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17 Components of a Successful SaaS Product Launch

Best SaaS Product Launch Strategies banner (1)

 

Launching a SaaS product in today’s hyper-competitive digital market can be difficult. With so many B2B SaaS startups emerging daily, you need to know how to stand out and communicate your message to your target audience in an immersive way.

In this article, we’ll go over some important points to review during a SaaS product launch. We’ll also cover 6 SaaS product launch strategies to set up your SaaS product and company for success in the long-term.

This guide is not only for SaaS startups, but B2B SaaS companies can also take important takeaways for developing their own B2B product launch strategy and marketing plan. Let’s get started.

 

Setting up a Successful SaaS Product Launch

 

It’s no longer enough to sell your SaaS product through one or two channels, like Facebook or Google Ads. This holds true especially if you’re a SaaS startup looking to gain traction.

If you want early traction, you need a product marketing strategy.

Product marketing is a process that helps SaaS companies to promote and sell their products. It involves developing a product strategy, conducting market research, creating marketing materials, and managing product launches.

The goal of product marketing is to generate interest in a product and help customers see its value. A successful product marketing campaign can make all the difference in whether a SaaS company is able to reach its sales goals.

SaaS product companies must have a deep understanding of their target market and what customers are looking for. They need to create compelling SaaS marketing materials that highlight the features and benefits of their products. And they need to have a well-designed product launch plan that will ensure their products reach the right people at the right time. With careful planning and execution, product marketing can help SaaS companies achieve their sales goals.

A product manager is responsible for developing and managing a product marketing strategy that will generate interest and demand for a SaaS product. This includes working with the sales team to identify target markets, developing messaging and positioning, and creating go-to-market plans.

In addition, a product manager also oversees the creation and implementation of product pricing, licensing, and packaging. By working closely with the sales team, a product manager can ensure that a SaaS product is effectively marketed to potential customers.

Aside from product marketing, PR is evolving and there are plenty of SaaS marketing opportunities in that sphere. It now includes ecosystems like community platforms, influencer marketing, podcasting, and more.

Recent B2B trends include funding a SaaS solution via crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter. Getting highlighted on industry sites like Product Hunt also helps.

These channels are great for attracting attention, but not always for generating revenue. They don’t provide the cash injection most businesses need to develop. Hence, it’s best to look into other options.

 

A Word About B2B Product Launch

 

SaaS product launches are a complex undertaking, requiring careful planning and execution. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, there are some essential ingredients that all successful SaaS product launches share.

First and foremost, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your target market. What needs does your product fill? Who are your ideal customers?

Once you have a solid grasp on your target market, you can start to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy. This should include everything from traditional advertising to thought leadership content and social media outreach. It’s also important to build hype prior to launch day by generating press coverage and conducting beta launch tests with potential customers.

On launch day itself, it’s critical to execute flawlessly and ensure that your website and all communication channels are up and running smoothly. By following these best practices, you can set your SaaS product up for success from day one.

 

Developing a SaaS Product Launch Plan

 

SaaS product launches are unique in that they require a mix of both technical and SaaS marketing skills. A successful SaaS product launch plan must take both into account.

From a technical standpoint, SaaS products must be built to be scalable and secure from the outset. Your beta launch is a great opportunity to gain feedback from users and identify any potential areas where your product may need further development in order to be able to support a larger number of users. Further down the road, this means planning for things like high availability, data security, and compliance from the start. Neglecting these considerations can come back to bite you later.

On the marketing side, if you’re a B2B SaaS company, it’s important to remember that SaaS products are usually B2B products. This means that your target market is other businesses, not individual consumers. As such, your marketing strategy should focus on reaching business decision-makers through channels like trade shows, LinkedIn ads, and webinars.

On the other hand, if you’re not a B2B company, your target market is still businesses, but you need to focus on marketing to the individuals within those businesses who are responsible for making purchasing decisions. This means that your marketing strategy should focus on channels like Google AdWords, Facebook ads, and Instagram influencers.

Now that we’ve set some context, let’s dive into the details of what you need to do in order to launch your SaaS product successfully.

 

1. Understand your competitors

 

The first step in any good marketing strategy is to understand your competition. This is especially true for SaaS product launches, where the competition is likely to be fierce.

When you’re planning your launch strategy, take the time to research your competitors and see what they’re doing right (and wrong). Identify their strengths and weaknesses, and determine how you can position your product in a way that sets it apart from the competition.

Certain tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs might help you find out how you can deliver an additional value compared to your competition. You can get yourself a SEMrush discount by DemandSage online if needed.

