In the midst of a website redesign project, pulling together a 'coming soon/teaser' page feels like a non-critical task and never quite manages to get crossed off the to-do list.
Well, get ready, because we’re about to make it easier to complete and upgrade your site’s 'coming soon' page from ‘non-critical’ to ‘something-you-should-definitely-have’. We’re going to show you why it’s important to have a quality coming soon page, and how you can easily design one.
Why build a teaser at all?
It’s a fair question – after all, isn’t it better to put all of your resources into your website proper, so it’s the best it could possibly be? Well, yes and no. First, the ask to build a teaser page isn’t huge – it doesn’t need to take very long. And second, there are sound marketing, SEO, and design reasons to do so.
Marketing can be one of the biggest beneficiaries of a coming soon page. It tells customers what you have upcoming, giving you an opportunity to build buzz. One example could be a new product launch where a teaser page would be a good way to build some excitement around the release and drive pre-orders.
Second, a coming soon page gives you the opportunity to push your new product or service out to a larger audience by giving you an asset to share across social media. Finding a way to reward early visitors for shares is another way to further kickstart your launch, as well as creating another opportunity for engagement and data collection at that critical early stage.
Finally, coming soon pages provide you an opportunity to collect data from your eager, early-adopters in the form of a subscription, giving you a small database of contacts to engage when you as you work towards, and complete your launch. For example, you might send out an email each week before your product is released with a message such as ‘stay excited, we’re almost there!’ to maintain or build interest.
The longer your new URL is up and live, the better your SEO is going to be. Even if there’s only a little bit of interaction on-site, you will benefit from having some longevity behind your URL or domain. From an SEO perspective it’s more valuable to get something live – even if it’s just a teaser page – as soon as possible, then not starting from scratch when your full site actually launches.
User Experience Reasons
Lastly, there are sound UX reasons for building a teaser page. You can use it to educate visitors about your product, informing them about your service and how it can help them. It’s also a good opportunity to start sharing some content with visitors to further encourage engagement.
Plus, a teaser page is a good place to start some simple A/B testing with copy, fonts, CTAs, colours, and more – gathering insights you can bake into your actual website.
So, there are ample reasons to design a teaser page: you can use it to start marketing your product, it’s a great (and basically free) start for your SEO, and it’s a good opportunity to introduce customers to your brand, building trust through a positive UX.
So How Are You Going to Actually Do This?
How to Design a Teaser Page
There are a couple of different routes you can take to get a great teaser page. The important part is to pick what route you’re going to take, decide how you’re going to measure it, and then fully commit to it.
The Offer Route
The offer route is when you entice people to enter some data in return for a special sale, or discount when your site actually opens. This is a pretty straightforward plan and particularly suited for e-commerce sites.
From a marketing perspective, the pros are that you’re likely to get a lot more traction with your site launch, as you’re actually giving visitors something, as well as opening the door for further communications.
The downside, of course, is that those discounts can add up fast, and take a bite out of your profits – especially if you’re a new business operating on thin margins already.
One company who did this exceptionally well was 14wp, who offered a discount at launch in exchange for an email address. Very straightforward, but also very effective.
The Content Route
The content route is a little bit more like a classic lead generation landing page for the sales funnel. It’s the same principle as the offer route, but instead of giving away a discount or product, you give away a piece of content, something like a whitepaper or video.
The only con is that the perceived value has to be high enough that people will ‘pay’ for it with personal data.
The Subscription Route
This is one of the most popular marketing tools used for teaser pages. Basically, it’s a simple page that explains why the site is down (e.g. we’re launching soon!), and gives users the opportunity to enter their email address to receive some communication when the site officially launches.
For example, prior to ChartVote’s launch they had a simple teaser page to entice people to enter their email address. Very clean, very simple.
The ‘Coming Soon’ Route
Of course, you can always opt for the ‘coming soon’ route. This is the cleanest way to tell visitors that your site is on its way, it just needs a little more time. Of course, while the communication is clear, the downside is that a coming soon site isn’t very engaging for the user, and is unlikely to be shared or drive any action. However, for some sites, a simple message is enough.
One way that some companies work to make this idea a little more engaging is with countdown timers. One example of this is the temporary ‘Coming Soon’ page created by Apidura:
Apidura’s coming soon page had a days/hours/minutes/seconds countdown timer and a CTA to enter an email address to get notified with they launched. Clean and elegant, the countdown time sets expectations for the visitor and compels action very effectively.
We believe that 'coming soon/teaser' pages are worth the relatively small investment to build when you consider the benefits you receive from them, such as:
- Establishing marketing channels early
- Building and deepening your relationship with your customers before you’ve actually sold anything
- Giving your launch just a little bit of a boost
- Building your SEO
- Enhancing the user experience
For something so easy to do, we say, why not?