How to Create a Waitlist: 5 Steps to Launch

published on 03 August 2023

As an entrepreneur, building buzz and demand for your new product or service is critical to success. One proven way to generate interest before launch is through an email waitlist campaign. By offering your most engaged potential customers the opportunity to sign up to receive more details as soon as your offering becomes available, you establish credibility, build excitement, and prime the pump for early sales and growth. Check out Unicorn Platform's article on how to generate a landing page with AI in minutes to see how you can further streamline your pre-launch marketing efforts. Here are five steps to launch a successful waitlist and generate buzz for your new business.

How to Create a Waitlist

To build excitement for your new product or service, launch a waitlist campaign. A waitlist allows potential customers to sign up to receive more information or early access. Done right, a waitlist can generate buzz and ensure a successful launch.

First, create a simple landing page explaining your offering and the benefits of joining the waitlist. Include images and concise copy to capture interest. Offer an incentive for signing up like a discount or exclusive perk.

Next, drive traffic to your landing page through social media, email marketing, and word-of-mouth. Post on platforms where your target audience is active. Email your current contacts and ask them to spread the word. Run a social media contest to increase shares.

Then, engage those who sign up to your waitlist. Send a welcome email confirming their registration. Share updates, sneak peeks, and behind-the-scenes details to keep them engaged. Ask for feedback and input. Make them feel like VIPs.

When you’re ready to launch, email your waitlist members first. Give them early access or a special introductory offer as a reward for their patience and support. Their excitement will generate buzz and word-of-mouth promotion to help your launch succeed.

Finally, continue engaging your waitlist members even after launch. They’re your biggest fans and advocates. Provide them discounts and incentives to turn them into loyal customers. A waitlist is the start of building a strong, supportive community around your brand.

By following these steps, you'll gain valuable insights, build buzz, and ensure a successful launch of your new offering. A well-executed waitlist campaign is a key strategy for any startup.

Define Your Product Vision

To build buzz and excitement for your new product, launching an effective waitlist campaign is key. By defining your product vision and creating a simple landing page, you can start building your list of eager first customers.

First, determine your product's key features, benefits, and target audience. Who will be most interested in your offering? Outline 3 to 5 compelling reasons why people should sign up to be the first to gain access. These will be the main points to convey on your landing page.

Next, design an eye-catching yet straightforward landing page using a simple website builder. Include visuals of your product along with a brief yet powerful headline, subheading and those main points you defined. Use an email capture form for people to enter their email address and any additional details you require.

Once your page is live, start promoting it on your company's website, blog, and all social media platforms. Run a social media ad campaign to increase traffic and build awareness. Offer an incentive like a discount, gift, or premium feature for the first people who sign up.

Monitor sign ups and page views regularly. When you have a substantial number of emails, send an update to thank everyone for their interest and patience. Let them know the product launch is getting close, but you still need their support to spread the word. Ask them to share the page to keep building momentum.

A successful waitlist campaign creates buzz, builds loyalty, and ensures a solid base of customers ready to purchase as soon as your product launches. With a defined vision, optimized landing page, and strategic promotion, you'll gain the traction you need to debut your offering with a bang.

Build an Email Capture Form
Build an Email Capture Form

Build an Email Capture Form

To build buzz and gain early traction for your startup, creating an email capture form on your website is key. This allows visitors to sign up to be notified as soon as your product or service launches. Here are the steps to launch a successful waitlist:

Choose an email service

Select a reputable email service provider to collect and store email addresses, such as Mailchimp, Aweber or ConvertKit. They offer affordable plans for startups and small businesses. These services also have useful features like custom signup forms, drip campaigns and analytics to see how your list is growing.

Create an eye-catching signup form

Design an attractive popup or dedicated page on your website for visitors to enter their email address. Offer a compelling headline like “Be the first to get access” or “Get early access to our beta.” Explain the benefits of joining the waitlist, such as a discount, exclusive content or the chance to shape the product. Keep the form short, asking only for first name, last name, and email address. After successful submission, display a confirmation message like "You've subscribed to the waitlist successfully!" to provide immediate feedback to the user.

