Creating an effective coming soon page

Creating an effective coming soon page
16 January 2013 | | Creative Design, Internet, Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation

More often than not, designers and the client spend hours planning their website and the content that will be visible once the website is complete and live. However, a lot of the time an effective 'coming soon' page is never planned, designed or introduced. When this happenens, the new website simply goes up online with no warning. Although this is not frowned upon, having a 'coming soon' page can help to draw attention to your domain as well as creating 'hype' for viewers, if designed well, enticing them to come back and visit your website once the site goes live. The following article explains this further…

Coming soon pages are a rather young concept on the internet. Back in the day, when a new business was planning to launch a website, one day there was no website, and the next day the thing was live … just like that with no warning.

Nowadays, marketing works a little differently… Everything needs to build up a sufficient amount of buzz, virality, and other new-English words before it can see the daylight. And this is where coming soon pages come into play, if you will.

Due to all this abundance I’ve decided to take a closer look at the construction of a coming soon page and list some of its most important elements. Both from the designer’s and marketer’s point of view.

“The intangible element”

Sorry for starting this list a little vague, but I consider this the most important element of them all. And what I mean by the intangible element is simply:

The Wow! Effect

In my opinion, a coming soon page has no business cluttering the web if it doesn’t have any wow! effect working for it.

If you can’t give your coming soon page design any wow! then you shouldn’t publish it at all. The whole point of a coming soon page is to get people interested in what’s coming, not to bore them to death.

Of course, the most difficult part here is that this wow! effect is very difficult to define. I have absolutely no idea how to write a tutorial on finding it. I guess that it all comes down to the overall feel of the design. It’s simply something that is or isn’t visible at the end of the day once the work has been done…

Say what’s coming

Since it is a coming soon page then there has to be something coming, right? And I’m not trying to be Captain Obvious here. I just want to point out that there are way too many sites on the internet that try to convince me to subscribe to a notification newsletter without even telling me what’s coming.

Rule #1: If you want people to anticipate what’s coming, you have to tell them what it is. Focus on creating curiosity. Share the interesting stuff, not the boring features.

Don’t give away too much information though. If you do, people will get the impression that they know everything, so they no longer have to anticipate anything. You must find the right balance between curiosity and information … something you have to figure out on your own.

This should also be reflected in the design. Boring designs have no place among coming soon pages (going back to the wow! effect).

The easiest way to make your design interesting-description-friendly as opposed to boring-description-friendly is to use rather big-sized fonts. If there’s only place for a limited lines of text then it forces the website owner to provide only the essential information.

Countdown timers

Personally, I like the idea of a countdown timer. It’s simple, easy-to-grasp, there are tens of plugins and scripts available providing such functionality, and it’s perfectly understandable for the visitor.

However, it makes launching the final site a bit more difficult. If you have a timer then you absolutely have to launch the site when the timer displays zero. There can be no delay, or the whole point of a timer loses its meaning.

Email lists / newsletters

Newsletters and email lists are one of the best performing marketing methods online. It’s almost strange that email marketing works that well in every market imaginable.

The simple fact is that people still use email as their main mean of communication online. Even despite the amount of spam that’s circulating around.

In my opinion, placing an email newsletter signup form on a coming soon page is one of the best things you can do. Period.

If you’ve managed to arouse enough interest in the product/site then at least some percentage of your visitors should be interested in getting timely updates about it.

Also, you can then use the list to announce the launch the minute it happens. This will bring you an additional stream of visitors right from the get-go.

And finally, email newsletters are a lot easier to promote than blank coming soon pages.

Pre-launch bonuses and discounts

Depending on the thing that’s coming, offering some pre-launch bonuses or discounts can make sense. Especially if it’s a new tool, service, or traditional product.

You can offer a discount to everyone who subscribes to your newsletter. You’re killing two birds with one stone here. Apart from the fact that you get people to sign up to your newsletter, you’re also giving them a great reason to visit the site once it’s live.

Of course, you have to make sure that the site can still remain profitable in spite of the discounts. This is something you have to discuss with your client, and make sure that there’s place for discounts in their marketing strategy.

Use the main branding elements

This is basic, and I’m only mentioning it to make the message complete.

I know that no one will probably forget about using the site’s logo if it’s available. But you also have to remember about the color scheme and other small branding elements that will keep the coming soon page and the final website in congruence.

