Case Study -


Ffern and their pre-launch SMS waitlist

Ffern is a seasonal fragrance maker. They make four fragrances per year, released at the turn of the seasons for people who signed up to what they call a "ledger".

We first came across the brand through a Facebook ad that mentioned something along the lines of "Sold out, sign up to our ledger to get the next batch".

This "ledger" is an SMS subscriber list that have exclusive access to Ferns products. This strategy showed Fern's clear focus on creating FOMO and dropping limited batches, which reflects the data showing that more than half of people using social networks suffer from FOMO.

What we think: Fern are the first brand we've seen to use an ad strategy to build an SMS waitlist the revolves around product launches. This copy and design instantly builds brand equity, intrigue, and far more motivation to sign-up to the SMS wait list than a generic offer or sale.

How does it work?

Each of Fern's product pages focuses on terms like  "members only", "stock: limited" , and "Waiting list: Open". Your only chance to buy their perfume is to sign up to their SMS waiting list and hope a space becomes available when the stock arrives.

Once you sign up to their waitlist it really becomes a waiting game. When a space becomes available, Fern sends out an SMS with a 24h response timer to secure your space. If you as a customer don't act on this, you'll receive two more reminders before they pass your space to someone else on the waitlist.


What we think: Fern's use of text messages to create FOMO and a sense of urgency is one of the best we've seen. The strategy of dropping limited products through SMS really plays into the immediacy and speed of the channel. However, one of the key area's of a great SMS strategy is 1:1 communication across both parties - which Fern is missing entirely. We would have liked to see customers being able to ask questions about their perfume, learn more about the story, and see how the products are made.

Key Takeaways

  • Use of FOMO

Fern are a great example of using FOMO to drive sign-ups to their SMS list.

  • Limited Product drops

Fern are able to build this FOMO because their products are extremely limited and only sold through their waitlist. Again, this reflects the some of the best use of SMS we've seen.

  • Lack of 1:1 communication

One of the key elements Fern are missing is conversation with their customers. This is surprising as they clearly care about their audience, and seems to be a strategy they could easily implement.

SMS marketing for Shopify stores.

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