Home What To Do When You Launch: Before, During, and After

What To Do When You Launch: Before, During, and After

A couple of weeks ago, we looked at the case of the time-management tool Chrometa and the startup’s self-described “failed” launch. In its blog, Chrometa explained some of the steps it took to keep pushing product and consumer development forward.

Also answering the question, “You’ve launched. Now what?” is Cloudomatic co-founder Jason Baptiste who also observes that “If you build it, they won’t come.”

Baptiste offers a solid overview of some of the things that startups should tackle before, during and after launch in order to help generate more than that initial launch buzz, and to ensure long term growth and success.

Before Launch

Baptiste suggests startups take the following steps prior to launch:

  • Customer development: Early customers can help you build the right product. But they can also give you a good start with folks who will spread the word when you do actually launch
  • Build in viral loops from line 1: As most startups have little budget to put towards customer acquisition, it’s good to devise ways to market your product that work well, work quickly, and cost you close to zero.
  • Build a relevant audience: Start blogging and interacting now.
  • The slow reveal: Post some teasers of your product – even if they’re just screenshots – before launch.
  • Gather beta user testimonials: Gathering customer feedback is important in refining your product. But testimonials are good “proof” of that.
  • Build an email list.

Launch Day

In preparation for launch day, Baptiste recommends the following:

  • Segment your press list: Spend time on your pitch emails.
  • Have the date of your launch nailed down in advance: “You should have a date nailed down for when the app is a golden master and you should have a separate date that is a little bit further in the future for doing the actual press launch. Don’t just say: we’re done developing+testing, let’s pitch some press. Have a set day to work towards and give yourself enough breathing room to execute well. Also check your calendar for any other major upcoming events. New apple product launching? Major conference with 50 product launches? Wait a few more days.”
  • Embargoes Will Be Broken (Not by ReadWriteWeb, I’d like to interject here. Not intentionally)
  • Try to coordinate with an event: This can be a conference or a meetup, but will help give you a larger initial audience. Do be sure that you’ve taken care of all the logistics, however, so that you can handle the influx of traffic.
  • Giveaways: Yay. Free stuff.

After the Launch

To make sure that your launch doesn’t fizzle, Baptiste suggests these steps:

  • Release often: One way to combat the slump that follows from initial launch buzz is to make sure you are repeating the process frequently. These smaller scale launches should be improving your product’s features but also giving people – press and users – a reason to talk about you.
  • Analytics reveal new markets
  • Integrate Affiliate and Partner Programs
  • Platform Expansion: While you don’t need to have your app available on all platforms at launch, you do want to expand to different platforms: iPhone, Android, Desktop, Facebook, and so on.
  • Build an API: Making an API will help expand your userbase. And it is, as Caterina Fake says, good BizDev 2.0.
  • SEO/SEM/Social Advertising is your friend: While you can hope that having built in some viral hooks that that’s all you need, but you shouldn’t cross advertising and SEO considerations off your list.

Baptiste’s closing remarks on writing the blog post are important, as they underscore what is most important to pay attention to: “When I started writing this post I had an intro, pre-launch, actual launch, post-launch, and closing h2 tags. I filled in the different points in between, and quickly realized the list for pre and post launch far outweighed those for the actual launch period, which seems to be about right. The real work isn’t that short launch period, but the work beforehand and continued work afterwards.”

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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