So you’ve got a new product idea, and you want to start getting people to check it out.
Setting up a waiting list is a great way to start. In this post I’ll explain why the waiting list approach works, and share a few tips for making yours work well for your product.
The mindset of the waiting list
Why make people wait when you can share your product now?
Think of the list as a kind of exclusive club. If people see your product in that way, it makes them curious to know more. It also suggests that your product is of higher value than if anyone can walk in the front door.
Testing the waters, and tracking success
By having a waiting list, you don’t need to build your product before trying to get people to sign up.
Use the waiting list as an opportunity to test the idea with your target audience. Try changing the wording on your landing page and see what encourages people to sign up.
The waiting list is a great way to track if people are interested enough to sign up. Showing an interest isn’t the same as adding details to a waiting list. That shows those people are truly interested.
Here are a few tips to maximise conversion on your waiting list signup form.
- Clearly explain the benefits. People need to know why they should care about your product. This is a great opportunity to work on selling your idea with short, simple phrasing.
- Make it quick and easy to join the list. There’s no reason in asking for lots of different information, or asking people to go to a second page to sign up. Put the signup form directly on the page you share with people, and ask for their email address only – perhaps their name too. Leave out other information, especially long-form questions.
- Test with small groups. If you send your link to a lot of people at once, or you change the wording when a few people have clicked but others haven’t, it’s harder to track what’s working and what isn’t. You need a large enough sample size – at least 10-20 people – to test things out, but you need a way to differentiate between groups if you make changes. Try writing a few variations of your message (in #1 above) and put these on slightly different URLs, then keep track of which URLs you send to which groups and keep track of who signs up.
- Include next steps on the success page. For people who do sign up, why not share a link to your newsletter or invite additional feedback on the success page? Some of the people who sign up might be keen to explore other links too.