If you want your website features to make visitors stick around, you have to keep them engaged. From catchy and informative copy to imaginative images and gifs, splash pages are meant to tease your users before entering the main homepage.
What is a splash page?
A splash page, or splash screen, is a large window that appears before a user enters a website. The splash page provides a simple intro message, promotes a product or event, offers exclusive deals, or even warns users of necessary information. It generally consists of a sentence or two, an image, and an exit link.
Before you get too many ideas, it’s also important to note that it’s different than a landing page.
What is the difference between a splash page and a landing page?
A splash page is an introduction to your site and its contents. The goal of a splash page is to inform the user, often driving them to a specific call-to-action. A landing page is a standalone page on your site. The goal of a landing page is to make the user convert, whether it be to download, subscribe, or even buy.
In short, landing pages and splash pages can both feature similar content and structure but have entirely different goals. It’s all about the overall user experience.
Splash page design elements
Your splash screen design should include eye-catching visuals, minimal copy, and a strong call-to-action. Don’t forget about user intent and experience.
Your visitors are coming to your site for a reason, so it’s important not to impede their path too much with your splash page.
Your visuals have to be enticing enough to make your website visitors actually stop and look at the window, instead of just scrambling for the exit. What’s going to appeal to the majority of your users?
The visual design element of splash screens could be simple background photos, specific product images, or even a video or animation.
Actionable copywriting is key. You only have one or two sentences to get your point across and encourage your visitors to take the next step. Think of your splash screen as a billboard for your website.
Take a step back and think about whether your splash screen is absolutely necessary. What is it offering that the homepage or other pages on your site can’t? Your messaging should never be redundant to your site’s content.
A call-to-action should be at the center of your splash page’s mission. It should help your users more than it hurts their original need for your site. They weren’t expecting this step in the process, so make it easy – and maybe even a little fun. A splash screen call-to-action could be age verification, content warnings, email subscription, event information, offer details, new product announcements, and more.
Along with the CTA your splash screen should have an exit intent in case people aren’t picking up what you’re putting down. If you don’t offer an easy exit route, people will bounce from your site altogether.
TIP: Creating a splash page is different in every website builder. See what real users are saying about their favorite software!
15 splash page examples
There are tons of different types of splash pages to pull inspiration from. These examples of splash pages have varying use cases, goals, and designs.
1. Blue Dolphin Charters
This page by Blue Dolphin Charters gives visitors a sense of wonder, which is exactly what they are seeking in researching this type of adventure. The simple messaging is secondary to the large background photo that covers the clever splash screen.
2. Schmoll Creative
Schmoll Creative’s minimal splash page says a lot without trying too hard. It’s clear and concise and gives you a good idea of what the agency is all about before seeing a single piece of their work.
Puma welcomes site visitors with options. If users know exactly what they are looking for, they can select the “shop Puma” option. Browsing customers can get more information about the brand by clicking on the “experience Puma” CTA.
4. Portfolio - Robert Uinluan
Splash pages can be great for a personal touch, too. This messaging is simple, yet bold. It makes you stop and read. It’s a combined summary of his personality and his work, putting the visitor at ease.
Sign-up & registration
5. J. Crew
J. Crew’s page offers users an exclusive offer just for signing up for their membership program. This splash screen example is unique in that it actually gives visitors two exit links – the X in the top right as well as the “Keep shopping” link near the bottom.
6. Minute Race
Minute Race’s splash screen is fun and perfectly on-brand. It speaks directly to their value as a product, plus it’s fast to fill out. Smart copywriting wins every time and it’s no different here. This product isn’t even fully available yet and this page makes me want to sign up.
7. Gimme Some Oven
This splash screen from Gimme Some Oven is an awesome example of how to entice your visitors – tacos included. Featuring an image with a big bold call-to-action is a great use of the window. Users can either fill out the short form or exit using the X in the top right. Painless.
Tito’s offers website visitors a splash screen to confirm that they are of age. It’s short and sweet because they understand they users will need to read the copy in order to move on to the homepage.
Zara’s splash screen is a great example of putting your user’s first. As a global brand, they want to make sure their customers are getting the right information in a language they can understand. Again, notice there’s no exit link here as it’s a page you have to fill out before entering the site.
People using Muse’s website are most likely looking for tour dates and concert tickets. This splash page features an interactive countdown to an upcoming album release. It also gives users an opportunity to enter their email address for more info.
11. Conversion Gods
This B2B splash page example from Conversion Gods offers visitors a download right off the bat. It speaks directly to their users’ needs and announces a new offering with bold, informative copy that’s straight to the point.
Football.com’s splash page is an example of understanding your audience – and their struggles. This splash page changes the game completely for users and is incredibly helpful for their overall user experience.
Forbes created this splash page as a thought-provoking value add to their readers (plus it’s another spot to place some additional banner ads). The “continue to site” functions as the exit link for this welcome screen.
Splash pages should be a fun addition to your site – for you and your users. Keep the overall look and feel on-brand and on task to create the best experience. Once you implement a splash page, make sure to monitor and track it and don’t be afraid to make changes on the fly.
Bridget Poetker is a Digital Marketing Manager at BigTime Software and a former content team lead at G2. Born and raised in Chicagoland, she graduated from U of I. In her free time, you'll find Bridget in the bleachers at Wrigley Field or posted up at the nearest rooftop patio. (she/her/hers)