Essentials of an Effective Coming Soon Page

Several years ago a coming soon page was just a simple standard placeholder with the bare minimum to tell your site visitors that your website was “coming soon”.

Essentials of an Effective Coming Soon Page

Little effort was put into the overall design as the actual website was where most designers’ attention went. With the advancement in many areas like technology and online marketing campaigns, data is showing us how helpful a coming soon page can actually be to our websites especially when optimized to be effective.

Creating an effective coming soon page isn’t as complicated as some may think. Employing basic tools and practices can really take your page to the next level once you understand the importance of each element. The essentials for effective coming soon page vary from website to website but the general consensus is that you need to create a unique design, offer some form of a mission statement, utilize various social media and encourage visitors to subscribe. Before we get into the essentials let’s first discuss what a coming soon page is.

What is a Coming Soon Page?

In short, a coming soon page is a placeholder that announces that your actual website is “coming soon” as it is currently in the process of being created, undergoing a full overhaul or simple routine maintenance work. This type of page is sometimes used interchangeably with the “under construction” page. Some people will argue with you that a coming soon page should only be used by larger companies and the sort, but the truth is that it can be used by anyone. Coming soon pages are often at times minimalistic, just offering enough to inform the site’s visitor about what’s what. These pages can range in design techniques using everything from a basic static page to a page that features something a little extra like flash animation. There are generally three goals of the coming soon page and that is to announce the actual website’s impending launch, offer some explanation of the site’s purpose and to get visitors to return once said site is officially launched. Remember that effectively designed landing pages should not only be visually appealing but they should also create buzz and anticipation.

Create Unique Designs

Coming Soon Page - Create Unique Designs
Coming soon page of sciplex.com

With new websites and coming soon pages being launched on the regular you need to make sure you stand out from the rest. The easiest way to do this is to be original and offer something new and refreshing to your site’s visitors. At one point in time doing the bare minimum for your coming soon page was perfectly acceptable but with the importance of design being realized changes have been made so you should make some as well. Your page should have some form of appeal or a “wow” factor because as mentioned before, the coming soon page is meant to get people interested. Most often than not,thcoming soon page’s design should reflect your personality, if your website is going to be your portfolio, or it should reflect the personality and brand of the company, if the site is being utilized for your business. Design elements that should be given special attention for a unique look are:

  • Color
  • Layout Design
  • Graphics
  • Typographical Content

Most web and graphic designers understand the importance of color. Color in design not only effects a person’s emotion in regards to the site they are viewing but it also helps convey your site’s overall personality. To decide what is the best color or colors for you to use start by researching color meaning and compare each color to yours or your business’s overall meaning. If you have branding materials create a color scheme off of that and remember that contrasting colors are your friends. Utilizing linear and radial gradients with your colors can also help give dynamic to your site design especially if you are using solid colors for your background.

To create a unique layout, first go about looking at recently designed coming soon pages and see how they are composed, then prototype your own design by switching up traditional elements. Skewing elements or placing them in non-traditional areas on your page will give your page a fresh look and original feel. You’ll want to remain minimal though.

Creating your own graphics will definitely put you in a league of your own when it comes to your page design as you can be sure you will be the only one with those designs. Bold colors and stroked lines will pop off the screen, easily grabbing the attention of your viewers. Experimentation is fundamental when deciding what graphical choices will work best for your website. Having unique logo and mascot designs is just as important as well.

Taking a spin on your basic announcement that your page is coming soon gives you an edge over other coming soon designs, plus it will show that you put some thought into your design. Instead of saying that “Creative Coffee is Coming Soon, 02.02.2013” try something more inspired along the lines of “Creative Coffee’s New Page is Brewing, 02.02.2014”. Little small nuances like this make big differences.

Mission Statement

Coming Soon Page - Mission Statement
Coming soon page of itsfirefly.com

A large part of the coming soon page is to explain the purpose of your site so you definitely want to offer some form of explanation for the page’s existence. Failure to give some form of introduction can often times leave visitors confused of the purpose of the site and consequently they won’t come back unless they’re really curious. Opting to just place a logo and name on your coming soon page really does nothing in regards to offering an explanation of your site’s existence regardless of whether your logo and name are well known. Providing some form of a mission statement or purpose of intent can give visitors an idea of whether the final website will appeal to them and be something that they can use in the future. Your mission statement should:

  • Say what’s coming
  • Explain the site’s purpose
  • Create curiosity (optional)
  • Launch date (optional)

To start off first you need to tell people what is coming. Writing “Coming Soon” in a bold, inviting font generally gets the point across but it is still typically not enough. There are a lot of coming soon designs which feature only a logo or some form of design and nothing much else. That includes no site name and no indication that there was a real site coming soon. Other sites go this route but will add a subscription form. Trying to encourage visitors to sign up for a newsletter or something elsewhile promoting a website with only a graphic on it generally does not produce good results. While these types of designs can be intriguing it can also leave people confused and in the end hurt your online campaign for your site.

