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Don’t wait till launch, build a waitlist!

Hey Founders!

Have you ever wondered if building a waitlist is an absolute waste of time, energy and money?

Some founders argue that building a waitlist only creates an illusion of success and has no real inherent value. However, the reality is that building a pre-launch waitlist for your start-up is such an important step before launching. A simple landing page can test and potentially predict how successful your product will be; at least in the short to medium term.

Start-up founders can gain some real benefits from a waitlist, including:

  • Understanding of interest levels: Startup founders can gain some early insights by gauging interests from the landing page visitors through web analytics, sign-up rates and other interesting indicators. Engagement data from paid ads are also a good source of insights.

  • Access to Feedback: Engaging potential customers on the waitlist through community building platforms, emails, surveys and conversations can be a great way of getting feedback and invaluable insights you need to keep building the right product.

  • Problem-solution fit validation: Testing core value propositions in the form of pre-launch exclusives with potential customers can validate or invalidate some of the hypotheses you had pre product build. The promise of great content relating to the problem you are solving is enough to get potential customers excited!

  • Identification of early adopters: Building a waitlist gives you the opportunity to carry out split tests with various customer segments and gauge the most responsive audience.

In addition to the benefits above, building a waitlist is also one of the most cost-effective ways of building a loyal customer base before the release of your product. When the product becomes available eventually, you already have the first set of customers who are quite keen to engage.

The ROI on building a waitlist is huge, the cost is little to nothing, while the value is quite high; it’s really a no-brainer.

A great example of a company that has enjoyed huge success with this strategy is Robinhood markets, growing their waitlist to 1 million people before launch. Your customer acquisition journey arguably begins with a waitlist!

Here are 4 key elements needed to start growing your waitlist:

1. Build a landing page. Make the sign-up process simple, allowing virtually anyone to sign up in seconds. The goal is to capture their email address and contact information, to engage them later. There are different platforms you can use to build a simple landing page such as Carrd, Unbounce, Wix and Getresponse.

2. Attract the right audience to your landing page. Write a very compelling copy to encourage people to sign up. Make sure this copy speaks directly to your target audience and emphasizes the benefits they will get from signing up now rather than later (e.g.., offers, early access). You can attract the right audience through paid (e.g., Facebook ads, social media promotion, influencer marketing) and organic channels.

3. Collect their email address. You can connect your landing page to platforms such as Mailchimp, HubSpot and Sendinblue, that will store incoming emails and other contact information.

4. Send personalised email messages to your potential customers on your waitlist with great content that are educational, informative, and exclusive. Make the pre-launch content shareable and engaging so people already on the waitlist could share with their friends and drive more sign-ups.

If you are worried about the logistics of executing these steps, there are platforms that can handle all the steps from landing page design to referrals such as Waitlist.

In summary, a robust waitlist will help you gain insights as you build your product and also increase your chances of acquiring your first active customers. Even if your product is not ready yet, start your marketing and customer acquisition journey ASAP by growing your waitlist!


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