Launching a SaaS startup in this modern age can be a daunting experience. It requires a lot of determination and hard work, and if you don’t have the right amount of passion, your SaaS startup won’t be able to survive beyond a few daily signups. You might launch your SaaS startup without doing much in-depth research and might wonder why it failed.
Your product is only part of a much bigger thing and to sort out the necessary steps and actions, we have created a SaaS product launch checklist of some essential steps that will help you to take your SaaS product out in the market.
Plan way before the real action begins
No matter how small your SaaS startup is, you really need to first create a master plan, way before the real action begins, like at least months before the launch of your SaaS product. Most of the founders make this basic and yet a lethal mistake, that is they believe they will be able to form their plans during the Launch Phase. So they begin to try campaigns, checking the analytics, testing the products, you know, the usual stuff.
Instead of going into the fall without any plan that might risk you the downfall of your whole SaaS product, create a master plan. A plan that might include the market survey that you are going to target, to create the customer base, how will your SaaS product acquire leads and customers? How will you administer the marketing material during the launching phase? And to find the most basic thing, does your product even needed in the first place? All of these factors can be scrambled upon during the Planning Phase without diving into the unknown without first thinking of the way to tackle the unknown.
Identify the place where your SaaS product belongs to
You have to define a competitive edge against your competitors. There is a gap in the market place that your competitors failed to address and to fulfill that gap, your SaaS startup exists. Your SaaS startup provides the essential service that addresses the problems, arising from that market gap. Focus on curing that problem and base your marketing strategy around it.
Over time the time, the problem you intend to cure might evolve, and therefore, the services that your SaaS startup provides should evolve accordingly. Hence it is necessary to keep a strong communication with your customers and constantly ask them the reasons why they trust you and how you can improve your services in the future. It is always better to understand the persona of your customer base as their needs might evolve with the problem. Polls and surveys are helpful in this regard as well.
Put a coming soon page
Before launching your SaaS startup, it is better to start your own website that is personalized according to your startup. Put a “coming soon” page and define what your SaaS startup is and what problems it solves through its services. It is the best idea to put up an email field where the user might enter their email to get register. This field will be critical for further marketing campaign as you will be creating your own private marketing audience.
Tell a story with your email marketing
It is essential to start email marketing as it is the most lead generating strategy that any SaaS startup can use. So instead of bombarding their emails with ads and forcing them to purchase your services, tell them a story that is infused with emotions.
Explain the problem in details with the story of how it is affecting them and making them frustrated. They don’t know what your SaaS is offering and they never going to care about it, until and unless you give them a reason to care.
Make a big revelation to how you have the grand solution to their problem and in fact, you, happen to have the download link too.
Have customers onboard with a free trial
The best way to entice a customer to buy something worthy of their attention is to let them have it for free for a limited time. Every major service provider does it, so does your SaaS startup should as well. A free trial helps your customers to properly introduce with your SaaS startup and helps them to test your services.
In order for turning your customers into paying ones, you need to implement an automatic process to onboard new customers to test your services through a free trial. Your SaaS startup website must have a
- Provide a SignUp/SignIn page
- Display a welcome page with an initial intro to your SaaS startup
- Allow your customers to enjoy a limited number of services, let say, 3 services at first and walk them through these 3 services thoroughly.
- Don’t introduce all of your services at once as that might jumble up and confuse your customers.
A free trial allows your customers to get familiar with your services and let them test the functionalities. There is usually a high chance the free trial customer returns as long as their needs are being fulfilled. Even if they don’t return, you still have their contact list to hopefully nurture them back. You can implement surveys and polls at the end of the free trial to better understand customer needs.
Use the power of social media
In this modern age of social media, it is very hard to ignore the powerful impact social media has on the lives of people around the globe. Let’s take Facebook for an instant, with its more than 3 Billion users, no matter what business you are in, it will have the right audience for it.
Initially, it is a better idea to get register with 2-3 social media platforms to keep things simple. Create the respective accounts on them and start interacting with the audience.
