👋 Hey, I’m Ben! I write monthly deep dives on how to grow products and companies. I go deep on growth strategies, how to build products users love, and what actionable lessons can be learned from what best-in-class companies are doing.
This week I signed up to join the waitlist for Reflect Fitness and, after signing up, was encouraged to move up the waitlist line by referring friends (via a LaunchList page). I love this strategy and this experience reminded me of one of my favorite pre-launch stories, which I’ll share with you this week. This is the story of how Harry’s Razors collected over 100k emails before launching.
You’ve likely heard of Harry’s Razors as they’re a classic DTC ecommerce darling. What you may not know, however, is that their launch was a huge success driven by a one-week campaign they ran leading up to their launch date. They didn't become a success overnight by chance; they did so with meticulous planning, clever strategy, and the power of virality.
For their pre-launch campaign, they set up a simple website that had two pages to it:
A primary landing page that built excitement and collected emails.
After entering their emails, users were redirected to a referral page that had a shareable link. If used, it would bring users to the primary landing page where, if they signed up, the referring user would get a prize. The more people that used a link, the bigger the prize the referring user would earn.
There were a couple great things about the way that they structured these pages:
The landing page built excitement for the launch.
The landing page was exceptionally simple, displaying their primary value prop and a clear action to take without any distractions.
On the referral page, messaging like “don’t leave your friends behind” suggested that you were doing your friends a favor by referring them, making the experience feel more relational, adding to the incentive to refer friends.
The referral program had rewards relevant to Harry's product usage and the page visually illustrated the progress needed to earn each reward. These rewards felt both valuable and achievable to earn, which is key.
The referral page made sharing completely frictionless. They made it simple to copy the link or share directly to facebook or Twitter.
There is a lot to learn from how Harry’s launched from a tactical perspective. Anything you can do to build up your distribution channels before launch will help you knock your launch expectations out of the park and a pre-launch viral growth strategy is a great element to layer into your go-to-market planning. It’s good to see companies like Reflect take advantage of similar strategies to give themselves a head start.
You’re going to want to check these out…
LaunchList - this is the tool that Reflect Fitness used to facilitate their waitlist referral program. If you’re planning a launch soon I highly recommend checking out their product.
This thread - Patrick Campbell talks about how to think about add-on offerings and where the line falls for including something in your primary offering vs making it an add on.
This post - by Tim Ferris is the primary resource I used to help me write this post and it goes into much greater detail on the Harry’s launch story.
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