The Pre-Launch feature allows you to control which pages people will see depending on whether their Deadline Funnel tracking has started yet or not. This works for fixed-date, evergreen, and hybrid campaigns.
How to use Pre-Launch with a fixed-date campaign:
In a fixed-date campaign, the Pre-Launch feature can be used to show people a page that you want them to see before the special offer is available. In other words "pre launch" or "before the cart open".
For example, you can create a fixed-date campaign that has a start date of January 15 and a deadline of January 31. If someone tries to access your special offer page before January 15, they will be redirected to your Pre-Launch page.
1. In 'Edit Campaign' navigate to Settings and find the 'Start date enabled' button. Make sure this is turned on, as it will indicate when the Pre-Launch redirect is active. And hit 'Save' before moving on to the next step:
2. Then navigate below that to the pre-launch section. Enable the setting and then add your two URLs:
How to use Pre-Launch with an evergreen or hybrid campaign:
Pre-Launch is a great option for your evergreen or hybrid campaign to address these situations:
Common Usage #1:
You're concerned your special offer URL will get shared on social media and you don't want someone arriving at this URL without first being on your list.
You can use the Pre-Launch feature to redirect the untracked new visitor to any URL you want. For example, you might redirect them to an optin page which will add them to your list and then take them through your automated sequence. Once they go through your automation, Deadline Funnel will give them access to your special offer pages.
Common Usage #2:
You've automated a launch sequence and you have a pre-access page (aka "before open cart page") that you want people to go to before the launch and then on automated "cart open" they'll be take to the special offer page.
Let's walk through how to setup Pre-Launch with an evergreen or hybrid campaign in Deadline Funnel.
1. In 'Edit Campaign' navigate to Settings and find the Pre-Launch setting just below where you set the length of the deadline:
2. The Pre-access URL is going to be the page you want them to see before their deadline has started:
3. For the second URL, you'll see a dropdown with all of your Pages URLs. This is going to be the page you want them to be redirected to once their deadline has started:
Once you've filled in both boxes, hit 'Save' and you're all set!
Advanced: using the same pre-launch URL as your "after deadline" URL
In some cases, you may want to use the same URL as your pre-launch URL and your "after deadline" URL.
Here's how to set that up:
Pre-access page: www.mysite.com/pre-access?a=b
Page URL: www.mysite.com/special-offer
"After" deadline: www.mysite.com/pre-access
The key to making this work is to use the extra parameters ("?a=b") at the end of your pre-access URL, but make sure to not include those parameters in your page "after" URL.
Advanced: Using an opt-in form on your pre-launch page
In some cases, you may want to have an opt-in form on your pre-launch page that (upon submit) will then start the user's tracking and immediately redirect to your special offer page.
To do this, you would want to make sure your page URL is set up. This is the page a user will be redirected to once they've opted in and their tracking has begun:
Then you will go into your Deadline Funnel campaign > Settings > Pre-Launch area and put your opt-in form as the pre-access page, and your page URL as the "after subscriber is tracked redirect to:" step:
In this example, the MailChimp API webhook is already set up, so if a visitor signs up using the opt-in form, their email address will be added to the deadline and they will be tracked by email in the Deadline Funnel > Analytics > Event Tracking area.
However, since their IP/cookie has not been tracked yet, they will still see the opt-in page instead of being redirected to your special offer.
To fix this, we will simply use the email link in the opt-in form's redirect settings. This will allow Deadline Funnel to track a user's IP/cookies once they opt-in and give them access to your special offer page:
To copy this link correctly, you will select everything before the question mark in the link and paste it into your opt-in page's redirect area.
Notice that the part of the URL we leave out in this example is "?em~Contact.Email~":
Now when the user clicks subscribe, the form will submit the webhook and the IP/cookie tracking data to DF and redirect them to the special offer page. That's it!
Using pre-launch with daisy-chains or multiple campaigns
We don't recommend using pre-launch for daisy-chains or multiple connected campaigns because it can get very tricky to set up and test. If you have more than one campaign daisy-chained together, it's best practice not to enable pre-launch.
Questions? Please let us know in chat or at: firstname.lastname@example.org.