How to Do a Pre-Launch Campaign with Shopify?

Abdul Wahab

Abdul Wahab

· 9 min read
How to Do a Pre-Launch Campaign with Shopify?

Skyrocketing budgets, months-long campaigns, and overwhelming audiences, the exaggerated perception of pre-launch paints it as almost inaccessible for an average Shopify store owner. Well, this may have been true a few decades before. But the rise of the internet and social media has created a level-playing field for all businesses.

Shopify store owners have as much to gain from a planned pre-launch campaign as a multi-national enterprise. But with a limited budget and non-existent customer base, there’s a lot to do to build hype and anticipation in the audience and prepare the backend of your Shopify website to confirm the initial launch day sales.

Introducing your products to an already engaged audience primed to buy can significantly improve your chances of success. All your effort seems to pay off as the community discussions pick up and the first sales start to roll in. This article explains what it means to run a pre-launch campaign with Shopify for your eCommerce business.

Why Pre-launch a Shopify Store?

Different startups have different aims pertaining to their marketing campaigns before launch, but one thing is stagnant across all - generating more sales.

It takes months for a new startup to popularize itself in the audience, get them excited to purchase, and build a progressive cashflow into the launch. Implementing the right pre-launch ideas can help you lay the groundwork for a successful release.

Even if you haven’t actually set up your Shopify store yet, you can still start planning a pre-launch strategy that spreads awareness and develops relationships with prospective customers to improve your odds against competitors. Here’s what the marketing campaign can accomplish for your Shopify store:

  • Collect Subscribers: Pre-launch campaigns provide an opportunity to collect email addresses. Once you add a sizeable audience to build an email list, you can nurture them into probable customers who will be ready to spend cash at first light.
  • Secure Early Customers: A well-executed pre-launch campaign can lead to early sales. Early customers can become brand advocates and provide social proof that attracts more customers down the line.
  • Create Brand Awareness: The sales volume on the launch day sets the tone for consumer activity in the days that follow. To ensure things go your way on the product launch event, you’d better start building recognition and credibility in your audience before your store goes live.
  • Gather Feedback: In the months preceding your launch, you can beta-test your product prototype, try different marketing tactics to gather feedback from your audience. The response can help fine-tune your products, website, and marketing strategy before the big day.
  • Mitigate Risk of Failure: Pre-launching allows you to identify and address potential issues, such as technical glitches or product-related problems before they negatively impact your reputation or sales.

Before You Start a Pre-launch Campaign - Plan and Strategize

Each business is unique, and so is the product it produces and the audience it’s catered towards. Even though successful pre-launch examples can lend inspiration, there is no definitive way to get your pre-launch marketing campaign right. It must align with your niche demographics and audience’s interests to generate the sales you’re expecting. Here’s a rundown of the steps you need to take to muster a successful campaign.

Curate an Irresistible Offer

Sending out promotional emails, sharing eye-catching social media posts, or publishing informative content, sometimes it all boils down to the offer you’re making. The audience will only reciprocate and spread your message forward if they feel you have something equally, or more, valuable to offer.

On an introspective note, the offer you will share with your audience will be the initial touchpoint your business will have with them. Considering the infinite choices your would-be customers have at their disposal, you need to come up with a bid tempting enough to turn their heads.

If you manage to land a marketing offer or develop a product that addresses the audience's desires, catching viral growth will be inevitable. No need to reveal everything upfront. Maintain some secrecy around your offer to pique the audience’s curiosity. Here’s how Harry's did it:

HARRY’S launch announcement email sent a week before the launch.
Image Source

Draft a Timeline

Drafting and maintaining a timeline for your launch works in everyone’s favor. For a company, it helps plan a schedule for all team members to abide by and cooperate to meet the deadline. For the customers, it develops a sense of urgency. As the launch date draws in closer, the audience often experiences FOMO (fear of missing out) which helps drive the opening sales.

A typical pre-launch campaign can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on where you are with your product development. But it doesn’t mean you can not kick off the promotion before your shop is open to the public.

Draft a content release schedule that outlines when you'll publish blog posts, videos, and social media content related to your upcoming product. Create an advertisement strategy, curate attention-grabbing content, and set up a pre-launch landing page to start receiving those early leads. Including a countdown timer like the Center can help accelerate interest levels.

A countdown timer embedded in a coming soon page.
Image Source

Prepare Promotional Material

Be it a targeted email marketing or social media teasers, every marketing campaign should explicitly drive attention to your product. The content you project to promote your Shopify store should be coherent and resonate with your brand identity to reach the right audience. Here are some special tips to help you get started:

  • Focus on the visuals. Either through a design team or AI graphics generator, develop compelling visual content including teaser images, banners, and promotional videos that represent your store.
La Colombe Coffee Roasters’ Facebook advert with compelling imagery.
Image Source
  • Write a compelling copy that talks into your audience’s minds. Keep a simple but persuasive tone that engages potential customers, describes product benefits, and compels them to sign up for a pre-order.
Dollar Shave Club’s Facebook message.
Image Source
  • Target an email campaign that converts. Craft subject lines that pique curiosity and body text that drives readers to take action, whether it's subscribing to your list, participating in a raffle, or learning more about your brand.
Brother Moto launch competition email.
Image Source

Pinpoint the Advertisement Channels

Getting the contents of the message attractive isn’t enough, the manner it’s sent to your audience matters as well. The medium you choose determines where and how you’ll reach your target audience. Being on the right one enhances your brand's visibility - getting your offer to an audience that’s most likely to convert and nudging them repeatedly to reinforce your message.

