Websites Under Construction: Seeing “Coming Soon” = “Never Coming”

There’s one trend in website design and development that we simply must call attention to. The curse of the “Coming Soon” page! In a world of up-datable content, blogs, and sites that change almost daily, a “coming soon” sign anywhere on a website pretty much guarantees that it’s a feature that is “never coming.”

How often do you get excited about a website, click over to the News section and see an exuberant “Coming Soon!” sign up there? Maybe there’s even an upbeat “Check Back Soon!” added for more dramatic flair.

It’s not your fault. It was probably your web designer’s idea, but it’s a bad one. If you are the web designer who suggested it — stop that!

Here’s our advice for what to do instead.

Get rid of it altogether and plan better.
MSLK is big on planning, which is why in the 15 years we’ve been designing websites, we’ve never needed to have a “coming soon” on any site. That’s not to say that we never add sections — we’re constantly helping our clients improve their site to make it more effective.

The difference is that we plan systems for adding sections and features, rather than making empty promises. To us, a link on a site that leads to a “Coming Soon” is like the end of a rainbow with an IOU instead of a pot of gold. You’d be better off not having a link at all until there’s something actually there.

Still need some convincing? Have you considered what a “Coming Soon” sign on your site is saying to your customers?

  • “I can’t commit to promises.” If you’re wanting to add a new section/feature/gadget to your site, please don’t get my hopes up. Instead, surprise me. Send me an email. Advertise. Tweet  it. But don’t think I’m ever going to remember to check back myself. I never believed you in the first place.
  • “I ran out of money halfway through the process.” It’s like you’re saying,  “As soon as I turn my out-of-control business around, I swear I’m going to get to this. It’s just that it’s on a list of, like, a million other things I hope I can afford to do one day.”
  • “I have parsley in my teeth and, frankly, I’m proud of it!” Hey, it’s totally cool. We get it. You’re that wacky neighbor who still has holiday decorations in his yard in June. You wear two different colored socks. Your left taillight is out. That’s also why your competition is getting your business.

Why does this happen?
Creating a website is lot of work. Once it’s live, most people involved are happy the process is over. Somehow those two little words of “Coming Soon” become an excuse for everyone to move on to other things and never look back. Other priorities take over and before you know it, that section is no longer on your radar. Again this could easily be avoided if there was a clear site map planning phase. That way, you’re clear on the future intentions to launch new sections, but if you just so happen to delay longer than you intended, no one will ever know! Delays happen, but savvy designers and marketers know it’s best to keep future ideas under wrap. Setting goals, meeting them, then promoting them is the key to effective marketing.

Avoid the “Coming Soon” by developing marketing strategies that keep them Coming Back.