Whether you are launching a small or a sizable product or service, you will want to make sure you have everything in place well in advance. There are many moving parts to a SaaS product launch, so planning your message and activities and preparing everyone involved is the key to success.
At first, bringing a product or service to the market can feel a little intimidating, but it doesn't have to be, especially if you’ve created an appealing and informative website to support it. You can follow these steps to make sure you nail down your launch and start off on the right foot.
Step 1: Understanding Your Customer
When you market a SaaS product, the first step should be to understand what drives your customer. Their goals and motivations, and of course, their pain points. This part of your market research should focus solely on the customer and what they want.
You don't need to spend years researching your audience. Instead, you can work with a group of existing or prospective customers (a dozen should be enough) and ask them what they think about your product or service.
The statements you want to get are expressions of desire ("I wish this product did this…") or frustration ("I don't like when this product…"). It's essential that you follow up these answers with more specific questions to go deeper into what makes your SaaS product special.
Understanding your customers' pain points can give you valuable insights into what you could do better with your product. It will also allow you to choose social channels relevant to your users as you prepare for your SaaS product launch.
A Note on Using Buyer Personas
Many companies use buyer personas to represent different profiles of potential users. Personas are detailed descriptions of people that represent your target audience. They are fictitious but should be based on the actual characteristics of your customers, including demographics, interests, and behaviors. Think of your buyer personas as real people if you want this strategy to work.
Step 2: Understanding the Problem You are Solving
Most companies create their products and services in response to a problem or gap in the market. Thus, the second step in preparing your SaaS launch is to make sure you have clarity around the challenge you are solving and the value you are providing to your customers. Many companies don't think about this, but it should be an essential part of your strategy. You should focus on your "who" (your audience is) and "why" (they need your product or service).
One way to test your problem is to talk to existing customers or use your buyer personas to raise questions about the needs you're fulfilling. It's also worth looking at your competition and seeing what sets your business apart from others offering similar products. This will help you identify your company's unique advantages, how you can use them to grab your audience's attention, and plan a perfect launch to market your SaaS product.
Step 3: Understanding the Buyer’s Journey and Your Competition
There are several steps to a customer's buying journey. Understanding them can help you improve the chances of them purchasing your SaaS product - particularly when you are launching a new one, and you're not that familiar with the market.
The journey includes the entire process linked to all marketing and sales activities. For example, why does a customer choose to acquire your SaaS product? How did they first hear about it, and what made it more attractive than the competition?
A person who has never seen your brand and someone who is familiar with it will probably follow very different buying journeys. You need to understand both of them to ensure your product launch is as successful as possible. Knowing your competition is also extremely useful; what makes you different? What's the gap that you are trying to fill, or the demand you wish to address?
Step 4: Testing Your Product
Before you launch and market your SaaS product, you should confirm it's not defective in any way that could affect your sales, reviews, or credibility. The way you can test this will depend on the type of product you are providing.
For example, before launching your SaaS application to the market, you should ideally hire beta testers and run A/B testing or usability labs. After the testing process is over, you can use any discoveries to reconfigure your product and eliminate any bugs or shortcomings.
If you run a focus group, you can also discover new and useful features you might not have considered adding before - which could significantly increase your software quality even before you launch your product.
Ultimately, your program should be something people want to use and actually enjoy using. And the only way to understand if they do is to test and improve it with the feedback you receive.
Step 5: Setting Your Goals for the Launch
Before switching your focus to your SaaS launch strategy, you should make sure your goals are clear. It's better to work on specific objectives for the launch, such as establishing your name, creating new sales opportunities, or building awareness of a product in the market.
You can form your objectives as SMART goals. The letters in the SMART framework stand for:
• Specific (make your steps clear)
• Measurable (use a numerical value to keep track of progress)
• Attainable (big aspirations are great, but you should start with short-term goals)
• Relevant (to ensure you are moving in the direction you truly want)
• Time-Bound (within a distinct time period)
You can write your SMART goals and overall objectives on paper (or on a board) to always refer to them while planning your SaaS product launch.
Step 6: Releasing a Free Demo or Trial
You want to receive as much feedback about your SaaS product as possible before your market launch. Creating a free trial or product demo is an effective way of understanding your customers' needs and pains.
A trial can showcase what your SaaS product offers. Customers will be able to get a taste of the software and see how much it can help their day-to-day lives. They can then decide if they need it or not, and if they believe they do, probably happily pay for it. Free trials also give you the chance to capture email addresses for future email campaigns, promotional newsletters, and release announcements.