These tools generate particular data that could let you see what marketing channels are driving traffic to them, as well as their backlink sources and top landing pages. As a result, you’ll have an opportunity to design a more successful product launch strategy.

As an alternative, you can make a spreadsheet of firms or corporations offering a similar solution to yours and add them to the list. To have a good idea of your competitors’ marketing methods, look at their advertisements, websites, and other media to learn from them.

 

2. Research your target market

 

Before launching a SaaS product, it’s important to do your research and develop a detailed plan. Step two in this process is to research about your target customers. This includes defining your buyer persona, identifying potential customers, and finding beta users.

Your buyer persona is a fictional character that represents your target customer. To create your buyer persona, you’ll need to gather data about your target customers. This can be done through interviews, surveys, and secondary research. Once you have this data, you’ll be able to create a profile of your buyer persona, including their demographics, needs, pain points, and motivations.

Identifying potential customers is another important step in market research. To do this, you’ll need to identify who your target customers are and what needs they have that your product can address. Once you’ve identified potential customers, you can start reaching out to them to gauge their interest in your product.

Finally, finding beta users is a great way to get feedback on your product before launch. Beta users are people who test out products and provide feedback on their experience. To find beta users, you can reach out to potential customers or use online platforms. Once you’ve found beta users, you can contact them and ask if they’re interested in testing out your product.

 

3. Prioritize value

 

Attempting to make a quick buck is a recipe for failure. Instead of focusing on the bottom line, consider how your new product will benefit the people who might purchase or utilize it. Aim to build brand values that will increase your target audience’s loyalty.

The value of a brand is what it stands for, not what it can do. Nike, for example, isn’t in the business of selling sports shoes. Rather, it promotes the virtues of determination and success via its brand. So, rather than presenting all your “special” features on the first page of your new product’s landing page, focus on the values you are offering to customers.

So, how do you create value? Observe, respond, and keep in touch with your customers.

Don’t be disheartened by the low numbers. Remember that the better your new product becomes, the more people will flock to it.

 

4. Build your Team

 

In the early phases of a SaaS startup, the importance of a strong team cannot be overstated. As a result, you’ll want to pick your:

  • Contractors
  • First-time employees, including those who work remotely
  • SaaS product manager
  • Members of your marketing team

Usually, it’s practically impossible to hire full-time employees in the early phases of a startup because of the lack of funding. Sometimes, a SaaS founder will do all of the tasks of these people. And if you find yourself in this situation, outsourcing some jobs as you take off is a good idea. It’s one way to find suitable employees as your SaaS business takes flight.

 

5. Get a traction

 

If you want to reach new consumers, you’ll need a SaaS marketing strategy. There are several ways to do so, from attending local events to blogging and online campaigns to social media ads, and more. 

Some traction strategies are more likely to be effective than others, depending on the kind of products or services you’re launching. If your SaaS company is geared at people who need web-based services, it’s difficult to be profitable promoting in the local paper. Social media marketing and digital advertising will certainly be more effective.

Use a variety of marketing techniques to evaluate which ones work best over time and which ones don’t. Create a budget, study, design a strategy depending on your corporate objectives, then concentrate on the strategies that deliver you the most purchasing consumers. Knowing your Lifetime Value (LTV) and Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) will help you find the best methods to reach new customers.

 

6. Tell a brand story

 

After knowing your competitive advantage, you need a captivating brand story that appeals to your customer’s emotions. You can use this brand story in presentations, on your site, or through visuals.

Hubspot is an excellent example of this. The company started when its founders noticed that customers are no longer pulled in by interruptive bids. So they focus on the idea that helping people with their problems would attract clients.

Hubspot is among the first companies that focused on inbound marketing. What makes the company’s brand story so compelling is that anyone can achieve in any space as long you pay attention to customer behavior.

It’s why behavioral marketing is so effective. 

 

7. Beta testing

 

Beta testing can reveal a lot about your post-launch performance. There is a wealth of knowledge in beta testing.

Beta users should be market representatives, not hand-picked cheerleaders. Always remember that criticisms are your direction towards growth. Receiving this constructive feedback early increases your launch’s success. Without it, you’re stumbling in the dark and are positioning yourself for a nasty drop.

In addition, beta testing can also be used to generate hype for your new product by creating a buzz amongst early adopters. The best way to beta test a SaaS product is to offer a free trial or product demo to a select group of users. This will allow them to get a feel for the product and its features without having to make a commitment.

