The ultimate thing to understand about the Countdown and Curtain pages, besides they're optional, is that unless the experience is published and live, the end users won't see these pages.
When you are setting up an experience, you need to ensure you are publishing the experience in advance of the curtain page, for that window of time you want the countdown page to be seen.
When you expire the experience, you'll need to expire the experience for the period of time you want the countdown page to be viewable to the public.
You want to start driving ad spend or sending email blasts to alert users to a new experience that's going to be launching.
To enable and manage the content displayed during this promotional period, you'll need to use a countdown page in your experience. Subsequently, if you want to have a holding closed page, available after the experience is over, so users don't get broken links, then, you'll need to add the curtain page to the experience you are building.
The following would be how to configure and think about scheduling these various aspects. We'll use the following example experience dates to describe the setup. In our scenario, the experience is going to run allowing users to interactively/enter:
May 1st - 9am open and May 31st 11:59pm close
(This would serve as your entry period for the experience.)
What to do
- Publish Date (iFrame/Facebook Tab)
The experience needs published first. This will make the experience available to the website or Facebook tab. This will be the time when you want the Countdown page to be visible and interactive. So, say you want the countdown page to be available April 28th (in advance of the experience opening May 1st), you will set the publish date for the iFrame/Facebook Tab to scheduled or manually published on April 28th.
- Countdown Page
You will have the Countdown page date configured to correspond with the date, the Countdown will disappear. So, the Countdown page dates would be configured to be May 1st at 9am.
- Curtain Page
You will have the Curtain page date configured to correspond with the date, the Curtain page will appear and the entry phase end. So, the Curtain page dates would be configured to be May 31st at 11:59pm.
- Expiration Date (iFrame/Facebook Tab)
Lastly, you would set the expiration date for the iFrame/Facebook Tab, to be for the window of time you want to leave the holding page, accounting for late/delayed links coming from emails/user shares let's say. You would set the expiration for the iFrame or Facebook page to something like, June 7th at 12:00am.
Publishing Settings (under publishing within Experience)
Experience Phases (under Settings within Experience)