Justin McGill
October 29, 2014 2 Comments AUTHOR: Justin McGill CATEGORIES: Behind the Scenes, SaaS

I’m laying in bed fighting the covers. My mind is drifting to the realization that I am launching Workado this morning.

I wiped the sleep from my eyes and looked at the clock.

It was 5:51am.

It was the big day. I planned to launch at 11am. A year in the making had finally come down to the final five hours.

I jumped out of bed, poured my glass of tea, and went into my home office.

Updating the Website

First things first, I needed to get the main website updated and look for any linking issues and ensure the blog area was ready. The previous day I had done some updates/edits to the marketing messages and so I wanted to look things over again.

By 6:30, I was working on my launch post.

I tested different sidebar options and layouts, but ultimately decided to just stick with full-width. I am still contemplating a full redesign of the website anyway, so didn’t want to get too carried away at this point.

I scheduled the post to go live at 11am my time.

I swapped out Olark live chat for Zopim. Olark was solid, but I was familiar with Zopim and I liked having the visitor data (website referral, location, etc) right at my fingertips.

I made sure myself and my assistant were logged into Zopim to field any pre-launch questions. We had a couple people confirm we were still launching and they inquired about the time we were opening the doors. We told anyone that asked when we would open up the registration page.

Setting Up Alerts

I setup a Pingdom account to send me alerts whenever the app goes down. This was my single biggest stress related item, so I wanted to make sure I would at least be in the know the moment it went down.

I then setup mention tracking with Talk Walker. I still haven’t gotten any email alerts though, so I need to actually look into what’s going on here.

I logged into my Moz account to setup reporting and new link alerts.

Handling Bug/Feature Requests

I mapped out our process for handling bugs and feature requests. I had read a lot of different things on how to handle this, but I ultimately decided to stick with Codebase for this to keep everything in one place.

I create an “Unscheduled” milestone where me or my assistant will place any new bug/feature requests. Then I will go in and determine priority and move them into an appropriate development milestone.

I went ahead and created a video to give to my assistant so he knows exactly what to do.

The Launch Email

By this point, I had about 30 minutes left before we got launched.

I needed to prepare the launch email that would go out to the initial list. At the end, I offered an exclusive offer (60% off for life) to those on the list and so I needed to go into Stripe and create that discount coupon code. It was valid for a week, so I made sure to point that out in my email message.

Before hitting send on the launch email, I went back to the website and changed the sign-up links to point to the registration page within the app.

This was a “soft” launch to my initial email list. I had about 160 people on the list. I wanted to get through this initial wave to make sure there weren’t any glaring issues during the registration process or any major bugs or server downtime that happened during this phase.

I went back into MailChimp and hit send on the email.

SaaS Launch Email

My First SaaS Launched!

I stood up and let out a Rick Flair “Woooooooooo!” and hugged the wifey.

The moment had finally come and now I could focus on trying to grow the app and talking to customers…no longer dreaming about the day that my product would be launched.

The rest of the day I reserved for any customer support and planning ahead for the next day.

I did need to get one signup through the registration process as we discovered some sort of bug with the length of the company name field. He had five words in his company name and that apparently was causing problems. We got it straightened out though.

Up Next

I don’t think there was really much of anything that I would have actually changed here on this day. I think the biggest thing to change was how I handled the communication prior to launch. I talked about that in my beta management post.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting about everything I did the day AFTER I launched. This is where the marketing plan started to come to life!

Have any questions? What about recommendations on what I should have done? Let me know in the comments!

2 Comments

  1. Dave 3 years ago says:

    Great work man, love following along. We’re paralleling each other fairly well here. Going to check out that mention monitoring talk walk thing.
    Dave recently posted…Monthly Growth Report – October 2014My Profile

    Reply
    • Justin McGill 3 years ago says:

      It’s very cool to see and follow someone else in the same boat. I’ll be jumping into NinjaOutreach soon! 🙂

      Reply

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"Justin is the proto-type of a 21st century business leader. Unmatched skills with evolving technology, combined with the social and emotional intelligence required to handle an increasingly advanced consumer." ~ Michael Lambourne of Blend.