So your product is not quite there yet.
You’ll need a few more days or weeks to finalize the details of what will be a smashing hit. In the meantime, you’d like to let your early adopters know that something huge is coming soon, and that they should totally wait for it. While just saying it (emailing, tweeting or texting about it) is a nice gesture, there’s much more you can do to capture that early interest. A killer Coming Soon page, for example.
In this article, you will learn how 20 teams designed amazing coming soon pages that generated interest, signups and future conversions.
01. Bezar: Offer an incentive
Bezar is a colorful design marketplace launched by one of the founders of Fab.com.
Takeaways: When designing Coming Soon pages, consider offering an incentive in exchange for referrals. In this case, Bezar offered to give $10 to both the referrer and his or her friend. In addition to collecting emails from shoppers (above the fold), the site also features a call to action for sellers and brands.
02. Google Calendar: Spark the engagement
Yes. Even Google Calendar needs a Coming Soon page. In this case, the site was designed to announce the upcoming mobile app, which offered an entirely new set of features.
Takeaways: Instead of collecting emails, the team behind Google Calendar decided to ask visitors to watch a video as their primary call to action. And, after watching the preview video, you’ll agree that it’s possibly the best use of their time. Simply compelling. What is the best use of your visitor’s time? How could you best convince them to stay tuned to your launch?
03. Smashing Conference New York: Leverage color branding
Smashing Magazine, a renowned design publication, launched this site to invite potential attendees to register for more information. As you can see, the site didn’t include a list of speakers or schedule — at least not at this point. The goal here was to capture initial interest.
Takeaways: A strong color palette with a few striking tones can go a long way. Smashing Magazine chose several blues and a red accent color to create this illustration. By carefully selecting a color palette you can hint at the product/service/event’s overall branding scheme. If you look at their attendee pack for this conference, you’ll notice that the color palette is preserved.
04. Blogin: Sell the benefits
In 2013, the team behind Blogin decided to create a blogging platform for the corporate world. In this landing page, their main goal was to capture emails from those who were interested in trying it out.
Takeaways: Watch your copy. Aside from including a logo and call to action, users want to know why this product/service matters to them. Blogin succeeded at brand storytelling by placing the bold verbs you see at the top of the page: Create a company blog, Share news with the team, Boost company culture, among others. These actions encompass a manager’s most pressing concerns. By focusing on them, rather than the product’s actual features, Blogin resonated well with its target audience.
05. MyOwnCorks: Send a consistent message
Wine lover? You might just love MyOwnCorks. The site’s goal is to provide a comprehensive search engine that focuses on wines, giving you (the enthusiast) an exciting tool to discover new flavors and experiences.
Takeaways: In this Coming Soon page, MyOwnCorks used one of the most essential consumer behavior principles: repetition. Count how many times you can find the words discover, rate and share. I guarantee more than once. While some of us might think that things only need to be said once, redundancy can help drive a point home — especially at a time when attention is so divided.
06. LandApart: Build a tight community
LandApart is what happens when the sharing economy meets camping & event grounds. In their Coming Soon page, which you can still visit here, they urge newcomers to sign up for an invite. If you were already invited, you can just proceed and sign in.
Takeaways: Adding a layer of exclusivity (like Landapart is doing here) can make your product/service more desirable. Private invites might not work for every team out there, but it’s a strategy worth analyzing and pursuing if you think it will work for your product or service.
07. Tapster: Draw out the message
Tapster allows you to get your food delivered, grab a cab, have your clothes washed, book a hair stylist, order a massage, get groceries, and much more by tapping a single button. Its Coming Soon page offers users the chance to win a prize if they are the first person to use the app.
Takeaways: Minimalism can, believe it or not, send a loud message. In this case, the Tapster landing page uses light fonts, delicate line drawings and a minimal color palette to bring attention to the truly important message: “One tap order for everything”.
08. Slidescamp: Focus on your core selling point
Slidescamp promises to be a library of one thousand ready-to-use slides.
Takeaways: Even when you have come up with a strong brand promise (that one-liner at the top of every landing page), it is helpful to analyze which words within that phrase are most important. These words can be highlighted, just like Slidescamp did with “1000 slides”. Find your main selling point and make sure you are communicating it boldly.
09. Themezilla: Know your audience and earn trust early
You might have heard of Themezilla, as they have become large WordPress theme sellers. This is the Coming Soon page they used back in 2012, when they first entered the web design space.
Takeaways: The conversational tone in this page is everything. “Super awesome”, “Nuff said”, “that sucks” and other expressions might not work for every brand, but they certainly do for Themezilla. The casual language they decided to use in this page, far from creating uncertainty, reinforce a sense of trust. When your product is new and nobody knows about it, trust can be a powerful trigger for purchase.
