How to Build the Perfect Coming Soon Page for WordPress in Just 3 Steps

So you’re preparing to launch a new website? Then know this: Building the perfect coming soon page is critical to creating momentum so that your new website launches with a big bang instead of a gentle pfft.

Fortunately, doing so isn’t nearly as difficult as you might think. With careful planning and a healthy dose of hard work, you will witness a veritable fireworks display of user engagement on launch day.

In this article, we’re going to tell you – in three steps – exactly what you need to do when building your coming soon page. Once we’re done, you’ll know exactly where to focus your efforts in order to maximize your results come launch day.

Step 1: Pick Your Objective and Set Your Metrics

First and foremost, before starting any project, you need to have an objective. Your coming soon page is no exception to that rule. It may be a temporary page, but it can have a huge impact on your launch and you don’t want to screw it up!

You’ll notice that I didn’t ask what your objective is. That’s because we already know what it is: You need traffic in the form of fans, customers, and ambassadors. In order to achieve that, you’ll need to establish a line of communication with as many of your website visitors as possible.

Yes, you’re excited to tell visitors about all the great things to come, but what’s more important is capturing their contact information so you can communicate with them at your convenience. So how do you do that?

Pick one of two options:

  1. Build your social media following, or
  2. Build your email list

Trying to decide between social versus email can be tough. There are a lot of arguments pointing towards the idea that building an email list should be your first choice. Not only does the inbox present less competition, but you also own your list and it’s much easier to track from a conversion perspective. Plus, you can always work on converting fans to social followers after you’ve captured their information.

You don’t necessarily need to pick one objective completely at the expense of the other, but you should work towards a primary goal. That goal should then be broken down into actionable metrics which can be formed into a statement of intent. For example:

My goal is to build a 5,000+ strong email list during my pre-launch campaign, which will take place from Monday 29th June to Monday 28th September (launch day). I will convert 3% of unique visitors into email subscribers, which means that I will attract at least 167,000 unique visitors during my pre-launch campaign.

Note the positive language in use: “I will.” It doesn’t hurt to be confident.

Step 2: Build Your Page

Once you have decided what you will achieve, you need to build the entity that will facilitate the enabling of your statement of intent.

As with many things in WordPress, doing so starts with choosing a plugin.

You’ve got many options to choose from, but to make things a little easier, I’m going to narrow down your choice to two:

  • Coming Soon by SeedProd

    Coming Soon offers a feature rich version that is completely free as well as a paid version that borders on awesome. Having tried both the free and paid version on different projects, this is my preferred plugin when ease of use and features are important.

    Interested in Coming Soon by SeedProd?

  • WP Maintenance Mode

    Arguably the most popular of the two examples with over 300,000 active installs, WP Maintenance Mode is easy to use, quick to set up and places the most important features at your fingertips.

    It’s up to you to decide which plugin is right for your specific needs, but either should serve you well.

    Interested in WP Maintenance Mode?

It’s up to you to decide which plugin is right for your specific needs, but either should serve you well.

Step 3: Craft Your Message

A coming soon page puts you at a disadvantage right off the bat, because as soon as people realize there is no website to look at and no content to read, they’re not likely to stick around for more than a second or two. So when people land on your coming soon page, don’t waste any time getting to the point.

You need to deliver your message quickly and concisely. Whether you’ve decided to build your email list or collect social followers, consider offering a bold incentive:

Pitchstock coming soon page
As you might expect, financial incentives can be compelling.

When crafting your message, accept that people won’t be nearly as interested in your story as you are. If you’re going to have a successful launch, you’ll need to be focused:

Shopidex coming soon page
This coming soon page does a great job of clearly communicating the upcoming site’s unique selling propositions in as few words as possible.

When it comes to signing up, don’t overwhelm visitors with choice. My recommendation is that you stick with an email signup to start off with, then invite them to join you on social media when you have them ‘hooked’.

Having said that, if you want to give them the option to check you out on social media, some subtle (yet clearly recognisable) buttons somewhere on the page isn’t likely to do much harm:

Lab Petite coming soon page

Step 4: Launch Your Coming Soon Page

Developing a new website is a time-consuming process. It only makes sense that you use that time to your advantage. Doing so puts you in a much stronger position when the time comes to go live.

Sooner is Better

By having your coming soon page live early on in the pre-launch process, you’ll have more time to build momentum. A 6–12 month lead time might not necessarily be unusual, but bear in mind that you’ll want to keep people engaged throughout your pre-launch period.

Consider the story of Mint.com’s pre-launch phase, as told by Noah Kagan:

Instead of waiting for a product with no customers, when we finally launched we had over 20,000 people BEGGING to use our product. So you’re wondering what we did, aren’t you?

Perhaps the most astonishing fact that can be gleaned from the Mint.com story is that they were bigger than every single one of the competitor’s combined before they launched. That’s the power of an effective pre-launch phase in action.

Promote Like Crazy

Once your coming soon page is live and you’ve started generating visitor interest, you might think it’s time to sit back and relax. Not quite!

You can double up on your efforts by working your plan from the opposite direction. Use social media, networking, and personal connections to drive traffic back to your coming soon page, converting the people who may have entered your funnel from the opposite direction.

This is an ongoing effort, and you should constantly be referring back to your original statement of intent to see if you are on track. If you’re not, clearly you need to make a positive change.

Conclusion

We’ve touched on several points in this article, the most important of which that building the perfect coming soon page should be a very focused process. Your objective is to build a list of visitors, leads or potential customers before you are even open for business. Here are those three steps once more:

  1. Choose your objective.
  2. Build your page.
  3. Launch your page.

Avoid getting caught up in the technical aspects and use speed to your advantage. Then, promote like a banshee. When the time finally comes for your official website launch, you’ll be starting off with a bang.

Have you experimented with creating effective coming soon pages? Did you find that one technique that worked better than others? Let us know in the comments below.