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How to use a waitlist to generate demand and increase sales in your next launch

Do you wish there was an easy way to increase your sales in your course or program launch without adding way more to your to-do list? 

Read on for the exact waitlist strategy I've used to help clients hit multiple five and six figures in their course and program launches. You're going to walk away with a step-by-step plan so you can increase sales in your next launch, without adding a ton of work to your plate. 

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Generate demand in advance of your launch

One of the big reasons launches flop is that people don't have a warm list of people to sell to. If you’re in that position, it’s easy to find yourself needing to convince people your offer is what they need. 

Nothing good ever starts from trying to convince people of anything. And it doesn’t exactly feel ethical.

The most successful launches are ones where people know they want your offer in advance. They are already excited and they are waiting to buy. And a big bonus of this is that it helps you feel way more confident when you come to launch because you know you have people waiting to buy. 

Imagine how awesome that would feel!

Take Tala and their iconic storm puffer coat as an example. If you don't know Tala, they're a UK based sustainable sportswear brand and have grown exponentially over the last few years. This coat sold out in five minutes - five minutes 🤯 - and continues to have ridiculously long waitlist because it was so in demand. In fact, at the time of writing, a few months later, there's still a waitlist. 

Now, Tala continues to sell out that coat, because all they need to do is send an email to their waitlist, say it's in stock and people will buy because they're literally waiting for that coat to come back. That's where a waitlist can boost your business significantly. 

Now, I can't promise Tala size waitlist launches, but you can increase your sales using this method. 

The goal is to have a pool of people who you know are interested in your offer and are way more likely to buy, without you feeling like you have to try and push them into buying from you. 

The basic first step of implementing a waitlist strategy

The easiest way to implement a waitlist strategy, is to keep your sales page for your offer live, even when people aren't able to purchase the offer. When the offer isn’t live, you want to have the only action that people can take on that page be to leave their first name and email address. 

That's all you need to capture that interest and retarget them later when the cart opens.

Most email software has a way to tag people who subscribe from a specific form, so you can easily recognise these subscribers as the people on your waitlist. 

I normally like to use a tag labelled “waitlist, offer name or initials, and then the launch date”. e.g. “Waitlist - OWLF - Oct 2023” So I know exactly who to email when that offer is live. 

This also gives me the ability to keep them engaged while they're waiting. I can keep targeting them with different messages and different ideas and keep them a part of the conversation. 

I use ConvertKit* for this and love it. It's so easy and has a lot of great ways to personalize your emails, and also track data, which is so important when it comes to launching so you know what works and what doesn't. 

It's also super affordable.

Growing your waitlist doesn’t happen by magic

The thing with a waitlist is that it won't magically grow itself. You need to get eyeballs on the page to increase the number of people who join it. 

And sometimes people need a damn good reason to hand over their personal information to you. Otherwise, they'll simply leave the page without popping that email in. 

You need to make it worth it for them. How? 

I love to include a waitlist-only bonus for my offers. So anyone who buys the offer when you come to launch after being on the waitlist gets an extra bonus as a thank you when they join. It's a great and easy way to incentivize people to give you their details in advance and build that waitlist and it can also result in some even bigger results for your launch. 

I have clients who’ve used a waitlist launch where they've opened the cart a day early for the people on their waitlist and it's resulted in their best day of sales. Normally the first day of sales in a live launch can be much slower because a lot of people need a bit more time to make a considered decision. So this is great if you want to build your launch confidence by selling more on the first day. 

If you offer a waitlist bonus, it's also something you can talk about in your content to give people a reason to hop on your page and learn about the main offer as well.

How to keep the people on your waitlist engaged and excited

You can't just set up a waitlist and expect it to help you sell more without a little effort though - your work is not done yet. If you have a waitlist but don't remind people about it, confirm they're on it, or keep them excited, your effort is wasted. And people will forget about your offer or you, which is not good for sales. 

So how do you avoid a stagnant waitlist? One of my favorite ways to keep a waitlist engaged and excited is sending regular emails with content that's related to your offer. I recommend sending one email per week to your waitlist in between setting it up and launching.

You can do more if you want. But I don't think it's necessary. It's just adding more work to your plate without maybe impacting the results too much. 

Use these emails to share:

  • Client case studies from past people who have been through this offer

  • Mindset shifts they need to experience before purchasing your offer helping them get through

  • The story of why you created this offer. 

  • And if you're using a waitlist only bonus, be sure to get them excited for that because remember, they only get it if they decide to buy your offer when their cart opens.

When your launch is over… do this!

As soon as your launch is over and your cart is closed, swap out your sales page for a waitlist page and start building that list up for your next launch. 

Right after your launch, you're likely to have more traffic and more eyes on that from people who were thinking about buying but didn't. So this is the time that we want to capture that interest so that we can retarget them later. If you do this well, you could have a constant list of people who are excited to buy this from you and all your future launches will feel a heck of a lot easier.

If you want to know how to get those sales in when it's launch time, get your hands on my launch email templates. These are the emails I recommend sending for every day of your promotion so you can max out on sales. 

Every single one of them taps into buyer psychology without being skeezy and without being too salesy. You'll get mad libs style prompts and plenty of examples so you can write your launch emails in just a few hours. It’s so simple you can get it off your to-do list today! 

Want more inside launch tips? Sign up for Launch Insiders, my weekly newsletter where I share the BTS of real-life launches, strategies, tips and what’s working now in the online space.

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