Good product launch can improve your brand and do part of marketing for you. You might not get near iPhone launch but you can still generate a lot of buzz. This note is about having that good launch.
Planning to launch is a lot like growth hacking.
6 Months Before
Main Channels: Twitter, HackerNews, Quora, StackOverflow, Your Own Blog
Appear as a good guy who knows about the problem domain.
Connect with top influencers and geeks in your problem domain.
Get your own domain and set up a site with signup form. Show the human side of your company with photos. Do your search engine optimizations. Create content related to your field.
3 Months Before
Main Channels: Previous + Conferences, Other Blogs
Design a smart business card that stands out. Print your short pitch at the back of the card.
Connect with bloggers and media persons in related fields. Attend as much events as you can and exchange as many business cards as you can.
Get your company listed on all startup lists.
Make sure that developers have implemented error tracking on production. Every 500 message user encounters should be logged so they can be fixed asap.
Make sure that developers have implemented uptime monitoring e.g. Pingdom.
1 Week Before
Main Channels: Facebook
Improve your landing page:
- Add more clear call-to-action.
- Make sure your website loads fast.
- Revisit your search engine optimizations.
- Make sure Google Analytics is installed and monitor site daily.
Stop developing and start testing like crazy. Consider getting an external tester.
Write a good press release that media could directly use for their story. Write in third person, talk about your product, team and benefits of the product.
Create Facebook page. Get friends and contact join it. Consider Facebook ads for a small boost. Create shareable content e.g. emotional stories, videos or pictures.
Create interesting content for your blog e.g. infographics and slides.
Tease your Twitter followers while revealing enough to keep it interesting.
Write personally to bloggers, they should be compelling stories. Make exclusive stories for the big ones. Request that they release them only on launch day.
Create YouTube channel. Prepare a video demo of your product with few team member interviews. Send this video to all people you have collected with your landing page.
Create a presentation that promotes benefits of your product. Post it on your blog and share it online.
Make sure that developers have created and included support email address on the website.
2 Days Before
Invite three friends for a test run online.
Main Channels: All
Launch in the middle of the week without any impending holidays or events.
Post everything you got stored to your blog. How-tos, presentations, videos, any testimonials from your beta users.
Schedule two dozen tweets to go every hour. Each should cover a facet of your product with URL to your site.
Send an email to all your email contacts.
Send information about the launch to all startup related sites e.g. KillerStartups.
Submit links to HackerNews and Reddit.
Read the social media and be alert to receive feedback.
Monitor your site metrics.
Respond to all emails as fast as possible.
Main Channels: All Social Media
Thank all bloggers who covered your event.
Be active on social media and engage customers who mention your product.
Take negative constructive feedback without being defensive. Fix any bugs and work of requested features if they make sense.
Write a tutorial how to master your product.
Keep an eye out for events where you could demonstrate your product.
Share your web address to any place you can think of.