The majority of online stores fold because they’re unable to drive traffic.
For many new ecommerce founders, there’s a near single-minded focus when starting a business that’s dedicated to finding and showcasing the right products.
The great ecommerce myth is that having the right products, a beautiful site design, and stunning product photography is all you need to get people to pull out their credit card and buy. Those are the table stakes—the cost of entry.
You might prove the exception if you’re launching your store to a group of people who are interested in what you’re doing in the first place. However, most stores are launching to the wrong people, if anyone at all.
This forces the founder to scramble to find buyers—heavily discounting products and creating marketing campaigns that sound more like begging and less like a confident, trustworthy brand that knows what they’re doing. A pre-launch marketing strategy can prevent this, and set your business up for success. Learn what pre-launch marketing is, along with 10 strategies you can implement yourself.
Table of contents
- What is pre-launch marketing?
- 10 pre-launch marketing strategies to try
- Pre-launch strategy case study: Healthish
- Tips for a successful pre-launch
- Run a smart pre-launch marketing strategy next launch
- Pre-launch marketing FAQ
What is pre-launch marketing?
Pre-launch marketing is a range of marketing efforts focused on generating buzz and excitement for a new product or service before it launches. The goal is to build up anticipation and interest so customers will be eager to buy from you when launch day finally arrives.
10 pre-launch marketing strategies to try
- Secure your audience before launch
- Start early
- Release teasers
- Run a contest
- Build hype through influencers
- Create a press kit
- Throw a launch party
- Use Amazon Live
- Run audio ads
- Connect with niche communities
1. Secure your audience before launch
Before a new product launch, ensure you have a solid group of people interested in what you’re offering.
One way to do this is to create a lead generation landing page where people can pre-register or sign up for your email list. You can generate traffic to this through:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Paid ads
- Organic social media
- Traditional advertising
- Content marketing
The important part is the conversion: turning visitors into potential buyers by persuading them to hand over their details, consenting to further communication from you. You can encourage these conversions with an enticing offer, like early access or a discount for email subscribers.
Example: Sexual wellness brand Dame collects emails at the end of a quiz that visitors can take to find the perfect product for their needs. Visitors find out their results when the answers are emailed to them, which means they’ll also be the first to find out about new products.
Learn more: How to Create a Coming Soon Landing Page
2. Start early
The key is building relationships with potential customers well before opening an online store. That way, they’ll be sizzling with anticipation for your awesome new offering when you're finally ready to go live. You don't want to launch to the sound of crickets and an empty register, so it’s important to start your build-up with plenty of time before the big day.
Take email marketing, for example. With a mailing list, you’ve got plenty of opportunities to drip-feed content in the months leading up to your launch. You could talk about the story behind your idea, refining the product to its final version, the materials and how you've sourced them, which problem it solves—the possibilities are huge.
3. Release teasers
It's not just behind-the-scenes content that resonates with customers. Teasing out your product, or a particular feature or bundle option they could be excited about, can also supercharge the desire people have for what you’re selling.
Your earliest fans will love this, as they’ll feel part of an exclusive group that knows more than everyone else. You can show close-up product shots leading up to the big reveal that only tease a small part of it.
You could show different components, part of the packaging, or snippets of your planning documents. A shadowy image of an exciting new product alongside a “Coming Soon” can cause big chatter amongst your fans, as they try to guess what it could possibly mean.
Example: Interior design brand Havenly teased a new service with an enticing email campaign: “Next week, we’re launching something new, that we know you’ll love.” It’s simple yet leaves customers curious about the brand's launch.