Let’s all first admit launching a new product is never an easy job.
Irrespective of whether you are selling a physical product or launching a new SaaS (software as a service) product, the event needs proper planning and strategizing. Creating sufficient buzz around your product, how to reach the target users, and hit those dream sales figures is nothing short of a challenging exercise even for expert marketers.
If statistics are to be believed, “By 2022, the SaaS market will generate close to $141 billion.”
So, there is no better time than now to jump into the SaaS world and launch a product.
Plus, you can get the launch campaign off to the perfect start when you know the answers to these questions:
- Did we build something that people want?
- What are the distinct features that would benefit the users?
- Were we able to solve the problems of the users?
- Will people buy our product?
Marketers love content, and they know the quality of it is vital to putting together a successful launch. Therefore once you have a satisfactory answer to all those questions, you know for sure your business needs a SaaS product launch, so without further delay, it’s time to find out how to create it.
Top 7 Strategies To A Successful SaaS Product Launch
When your SaaS product is in its nascent stage, only the people working on it know about it. As you’re developing the product in a test environment, you can’t really be sure how it will perform in real life. That’s why you need to launch the product in real life to test the waters and then make enhancements to the product.
Any SaaS product launch can be categorized into two kinds:: beta product launch and final product launch. We’re going to focus on the beta launch in detail as it is one of the crucial phases of your product development journey, and it is also at this phase that you take your product to the outside world and seek feedback from actual users.
Here are a few steps to help with your SaaS product beta launch:
1. Ensure thorough testing of your product
Even before you launch your product in its beta phase, make sure you do thorough testing of the product. Your beta users are brand ambassadors of your product so ensure they have an excellent experience.
To do this, you need to fix any kind of bugs existing in the product and review all the codes thoroughly to ensure there are no glitches. Nothing can hurt a product as much in its infant stage as negative reviews. So steer clear of all sorts of negative feedback by ensuring 100% accuracy in the testing stage.
2. Define the Unique Value Proposition (UVP) of your product
You need to clearly define the UVP of your product to the target audience. This is an important step as your users need to know the benefits they can derive from your product, and if they are convinced, they will not go anywhere else.
Without a distinct UVP, it will be challenging to market your product; otherwise, your product will look like just another product launched in the market without any significant competitive advantage or benefit. This step will also help you determine how you will market your product in future.
3. Decide what kind of beta test you want for your product
When you think of a successful beta launch, there are two ways you can do it.
Private beta launch
This type of launch is specific to a few users. Either they are carefully selected by you or your team or early adopters of the product, or they can even be paid users. Nevertheless, it is the best type of testing under the following circumstances:
- If your system cannot handle the heavy load
- If you would like to keep your product a secret from the world and evaluate the product based on the feedback from a handful of users
- If your product is not yet functional but a little more than a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Public beta launch
In a public beta launch, any user can try your product. These tests are successful when you:
- Need widespread feedback from a large number of users
- Ready to test the product for heavy usage
- Create a huge amount of user-generated content
In certain scenarios, people start with a private beta launch, gather the feedback, refine the product, and then move to a public beta launch.
Once you’ve decided on the type of launch, the next step is to finalize a date and time and send out the invites.
4. Build a dream launch team
Once you decide on the type of launch, you’ll need to build a dream team.
Here’s how you can do it:
First, figure out where you should look for beta users.
There are several sources – your existing customers, social media groups, or beta testing groups. Alternatively, you can create a landing page and collect the users’ email addresses who would be interested in being a part of the launch and then send them personalized invites.
Offer some incentives to the beta users.
It could be anything ranging from free access to your product, launch party invites, or a discount percentage for early adopters. Unless you are using a paid beta user testing service, it’s better to avoid any kind of cash incentives.
Discuss the launch plan with your team.
The success of the launch also greatly depends on the timing. If you time this launch around some trade or industry event, you should create more buzz around your product, and that will serve as a great start for your marketing campaign.
Once you have decided on the team responsibilities, ensure you make each person accountable for their work. This makes it possible for everyone to adhere to the schedule and keep the launch budgets in check. Also, the key developers or members need to be present during the launch as they can immediately attend to or troubleshoot any unexpected glitches.
Consider hiring a SaaS marketing agency.
Often a SaaS company starting out will look at the immediate future and fails to visualize the bigger picture. Hiring a professional SaaS marketing agency can solve this problem as they can create the strategy and campaign based on your unique needs.
5. Onboard all your beta users
Onboarding beta users is a critical step to a successful beta product launch:
- Let the beta users know about your expectations from the launch
- Inform them about your end goals or objectives
- Create some buzz and excitement around the launch date
- Guide them on the feedback process and how do you intend to capture the feedback
If your users know about your feedback expectations beforehand, it will help them share the feedback in a structured format, and you will get quality feedback that will further help you refine your product for the final launch.
6. Seek feedback from beta users and implement it
Here are the steps you need to follow to implement a good feedback strategy:
Create a plan
This plan will outline what kind of feedback you need for the final launch and how you wish to get that feedback from all the beta users. This is particularly important because there could be many users, and sieving through feedback is cumbersome.
Keep it simple
Overcomplicating the process of receiving feedback might not work, instead, keep it simple and to the point and allow the users to freely share their feedback.
You need to make sure that you have someone in the team who would capture specific and action-oriented feedback from the beta users.
7. Communicate to the world
Once you’ve successfully delivered the beta launch, it is time for you to communicate to the world how useful the product could prove to be for the target users. You might want to use the positive feedback received from the beta users and reiterate how one can benefit from using your product.
Here are a few ways you can prepare for the final launch:
Create a blog, launch a campaign, create marketing or digital assets, and even a landing page to talk about the benefits of a product. You might also do a post comparing your product with that of your competitor and clearly stating its competitive advantage.
Collaborate with bloggers and social media influencers who might be convinced with your product and willing to do a free communication on their channel or forum.
Affiliate marketing is another way of getting more customers and scaling your product. However, unless you have social proof, it is difficult to convince anyone. The beta feedback provides you with that credible source that you can utilize to break into the market and establish yourself.
Developing a SaaS product and starting a SaaS business can be an intimidating journey. Still, if you implement the above-mentioned steps, you should be able to launch a product successfully and gain quick traction for your product.
Also, remember, investing time and resources is crucial for any successful SaaS product launch. So irrespective of how amazing or useful your product is, remember to give it some time before you start evaluating the success of your product.