TL;DR: Elevate your launch strategy, engage your audience, and convert subscribers into customers. Learn how to transform your business game in our small business guide on creating a waitlist.

Ever wondered how to build buzz, create a sense of exclusivity, and have customers eagerly counting down the days until your new offering drops? Say hello to the magic of a well-crafted waitlist.

When you create a waitlist ahead of a big launch, you not only create excitement around your upcoming product or service, you also get the chance to gauge your audience’s appetite for your offering. 

Discover the ins and outs of creating a waitlist that builds anticipation and serves as a powerful tool for your small business success. 

What’s a waitlist?

Businesses often create a waitlist as a strategic marketing and email collection tool when they have a new product or service in the development or pre-launch phase. Interested customers can sign up for the waitlist, indicating their desire to be notified or given priority access when the product or service becomes available.

A waiting list is a powerful strategy for small businesses, helping to stir anticipation and exclusivity for an impactful product or service launch. More than just a list, it sparks audience engagement by letting businesses share sneak peeks and updates about specific offerings. And, of course, it adds a touch of scarcity—enhancing perceived value and enticing eager individuals to secure their spot in the queue.

What kind of launches can benefit from a waitlist? 

Whether it’s an event, online course, book, new feature, or dazzling new merch, a waitlist is one of the most effective teaser email campaigns. Here’s how a waitlist can attract potential customers for many different types of launches:

  • Events: Set the stage for an exclusive affair by letting attendees secure their spots early. This helps to generate buzz and ensure a packed house for an unforgettable experience
  • Online courses and workshops: Build anticipation and engage potential learners early, offering exclusive insights and tailored communication for a successful and personalized educational experience
  • Book launch: Turn your book launch into a literary event with exclusive updates, early access, and a sense of privilege that sends ripple effects across social media, book clubs, and literary circles
  • New product or service launch: Spark curiosity and gather early adopters to ensure your newest offer’s launch receives the attention it deserves
  • Restocking and new merch releases: Whether it’s restocking a favorite or unveiling fresh merch, a waitlist is your runway. It guarantees that your audience is front and center, ready to snatch up your latest creations the moment they drop

How to create a successful waitlist in 8 steps

Discover eight essential steps to create a waitlist that turns your product launch into an unforgettable experience. 

1. Define your goals

Determine the purpose of your waitlist. Do you want to build an audience for an upcoming offer, generate buzz about an exclusive one, or gauge audience demand for a new idea? Each goal requires a different approach. 

It’s important to clearly define your objectives from the start so that you can tailor your waitlist to hit your goals. 

For example, if you’re creating a waitlist for an upcoming book launch, your goal might be to cultivate a community of avid readers who aren’t just awaiting the book but are actively engaging in the excitement around its release. Your waitlist can serve as a platform to tease exclusive sneak peeks, share behind-the-scenes glimpses into your creative process, or spark conversations among literary enthusiasts. 

Get your social followers out of an app and into your email list with a stunning Link in bio waitlist that captures subscribers right from your social profile. This Link in Bio waitlist creates a bridge between the content on your social channels and the curated experience you provide to your email list.

Use your waitlist landing page to share essential information about what your target audience can expect by joining, including the many irresistible benefits.

Video editing course waitlist example

Elements of a successful waitlist landing page

  • Clear value proposition: Clearly communicate the value subscribers will gain by joining the waitlist—whether it’s exclusive access, early discounts, or insider information
  • User-friendly sign-up form: Simplify the sign-up process with a clean and concise form, like this video editing course waitlist built with a Flodesk Link in bio, so you collect essential information without overwhelming potential subscribers
  • A compelling call to action: Craft a persuasive and action-oriented CTA that encourages visitors to join the waitlist
  • Stunning visuals: Incorporate appealing graphics and images that resonate with your brand, creating an immersive and memorable experience for visitors

Turn followers into subscribers with a Flodesk Link in bio

Capture followers’ emails right from your social profiles to grow your list.

3. Incentivize waitlist sign-ups

Offer incentives to encourage people to join the waitlist. This could include early access to your offer, exclusive discounts, or insider content.

Consider exploring other creative avenues that align with your brand’s identity. Whether it’s sneak peeks, behind-the-scenes access, or limited-edition perks, these exclusive offerings drive excitement and solidify your audience’s loyalty. 

