If you want more ideal clients, then you need to build a waitlist for your products and services.
You may have heard the term waitlist before, but maybe you’ve never thought about using one in your own business.
Waitlists have the power to transform your business for the better, and in this article, I’m going to tell you why need one and how to build one that delivers clients on demand.
What is a waitlist?
A waitlist is exactly as it sounds, it’s a list of people who are interested in something you offer. They are waiting to buy.
Imagine a new restaurant opening up in your town, and they have announced that they will soon allow people to book a table. To get notified when they do, you need to sign up for their waitlist so you don’t miss your chance to book before they fill up.
Another example would be a business mastermind. Let’s say they only have 10 spaces available. They launch a waitlist that you can register for, and you get notified as soon as spaces become available.
Waitlists allow people to add their contact information to an online form so they get all the information as soon as it becomes available. The advantage for them is that they are the ‘first to hear’ and can prevent missing out on your offer.
People who join the waitlist generally get added to a database and may receive some email communication once they’ve been added to the waitlist.
Why do you need a waitlist?
Using a waiting list in your business is super effective for a number of reasons:
It’s better for your audience
There’s nothing worse than going to a website to buy something that you really want, and it’s sold out. It’s frustrating, especially if you have no idea when it will be available again.
Your customers and clients feel the same. They really don’t like missing out. If you offer something that they want and need, it’s more convenient for them to add their name to a waitlist so they receive information about it in the future.
It’s better for you and your business
When people join your waitlist, they are telling you that they want to hear more about your products and services. This usually never happens unless someone is ready to commit.
You may have people who follow you on Instagram or connect with you on Linkedin, but you never really know who is interested in working with you. A waitlist allows people to ‘raise their hand’ and say hey, I really want to buy from you.
WAITS: The main benefits of adding a waitlist to your business
If someone is opting into your waitlist, then it’s easy to identify these people as warm leads.
Most people won’t generally join your waitlist if they don’t know who you are and what you offer. This means you have a better chance of converting those on your waitlist into sales. You can also accurately predict how many sales you can make from your waitlist.
When you launch new products and services, it’s quite exciting for your audience. A waitlist helps build anticipation and intrigue, which means they pay attention. Especially when you’re getting close to the launch date, and they can check out all the details.
It also shows there is demand for your products and services.
If you launch a questionnaire as part of your waitlist, you can collect vital data that can help you improve your final offer.
You can ask some key questions that can help clarify your audience’s pain points, concerns, problems and even their budget.
After someone has joined your waitlist, you have their contact information. This means you can send them valuable content that educates them further. You can send them helpful PDFs, videos and blog articles to assist them while they wait for your product or service.
This is all about building report and momentum before the big launch.
The best thing about building a waitlist is that when your offer is ready, and you launch it, people BUY.
The anticipation and energy around a waitlist launch is exciting, and a lot of sales can come on the back of it.
Who should use a waitlist?
You might think that waitlists are only for e-commerce businesses or for places like restaurants or events.
But actually, any business can launch a waitlist for their product or service – even B2B.
Examples of B2B businesses that can use a waitlist to promote a new product or service are…
Authors – either a new or existing author can promote their new book using a waitlist (you could even ask people to pay for it upfront and use that money to fund your book costs).
Membership site owners – if you’re thinking of launching a membership, set up a waitlist first to gain traction and get new members in all at once.
Course creators – a waitlist can be a great way to promote your new course
Coaches or consultants – if you only open up your programmes or make spaces available at certain points in the year, you can launch a waitlist to build anticipation
How should you build a waitlist?
1. Know your offer
You should have a good understanding of your new product or service, i.e. what problems does it solve, who is it targetting, what are the features and benefits?
Yes, some things may change between now and the launch, but you have to tell people exactly what they’re waiting for. People won’t just join a queue unless they know why they’re queuing!
