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Having a successful launch is a defining moment for any company, big or small, product or service. It is the “spike” on which team members usually base their product’s worth and often defines the company’s morale moving forward. Timing and luck play a role in determining the success of a launch date but strategic planning and proper execution overrides any luck of the draw.
To make sure your startup stands out when there’s too much noise and no signal, but without yelling at the crowd, here are 5 tips to successfully launch from stealth mode.
1. Determine your budget – Knowing what the company’s marketing budget ceiling is will help you figure out where those dollars will have the most effect. Should you start with the drum beat approach or book the largest booth at SXSW? Although we recommend the former, it doesn’t mean your company can’t do as well as Twitter or Foursquare did when they first launched at SXSW.
2. Create a “launch” page – Even if you already have a working website, creating a “coming soon” page enables you to spread the word about your startup more efficiently. Just make sure every link on the site is working as it is a reflection of the competency of your team and company. Having a landing page allows you to collect as many interested users as possible, which is the whole point of a launch.
3. Grow your audience before you start – Did you know that Mint.com already had 20,000 email subscribers before their beta was even launched? Having a large number of potential customers makes it easier to spread news of your company’s product or service. Growing this user base is an art form. Think of it like putting together an invite list for an event or party you’re throwing. All you have to do is promise and then deliver a great experience that they will remember and tell their friends about.
4. Promote your launch page with key influencers – It’s important to be an expert in your company’s field so people will actually listen. It’s also important to provide incentives to sign up for your company’s launch. Finding key bloggers in your sector can multiply your email subscribers. Offer them samples of what you are selling. Give your actual subscribers an incentive to tell their family and friends about your company. Provide them industry expertise and solutions to their problems. Do the research and start thinking like a reporter. How would you angle your company as something that improves the user’s life and who specifically can benefit from it?
5. Deliver your promise – Much like hosting an important event, you want to make sure the guests are treated well. This means you’ve done the behind the scenes work, like A/B testing your messaging so you know the page is actually converting. Make sure that every tab, link and video is working on the website. Again, this is how you will be remembered by your audience. You only get one first impression.
A successful launch is a defining moment for a company. It is what reveals your startup to the real world and lets them know what you are all about. Chances are, it’s your first time launching a company so make sure it goes as smoothly and successfully as it possibly can. Agencies can help guide your strategic approach with product positioning, press releases and trade show management. They’ll let you in on ideal industry timing and what has contributed to successful launches time and time again.
Participating in TechCrunch Disrupt or another industry event for your product launch? Download our free tip sheet on how to have a successful trade show.
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