Releasing a new product into the market requires taking various factors into account to ensure a smooth and successful launch.
Factors like your marketing strategy, your product development, and the launch timeline are all integral parts of a complete launch plan.
However, let’s not forget that keeping track of your product launch metrics is equally important.
This is exactly what we’re going to talk about in the following guide.
More specifically, we’re going to cover:
Plus, we’re going to outline the 13 most important metrics that indicate product launch success across different phases of your launch.
If you’re excited as we are, let’s get straight into it.
Product launch metrics are criteria that indicate the performance of various processes.
They are often known as key performance indicators (KPIs) and help teams understand how well they’re performing, regarding a specific area.
For example, a common KPI for businesses is revenue.
Measuring metrics to see whether it has reached a certain objective is vital to understanding if progress is being made or not.
Another prominent KPI is the customer churn rate: the rate at which paying customers stop doing business with a company.
As you can imagine, each business and industry has its own key metrics.
When it comes to a new product launch, some of the most important metrics that indicate product launch success are…
…as well as many more which we’ll cover further on.
Author’s Note: It’s worth mentioning that each metric is important for a specific product launch stage.
We just saw what product launch metrics are and learned about some of the most prominent ones.
Now let’s talk about why they’re so important for a successful product launch.
Now that you have a good idea of what product launch metrics are, it’s only natural to be wondering why they matter, right?
No need to worry!
We’ll do our best to explain why metrics are important for startups, SaaS companies, and any other business or individual launching a product.
Let’s dive into the first reason.
As we briefly mentioned at the beginning of this article, product launch metrics allow you to track your progress.
What’s important to remember is that metrics aren’t goals themselves (we’ll talk about those next up), but rather a measurement of goals and objectives.
For example, if you’re aiming for 100 active users after your launch, the metrics will allow you to see how close you are to achieving that target.
If the metrics - which in this case is the current number of active users - indicate that you’re still far off from reaching that goal, then it’s a sign that you should probably iterate your strategy in order to get closer to your goal.
In simple words, setting the right metrics and keeping an eye on them is crucial to tracking your progress and making sure you’re on track with your product launch strategy.
Actually, tracking the right metrics means you are 2 times more likely to hit your business goals.
Since we just talked about how metrics allow you to track your progress, it only makes sense to talk about goal setting as well.
Whether it’s about product management, product design, customer support, or even your marketing efforts, setting goals helps you move towards the right direction.
According to a study by the University of Texas, it was proven that entrepreneurs remained persistent with their business efforts when they continued to challenge themselves to achieve goals.
In other words, metrics allow you to set objectives which consequently help you stay on the right track and motivate you to reach them.
When it comes to product launches, having pre-launch sign-ups as one of your KPIs, for example, helps you set an ‘X number of total sign-ups’ goal.
Obviously, vague and unrealistic objectives won’t take you anywhere; what we suggest you do is follow the SMART rule of goal setting.
This means that your goals need to be:
Overall, if you set the right goals and have the metrics in place to track your progress, your chances of a successful product launch will increase.
Another reason why metrics are so important for product launches is because they allow you to evaluate your marketing and strategy actions.
This means that by having specific KPIs in place, you can decide what’s working and what’s not.
After all, you always need to be on the lookout for ways to improve your overall go-to-market strategy when needed. Metrics play a crucial role in helping you understand this.
When it comes to marketing, there are several marketing metrics such as…
…and more, which allow marketing teams to understand whether their promotional activities are effective or are in need of pivoting.
The same thing applies for the overall strategy of your product launch, where the right metrics will give you an in-depth understanding of how efficient your moves are.
Makes sense, right?
Moving on to the fourth reason why metrics are important.
Launching a new product to the market is a multidimensional process that requires the involvement of various stakeholders.
Certain people have to be in charge of the marketing channels, others for the product strategy, and some as part of the sales team, just to give you an idea.
All of those parties (plus many more) need to be on the same page at all times, and able to efficiently communicate internally.
While project management tools can contribute to this, setting the right metrics is crucial as well.
For instance, by setting out to ‘gain X new customers by the end of the year’, every team member will need to be aligned with the goal and informed about its progress; that is, assuming you track the progress of your metrics as we mentioned earlier.
All in all, metrics can - and should - be an integral part of your product launch plan since they provide a wide range of benefits.
Obviously, there are numerous product launch KPIs out there, so you need to pinpoint the ones that are most important to you; you definitely shouldn’t track every single one.
Let’s dive deeper into this.
Like we just mentioned, picking the right metrics to track is of great importance.
We strongly recommend categorizing them into the three product launch phases in order to track your plan’s progress more easily.
The first stage is the pre-launch, where the right actions need to be taken to prepare the product before the official launch.
Here are the most important metrics to track during this stage:
Author’s Note: Keep in mind that metrics vary based on each product and industry.
One of the best tactics to implement before a product release is creating a buzz and getting people excited about it.
