By Colin Loughran on October 31st, 2019 in Conversion Optimization
If you’re like me, you say “please” and “thank you” automatically.
You’ve been saying these magic words since you were a kid. Because you were strongly motivated. Forget your manners, and you’d be humiliated in front of your family or strangers. Refuse altogether, and you’d be denied the obscure object of desire.
“What do we say?” “Pweese.” Boom—the chunky monkey is yours!
For today’s marketers, the problem with habitual politeness is that the delivery of a thank you message should never be a reflex. If a “thank you” rings hollow, the response from your customers will be equally rote.
“Thank You.” “You’re Welcome.” End of conversation.
See the problem here?
A thank you page is not the end of the transaction. It’s the next step in keeping people engaged with your brand or product, generating continued goodwill, further qualifying your leads—or even increasing order values or making more sales.
When it comes to your digital campaigns, how you say thank you should be an essential cornerstone of your post-conversion strategy. So let’s talk about a few ways you can approach creating better thank you pages. Along the way.
Five Tips from Five Thank You Pages
|1. Invite ‘Em for a Specific, Strategic Call||4. Win Them Over First, Then Make A Second Ask|
|2. Reveal the Next Steps||5. Keep ‘Em Engaged With Your Site|
|3. Reinforce Your Brand Personality|
Thank You Tip #1: Invite ‘Em for a Specific, Strategic Call
The example below from Australia’s Axis Social applies every best practice out there (and then some) to maximize its post-conversion potential:
Image courtesy of Axis Social.
This isn’t a landing page, though it might look a lot like one at first glance. It’s a thank you page (as opposed to a confirmation box or popup). And that’s why it’s so powerful. It does a lot of what a traditional lead-gen page might do, but it does it after the initial conversion goal has been met.
At this point in the interaction, the team at Axis has already captured the visitor’s email address in exchange for a downloadable Buyer’s Guide. Instead of letting the interaction end there, Axis goes the extra mile to communicate their value as an agency. According to Managing Director Matthew Asimus, this page helped them bridge the gap between a marketing qualified (MQL) and sales qualified (SQL) lead:
We hypothesized that a number of users who engaged with, and converted on, our first MQL landing page would develop an additional level of trust and thus a propensity to ascend from an MQL into an SQL. In essence, we were hoping to move users through a ‘yes cascade’ or ‘yes ladder’ to improve conversion rates.
Our initial results from this MQL ascension approach are incredibly exciting. Despite the campaigns using cold paid traffic from social and requesting 7 form fields, our landing page conversion rates are nearly 30%. What’s more, our lead qualification rates align with our other sales qualified lead generation approaches.
Note just how much persuasive material they’ve included here:
- Social proof in the form of both brand logos (visible above the fold, naturally) and extensive testimonials from individual clients.
- A walkthrough of the social strategy call that highlights compelling benefits (“explosive lead growth for your business” sounds good to me) and gives the call a definitive structure and purpose.
- The enticing promise of another resource, a custom Facebook Ads Blueprint, that’ll prove equally valuable to Axis Social’s targeted customers.
The beauty of this approach is that it also scales to suit visitors without adding more pressure to the experience. If a visitor hits this page but doesn’t want to connect with Axis Social at the moment, there’s nothing here preventing them from clicking away.
But when visitors arrive with questions—or, say, balanced on the fine line between consideration and conversion—this thank you page gives them the extra nudge they need.
Thank You Tip 2: Reveal Next Steps
Speaking of next steps, if you’ve ever taken an action online—like submitting a form or making a purchase—without receiving any response, you know the existential dread that follows:
Did it… work? What happens next? Should I do it again?
What… am… I… supposed… to… do… now!?
Maybe I’m exaggerating a touch, but it’s always important to let the visitor know about the next steps—especially if clicking your call-to-action isn’t the end of things. Doing so will reduce friction, frustration, and uncertainty. Even if the next step will be yours to take, let people know what you’re doing and when they can expect to hear from you.
For example, notice how Zendrive does it here with a couple of lines:
It’s all clearly communicated. In the headline, they let their B2B prospects know that they’ve successfully completed the “first step.” Then the page sets expectations about what comes next (and when): “You will receive a message shortly with your invite to an executive briefing.”
Finally, it’s also worth taking note of how Zendrive suggests further reading from the site by linking to a piece of content from their blog. Providing a link to a single, valuable piece of content (as opposed to their blog as a whole) helps build trust before the briefing ever begins.
Bonus Tip: Offer Downloadable Downloadables on Your Thank You Pages
OK, full disclosure: I’m slipping this lil’ bonus tip in here just because it’s a pet peeve of mine.
Have you ever signed up for an ebook, report, or white paper that never seems to find its way to the inbox? It sucks. When this happens, you leave visitors feeling frustrated or even a little ripped off, since they’ve just exchanged your email address for nothing at all.
(I can’t click “unsubscribe” fast enough when this happens.)
What makes it so painful, though, is that there’s a dead-simple way of getting around this issue on your thank you pages:
Unless you’ve got a very special reason you need to deliver a file only via email, provide a download link on the thank you page itself. That way, visitors who’re anxious to start reading (like me) are satisfied. You can still start a drip campaign, of course. But you also eliminate the possibility that your downloadable never makes it to them.
Thank You Tip 3: Reinforce Brand Personality
This post features a few thank you pages that will feel a little “aspirational” for small marketing teams (or teams of one) who are short on time and resources. So it’s worth looking at how much gets done in this straightforward example from the fine people at Launchpeer:
It’s personable, playful, and a little quirky. Most importantly, though, it’s thoughtful. As in, it demonstrates thought.
