As much as 80% of products launched in 2011 failed. Perhaps no other group feels this pressure more than software developers because of the rapidly-changing industry they work in. In order to be successful and generate enough software leads or buyers, a new software launch must be carefully planned, and here’s how:
- Apply the 4 P’s. The 4 P’s refer to Product, Price, Promotion, and Place. When you release your new product, you have to present the software name, version, description, features, improvements, etc. In terms of price, consider the costs in developing and producing your software along with your markup and those of resellers/distributors and make sure price remains in a competitive range. Promotion and place are included below.
- Generate ample publicity. Your ability to get people talking about your upcoming product is vital in a software product launch. To generate interest, curiosity, and ultimately fresh leads, you should write effective press releases that catch attention. Communicating with software bloggers and product review writers can also be a source of publicity for your new application.
- Use Web resources and tools. Your new product’s online presence is another key ingredient in the software launch. You have to buy a domain name or names that reflect your product’s identity and develop its own site for marketing and support. Aside from promotion, the Web can also be the place where your software leads can access your product. So make sure to have an effective order or download page.
- Provide trialware and full versions. You have to strategically distribute shareware and full versions of your new application. Registered copies should be given to key individuals such as business decision makers and other user groups. You also need to offer incentives to beta testers in exchange for useful feedback.
- Set up a support platform. Starting a support forum is an important first step toward building a community around your product. Aside from responding to questions and handling user issues, you should also provide tutorials, tips, and other educational material.
- Product launches are oftentimes make-or-break moments for software developers. However, there is a more fundamental concern that needs to be addressed for long-term performance of a product and a company, and this is called “building trust” which will be the topic of the final episode of this blog series. It’s coming up next, so stay tuned.