Provide value and build trust

In exchange for their email, offer something of value like a discount, ebook or newsletter. This gives people more incentive to sign up and builds trust in your brand. In your welcome email, reiterate the benefits of being on the waitlist and when they can expect to receive access or updates from you.

Engage your list

While people are waiting to gain access, stay in touch by sending a newsletter, blog updates or behind-the-scenes content. Share details on your product development, company milestones, or ask for input and feedback. This keeps people engaged and interested in your offering. When you’re ready to grant access or launch, email your waitlist first before making a public announcement.

Learn and optimize

Review analytics to see how many people are signing up and how your list is growing over time. Look for any drop-off points on your signup flow and make improvements to increase conversion rates. As your business evolves, continue optimizing your waitlist strategy to build the highest quality list of potential customers and brand advocates.

Drive Traffic to Your Landing Page

To drive traffic to your landing page, focus on promotion through social media, email marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO).

Social Media

Leverage your existing social media followers on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Post updates announcing your waitlist, share details about your new product or service, and provide a link to your landing page. Engage with your followers by replying to their comments and questions. Run a social media contest or giveaway where people have to sign up for the waitlist to enter. This tactic can be very effective for building buzz and increasing traffic.

Email Marketing

Send an email announcement about your waitlist to your current customers or mailing list subscribers. Explain what they can expect from your new offering and include a prominent link to your landing page. For the best results, optimize your email for mobile devices since many people read emails on their phones. Keep your message concise while highlighting the key benefits. Consider offering an incentive for people to join the waitlist like a discount or exclusive access.

Search Engine Optimization

Use SEO best practices to rank higher in search engines like Google for keywords related to your product or service. Include important keywords in your page title, page URL, and throughout the content. The higher your page ranks, the more visibility and traffic it will receive from people searching online. SEO can take time, so start optimizing your landing page and site early.

Driving consistent traffic to your landing page through promotion on social media, email marketing campaigns, and SEO efforts will help you build a substantial waitlist in preparation for launch. Engage with everyone who signs up by sending updates and offering incentives to keep them interested. A successful waitlist indicates you have a product people really want and will translate into sales and growth for your business.

Offer an Incentive for Signups

To build excitement for your new product or service, offer an incentive for people to sign up for your waitlist. This could be a discount, free trial, or other perk to engage potential customers. For example:

Offer a Discount

Provide a coupon code for 10-25% off their first purchase or subscription. This gives people a reason to eagerly await your launch and a reward for their patience. Make the code available only to those who join the waitlist to create a sense of exclusivity.

Free Trial

A free trial is appealing for many customers, especially for software or services. Offer waitlist members an extended free trial of 14-30 days instead of your standard 7-14 day trial. They will get to thoroughly test your product and become loyal customers.

Early Access

Give waitlist members early access to your product or service before the official launch. For a limited time, open your doors only to them. This exclusive sneak peek will make them feel like VIPs and build word-of-mouth buzz. They can provide valuable feedback to improve the experience for your public launch.

Gift or Swag

For a fun, memorable incentive, offer waitlist members a branded gift like a t-shirt, water bottle, notebook or other useful item. This helps to raise awareness of your brand and gives people something tangible to associate with your upcoming launch. The gift could also provide additional promotional value if recipients use or display it.

An incentive for joining your waitlist, especially an exclusive one, gives potential customers a compelling reason to sign up. It shows you value their interest and loyalty. The reward also provides an opportunity to collect contact information and build personal connections with your earliest fans. Their support and feedback can help ensure your successful launch and continued success.

Engage With Your List and Build Hype
Engage With Your List and Build Hype

Engage With Your List and Build Hype

To effectively engage your waitlist and build hype, take the following steps:

Communicate Frequently

Keep your waitlist updated on your progress regularly through email updates. Share behind-the-scenes details, sneak peeks, and updates on new features under development. This frequent communication keeps people excited about your product and reminds them why they signed up for the waitlist in the first place.

Offer an Exclusive Bonus

Offering waitlist members an exclusive bonus or discount when your product launches is a great way to build goodwill and loyalty. For example, you could offer the first month free, a lifetime discount, or access to premium features. This incentive encourages people to stay on the waitlist and gives them a reason to spread the word to others.

