At first glance, a Coming Soon page appears to be a placeholder, something marginally better than the default someone-bought-this-but-nothing-to-see-here-so-move-along page. Smart people are using it to reduce the pain of uncertainty, get to know their audience, and ensure that when they do launch, they have a successful launch day. Here's a few secrets behind great Coming Soon pages.


1. Know your audience

The number one failure we see, and experience, is not sufficiently defining your audience, and failing to craft a pitched focused on the audience. Too often people believe their audience is "anyone that needs my product", but this is a trap. Your product / service should have very few audiences, probably less than three.

Your product / service should have very few audiences, probably less than three.

2. Focus your pitch

Your Coming Soon site isn't just a digital greeting card or a nice welcome mat. It's your chance to see if anyone will actually buy your product before you build it. You must write, refine, re-write, and re-refine your pitch until it becomes an irresistible offer to your audience. Test your pitch on your audience before you put it on the site, in forms, blog posts, comments, etc. Get feedback from real people to make sure you're meeting a need.


3. Observe your audience

How do you know if they will buy it if you haven't built it yet? Simple, you look for indicators. Two powerful indicators that your pitch is reaching through their built in "crap blockers" is their willingness to give you their email address, and their willingness to tell their friends. Ask users to give you their email address so you can notify them when you launch, and give them opportunities to share your site with other people without leaving.


4. Reach out to your audience

Now you've got dozens or hundreds (or thousands!) of folks on your email list. Should you just ignore them until launch, and hope they still care about you? No way! Use this special pre-launch time to learn more about your audience. Ask to talk to them on the phone, or via Skype. Learn their names, and troubles, and how they hope you can help them. For me this step holds a special kind of magic. Getting to know "your people", person to person, invigorates me beyond anything else.


5. Change accordingly

As I inferred above, your willingness to put your audience first, at the center of your business, may require some changes to your strategy & ideas. As Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch reminds us, we must be willing to "murder our darlings". Those ideas we were so proud to have conceived must be set aside if they do no help your audience.

Those ideas we were so proud to have conceived must be set aside if they do no help your audience.

Focus on listening to your audience, make sure you really care about them (you'll know it in your heart if you do), and then be willing to "pivot" (to use a startup term) in order to meet their needs. Because in the end, meeting their needs is your real business goal.