How to Launch a SaaS Product Successfully and Avoid Common Mistakes
The stress of getting your first SaaS out the door can be overwhelming. You have the main challenge of launching it properly, and then juggling it with other responsibilities you have in your startup such as marketing your product, launching your website, and managing your SaaS business.
Despite all this on your plate, how do you ensure a successful SaaS product launch? Well, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach here; every SaaS is different. But there are some best practices that apply across the board. Here are six tips to launch a SaaS product successfully:
Best Practices in Launching a SaaS Product
There are a number of things to consider when launching a SaaS, but following these guidelines will help make your SaaS launch period more successful.
Build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
As the name implies, an MVP is a product with just enough features to satisfy early adopters. It’s not necessarily the “final” product. But, it’s just enough for people to start using and paying for it. The goal of a SaaS MVP is to test your idea in real life, so that you can get feedback on what works and what doesn’t work before developing a more robust final release.
An MVP includes:
- A landing page: This is a one-page website that tells visitors what your product does, how it can help them, and why they should sign up for it.
- A sign-up form: This allows people to start using your product right away.
- A payment system: This can be either a subscription-based system or a pay-as-you-go system.
- A basic set of features: This should be enough for people to start using your product, but not so many that it’s overwhelming.
Creating an MVP can help you save time and money in the long run, because it allows you to test your product before investing too much time and resources into development.
And once you find success in your MVP, you can then focus on adding more features, expanding your SaaS product, and releasing it as a full product.
Get your product in front of customers as soon as possible
In a similar fashion, your SaaS product is your baby. It’s the culmination of months of research, design, and development. You believe it will change the world, but until you get it in front of customers and get their feedback, you won’t know if that’s true.
So, get your product in front of customers as soon as possible. This can be done by releasing an MVP or early access version to a small group of beta users who are willing to share their thoughts with you about what they like and don’t like about the product. Early adopters provide valuable feedback and help you fix any issues before the SaaS goes public.
Make sure that you also have an effective beta testing process in place. This includes creating a good user interface, setting up the required infrastructure, and having the core features of your SaaS in place.
Be prepared for criticism from early adopters and beta testers with regards to your SaaS product. Their comments, be it positive or negative, will be helpful as you develop your SaaS towards its launch.
Talk about your product and idea everywhere.
You don’t need to go viral, but there’s a lot to be said for being noticed. You should talk about your SaaS product and vision everywhere you can.
(Talk about your SaaS in person and online. Promote it on social media. Provide updates about your SaaS’ development so everyone knows what you’re doing. The people who believe in your product and your vision will be paying close attention to what you have to say.)
Getting press coverage will help build initial awareness for your SaaS, so try reaching out to journalists that cover the SaaS industry.
Don’t underestimate the power of good old-fashioned word-of-mouth recommendations between friends and family either.
You may also want to speak at important conferences and meetups. This will give more exposure to your product as you meet with industry thought leaders and gain feedback from your target audience.
Promote your SaaS early
No matter how good your product is, you can’t expect it to go viral on its own. Preferably, you’ll want to build an audience around your product before your beta launch in order to get the word out early and make sure people know about it and get hyped about your SaaS. Here’s one way to do it:
Start by identifying influencers in your industry or niche who might be willing to write about your SaaS product before and during its launch.
Once you’ve found these influencers, reach out and start building relationships with them. If they’re willing to work with you, then give them early access to your SaaS so they can write or make video reviews about your product. Provide them with other helpful information so that they feel comfortable working with you.
The more these influencers trust you, the more they’ll be willing to promote your SaaS to their audience. Utilize social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn as a way of building and maintaining these professional relationships over time.
Use data from your MVP to help with development
Once you’ve launched your MVP, you’ll have access to a lot of data regarding its performance. This can be used to improve the product itself and everything around it, including SaaS marketing campaigns, business models, and sales processes.
For example, let’s say that after launch you notice that a certain feature isn’t being used as much as anticipated. Instead of launching another feature with similar functionality (e.g., “Product B”), try to remove or change the one that wasn’t working well in hopes of making your SaaS more attractive to potential users.
Another option is adding new features in your software development based on the user data collected from your MVP launch campaign.
As an example: if you notice that some people are paying for a basic version but not upgrading once they see all its benefits (like better storage space), consider adding additional storage space as an upgrade option so they won’t miss out on having this feature.
You can also try giving away coupons or discounts during introductory offers as it may lead to better retention rates. Many businesses fail because they lack effective upsell strategies, which means they’re missing out on potential recurring revenue streams.
Takeaway: Launch Early, Collect feedback, Scale Up
The best way to build a successful SaaS product is to launch it early, present a product demo, collect feedback from your customers, and work hard to validate your assumptions. This will enable you to grow your community of passionate users who love using your SaaS.
By launching early, you can start collecting valuable data about how people are using the product. You can then use that data as fuel for future iterations of the product-and thus move closer toward building something that people actually want!