Even if you’ve seen this meme a million times before, this page lets you know that Launchpeer is a brand who, y’know, gets it. (And gets you.) Plus, when you click away, you leave with a pleasant association with the brand.
Tom Hanks is a good choice here too: he’s so darned affable and unlikely to be outed as a serial killer any time soon. I’m speculating, but this quick “t.hanks” from Launchpeer probably didn’t take a heck of a lot of time to create.
You can create your own fun images and animations, but the takeaway here should be that even a small effort leaves a much stronger impression than a generic thank you message. It shows how a humorous gif, playful animation, or unexpected message can generate tons of delight and goodwill.
(Of course, they also promote their podcast in this thank you page. And, again, offer that next step now that their visitor is on a roll engaging with their brand. So a little goes a long way…)
Thank You Tip 4: Win Them Over First, Then Make A Second Ask
Usually, when a visitor takes a small action, they become more likely to take another, bigger one. That’s why the most effective thank you pages often follow-up with a bigger ask, and why multi-staged forms are usually recommended by CRO specialists and agencies.
Sometimes it helps if the initial action is immediately appealing to your prospects. Take, for example, this contest created for Veeam by Gameplan Marketing:
Image courtesy of Veeam and Gameplan Marketing.
Leads are captured by offering prizes to IT professionals (like a fitness tracker, a hotel gift card, or Apple AirPods) in exchange for taking a short survey about their current data centers and cloud storage solutions. Like the example from Zendrive above, the thank you page then reminds visitors what they can expect next.
But afterward, this thank you page also makes a second ask. Visitors who’re are (gently) encouraged to sign up to access a free, gated content hub. Since they’ve already provided their info to enter the contest, they’re now more predisposed to do so. Gameplan also includes a sweet explainer video (it appears on the contest page and the thank you page) that briefly outlines the benefits of their cloud-based data-management product.
Thank You Tip 5: Keep ‘Em Engaged With Your Site
One thing that most of these examples have in common is that they lead visitors back to the website or prompt another piece of content. You can take this even further, though.
For the launch of Unbounce’s Ultimate Ecommerce Landing Page Lookbook, for instance, the team created a landing page where visitors can grab it.
Here’s what the landing page for this guide looks like:
Eye-catching, right? And if it helps convince visitors that this lookbook is worth the download, then call it a success. It’s an awesome resource for any marketer looking for inspiration, so it’s not a tough sell.
However, we’ve also got plenty more content and resources to offer our ecomm visitors, including material further down the funnel. And we’d love to keep visitors coming back for it.
That’s why the thank you page is so crucial here. We want to keep the conversation going, so we use a thank you page to ask visitors another quick question on the way out. Depending on what visitors choose, they’ll be directed to additional resources.
I’ve included a screenshot of this choose-your-own-adventure flow below:
The answer that readers provide to this general question (i.e., “What’s the biggest challenge you face as a marketer?”) does three things:
- The answer allows us to offer up additional, curated content and resources at the moment of conversion. This is the material we think visitors will find particularly useful. We include content from across the funnel, including editorial, educational, and promotional sources.
- It lets us get to know our audience and their concerns a little better. The optional follow-up question on the thank you page helps us further qualify interest from visitors via progressive profiling and learn more about customers and non-customers alike.
- It provides insight into our audience’s information needs. From a content planning and strategy perspective, this is invaluable as we fill content gaps, decide on what pieces need to be updated, and prioritize the creation of new resources.
So a single thank you page can become a source of marketing insight, an engagement driver, and a lead qualifier. All this happens by asking a single additional question at the right moment.
Curious about the Unbounce ecommerce lookbook? Take a look at the whole flow here. (Yes, we’ll need your email. Tell ‘em Colin sent ya.) While you’re at it, download it for your landing page swipe file.
Thanks for Reading (About Thank You Pages)
I find a real-world analogy enlightening here: imagine if brick-and-mortar retailers were to escort you to the exit and lock the door each time you make a purchase.
That’d be crazy, right?
So why do it on your landing pages?
Unfortunately, smart uses of thank you pages like these ones from our customers are the exception, not the rule. Frankly, a lot of examples out there look more like this bland form confirmation box, typo and all:
A thank you page shouldn’t be a hard stop, and if that’s the habit you’ve gotten into, consider breaking it.
Thank you pages are super versatile. You can use them with subscriptions, downloads, webinar registrations, shopping carts, quote requests, demo signups, and contact forms. They can be used for upselling (or cross-selling), for offering discounts, for encouraging referrals, for soliciting feedback and testimonials, or for generating social shares. Holy moly.
Whether you’re selling something or generating leads, saying “thank you” in an unexpected and meaningful way is an opportunity to make a lasting impression. And, when incorporated into a thoughtful post-conversion strategy, it can boost your revenue too.
To close, here are three big points worth remembering if you’re trying to make a case for spending more time on your thank you pages:
- A healthy open rate for emails in your nurture campaign is between 15-25%. How many of those new leads will see your thank you page? Close to 100%, I’d wager. Start nurturing right away!
- According to research done by Bain & Company, “loyal online customers, just like offline ones, spend more, refer more people, and are more willing to expand their purchasing into new categories.” Well-considered thank you pages represent an incredible opportunity to create loyalty and build brand affinity.
- If you get enough traffic and have a clear secondary conversion goal, remember that thank you pages can be A/B tested and optimized just like your landing pages. Post-conversion remains an important touchpoint for your conversion rate optimization planning.
So if you’re already designing landing pages, make saying “thank you” as much a part of the process as your headline, form, and call to action.
And, hey, thanks for reading.