Starting a new business, or launching a new product, can be a daunting prospect.
This is especially true if you are concerned about attracting your first set of customers.
One way to address this is to undertake a pre-launch marketing campaign to create anticipation, test the market, and build up a database of people interested in your offering.
Pre-launch marketing campaigns can take many forms, and the right one for you will depend on the nature of your offering and the strength of your proposition.
An obvious place to start is a “coming soon” landing page on a website, featuring a video teaser or short overview, and a form where people can sign-up to receive updates.
Incentivising people to sign-up can be a good way to increase numbers, such as an early bird discount, or exclusive offer for early adopters, though it is important to ensure people are signing up for the right reasons, and are genuinely interested in your offering, not just because they want to win a prize.
If your proposition is strong enough people will want to be the first to try it without any sweeteners. Framing your sign-up form as a waiting list can add to its attraction. FOMO is real.
Another approach is to run an online survey or interactive quiz, which can serve as a way to learn more about your prospective customers and their preferences, as well as being a way to collect opt-in subscribers.
Google Ads and sponsored social media posts can be a great way to attract prospective customers to your page.
If you allow for enough time for a pre-launch campaign you will have the opportunity to build a story around your brand – from sneak peeks of the product features to the back story of what inspired the business.
This is an opportunity to start building a community and to start accumulating followers.
One way to accelerate this process is to tap into pre-existing communities. Influencers with relevant followers can be a fast track to capturing attention if chosen carefully.
Reaching out to journalists with a well-crafted pitch can be effective too, as an early feature in a well-regarded title can really help close the credibility gap.
Whichever approach you take, and there are many others, a pre-launch campaign can help ensure when your new business opens or your product launches you have customers to serve on day one.