Another best way to spread the word about your SaaS startup is asking for a share from your customers on their favorite social media platform. This is the moment where they are excited about using your services to solve their problem and they might rave their social media accounts with shares about your product, generating, even more, leads towards your way.
Paid ads such as Google ads, Facebook advertising, and LinkedIn advertising should be considered for your paid marketing strategy. But before getting into paid ads war, never forget to jumble up your audience with ads that might feel forceful to them. Instead, try to convey a story. A story about the problem and how your SaaS startup services are tackling that particular problem. This allows the audience to decide themselves whether to join you or not and in this way you create a loyal customer base.
Start building a community by adding a blog
After setting up your website and building a social media base, it is about time you start building your own community of your customers. The best way to interact with your customers, to establish the industrial authority of your SaaS startup and to reach out to a wider audience, is to add a blog. You can leverage it to share your opinions and ideas with your customers. You can even explain the premises of the problem and how your SaaS startup is targeting and is providing an adequate solution to tackle that problem.
Blogging has become an essential part of any SaaS startup as, according to HubSpot, B2B companies that have blogs, generate 67% more leads than the companies that don’t.
Go beyond and above with your SaaS startup
All of the above practices should be implemented pre-launch and post-launch equally. It helps to create a steady stream of the audience through your marketing strategy and you can spread your SaaS startup name through the audience.
You can do all the marketing you can do and yet it can’t be effective if your SaaS startup services are not iron-clad. Your SaaS startup should tackle the problem efficiently and should be tested properly. Your software development team should be top-notch and your customer care team should be highly qualified. Handling customer request should be your top priority as the success of any service depends upon the fact how much it cares about its customers. So you should genuinely care about your customers as well.
Starting a SaaS startup can be a formidable task but, at the end of the day, it is possible with dedication, hard work, and a proper plan.
After you launch your SaaS startup and validated your idea, you now need to grow your SaaS project.
In the below, we also outlined some tips to grow your SaaS startup.
Growing Your SaaS Startup
Ready to take things to the next level?
Once you’ve ticked off all the items on the SaaS product launch checklist, it’s time to grow even further. Once you’ve had your first taste of success, there are ways to ensure this is long-lasting.
It can be difficult to stand out from the crowd, particularly in saturated markets. However, it’s vital you figure out how to set yourself apart from the competition.
Monitor and Adapt
Even after you’ve first launched, it’s vital you keep an eye on your target market and the competition. Constantly monitor and analyse to ensure you’re staying ahead – rather than stagnating.
To do this, always keep your audience in mind. They should be at the forefront of your decisions and strategy.
Keep asking yourself:
- What are they looking for?
- Do you stand out?
- Are you meeting demand?
- Does your service solve a problem or answer customer needs?
This is not a one-off, but an ongoing process that is vital to business growth.
Ensure Your Vision is Clear
If your vision isn’t clear or communicated well, how can you expect your audience to identify with your business?
Don’t allow your priorities to become clouded or lost as you grow. Ensure they’re mapped out and followed by every member of your team.
From design to marketing – every aspect of your business needs to aligned with your vision!
Take on New Partners
New business partnership opportunities are key to propelling your startup forwards and hitting your milestones.
A partner is essential for many different reasons. They can help you gain access to finance, grow your network, develop new technologies or view your business in a different light.
As well as this, a partner could help you receive insights and knowledge into a particular industry or sector. This could be international market expansion, for example.
When a collaboration goes well – the possibilities are endless! They can really help you take your SaaS startup to the next level.
Keep Your Goals in Mind
Prioritise your goals and ensure you constantly have them in mind. For example, where are you hoping to be in five years’ time?
Your business strategy and plan should help you work towards the milestones you have set yourself.
Seek Out Investment
Investment is key for any startup, not just for getting it off the ground but for continued development.
This can come from a variety of different options, including family and friends if all else fails.
Get Your Pitch Right
Ensure you know how to present and communicate your business in the best possible way. This can help you attract investors, for example.
After all, who knows your business better than you? If you can’t pitch it properly, no one else can.
Growing a SaaS business can be difficult, but staying organised and on top of it will ensure you give yourself the best possible chance of success.