There’s a question common to both start-ups and established businesses. What should visitors see when they go to your website, but your new website isn’t ready? I actually think this is the wrong question. Ask instead, “What should visitors do when they find your coming soon page?”
Here are eight ideas for coming soon pages that encourage interaction in ways that run the gamut from minimalist to technical. You’re sure to find one that fits your business.
The Riddle (Wrapped in a Mystery)
New products and services benefit from a bit of mystery before they launch. Curiosity can be a powerful motivator for highly engaged audiences, as in technology, books and music and other creations that attract fans. Especially if the new site is an extension or the next in a series that provokes speculation. Before releasing your finished site to the world, tease it with a page that may be a simple logo or illustration and teaser text.
You’ll also want to invite visitors to sign up for updates. When the site’s finished, send an announcement to jump-start a stream of visitors on day one. Any of the ideas below work great with an email capture form too.
Do you have a launch date finalized? Think about adding a countdown timer to your teaser. This builds anticipation for your launch day and adds additional visual interest. Keep it simple though. If you’re doing a countdown, make the counter dramatically large and keep all other information to a minimum.
Make your visitors work a little to get information about the upcoming site. Quizzes are immensely valuable for both tweens discovering which princess they are most like and consumers looking for guidance in buying decisions. A short, easy quiz is fun to interact with and should provide value to the visitors. Quiz responses can be great insight into your audience information. And make sure to require an email addresses before showing the visitors their results.
While your site is under construction, your business can still be active on social media. Whether you’re just building buzz or diving deep into customers’ lives, your activity on these platforms gives customers an idea of what your business and website will be like in the future.
Display your Twitter or Instagram feed on your coming soon page. Display the latest post from each or just the icon linked to your profile. If your brand is tearing it up on social media, bring that same energy to your website’s coming soon page.
Contact information is critical. For many small businesses, the most important thing for website visitors to do is pick up the phone and call. For a new business that serves customers from a storefront, address and map data is just as important.
Design a coming soon page that includes a logo, a prominent phone number and an embedded map from Google. Don’t worry too much about fancy design, just give visitors the information they’re looking for to make contact.
Let’s get back to ideas that build your database of contacts. Inbound marketing is a powerful tool for business growth. Landing pages which offer access to content in exchange for visitors’ information are the foundation of your inbound strategy. What if your coming soon page was your business’ first landing page?
Develop a worksheet, checklist, or even an e-book and offer it as a download in exchange for an email address. This content could even build anticipation for your site by profiling the problem your product or service solves. A checklist could help visitors prepare equipment or documents they’ll need to make a purchase or participate in your program. The point is to give a preview of the value your site will provide in the future.
Blogging is another pillar of inbound marketing. And you don’t need a finished website to get started. Simply augment a basic blog theme with your logo and brand colors. Put your contact information in the header or a sidebar along with an email capture (of course).
While a prominent notice should make it clear this isn’t the final homepage design, blogging will build your website’s authority right away. Use your blog to answer questions, solve problems and show you know your stuff. When the rest of the site is finished, keep the blog and just move it to its permanent place in the navigation menu.
Some audiences need more than a teaser and a countdown. And an early start to blogging might not be an option for you. Don’t be afraid to go long. Try a lengthy coming soon page that includes email capture. This is essentially a sales page, but written for your whole business. Keep your sentences short and scannable. Despite the page length, there’s no need for deep detail. Make the phone number prominent and invite interested parties to call for more information.
Any of these ideas spark your imagination? Have any cool page ideas you can share? Talk to us in the comments.
Of course, if you already have a site, you can just leave it up while the replacement is being built. Unless your old site is so bad, so ugly you can’t live with it a minute more. That happens. Take our quiz to see if your site is awesome (or awful).