Once you have a small group of users who love what they’re doing with your SaaS application or website (or whatever), then it’s time to scale up and get even more traction by making sure that everyone knows how great their experience with you was when they finished using it…
You need to make sure that the users who love your SaaS solution tell their friends about it. That’s where product marketing comes in! At this point, you have a small group of enthusiastic customers who are willing to use your product again and again-and now all you have to do is let others know how great it is.
Mistakes to Avoid When Launching a SaaS product
Here are some common mistakes that businesses make when launching their products:
Pricing your product too high or low
Pricing your product too high or low is a common problem for SaaS companies. Pricing is an important part of your SaaS business, as it determines how much you can charge and how many customers you will attract.
There are two main things that influence the price of a product: the value you are providing to customers and the market conditions (e.g., whether there are similar products in the market).
Let’s take a look at two different scenarios:
If your SaaS has a similar competitor, then it might be better to price it lower to attract more customers. In this case, your low pricing can be promoted as a hook to get more customers. However, doing this has its risks. If you price your product too low, customers will think that it’s not worth their time and money.
On the other hand, if your SaaS doesn’t have a similar competitor, then pricing it higher can help you make more profits. In this case, customers will be willing to pay more because they know that there is no other product like yours in the market.
Pricing is the make-or-break factor for many SaaS products, so it’s important to get it right.
Not understanding your market
Understanding your customers is critical to any business, but it’s especially important when you’re launching a new product. You need to know who your target market is, what needs and pain points they have, and how your product solves those problems.
In addition to your target market, you also need to understand your competition. What are they doing well? Where do they fall short? How can you differentiate your product in a way that will appeal to your target market? What are their customers saying about them?
The answers to these questions will help you position your product and marketing strategy in a way that will make it more successful.
The best way to do this is by talking to your potential customers directly. This can be done through surveys, interviews, or focus groups.
The goal is to get as much information as possible about their needs and pains – and how you can solve them better than your competitors.
Creating a buyer persona is another great way to understand your target market This is a detailed profile of your ideal customer, based on real data and research. This will help you understand what motivates them, what their pain points are, and how your product can help them.
Not creating a brand
You may be wondering why you should create a brand at all. Why not just give your SaaS company a fancy name and be done with it? Well, there are many reasons why you need to create a brand that sets you apart from the competition.
Here are a few of the most important:
- A strong, unique brand will make your product stand out in the marketplace and draw attention to itself. Your customers will feel more drawn towards what can only be described as “your thing” versus another generic solution that does pretty much the same thing as yours but costs less (or nothing).
- A great brand will help get people talking about your product even before they actually use it or buy it! When people see others using something they love, they want what they’re using too! This is especially true if those other people have an amazing experience with whatever you were able to sell them on thanks to how cool your branding was.
A great brand will generate more sales and make it easier to sell your product. This is because people feel more comfortable purchasing something they already feel familiar with, especially if you are selling a new product or service that no one has ever heard of before (which can be a good thing!). A strong brand can also help you create better relationships with customers by making them feel like they’re part of the same “club” as those who are already loyal to your brand.
Not finding the right channel to promote your product
This is a common mistake, but it’s also an easy one to avoid. Your product must be promoted in the right channel – one that is compatible with your product and its target market.
For example, if you have a B2B SaaS product and are targeting small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), then social media marketing may not be your best bet. If you try to target SMBs through Facebook ads or sponsored posts on LinkedIn, most of this audience will not see these ads since they don’t do much on those networks or aren’t even connected there at all.
On the other hand, if you run an email marketing campaign instead of social media marketing, then SMBs have an excellent chance of seeing your ad because email inboxes are typically filled with messages from companies they do business with (or want to do business with).
Check out our blog on 17 B2B SaaS Marketing Channels You Should Consider For Your SaaS Startup
Not having a website that converts visitors into paying customers
It’s important to have a website that converts visitors into paying customers. Here are some things to avoid:
- A page should be easy to navigate. People don’t like clicking around, so it’s important that you make the process seamless and straightforward for them.
- The site needs to be easy to find, so work on your SEO. If your target audience doesn’t know about your product or brand, they won’t see what all of the fuss is about and won’t convert into paying customers!
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly so users can access it easily on their phones and tablets as well as desktops or laptops – this one’s especially important if most of your target audience are using mobile devices!
- Optimize your pages for search engines like Google so that people can find you with keywords related to your SaaS product.
Don’t forget about social media. When you’re creating your website, make sure that you have a presence on all of the major platforms and that you’re active there as well. This will help drive traffic to your site and keep people coming back for more content.
Read our blog on 12 Tips to Optimize Your SaaS Website Design for Conversion
Once you have a solid MVP, it’s time to launch. You can do this by creating a landing page and promoting it through your networks, emails and social media channels. Then, start collecting user feedback and iteration based on potential customer needs and suggestions. This will give you the data needed to make decisions about how your product should evolve over time.
If you need more tips to market your SaaS solution, don’t forget to check our blog for more guides.