This is hardly as easy as opening the doors to the storefront and welcoming customers.
In the SaaS industry, you must find a way to digitally bring people to your products since what you're trying to market is a virtual solution. Such efforts require an extensive product launch marketing strategy that generates attention and qualified leads to your website.
For B2B companies in the SaaS industry, your product launch marketing plan must put your software in front of the key decision-makers at companies who are the right fit for your product. Such a strategy should constitute extensive planning before and during the launch of your product, as well as a dedicated sales team equipped with a clearly defined strategy.
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This is critical because products don't sell themselves, regardless of their inherent merit. You need to be doing everything you can to put your product in front of as many qualified business leads as possible to generate buzz and early buyers.
According to Marketing Research, 60% of products that are developed fail to make it to market. Of the 40% that make it to market, only 60% generate enough revenue to be commercially viable. While this is looking from a broader scope than just the B2B SaaS industry, the key point is that a product launch is not easy.
There are many different ways you can try to build a customer base for your new B2B product. A successful product launch will have a multi-pronged approach that utilizes several marketing avenues to get as much attention on the latest offering as possible.
Digital marketing has made it as easy as it has ever been to reach a broad audience. So, let's break down some of the different tactics you can utilize to ensure your new product thrives in a competitive market.
Before you ramp up your marketing strategy to try and reach new customers, there is an entirely different group you should focus on: your current and past customers.
A previous or current customer is someone who has used your business at any point in time. Their experience with your business makes it much easier to get them interested in your new product, as they have already shown a willingness to engage with your company.
Re-targeting the people who have previously used products from your company will help with customer retention and reduce churn. It also goes a long way towards providing your business with a base of consumers who are already qualified leads, giving you a large group of which to start your outreach.
Even if your product is geared towards a different market than prior services, it still makes sense to reach out to past customers to see if there may be a fit, as it is easy and lacks a downside. The odds of a business convincing a current or prior customer to purchase a product are significantly higher than convincing a completely new lead.
According to ClickZ, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new customer is 5-20% in most cases.
Marketing new products to current customers can also be much more affordable, considering the established knowledge of your business. Onboarding and creating marketing outreach that builds a knowledge base of your product can be time consuming and costly. Customers who have been with companies for a more extended period are often willing to scale up their spending if they are satisfied with the performance of the software.
Marketing Tech reports that, 67% of returning customers spend more in their third year buying than in their first 6 months. Scaling a customer's spending up depends on providing them quality service and offering them something new. With a product launch, you are bringing something new to the customer, and you can appeal to them by incentivizing the purchase of your new product.
Customer acquisition is a significant cost, but customer retention is just as, if not more, important. One way to incentivize customer retention is by offering a slight discount on the new service to past or current customers. This is a way of rewarding customer loyalty while also building up a core base for your new product.
When launching a new product, especially if it's relevant to past customer's business, you should not forget about the people already using your company's services. These are the easiest target audience for your business to reach at the most affordable cost. Providing them information on your new product pre-launch could result in you having a large group of interested consumers well before your launch date.
Whether for early-stage companies or massive corporations with extensive client lists, knowing who you are trying to reach should be the first component of your marketing plan. Finding the right target market is how you reach the people that are the best fit for your offerings.
But if you want to have a personalized outreach, you have to know more than just who the target market is. You must know who the exact kind of people and business your product works for is.
One way to figure out the best fits for your business, which many B2B companies employ, is to develop buyer personas. A buyer persona is a fleshed-out representation of who your ideal customer would be. This is different from a target audience because it is much more intricate and specific.
A buyer persona requires a certain amount of hypothetical thinking as well as market research. Typically, they’ll encompass many different aspects of what the best possible potential customers would look like. Buyer personas are usually created around the key decision-maker that would be making the purchase of your product.
A buyer persona should include more standard details like age, industry, company size, employment role, and location. It should also be made up of hypothetical but relevant research-backed details, such as buyer pain points, what tools they would be using for their jobs, and their values and goals.
Buyer personas are instrumental in creating a value proposition that can define your marketing for a product launch. An ITSMA survey reported that 82% of marketers said the creation of buyer personas improved their value proposition; 90% said it led to a clearer understanding of who buyers are; and 56% stated that it led to higher quality leads.
In short, developing buyer personas to understand who you should be reaching out to is a critical first step in an effective launch sales strategy.
Email marketing is a crucial component of content marketing that just about every business in the world prioritizes as a form of outreach. The reason for this is simple; email is the primary medium of communication for business.
According to Statista, there are 4 billion daily email users, with that number projected to grow to 4.6 billion by 2025. Email marketing is a proven format for reaching out to a large group of people at once, and in the B2B SaaS industry, it is essential for a product launch.
According to HubSpot, 81% of B2B marketers say their most used form of content marketing is email, with 31% saying email newsletters are the best way to nurture leads.
When you launch a product, reaching out to your entire email list and sending cold emails will spread the word about your new release, but only if they are done effectively.
Your email marketing should be built around the launch of your product. When you are preparing for your launch date, develop an email campaign surrounding this event. There are multiple different ways you can set these campaigns up, so they are as effective as possible.
One way to maximize the impact of your emails for your product launch is to implement video. Video in email is a highly effective form of outreach that drastically improves the performance of email campaigns.
