Are you building your lists in advance?

As any publicist in the entertainment industry knows, a good teaser campaign will get a product off to a flying start. One of the best types offers people the chance to be “the first to know” about something, and that can be a compelling offer. Nobody likes to be out of the loop. So if you’ve got something in the pipeline, have you considered promoting it well in advance of the launch day?

Of course, the existence of some products has to be kept under wraps. Even so, you can “tease” the market with clues, as many consumer tech companies do so well. But I’d suggest that in industrial and scientific marketing, there’s quite a lot you can reveal without damaging any commercial activity whatsoever. The idea should be to build up a list of prospects, so that you have a really hot list to target once it’s launch day. And – crucially – beyond that date.

If you take the traditional route of not revealing any existence of the product until it’s launched, here’s what happens. Many prospects who you don’t know will read about your new product once it’s revealed to the world, and come to the website to take a look. That’s great. For most of them, it won’t be something they want right away. So although they may have found it interesting, they leave, and you’ve lost them forever (or until you next connect with them randomly). The chances of getting them to sign up for any future information from you are minimal.

Now let’s look at what happens if you set up a teaser web page before the event. The same prospects wander along, and they’re confronted with a “sign up to be the first to get details” link. Many will do so; it can be hard to resist sometimes. Now you have them. On launch day, you’ll be in touch with the full details of the new product, of course. As we know, it turns out to be something which they didn’t need right away. But you’ve now got permission to keep reminding them about the product, and this time, when they do need it, you’ll have been in touch recently enough to be in their thoughts.

Your biggest hurdle will probably be the paranoia of the sales manager who thinks that this’ll mean the opposition will find out what you’re up to, and somehow this will result in …well, what, actually?

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