From zero to validated: Lessons on building a pre-product wait list site

Does making a pre-launch waitlist site help? I think so, not just to collect emails, but to connect with my future audience.

When done right you connect with your audience, learn to talk to them and refine your pitch.

This is a story from one of the times I've done this.

  1. 4

    I think building a pre-launch waitlist or Google Form is a good idea. You can collect applications, select the best customers and allow them to join one-by-one after a personal interview.

    I launched Suggesty AI this way and gained a lot of insights after only 10 interviews.


    1. 2

      Nice I agree those early interviews are amazing.

      I’d lean away from a google form and use something like Caard personally. Because I want to start testing my marketing and positioning statements early.

  2. 4

    “You may not realize it, but with each post you make and each reply you write, those are small deposits for your future that will pay huge dividends as you keep making them.“

    Really like this quote.

    I’m still in the process of validating my Saas. I’ve get a few signup but doesn’t really know what to do with them 😅 How do approach people who sign up with your waitlist? Do you set up a meeting, or just chat with them directly in email/chat?

    1. 1

      I've got a short automated email sequence that gets sent out to them. Search online for "welcome email sequence" to get some ideas. Most/all examples you find will be for products/services that are already up and running, so you'll need to be creative to adapt it.

      The email sequence is only just set up, so I've got no data yet on how effective it is. I plan to email the list status updates and other related info about once per month. That keeps them up-to-date, and also makes sure they don't forget.

    2. 1

      So I use an automated email right after they sign up saying what to expect from this list. Reinforce they haven’t made a bad decision.

      Then I send emails from to the list. This is where I mix in the ask. Response rate can be low. Have to give value. Help them know they’re still with you for a good reason. I like to talk about how a feature is shaping up. Then ask for feedback. “Just reply to this email”.

  3. 1

    I’m in a process of idea validation and are seeing many tactics people use to get early people who are actually interested in the product. I got nearly 70 signups. But not qualified them yet.

    1. 1

      Great job on getting 70! Do you have an automation when they sign up letting them know you’ll be reaching out?

      If someone signs up you’re far more likely to get interactions with them. Quite a few people setup calls and interview them. That’s a great way to get to know their needs better.

      1. 1

        Yes, Mailchimp was setup for reaching out. I am taking this into account for sure.

        Those 70 people were from a closed FB Group that I am part of for a long now. So I get into talk to them in the group, But I would definitely go to setup a process so I can get an interview or something.

  4. 1

    I needed to see this today. Building my first application and put a flag in the ground for a photography conference. Was debating about trying to get it to "launch" by Apr. but think I need to do more of this, start pre-building a list for it vs. a "surprise, here it is".

    1. 1

      I’m glad it helped you Kirk! I spent time on both as I went along. Helped me through the grind at points.

  5. 1

    Congrats, and thanks for the article.

    I'm in the pre-product validation phase myself, and am finding it rather difficult. It looks like I've made the mistake of choosing a target audience I don't know how to reach: those who want private (self-hosted) file syncing, but who aren't so paranoid about privacy that they only want open-source software. I'm still looking for where I can find them...

    1. 1

      That one is a pretty specific use case. That said I'd think tech subreddits, tech-focused websites with forums, etc. would be a good places to search for your keywords (file syncing, backups, privacy).

      1. 1

        Thanks for the suggestions.

Trending on Indie Hackers
Say Goodbye to Fake Users! · Protect your projects from fake and temporary email addresses! 106 comments My AI-enhanced product description generator created 300+ product descriptions. How can I scale it? 45 comments CoverLetterGPT Unlimited Access for $4.95 -- Good or Bad Pricing Strategy? 40 comments How I built my AI comics empire 24 comments I'm an indie founder. I unschool my 5 kids. This is how much it costs us. 22 comments I've open sourced my AI comics website AMA 15 comments