Well-executed launches can create considerable tailwinds behind a digital product. However, along with the excitement of the upcoming product launch comes an overwhelming list of tasks.
Launches follow after months, if not years, of product development strategy to bring something to market, polished to perfection.
Hence, it's vital to know how to launch a digital product with maximum impact.
Today we'll run through the basics of a product launch checklist to ensure you get off to the best possible start.
Before talking about different launch techniques, it's wise to go back to the essentials and ensure your digital product development process has ticked all the boxes.
An excellent development plan includes tasks such as:
The product development life cycle is crucial, so you can't skip over any steps if you want your launch to run smoothly.
Once you've performed all of the required tasks in your process, including research, marketing, design engineering, and quality assurance, you're ready for phase two.
One of the best ways to begin the process is with a soft launch using a minimum viable product (MVP), one which hits all critical consumer requirements.
It's best to look at prototyping as a working model. So it's not a finished product ready for mainstream commercialization, but all the nuts and bolts are there.
MVP launches can even be simulated, such as the examples described below.
Using prototypes like this is invaluable to reduce launch risk and fine-tune any details in your digital product before you scale.
Another strategy is to beta test your product, allowing developers to quickly tackle many tasks before the full-scale launch.
Beta testing is also a great way to analyze performance against competitors if you have product testers or external stakeholders who are also familiar with competing offerings.
Beta testing has a few other bonuses.
You can use this phase in the launch cycle as a marketing exercise, interacting with an engaged audience and building product awareness.
It is highly recommended to promote any digital product prior to launch as you can start to build an online presence even before you've finished beta testing.
Examples of early promotional tactics include:
The idea is that you begin sparking interest and positioning yourself in the market early on, building anticipation along the way.
Once you've fixed any flaws in your prototyping and tested your product extensively, you are ready for product launch, which has many approaches to choose from.
Staggered rollouts can be a great idea. This entails releasing a digital product in stages.
Usually, that would look like an initial launch followed by regular, minor updates as time passes.
If your product is entirely new to the market, a staggered launch can be beneficial. The rolling releases allow consumers access to current software as it's ready and requires fewer development resources to update older versions.
The added advantage is that you keep the conversation going rather than limiting your visible activity to one specific launch.
Over time, periodic releases mean you can gain more market traction and have something new to talk about. This way, your users remain interested in what you have to say.
It's vital you follow up on your digital product launch, though it may be tempting to release a standalone product into the broader market and wait to see how it performs.
A successful launch will usually see an incredible traffic spike, but the hard work doesn't end there.
A digital product launch that isn't highly targeted won't always hit your desired metrics, so there's an ongoing need to adopt marketing techniques.
To accurately track how your product progresses, you'll want to keep analyzing the metrics, gathering customer feedback, and evaluating conversion funnel performance to identify necessary improvements.
The key at any stage of a digital product launch is to listen to your customers.
There are lots of ways to encourage communications post-launch, such as offering creative assets like downloads, product videos, demos, or free trials.
It is important to ask for feedback and be proactive about finessing future product iterations to keep the momentum going.