Publishing Digital (Electronic) Website Launches
How Best to Launch Your New Website . . . Digitally
Let the World Know About Your Site Sure. Mailing a printed press release announcing your new site can get the word out. But mailing takes a few days and people aren't always at a computer when they open your mailed piece. Consider emailing or e-broadcasting to announce your site's launch; it's an effective option that quickly reaches recipients while they're at their computer, ready to visit your site.
Press releases — mailed and emailed — announcing the launch work very well at reaching broader markets. Email is easy to receive and forward to a staff person who covers the particular topic. Establish a list of media contact people at radio stations, TV stations, magazines, and newspapers in your area; contact them to ask if you can send them news of your company's website; if they say yes, add them to your list — always get permission before emailing unsolicited press releases (Spam). Note: See Warren's "Eight Key Elements of a Press Release."
To spread the word to select close-knit groups, send e-broadcasts to specific recipients in targeted groups. For most companies, churches, or organizations, because each delivery medium has unique virtues, it's a good idea to take advantage of mailed press releases and e-broadcasts in tandem. When done right, this approach provides a good overall return on investment.
Have your employees "spread the word"! Ask them to update their email signatures with a "Check out our new and improved site at warrencampdesign.com" note.
Don't forget to use social media to help launch your site. Post your press release link on your Facebook and LinkedIn pages; tweet your launch's big news on Twitter. For Pinterest, pin an image from the site; for YouTube, create a video introducing your new site and include a link to it in the video's description.
Be sure to submit your site's URL to directories of Google, Yahoo, and Bing to get an SE's crawler to your site to maximize its SEO rankings.
Digital launches can be extremely effective at introducing your new site to the world; consider the options. You could email a simple text message with an image of your home page and a link to it. Better yet, have Warren Camp create an attractive, interactive e-message that replicates key features on your home page as well as other pages. There's no limit to the options, as you can see in the following examples of e-launches Warren has developed.
Reminder! While your site's pages are being developed, be sure to provide an advisory to the world using an attractive "Coming soon . . ." announcement page, such as this one that Warren recently created for a church.
Digital Press Releases and E-Broadcasts that Launch Websites
• Click the thumbnail images to see entire press releases.
Formal Text-Only Emailed Press Release
This formal WCD press release includes essential elements.
• Subject Line Start with "RELEASE" or "FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE" in the subject line, making it the first item of your e-message to be read.
• Headline(s) Consider using two brief headlines, the second adding more information that tells recipients what you're announcing.
• Contact Information Put relevant contact information at the bottom of your release.
• Content Don't exceed 400 words; write clearly and succinctly; include newsworthy facts highlighted by subheadings.
• Recipients Send primarily to local media representatives. When applicable, email your release to trade publications.
Graphics Added to an E-Broadcast
When a young South African missionary asked Warren to create a prototype of an email launch to announce major renovations to his website, Warren requested a collection of photos and a draft of the announcement.
He edited three photos, giving them distinct frames and shadows; used a bulleted list to highlight key points; copyedited and proofread the draft, submitting a copy with suggested edits to the client for review and eventual approval; and used colors and a background image to suggest an international theme for the e-broadcast.
When you click the image (right), you'll see the version Warren sent to friends and clients to announce his client's renovated site.
A Launch E-Message Requesting Feedback
After Warren completed the development of a website for an architect, he emailed a request to clients and colleagues asking for feedback before the site was launched. Numerous concerns, comments, and suggestions were received and evaluated by the client and Warren.
Click the image (left) to see how Warren introduced the site and his itemized request for feedback. He integrated photos from the site to balance the page's text and graphics.
The e-broadcast provided links to a variety of pages on which opinions were sought, allowing contributors to easily view and comment on them. Click the links to see what's offered.
Email Updates Prior to the Launch
To attract future visitors to an upcoming website's launch, Warren created an image, using Photoshop, that announced a church's first-ever site. He included it (shown to the right; click to enlarge) in a series of consecutive e-broadcasts to its parishioners, advising them week by week of completed pages.
