Starting a new website? Here’s why you need a coming soon landing page — and how to create an effective one for your new project.
Bonus material: Get access to the exact marketing plan Noah Kagan used to launch Mint — and copy it for your business launch.
If there’s something we as humans fall short of, it’s estimating how long a job will take.
In theory (see: an ideal world), everything is a 5-minute job. In reality, most things take much longer than anticipated, especially when it comes to building new websites.
“How long can it actually take? It’s just a few pages, right?” A few weeks later, you’ve still got a few more pages left to complete, and a few more hairs missing from your head.
An example of an unfinished/broken site
When customers look at an unfinished site or a blank site (not sure which is worse), it’s usually a bad sign for business. Those potential customers will likely never revisit your site once it’s finished. That’s because they’ve already formed their opinion of your site as broken or incomplete.
We don’t have any secret sauce to speed up your site development. But we can show you a fast and easy first step when building a new site.
It’s called a coming soon landing page! With this quick solution, you’ll put most of your worries aside and get customers from day one. You can build it in minutes and do long-term wonders for your business.
Maybe it sounds obvious, but there are many hidden advantages to coming soon pages that most marketers don’t consider.
Today, I’ll walk you through why coming soon landing pages are important and how to create an effective one for your website. Let’s get started.
- What Is a Coming Soon Landing Page?
- Why We Need Coming Soon Pages
- How to Create Your Coming Soon Landing Page
- Bonus Tips to Make the Most Out of Your Coming Soon Page
- What’s Next When Your Site is Ready?
What Is a Coming Soon Landing Page?
In technical terms, a coming soon page is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a landing page that provides a hint of what to expect.
What’s special is who sees it. Early visitors want a sneak peek into your “store” before you open it. Think of a new Apple Store or people lining up around the block for the new Supremes.
We all want to be first! A coming soon landing page takes advantage of that human behavior and allows you to benefit from it.
A coming soon page is a placeholder for your new, soon-to-be site. It tells visitors you’re up to something, makes them curious, and leaves them wanting more. That allows you to interact with and engage visitors, ensuring that they’ll be back once you’re open for business.
Here’s an example of a simple coming soon page that collects visitors’ emails long before the site is built.
Why We Need Coming Soon Pages
You might be wondering why this simple landing page is preferable to having your users stare at a blank page hoping your site will go live any minute. (Besides the obvious.)
More Flexible Deadlines
When the digital store window is empty and people are eagerly awaiting your launch, the deadlines can be scary. You might feel pressured to get your website out there before it’s ready.
However, when you deploy a coming soon page, you can get things done exactly on your own terms and your own pace. That’s because a few extra days of delay won’t make much of a difference.
The coming soon page will do the job for you, greeting visitors and giving them a preview of what your business is all about.
Great For Generating Leads
Email is still one of the most critical marketing channels any business can have.
If you only start collecting emails once your website is fully deployed, you’re already losing the battle. Why wait when you can put a form on a coming soon page that’s already getting visitors?
As you saw in the example above, there’s absolutely no excuse not to collect emails straight away.
Even letting people know your site is finally live is an excellent excuse to grab people’s email addresses and send them that beautiful first welcome email.
Google Will Love It
What’s good for visitors is good for Google. We’re way past the age of “optimizing for Google” and trying to trick the algorithm. That just means we’re ignoring making the site better for those who it’s meant for – visitors.
And why do visitors love coming soon landing pages? They’re short and to the point!
With the average attention span getting shorter and shorter by the day, boiling down your whole site to just one page is a format many visitors will appreciate before getting into your full site.
As soon as your page starts getting traffic and social signals, Google will pick up on that and rank your site higher. Once the whole site is up, it’ll have a leg up by immediately starting with healthy traffic. The same goes for collecting emails — starting early is the key!
Behind the Landing Page, It’s Business As Usual
Perhaps the best thing about a coming soon page is that while visitors see the coming soon page, you can still see the new website while it’s under construction.
This is a standard feature for most WordPress Coming Soon plugins that allows you to continue working on your site in peace without worrying about what visitors see.
If you’re worried about messing up or breaking the site, don’t worry. No one but you (and those who you give permissions) will be able to peek behind the curtains.
While a coming soon page won’t directly help you build a new site, it’ll help you hide all the dev mess from the general public.
How to Create Your Coming Soon Landing Page
It’s super easy and fun to make a coming soon landing page yourself. There’s no need to waste time searching for expensive developers or learning how to code either.
If you use WordPress, we’ve got a quick shortcut for you. With the Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode plugin currently available on AppSumo, you’ll be done in a half-hour, tops.
Here’s a quick walkthrough of how to use the Coming Soon plugin.
Step 1: Download & Install the Plugin
The first step after getting the lifetime deal on AppSumo is to download the plugin. Log in to the Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode dashboard, where you’ll find the download link.
