7 Waitlist Mistakes (and how to fix them)

Waitlist Mistakes

If you want to launch a successful offer, launch a waitlist first.

Launching a waitlist is a great way to gauge interest from your audience and build excitement before launching a new offer.

However, you need to create a waitlist the right way. There are some common waiting list mistakes we see people make that will hinder your success.

You might have even tried launching a waitlist before, but it didn’t work out.

Whether it’s because nobody signed up in the first place or your subscribers didn’t buy your product, I get it: that’s disappointing (and a huge waste of time and money).

So, let’s go through the most common waitlist mistakes and see how you can fix them or avoid them altogether.

I’ll also show you a foolproof waitlist launch method to sell out every single time.

How to improve your waitlist launch success

Most businesses are still dropping new offers out of the blue, without any kind of buildup. So, since you tried using a waitlist for your launch, you’re already one step ahead.

“Why didn’t it work, then?” you’re probably asking.

Because a basic waitlist sign-up page with a “Name” and “Email” field is no longer enough. After all, just because someone expressed a mild interest in your idea, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to buy it.

So, change both your mindset and strategy: start seeing your waitlist as an opportunity to collect data, understand your customers and test your idea properly before spending time, energy and money launching it.


By asking strategic questions to your target customers in a form or, even better, a compelling quiz

Then, based on their answers as well as the number of subscribers, you’ll get one of these outcomes: 

  • Your audience loves your idea – Excellent! Now, you can use your fresh waitlist data to prepare a successful marketing campaign for your launch
  • It’s a good start but it needs improvement – Not that many people signed up, or the feedback was a bit meh? Use your waitlist data to optimise your offer and launch accordingly
  • Unfortunately, it just isn’t something they’re interested in – This is frustrating and demotivating, to say the least. But isn’t it better to fail cheap and fast than to waste MONTHS and lots of money building something that doesn’t sell? Plus, you have another advantage: thanks to your quiz answers, you now know exactly WHY your audience isn’t interested and what they’d value instead. So, you can plan a different offer and launch it confidently

Much smarter and safer than building your entire launch on guesswork, isn’t it?

With ScoreApp, it’s a breeze to create a quiz-style survey that collects insightful data and feeds into your waitlist. 

Create a waitlist quiz and landing page for FREE

Getting your target audience to sign up and complete your waitlist quiz

We bet you’re thinking: “This all sounds great, but I doubt my audience would take the time to do that.” 

Trust us: if you show them WHY their input matters, they will complete your waitlist quiz!

Many businesses have already used a ScoreApp quiz to boost their waitlist and inform their launch:

“I’ve launched two services and shelved two ideas thanks to using a waitlist! The ones we launched sold out (and continue to sell out), and the ones we shelved – well, I’m glad I didn’t spend months developing something our audience wasn’t interested in!” Lyndsay Cambridge, co-founder of Jammy Digital

So, to encourage your customers to complete your waitlist quiz you could:

  • Tell them that you value their input because you want to create something that’s actually useful for them
  • Give them something valuable in the meantime, like their unique quiz results with personalised advice
  • Offer them an incentive, like an exclusive discount when you launch the final product

Common mistakes when launching a waitlist

Most of these problems boil down to one thing: you’re still relying on that basic “Name” and “Email” combo (if that). So, let’s dig deeper!

Here are the most common waitlist mistakes and what you should do instead.

1. You don’t understand your audience’s pain points 

It doesn’t matter if it’s a product, service, online event or something else entirely: your new offer must always solve a problem for your audience.

If it doesn’t, or if you’re focusing on the wrong problem? They won’t buy it (harsh but true).

So, use your waitlist quiz to understand WHAT this pain point is. Then, harness it on your sales page and overall launch marketing.

For example, let’s say you’re an agency, and you’re looking to create an online course for business owners who’re keeping their marketing in-house. You could ask them: “What are you struggling with the most when marketing your business online?”

With a ScoreApp quiz, you can do that with a single-choice question, free text or a sliding scale (and more).

2. You’re not asking your audience what they’ve tried before

Boost your chances of success by showing your customers that you understand their entire situation. 

