The process of building your ecommerce brand is an exciting one, and as you approach your launch date, the excitement only builds. However, are you keeping that excitement contained to just the team of people working with you? Getting people excited about your products ahead of time will be key to a successful launch. You want to gain signups before anything is available, so that when the day comes, you have a list of people you can notify. This isn’t always an easy process, but here are some tips to help you gain signups before your product releases.
Have a strong homepage/landing page
For starters, make sure you have a page set up where people can go to access information about your product. Keeping something totally secret may work for a well-known company, but for most startups, it’ll be hard to generate any real excitement if you don’t give people some information about who you are and what you’re planning to sell. You don’t have to give everything away, but include something that will inform people and hopefully get them interested in your brand.
As for additional content on this page, be sure to let people know how long they have to wait. Include a countdown clock, or at least list the launch date. You want to make sure people are aware of when your products will become available, so don’t hide launch date details.
Finally, ask for signups! You should establish an email list and send out updates regularly in order to remind people who you are. At the very least, send out an email to everyone who signed up on your launch day alerting them that it’s the big day. Have a strong CTA button on your homepage encouraging people to put in their email, promising you’ll send regular updates and exciting news regarding your brand.
Create quality content
Don’t feel like you have to wait to establish a blog for when your brand is fully up and running. Unique content will always positively impact your audience, even if it is before you have launched. Use this space to go into more detail about who you are and what your brand is, which will hopefully increase excitement about your launch. This can also be used as another platform to get signups, so you should really consider devoting some time to it.
If you are incredibly busy with the business itself, consider hiring a freelance writer to come on board to help create your content. While this is just one piece of the puzzle, it is an important one, and shouldn’t be something you rush just so you can say you have it. While good content can inspire your audience, bad content can do just the opposite. Make sure what you put out is relevant, interesting, and useful for your audience.
Incentives work in a variety of situations, and this is one of them. If you are struggling to get signups, or simply want to try and get as many as possible right off the bat, consider offering some sort of incentive to anyone who signs up. For example, Curate did a great job of this by offering early access to those who invited 3 friends. Not only is this an incentive for the person signing up, but also for you. You could also offer something such as a discount code off a user’s first purchase or free shipping on the order. If you can create an incentive that also benefits you that is great, but remember you should always put your customer first and offer them something they will truly benefit from and appreciate.
Promote a “VIP” type program
People like to feel special, and a great way to accomplish that is by giving them VIP or exclusive member status. Consider crafting a rewards program (check out our quick guide on that here), and give early signup users instant high status and access to certain exclusive features. For example, you might send out a specific mailing list for these members, giving them special deals or early info on new products.
Starbucks did this recently with the launch of their new reward program. Customers achieved “Gold status” for a year if they made a purchase during specific dates. Now because you are launching your product, instead of re-launching, you will have to handle things in a different way, but the concept is the same.
Because rewards programs are highly effective, you should consider starting things before launching. This will get you more signups, and proves to your audience that you care about your customers.
Generate buzz on social media
Finally, don’t forget to include social media in your launch strategy. Get your message out to a lot of people in a cost effective manner by using social media. Don’t stop at just setting up your pages and sharing some content, however, but instead come up with a specific marketing plan to increase excitement about your launch.
For example, when Taco Bell launched their mobile app, they took to their social media pages with a “blackout.” All their images went black and on there was a specific Instagram marketing plan that involved posting 9 images that together made one large image promoting the mobile app. While you don’t have to be this drastic, you should definitely spend some time generating buzz about your launch. As always, also include your launch date and website on all your social pages, and ask for signups as well.