Your free SaaS trial or demo should also be your primary CTA (Call to Action) button across your website. If you're unsure about how to get started building a website to promote your product, don’t hesitate to try out Ucraft, especially since it doesn’t require any prior website building experience or design skills.
Step 7: Building Anticipation
No matter your product or service, it will always take some effort to create a buzz when launching. The best thing you can do is invest in some pre-launch marketing to market your SaaS product. One way to build anticipation about your upcoming development is to start producing content to promote it. This will raise awareness of your launch and help drive more sales.
You can build anticipation by using promos such as:
• Writing blog posts that discuss your product or service in detail (you can reach out to journalists, bloggers, and industry influencers)
• Contacting PR reps that can distribute your press releases
• Creating email campaigns and newsletters
• Developing demos so potential customers can try the products' features
• Preparing tutorials and landing pages
• Advertising via different mediums to generate more buzz
You can read more about preparing your marketing materials in this guide.
Step 8: Creating a PR Kit
PR kits, or press kits/media kits, are promotional materials that will help journalists talk about your product. Providing them with one will allow you to gain maximum publicity for your SaaS offer. Most PR kits include:
• Product Factsheet: A list of key features and explanations and how these make your product stand out from the competition.
• Company Background: You can mention your mission statement, any significant achievements and milestones, and how long you've been in business.
• Brand Logos: If you want to build brand awareness, you should always include your logo and use it as often as possible in your promoting materials.
• Top management bios: They introduce the CEO and team members and explain their roles in the company and their expertise.
• Product pictures: Make sure you include high-resolution images and screenshots that showcase your SaaS product at its best.
As part of your PR strategy, you can also engage with influencers to gain more social media visibility. In fact, almost 50% of customers rely on influencer recommendations to make purchases - and influencer marketing keeps growing in popularity. You can arrange an interview with your CEO or product designer, send free trials to get a SaaS product review, submit guest posts and podcasts talking about your software, etc.
Step 9: Preparing Your Team
The last thing to do before your launch is to ensure your key stakeholders and all team members are ready. Your entire company should be unified across all channels. For example, you can send an email to everyone announcing the launch date to build internal excitement. Equip your salespeople with all the information they will need to promote the SaaS product, and always solicit feedback from your employees. Whether it's positive, negative, or neutral, you need to know what they are thinking about the software and the company so you can improve your launch process.
Step 10: Launching!
Once you have completed all the steps mentioned above, you should be ready to launch your SaaS product into the market! Be prepared to track the results and adjust any aspects of your plan and product if things don't run smoothly. Don't forget the goals you set up initially, and compare your launch numbers to those expectations so you can learn from them.
Launching a SaaS product isn't easy. If you follow these steps and get continuous feedback throughout the journey, you should be able to grow your outcome so it remains attractive to your customers. Things don't have to be perfect to launch; taking too long can also be a reason a SaaS product fails. Release it, learn from your mistakes, and move on to get your next model or version to the market.
Using Ucraft to Launch Your Product or Service
Ucraft is a user-friendly drag-and-drop website builder tailored to small business owners, entrepreneurs, and medium-sized brands - and a perfect companion to launch and market your SaaS product. With Ucraft, you will be able to build professional websites and eCommerce shops to promote and sell your products and services across the web. This all-in-one platform includes designer-made templates, valuable tools, and numerous integrations. With Ucraft, you also get secure, reliable, and free hosting from Google Cloud and can choose your custom domain name straight from the dashboard.
Alongside our primary website builder, we also offer a free landing page creator for all of your pre-launch marketing needs. With our landing page builder, you will be equipped with all of the tools, features, and integrations you need for a successful pre-launch announcement and boost in conversions. And if you’re looking for a simple yet sophisticated tool to create a stunning logo for your product or service, you are welcome to make the most of our free logo maker to help your SaaS brand stand out.
Get Started With Ucraft in 7 Easy Steps
If you are working on a launch strategy for your SaaS product, sign up for Ucraft today and get started with a new website. You can try the platform for free - no coding experience is required. Just follow these steps:
1. Sign up and create a free account.
2. Select the Free Website package.
3. Pick one of the 120+ professional website templates.
4. Arrange your sections and elements to present your product.
5. Add and edit your text, including images and videos.
6. Connect to your custom domain for free.
7 And launch!
Good luck with launching your new product, and don’t hesitate to revisit these tips whenever you feel stuck.