Beta testers should be given clear instructions on how to provide feedback, and they should be encouraged to be as candid as possible. Once the beta period is over, the product should be further refined based on the feedback received. Only then should it be made available to the general public.

 

8. Set your KPIs

 

Measuring success is crucial for any SaaS startup along with strategizing what they can do to stay afloat. Various indicators can help in this regard and increase a startup’s revenue. Usually, up to 10 metrics are enough to assess and improve business performance. But they must be chosen and combined wisely.

Indicators that are irrelevant to your business’ performance may lead you astray.

Here’s how to set up KPIs quickly.

  • Explain what purpose your new product serves. If your new product directly creates revenue, then revenue is your main indicator. Analyze your product before focusing on KPIs.
  • Set SMART goals: Specific – Measurable – Achievable – Time-boundEvery sector and business strategy has preferred KPIs. For example, a SaaS founder’s KPIs will be very different from an eCommerce firm owner’s.
  • Incorporate leading and lagging indicators. Leading indicators tell you how probable your product is to achieve its aim, whereas lagging indicators tell you what happened thereafter.

A lot goes into choosing KPIs for SaaS revenue, marketing, and growth, data. While there are dozens of indicators to consider, there are a few key universal metrics that can help you assess your SaaS startup’s performance. They won’t provide you with a complete picture of your business, but they’ll help you get started.

 

9 BEST SaaS Product Launch Strategies

 

A successful product launch is critical to the success of any SaaS company. Not only does it generate buzz and excitement for your product, but it also helps to acquire new customers and drive growth. However, launching a SaaS product is not easy. As we’ve learned in the last section, there are a lot of moving parts, and it takes careful planning and execution to ensure a smooth launch. The following are six of the best SaaS product launch strategies:

 

1. Have press release via social media

 

With over 3 billion users, social media is now part of every marketing strategy.

According to a survey, over two-thirds of journalists use Twitter to identify stories. Furthermore, approximately three-quarters use the platform for research. Only 14% of those journalists will visit a company blog.

Don’t let your press releases sit on your website. Ask for feedback from journalists who may be interested in the product. You may do this both on Twitter and on industry-related websites.

Ask questions on social media to initiate conversations with your target population. Social media dialogues engage your audience and, if they are interesting, may catch the attention of journalists too.

Below are other pointers to leverage social media marketing for your product launch.

  • Begin with only a few popular social networking sites. This can help you understand your target demographic and how to engage them.
  • A Facebook business page. Whatever your business, Facebook has a market for you. You may use incentives or run a contest to promote your product and generate leads.
  • Create a Twitter account to communicate with relevant people. You can also use it to share news about your product, business, or industry.
  • Create a LinkedIn company page and update it often. It’s an excellent source of B2B SaaS customers. With LinkedIn Pulse, you can create articles and share content with relevant groups. Most prospective customers use LinkedIn to research a company before buying.

 

2. Price appropriately

 

The cost of a new product is an important decision. If you don’t charge enough, you won’t be able to pay your bills. If you overcharge, you risk losing thousands of dollars in potential revenue. To avoid alienating new and existing customers or giving the impression that you can’t satisfy their demands, you must avoid overcharging.

So what are your options? Here, the use of a tiered pricing strategy plays a huge part. It may be particularly useful for a SaaS business to cater to different buyer personas’ wants and budgets.

Tiered pricing is a pricing strategy used by companies to tailor the price of their products and services to different audiences. Your selling price per unit must fall inside a specific pricing range in this model. You advance to the next tier after filling out the previous one.

As an illustration, consider the following:

  • It costs $300 to buy a single unit
  • 2-5 units: $250 each
  • 6-10 units: $240 each
  • 11-20 units: $230 each
  • 20+ units: $220 each

You may reach a broader (and more diverse) consumer base by catering to a wider range of price points and demand rates by optimizing and varying your offering across the various segments.

 

3. Give early adopters a lifetime freemium deal

 

Due to the low entrance barrier, a freemium version can be a quick way to drive trial for a new service. It can also increase brand awareness and expand your reach organically.

In reality, a freemium model can help speed up profit growth and recurring revenue. So it’s no surprise that freemium has become a popular marketing strategy for Web 2.0 enterprises.

According to Distimo, freemium currently accounts for 71% of Apple AppStore earnings in the US, up from 50% in 2012. Moreover, 32% of SaaS businesses adopted a freemium model for client management.

