SaaS Product Launch: Everything You Need to Know
A SaaS product launch is an event when your product enters the market and your target audience can finally start using it.
In this guide, you’ll learn the importance of a product launch, where and when you should launch your product, what you need to make your launch successful, and the challenges you might face, along with some best practices and metrics you need to track. You’ll also find a SaaS product launch checklist to make your launch process simple.
Let’s dive in.
Importance of a SaaS product launch
A product launch is a moment of truth for both product managers and teams. This is when you know how well you have understood your user’s needs and how accurately your product addresses them. Hence, a product launch is critical and exciting as it:
- Creates an initial buzz for the product
- Establishes a unique identity for your product in the market
- Drives demand in your target market
- Gets you your first customers
- Helps you find areas of improvement in your product
The most crucial component of your SaaS product launch strategy is the date and time and the platform(s) on which you plan to release your product.
When and where to launch your SaaS product
The success of your SaaS launch strategy depends on how well your timing is. When you enter the market, your aim is to ensure that the attention of your target audience is fixed on your product. If you launch during the holiday season, for example, you will have to share the spotlight with ludicrous offers from other brands.
The right date and time for your launch depend on a variety of factors like industry, the platform you are launching on, your target audience, etc.
For instance, if you want to launch on Product Hunt, the best day and time to launch is Tuesday and 12:01 am.
It is, therefore, important to monitor when you see the most engagement from your audience on your social media posts and announcements. Keep in mind that your product is new to your audience, which means they need to be free to understand your product’s value proposition and to try it out.
Announce your product’s launch on social media, email newsletters, communities like Indie Hackers and Product Hunt, and platforms like Google Play Store.
After determining when and where you will launch your SaaS product, you need to make sure you have everything you might need for this event.
What you need for a SaaS product launch
You need to be ready on three aspects: product, team, and resources, to make your SaaS product launch successful. Let’s look at each of them separately.
1. A working product that your users want
Your SaaS product launch marketing plan will get you the users and publicity you want only if the product works and it solves a real problem. You can ensure that you have built a desirable product by keeping your SaaS product management process data-backed.
It is recommended that you have a dedicated team of testers who will test the finished product thoroughly and fix bugs if any. Furthermore, consider a beta release for a small group of users to verify the product’s practical utility.
2. A cross-functional team with aligned processes
A good product gets delivered when your team shares a common understanding of your user’s problems and expectations and works collaboratively towards a common goal. You are not ready to launch your product when your team members disagree on your product’s functionalities and core value for the user.
It is crucial for product managers to make user data and all product documents such as MRD and PRD available to the team. This will quickly bring everyone to the same page and align efforts throughout the SaaS product development process.
3. The right tools
Communicating with the users, aligning the internal team’s efforts, keeping track of feature requests and bugs, and collaborating with external stakeholders are some of the many crucial activities that your team needs to perform efficiently for a successful launch.
However, as these processes require multiple tools, your team might find themselves spending a lot of time cycling between multiple apps which makes it difficult to deliver the product on time.
Zeda.io solves this by allowing product teams to manage all their processes from start to finish on a single platform. You can either bring your existing tools here through integrations or use its native features.
Now, getting a product launch right means getting a lot of things right at the same time. Let’s look at four such roadblocks and what you can do to solve them.
Challenges during a SaaS product launch and how to overcome them
Every product team faces unique challenges while launching its product. Here are four common challenges that you might face at different stages of your product launch.
1. Screening ideas
You can face this challenge in two stages. First, when you are conceptualizing the product, and second, when you are selecting which features to include. Since these are fundamental stages of product development, making the wrong choice can be costly as you might end up building a product that no one wants.
Zeda.io eliminates this roadblock by allowing product teams to soft-test their ideas through user flows:
Zeda.io makes feature selection easy by collecting the “votes” of every team member:
2. Explaining the product
If you have your ideal user in front of you, how will you describe your product to them so that they are at least motivated to try it? This challenge is often faced by the product marketing manager while crafting promotional messages for the upcoming launch.
It is important to learn the needs and expectations of your users and relay your brand’s message in their language to avoid attracting the wrong audience.
3. Backing your decisions with data
The product launch is a major event in the product lifecycle. Hence, you have to ensure that each decision you make and task you complete takes you toward a successful launch. This is where market and user data come in.
As data comes through various channels and in multiple formats, monitoring and extracting insights from it might get difficult. Zeda.io makes it easy for you by bringing all your analytics tools to one place:
4. Creating a post-launch strategy
You have launched your product, now what? Product managers need to have a ready-to-go strategy on how they plan to learn from initial market reactions and user feedback to improve the product whether it is by fixing bugs or adding more features.
