When it comes to launching a product, it’s not just about the product. Your success lies heavily in getting people interested in your product before it launches. One way to build this anticipation is by growing your email list.
But this brings up a dilemma—how do you build an email list before launching a product? Get people to sign up for something that doesn’t even exist yet?
The answer is, it’s very much doable.
KnifeShipFree, an e-commerce store, gathered 5,000 subscribers for a product that hadn’t launched. And this is just one brand that has seen success in its prelaunch email campaign. There are others, and in this post, we’ll go through how to build an email list before launching. We’ll show you how some brands did it and other ways to attract email leads to your upcoming products. Let’s dig in.
7 Easy and Effective Ways to Build an Email List Before Launch
Capture Early Users With a ‘Coming Soon’ Landing Page
Still building your website but haven’t completed it months before the launch? Create a ‘coming soon’ page to maximize this channel. Think of it like converting your incomplete website into a lead generation machine.
Source: Your Virtual Podiatrist
The great part about adding this page to your pre-launch email campaign is that you build a list of people ready to buy once you launch. What’s more, it allows you to get your audience excited about what’s coming, what to expect, and what they’ll get for joining your product launch waitlist. That’s a win-win.
To build an excellent coming-soon landing page:
Specify the upcoming product or service and its benefit, whether it’s a new website, new product line, or your latest service.
Encourage visitors to opt-in by registering their email or phone numbers—whichever works best for your business.
Communicate the waitlist value proposition. The reward could be pre-launch product discounts, privileged information, or making it to a priority list.
Add a launch date and a countdown timer to create a sense of urgency for the early-bird reward.
Use compelling visuals and a clear CTA, which would usually be to join your email list.
Include social sharing buttons to allow people to share the pre-launch message with family and friends.
Promote your early-bird offer and pre-launch page on your social media channels.
You can start building your email list through your ‘coming soon’ landing page up to a few weeks or months before you launch.
Bonus point: If your product is nearly ready or was out of stock but now coming back, you can create a pre-order page instead to grow your email list and collect payment for the upcoming item.
Get Active on Social Media
How many people between 18 – 60 years within your circle aren’t on any social media platform? With over 59.4% of the world using social media, you have a chance of getting your product in front of prospects both locally and internationally.
Depending on your product or service, some popular social media marketing platforms are Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Twitter. You can also leverage forums like Quora and Reddit.
Source: Social Data Base
Some awesome ideas that can help you build your email list on social media before launching are:
Get to know your industry, competitors, target audience, preferred content format, and online behaviors. You can scoop some of these insights from competitors.
Optimize your bio with your brand name, a short description, and a link to your lead magnet.
Create anticipatory posts like teasers, product images, countdown content, giveaways, product benefit breakdown, and behind-the-scenes posts. Remember to add clear CTAs.
Post FAQ content around questions early prospects are asking.
Repost relevant quizzes and user-generated content from giveaways or appreciation posts to encourage engagement.
Create a content schedule and stick to it.
Create branded hashtags and encourage your audience to use them, especially during contests.
Track your social media metrics, such as impressions, engagements, and clicks.
Automate your social media posting using schedulers like Sprout Social, Buffer, and Tailwind.
Podcasts are fast becoming popular and show no signs of stopping. These days, nearly every industry has a podcast; construction, skincare, pet, SaaS, you name it!
It provides listeners with an easy way to learn something new while on a jog, preparing a meal, or even running a quick errand. For you, this means a chance to build brand authority and get in front of a ready audience who can make it into your pre-launch email list.
First, find out your industry podcast. A quick Google search with your industry name and ‘podcasts’ is a start (e.g., construction industry podcasts). You can also search for leaders in your industry and check for podcasts they have been on.
Make a list of the top 10 and choose a relevant topic to pitch for each. Ideally, it should be a topic that would highlight how your product can solve a specific problem.
Review the recording and publishing date to confirm that the podcast will go live before or on your launch date.
End the podcast with a clear CTA directing listeners to check out your product or join your product launch waitlist for a reward. If you’re not sure this is allowed, it’s best to ask the host beforehand.
