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May 7, 2013

How to Create a Thank You Page that Engages and Converts

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This is a two-part series on Thank You page conversion rate optimization.Part 1: How to Create a Thank You Page that Engages and ConvertsPart 2: How to Create a Thank You Page Call To Action

The Thank You page is the page that a lead (aka, a potential customer) will land on after filling out a web form, making a purchase, or completing another online task that you, the business, deem worthy of recognition.

Java Development Kit Thank You Page Screenshot

Thank them, be clear about what will happen next (especially if they need to take next steps), then offer calls to action that funnel your leads to the pages where you want them to go next. Click this image for a bigger view.

By taking the action that led to the Thank You page your customer, or potential customer, has proverbially tapped you on the shoulder to let you know they are interested in your product or service. They acknowledge you, and they like you! Now what? How do you nurture your relationship with them so they will remember you and feel inspired to take the next step? How can you use the Thank You page to funnel your qualified leads to the pages you want them to visit next?

Whatever you do, it’s critical to make sure you leave them feeling satisfied and engaged, not confused.

To help you get started creating Thank You pages that convert leads into sales and strangers into brand loyalists, this blog post offers suggestions for approaching Thank You page creation in three stages: creating a foundation and getting ready to launch; on-page content creation; and using analytics to track success after your page or pages go live. On Thursday, I’ll be back with part two of this series to go into more detail about how to choose a Thank You page call to action that is focused, engaging  and in alignment with your brand goals.

What to Do Before Your Thank You Page Goes Live: Setting Goals

There’s really no way to optimize your page, know if your page is performing well, or determine what call to action is the best choice for your page if you haven’t decided what you want to get out of your page.

For this reason, before you can begin crafting an optimal Thank You page experience it’s critical to establish some goals. Of course you want to thank the person who took the action, then, in a perfect world, what do you want them to do after that? Stay on your website and click through to read more content? Look at more of your products? Follow you on Twitter, Facebook, or another social networking site? Subscribe to your blog? Learn more about your company?

Fill in the blanks to help clarify what is it you want to accomplish and why: “After they [A], I want my lead to [B] from the Thank You page so that [C].

Replace [A] with whatever specific action they took to get to the Thank You page, like “fill out the form” or “buy a paddleboard.” Replace [B] with whatever action you want them to do as a follow-up to their initial action. This could be “Like my brand’s Facebook page” or “look at more products on my website.” Replace [C] with the reason why you want them to take the follow-up action.

For instance, “After they fill out the request a quote form, I want my lead to Like my brand page on Facebook from the Thank You page so that I can stay connected with them throughout the buying cycle.

With your goals established you are ready to start thinking about page content and calls to action.

5 Thank You Page Content Strategy Tips

Thank You Page Example from The Twitter Chirp Developer's Conference

In this example, Chirp keeps it simple by saying thank you and offering a large Twitter call to action.

1) First, actually say “thank you.” This may seem obvious, but it’s too important not to mention here. Make sure your thank you note is written in a brand voice that is consistent with the voice and language that you use across all your web pages.

2) Tell them what to expect. Will you call them within 48 hours? Are you sending them a PDF? Are you going to email them? Never promise them anything you can’t deliver on, but be specific if you can. The last thing you want is for them to feel disappointed or confused about what they should expect to happen next.

3)  Keep your text and call to action above the fold. “Above the fold” means they don’t have to scroll to see the text or call to action; it’s conveniently in front of them ready to be acted on. Remember, once they land on the Thank You page you have seconds to catch their attention before they close the window or click to another website so it’s critical to pique their interest right away and make it as easy as possible for them to take action.

Toms shoes Thank You Page lightbox

Here, Tom’s shoes says thank you, includes an image that connects with the lead and represents the brand, and offers two calls to action: a series of social media opt-in buttons, and a link to Continue Shopping. Notice their Thank You page is a lightbox, rather than a landing page.

4)  To help them learn more about you at a glance you might choose to include an image that shows some of your personality, or visually engages your lead. Are you a family business? If so, maybe you can include a picture of you and your family holding a sign that says “Thanks” in one of your brick-and-mortar locations.

