Ready for launch? How to announce a website redesign in 10 steps
So, you’ve decided to either build a new website or refresh your current one. You’ve clarified your messaging, perfected your design assets, and optimized your back-end. You’ve done the hard work. Now it’s time to sit back and rel-
Your redesign provides a natural opportunity to re-engage with your customers. And launching your website without a launch announcement is a missed opportunity at best.
At Tiller, we like to think of it this way: if your website is your spaceship, your announcement strategy is your rocket fuel. The more momentum you build, the more likely you’ll reach your destination successfully.
To help you get started, we’re counting down the 10 best website announcement steps we’ve observed (and lived) as website specialists in the SaaS and tech space.
10: Build a website worth launching.
Websites are no longer a side-road on the path to success. High-performing websites are do-or-die in tech and B2B, acting as your 24/7 revenue hub.
The average SaaS conversion rate is 3%. So even a 1-2% increase in conversions can lead to game-changing revenue. But it’s not that simple…
Buying decisions are now heavily influenced and championed by millennials (20 – 35 year-olds) who expect high-quality websites with memorable branding, clear messaging, and fast load speeds. B2B influencers are too sophisticated and too smart to make major investments in technology without doing deep research. And where do they look first? Your website.
Before you even think about your announcement strategy, make sure your website will be worth launching. Hiring a seasoned website agency like Tiller sets you up for success so you can share your new website with confidence.
9: Think through a pre-launch strategy.
Begin at the end. What does a successful website launch look like to you? What about your colleagues in Sales, Marketing, IT, or HR? Remember why you decided to embark on this website redesign in the first place and the major changes or shifts you’d like to highlight to your current audience. Did your brand positioning change? Did your product change? Are you preparing to go upmarket and serve enterprise? Be specific and purposeful in your goal setting, and seat multiple perspectives at the brainstorming table.
Once you’ve established your goals, decide on your website announcement date. Work backward to plan the deliverables, deadlines, and stakeholder involvement required to get you there.
Remember to never announce your website launch the same day you go live. Bugs happen to the best of us. Allow at least one week of buffer time (ideally a bit more) for your development team to resolve any back-end issues before the big reveal.
Tiller Tip: Put thought into when you launch and consider your unique business seasonality. Launching during a peak season can be risky. Launching just prior to peak season is strategic. Give your teams sufficient time to do some early testing and education before you open your website for business at full force.
Depending on your business cycle, we recommend launching your website at the beginning of September, January, or April, rather than mid-season. These natural ‘fresh starts’ inspire new energy and curiosity, increasing the likelihood that your clients will tune in.
8: Rebrand your assets ahead of time.
Purchasing decisions are emotional, even in the B2B space. To make a major sale, customers must perceive you and your brand as consistent and dependable. So, if your website branding has evolved, so should your assets.
To reduce risk (and workload), rebrand your assets in tandem with your new website so that you’re not piecemeal adapting to the customer journey after launch.
And don’t leave it all up to marketing. Every team member is a brand ambassador. Offer internal brand training from logo guidelines to brand voice training to ensure no touchpoint slips through the cracks.
7: Start building anticipation.
Start building anticipation well before your soft launch and official launch. Think of this as your website sneak peek or teaser.
Intrigue your target audience across your channels. Send a save the date email to current prospects, start a countdown on your Instagram, or drop easter egg hints on your Twitter. Weave in some exclusivity and urgency into your copy to get your audience talking (or at least curious).
As digitally loaded humans, we are immune to dull, cookie-cutter marketing. To cut through the noise, it’s important to be intentional with your website announcement. You know your audience best. What would stop their thumb mid-scroll?
6: Explore possible launch ideas and incentives.
Plan the (official) launch day!
Visualize your launch day. Will it be an event or just an announcement? What would your customers actually appreciate? We’ve started brainstorming to help you get started:
- A Zoom website tour
- A week of contests or giveaways on social media
- A targeted email campaign
- LinkedIn ads
- In-mail messaging campaign on LinkedIn
- An open house, in-person celebration
Next, give your customers a compelling reason to care about your website launch. Pad your launch strategy with targeted incentives like:
- Free demos
- Free trials
- A complimentary sales call
- Free audit
- Complimentary swag or food (for an open house event)
Tiller Tip: For higher conversions, prioritize current clients or prospects further down the funnel who are already invested and poised to make a buying decision.
5: Write a blog post.
Share your website journey with the world! Use your blog as a window into the behind-the-scenes of creating a website. Not only is this advantageous for SEO purposes, but it’s also an opportunity to weave your new website into your company story. Dig deep into why your brand exists and where it’s headed. Share your tips and tricks and lessons learned along the way and incorporate multiple mediums in your piece like videos and before and after screenshots. Get into the nitty-gritty and the emotions.
Tiller Tip: Add a survey call to action (CTA) at the end to collect anonymous website feedback from your clients.
Need some inspiration? Read our own website redesign launch announcement from January 2021.
4: Write a press release.
Expand your brand reach with a press release. Build an email list with your local news outlets and trade publications, then draft a press release a few days in advance of your hard launch date so that you’re ready to click send the day of. Pack it with essential information and tailor your message to your ideal audience. Be clear, not clever.
Remember, reporters are hit with a flurry of pitches and press releases every day. Keep it skim-friendly and value-driven to increase your chance of being featured. After your official launch, archive your press release on your website for easy access and SEO.
Looking for an example? One of our clients, Planet DDS drafted a press release in June 2021. Read it here.
3: Highlight the new website value for key clients.
When it comes to B2B, high touch is best. Use your website relaunch as an opportunity to reconnect with or engage key accounts. Pull out relevant information on the website and customize it to your client and their business. Flag helpful pages on the website and go over your revamped service messaging or features. Always use their first name and be as personal as possible.
Tiller Tip: Take advantage of video tools like Soapbox, Vidyard, or Loom to create personal website tours for your priority clients. Pre-record yourself walking the client through the website, pinpointing relevant information, and tying in what would be of value to them and why. We suggest adding your client’s name to the title of the video and email subject line to increase engagement.
2: Celebrate your website team.
Like any investment, hard work pays off. And your team likely put in a lot of effort, whether directly helping with the website or updating assets. Share your success with the people that made it happen. This includes your marketing, sales, and product teams as well as the agency you partnered with.
1: Blast off!
Congratulations! Your website is ready for lift-off.
You’re likely somewhere between nervous and excited. In the eleventh hour of a website launch, there’s often a lot of second-guessing. Is the messaging too bold? Are the images on brand? Try to avoid last-minute changes and panic. Trust the process and the experts. After launch, you can and should continue to iterate. Websites are designed to be nimble and adaptive.
Measure your results and optimize your content based on what works and what doesn’t. Look at bounce rates, website traffic, and conversions. Launching a website isn’t rocket science, but it is an experiment.