will reach a wider audience than the soft launch and drive more interest. 

If the soft launch is the dress rehearsal, the hard launch is the grand opening, so companies want to release the product with a bang. 

Thanks to all of their media work and promotional content, companies will often see a spike in inquiries, revenue, or sales from a hard launch. 

Evaluate the launch’s success

Ideally, the product launch would be perfect — customers would immediately want and buy the product, no bugs would occur, and the product would be well on it’s way to market success. 

However, that isn’t always realistic. 

Based on the response from the product launch, companies can make small tweaks to the product or adjust their position in the market to make sure that the product is successful in the future. 

If you don’t achieve your goals at first, a few changes to your marketing plan or the product can lead to long-term success. 

Product Launch Template & Product Launch Checklist 

Product Launch Template

Product Name: 
Company Name: 

Positioning Statement: 

Competitive Analysis: 

Market Analysis: 

Audience Information: 

Promotion Strategy: 

 

Product Launch Checklist

Test your product

Conduct market research

Outline a positioning statement

Discuss with stakeholders

Create a go-to-market strategy

Set goals

Launch internally

Media & promotional content

Press release

Social media

Email campaign

Reach out to journalists

Hard Launch

Evaluate the launch’s success

Use this Product Launch Checklist to Promote Your New Software

A well-executed product launch can generate interest and media attention in your new product. To take advantage of this opportunity, companies need to create a positioning statement and outline how they will bring the product to market. 

With a solid understanding of how the product appeals to customers and who the target audience is, they can contact media outlets and release information to attract users and potential buyers. 

By following the steps outlined in this product launch checklist, teams will be able to set their product for commercial success. 

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Need help selecting a company?

Based on your budget, timeline, and specifications we can help you build a shortlist of companies that perfectly matches your project needs. Schedule a free consultation with an analyst.

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