5) Based on the goals you established in your pre-page strategy session, extend a call to action (CTA) that encourages your lead to take the action that you want them to take.

After Your Thank You Pages Are Live:  Analytics and Performance Measuring

After your Thank You pages are live it is essential to keep an eye on how your calls to action are performing using Google Analytics (or another analytics tool) for internal links, and a tool like Bit.ly for external links that direct traffic to websites that you don’t own, such as Facebook. You may also consider doing heat-map testing to see how your customers are interacting with your pages, and, accordingly, what is working and what is not.

Regularly (monthly or bi-monthly) ask yourself, “Are people doing what we want them to do?” If not, can you identify where the break-down is and brainstorm potential solutions? Make sure to learn from what is working and what is not.

See you back here on Thursday when we pick up this topic again with four different goal-focused approaches you might take to create calls to action that engage, inspire, and convert.

In the meantime, have you seen any Thank You page experiences that you love? What did they do right that stuck in your mind?

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6 responses to “How to Create a Thank You Page that Engages and Converts”

  1. Greg writes:

    Awesome post Chelsea! I absolutely hate thank you pages that just say “thank you for xxxx”.

    You’ve got a lot of great tips here that I’m going to start working into my pages.

  2. Chelsea Adams writes:

    Glad you enjoyed the post, Greg! I call those pages you disdain “Thank You, Now Get Off My Lawn” pages.

    If someone walked up to you at a trade show and said “I am interested in buying your product” you wouldn’t say “Thank You” and then walk away– you would engage them; ask them more about themselves, offer more information about you, or offer a way for them to keep in touch. In my opinion, it’s a missed opportunity not to apply these same principals to your on-site Thank You page design and content.

    Keep in touch and let me know how your Thank You page remodel pans out. I’d love to see the final product.

  3. Ryan writes:

    Nice article Chelsea and a timely reminder that the “Thank You” page is one of the most important pages on a site. By taking the trouble to fill out an optin form, a potential customer has very clearly told you they are interested in your product or service. They want to find out more. At this stage you need to find out what are their reservations/questions they need answering before they will buy. Writing “Thank you for XXX” doesn’t help you with that.

  4. Tim Beekman writes:

    Hi Chelsea,

    Thanks for this great article. What do you think about upselling/crosselling after people order some product/place a request for information. In the Netherlands we will see that more webshops/websites use upsel to get more sales.

    Grz,

    Tim

  5. Chelsea Adams writes:

    Hi, Tim! Here are my high-level thoughts (happy to muse more with you about this if you have follow up questions):

    I think there is an eloquent way to upsell or cross-sell on a post-purchase Thank You page. By making a purchase they have signaled to you that they like buying your products and I think it’s safe to assume if they liked doing it once, there’s a good chance they will perceive follow-up buying opportunities as benefit opportunities rather than hard-sells.

    Take Amazon for example (see image below): They say thank you, they offer information about your purchase (so the page has a purpose other than selling to you), and then they quite subtly extend an invitation for you to check out some items that are related to the item that you just bought. I think it’s important that your follow-up purchase opportunity is presented in a way that has a helpful connotation (“if you like this, you may also like this!” Look how helpful we are!) rather than pushy (You gave us money? Awesome! Now give us more! Now!.)

    Amazon post-purchase Thank You page

    Now, what about upsells or cross-sells on Thank You pages that follow requests for information. Do we want to hard-sell them on these Thank You pages? I think at the ‘request for information’ point in the buying cycle they’re still feeling you out. They are interested in you, they want to know more, they are right on the edge of buying, so it’s probably best to give them more of what they want– information, reading, content, links to product pages. Keep them on your page; tell them more about you! I’d use that opportunity to build your relationship and sell them on how awesome you are before you try to sneak in their pocketbook.

    If you have a free trial, that may be a good in between offer to extend on a ‘more information’ Thank You page.

    What do you think?

  6. Arthur writes:

    Thanks for the article. I’ll keep that in mind.



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