There’s nothing better for an ecommerce entrepreneur like yourself than to launch their business to an engaged audience that’s primed to buy.
All your hard work and frustrations to get your Shopify store ready to launch will evaporate after your dashboard shows your first few sales coming in.
But this can only happen if you have built an audience beforehand.
How do you do that?
One way to do that is by using a “coming soon page” on Shopify.
If you aren’t entirely sure what a coming soon page is all about and how you can use it to build an audience before you launch your Shopify store, in the next 10 minutes, you will learn about this and much more.
Let’s get started.
What is a coming soon page?
A coming soon page is a landing page used specifically to promote the pre-launch of a business or product with the intention to generate buzz around either one and capture people’s email addresses.
With the help of a coming soon page, marketers can build an email list before launching the business or product, so they have a captive audience when they open the gates.
Harry’s, a subscription-based grooming company currently worth over a billion dollars, started their business in late 2012 by using a coming soon page that showed their logo and an email subscription box.
By March 2013, they launched their website to an audience that quickly supported their mission. By June, they had raised $65 million in a Series A funding round.
Although their early coming soon page helped Harry’s grow an email list, their design was lacking. Most Shopify coming soon pages have a minimum of a title, an explanation of the product or business, and an email sign-up form:
Coming soon pages are also ideal for presenting your company and products before you actually allow people to buy. You can add a link to a catalog, a pre-sell page, or an Instagram shop.
Another company that used coming soon pages was Indochino, one of the early DTC clothing brands. Their landing page was a bit more robust, including:
- A title that indicated their opening date
- Their value proposition
- A CTA related to their main offering (custom suits)
- A sign-up form to get a “personalized style report”
It’s easy for entrepreneurs to fall into a perfectionist trap. You may think you need a perfectly designed website with professional-grade product photography, jaw-dropping copy, and all the bells and whistles of a seven-figure store.
But before you know it, you feel paralyzed by all the work you need to do; there’s always something else you can do before you start, and so you never launch your business.
A coming soon page breaks this vicious cycle by allowing you to get all your pre-launch marketing campaigns in place — setting up your ad campaigns, creating your social media content up and running, etc. — before you make your Shopify store public or launch a new
With a coming soon page, you can pitch industry sites, network, and generate excitement about your brand and products beforehand. You can also add a pop-up contact or survey form using apps like Getsitecontrol and start collecting feedback from your audience 👇
A unique example of a PR-friendly coming soon page comes from Dollar Shave Club, which used the following landing page before launching their billion-dollar business:
Their landing page was a simple HTML with a short but motivational pitch about why they were launching their business and how it affected their audience. It explained their mission, their offering, and their pricing. With this page, they were able to attract the press, early investors, and their target audience.
What your Shopify coming soon page needs
Although every case is unique, roughly speaking, your coming soon page should have:
- An elevator pitch that summarizes your value proposition — think as if you are pitching people your idea, not selling your products
- A signup form and a CTA to get people to take action
- A popup or floating bar that attracts more people to sign up
Getting people to sign up might feel like the most challenging part, but it’s also the most important one. Why? Because building an audience for Day 1 is the whole purpose of creating a coming soon page.
Although the page you’ll create will have an embedded email signup form by default (more about that in a moment), you can also use Getsitecontrol to add an exit-intent popup and highlight the value of joining your list:
Some other non-mandatory elements that you may want to include are:
- A countdown timer: Timers will lower your audience’s anxiety by telling them the exact time until you launch your business
- A live chat: Such a tool can give you precious customer feedback TK for your launch sequence
- A link to your social media accounts: It’s essential to keep your communication channels open
- Pre-sell: As mentioned earlier, you can add a link to your catalog or a basic ecommerce store where people can see your products before they are available to buy
- An explainer video: Software companies often use them during their pre-launch phase; so can your Shopify business
The whole idea of a coming soon page is that you only present one page. The page should be simple, short, and clear as to what people need to do once they land — that’s to sign up to your email list, participate in a giveaway, tell their friends, or even pre-purchase.