 

4. Automated Emails

 

Automated onboarding is a must for SaaS companies nowadays. Few businesses or users will join in without fully knowing your new product’s benefits. While you can experiment, your onboarding process must at least include:

  • Greetings
  • Tutorials and product tours
  • A demo request option
  • Lifecycle emails
  • Your product roadmap

 

5. Demonstrating your new product to prospects

 

Highlighting product features won’t always compel new prospects. With a tailored product demo, your prospective customer will better understand what you can do.

You can also use it to create a self-guided product experience to attract early adopters. Customer-centric demos set them apart from other launch-phase marketing and promotional materials. Upselling success begins with putting your consumers first.

Customization shows clients you understand their business and its challenges. Instead of making empty promises, show clients how your product works in practice.

Seeing how your solution can solve their problems increases conversion rates.

 

6. People need a reason to discuss and spread the message

 

Customers need ‘talk triggers.’ These could be remarkable experiences that will push them to tell their stories and do your PR for you.
At Doubletree Hotels, for example, guests receive a cookie upon arrival. According to a study, 34% of Doubletree guests mentioned the cookie within 60 days.

A simple referral scheme grew Dropbox’s user base from 100,000 to over 4 million in a little over a year. Instead of a cookie, they gave anyone who referred a friend 500MB of free space. It works in B2B as well as B2C.

Differentiation is critical. Yet many firms overlook the importance of adding value to consumers. It’s all about starting dialogues and encouraging others to take part. It also entails welcoming newcomers with a rare opportunity.

 

7. Share your Product Roadmap

 

A product roadmap is a high-level view of the product development cycle. By sharing your product roadmap with potential customers prior to the launch date, you can give them a sense of your product’s timeline and what features to expect in the future. This can help to build interest and excitement for your product launch. Furthermore, it can also help to address any concerns that potential customers may have about the product’s development. By sharing your product roadmap, you can set realistic expectations and create a sense of transparency around your product launch.

 

8. Build hype

 

SaaS product launches are always a big deal. No matter how many times you’ve done it, there’s always an element of excitement and suspense. After all, you’re putting your new product out there for the whole world to see. And you want to make sure that it’s well-received.

One of the best ways to build hype for a SaaS product launch is to create a teaser campaign. This is where you release small snippets of information about the product in the lead-up to the launch. You can do this through blog posts, social media posts, email newsletters, and even traditional advertising. The key is to whet people’s appetites and get them excited about the product.

Another great way to build hype is to partner with influencers. If you can get some well-known names in your industry to endorse your product or even just talk about it, that will go a long way towards generating interest and excitement.

Finally, don’t forget about your existing customers. They are some of your biggest advocates and can help spread the word about your new product.

Make sure to reach out to them and let them know about the upcoming launch. With a little bit of planning and effort, you can build a lot of excitement for your SaaS product launch.

 

9. Offer Discounts

 

It’s no secret that people love a good deal. And when it comes to launching a new SaaS product, offering discounts can be an effective way to generate buzz and encourage sign-ups. There are a few different ways to go about offering discounts on a SaaS product launch.

For example, you could offer a percentage off the list price for those who sign up during the launch window. Or you could offer a free trial period with full access to all features. If you’re unsure about which discount strategy will work best for your product, it’s worth doing some market research to see what other SaaS companies are doing.

However, if you choose to offer discounts on your launch, make sure you clearly communicate the value of the offer and the limited time frame in which it will be available. Doing so will help create a sense of urgency and encourage more people to take advantage of the discount.

 

Final Words About SaaS Product Launch Strategies

 

After completing the stages mentioned above, you are ready to launch your product.

Note though that what worked during pre-launch may not work well once you have real clients. Prepare your team for that.

During your launch, be transparent about your intentions and progress. You may record dates and key milestones on an office wall. This helps everyone understand the project’s development. Immediately after launch, gather as much input as possible. Be ready to make significant improvements.

Build agile processes and assign tasks ahead of time. Despite the flaws, you must be adaptable and suggest the ideal consumer experience.

Your product will always have flaws and missing functionality upon launch. The idea is to establish a system that allows users to offer you feedback.

It must also allow you to swiftly aggregate, analyze, and act on it. Contact information (email, phone, etc.) should be visible on every page.

Also, invite individuals to send queries and feedback to your email instead of putting them on your social media pages.Most startups open too many communication channels, making it tough to manage them all. You can’t be everywhere at once while starting a SaaS business.

In conclusion, starting a project in a highly competitive sector like SaaS has never been easy. But it isn’t impossible either. Just look at the successful SaaS startups today. They may be operating in a competitive market and yet they still remain profitable.

For more SaaS insights and strategies, visit our blog here.

 

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Ken Moo
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