Each advertisement channel caters to an audience and supports content types largely different from the others. For example, visual content may perform better on platforms like Instagram, while longer-form content might be more appropriate for a blog or YouTube. Sift through consumer personas and their online behavior to pinpoint the ideal manner to reach them.

7 Ways to Master a Pre-launch Campaign with Shopify

Being up against industry goliaths means you have to be at the top of your marketing game to pull a sizeable audience. People will only lend you an ear if they think you’ve something better to offer than the stores they’re already shopping from. To make sure your offer is impactful, here are some effective ways to run a pre-launch campaign with Shopify.

Create a Coming Soon Landing Page

In the wake of outperforming their competitors, entrepreneurs often fall prey to perfectionism. While setting up a professional-grade website with eye-boggling imagery and top-notch copy, they often lose sight of something more fundamental to a launch - capturing early leads.

A pre-launch landing page establishes your initial point of contact with the audience, gives an impression of your brand, and urges them to sign up with you. Unlike a website, it’s an aesthetically designed webpage that serves as a reception desk to your Shopify store before it’s open to the public.

For startups, Shopify coming soon pages are the primary lead generation source. If you want yours to enlist common traffic into prospective clients, put your effort into mastering the headline, graphics, a promo video, and a call-to-action button.

Robinhood’s pre-launch landing page.
Image Source

Prepare Your Shopify Store

With the landing page up and running, you need to ensure the backend of your Shopify store is capable of handling the load. Some of the leads you register might want to place a pre-order for priority access after launch.

Since it’s not a built-in feature in Shopify, you will need to embed a Shopify pre-order app to register early purchase orders. The app comes embedded with comprehensive set-up options and partial payment facilities which can seamlessly integrate with your overall store theme.

A pre-order app on the Shopify app store.
Image Source

If you’re aiming to raise anticipation for a new product lineup, the pre-order app can let you add a coming soon product timer before the stock arrives. Implemented right, the app can help prospects sign up for your newsletter, stock and sale alerts, and pre-launch waiting lists.

Build a Healthy Community for Prospects

Now that your Shopify store is primed for launch, shift your focus towards creating a buzz around it and fostering a community of customers who are poised to hit that 'pre-order now' button. Excelling brand awareness will not only boost lead generation but will also serve as an upfront revenue source to manufacture your products.

According to Forbes, a UK-based startup successfully opened doors with a whopping 4,000 people already on their waiting list. Their key to success? A dedicated community on social media who, by choice or involuntarily, promoted their product over the course of a year before the launch. If you want to expand your pre-launch waitlists, feature your best products on the landing page and label them as coming soon.

Collaborate with Influencers

Social media is an unclaimed turf for product marketing, where business with a finer strategy wins. Around 74% of all consumer purchase decisions are ingrained by social media. But startups usually need something more concrete to build a positive face value and influence an audience into trusting you.

An endorsement from a social media influencer can go a long way in shaping people’s perceptions about your brand and encouraging them to purchase from you. Locate and collaborate with influencers that best align with your niche and carry a following largely based on your target audience.

Lock the Store to Build Hype

The buzz around your launch determines how people will act or react to it. If you manage to inculcate FOMO in the audience ahead of the release, you’ll have a sales flood flowing in on the launch event. Backed up with an irresistible and equally phenomenal product, your customer will get addicted to your brand sooner or later.

As anticipation starts to pick up, lock down your website to keep the audience on their toes until the final reveal. Don’t worry it’s a temporary action to pique their curiosity and interest so high that they become compelled to buy from you.

While the website is off-limits for the general public, you can share a “secret passcode” with your subscribers labeled as “exclusive” in the pre-launch period. The exclusivity status taps into their psychology and encourages them to stick with you long-term.

Closing Note

Having built a stellar product, identified an audience that is inclined to buy, and set up an eCommerce store, one thing that's stopping you from mounting a hefty sales revenue on the launch day, is a dynamic pre-launch strategy.

It creates virtual access to your store and pulls in an audience who's ready to purchase. Make sure your Shopify store has a pre-order model to assess your popularity and predict product demand before you open doors for the public. Join Prefinery to ensure every step of your campaign plays out seamlessly.


What is the purpose of a pre-launch campaign on Shopify?

A pre-launch campaign on Shopify serves several purposes. It helps build anticipation for your store or product, generates buzz, collects email subscribers, and creates brand awareness. It also allows you to engage potential customers and secure early sales or pre-orders.

How do I create a pre-launch landing page on Shopify?

To create a pre-launch landing page on Shopify, you can use Shopify's built-in tools or third-party apps. First, go to your Shopify admin, then navigate to Online Store > Pages and click on "Add Page."

To design and customize your landing page, add teaser images, content, and an email sign-up form. Shopify apps like "Pre‑Order Manager" can help with pre-launch pages, allowing customers to express interest and pre-order products.

The essential element in your growth stack.

On average, our customers boost their leads by a whopping 40%.

Unlimited free trial · No credit card required