Tiffany Joy Yamut Author
UpViral Team
October 16, 2023

How to Build a Waitlist Campaign That Boosts Anticipation for Your Product or Service

How to Build a Waitlist Campaign That Boosts Anticipation for Your Product or Service

There are several steps to launching a new product or service into the market. It begins with market research, then product development, pricing strategy… and so on. But these efforts can go in vain if people are not interested in what you’re offering to begin with. A waitlist campaign is one of the best things you can do to entice people into trying your product or service.

If you’re wondering what a waitlist is in marketing, this article is for you.

What Is a Waitlist Campaign? And Understanding Its Purpose

A waitlist campaign is a marketing strategy businesses use to build anticipation and gather interest for a product, service, or event that has yet to be released. Its main goal is to generate a list of potential customers who may soon make a purchase or participate in an event once the offer becomes available.

Here are several benefits of having a waitlist marketing strategy:

  • Create excitement and a sense of exclusivity. Sneak peeks or teasers about your upcoming offer can effectively pique your audience’s curiosity. To make it more desirable, convey that it will have limited availability. You can even give a special preview to a select group of customers, such as those who've been loyal to your brand for years.
  • Identify potential customers. Save time in figuring out if there are potential customers interested in your products and services. This allows you to target your marketing efforts to the right audience.
  • Gather contact information. Another incredible benefit of waitlists is that they help you collect valuable information, such as email addresses from potential customers, which you can use to reach out to them through marketing campaigns.
  • Achieve a higher conversion rate. A waitlist campaign can also identify people who are already interested in your offer (potential customers), which can lead to higher conversion rates down the road.

Different Waitlist Campaign Options

Waitlist campaigns come in various forms, depending on your marketing goals and the nature of the product, service, or event you’re promoting. Below are popular waitlist campaign examples:

Pre-Launch Waitlist

A pre-launch waitlist is made to specifically generate excitement before a product, service, or event launch. An announcement will be made before the release date through various marketing channels, such as social media, press releases, or email newsletters.

Potential customers are encouraged to join the waitlist by providing their contact information. Then regular updates are sent to the people on the waitlist. People who join are often offered exclusive benefits to motivate them. This includes early access, limited edition versions, and special discounts.

Beta Testing Waitlist

A beta testing waitlist is used by software companies to gather potential participants for a beta testing phase of a product, such as a software tool or an app. A select group of users, called “beta testers,” are given the opportunity to test a pre-release version of the product.

Similar to a pre-launch waitlist, a beta-testing waitlist is also announced through various marketing channels. Interested participants are then asked to provide their contact information.

During the beta testing phase, they are asked for feedback on the product, which can help developers make improvements before the release date. As a bonus, beta testers may be given early access to the final product as an incentive! 🎁

Event Waitlist

An event waitlist is made up of people who are interested in attending an event but are not able to secure tickets because of limited availability. Event organizers use waitlists to ensure that when spots become available, people who signed up for the waitlist can be offered tickets or the opportunity to participate.

First, event organizers will promote an event on different marketing channels. People who are interested can purchase tickets or register to attend. But when available slots are filled, people who register afterward may be put on a waitlist.

They will be asked to provide their contact information, and they will receive notifications once spots become available.

Holiday Sale Waitlist

A holiday sale waitlist is used by businesses during the holiday season to gather interest from customers for upcoming holiday sales, promotions, deals, and discounts. It’s often used for holiday-related shopping events, such as Christmas, New Year’s, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday. 🎄💻

First, businesses will announce that they are hosting a special holiday promotion during a specific period. Next, they’ll encourage potential customers to join the waitlist by asking for their contact information.

People who join are typically incentivized with exclusive benefits and perks, such as special discounts. When the holiday sale starts, people on the waitlist are the first to access the sale to take advantage of exclusive offers.

Exclusive Access Waitlist

Last but not least is the exclusive access waitlist, which is used by businesses to offer “exclusive benefits” to a select group of individuals. It could be exclusive access to an event, product launch, promotion, or service.

First, businesses will announce the exclusive opportunity, and then invite participants to join the exclusive access waitlist. Just like other types of waitlists, these people need to register their contact information, so they can receive regular updates and teasers.

After the event, businesses can engage with these customers to build long-lasting relationships.

How to Build a Successful Waitlist Campaign

As you’ve just learned, a waitlist campaign is beneficial for any type of business. Ready to start one? Follow these tips:

Determine your goals.

