How to Plan Your Product Launch

When you’re launching a new product, there are a lot of moving pieces to take care of. Marketing plans, email and web copy, software, team members… how do you keep track of it all, and make sure everything is in the right place at the right time?

In this article, I’ll give you a system you can use to plan and manage your launch, so you can make the process smoother for yourself and your team.

Step 1: Walk Yourself Through the Client’s Journey

What are your main traffic sources going to be? Make a list.

  • When potential clients come in from these traffic sources, what is the first step they should take? Do you want them to sign up for a webinar? Register for a live event? Book a free consultation?
  • What should happen immediately after that? Should they receive a receipt or confirmation email?
  • Will you have a reminder sequence in place, via email, snail mail, text or phone?
  • Will they receive any materials during the webinar, consultation or event, besides the event itself?
  • What method will they use to sign up for your paid product?
  • How will the product be delivered to them?
  • Will the client need support during the use of the product?

Go through the client’s entire experience, step by step, and make a list. If you’re using a piece of paper, leave plenty of room beside or beneath each item for the notes from step 2.

Step 2: Determine Each Step’s Requirements

What will you need to provide for your main traffic sources? Some examples might be social media posts, guest articles for other peoples’ websites, and text and images for ads.

What software or manpower will you need for the client to sign up for your offer? This might include things like:

  • A shopping cart
  • Payment processor
  • Scheduling software
  • Shipping
  • An autoresponder if you’re doing the launch online
  • Someone to handle in-person form-filling if you’re working offline

After they sign up, will they receive a notification and/or reminder sequence of any kind? These emails or letters will need to be written, and either snail-mailed, emailed manually, or loaded into an autoresponder that will send them automatically upon signup.

During the webinar, consultation or live sample event, if you’re having one, what will you need to have in place? In live events, for example, this may include:

  • A venue
  • Registration at the door with sign-in forms and nametags
  • Workbooks
  • Product signup forms at the back of the room.

For webinars, you’ll need things like:

  • Webinar software
  • Audio
  • Slides
  • A button leading to a sales or consultation page
  • The page itself

In both live and online events, you’ll also need a method by which to take payments, and you may need people to field your audience’s questions, run mics, and otherwise take care of your potential clients during the event.

For the delivery of the product, what steps will you need to take to ensure that the client receives the product, is able to access it, and can obtain support and guidance either through scheduled calls or as-needed customer support?

With each of these steps, determine what components will be necessary for your specific launch type, and estimate how long each one should take to put into place. This will give you a clear idea of what will be required of you and your team in terms of time and effort.

Step 3: Plan It Out, By Yourself or With Your Team

Now, take the list of steps you just made, and start putting the tasks in your calendar.

Start with the ones that will enable your client to at least start the journey without encountering an unfinished part of the launch sequence, so you can start getting leads ASAP. Then continue to prioritize tasks in the order in which your team or client will need each component.

If you’re working with a team, get a clear idea of when everything needs to be done by, then call a meeting to assign tasks. Determine whether your teammates can get each step done by the item-specific deadlines, and whether you need to push back the dates or outsource.

Also determine if any of the steps have prerequisite steps – for example, you can’t upload an email sequence until it’s written – and schedule them accordingly.

Instruct your team to report once each task is complete, and check off each item as it’s finished. I recommend having a spreadsheet with all the assets listed, so everyone can see what has and hasn’t been done.

Congratulations! You now have a clear, specific launch plan! Don’t forget to schedule some time to celebrate – you’ve earned it.