Keep SEO in mind

I know that a coming soon page is bound to have a short lifespan, but you should still have SEO in mind during the creation process.

Remember to use proper tags, page titles, and descriptions. If there’s a promotional campaign prepared for the site (e.g. guest posting, or some link building campaigns) then making the coming soon page SEO-friendly will surely help the marketing efforts.

Besides, this isn’t even about going to the top of search engines with a coming soon page. This is more about not getting the domain itself flagged/banned before the final site even sees the daylight (something many people forget about).

How about a blog?

The main coming soon page is one thing. But a blog that goes along with it can make the whole site a lot more attractive.

Let’s face it, there are very few reasons why a visitor would want to come back to a coming soon page. There are, however, many reasons why they would want to come back to a blog.

Of course, this is a lot more work, but if you’re working on a coming soon page for a medium- or big company then you can point out such a possibility.

Have it easy, use a special theme

Nowadays, WordPress is among the most popular website management platforms available. What this results in is a big number of themes (free and paid ones) meant to achieve tens of different things. Not surprisingly, there’s also a fair share of coming soon themes.

Even if you don’t want to use any part of the design offered by a given theme, you can probably still use the framework. Such themes often provide quite a nice set of features that will make your work way easier.

Just give it a shot, there’s not much you can lose by testing such a theme quickly.

That’s it for my list of elements of a proper coming soon page. Feel free to comment, tell me what you think, and point out some other elements you find suitable for such a page.

More posts from our team

Previous Post:
Next Post:

Back to all news

Five Star
Reviewed Marketing
5 gold stars
google review logofacebook review with 5 stars
"Excellent service from James at Dental Design, thank you very much for your prompt attention whenever I get in touch! Would definitely recommend to a friend" Alison Tarmey View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "Would definitely recommend to a friend"
5 gold stars
"As a dental practice manager I cannot recommend Dental Design highly enough. They are just brilliant at what they do. Lucy and her colleagues are just an email or a phone call away...." Emma Smith View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "I cannot recommend Dental Design highly enough"
5 gold stars
"Really great company to deal with. They always respond quickly and are truly reliable. I would 100% recommend, the staff are so friendly and helpful." Michelle Molloy View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "Really great company to deal with"
5 gold stars
"I got increased traffic and new patients applying to my surgery, once Dental Design upgraded my website. They are very professional, efficient & adaptive to new situations..." Joanna Gallop View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "Very professional, efficient & adaptive to new situations"
5 gold stars
"Lucy has been a star, responding to and acting upon our requests in a prompt, efficient and professional manner, as well as the rest of the Dental Design team..." Abhay Shah View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "I cannot recommend them highly enough"
5 gold stars
"...Since the website has been up and running Lucy Mander has been our point of contact. She has been invaluable and gone out of her way to help us, especially during COVID-19 lockdown... " Lucy Jones View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "Has been invaluable and gone out of her way to help us"
5 gold stars
"Thank you for all your help and support, and the provision of valuable learning aids for our patients and staff alike in these difficult times. We love the look of our practice website. Very professional!" Sandra Luck View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "We love the look of our practice website. Very professional!"
5 gold stars
"Dental Design stood out both in their knowledge of the industry and their professionalism and can-do attitude. All of their staff are exceptionally competent and knowledgeable..." Harvey Rook View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "Dental Design stood out both in their knowledge of the industry and their professionalism"
5 gold stars
"Having done extensive research into all the dental website companies, the team and package offered at dental design was unrivalled..." Neil Shah View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "The team and package offered at dental design was unrivalled"
5 gold stars
"The team at dental design (especially Rosie) are absolutely fantastic and are always on hand to help. They are professional, friendly and extremely efficient. Rosie always gets back..." KiKi Wilmot View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "absolutely fantastic and are always on hand to help"
5 gold stars
"Dental Design are fantastic to work with, our website is amazing and the support they provide is second to none. Our account manager Rosie L is a fabulous point..." Luke Lucas View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "Dental Design are fantastic to work with"
5 gold stars
"Having worked with the Dental Design team for the last six months, I've found them not only helpful, but friendly and approachable too. I bombard Marcus with regular..." Sophie Harper View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "always met with a swift and professional response"
5 gold stars
desk with branded documents