How to effectively create waiting-list hype for your online business

Every business owner dreams of having a waitlist of customers who are constantly on standby ready to purchase their latest product or service. Whether you’re about to launch a new beauty tool or you’re a coach who is about to launch a new mastermind, the security of knowing you have a database ready to purchase, is the most valuable tool you’ll ever have.

If you’re a business owner who wants to live this dream, it’s important to know that it can also be your reality! The first thing that you do need to know, is that every strategy you integrate into your marketing is all about building trust with your client. Creating a community that is loyal to you and your brand, is all about making them feel like they’re a part of something- usually, this motive comes from an emotion or a pain point that you’re solving.

It means that you have created a loyal community of repeat clients who are advocates of your brand. This wait-list provides a sense of exclusivity and also creates a desire for your customer to want to buy when available (some call this fear of missing out- FOMO).

How can businesses get people on their waitlists?

It’s this very reason that creating a waitlist for your online business can be so successful in creating attention and desire for what your business sells. A business can do a lot of exciting and valuable things with those who sign up for the waitlist (this can also be known as a VIP list)– below is a comprehensive guide to building hype for your online business’s waitlist.

Social Media

When you’re trying to build a waitlist, you should be trying your hardest to drive traffic from your social media to the sign-up link. 99% of your wait listers are going to be people who are already warm with your brand – they know who you are and what you make or do.

Capitalise on your social media presence by letting your followers know about it and get the ball rolling on sign-ups without doing a large amount of legwork. Consistency is key when it comes to the social media aspect of building a waitlist. Posting daily and interacting with your audience across all social media platforms is going to be your best weapon.

If a follower comments on your TikTok or Instagram post – recognise it and respond to come off as an engaged business. Once you’ve decided on a release date for your waitlist product or service, pump out content that emphasises the countdown. The busier your brand looks with content, the more hype will be generated – consumers want to be involved with brands that stay on top of their needs and are constantly releasing the next ‘big thing’.

Copy, Copy, Copy!

When it comes to a waitlist, persuasive copy is crucial. Words can evoke a powerful response, use words conative with hype and exclusivity to drive hype and sign-ups.

However, it is vital to know that copy isn’t always there to sell- if you’re constantly selling, your customer is going to get the vibe of desperation and get turned off your business.

Be mindful of the words you use and always ask yourself, if you were in the customer’s shoes, what would they feel reading your copy. Here are some examples of great copy that generate hype and scarcity for an online business waitlist: “Welcome to *Business Name* sign up to our waitlist today and be the first to know when our *Product Name* launches.”

“Limited spots remain for our waitlist. Get your hands on *Product Name* first before we release to the general public” “We have 10 remaining spots. Don’t miss out. Sign up today!”

Each of these examples is generic and not industry-based but they all generate a sense of exclusivity and scarcity that are the foundations of building ‘hype’. It’s not feasible to be changing your copy every time a waitlist spot is taken and it’s unlikely that you’re going to get many sign-ups if there genuinely are only 10 spots on the list.

Using the concept of ‘false scarcity’ isn’t a violation of any consumer laws provided that you have enough product to sell to all those who have signed up. It is always a risk that someone might catch-on to what you’re doing and that might bring your business unwanted attention.

The risk is low; however, the rewards are high. Consider employing a brand manager who will be able to help you manage the creation of scarcity through both copy and graphics.

Video Testimonials

User-Generated Content (UGC) is the ultimate tool for building hype for your waitlist! When clients see authentic reviews on your website, they will be much more likely to purchase a product or sign up for your waitlist – this is called Social Proof and is a very popular technique used. You’ve probably seen experts such as Tony Robins use it to sell his latest conference or fashion brands use influencer reviews to validate themselves to their audiences.

The quicker you can build rapport with the viewers of your website, the faster you’ll build up waiting list hype for your business. You want to appear in-demand, and trustworthy in order to get the highest conversion rates – social proof in form of UGC is the best way to do so.

Give them what they want

CLients are going to be much more willing to join a waitlist if it’s for a popular product that is unique to your business. People get irritated when something they so desperately desire is sold out, so creating a waitlist can help with protecting your brand experience.

Waitlists reduce frustrations by getting clients to think they already have ordered the product – enthusiastic shoppers are happy to hand over emails if it means they can “win” the items.

Supply & Demand

This point isn’t so much about how to create hype for your online business’s waitlist but more about ensuring you have products on hand to satisfy consumers and leave them happy… all the time! Seeing how many people sign up for your waitlist is an easy way to measure the supply and demand for your products in the long term. If you have 500 people on the list, then you will have a greater understanding of the quantities to order.

So… what’s the verdict?

Building a waitlist is a great way to generate hype for your online business. Follow the steps above and do your own research and you’ll build an exceptional waitlist and generate hype!

Amani Youssef is the CEO and leader of the creative agency So Social. She is passionate about helping brands be seen, heard and understood by their audience. Since opening So Social over eight years ago, Amani has made it her mission to become a leader in Australia for marketing education, branding, social media and content creation.