Launching a tech startup in the hyper-competitive digital space where big-tech brands are vying for the public’s attention demands more than a revolutionary product. Despite being an emerging marketplace, the space you’re about to enter with your SaaS startup is occupied by businesses well-established and better-funded than yours.
An effective pre-launch marketing campaign is imperative to get your name out there, dominate your competitors, validate your business idea, and generate hype.
As a tech startup founder, devising a pre-sale marketing strategy might be the last thing on your agenda. But without a pre-launch strategy in place, surviving in the fast-paced tech industry is impossible. We have laid out the most effective pre-launch strategies to establish a successful SaaS platform.
Why is Pre-Launch Campaign Important?
Developing a revolutionary product or service is one thing, but making it stand out from the crowd depends on marketing. Over 90% of SaaS startups fail either due to the lack of product-market fit, inadequate research, and poor marketing strategies.
With the 19% annual growth rate of the SaaS industry, you need a full-fledged marketing campaign checklist before launching your venture to make your way to the top.
Even with limited capital resources and constrictive deadlines, a business can raise brand awareness as long as there’s an efficient marketing plan in place. An ideal pre-launch campaign helps you communicate with the audience, obtain valuable leads, and develop customer trust and credibility.
Create Anticipation and Excitement
Announcing your upcoming business endeavor builds up hype and anticipation in the relevant audience. Adopting the FoMO tactic is a clever way to retain consumers’ attention and incur suspense for your business.
Launch a teaser campaign - small video snippets depicting unique selling points of your product - to generate excitement about the product. Besides using traditional commercial advertising methods, publish blog posts, run social media ads, and email newsletters to spread the word.
Create such a hype around your upcoming SaaS project that makes people eager to buy from you before even knowing what it truly unfolds.
Generate Leads and Boost Sales
As an emerging SaaS startup, you must have a digital presence before officially introducing the product. After identifying the target audience, find immersive ways to pitch your idea, gather their attention, and compel them to sign up.
A pre-launch/coming soon landing page is an effective way to secure valuable leads, either for your business incentives or to acquire a subscriber list for your newsletters. Once the visitors sign up, it’s a perfect time to ask for more than just their email addresses.
Invite your early adopters to bring in their friends and refer your invitation to their social media profiles. Optimize your landing page intuitively with an easy sign-up interface to convert your regular visitors into early adopters of your product.
Spread Brand Awareness
Establishing your landing page is a prerequisite to generating brand awareness - one of the primary objectives of a pre-launch campaign. Make sure it has an immersive user-friendly interface that not only captures the audience’s attention but also drives customer engagement.
Customers need ‘talk triggers’ - a remarkable experience, probably your unique selling proposition that urges them to tell their story and spread the word. Content customers work as your indirect PR team, which brings in more leads to your platform through referral marketing. Make sure your pre-launch marketing plan has the following elements:
- Lay out the product features and value propositions that distinguish it from its counterparts.
- Convey messages and updates about your product on social media platforms to attract a larger audience.
- Introduce single-page brochures with eye-catching visuals for email marketing and social media posts to increase engagement.
- Instate infographics and case studies to your campaign to represent authenticity.
Obtain Valuable Feedback
Most entrepreneurs view pre-launch campaigns as a form of beta testing to evaluate the product’s performance during pre-launch stage. Instead of hand-picking beta testers for the trial run, connect with market representatives to receive honest feedback on your product.
Remember, the criticism from your customers serves as guidance to conduct a successful launch. The feedback helps address the shortcomings, make your product market-compatible, and set the stage for growth.
In the case of a SaaS project, offer free trials and product demos to a selective audience. Besides, the trial period can help you generate buzz about your upcoming release amongst early adopters.
Setting Up a Successful SaaS Product Launch
Once you develop a cutting-edge product, devise a solid launch and marketing plan, and have the proper resources, it’s time to establish the business. However, unlike most tech startups, SaaS product launches are complex, requiring personalized planning and execution to fortify your reputation.
The dynamic SaaS ecosystem makes it challenging for new businesses to build trust and credibility for their brand. With the cut-throat competition looming overhead, SaaS startups now need to build trust seals, execute effective content marketing and collect unbiased reviews from their audience prior to the official launch.
Whether you’re gearing up for a B2B product release or directing it toward the end consumer, get a clear understanding of your target market. Identifying your ideal customers is important to formulate a marketing plan that attracts their attention.
From conventional advertising channels to dynamic social media outreach through influencers, feel free to utilize every marketing platform available as long as you achieve the desired results.
Building up hype before the launch day helps analyze the market trends, acquire better press coverage, and conduct beta tests for product improvement. The strategy paves the way for a flawless business launch on D-day, with your landing page and communication channels operating seamlessly.
5 Pre-Launch Marketing Strategies for SaaS Startup
From a business standpoint, taking a SaaS product from its pre-launch development phase all the way to the launch day requires robust technical and marketing skills. A successful SaaS launch demands collaboration between all major stakeholders in the company, especially the product development and marketing departments.