Click the image to the right; you'll see Warren's first e-broadcast. It announces progress on the new site while encouraging recipients to invite others to his blog so they can learn the latest about page completions and the eventual launch.
If you'd like to see the almost complete website for Big Trees Community Bible Church, in Arnold, California, click here.
Special Emailed Launch Page
More effective than a text-only press release is an email announcement containing photos and hyperlinks to specific pages (shown above in the second and third examples). But when you want to quickly present a site's numerous features in one e-broadcast, Warren can create a special launch page for that purpose.
Click the image to the right; a fully functional web page opens. It welcomes visitors, introducing them to a collection of website features to explore.
In addition to a bulleted list of pages to review, visitors can click images of the then-current newsletter and the organization's photo album and slideshow. Those and other pages are easily accessible — give them a try.
Photos, Text, and Graphics Added to an E-Broadcast
Grab the immediate attention of e-broadcast recipients by including much more than text. Warren used textures and complementary colors to launch a site highlighting the survival struggles of an injured baby eagle and a man with stage-3 lymphoma.
When you click the image (right), you'll see in detail a textured background on which Warren added a diagonally striped fabric, introductory text, four thumbnail photos, and a feature photo with white borders and a soft shadow.
After reading the introduction, recipients click the link that opens the site's web page featuring numerous large photos, the cancer patient's personal account, a video, and a relevant bookmark with a soaring eagle image and a Scripture passage.
Online Launch with a Welcome
Instead of launching a new Bible-study site by e-broadcasting a text announcement to his adult Sunday school classmates, Warren emailed the home page directly to recipients. At the top of his post, he began with a welcome. He then introduced a variety of web page features and recommended that classmates bookmark the page for their convenience.
Email recipients could click links to open key elements of the study, including audio recitations of each Bible chapter; an easy-to-use "Bookmark this page" script; and drop-down links with study questions.
In keeping with Netiquette standards, Warren provided an "unsubscribe" link for those not wanting to receive future notices of the Bible study.
Graphic Design Alone Used to Launch a Site
For graphic designers, there's no limit to what can be created to draw attention to a website launch. Warren first created a teaser image (left) that he broadcast (shown here) to his email contacts. A week later, he announced his launch to them by highlighting a TIME magazine cover graphic (below) that he created with the help of Adobe Photoshop.
Keeping with TIME's title font and bold red borders, Warren added two thumbnail images at the top and a large fantasy image of WCD's office in the middle; included two composite images he created; entered the magazine's date, headlines, and subheads using its customary fonts and styles; and provided 17 links to his site's featured pages.
Try clicking the magazine image now to enlarge it; after it opens, click some of the web page links that allow you to open the site's two most popular pages: (1) WCD's home page and (2) a page featuring a wall calendar Warren created titled "God Is Talking, Are You Listening?" He believes you'll enjoy his soul-searching calendar.
Would you like to appear on the cover of TIME magazine? Warren can make that possible if you have a few great photos and a personal story to tell.
An E-Broadcast Announces the Launch of New Web Pages
To draw people to two WCD web pages, Warren e-broadcast an attractive announcement highlighting ten new graphic designs that he created and added to his popular Scripture Pictures web pages — one page for Old and one for New Testament passages — that he previously launched in this e-broadcast. At that time, he'd completed 90 Scripture Pictures; 45 in each testament.
Recently, having completed and added ten new artistic Bible graphics, Warren e-broadcast this follow-up launch announcement, telling his clients, supporters, and friends that he'd brought the total to 100. (It's now 350.)
Each of Warren's custom graphics combines a Bible passage, appropriate image selection, extensive photo editing, and text styling techniques.
In his e-broadcast was a reminder that his Scripture pictures may be downloaded and used at no cost. He encouraged site visitors who knew someone needing a little "spiritual encouragement" to put them to good use, perhaps forwarding an appropriate Scripture picture to her or him, helping their friend by spreading God's Word.
here Warren Camp has extensive experience creating many types of high-quality business cards, posters, door hangers, postcards, bookmarks, newsletters, brochures, and so on. He enjoys designing and executing print advertising and marketing pieces. See many more of Warren's recent print design productions in the left column. Or see a number of his digital design creations.