Creating an effective Coming Soon page may seem like a nuisance at first, but in all honesty, it doesn’t take that much to build and can provide surprising benefits. Most “Coming Soon” pages are designed with very little thought or effort, as most designers focus their attention on the main “meat” and impending launch date of their sites. Luckily, we now have access to data that illustrates very clearly how important a well-designed “Coming Soon Page’ is for your brand.
Once you understand a few important concepts and components, you can take your page to a whole new level. Like most design work, the elements in your “Coming Soon” page will vary from site to site, but most will agree that you need to create a unique, appealing design, offer some form of a mission statement, utilize various social media platforms, and encourage visitors to subscribe.
What is a “Coming Soon Page”?
Basically, a “Coming Soon page” is a placeholder that announces that your actual website is “coming soon,” whether it be just launching or undergoing maintenance. Some feel that only large companies benefit from a “Coming Soon” page, but the truth is that it can be used by anyone. “Coming Soon” pages are often minimalistic, but this keeps the focus and fits messaging into a visitor’s very limited attention spot.
These pages can employ various design techniques, from a basic, static page to dynamic sites with real-time information updates.
“Coming Soon” pages usually have three goals in mind: to announce the actual website’s impending launch, offer some explanation of the site’s purpose, and to persuade visitors to return once the site is officially launched. Remember that effectively-designed landing pages should not only be visually appealing but at their best, they should also create “buzz” and anticipation.
Why you Need a Coming Soon Page
When it comes to design, you will need a way to excite visitors without having your full website in effect. The easiest way to do this is to be original and offer something new and refreshing to your site’s visitors. 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. Your landing should reflect your brand’s personality. Design elements that should be given special attention for a unique look are:
- Layout Design
- Typographical Content
Most web and graphic designers understand the importance of color. Color in design not only subtly effects a viewer’s emotions, but it also helps convey your site’s overall personality. To determine the best color or colors for you to use, start by researching the color meaning and compare each color to your brand’s colors. If you have branding materials, start with the provided color scheme and remember that contrasting colors enhance appeal and readability. Utilizing linear and radial gradients with your colors can also help create dynamism on 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 (we have several below) and study how they are composed. Then, prototype your own design by implementing traditional elements to suit your specific purposes. Skewing elements or placing them in non-traditional areas — while occasionally in violation of best practices — will give your page a fresh look, an original feel, and could create a “double take” effect that fosters the attention you’re looking for. You’ll still want to remain minimal though, especially if you have limited content and information to offer.
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 utilizing that imagery. 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 a unique logo and mascot design is just as important as well.
Avoid generic copy. Try several unique, personalized attempts at your basic announcement. It will illustrate that you put some deliberate thought into your design. For example, 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”. Small nuances like this can make big differences, which can be measured by your traffic data.
The primary purpose 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 by the purpose (or lack thereof) of the site, and they 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 brand 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, but ideal)
- Launch date (optional, but ideal)
Plain and simple — you need to tell people what is coming. Writing “Coming Soon” in a bold, inviting font generally gets the point across, but it is not specific enough to elicit any excitement or curiosity. There are a lot of “Coming Soon” designs that feature only a logo or some form of illustration and not much else. That includes no site name and no indication that there was a real site coming soon. Other sites lack the same persuasion, but they add a subscription form and simply hope it gets filled out. Trying to encourage visitors to sign up for a newsletter or something else while 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 a couple of carefully-written sentences or even a paragraph, you most definitely need to give some insight on 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 your messaging as simple and condensed as it can be. 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 this mystique and try causing a buzz by being as minimal as possible. Think about launching a viral marketing campaign that features only your logo in curiously-animated form.
Though an optional choice, you should consider placing a launch date somewhere on your page. Giving your visitors a set date can manage expectations and 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.