An Early Product Launching Process

by Chance Smith

A friend of mine, Dennis @ Lifeway, is launching a new SaaS plugin product this year. He’s been working on it since last year. I’ll save the details for the end, but I’ve been asking him about the progress and the launch date.

Today, I pressed if there was anything he could do to launch sooner or if he could start talking with potential customers.

Being the cool guy he is, he said I could share. Here is a bit of the conversation and some of the questions I asked him.

[Dennis says] I’m going to launch in October this year (6 months away).

What about creating a page for each stage to start collecting revenue and email addresses to update those who are interested?

  1. waiting list sign-up (now)
  2. beta release lifetime price for beta-testers (~June-July)
  3. MVP pre-launch early-early-adopter monthly price (week before launch)
  4. MVP launch early-adopter monthly price (week of launch)
  5. then surface the final price after the first week of launch

This would create a list of customers to talk to and get feedback from. We’d also build up urgency and excitement for the launch. The early adopters get a discount for being willing to take a swing at a new product. It’s a great trade.

[Dennis says] I’m thinking of an annual subscription, but make it around $XX/year per website affordable. The main goal at this phase is to gather more users and feedback. Once there are enough users, increasing the price and features later is easy.

I asked…

  1. What pricing models are the customers familiar with?
  2. If the customer could have it their way, what would they prefer and pay a premium for?
  3. What is the expense for each customer acquisition?

[Dennis says] I’m thinking of an annual subscription but make it affordable like around $XX/year per website. The main goal at this phase is to gather more users and feedback. Once there’s enough users it’s easy to increase the price and features later.

Are there any products that are doing the same thing or close? What price are they charging?

It turns out there are two similar products. One charges $32/year, and the other charges $299/year or $499 lifetime. Without comparing the features and support, it seems like there is quite a range in pricing.

The point is

What if you didn’t wait? What if you get a list of interested folks this month?

If you’re launching anything right now, you know what to do. Go make a waiting list page.

There are so many tools to help you start. You can use Mailchimp, ConvertKit, Substack, Ghost, Carrd, Webflow, WordPress, and many more.

Side note

Hey, if you want to help out a friend and also boost your WordPress editing speed, you gotta check out the blazing-fast bulk editing tool that Dennis is building as a WordPress plugin!

🏎️🏎️ Go join the QuickPress waiting list 🏎️🏎️.