Best practices for coming soon launch landing pages
A coming soon landing page is a sign up landing page designed to generate customer leads for a product or business that does not yet exist. These are some best practices for such pages designed to ultimately make your launch more successful.
1. The sooner you publish your sign up page the better
Finding customers is a combination of art and science. It's going to take longer than you think. Your pitch is not as refined as the idea in your head is. You don't really know if people want buy the thing you're slaving away at. The sooner you publish a landing page for your product the sooner you can:
- Refine your pitch: It takes time and tests to generate a message that resonates and converts the most customers.
- Validate a product market fit: If you can't convert people to leave their email address you are going to have a hard time charging money.
- Uncover distribution channels: Try directing traffic to your landing page from a number of sources and find out which source generates the most customers.
- FIND CUSTOMERS: I'll repeat... This will take LONGER than you think. Start now or launch to crickets... especially if this is your first new product.
2. Tell your story
Unless you're already an internet celebrity with a large following you are going to have to tell people something about what you want them to sign up for. Being stealthy only looks cool, but it generates less signups and paying customers than telling your story. Some tips for telling your story include:
- Make it tweet-able. Sorry, the internet is short attention span theater and you need to be able to fit in.
- Be honest. Let people know if this is real and being built or just something on the back of a napkin that you are testing.
- Problems are better than features. Don't try and win a feature race before you've even launched. You don't have anything yet so why would I think you'll have everything you claim when you launch... Focus on how you are going to make my life better.
- Add a short video and screenshot. As long as they help explain the problem being solved and tease your solution well. Shorter videos are better.
- Longer isn't always better. Just because you can write five paragraphs about your problem space doesn't mean you should. You need only as much content as it takes to tell an effective story.
3. Design your landing page around the sign up.
Keep the primary goal of the page in mind at all times. You want the visitor to sign up. Don't get in the way of that.
- Use links sparingly. Anything that takes them off the form before they have completed it distracts from the goal. You probably have a great blog, an awesome Facebook Page, and a lot more information somewhere... but if I start clicking around I'm not going to come back to fill out the form.
- Only collect the information you ABSOLUTELY need. The longer a form users see the LESS likely they are to complete it. If you really think about it you probably don't need to know their full names, DOB, and mothers maiden name at this point do you?
- Reward sign ups with more information. Once they have signed up you can feed them more information. The thank you message and email is where you can push them to your blog, a longer video, or to a survey you want them to fill out.
- Make the first call to action clear. The sign up area should be distinctly visible from the rest of the page. It shouldn't blend because a user is NOT going to hunt around for it.
4. Design for sharing AFTER the sign up.
After someone has signed up the goal of the page and customer interaction shifts to getting them to tell their friends about you.
- Make it easy. Have a Twitter and Facebook button front and center. These are easy wins.
- Follow up. Did you send the customer and email that explains how and why they should be sharing their unique link?
- Have a clear reward. Why should I tell people about you?
- Let them know they have influence. People like knowing that other people take their advice. If someone shared your link and caused another sign up... tell them about it with a thank you!
5. Engage your sign ups
Once people have signed up you want to keep them interested. The rule of seven states that people need to hear about your product seven times before they are willing to take action and purchase. Take this time, pre-launch, to start building up those customer touches. You can do this by:
- Say thank you after a potential customer signs up with a great autoresponse.
- Learn more about your customers. Capturing an email address gives you someone that may be willing to fill out surveys, answer questions, and give you feedback that will ultimately make your final product more successful.
- Let them in the private beta. Give private beta access to your early sign ups or the ones that have influenced the most other customers.
- Encourage more sharing. Run a contest, offer unique rewards, early access, etc to get people to share more with each interaction.
- Don't go longer than a month without checking in. They'll have forgotten about you and moved onto another solution. Send them information that helps them succeed today even without your product. They will be grateful for it.