When you’re clear on what they’ve already done to try and solve their problem? You can position your offer as a better solution (and make it a no-brainer).

So, after uncovering their biggest problem, your ScoreApp waitlist quiz could ask: “What have you done to try and solve that, so far?” or “Are you already using a [type of solution]?”

3. You haven’t asked your audience what they actually want

Without this piece of the puzzle, you’d be basing your product development and launch on assumptions. 

Instead, when you uncover your audience’s preferences and motivations, you get to:

  • Change or improve your product accordingly
  • Know exactly what to highlight when marketing it

For example, going back to our online marketing course: your ScoreApp waitlist quiz could ask “What would make your life easier when marketing your business online?” or “What would you be most excited to find in a marketing course?” 

4. You aren’t putting enough information on your waitlist landing page

Most waitlist landing pages look the same: some short and vague text, a basic signup form and the usual “Get on our waitlist to be the first to hear about it” (boring!).

If that’s all you relied on, that’s probably why you didn’t get enough signups or you attracted uncommitted subscribers. 

So, replace it with a stronger ScoreApp landing page that feeds into your waitlist quiz. You should include:

  • An attention-grabbing headline
  • Strong copy that sells your product or service idea
  • Visual elements like brand photos, previews and videos
  • Social proof and testimonials 
  • A compelling explanation of why you need their help (and, if relevant, incentives like a discount)
  • A strong call to action, making them feel excited to share their input and sign up for your waitlist 

5. You aren’t updating your waitlist audience

So, you shared your waitlist, ignored those subscribers for months and then dropped the actual product out of the blue? Then, when you think about it… you can’t really blame them for not buying it.

You MUST keep the momentum going and make your subscribers feel like a part of the journey!

You can also use scarcity and one-time offers to keep them engaged and encourage them to watch out for future updates. That’s what some big players are doing! 

For example, Glastonbury doesn’t let every Tom, Dick and Harry buy their tickets straight away. It asks people to join a waitlist. Then, they’ll receive more emails closer to the ticket release date, and most subscribers will be looking out for that announcement. No wonder Glastonbury tickets tend to sell out in under an hour!

So, connect your ScoreApp waitlist quiz to your email marketing platform and keep nurturing your subscribers. You can even segment them automatically based on their quiz answers and set up different and more personalised sequences.

6. You wait until your product or service is ‘perfect’ before launching your waitlist

I get it: you want to impress your subscribers with a flashy product or service. By then, though, it’s too late! 

You could waste months, effort and even THOUSANDS of pounds developing something that doesn’t work or sell.

So, once again, change your mindset around waitlists. Use them to gauge interest and sell your initial idea. Then, thanks to the data you’ve collected with your ScoreApp quiz, you can always improve it (or even replace it if you realise it’s not popular).

For now, though, done is better than perfect.

7. You skip the waitlist altogether

There’s only one “strategy” that’s worse than a basic waitlist: no waitlist at all!

That’s when you build your entire launch on guesswork… and usually end up wasting your resources developing a product that doesn’t sell.

You might have been made to think that “going all in” is part of the game. In reality, you can remove that big element of risk and uncertainty when launching a new offer!

As our founder Daniel Priestly said in his Diary of a CEO interview with Steven Bartlett:

“We have to conduct tests where we fail fast and fail cheap.”

That’s exactly where a waitlist quiz comes into play.

And if you don’t fail (because your audience LOVES your new idea), you’ll still gather valuable data to use in your launch and marketing. So, building a waitlist quiz is a win-win!

Work smarter, not harder! Use ScoreApp to collect data and launch your next waitlist successfully 

A good product or service idea is a must, of course, but it’s only the start. 

If you want to launch your offer and guarantee it sells out, you NEED a strong waitlist.

With ScoreApp, you’ll get to:

  • Create a compelling landing page to validate your initial idea with your target customers
  • Collect valuable data by asking them strategic questions through an engaging quiz
  • Segment your subscribers 
  • Nurture them automatically until it’s time for the actual launch (and sell out!)

So, remove all the guesswork and set yourself up for success: create your waitlist quiz today and for FREE with ScoreApp.

About the author
Martin Huntbach Head of SEO
Martin Huntbach
Head of Content
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