Then navigate to your website, hit the Plugins menu item and Add New.
Next, hit Upload Plugin.
Once installed and activated, simply enter the license key that you can always find in the dashboard (or create a new one).
Step 2: Choose a Theme
The plugin settings can be found on Settings > Coming Soon PRO, where you’ll discover pre-made themes. Scroll through 170+ templates, preview the ones that catch your eye, and activate your favorite!
Step 3: Modify the Theme
Once a theme has been activated, you’ll be able to modify only the parts that you want. For the purposes of this tutorial, let’s change the logo and copy displayed right above the newsletter form.
Go to Design > Logo and upload your company’s logo. If necessary, adjust its dimensions, and don’t forget to write a title for SEO purposes.
Then open up Design > Content where you can write your own copy. If you want, this is the place to change the font type, size, and color instantly.
Don’t forget to save changes, and preview the modified version of the theme.
Step 4: Connect with Your Email Marketing Service
Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode allows you to connect any email marketing service of your choice. But in this example, let’s assume you’re using MailChimp.
To connect to MailChimp, all you’ll have to do is open the Autoresponder & Email Services settings tab.
Select MailChimp from the drop-down menu, and paste the API key from your MailChimp account. As soon as you save changes, the Audiences list should show up, where you will be able to select the one to store the new subscribers.
Once you’re done, don’t forget to save changes.
Step 5: Publish Your Coming Soon Page
That’s it. You’re done!
Preview your theme one more time just to make sure you’ve got it all right. If you’re happy with the result, find the Coming Soon Status button on top, and publish the page.
It’s now visible to the public, ready to greet new visitors and collect emails from them.
Bonus Tips to Make the Most Out of Your Coming Soon Landing Page
1. Leverage Other Platforms for Social Proof
Got 100K followers on Instagram? Great! Leverage that and connect the coming soon landing page with your social profiles. Your first website visitors may not know much of a significant influence you are on Instagram.
That’s why icons and buttons on your page can easily direct your new audience to your existing social media profiles, where you can interact and engage with them.
No matter what theme do you choose, you can quickly add social media icons to it.
To enable the social media module, go to Design > Layout, and find the social media module. Click the little plus sign to add it or drag & drop the module where you want it to appear.
The next step is to modify the module by going to Design > Social Icons, where you can select the size & color of the icons.
Here, you can also add new icons, choose the icons, and the most important part — add a link to your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media you want.
After saving changes, click on the Preview button. You should have something like this:
This is one of the best ways to build trust from day one and demonstrate that real people are behind this new business.
2. Tease Your Visitors to Build Anticipation
Just like the post-credits scene of a Marvel movie, you want to hype up your visitors and get them talking.
For example, create a giveaway, show some blurred product images, and make them want more. You can do all that by placing a simple coming soon page that takes less than an hour to set up.
Another suggestion? Record a short video, either explaining something or simply starting to unbox a product. Then stop recording and keep your viewers wondering. But don’t forget to tell them to come back when everything is ready. This is another chance to get their email!
Let’s find out how you can build that using Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode.
First, find a theme that comes with the two-column module. That way, we can quickly edit it and show two products with blurred images.
Activate the theme by clicking on the button, so it gets loaded into the editor.
Open Design > 2 Column in order to add the images. Click on the editor to delete the placeholder imported by the template, and then add images by selecting the Add Media buttons.
Now open the main content (currently, the one displayed above the images), and change the text.
You can ask people to leave their email address to participate in the giveaway to win the mysterious new flower pots in this example.
Since the original template didn’t come with a subscription form, you’ll need to add one yourself.
You can easily do that by opening Design > Layout. Then just drag and drop the subscription form to a desired location on the page.
Feel free to edit the form, too. Modify placeholders, change the colors, write a new subscribe button text, and save changes once you’re ready.
Once you’re done, you should end up with something like this:
Even when you yourself don’t have too much info about your new product or service, you’ve still got more than enough to build a coming soon page.
Don’t have a logo yet? Use the same colors that your brand will use. Don’t have a product image? Show a box intentionally blurred out. Don’t have paragraphs of clever sales copy? Just write one clever headline.
Make sure you put what you do have to good use today!
What’s Next When Your Site is Ready?
So your site’s done and you’re ready to show it to the public? Great news! Then it’s officially time to take down the coming soon landing page and enjoy the magnificent site you’ve created.
If you’re using a plugin like Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode, make sure you check the built-in site stats first. You’ll be able to see how much traffic you were getting (and from where) even before launching the site. You can do it from the plugin, or remotely from the Coming Soon Dashboard.
The Coming Soon plugin for WordPress comes with built-in site stats to show how many visitors your page gets.
Once you’re ready to go, turn off coming soon mode, which will instantly reveal your brand new site. Congratulations on your launch!