A waitlist campaign can help your business in the following ways:

  • Create anticipation among potential customers
  • Gather contact information (email addresses, being the most common) that can be useful for future promotions
  • Help you get higher conversation rates by identifying and engaging with interested customers

Be sure to determine your goals early on, so you can plan out your strategy. Also, consider the long-term impact of a waitlist campaign!

Know your audience and what motivates them to join.

To entice more people to join your waitlist campaign, it’s important to find out what motivates them to join. This involves uncovering their needs, preferences, and pain points.

Use the information you gain to identify the best perks and incentives to offer that will increase their likelihood of signing up for your waitlist.

Pro Tip: If you already have an email list or a customer base, consider sending surveys to gather insights about them. Alternatively, keep an eye on social media platforms for discussions about your niche so you can learn about what your target audience finds appealing. 🙋🏻

Create a dedicated landing page.

A waitlist landing page is specifically designed to gather the contact information of people who want to join a waitlist. It includes a compelling headline and copy that conveys the value of the product, service, event, or offer that’s coming up. This way, everyone who visits the landing page will understand the benefits they get by joining the waitlist.

👉🏻Check out this guide where we discuss the top elements to include on a landing page.

Fortunately, you can use UpViral to host your waitlist campaigns in the future. UpViral features a special template called “Product Release” for businesses looking to promote a new product or service.

Below is a screenshot of the template:

UpViral’s Product Release template is designed to build anticipation for a brand-new offer.

Another UpViral template you can use is the “Promotion Presale” template, which helps generate buzz weeks before a holiday sale (e.g. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Summer Sale, Valentine’s Day Sale). See the screenshot below for the template design:

Provide attractive incentives to encourage joining your waitlist.

Incentives are important to the success of a waitlist campaign. They serve to motivate people to join the waitlist and provide a compelling reason for them to take action. It communicates that what a business offers is worth their time and contact information.

For example, in the Black Friday Waiting List above, “exclusive perks not available elsewhere” are promised to people who would join the waitlist. Aside from being the first to be notified when the sale opens, those who register would also receive unique incentives.

Make your waitlist campaign shareable.

Don’t underestimate the power of referral marketing when it comes to gathering more participants for your waitlist campaign! By encouraging the people on your waitlist to share the campaign and refer their family and friends, you’ll be able to reach a bigger audience.

Consider the example below:

UpViral’s Promotion Presale template is designed to build hype days or weeks leading up to a sale.

Once people have signed up for the Black Friday waitlist, they will be redirected to a share page. Not only will sharing the campaign help them gain additional points but they’re also treated with an extra 25% discount on top of the Black Friday deal! Getting the incentive is easy enough for anyone to do: they just need to secure 3 referrals.

Besides the social share buttons, notice a unique referral link, which participants can copy and paste, and then share the link with others on any channel. One of the primary features of UpViral is that it provides unique referral links to participants in your campaigns. Each participant is typically assigned a distinct referral link that they can share with their network.

Through this link, they can track the number of referrals each participant brings in, which then determines the rewards or incentives participants get.

Maintain engagement with your waitlist subscribers.

Maintaining engagement with your waitlist subscribers during and after the campaign is important. While the campaign is still running, send them a welcome email to express gratitude for their interest. Then provide them with an overview of what to expect from the campaign.

Send regular email updates to inform them of the latest news, behind-the-scenes insights, and sneak peeks!

Moreover, use countdown timers in your email updates to remind subscribers about the upcoming offering and generate excitement. If you integrate a referral campaign, keep them posted about their progress and the rewards they’re going to get.

After the campaign, make sure to continue engaging with your subscribers to maintain their interest and loyalty. ♥️

Analyze the success of your waitlist campaign.

Measuring the success of your campaign allows you to identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions for future marketing efforts.

Here are some key performance indicators (KPIs) to consider:

  • Total number of sign-ups
  • Click-through rate (CTR) for your campaign materials
  • Engagement metrics (such as likes, comments, and shares)
  • Revenue generated from waitlisted individuals

You can also collect feedback from the people who joined your waitlist by sending surveys.

After the campaign, it is also recommended to track the engagement of waitlisted individuals and see how many people converted into a customer. Don’t forget to compare the campaign performance to the goals you’ve set in the beginning.

Final Thoughts

A waitlist campaign can be extremely useful for sparking excitement for your product, service, event, and other offers. You’ve learned how important careful planning is, but know that the right platform also makes a difference in creating highly effective waitlist campaigns — the ones that generate a significant amount of subscribers who are interested in your offer. 😉

We recommend taking advantage of UpViral to make the process of building a waitlist campaign smooth and hassle-free. See how well our customers have used UpViral for their goals and be inspired!

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