A solid product launch waitlist can bring your SaaS startup its first loyal customers. Businesses implementing them have even observed 5% to 25% conversion rates! But achieving such high ROIs from the waitlist is no easy task. Little surprise that many early-stage startups fall short of it.
The elusive X-factor, in most cases, is the buzz generated by the company before announcing the waitlist. These are typically conversations started by a well-known founder or a contrarian take.
But how do you increase waitlist signups as a SaaS startup without any pre-existing buzz for your product? Well, you generate buzz through content marketing.
This blog shows you three ways to increase signups for your waitlist with content. Let’s get straight to it.
3 Ways to Increase Signups to Your Product Launch Waitlist
#1 Give Up Valuable Content in Exchange for Email Addresses
This tactic has been tried and wrung dry by marketers seeking qualified leads. But it is effective to garner sufficient signups before the launch as well.
Here, brands put out valuable content like an eBook, a series of blog posts, a white paper or an industry report and promise to deliver it in the customer’s inboxes. This pushes interested customers to give up their email addresses.
Now the company can start an email nurture campaign giving these prospects nuggets of information about their product. This generates hype around the product and ensures the product is better received on the launch date.
Here’s a stunning example of a lead magnet for building product hype
Several SaaS companies have seen immense success using this approach. Companies like Mailshake, headed by Growth Marketer Sujan Patel, are excellent examples.
In 2015, even before Sujan conceptualised the products he would build, he knew his target audience would be marketers. So to appeal to them and capture their interest, he created an ebook around growth hacking.
“I found a good angle,” he says. “At the time, growth hacking was much less saturated and had enough traction when I looked on Google Trends.”
Sujan’s ebook, ‘100 Days of Growth Hacking,’ was a massive success. The book was featured on ProductHunt, and it sold 30k copies. Sujan also made 20k through contracts and earned recognition through all the buzz generated around the book.
More importantly, when he launched his ventures, people kept up with updates. Many immediately signed up for the email list to check the product offerings too.
Here’s another stunning example
The founders of Encharge.io, a marketing automation tool, grew their email list from zero to 3000 using a slightly different approach. Instead of selling an ebook on multiple platforms and waiting for people to discover it, they announced the resource on LinkedIn and Facebook.
Echarge.io’s FaceBook post| Source
These posts garnered engagement on both platforms, and thousands of people gave up their emails to get a copy of the free ebook. But the founders didn’t stop there. They created engagement posts to pitch the resource to their new followers time and again. The result? The company saw its email signups increase over the first few months before the product launch.
Increase in Encharge.io’s email list signups| Source
- Observe your target audience and recognise their pain points
- Create a resource that eases their pain points, and that is valuable
- Post about these resources on various forums, and add a clear call to action
- Create engagement posts on social channels to remind your audience about the resource
- Make sure the signup process is easy and doesn’t require too many details
- Deliver the valuable product immediately, and mention you will send product-related emails going forward
#2 Create Curiosity With a Priority Access Landing Page
An innovative product announcement can grab eyeballs. And if it has a successful product demo to go with it, you’re sure to leave the users with a positive experience. This is why many SaaS companies ask prospects to sign up for a waitlist and claim a free trial.
The problem with this approach? Some tools require extensive setups. Besides, customers may exhaust the free trial before ever trying out the product. Either way, you can lose the opportunity to make an impression if the customer does not commit to downloading the trial in time.
Here’s an example to consider
Laura Roeder and the team at MeetEdgar recognised that such a free-trial-focused approach wouldn’t work for their product, given their customers would have to download their entire library to extract complete value from the free trial. So, the team took an alternate approach.
First, they brought their prospects to their home page through various marketing approaches. Then they showed their prospects the benefits of using the product and offered them a private invite to try it in exchange for their email address.
MeetEdgar’s landing page pre-launch| Source
Once prospects signed up, they would automatically join the MeetEdgar email list. They would receive the link to buy the product and all the necessary information to use the product effectively.
This strategy was incredibly successful, and MeetEdgar built a 100k email list using it even before its launch. According to Laura, CEO of MeetEdgar, the secret to the success of the email signup strategy boiled down to three things:
- The customers didn’t need to commit to the product
- They could bookmark the email and check it later, given that there weren’t any time-bound restrictions
- They typically got a special deal on the product
- Get hyper-specific about the uniqueness of your product
- Tell your prospects how your product can add value to their lives
- Have a clear call to action
- A/B test your messaging and call to action to check which versions are more effective
#3 Create a Community by Showcasing Internal Processes
While providing value to your intended audience or an offer they cannot refuse are incredibly effective ways of holding consumer attention, another way to tug at your prospect’s hearts is to show up with authenticity. The success of the “Building In Public” movement is a testament to it.
The premise is a simple one. First, the brand shows up in front of its target audience transparently. This could mean sharing the behind-the-scenes of building a product, discussing company ideals and processes, or even sharing revenue.
In doing so, the company captures the attention of three key audiences–potential investors, future employees and prospects. Besides, it helps the company:
- Build trust
- Source feedback
- Helps position the founder as an expert
Consider the following example
SaaS startups like The Browser Company have successfully amplified their email signups using this technique.
Founded in 2019, the company is building a Chrome browser alternative to revolutionise how we approach search. Since its inception, the founders have been vocal about their efforts on social platforms like Twitter.
Even in the beginning, they posted about new hires. This tweet from March 2020, a few months after the company was founded, is a case in point.
Then in May 2020, they announced their product for the first time on Twitter and published a blog post stating the product’s intent to go with it.
Ever since then, the company has published about every round of product testing and every product version shipped to their waitlist testers on the platform.
Seven months ago, they even started a YouTube channel to showcase how to use their product features in real-time to their prospects.
All of these efforts have helped the company increase product signups well ahead of its launch in 2022.
- Show up on social channels consistently and with honesty
- Maintain a consistent tone of voice across various channels
- Engage with prospects who interact with your social posts
Over to You
Implementing any of the above techniques can help you quickly increase your signups for your product waitlist. Post that, you need to keep these prospects engaged with an email drip campaign which includes value-added content right until you launch the product.
Like this post? Check out more value-added content on the Ukti blog.