Host Contests and Giveaways
If you want to build your email list rapidly, consider running a giveaway. It allows you to increase brand awareness and create momentum to launch your product. More so, contests are an effective way to attract subscribers who can become potential customers.
An example of how well this pre-launch email campaign work is Foundr’s giveaway. Within 10 days of running a giveaway where contestants had to sign up to win a prize, Foundr gained 13,603 new e-mail signups & 84,117 pageviews. Another business, KnifeShipFree, added over 5,000 new emails to their email list within three months of running a monthly giveaway. On the first day of launching their new product to their email list, they made over $10,118.20 with $4,373.04 of that inflow coming from first-time purchases from the new subscribers.
So what are some ways you can run a successful giveaway?
Collaborate with bigger brands with more traffic or following than you. These could be brands that sell complementary or similar products to the same target audience as Caudalie and Cocoandeve did in the picture above. The difference is that the list of actions contestants would take should include signing up with their email. If you don’t have a readily available product, you can decide on an appropriate reward for the giveaway.
Partner with influencers who market to your ideal customers on social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.
Promote the contest on your website by adding content or pop-ups triggered by user engagement.
If you don’t have a website, run the giveaway on platforms like Rafflecopter, Wishpond, and Vyper to build your email list.
Keep in mind that you’ll likely attract people who want free stuff only. So, consider adding the emails from the giveaway to a separate list and move them over to your main list once they take a series of actions you set after the giveaway. This allows you to filter your list and focus your marketing on a segment that truly wants your products.
Just like podcasts, guest posts offer you the opportunity to reach a wider audience, introduce them to your product, and get them to sign up for your product launch waitlist.
To find the best place to pitch, research where your target audience spends their time. This could be on large industry blogs like Entrepreneur, niche websites, and company blogs like Coschedule.
You can also search for the industry + guest post or write for us or other related terms. Examples are ‘b2b marketing + write for us’, b2b marketing + submit guest post, etc. Confirm that the website accepts guest posts and allows you to add a link back to your email opt-in.
Once you narrow down the list, the topic you aim to pitch should be actionable and help the reader solve a problem directly. After writing your post, remember to include a link to the pre-launch email list on your bio or whichever linking space is assigned to you. Not sure how to create content that gets noticed? Check out these 6 content writing secrets that can help.
While organic channels are effective, they can also take a little more time to pick up. That’s why we recommend complementing your other channels with paid traffic.
Running ads to pull in email subscribers allows you to get people in earlier, nurture that relationship, and address objections, even before other campaigns start generating results. You can promote your landing page with detailed content on the benefits, pricing, and other information about your upcoming product.
Source: Facebook lead ads
Besides Google ads, some platforms have specific ads targeted at lead generation. An example is Meta’s (formerly Facebook’s) Lead Ads. This ad makes it easy for prospects to fill out forms and sign up with their details to join your email list. To make it more effective, add a valuable offer for free. It could be a checklist, a free course, or a template.
Share With Family and Friends
What better brand evangelists can you get than family and friends? They know you, trust you, and would be willing to help you grow.
How can family and friends help you build your email list before launching?
It’s simple. Rather than asking them to join your email list, you can enlist their help in spreading the word and getting others to sign up. The latter ensures that you don’t clog up your waitlist with loved ones who aren’t interested in your product.
To make it easier for them, you can create at least two invitation text templates with a link to sign up for your pre-launch list. They can easily share any of these messages on Whatsapp, Instagram, Emails, or elsewhere with whoever they are reaching out to within a few seconds. Managing these can get overwhelming. To scale your efforts, check out these tools that can help you boost your marketing effectiveness and efficiency.
Start Building Your Pre-launch Email List!
And that’s it on how to build an email list before you launch. If you’re a new product owner, follow these tactics and watch how much difference they’ll bring to your email marketing. To recap, you can build an email list before launch by doing the following:
Capture early users with a ‘coming soon’ landing page
Get active on social media
Speak on podcasts
Host contests and giveaways
Share with family and friends
You don’t have to try all these strategies. Find out what works best for your business by trying out a few and moving from there. However, if you would prefer a personalized plan tailored towards getting results for your business, reach out to our specialists today.