Besides being revolutionary in its field, a SaaS product should be scalable and secure from any external breach. Releasing a beta version allow marketers to gather valuable feedback from users and direct the development team to make required changes in the product.
Before its official release, a SaaS platform should be optimized to support a large user base and ensure high availability and data security.
Since most SaaS platforms are B2B, your initial promotion strategy shall target company heads and decision-makers. But if you are going to be a B2C enterprise, focus on channels that are more suited to your audience. Now with the context set, let’s review the six powerful pre-launch marketing strategies:
Research Your Competition
Unless you have developed something truly disruptive and revolutionary, it’s highly likely a prelaunch campaign with similar objectives has taken place. Dedicate human and capital resources to research how your competitors have fared in similar niches.
Identify their strengths and weaknesses, what worked and what did not. Figure out the shortcomings and potential red flags in engaging and communicating with an audience quite similar to yours. Take a peek into what your rival platforms are scheming to determine how you should position yourself in the market.
The valuable insights from competitors help marketing professionals plan and implement strategies that set your business apart from its counterparts.
Incorporate cutting-edge tools and software to identify your closest competitors, their preferred marketing channels, and backlink sources. Based on the acquired data, plan and implement launch strategies that give you a competitive edge over them.
Let Value be Your Trademark
Easy money always hints at an early downfall. Although the purpose of a promotional campaign is to drive sales and make the proverbial million dollars, let not the temptation drift you from the path - of delivering value.
Instead of focusing on the bottom line, identify ways to provide more value to your customers and let money be the by-product. Re-frame your objectives and milestones by creating value and benefits for a million potential customers instead.
A brand that prefers its customers over monetary gains is the one to earn customers’ loyalty. Instead of being a product-centric business, let your aspirations of what you want to achieve with it be your trademark.
While your competitors list their product’s USP on the landing page, paint yours with the values you intend to deliver. Observe your audience, address their needs, and connect with them using a personal touch.
Hire Top Talent and Develop Coordination
No matter if your SaaS startup is self-funded or toted by investors, you need a team of experts at your back to turn your startup into an enterprise. Most SaaS founders are capable of running a one-man show, but when it’s time for the takeoff or scalability, your product is without contractors, product managers, and marketing professionals.
An ideal case scenario is to have an in-house team working full-time on your product, but it’s practically impossible, given the limited funds. Don’t hesitate to outsource your work or hire remote freelancers until it’s time for the launch.
As the startup founder, you are responsible for your team’s performance and the product you’re building. All team members must be on the same page and work toward a unified goal. When preparing for the launch, the development and marketing teams must operate in close coordination to make your product accustomed to users’ requirements.
Market Yourself for Higher Traction
Formulating a SaaS marketing strategy is essential if you want more traffic on your platform and potentially acquire more customers. From local events and offline seminars to PR blogs and social media campaigns, there are various customer acquisition channels you can employ - but not all of them are meant for you.
Whether or not a traction strategy is effective depends on the new product or service you plan to launch. If your SaaS project is aimed at providing web-based services to other business enterprises, promoting your product on commercial TV ads won’t bring profitable results.
Employ advertising channels that align with your business niche and target audience. Content marketing and landing page SEO are sustainable advertising practices to generate traction on your platform. Executing PPC campaign and social media marketing fare much better and faster at spreading brand awareness.
Track Your Progress
Measuring growth and assessing whether you’re in line with your business objectives is important for any SaaS startup. Setting milestones before you launch a new product allows businesses to stay on track and increase revenue as projected by the performance indicators.
Every business has its own dynamics and limitations. A B2B SaaS project’s KPIs will differ from one that caters to individual consumers. So, instead of comparing your performance with your competitors, set your KPIs to assess if you’re on par with your business ideals.
Set smart and realistic goals that are measurable in terms of business growth. If your new product generates revenue, take it as the key performance indicator to track your progress. Incorporate advanced business intelligence software tools to measure more than just the numbers.
Whether you are a SaaS founder or a marketing professional laying out promotion strategies, leading your business toward success would be your top priority. In the hyper-competitive SaaS marketplace, you need an effective pre-launch campaign to give your business the initial boost - build up hype, facilitate lead generation, and raise brand awareness.
The best way to outclass your competitors is to leverage what they lack. Carry out market research, devise your marketing strategy, and set KPIs to track your progress after the new product launch. Partner up with Prefinery to turn your SaaS startup into the successful enterprise you wish for.
How to prepare for a SaaS product launch?
Launching a SaaS platform is a lot more complex than typical tech startups. You need to set several KPIs to ensure your business is making progress. Incorporate the following steps in your prelaunch campaign:
- Research the market and competitors
- Identify the target audience
- Employ advanced promotion strategies
- Set up webinars and release teasers
- Acquire customer feedback
How to get higher traction on the SaaS platform?
Promote yourself on advertising platforms that your relevant audience uses the most. Don’t spread your promotion campaign on every channel; rather run a small experiment on 2 - 3 platforms and evaluate the results.