2. Set your launch date
You want to make sure to create enough time between your launch date and people signing up for the waitlist. There’s no use getting people onto your waitlist if your product or service launches tomorrow!
You’ll want to make sure there’s enough time to drum up excitement and build your waitlist, but not too long before people lose interest or find another solution.
Depending on the size of the investment for your prospect, 3-6 weeks is a good amount of time.
3. Create a landing page for your waitlist
Your waitlist needs its own dedicated landing page that includes…
- A catchy headline about your new product or service
- Description of the problems your audience is currently facing
- A description of how your new anticipated product or service will solve those problems
- The features and benefits of your new product or service
- Social proof – such as logos from publications you’ve been featured in or companies you’ve worked with
- Testimonials from customers
- A bit about you and why you do what you do.
- Clear CTA for them to sign up to the waitlist
If you use software like ScoreApp to create your waitlist, you can also use our drag-and-drop, easy-to-use landing page software that comes with it.
4. Set up a survey or quiz to collect data
This is where the magic happens!
Yes, you could just collect a name and email address for your waitlist. But wouldn’t it be better for you to get something more data than that in return? And wouldn’t it be better for your prospect to get more value?
You can set up a quiz or survey to collect data. You can ask specific questions that can help you:
- Build a better product – by asking what features someone would like to see
- Market the product better – by asking what problems they’re currently facing or what’s most urgent for them to fix
- Pre-qualify leads – by asking for things like budget, so you can identify those who are right for you
In return, you can give them something valuable for free at the end, or you could turn this survey into a scorecard – assessing your prospect where they’re at right now and what they can do to improve.
5. Promote your waitlist
If you’ve used a quiz, it will be easier to promote your waitlist as your prospect gets some value in return.
You can promote your waitlist:
- On social media, turning it into the main call-to-action for all (or the majority) of your social media posts
- On your website – you could include it in your hero section, navigation bar, as a call-to-action on your blog posts. Here’s a great article about where to promote your quiz on your website to help you.
- To your email list – you can create stand-alone emails to promote your waitlist and include it as a p.s. on your value-led emails too! The more you mention it, the more that list will build!
- Incentivise those who join your waitlist – you can get more people to join your waitlist by incentivising even more.
Don’t just say, ‘You’ll be the first to know when the product is launched’ – can you offer an exclusive product or service if someone joins the waitlist? For example, you’ll be the first to know about my coaching programme, AND if you join the waitlist, you’ll get a free 1-2-1 call with me!
6. Keep in communication with those who have joined the waitlist
You want to make people feel part of your journey when they’ve joined your waitlist. So keep them up-to-date with where your product or service is up to, show them what’s happening behind the scenes, talk about the decisions you’ve made or if you’ve added any new features etc. Make them feel valued and part of it!
7. Drum up excitement for the launch
As you get closer to launch, email your waitlist more frequently about what will happen when the doors open, how many spaces are available and how long they should expect to receive access to the product or service.
Make sure you answer any questions, bust any objections and reiterate the benefits of your new product/service.
During the launch, it’s perfectly acceptable to send multiple reminder emails about your product or service. Here are some ideas for you…
Your initial launch email: make this a quick snappy email that links to your new product or service page. Reiterate how many spaces are available and watch the sales roll in!
Reminder email: remind people that your product or service is now available and, if applicable, how many spaces are left
Showcase email: show what people have already said about your product or service who have bought OR, show a specific feature (for example, the community group if you’re launching a membership)
Video email: send the people on your waitlist to a video showcasing your new product or service
What about if you’re not ‘launching’ a product or service, should you still have a waitlist?
In short, yes!
If you have limited capacity, then you should always have a waitlist for people to join. For example, let’s say you’re a business coach, and you’re fully booked right now. Don’t just tell people you’re fully booked, ask them to join a waitlist, and you’ll let them know when you’re available.
This means you will always have a pipeline of people to sell to, and, depending on your waitlist, you can see if it’s time to raise your prices (because demand is exceeding supply).