Run a Contest or Giveaway

Contests and giveaways are an interactive way to engage your waitlist. For example, you could run a social media contest where people share about your waitlist to enter to win a prize. This boosts awareness, increases social proof, and gives people an incentive to tell their friends about your product. The contest could even be as simple as giving away a few early access passes to your first users.

Send a Personalized Email

For an extra special touch, send a short personalized email to everyone on your waitlist thanking them for their patience and support. Let them know how valuable their early interest in your product is to you. Personalized emails like this make people feel special and more excited to finally experience what you’ve been working on.

Launch with a Bang

When you’re finally ready to launch, do so with as much fanfare as possible. Send an exciting email announcement, share all over social media, get media coverage, throw a launch party—anything to generate buzz. Your waitlist members will be thrilled their patience paid off, and the hype will attract new people to your product fast. A big launch shows how enthusiastic and dedicated you are, which buyers will take note of.

Following these key steps will turn your waitlist into a loyal fan base eagerly awaiting the chance to use and share your new product. Their enthusiasm and support will drive a successful launch and help propel your business forward from day one.

Review and Refine Your Messaging

To launch a successful waitlist campaign and build buzz for your product or service, carefully reviewing and refining your messaging is crucial. Your messaging refers to the language and tone you use to describe your offering and convey its value to potential customers. It should resonate with your target audience and inspire them to sign up to be notified when your product launches.

Ensure your messaging is:

  • Clear and concise. Express what your product or service does and its key benefits in 3 sentences or less. Use simple language and avoid buzzwords.
  • Consistent across platforms. The messaging on your website, emails, social media, and any other channels should convey the same information and benefits. This helps build recognition and trust in your brand.
  • Compelling. Focus on the key features and advantages that make your offering attractive to customers. Explain how it solves their problems or improves their lives. Share any impressive statistics or facts that demonstrate the impact.
  • Authentic. Use a friendly yet professional tone that reflects your brand personality. Don’t overpromise or make unrealistic claims. Be transparent about what customers can expect.
  • Inclusive. Avoid language that excludes or alienates certain groups. Address your target customers directly and personally using “you” and “your.”
  • Search engine optimized. Include important keywords and related terms in your page titles, headings, content, alt text, and meta descriptions to help people find you online. But don’t overoptimize at the expense of good writing.

Review and refine your messaging, then test it out on people in your target audience to get their feedback. Make any necessary changes before launching your waitlist campaign. Strong, well-crafted messaging will motivate people to sign up, building buzz and demand for your new product or service.

Prepare for Launch Day

To have a successful launch day for your waitlist, thorough preparation and planning are key. Several important steps should be taken leading up to and on the actual launch day to maximize interest and conversion.

Ensure your website and landing page are fully optimized prior to launch. Double check that all links, images, videos, and CTAs are working properly. Test the user experience on multiple devices to identify and fix any issues. Your landing page should clearly convey the value proposition of your product or service and have a strong call-to-action for people to sign up to the waitlist. Once users have subscribed, ensure they receive a confirmation such as "You've subscribed to the waitlist successfully!" This not only confirms their action but also reinforces their engagement.

Build buzz and hype in the days leading up to the launch. Start teasing the announcement on social media to pique interest. Reach out to key influencers, media contacts, and your email subscribers to let them know the launch is coming. Offer previews and sneak peeks to selected contacts to generate excitement. Utilize messaging that encourages quick action, like "Subscribe to our waitlist now to be part of an exclusive group," and follow up with a confirmation message, "You've subscribed to the waitlist successfully!"

On launch day, post the announcement on all your social media platforms, website, and email newsletters. Share graphics, images, gifs, and a link to drive traffic to your landing page. Personally reach out to your network and ask them to share and spread the news. Engage with everyone who comments, likes or shares your announcement to continue building momentum.

Monitor metrics and make adjustments as needed. Closely track traffic, signups, social engagement, and other key performance indicators on your landing page and social media. Look for any drop-offs in the user experience or content that is not resonating. Be prepared to quickly make changes to copy, images or calls-to-action to optimize performance.

