How to build demand before you launch

Startup Weekend, Kelowna 2015


It’s what you feel when your favorite band announces a new worldwide tour. You get excited! You can’t wait to see them live.

Iron Maiden is one of my favorite bands. In five months I’ll be flying to Edmonton to see them in concert for the first time. But Iron Maiden didn’t just email me to announce that tickets were on sale. They built anticipation over months. Here’s the timeline:

Iron Maiden tickets in Edmonton

Anticipation builds demand. Bands understand this. It’s like walking into a bakery, and the smell of fresh bread makes your mouth water.

I like how Joey Sargent articulates this here:

Mounting anticipation brings out the competitive nature in people. The longer they wait, the more they fear missing out. The more they worry about not getting what has been longed for, the more likely they are to invest greater and greater amounts of money to get that special thing.

Building anticipation during your product launch

Building demand is key. People don’t know you’ve been working on your project for months. You need to get them excited! You can’t build all that excitement on launch day. It takes multiple touchpoints to effectively wet people’s appetite.

One of the best ways to do this is with an email launch sequence. You should be collecting email addresses from day one. But don’t just email people on launch day! Build desire with your audience by sending them regular updates.

I recently published a book called Marketing for Developers. This is the launch sequence I used for the waiting list:

You might think: “wow, that’s a lot of email to send.” But it works because each step helps create demand. Over 80% of my launch revenue came from my mailing list.

Don’t surprise people with your launch

A launch should never be a surprise. Think about Apple. Sure, they’re secretive, but they’re really good at building demand before their launch day:

Take time to build excitement and expectation. Give people something to look forward to!

Want to learn more?

Instead of impulsively trying to achieve your marketing goals, do something small every day.

I created a free email service that will help you do just that:

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Published on November 21, 2015