You can do that by creating a waiting list, where you’ll capture people’s email addresses in order to notify them just before the official launch happens.
Plus, you can offer exclusive perks to whoever signs up early, such as early bird discounts and early access to the product’s new features.
This will ensure that you’ll have new users from day one who’ll use your product, become paying customers, and give you valuable feedback.
Overall, it’s of utmost importance to keep track of the number of sign-ups you receive, since it’s a very important metric of your pre-launch campaign.
Moving on to the next metric.
It’s no secret that one of the most effective marketing channels available today is social media.
With over 4.5 billion active users worldwide and an average ROI of 95%, social media marketing should be an integral part of any business.
Image Source: Data Reportal
New product launches are no exception, since social media can vitally contribute to raising awareness and attracting new customers through your content.
Some important metrics when it comes to social media marketing are:
Important metrics aren't just limited to these, however, but the engagement rate nicely summarizes how effective your posts - or your profile in general - is. It essentially assesses how engaged/interactive each follower is with your content.
In order to measure it, you can follow this formula:
Author’s Note: You can keep track of such marketing metrics through all the launch phases.
All in all, keeping track of your social media marketing metrics will help you understand how effective your content is.
Have you ever heard of the K-factor?
Also known as the Viral Coefficient, it’s a referral marketing metric which indicates the total number of registrations per each inviting user.
Since referral campaigns can really boost a product’s popularity during the pre-launch phase, it’s important to track the K-factor in order to measure the effectiveness of your referral marketing efforts.
For instance, if 1 in 10 of your users refer a new person in their first month, the K-factor is 1/10 = 0.1.
Assuming we have 1,000 users, they can refer 1,000 * 0.1 = 100 users in the first month.
Author’s Note: Keep in mind that a K-factor of 0.15 - 0.25 is considered good.
All in all, this metric allows the team to see how effective their referral program is and whether changes need to be made, such as to the rewards and incentives that are offered.
Moving on to the next metric of the pre-launch stage.
A website’s traffic is a metric that most businesses keep track of anyway, but it can be particularly useful for ones planning a product launch.
By seeing how many people visit your website on a monthly basis, you can get a good idea of how interested they are in your upcoming launch.
Website traffic can be divided into two categories:
Organic traffic refers to visitors who land on your website or landing page from unpaid sources - such as search engine-optimized content - and paid traffic refers to people who visit your website through paid marketing actions.
Whatever the case, it’s important that you monitor how many people visit your website, as well as how long they stay on it and where they’re from.
Their location can be particularly important for targeted marketing actions in the future, but the website traffic itself can be a great metric indicating how interesting your product is for your audience.
Now that we saw a few important pre-launch metrics, let’s move on to the next phase.
Your product’s launch phase is equally important as the pre-launch one.
Like with pre-launching, it has its own important metrics to be aware of, so let’s get straight into them.
Generally speaking, lead generation is the process of attracting prospects who’ll potentially become paying customers.
The same thought process applies to product launches.
Through various sales and marketing efforts, you ideally want to spark the interest of as many leads as possible.
Those leads can be a key metric of yours and you can even set a goal to ‘generate X amount of leads’ by the end of the month, quarter, or year.
Obviously, not all leads are customers; they’re simply people interested in learning more about what you have to offer.
According to Hubspot, the main types of leads are:
As you can tell from their name, they each indicate where a lead was generated from (marketing, sales, product).
The amount of leads who you actually turn into paying customers can be a whole other metric itself, which is called conversion rate.
Let’s have a look at it.
A conversion rate can refer to many different things, from the number of leads who turn into customers, to the number of website visitors who subscribe to your newsletter.
In our case, we’re mostly interested in the first case and the amount of leads who turn into paying customers.
Whether those leads come from our website, social media, marketing efforts, or anywhere else, the amount of them who become customers is our conversion rate.
Let’s assume that 100 people visit our website and 15 of them decide to purchase our new product.
That’s a conversion rate of (15/100)*100 = 15%, since:
Understanding what percentage of your users are completing the goals that drive your business allows you to gauge the success of your website.
Overall, we strongly suggest keeping track of your conversion rates as they’re an important metric for any product launch.
The email open rate is the most important metric when it comes to email marketing (along with the clickthrough rate) and indicates the number of users who opened your email, compared to the total number of people you sent it to.
For example, if your pre-launch email list included 1,000 addresses and 300 of them opened your email that informed them about your official launch, that’s an open rate of 30% since…
…and (300/1,000) * 100 = 30%.
Author’s Note: Keep in mind that the average open rate is 21%, but varies depending on the industry.
When it comes to the clickthrough rate (CTR), it’s the ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view an email campaign.
So, following the previous example, if out of those 1,000 people who our email campaign was sent to, only 50 clicked on at least one link, that’s a CTR of 5% since…
…and (50/1,000) * 100 = 5%
Email marketing can play an integral role in your product launch marketing plan since it allows you to inform your audience about a launch, new product features, product updates, and more.
