How to Build a Waitlist from Zero

Are you thinking of launching a new product or service? Or perhaps you’re introducing a new enticing offer to your existing audience — for example, a live coaching session where you reveal your top secrets to entrepreneurs. 

If that’s the case, what you need is a waitlist. It’s essentially a list of leads (email addresses) from people who would like to access your offer once it becomes available.

This article reveals the reasons why you need a waitlist marketing strategy and how to build a waitlist from scratch. 

What is a Waitlist Landing Page?

A waitlist landing page is a page found on your website or hosted by a lead generation tool like UpViral where visitors can learn about your upcoming offer and sign-up by entering their name and email address so they can get notified when it’s already live. 

You’ll be able to create waitlist landing pages for different things, such as:

  • New e-commerce products (if you run an e-commerce shop)
  • A new website (if you’re adding a brand or starting from the ground up)
  • Learning resources (ebooks, courses, templates, tutorials, certifications)
  • An upcoming event or conference
  • Mobile or software app beta testing 
  • Upcoming holiday sales (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas) 

Your waitlist landing page needs to possess certain elements to make it generate as much interest and leads as possible. For example, it should have a headline, a section explaining your offer, a hero shot (image or video of your offer), a signup form, and a call-to-action button. 

What are the Benefits of Waitlists?

Learning how to build a waitlist is a valuable skill in marketing because it grows your business — or helps you grow another person’s business if you run an agency. More specifically, waitlists accomplish the following:

  • Grow your email list: Email remains to be a powerful marketing channel for reaching and building relationships with your audience. It’s personal, targeted, and people open their emails regularly. 
  • Attract potential customers: You’ll want your waiting list landing page to spark interest from people who fit your customer profile. When done right, waitlists can increase your future sales. 
  • Understand your audience better: Depending on how you structure your waitlist campaign, you’ll be able to capture insights that you can use to create a refined customer profile. For example, you can ask your prospects to answer a quick survey after entering their email on the landing page. 
  • Boost social proof: Create more demand for your business through waitlists. Aside from displaying testimonials on your waitlist landing page, you can collect user-generated content that will improve social proof. (We make this easy with UpViral’s UGC Collector Template!)  

We have success stories demonstrating how waitlists help you reach your goals. 

🔥Gabe Schillinger used a viral strategy that got him 41, 985 total leads, $200,000 in sales in one week, and 10,321 shares on Facebook. 

🔥During their app launch, Karl Schuckert & Chase Bowers generated nearly 40 leads per day without any lead acquisition cost, plus $38,458 in sales. 

This goes to show that waitlists are worth it. Ready to grow a waitlist and fill it with the right prospects? In the next section, we’ll teach you how to create a waitlist landing page that works. 

How to Build a Waitlist from Zero 

Always begin with the end in mind. 

First things first: What’s your waitlist goal? 

Obviously, you want people to show interest in your offer and build hype until its release date. But it’s also a good idea to think about other goals that you can accomplish while building your list. Additional goals can include:

  • Encouraging user-generated content (UGC)
  • Conducting market research
  • Driving traffic to your website
  • Boosting your sales 
  • Increasing your social media following

Identifying these goals will allow you to carefully plan the whole structure of your campaign. For instance, if one of your goals is to get more YouTube subscribers, you need to plan that into your campaign. 

🤓Here’s what that might look like: Using UpViral, you add a custom action on the share page where you incentivize visitors with points in exchange for subscribing to your YouTube channel. They can then use those points to get a bigger discount on your upcoming sale. 

Build your waitlist landing page. 

There are lots of tools to choose from to build landing pages. But why waste time searching? UpViral has premade waiting list templates that you can simply edit and publish in a few minutes. Here’s a sample of one of our templates: 

After someone enters their name and email and click the “Join the Waiting List” button, they’ll arrive on a second page called a “share page.” 

On that page, they’ll be given an opportunity to refer their friends into your campaign to collect points. When they reach a certain number of points, you grant them instant access to your offer. 

On top of that, you have the option to add custom actions. This is an exclusive UpViral feature that rewards visitors with bonus points when they complete certain actions aside from sharing your campaign with their friends. These actions could be anything that will give your business a boost! 

What’s great about UpViral is that it lets you add other elements to a page. You can place a timer to increase urgency and drive more signups, a background image, or perhaps additional fields to collect their phone number and other personal details. 

Tips to Make Your Waitlist Landing Page Stand Out…

A successful waitlist landing page builds excitement and effectively captures leads. To accomplish this, it needs to include the following:  

  • Relevant details and good copy: Use your copy to explain what you’re offering soon or what’s coming. Tell them what makes your offer unique. Since people will want to know when the product or service launches, be sure to specify the launch date and deadline for signing up.
  • Visual elements: Adding an image or video helps to communicate your main message. You can use stock imagery as the background image of the landing page or your own branded photos and videos on the page. Visuals serve as proof that you’re really working on something which will soon be launched. 
  • Gamification: Want to create more hype for your offer? Do a simple referral contest within your waitlist campaign. If you need a platform with referral marketing functionality, use UpViral. This will allow you to generate campaign shares by rewarding leads with incentives, such as an early bird access, ebook, or a big discount. 

Get the word out about your offer. 

Making your waitlist campaign shareable right from the start is key to increasing its viral potential. 

Image source: Freepik

In addition to placing social sharing buttons on your landing page and offering a bonus incentive — so that people will want to share it across social media platforms — here are some ideas that help: 

  • Drive traffic through social media ads or Google ads. 
  • Publish blog posts on your site and press releases on popular publications. The latter gives you immediate exposure, especially if you’re still a new player in the industry. 
  • Identify and partner with an influencer who can talk about your upcoming product with their existing audience. 

Nurture the people on your waitlist.

Don’t make the mistake of leaving your waitlist audience in the dark after they sign-up. Keep them updated by sending them a few emails. 

For example, you can send them a welcome email where you thank them for joining your list. This would also be a great opportunity to introduce yourself and the story behind the launch (what inspired you to create the new product, your goals, etc.) 

Ready to Build a Successful Waitlist? 

You’ve learned how to build a waitlist for your new product or service. Now, you’re probably ready to get the ball rolling. 

UpViral is your chance to capture interest, grow an email list, and add a refer-a-friend element to inspire more shares for your waitlist campaign! We have templates specially designed for waitlist campaigns, which saves a lot of time in setting up beautiful and fully functional pages. Here’s more about creating easy waitlists and pre-launch campaigns with UpViral.