9-Step Product Launch Checklist for Product Managers

Product Management
November 18, 2022
4 mins read
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A product launch is a coordinated business event that marks the rollout of a new product into the market. People can start using the product after this event.

A product launch can be labeled successful when all the processes from solidifying brand positioning to tracking new user sign-ups are done correctly. For a successful product launch, all the team members from various departments should align their efforts.

That can be a lot to handle.

In this article, let’s look at a checklist for product launches that you can rely on to make this event a resounding success.

Before that, let's understand why creating a new product launch checklist is important.

Why you should use a software product launch checklist

The product launch is the moment of truth for your business. A product launch checklist helps you get there by:

  1. Reminding you of all the tasks: A product launch plan checklist helps you complete all the crucial tasks for this process in a sequential manner. This reduces the probability of you missing out on anything important.
  2. Improving team collaboration: As we mentioned briefly above, a product launch is a collaborative event. Different teams and members need to clearly understand their responsibilities and communicate accordingly. This checklist provides a framework for just that.
  3. Preparing you for potential mistakes: A product launch checklist template, like the one provided below, will help you plan for unforeseen situations. This will help you minimize the loss of resources if there are sudden changes in your product roadmap.
  4. Simplifying the different activities: For example, before launching a product, you need to ensure that it is ready for the market. That process of testing can be partly “automated” through a “product launch readiness checklist” which will save you time.

With the importance of the checklist clear, now let’s look at...

A complete product launch checklist template

The template below can be used as traditional software and a SaaS product launch checklist. You can add/remove/modify points in this checklist to make it more useful for your processes.

1. Set deadlines and goals for the launch

Start by setting the date on which the product will be launched. Research suggests the best day to launch your product in a week is Tuesday. The timing depends on your niche and a variety of other factors. For instance, you need your team to be available right after the launch to tend to any customer queries and so on.

The deadlines will immediately help you prioritize and schedule all the tasks in this template of the product launch plan checklist.

The next objective is to set goals. The goal of a product launch is not just to make it accessible to your customers. It is to make a desirable and profitable product accessible to the customers while standing by to resolve any issues as they arise and tracking its initial usage metrics.

Another crucial goal here is to position the product in the market with appropriate messaging and to create buzz around it. Furthermore, various teams need to create different documentation such as release notes and knowledge base for support.

Every product and company has different goals for the product launch. All of them are easy to trace by asking “what are the dependables for this” at every step. For example, to release a functional product the dependable is to conduct in-depth testing.

2. Assign roles to everyone on your team

The product management process consists of a lot of responsibilities. The proper execution of those responsibilities for a successful product launch requires a collective effort. Assigning roles and responsibilities to everyone in the team facilitates that by:

  1. Eliminating the instances of repetition of efforts
  2. Decreasing ambiguity during collaboration
  3. Making the overall process faster

Zeda.io facilitates this by allowing members of the product management team to assign feature requests to each other.

You can integrate other task management tools such as Jira, Asana, and Trello as well.

3. Double-check the market demand

After setting the deadline and assigning roles and responsibilities to each team member, you should head to validate your theories with real data. This step in the new product launch checklist template is all about talking to your current and prospective customers to build them a product they find useful.

It involves creating surveys and questionnaires and setting up interviews to learn more about the pain points and expectations of your customers. This is also a great opportunity for you to soft-test your ideas and minimum viable products (MVPs).

Due to the nature of action items that come under this step, it might appear that you are moving quite slowly. It takes time to create questionnaires, send them to customers through different channels, collect answers, and extract actionable insights from them.

Fortunately, Zeda.io collates all of those answers into one place as soon as they are collected.

Double-check the market deman

4. Test your product from every angle, repeatedly

Completion of the previous step will give you the green light to proceed in the right direction and build a final version of the product. This is where you closely follow all the six steps of product management that will enable you to carry out the daily operations efficiently.

Product testing gives you the following advantages:

Benefits of software product testing

Post-development you should test the wheels off of the product. This is where a product launch readiness checklist can come in handy. Although this phase might look different for each brand, (as with each step in this product launch checklist) you should follow the two crucial steps below:

  1. Test the functionality, user experience, and interface of the product in-house. Fix all the bugs and errors that you find and repeat until there are none.
  2. Do the same with external/third-party testers.

5. Get your marketing strategy ready

Your product launch will be a success when you will gain a lot of customers. That will happen when your target audience perceives your product to be valuable, superior to the competition, and trusts you as a friend.

That’s where your marketing strategy comes in.

A product launch marketing checklist consists of tactics that aim to achieve the following:

  • Makes it easier for your target audience to find your product easily
  • Positions you as a better alternative than your competitors
  • Relays your value proposition perfectly to your target audience
  • Forms a close relationship with your audience and earn their trust
  • Generates data that will help you learn more about your target audience

All of the above objectives are crucial for a successful product launch. It often involves tactics like content writing, holding press releases, running programmatic ads, etc. Make sure your marketing product launch checklist covers all promotional methods necessary.

