How To Grow a Prelaunch Waitlist for Your Startup

By: Natalie Zweig 


Growing a pre launch waitlist for your startup is an important first step before launching.  A landing page can test how successful your product will be. Even without a product on the site, it can gage interest by allowing visitors to sign up for the prelaunch waitlist. This waitlist will give early access and pre launch exclusives to potential consumers. 


The waitlist can give important insight to startup founders as they build the product. Similar to networking, this can build the brand and a loyal customer base for the new company. Knowing who's interested can help the company create a target market and begin marketing strategies. 


Then, when the product becomes available, customers are already ready to purchase.  


These strategies will grow your waitlist and set up your launch for success. Most startups fail; grow your waitlist to set your startup apart.

An example of a company who made it big after creating a large and successful waitlist is Robinhood Markets. They had a waitlist of over 1 million people before launching. They used 3 strategies to get consumers to sign up for the waitlist. 


First they made compelling leads that drove consumers to do something. They used the economic concept of supply and demand and scarcity to encourage people to sign up. They kept supply low to increase demand for the product. 


Second, Robinhood made the signup process simple allowing virtually anyone to sign up in seconds. 


Third, they made pre launch content shareable and engaging so people already on the waitlist would encourage their friends to sign up too.


Just building a good product isn’t enough to attract consumers. As an entrepreneur, you need marketing. The landing page is the minimum viable product for your marketing, and should be prioritized before any other minimum viable product. The idea of MVP is to build fast and learn fast, you must get people to sign up for the waitlist to show that they will be a customer later down the road. If they won’t sign up for the waitlist, chances are they won’t buy your product. This being said, you must start marketing before the launch. Examples include email marketing, use the emails provided through sign ups to email out promotional content. Similar to the Robinhood example, make sure your content is engaging and shareable in order to grow the waitlist. Email marketing allows unlimited opportunities unless the person unsubscribes or marks your content as spam. Email marketing is easy since you can send automated emails to everyone on the list, yet it feels individualized since the email is sent directly to each person’s inbox with personalized tags. You can adjust the content based on user data such as what they click on. This email list is very valuable and you must make strategic decisions in order to preserve and grow the waitlist. Make your emails meaningful and make the content engaging. If you plan on having a scarcity strategy like Robinhood, use your email list to generate buzz and exclusivity. The content must be in line with your brand and your marketing strategy.


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