How to Create Your Product Launch Timeline

The product launch timeline is your business’s make-or breaker day. It is not often that an entire day is laid off due to unplanned glitches.¬†However, it’s never going to be an easy walk in the park. No matter how prepared you are, there is always going to be some kind of unexpected stressor or glitch that will come up. In order to prevent these kinds of things from killing your new business opportunity, you need to know how to create a product launch timeline.

One of the main reasons why entrepreneurs fail is due to a lack of planning. 

Most SaaS businesses plan their product launch schedules months ahead of time and include an entire week of testing internally before making any type of public announcements. However, most entrepreneurs do not spend the time needed to create the very best product launch timeline for their event. While most products will go through several testing phases before hitting the market, a poorly planned timeline can cause problems with the actual launch day.

Your product launch timeline needs to include every actionable goal that is necessary for everyone involved to accomplish. 

This means that you need to include all development stages, brainstorming meetings, testing phases, and every other phase that involves people from all levels of your team members. To make sure that everyone is on the same page, you will want to create a master copy and distribute to everyone involved. Let everyone understand what you are hoping to accomplish with the product, set short term goals, and then lay out the actionable goals that everyone must accomplish within this timeframe.

Setting short-term goals lets everyone know what to focus on while on the road to releasing your new product. A common mistake is to set too many goals, and sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of the idea and forget about the real objective. However, creating a product timeline across teams helps everyone stay on track and focused. Here are some examples of what you might include on your product timeline.

Goals – Define and write down goals that you hope to achieve throughout the course of development. 

This includes both short-term goals and long-term ones. For example, you might have identified a date on which you want to launch your product. Other people might be more concerned with the functionality of the new product, and others want to see how well the product has been received by customers. Include both of these categories so everyone knows the general direction you would like to take.

Templates – Create a simple template that you can use for all of your actions in your product launch timeline. 

Many templates will require that you fill in the name of each team member and the deadline for them, but this can be a great way to organize everyone in your organization. If you have a great way of communication already in place with all of your team members, then this is a great way to keep them on track towards their individual goals.

Announcement Emails – If you are going to launch a product, you want to make sure that you are reaching all of your target customers. 

One way to do this is to send out announcement emails before the actual launch date. Your announcement emails should not only include the date of the launch, but you should also provide information about what will be launched, why it is launching, what new features you are planning on adding, how your business will change during the launch period, what refunds will be offered, and any additional information that you think might be important for your potential customers to understand. If you are sending out announcement emails throughout the course of the launch period, be sure to use an autoresponder so you will be able to automate the release of the product launch timeline and other announcements to your team members.

Email Marketing Plan – This is probably the most important component of the product launch timeline. 

You want to have an effective email marketing plan in place. You need to include all of the important goals that you have set for the launch. Be sure to include all of your actionable goals as well. This means writing down your goals as they pertain to your business, and tracking where you are on a daily basis to see if you are on track with your goals. With the right email marketing plan in place, you will be able to increase your sales and work less effectively on your promotional efforts.

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