Launch day. The moment you’ve been waiting for.
After months of hard work, your product is finally out in the world.
Just getting to launch day might feel like a big relief, but there’s a reason this moment is so critical in your Go-to-Market timeline.
It may feel like the grand finale, but it’s really more of a tipping point. You’re pivoting from the behind the scenes work of launching your product to the work that happens when your product hits the market.
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as flicking a switch that turns your product from private to public.
Don’t think of your product launch as a static moment in time. Think of it more as a verb or an instruction. You want to launch your product into the world, propel it forward into the market and give it as much upward trajectory as possible.
There’s lots you can do post-launch to help your product on its way, but are you getting the most out of the launch itself?
Make sure you’re not missing out with our top tips for launch day success.
Read on to find out more about:
What is a product launch?
Before we can discuss what makes a good launch, it’s important to define what we mean.
A product launch is the act of taking your product live, but it can’t be defined by a singular moment or even necessarily a day.
It's a process, the purpose of which is to generate hype around your product, get people excited to buy and make sure your target audience knows who you are.
For today, we’re going to be focusing on what it means to set a product live and get people’s attention.
Communicating with your target audience
Social media announcements
Social media can be a great way to create excitement around the launch of your product, as well as marking launch day itself.
Countdown for the big day with teaser posts, countdown widgets on platforms like Instagram, or by creating hashtags. Social media is a great way to get people talking and looking forward to the moment your product goes live.
You can use it to generate anticipation for your products and be sure you’ll have a captive audience when you go live.
Play on people’s FOMO, and include calls to action in your posts that remind people to follow and subscribe so they don’t miss the big moment when you launch.
Those early interactions and sales of your product are going to be critical KPIs for your Go-to-Market strategy. So, it's important to create this sense of urgency and encourage buyers to want first access to your product.
Similar to social media, email marketing can build excitement for launch day and notify your audience the moment your product is on the market.
A key difference between them, however, is if someone’s on your mailing list, they’ve willingly subscribed to your business’ content. Reward their loyalty by offering them incentives like early access or discounts, if you can.
Customer retention is far more profitable than acquisition, so make the most of this asset.
As we said earlier, those early sales are really important, so schedule emails to go out as your product goes live and make sure your customers know that your anticipated new product is finally available to them.
Having announcements go out on launch day, rather than the day after creates a sense of immediacy. If something is happening right now, that’s going to be more exciting for a customer than something that happened X amount of time ago.
And while emails leading up to launch day are important, if there isn’t one on the day itself people are unlikely to scroll back and find the last one you sent.
You need your campaign to happen in real time if you want people to engage and interact with your products.
In-person product launch events
In-person events like a conference or a launch party do more than just mark the day your product goes live. Used correctly, they can be tools to secure early doors sales and promote customer adoption of your products.
Introduce your product to the world, be it through a talk, a panel, a demo, any combination of the three, or any other way you can think to showcase your product. Whatever you do, by the end of the event you want to have an audience eager to know more and buy-in.
One of the biggest challenges Go-to-Market teams face is customer retention, usually caused by a lack of adoption by a customer after a purchase has been made. Use this event to enable customers to understand the benefits of your products for them.
That being said, this shouldn’t be an in-depth technical run down. You’re just looking to demonstrate how your product can benefit the user. How will it make their lives easier? Why will you do that better than anyone else? Really sell your audience on what it is you’re offering.
If you can convince potential buyers on or before launch day, so they’re ready to buy when your product goes live, you’ll secure those sought after early wins. An in-person event where you can play to your audience’s excitement and assuage any doubts about the product is one of the best ways to do this.
But, be sure not to make promises you can’t keep. Be honest and steer users towards achievable goals in the early days of using your product. This will show them you deliver on your promises and make them feel like they’re making good progress with the product because they've hit the targets you set out for them.
You don’t want customers struggling to get anywhere with your product. You want those first endorphin hits of ‘this is working, I’m good at this’, to come early and easily, or users will lose interest and move on to another product. This will massively help your all-important customer retention rates which, as we all know, are key for revenue and growth.
Virtual product launch events
Online events like a virtual webinar serve a similar purpose to in-person events; you can introduce customers to your product and show off why they’d want to buy it.
However, there are pros and cons to online events.
They’re more accessible than in-person events, anyone from anywhere in the world can join. But, it's much harder to make a virtual event compelling and keep your numbers up for its entire duration.
The important thing is to keep these events interactive and engaging for your audience. For example, hold a virtual panel event and accept questions from your audience for the panelists.
Another way to negate the potential for attendees to simply log off is by incentivizing attending the event. If you sell tickets for your virtual event, you foster a sense of exclusivity as well as tying your audience in. That ticket is a sunk cost they’ve already invested in your product, which is a strong motivator to attend the event.
If you’re holding an in-person event, try live-streaming it for global audiences. If audiences can see some of what’s going on at a live event, it again plays on that FOMO and encourages people to find a way to get involved.
A few final tips:
- Synchronization is key. You don’t want the landing page for a product to go live an hour before you go live on social media, or vice versa. If different aspects of your launch go live at different times, it’ll undermine your impact. Make sure your emails, social media and website are all in sync for a smooth launch.
- The common denominator for all of the above is making sure people know about your product. The key to a successful launch is awareness and interest. If you’ve got those, your product is well on its way (provided you did the pre-launch bit right, more on that here).
- Build exclusivity into your launch, with tiered releases for members or event attendees. This will drive engagement and make buyers more eager to get their hands on your product.