Launching a new website can feel like earning a degree or having a baby. It is a big deal and you beam with pride and people are generally happy and encouraging.
A website launch can be a great marketing opportunity, here’s how to NOT let it go to waste. Here are our best website launch ideas gleaned from hundreds of launches,
Let People Know About Your New Look
If you have people that come to your website often, it might help to ease them into a new and unfamiliar experience. Change can be a great thing but (often) people don’t like change.
Launch Ideas to Spread the News
- Make sure to build the excitement internally first! Share the new website launch company-wide first and your employees can become a “street team” for also sharing in the following action items.
- Email people – this can be one-by-one to your closest clients and peers or more generally to an email list
- Write a blog post announcing the site launch. You can then link to this in your email from above
- Share the news on Social Media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)
- Add a link in your email signature mentioning the launch
- Is there local or industry PR you could reap? (think chamber of commerce, local newspapers, and industry associations)
- Try a good ol’ Press Release
Don’t forget stakeholders, vendors, and collaborating companies!
It might even be good for buy-in to ask for feedback at different stages of a launch.
Having a new site is a great excuse to reconnect with customers or people you haven’t touched base with in ages. In relationship marketing, having legitimate touchpoints is so helpful. People want to know you care about them and most people are truly encouraging if things are going well for you.
Commemorate the Launch Occasion
Your new website was a big investment for your team in terms of planning, building, and launching – at all points, your team was likely very involved in the process. There is a lot of emotional investment from all the blood (hopefully not!), sweat, and tears. So make a big deal of this occasion.
We really don’t recommend breaking a bottle of champagne over a laptop…
However, it might be a great excuse to throw a company party or at least break out some cupcakes. One recent launch the company held an employee picnic complete with silly games, cupcakes, t-shirts, and company-branded sunglasses!
Don’t Be Afraid to Communicate the “Why” for Your New Website
What you do with communicating “why you rebuilt your website” will vary by industry. Our industry and personal preference tends toward the highly transparent side. For example, maybe you built your site to reach new customers or target market. Or maybe you realized your old site wasn’t doing everything it could to best serve your existing ones.
Don’t be afraid to point out the new areas that you worked hard to improve. Here are some to jumpstart your thinking….
- Better mobile or tablet experience for the X% of your traffic that is using a smaller screen device.
- Product lines or service offerings changed?
- Easier ways to contact the right person
- Added an area of documentation or FAQs?
- Do you now have a blog or an email blast list?
Timeline of a Well-Executed Website Launch
Like a wedding or birthday party, what you do before and after execution is almost as important as the actual event. Here is how our agency tends to approach launches:
1. Pre-Launch Teasing
It might be fun to share coming soon notes on Social Media or in email newsletters. Make this fun, use memes, clever graphics, and show some humanity gosh darnit.
2. Pre-Launch Review
This is when your key team is reviewing the website and making sure the messaging is on-point, there are no glaring spelling errors or broken user paths. This is a great opportunity to get more of the company that wasn’t directly involved in the process invested in the new site and excited about the new website that is about to launch.
3. Soft Launch
Your technical team (maybe us!) will actually stand up the new site. For some launches there is a period of DNS propagation that can take anywhere from 30min to 48 hours. Our preference is late evening and even Friday night soft launches if possible In the Soft Launch period you might send the link to a wider circle of employees, key partners, and your best customers.
This is the day you really start to make noise! Host your party, share the news, get pumped up.
5. Post Launch
Make sure to quickly squash the inevitable spelling errors and bugs that crop up. Monitor the analytics. And then keep improving the site – don’t let it go stale!
Our team works off of a massive launch checklist (we’ll share soon!) but one thing to make sure you do is to make note of the launch date so you can compare traffic, leads, etc. We usually make an annotation in the Google Analytics for the website launch.