Launch day success requires significant preparation to generate interest and drive high volumes of traffic and conversions. Carefully planning each step of the process and actively promoting your announcement will help achieve an effective launch that builds your waitlist and momentum. Continuous monitoring and optimization can further improve results. With the proper strategy and execution, you will be on your way to a successful product launch.

Launch Day! Open Up Your Waitlist

Once your waitlist has been live for a few days and you have a good number of signups, it’s time to open up access to your beta users. Carefully reviewing and selecting waitlist members is an important step, as these first users can provide key feedback to improve your product before a wider release.

To launch your waitlist, follow these steps:

  1. Review your waitlist and segment members into groups based on factors like location, industry, company size, or other attributes relevant to your product. Choose a representative sample from each group to include in your beta launch.
  2. Send an email to selected waitlist members inviting them to join your beta program. Express your appreciation for their patience and interest in being early adopters of your product. Provide instructions for accessing the beta and encourage them to provide open and honest feedback on their experience.
  3. On launch day, open up access to your product for the selected beta users. Closely monitor user activity and feedback in the days following to identify any issues, pain points or opportunities for improvement. Make any necessary changes or updates to optimize the user experience before allowing more people onto the platform.
  4. Once you have addressed feedback from the initial beta users, review your waitlist again and select additional members to join in waves. This gradual onboarding process allows you to scale responsibly while continuing to gather important user input to shape the future of your product.
  5. As your beta program expands, look for trends in user feedback and any features or functions that could benefit from improvement prior to a public launch. Make updates as needed and keep communicating with and learning from your beta users.
  6. When user feedback is overwhelmingly positive, the platform is running smoothly and you have addressed any outstanding issues, you are ready for an official product launch! Your beta users will become your first champions and help spread the word about your new product.

A strategic beta launch and waitlist management is key to building buzz and ensuring the ultimate success of your product. Carefully selecting engaged users, closely monitoring their experience, and making improvements based on their valuable feedback establishes a solid foundation for growth. With each wave of new beta members, you will gain insights to help perfect your offering prior to a public release.

How to Create a Waitlist With Unicorn platform Landing Page Builder

To launch a successful waitlist campaign and build buzz for your new product or service, follow these steps:

Choose a catchy name and URL

Select a name for your waitlist that is memorable, clever, and closely tied to your product or company name. Reserve a custom URL to match. For example, if launching a new photo editing app called “SnapBright”, you might call the waitlist “Get Bright Early” with the URL

Create an eye-catching landing page

Design an attractive landing page explaining your product and the benefits of joining the waitlist. Include images and videos to demonstrate key features and build excitement. Briefly describe what early access members will receive and when the full launch will take place.

Offer an incentive for signing up

Provide an incentive for visitors to join the waitlist, such as a discount, extended free trial, or bonus content. For example, “The first 500 people to join the Get Bright Early waitlist will receive 50% off an annual subscription.” Incentives encourage sign-ups and make people feel like part of an exclusive group.

Promote on social media and your website

Promote your waitlist on all of your social media channels, website, and email newsletter. Explain the benefits of joining the waitlist and spread the word about any incentives you are offering. Engage with those who sign up by replying to their comments and messages. Build a sense of community and shared anticipation around your launch.

Continue engaging with members

Stay in touch with waitlist members through regular email updates announcing your progress, new features, launch timeline updates, and any exclusive perks or content you want to provide as a “thank you” for their patience and support. Engaged members will become your first customers and help spread the word when you fully launch.

Following these key steps will help you gain valuable insight into your target audience, build buzz, and develop a group of brand evangelists who will be first in line to use your new product or service. Success is driven by preparation and patience, so take the time to nurture your waitlist community. They will reward you with their loyalty and enthusiasm once you officially launch.


So there you have it - five key steps to building buzz and launching a successful waitlist campaign. By optimizing your landing page, incentivizing signups, engaging with your early adopters, limiting scarcity and building FOMO, and following through with your promised access or product, you'll be in a great position to gain valuable feedback, build awareness, and ultimately have a successful launch. Launching a new product or service is challenging, but with the right strategy and execution of a waitlist campaign, you'll gain the traction and validation needed to confidently bring your offering to market. Best of luck with your waitlist and launch!

Read more

Make your website with
Unicorn Platform Badge icon