6. Give your sales team everything they need

Your sales team does more than making sales. They help set the pricing, nurture leads, upsell to your existing customers, and maintain customer relations for a higher customer lifetime value.

The work of the developers and the marketers is completed before the product is launched, for the most part. When your product is launched, your sales team takes the center stage to convert leads into loyal customers. In general, they need the following:

  1. Benchmarks and targets: This is like a line in the sand to help you see where you really stand in comparison to your expectations.
  2. Sales CRM tools: HubSpot, Salesforce, etc., automate a lot of processes in the sales workflow such as lead nurturing.
  3. End-to-end sales pipeline: The steps of the sales methodology that help convert a lead into a customer.
  4. Sales documentation: These include slides, decks, pamphlets, testimonials, case studies, etc., that help them close more sales.

The SaaS sales pipeline usually looks like this

Sales pipeline

Make sure that all of the above components are tested thoroughly. You can consider combining the sales and marketing checklists for your product launch to build a more streamlined workflow.

7. Update the support documentation

Some of your customers will need help in figuring out how your product works. It is your responsibility to make sure that these roadblocks are identified and removed so that more of your customers get the value they were promised quickly.

Support documentation is content in any format that helps your customers use your product better. The most commonly used support documentations are knowledge base, how-to videos, chatbots, and onboarding tours.

Creating these is perhaps the most important step in the product pre-launch checklist. Not only will it provide help to your customers but it will also make your customer success team more knowledgeable about the product.

8. Launch your product

Now comes the actual announcement of your arrival to the market and directions for the interested audience to use your product.

Ideally, you should make that announcement on every platform where your target audience exists. However, there are some platforms that are more important than others because of their authority, reach, and contributions to the community.

Product Hunt (PH) is a website where software product-loving enthusiasts discuss the best products and spread the word. A PH launch will give you the following advantages:

  • It will save you a lot of money and time in finding new users as the large community on the platform is actively trying out new products
  • You will get reviews and feedback from a tech-loving community
  • Setting goals becomes easier as you can track:

- The number of upvotes and comments

- Traffic to your website

-The number of signups or downloads (in case of an app)

- Your ranking on Product Hunt

  • You can interact with your audience with ease

Apart from launching your product on Product Hunt, you can consider similar platforms such as SaaSHub and Indie Hackers.

9. Evaluate your results

The last step is about gaining insights from the data collected. The metrics we mentioned in the previous section will help you identify areas of improvement so your future releases will be even more successful.

For example, if your brand awareness is through the roof but initial sales are low, you may need to revisit your pricing and sales strategies while monitoring market sentiment.

Also, you can make edits to the new product launch marketing checklist based on the metrics' insights to improve brand awareness and increase user engagement after the launch.

Summing up

A product launch checklist makes it easier for you to raise awareness about your product, announce its release to your target audience, and maximize initial traction. It does so by putting all the tasks on a comprehensive to-do list.

The free product launch checklist template above has nine broad steps:

  1. Setting deadlines and objectives to set a benchmark for the launch
  2. Assigning roles and responsibilities to everyone for smooth collaboration
  3. Verifying the market demand and the desirability of the proposed product
  4. Testing your product thoroughly from every angle possible
  5. Preparing a marketing plan for raising brand awareness and earning trust
  6. Getting the sales team ready with the right tools and pipelines
  7. Updating the support documentation so customers can get the most out of the product
  8. Launching your product on platforms like Product Hunt to ensure maximum impact
  9. Monitoring relevant metrics like signups and traffic to make future launches better

Managing all the above steps for their clinical execution involves monitoring various activities and clear communication within the product management team.

That’s where Zeda.io comes in.

Zeda.io is a product management software for teams that will help you easily execute all the above steps in the new product launch checklist. You can track any activity on various apps through Zeda.io with the help of integrations.

Start your free trial today and make your product launch a success.

FAQs

  1. What is a product launch checklist?

A product launch checklist contains important action items to be completed to make a product ready for its initial users upon launch.

  1. What are the six steps of a product launch plan?

The six steps of a product launch plan are — testing the product, empowering your team, getting the sales process ready, remembering your business goals, establishing performance metrics, and gathering feedback post-launch.

  1. How do you prepare for a launch day?

You can prepare for a launch day by expecting the worst, having extra hands on deck, setting measurable goals, and empowering your team to do their best work.

  1. What is one key to a strong product launch?

The desirability of your product is key to a strong product launch. Desirability is a variable that answers the most important question in product management — “Will this product solve the problem of my customers?”. It doesn’t matter whether it can be built or advertised until it has some real utility.

Jacob Koshy
Product Marketer at Zeda.io
A marketer in love with SaaS products. When away from work, I'm either spending time with my cats or adding miles on my motorcycle.
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