According to Super Office, just having the word video in the subject line increases open rates by 6%. Data from Campaign Monitor showed that video in emails could improve click-through rates by up to 300%.
Another vital piece of advice is to make sure your email design is on point. Color scheme, formatting, font, these are all things that customers will see instantly when they open your message. Design is subjective, but that leads us to another important email marketing tactic: testing.
A/B test your emails by sending them to different clients and tracking results. From there, you can learn pivotal insights that guide how you proceed with your campaigns. Email marketing takes time and tweaks, and a lack of instant success should be looked at as a lesson and stepping stone.
Email outreach is a marketing tactic that allows businesses to speak more directly to a large group of leads. Companies that prioritize email marketing as a promotional tactic for product launches find it an effective strategy, especially since making email outreach more engaging through video, having an aesthetically pleasing design, and testing the results are highly accessible.
By the time your product is ready to launch, your entire company is likely very familiar with it. The development team, the marketing team, and everyone in between have probably spent hours familiarizing themselves with the software you are trying to sell.
However, while your team is likely very familiar with the product, your customers are not. Even if you have a niche product that is heavily targeted to industry insiders with advanced knowledge, they may not be aware of what sets your product apart. That is where a product demo comes in.
A product demo is a helpful piece of content, typically in a video format, that showcases your product. A product demo will illustrate what your product is, how it works, and the value it adds. They should reveal the product features and how to use them. They are useful not just as a marketing tool but also as an onboarding tool that provides need-to-know information to the clients you are targeting.
Product demo videos can be distributed through email, social media platforms, pinned to websites, or used on any other marketing channels. Product demo videos are especially important in the SaaS industry, where what you're trying to sell isn't typically tangible and self-explanatory.
Product demos are a tool utilized across the B2B SaaS industry, often in-person. This is difficult to scale into a viable pre-launch strategy unless you have a large enough sales team and interested enough leads. Video makes much more sense if your outreach is more digitally based and with a smaller team and a tighter budget. That is why product demo videos are so helpful. They bring the value of a product demo to a video format that can be distributed across marketing avenues.
Video is also a method of marketing consumers widely enjoy.
According to a HubSpot report, 71% of consumers prefer video over any other form of marketing content. A product demo video is a tool that appeals to consumers in their preferred format, which can often lead to an increase in conversions.
According to Omnikick, shoppers who view demo videos are 1.81x more likely to make a purchase than non-viewers.
A product demo video is a tool that will allow you to spotlight the ins and outs of your product before or after its release. It is a product launch tool that is an effective form of marketing and onboarding and will fully inform your leads about what you're offering. This improves the customer experience and better qualifies your prospective clients.
When your product is ready to go to market, there are several stages of the buyer journey you must be considering. The most pivotal one is awareness.
Many of the forms of marketing you’re going to be doing for a product launch will be outbound marketing, such as emails and sales calls, but you should also have a comprehensive lead generation strategy tied into bringing unfamiliar customers onto your website or landing pages through content.
Content creation is something all SaaS businesses need to focus on for their product launches. It is a proven marketing strategy that is a crucial part of the demand generation and sales process.
Your content marketing should focus on multiple different areas to inevitably lead to a sale. There should be a planned journey from discovery to purchase, with each piece of content pushing the prospective customer deeper into the sales funnel.
For the discovery phase, search engine optimization is a major factor. You need your written content to be relevant and exciting and not just a compiled set of keywords.
Still, you also need to implement SEO into the article to rank for searches that would be relevant for your new product. Ranking in the top five results for the specific niche areas you are serving is significant to your success.
According to Startup Bonsai, 67.6% of all clicks go to the first five organic search results.
Your content should provide intrinsic value, as well as be related to what you're selling. Consumers won't click on something that isn't catchy and interesting, so make sure your written content is appealing. Written content is a channel businesses use because it brings people in, but to push them further, having a CTA and a next step within the blog or article is a must.
Some next steps could include a pricing page, a product demonstration video, a webinar, or any other type of content that keeps the customer engaged and on your website. Video is an effective and eye-catching medium, but a well-designed landing page that showcases your product is also a viable marketing tool.
Content marketing brings conversions. According to the Aberdeen Group, conversion rates are just under 6x higher (2.9% to 0.5%) for content marketing adopters compared to non-adopters. Having an optimized content marketing campaign that is built around your new product and strategized to lead the customer through the sales funnel will help attract leads without the need for direct outreach.
Content marketing brings customers to you rather than going to them, and with the creation of engaging marketing material, you can earn your customers' interest rather than pay for it.
Your product launch is a massively important step that requires intensive planning. The best practice is to develop your product launch strategy alongside your product; by the time your product is ready to launch, your marketing and sales tactics will be, too.
Standing out in a crowded market like many companies in the B2B SaaS industry requires not just an excellent product but marketing and sales strategies that reach consumers and bring consumers to you. A multi-pronged, diverse product launch plan is a great way to start your new software service off on the right foot.
The critical components to an efficient launch strategy are targeting previous and current customers, developing buyer personas to target the right businesses and people, and building comprehensive email marketing campaigns around your new product. Utilizing a product demo video and scaling up your inbound content marketing with a focus on the customer journey will yield significant results.
The launch of your product is a major milestone that celebrates a significant achievement. It should be a time of excitement that marks a pivotal moment for your business. Following the above steps will ensure you have the plan in place to make your product launch the successful breakthrough it deserves to be.
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