Best practices to keep in mind while launching a SaaS product
1. Focus on the basics: Aim to deliver a working product that your users need and keep your brand’s messaging simple.
2. Make a Plan B: Sometimes things don’t work as expected. For instance, you might discover one of the features of your product is undesirable. In these scenarios, always have a backup plan ready to make the best out of that situation.
3. Involve your users: If you want to build a product that your users love, ask them what they want and how they want it.
4. Create all the help docs: Help docs help your users get the most out of your product while reducing your workload. Spend that time interacting with your users directly.
Metrics to measure your SaaS product launch success
One of the most important objectives of a product launch is to learn more about your users and iterate your product to get more customers and retain existing ones. You can easily achieve this objective when you are tracking the right metrics.
Your product’s success depends on how well it addresses its users’ needs and achieves the company's goals. Hence, you need to focus on two kinds of metrics:
1. Product performance metrics
Retention rate, Net Promoter Score (NPS), daily active users (DAU), etc., are product performance metrics that tell you whether your product actually solves the problem as advertised.
If these numbers aren’t where they need to be, you need to communicate with your users to learn why the product isn’t meeting their expectations and take appropriate action.
2. Business performance metrics
Average revenue per user (ARPU), monthly recurring revenue (MRR), customer acquisition cost (CAC), etc., are business performance metrics that let you know whether your product is contributing toward your organizational goals.
Adopt a variety of strategies such as changing up your pricing plans, reinventing your marketing strategy, or targeting a new demographic, etc. to improve all these product management metrics.
Now let’s look at how you can launch your product in nine easy steps.
9 steps to launch your product
Keep this product launch checklist handy to track all the major tasks that you need to complete for a successful launch:
A successful product launch is crucial for establishing your product's identity, driving demand, and acquiring your first customers. The right timing and platform play a significant role in the success of a SaaS product launch.
Launching on social media, email newsletters, and communities like Indie Hackers and Product Hunt can create initial buzz and drive traffic to your product.
To ensure a successful launch, you need to have a working product that solves a real problem, a cross-functional team that’s aligned on a common goal, and the right tools to streamline your processes.
But juggling multiple tools can make it difficult to align your team’s efforts while keeping processes data-backed.
Zeda.io, a super app for product teams, simplifies this by bringing your user analytics, feedback management, and product planning tools into one place.
- What are the three types of product launches?
The three types of product launches are soft launch (limited release of a product to a select audience for testing and feedback purposes), hard launch (full-scale release of a product to the market with a significant marketing campaign), and rolling launch ( phased approach to introducing a product to the market in stages).
- How do you announce a new feature on SaaS?
To announce a new feature on SaaS, create a blog post, social media posts, and email newsletters, highlighting the benefits, and provide tutorials or webinars to show users how to use it.
- What do you say when launching a new product?
When launching a new product, introduce its unique value proposition and key features to its target audience. You can also highlight how it solves your users’ problems to differentiate it from competitors.
- What are the KPIs for a product launch?
Key performance indicators (KPIs) for a product launch may include average revenue per user, customer acquisition rate, customer retention rate, daily active users, and website traffic.
- What are the six steps of a product launch plan?
The six steps of a product launch plan are research, design, production, testing, launch, and post-launch evaluation.
- What is a product launch checklist?
A product launch checklist is a tool used to ensure all the necessary tasks are completed before and during the launch process. It may include items such as testing, marketing, and sales activities.
- How do you structure a product launch?
You can start by defining the target audience and the unique value proposition of the product. Then you can add more details such as marketing strategy and timeline.
- What are the five steps to launching a product?
The five steps to launching a product are market research, product development, marketing strategy, launch planning, and post-launch evaluation.
- What is the best time and day to launch a product?
The best time and day to launch a product depend on the target audience and industry. Weekdays and early mornings may work best for B2B products, while weekends and evenings may work best for B2C products.
- How much should I spend on a product launch?
The amount to spend on a product launch depends on the product's scope, target audience, and marketing channels. A general rule is to allocate 10-20% of the total product development cost.
- How do you know if a product launch is successful?
A product launch is successful if it meets the set KPIs, receives positive customer feedback, generates profitable revenue, and creates long-term brand loyalty.
- Should you offer discounts at your product launch?
Offering discounts at a product launch can incentivize early adopters and generate initial sales as long as you balance discounts with the product's value proposition and profitability. However, if you are just launching a product, your primary objective should be to learn about your audience rather than generate huge amounts of sales.
- What should I prepare for a product launch?
Start by conducting market research, developing a marketing and sales strategy, creating promotional materials, preparing the sales team, and testing the product's functionality and user experience.
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