By making the waitlist experience genuinely rewarding, you’re not just building anticipation for the launch but are establishing a connection with your audience that extends beyond the initial interaction, building long-term brand loyalty.

4. Promote your waitlist

Spread the word and generate buzz by strategically promoting your waitlist across all marketing channels. Use your social media platforms, email newsletters, website, and other communication channels to create a holistic promotional campaign and drive traffic to your waitlist landing page.

Reel course link in bio

Using a Flodesk Link in bio gives you the unique advantage of placing an opt-in block at the forefront of your bio link. This means you can instantly capture your audience’s attention and encourage them to join your waitlist. 

This strategic placement ensures a frictionless transition from social media followers to engaged subscribers, maximizing the effectiveness of your waitlist promotion.

Convert followers into subscribers 40x better with a Flodesk Link in bio

Grow your list. Capture followers’ emails right from your social media profiles.

Newsletter announcement

Share your waitlist link in your email newsletter, allowing your existing subscriber base to self-segment based on their interests and be the first to know when your offer becomes available. 

By encouraging your current subscribers to join the waitlist, you cultivate a sense of exclusivity among your email community. They’ll be the first to know about the upcoming offer, creating a bond of privilege that encourages loyalty and engagement.

Flodesk member link in bio

A Link in bio waitlist is a top tool for Flodesk member Jessica Hawks

Referral program

Encourage your existing customers and subscribers to refer friends and family to join the waitlist. Incentivize this referral process by offering rewards or exclusive incentives for successful referrals, creating a win-win scenario for both your existing customers and their connections.

Partnerships and guest posts

Expand the reach of your waitlist by collaborating with like-minded brands or influencers and sharing valuable content to attract a wider audience. Seek partners who share a similar target audience or align with the theme of your upcoming offer.

Engaging in partnerships may involve co-promotions, where both parties mutually endorse each other’s waitlists or collaborate on promotional content. This can introduce your offer to new potential customers.

5. Set up a waitlist welcome sequence

Welcome your new waitlist members with open arms by setting up a welcome sequence as soon as they join your waitlist. Use your email marketing platform to automate the sequence, including a confirmation email, welcome email, service or product update email, event invitation email, and the exclusive content you promised on your waitlist page.

With Flodesk’s easy-to-use tools and templates, you’ll quickly create a welcome sequence that creates the buzz you want.

6. Engage and nurture subscribers

Create an irresistible build-up to your launch by consistently captivating your waitlist subscribers with a series of compelling email updates, exclusive sneak peeks, and intriguing behind-the-scenes content. These personalized communications offer an insider’s view, keeping your audience intimately connected to the journey of your upcoming release.

Lead nurturing emails like this help sustain engagement levels while keeping your subscribers informed and excited about your launch.  

7. Monitor and optimize

Continuously monitor the performance of your waitlist campaign, adapting your strategy based on your results. Keep a close eye on your performance metrics, scrutinizing opt-in conversion, email open, and click-through rates. 

Adjust your waitlist messaging, promotion, and incentives as needed—double down on what’s working, and ditch what isn’t. This will ensure your waitlist remains finely tuned and highly effective throughout its lifecycle.

Flodesk Analytics makes it easy to uncover valuable insights about your waitlist and emails in just a few clicks. Learn how here.

8. Grow, nurture, launch

As your offer takes shape and is ready for launch, share the exciting news with your waitlist subscribers and sweeten the deal with exclusive incentives. Whether it’s granting them early access to your product or offering special discounts, make them feel like VIPs who’ve been part of the journey from the beginning.

After launch, keep the momentum alive by sharing even more exclusive content and insider information about your small business. You want to keep this subscriber list going for continuous engagement around upcoming promotions, campaigns, and launches. Additionally, you can share social proof, like testimonials and user-generated content (UGC), about your recent launch to boost conversions.

Turn followers into subscribers with a Flodesk Link in bio

Capture followers’ emails right from your social profiles to grow your list.

Convert subscribers to buyers 

Ready to elevate your launch strategy? Seize the power of a strategically crafted waitlist, turning anticipation into action. Get started with a captivating Flodesk Link in bio and transform your social followers into eagerly awaiting customers.

Create yours and make every subscriber count—completely free with Flodesk.