10. Cellar: Invite early engagement
Back to wine. In this case, Cellar is targeting a different kind of wine enthusiast. A more involved, passionate wine lover that collects bottles at home and needs some kind of system to organize them. Cellar provides it.
Takeaways: The Cellar team made an interesting design choice: besides asking visitors for their emails, they included a small checkbox that you could fill out if you were interested in doing beta testing. Think about it: if they’re already giving you their email, wouldn’t it be smart to go a step further and invite them to test out the product?
11. Cloudresize: Focus on simplicity
This cloud-based service is not around anymore, but when it was it offered valuable lessons about selling complex products.
Takeaways: How would you illustrate a product that hands you a compressed version of an image via cloud servers? You get creative. And that’s exactly what they did. Marian Pop, the designer behind this Coming Soon page, included an actual code snippet where it became evident that the only thing you had to do was add some text in your <img> tag to make it smaller. Anyone who has ever interacted with HTML can understand that. Are you trying to sell a complex product? Think about how it can be visualized simply, and try to minimize the amount of text you use to explain it.
12. Twelve24: Introduce yourself
OK. Maybe your product/service isn’t ready simply because it’s a website and you haven’t been able to finish it or redesign it — depending on your situation. In that case, a Coming Soon page might just let visitors know that something is on the way.
Takeaways: Who is behind this product anyway? Have some fun showing the team behind the effort to bring this site/product/service to life. In this case, you are looking at a band whose members decided to appear tangled up in this colorful Coming Soon page.
13. The Pitch: Don’t marginalize any part of your audience
The Pitch is a podcast that hopes to host startup founders who want to pitch their ideas to potential investors.
Takeaways: This sophisticated, yet simple, solution targeted three different audiences: podcast listeners, interviewees and investors. There is a clear call to action for each of these groups. Does your product/service target multiple users? If it does, are you targeting all of them with your pre-launch messaging?
14. Creative Market: Make signing up the only option
The year is 2012 and Creative Market is about to launch a new marketplace for creators of “handcrafted, mousemade” design.
Takeaways: This Coming Soon page offered all sorts of benefits for those who signed up first; free goods and $5 in credits were some of the perks. In addition, encapsulating the call to action box this way helps draw attention to the center of the page. When your signup input and button are there, it’s in your best interest to lead the eye directly towards them.
15. Visage: Ignite your visual identity
Visage is a tool for data visualization that allows brands to create all kinds of beautiful graphics.
Takeaways: In this interview, the designer behind Visage’s Coming Soon page explains that his main goal was to “maintain brand consistency with the actual Visage product and keep the fonts, colors, and movement consistent throughout.” Are you doing a good job at communicating your brand’s visual identity from the onset?
16. Duolingo: Let your users in on your progress
Duolingo is an online language education platform that helps anyone learn a new language for free. Before the team launched a new course, they set out a production process, from “Hatching” to “Stable”, and broadcast it to their users.
Takeaways: Using a visual metaphor like the owl hatching is a smart technique to draw attention on the progress of your launch. Is there any creative way in which you could show the steps remaining in your own process?
17. Fundrise: Build momentum and keep the focus
Fundrise is a crowdfunding platform (like Kickstarter) that helps a group of people fund real estate ventures.
Takeaways: Adding a counter can force your team to commit to a specific launch date. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing — especially if it helps you move forward! This countdown increased the sense of urgency around launch date, and it can help build momentum around yours too.
18. MovingWaldo: Give your users clear guidance
MovingWaldo is a Canadian company that offers guidance and assistance when you are ready to move. Their landing page is directed at two types of audiences: businesses and individuals.
Takeaways: Type hierarchy can also convey a powerful message. In MovingWaldo’s case, large headings are successful at guiding the visitor throughout the page. “Here’s a description of what we can do” and “Here’s how to reach us” are both straightforward signals that anyone can understand.
19. SquidChef: Add some humor
SquidChef is no longer around, but the company’s sense of humor will continue to inspire us.
Takeaways: This is plain funny. Again, it might not work for every product/service out there, but it certainly adds a sense of personality that is so scarce these days. How can you bring some humor to the wait?
20. Dropbox: Ride the trends
Let’s not forget how it all started. While the Coming Soon pages that I’ve included above are well-designed and carefully crafted, Dropbox’s original site was almost 100% text.
Takeaways: Distribution and design go hand in hand when creating Coming Soon pages. It is useless to spend weeks designing a site that no one will see. Similarly, users have become so design-conscious, that it would be useless to launch a drab site (in 2015) and expect conversion to happen. Luckily, Dropbox launched this Coming Soon page before we all became design-picky.