Launching a product can be one of the most exciting (and stressful) times for your business.
Creating hype, raising awareness, and pushing for sales can pay off big when everything goes according to plan.
However, many fail to account for all of the necessary planning required to take a product from idea to sales success.
Here’s a product launch checklist to help take your product idea through the phases of a successful product launch, from generating hype to measuring results.
The Best Product Launch Checklist
- Pick A Winning Product
- Conduct Market Research
- Test Your Product (And Then Test It Again)
- Double-Check Your Marketing
- Align Your Internal Teams
- Prepare To Fulfill Orders
- Reach Your Customers
- Generate Awareness & Hype
- Ready Your Sales & Customer Service Teams
- Promote Your Product
- Get Customer Feedback
- Assess Your Reception to Inform Future Launches
1. Pick A Winning Product
If you have not already decided on a product to sell, make sure to research what makes a great product. No one is going to buy a product that they don’t need.
Before going live with your product, ask yourself:
- What do your customers like?
- What are their hobbies?
- What are their demographics?
- Is this a product they will use?
- What pain points does this product solve?
2. Conduct Market Research
Your product might be great, but how does it compare to similar products in your market?
Does it stand out or offer something nobody else on the market has? If not, you may want to reconsider whether you want to continue with this specific product.
“Your product has to be great. It must be tested and resonate with your target audience. Untested products that receive bad or no reviews won’t last,” says Leo Carrillo, former Associate Director of Amazon & Marketplace Growth at Tinuiti.
3. Test Your Product (And Then Test It Again)
Before launch, take the time to test every aspect of your product for quality control.
There’s nothing worse than delivering a sub-par product. Not only will you lose money, but you’ll also lose credibility and trust among your customers.
Before you go live, gather a group of beta testers and get their feedback on your product. This can help you avoid easily fixable problems and tweak your product as needed.
“Always check your product,” explains Carillo.
“Don’t leave anything to chance. Make sure that you have multiple batches of products and that you’ve tested them all to ensure it’s ready to go from day one.”
4. Double-Check Your Marketing Plan
No one will buy your product if they don’t know how it will solve their problems.
Make sure that your marketing team presents your product in the best light. Doing so can help secure not only a broader customer base, but also increased loyalty among buyers.
Common marketing mistakes to avoid:
- Selling features, not benefits
- Failing to capture customer attention
- Marketing without a unique selling point
- Not focusing on the customer’s needs
One of the most popular places to launch a new product (other than your website) is Amazon. To learn more on that, check out How to Launch New Products on Amazon, and The Ultimate Guide to Amazon SEO & Cracking the A9 Algorithm.
5. Align Your Internal Teams for Consistency
If your business teams are not clear about your product launch plan, your product launch strategy could be a misfire.
Misinformed employees can detract from your business’ success. Take the time to brief your department heads and provide them with any informational material (like this product launch checklist!) about your new product launch.
6. Prepare To Fulfill Orders
Are you ready to fulfill the entire demand you intend to create for your product?
Going out of stock or failing to ship your new product can be a major problem, especially when you’ve hyped up expectations for your launch,
Before going live, make sure you have the inventory and business infrastructure in place to fulfill your customers’ potential demands.
“Today’s customers expect 2-day shipping, and if you deliver, you will be rewarded.”
–Casey Armstrong, CMO at ShipBob
Before going live, make sure you have the inventory and the means to fulfill your customer’s orders if your product turns out to be a hit.
7. Reach Your Customers Online
Reaching your customers during your product launch isn’t a one-size-fits-all game.
Certain demographics may spend more time on social media, while others are more likely to just check their email. Some potential buyers may respond better to detailed blogs, while others may prefer social shares.
When deciding on your outreach plan, consider these factors:
- Where do your customers spend their time?
- How did they find out about you?
- What motivates them to buy?
- Who else do they buy from? What methods do those businesses use?
8. Generate Awareness & Hype
Research shows that customers don’t just buy products—they buy stories and improved versions of themselves.
Whether you choose to inspire, amaze, or shock with your new venture, it’s important that you tap into your customer’s emotions and create excitement around your product, leaving them begging to buy.
There are many strategies to driving excitement during your product launch plan, but consider driving traffic to your landing pages, prospecting on Facebook and then sending that traffic to your ecommerce website, launching awareness campaigns on Facebook and Instagram, or promoting your products on Amazon.
“Whether you’re launching Google, Facebook, or Amazon — you have to be willing to invest money to make money,” explains Carrillo.
“This advertising opens up your top funnel for product awareness and allows you to start pulling data on your audiences that can be used to inform everything from marketing to product design.”
9. Ready Your Sales & Customer Service Teams
After going live with your product, your sales team is the front-line for securing high-volume sales.
Ensure your salespersons have been trained on: how to execute the product launch checklist; how to use the product; how to demonstrate its features to customers; how to answer questions; and how to sell to various buyer personas.
After your sales team, you should acquaint your customer service team with your product launch checklist.
Every product launch comes with its own pratfalls and pain-points, and a prepared customer service team can smooth out any bumps or customer grievances.
10. Promote Your Product
Couple your launch date with an event of some kind, whether a webinar, live stream, or even something as simple as an email promotion. A product launch should give both your team and your fans something to celebrate.
“During the launch, you need to set a time frame and budget for how long you are willing to invest in your product launch campaign,” says Carrillo. “Throughout that launch, check your data and be nimble. You can adjust your audience and keyword targeting based on what your data is telling you.”
11. Get Customer Feedback
Whether a customer bought your product or simply interacted with it, there’s potential for a long-lasting relationship.
Take time to maintain these customer relationships by continuing to reach out to your clientele — even after your product launch.
Customer retention is the true holy grail of marketing ROI, so consider high-value, loyalty-based strategies like:
- Inviting them to your newsletter
- Sending them discounts
- Offering them free trials
- Having your sales team contact them
12. Assess Your Reception to Inform Future Launches
In addition to your product idea and product launch, assessing the effectiveness of your launch plan is one of the most important steps in a successful product launch checklist.
Analyze key performance indicators and use that knowledge to make your next product launch even more effective. However, this is not only limited to internal processes. Check-in with satisfied and unsatisfied customers in order to bolster your future product strategies.
“Getting feedback from customers is invaluable,” says Carrillo.
“Ask them to share their feedback with you and your team. Incentivize that feedback with a code or discount. Feedback can be the difference between a winning or losing product design. This shows that you value the customer.”
Want to learn more?
If you’re still hungry for product launch strategies, read more about how to make the most of your email marketing during your new product launch!