How to create a Shopify coming soon page
To get started creating your own coming soon page, you can:
- Create and modify a password-protected page
- Use a coming soon page Shopify app
The main benefit of the former option is that you can create a page for free in a matter of minutes. The problem is that you can only modify a few parts of your page, limiting your marketing plan.
On the other hand, there are many Shopify apps that allow you to create a coming soon page with all the bells and whistles in a few hours. Although these apps are premium, the costs are generally low.
Let's take a look at how you can use each option in more detail.
Option 1: Use a Password-Protected Page
To create a password-protected page, you need to go to your Shopify dashboard and click on Sales Channels > Online Store > Preferences.
Scroll down to “Password protection,” click on “Enable password,” and define a safe password.
In the “Message for your visitors” field, write the message you want to present to your audience. You have up to 5,000 characters, so take your time to publish something that will generate interest.
Here’s what your coming soon page will look like afterward:
As you see, Shopify automatically adds a sign-up form. However, you may notice that the landing page itself is quite basic. You have no customization capabilities or any other feature you can use like the ones mentioned earlier (e.g., countdown timers, video, etc.).
You can customize your default landing page by editing the template directly. Note that doing so requires knowing Shopify's template language, Liquid, and CSS. If you lack these skills, hire someone to do it for you on Upwork or Fiverr.
If you want to take the DIY way, go to Online Stores > Themes. Then, click the “Customize” button next to your theme.
Click on the three dots at the top left, next to where it says “Live,” and click “Edit code.”
You will be presented with a full list of all your theme files. In the “Search files,” search for “password,” and select the password.liquid file under the Layout folder (the first one in the image below).
This file is the most complex of the two, which is why you will use it to customize your page—the one under the Templates folder only organizes the sections, so you won’t be using it that much. Modify the first file to add all the functionality you need for your pre-launch.
You can also modify some minor parts of your page by clicking where it says “Home page” on the top header menu, and selecting the “Others” option at the bottom of the list and “Password.”
You will be presented with your password theme, which you can customize slightly by clicking the three options at the left — Header, Content, and Footer.
For example, the Header option will let you add your logo, while the Content option will let you change your sign-up form.
Whether you decide to modify your landing page thoroughly or not, by the end of this process, you should have a decent coming soon page to build an audience for your launch. After you open your store to the public, click on the “Enable password” button to disable the password-protected page and remove your coming soon page.
Option 2: Create a unique coming soon landing page
There are a number of Shopify apps that are made specifically for developing coming soon pages. These apps will let you create a pre-launch page to build an audience while you develop your online store behind the scenes.
Coming soon apps give you much more robust design options without having to touch your theme’s code. Three popular coming soon apps are:
Even if these apps are paid, you are only going to use them for a few months before you launch, so the costs shouldn’t be prohibitive in any way.
Once you launch your store, you only need to disable the app and then delete the page that it created, and you will be done.
By now, you may be thinking, “this looks like a lot of work; why should I create a coming soon page when I’ve got so much work to do?”
A fair question, but one that misses the picture. Before you launch your store, you want to have an audience of people waiting for that event to happen. Even if the audience is a few dozen people, even if it’s mostly friends and family, you want to familiarize yourself with the work it requires to grow a Shopify store successfully.
That is, you need to practice your marketing skills such as copywriting, email marketing, and social media, among others. By the time you launch your store, you will be much more prepared to take on the hard work that it takes to grow it until the six and seven figures of annual revenue. It may be a small time investment, but one that will pay off greatly in the future.
Ivan Kreimer is a freelance content writer for hire who creates educational content for SaaS businesses like Leadfeeder and Campaign Monitor. In his pastime, he likes to help people become freelance writers. Besides writing for smart people who read sites like Getsitecontrol, Ivan has also written in sites like Entrepreneur, MarketingProfs, TheNextWeb, and many other influential websites.
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