Simply keep track of metrics like the open and click through rate to ensure that you’re making progress.
Every business should keep track of its costs; that’s no secret.
Especially when it comes to launching a brand new product to the market, finances play a crucial role and should be monitored closely.
Costs can derive from product marketing activities, payrolls, and many other factors.
After all, in order for a product team to launch a new product and keep enhancing it in the long-term, it needs to be financially viable.
Of course, there are types of indirect costs too like the customer acquisition cost (CAC), which is the amount of money a company spends to get a new customer.
All in all, no matter the type of cost or where it comes from, keeping track of these metrics can play an important role in your launch’s success.
Let’s continue with the next phase.
You guessed it!
The post-launch is the next phase we’re going to cover and has some very interesting metrics to be aware of.
Let’s have a look at them.
When you release a new product, it’s only natural for your audience to not know exactly how to use it and what its value proposition is.
For that reason, many companies offer product trials and demos for people to learn exactly what the product is all about.
Trials essentially walk customers through the product step-by-step and explain what its benefits are.
Quite useful, right?
Product demos are often booked from a website via a call to action (CTA) button and their clickthrough rate is a metric that should be monitored.
For instance, a low CTR could potentially indicate that the CTA is not at the optimal position or that it should be changed completely.
All in all, product demos are an important metric for product launch teams to monitor.
Another prominent metric of the post-launch phase is the customer retention rate.
In a nutshell, it’s the percentage of existing customers who remain as customers after a given period.
It can help you understand what keeps your existing customers within your company and signal potential things that drive them away.
According to Harvard Business Review, the cost of acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.
This is exactly why you should aim to keep your customers within your company for as long as possible.
Let’s assume that when your product’s launch happened, you gained 1,000 users and you currently have 1,200, since we’re talking about the post-launch stage.
During that period, 300 new users (1,200-1,000) were acquired so the customer retention rate is 90%, since…
…and [(1,200 - 300) / 1,000] * 100 = (900 / 1,000) * 100 = 0.9 * 100 = 90%.
This means that 90% of the customers remained during a certain time frame.
To sum this up, the customer retention metric is a very useful number and can give you many valuable insights.
Referral marketing is a great tool for new products.
It incentivizes existing users to prompt their network to use the product too, usually through word-of-mouth marketing.
Those incentives can be rewards like discounts and exclusive access to content, but a referral program can nevertheless bring great results.
Apart from choosing a trusted partner and setting the referral program up, it’s equally important to track how successful it is in case certain things need to be altered.
The total number of referrals is a great metric to start with, but you can also dive deeper and track the average number of referrals a user brings, as well as the K-factor which we covered in metric #3.
What you must remember is that monitoring the progress of your referral marketing efforts is crucial for them to be as effective as possible.
The benefits for your new product can be astonishing!
Since we talked about costs earlier, it only makes sense to mention revenue.
One of the top metrics for every single business out there and your product launch is no exception.
By keeping track of your total revenue, you understand how successful your product is and whether you can afford hiring new team members that will help you go one step further.
Revenues are usually measured annually, quarterly, or on a monthly basis.
We recommend measuring them quite often in order to know exactly where you are at any given point in time.
Makes sense, right?
Moving on to the last metric we have for you.
One of the most important aspects of any successful business is the ability to gather valuable user feedback and keep improving its products or services.
This is where the net promoter score (NPS) comes in; it’s a KPI that shows how satisfied a user is with your product.
If it sounds simple, that’s because it is.
In order to measure it, all you have to do is ask your customers how satisfied they are with your product, how likely they are to recommend it to a friend, or something similarly relevant.
Let’s assume you create an email campaign to ask your 100 users how likely they are to recommend your new product to someone.
All answers should be given on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being not likely at all and 10 being extremely likely.
After you gather the responses, you can separate them into 3 groups:
Image Source: Netigate
In order to calculate your final NPS score – just subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.
For example, if 10% of respondents are detractors, 20% are passives, and 70% are promoters, your NPS score would be 70-10 = 60.
Based on the results, you get a good idea of how happy and loyal your customers are with your product and whether you need to make any iterations.
To sum up, those were the most prominent metrics to track for all 3 of your product launch stages.
Simply make sure to decide which ones are most important to you and make decisions based on them.
Let’s wrap things up with some final thoughts and frequently asked questions.
So there you have it.
That was our full guide on product launch metrics, why they matter, as well as the 13 most common ones to be aware of.
As we mentioned, each industry has its own metrics, but the ones we mentioned covered a wide range of cases so there are definitely some that you can - and should - take into consideration.
Thanks for reading!
There are various KPIs to track for a product launch, but the most important ones are:
As well as many more, depending on the product and the industry you’re in.
In order to measure the success of a product launch, you need to start by deciding which metrics are the most important for you.
After that, you need to set the right processes and monitor those metrics which will indicate the progress you’re making, as well as whether changes should be made.
There are 3 different product launch phases to be aware of: