Launching a new product is one of the most exciting parts of owning a business, but it can also be the most stressful. Arming yourself with a product launch checklist is the best way to stay on course and ensure your product release is only overwhelming as a success.

Your product launch checklist will serve as the blueprint for your project, breaking it down into manageable tasks to establish workflow, assign responsibilities across your team, and prepare for potential weak links. Your checklist can also be used to capture best practices and lessons learned for your future endeavors.

If this sounds like one more thing to add to your list, don’t worry. Here is a 14-step guide that will get you ready for a launch that is destined for success.

  1. Define your target audience
    Identify your ideal customer with detailed descriptions of their goals, motivations, and pain points. This information is crucial for developing a product that will meet their needs and will also guide your marketing strategy and PR activities.
  1. Detail product design & features
    Draft your design and describe the features that differentiate your products from the competition. Provide designers with the specifications and documentation needed to start the development process.
  1. Dial-in your pitch 
    Create your Unique Selling Proposition– a clear, concise “elevator pitch” that communicates who your product is for, what it does, and why people should buy it.
  1.  Map out your marketing strategy
    Develop an overarching marketing and media plan to promote the launch and support continued marketing efforts. Create a calendar outlining dates and person responsible to maintain publicity momentum.
  1. Leverage social media channels
    Use all targeted social media channels to engage your audience well before the launch. Make sure to recruit everyone in your network and friends to spread the word and create contests and incentives to expand your following.
  1. Develop product marketing copy & training documentation
    Develop creative content for your website, blog posts, launch emails, and social media posts. Finalize all product documentation for feature descriptions, instructions, technical datasheets, FAQs, etc., and translate for relevant audiences if necessary.
  1. Finalize product packaging
    Design and order physical or digitally rendered packaging for your product. Make sure to compile and send the design team all necessary colors, images, logos, and fonts specific to your branding.
  1. Update & integrate software
    Select your email service provider and stress-test every potential touchpoint to capture data and customer contact information (newsletter signup form, for example).
  1. Update website
    Update your website to showcase the featured product and ensure there is a clear and easy pathway to the purchasing page.
  1. Set up payment processing
    Integrate billing and payment options and functionality to accommodate an efficient, stress-free purchasing experience.

    Research reveals the top reasons people abandon their shopping cart include discount codes not working, orders taking a long time to ship, and having to re-enter credit card information or shipping information.

  2. Dial-in order fulfillment details
    Select shipping and delivery options for your new product and test to ensure fast, reliable order-fulfillment. Consider your audience when choosing the shipping method and make sure all extra costs are transparent.

    “63 percent of respondents stated they had abandoned shopping carts due to the cost of shipping.”

  1. Schedule press & media releases
    Develop a professionally written press release. Reach out to your network and relevant media outlets to find out submission dates and guidelines that sync up with your launch date.
  1. Recruit partners & affiliates
    Collaborate with partners, affiliates, and other potential influencers to help promote the launch and sell your product. Consider if your product is a good fit for established shopping sites like Amazon, Rakuten, Walmart, Jet, or other relevant marketplaces.

    According to recent studies, 80% of advertisers have affiliate programs, almost 50% of Twitter users rely on influencer reviews before buying a product, and 40% of Twitter users purchased an item after seeing a tweet by an influencer.

  1. Solicit feedback
    Implement tools to survey users for product feedback and solicit testimonials from customers. Gather your team to assess what worked and what didn’t. And don’t forget to celebrate!

A smooth product launch results in happy customers and internal team members. But you can’t get there without a map to guide your course. Follow these 14 steps, and you will be celebrating the results, as well as the means you took to get there.



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