The Essential Product Launch Checklist
Whether you’re launching a new product, undergoing a product relaunch, or updating your product, a launch can either save or cost you a lot of time and money. These 5 steps will help your team, whether large or small, maximize user retention, drive daily usage, and reduce abandonment rates after a product launch. Above all, you should always be prepared to adjust accordingly and remain flexible as your plan is likely to change along the way.
1. Understand Your Audience
The first step of the Product Launch Checklist should be market research. Getting to know your audience before beginning with the following steps will save a lot of time and money rather than blindly launching your product into the market. Knowing exactly what your audience wants will help you to better understand their pain points and what they dislike in the products that are already in the market. It’s important to uncover the underlying reasons for your user’s pain by examining their behaviors and attitudes. If you enter a product launch without knowing your audience, you won’t be able to foresee any imminent threats. Investing in your market research will ensure that you have a steady foundation for the rest of your product launch.
2. Positioning Statement and Messaging
After all of your market research is complete, you need to turn it into a deliverable by first, knowing your product’s strengths and weaknesses and sharing your messaging with your internal team and key stakeholders.
Your Unique Value Proposition
After you have determined who it is that you’re targeting, you need to determine what makes your product better than your competitors. This is called a Unique Value Proposition which describes why your product is valuable to your customer and why they should buy-in. With so many mobile apps on the market, you need to let your audience know why yours, in particular, is the most valuable. Your message will be drowned out if you simply describe what your product does. Instead, focus on why it’s different than any other product on the market.
Further, you need to ensure that your internal team is on the same page with your messaging. Strong internal communications is an essential part of a product launch because if you aren’t able to communicate effectively to your internal team, you won’t be able to properly communicate your message to your external stakeholders and in turn, you won’t be able to the achieve the buy-in that you anticipated.
3. Launch Activities: Create a Master Marketing Plan
You’ve done all of your market research and now it’s time to focus on the execution. For a product launch to be successful, there should be an established marketing plan to ensure that every step is made and executed properly in a timely manner.
Promoting Your Content
All great plans start with a clear goal that’s collectively reached among the entire team. Once this is done, you can now make a list of marketing activities which might include social media, early access for bloggers, advertising, website design, etc. Map out a timeline of events leading up to your product launch, and set your launch date ahead of time.
After you’ve planned all of the launch activities, you need to assess what resources you’ll need such as demo decks, product screenshots, design materials, and other design resources. Your audience will gather information from different sources, which means that you need to tailor your message to optimize the efficiency of each outlet. Planning your marketing strategy ahead of time and being proactive is just as important as getting the product ready.
4. Launch Your Product
According to a survey by Quettra, 77% of daily mobile users stop using an app after just three days. If you want your app to have a high download and user retention rate, it needs to make a good first impression within the first few days prior to the launch. This is a critical time to focus on highlighting the value of the app in order to optimize the onboarding process. If you don’t impress your new users quickly, you’ll likely lose their interest altogether.
5. Launch Follow-Up
After the launch of your product, you need to consider how you’ll measure the success of the product launch by assessing what went well and what needs to be improved. Your follow-up should include customer satisfaction, engagement, and retention rates. Customer reviews and feedback will help you gauge whether or not you met your product launch goals. Some reasons why users abandon an app are the lack of interest, change in user needs, and simply the lack of usefulness. You need to be aware of the change in market demands and adapt to the shifts in user expectations.
A product launch isn’t a one-time event, especially when launching a mobile app. There will always be room for improvement which makes the product launch a cyclical process that requires reassessment as market demands change. Recently launched products should be updated and relaunched regularly to keep users engaged through new updates and features.