Whether it is in a couple of sentences or even a paragraph, you most definitely need to give some insight of what your site is about. Writing a three page introduction will result in visitors not reading the information no matter how compelling it might be. You should stick to the basics and leave it as simple as you can. Besides you don’t want to give everything away before the final launching of the actual website. Essentially you just want to write enough to give the visitor a taste of what they can expect.

You’ve heard the saying “curiosity killed the cat” but sometimes curiosity can be a good thing as we all like a good tease every now and again especially if it has a great payoff. If you want to try your hand at the mystique then you can try causing a buzz by being as minimal as possible. Think about launching a viral marketing campaign that features only your logo in animated form.

Though an optional choice, you should consider placing a launch date somewhere on your page. Giving your visitors a set date can typically ensure repeat visitors once your site is launched. The more information you are willing to provide, the better, plus visitors would be more inclined to bookmark your site so they can easily return.

Utilize Social Media

Coming Soon Page - Utilize Social Media
Coming soon page of komastudio.ro

Most people in this day and age are using some form of social media and with the large number of existing networks you have a bevy to choose from. Marketing through social media has proved to be very successful over the years, especially when done sufficiently. Regardless if it’s a personal account or a business account, signing up to social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter will benefit your campaign in the long run. Steps to use the social media networks require the following:

  • Social media icons
  • Promotion
  • Frequent updates

To let people know that you are using social media networks you need to make sure you have the designated icons somewhere visible on your page. You have the option to either create your own personal icons which goes back to creating unique and original designs or you can search the internet for various free social media icons that you can download either in sets or separately depending on your preference. Make sure that each icon is linked to the appropriate site and that the links are working.

Don’t forget to promote the upcoming website through the social networks that you are on and continue even after the site is finally up. One mistake people seem to make is that they neglect promoting and using their social media connections after the initial launch. The launch of your site is just the beginning of everything, keep promoting yourself.

Using social media brings you closer to your site’s visitors and with the newly acquired friends, likes and followers you’ll want to connect even more with them. Use your social networks to keep everyone up-to-date on the site’s progress and when it finally launches. Consider getting a blog, such asWordpress to reach more people, you can keep them updated through your blog as well; just make sure to include a link to your blog.

Encourage Subscribing

Coming Soon Page - Encourage Subscribing
Coming soon page of myseeenapp.com

If you have seen a coming soon page, which most of you probably have, you more than likely have seen some usage of subscription forms being employed somewhere on the website. Most of these subscription forms are meant for you to enter your e-mail address and then submit it in order for you to be subscribed to the site’s newsletter. When you’re creating your website you will definitely want to add a subscription form to your coming soon page as it is one of the best methods to employ when engaging in online marketing. Encouraging visitors to subscribe not only creates a mailing list for you but it also increases chances of revisits to your site. When you plan on adding a subscription form:

  • Explain what’s going on
  • Offer incentives
  • Use your mailing list

Make sure that you explain what your visitors are signing up for; no one likes to give out sensitive information without some form of explanation. Indicate whether the form is for a newsletter subscription or to sign visitors up to volunteer as a beta tester for the site. You might also want to consider providing a message, something akin to “we will never send spam to your e-mail address”.

Some coming soon pages will offer incentives for those who subscribe. The incentives offered change based on what you offer in terms of service. Those who offer products typically will offer a discount or even free trials. If you don’t have a product then you might want to consider putting together a giveaway that will hopefully generate you more subscribers.

Don’t forget to actually use your mailing list as this is another way to keep visitors updated. Though actually sending newsletter and updates to your subscribers is encouraged you will need to regulate how many you send to make sure you don’t send too many that subscribers start unsubscribing.

Conclusion

At the end of the day and when all is said and done your coming soon page truly matters in helping your website become successful. Employment of simple design elements and tactics can take a simple and minimal design and turn it into an effective page that is generating a mass number of visitors and subscribers. Remember to keep your design clutter free, make sure you offer an appealing and unique design that not only informs visitors but also encourages the use of social media outlets and subscription forms.

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