Recently I advised one of my clients to create a “thank you” page on their website. I hate to admit it, but the only reason that I had asked them to create the page was so that we could track their contact form conversions in Google Analytics.
My client agreed to create the page and then asked me “what content should I put on this page?”
We spend our days optimizing and testing our contact forms, but the thank you page gets very little attention. We see it as the end goal, as a way to track a conversion, but not as a means to truly connect with our consumers. But a great thank you page has the ability to inspire your customers to spread the word about your brand, motivate continued on-site engagement, encourage communication with your business, and influence repeat business.
We spend much of our time and marketing dollars to get our users to this end point — where they have either sent in a contact form or completed a transaction. These are the most valuable and most important people who will visit your website and they demand as much attention as you can give them.
Consumers now have more options than ever. If you can’t stand out and differentiate yourself from every other company that sells your product or service, your chances of repeat business are seriously decreased. Of course, this is just one step in the buying cycle, but it’s safe to say that this step has been long overdue for an upgrade.
Here are some actionable ways to turn your thank you page from a means to track a conversion to a means of generating additional conversions.
How Do I Create a Great Thank You Page?
It is common practice to thank our customers after they complete a contact form or transaction. If you aren’t at least taking this step, here’s 10 ways you can catch up.
1. Offer a Sincere Thank You to Your Customers
This step requires no development time, so is especially great for small businesses that don’t really have the budget to recreate their thank you page. Don’t just give your customers an insincere “Thank you, a representative will be in touch soon;” they see this with every other purchase or contact that they have ever made.
Instead, sincerely thank your customers and let them know how much their business truly means to you. Did your increased sales last year allow you to give more donations to a certain charity? Let them know. Tell them something about your business that they wouldn’t otherwise know. Give them a chance to learn your story and let them feel good about buying from a company like yours.
Consumers connect with a story. By letting them in on your story, you are giving them a reason to come back.
2. Inspire Additional Communication
This is also a fairly simple thank you or transaction complete page update to make. If you have a newsletter, your thank you page is the perfect time to request that your costumer sign up to receive that newsletter. Feel free to talk up the benefits of your newsletter. Do you send out great advice or information on topics they might be interested in? Make it known.
If you have social media accounts (and you should), invite your customers to connect with you. It’s a win-win situation. Your customers have the opportunity to receive special discounts and offers via social media, and you have a chance to further your communication with them.
Even if you already ask for newsletter subscriptions or social media connections throughout your site, the thank you page is the perfect time and place to reiterate. The consumer has just finalized the step from being a website visitor to a customer or lead. They’ve chosen your business for a reason, so at this point they will be more likely to look for additional contact from you.
3. Discounts for Friends, Family & Future Purchases
A year ago I made a business card purchase from Moo. It’s been a whole year and I still recall their thank you page. On their thank you page, they provided me with a coupon code that I could share with friends and family.
Of course, I promptly spread the word about Moo to my friends, who also needed to order some business cards. I gave them the coupon code and at least three friends that I know of made purchases from Moo using the code. Not only had Moo made me want to purchase from them again, but they had influenced me to spread the word about their products.
4. Provide a Clear Time Frame for Your Next Action
As mentioned previous in this post, many thank you pages simply state “a representative will contact you soon.” What does soon mean? Today? Tomorrow? Next week? Be clear and give realistic expectations to your customers.
Should your customers expect an email from you right away? Tell them. If for some reason there would be a technical problem and they don’t receive their email right away, they will be much more likely to let you know instead of giving up on your company after weeks of never receiving your newsletter.
If you are going to have a representative call them, ask them to provide a time frame that would work best for them.
Everyone is busy, and by showing that you understand and respect that, you’ve already earned a gold star.
Below, see two examples from Moo.com, who I previously referred to. Their contact and transaction thank you pages both offer a clear timeline and demonstrate that they respect your time. They even mention that they have saved your order for repeat purchase. How convenient!
5. Motivate Continued Website Engagement
There is no reason that your users have to stop at your thank you page. Just because you have hit your end goal does not mean that your user has. If it’s a contact form, maybe your user is still looking for more information. If you’re an ecommerce site maybe the visitor is interested in multiple products, but wasn’t convinced to purchase them all yet. Look at the exit rate of your customers as a hill rather than a cliff – let them leave slowly rather than fall off the edge.
Highlight some of your business’s recent or popular blog posts or even resources related to their inquiry. This is great for any kind of thank you page but is particularly useful for consumers who are looking for more information about your services at this time. They are eager to learn more about your service and by showing them your blog posts, they have an additional chance to learn even more about your company and what you offer.
Videos also make a great addition to a thank you page. I do not recommend including a commercial video, as that can seem a little pushy to someone who has just purchased from you. But including product how-to videos or industry advice is ideal.
One of our thank you pages prompts visitors to use some of our free marketing and SEO tools, providing them with additional value while continuing to demonstrate how our services can help their business.
6. Reassure Your Customers
We all know that it is best practices to include customer testimonials on our websites, but what about the thank you page? Since your site visitors have already completed a conversion goal, why would you bother to show them any more testimonials? Reassurance.
Just because a customer has purchased from your business or contacted you for more information does not mean that they are 100% sold on your products or services. I’ve often found myself looking for reviews after completing a purchase. Isn’t this backwards? Probably – but I’m sure that I’m not the only one.
If your customers are going to continue investigating you, why not just make it easier for them and provide some of your testimonials, media mentions, or social proof to demonstrate your company’s authority in your industry? Or, you could let your work speak for itself by providing some relevant examples of previous work you have done.
See an example below of the Renewal by Anderson thank you page. They actually provide a short post of the “Top Ten Reasons to Replace Your Windows” on their thank you page. Talk about reassuring your customers. Adding a similar feature to your thank you page would take an hour, tops.
7. Request a Short Survey
You could spend thousands on focus groups and usability testing, but why not just ask your site visitors what they think of you?
Not only will you receive feedback from people who have truly been engaged with your brand, but you can also gain insight as to what would have made them convert more quickly and what is going to make them come back.
8. “Transaction Complete” Pages
While all of the listed advice above is applicable to ecommerce websites’ transaction or order complete pages, I’d also like to point out that ecommerce sites have even more unique opportunities to optimize these pages.
A great example for ecommerce websites to refer to is Amazon. As you can see from the screenshot below, Amazon doesn’t just leave me hanging after I complete my transaction with them. They give me countless recommendations based on the products that I looked at and products related to the ones I purchased.
This particular order was for a book – and you’ll see that Amazon even prompted me with “Why wait until January 23,2014? Read the beginning of this book for free.” While this specific call to action example might not be applicable to most companies, it certainly should spark ideas for a call to action that your site can use to keep users on your site longer.
Does your company have an awesome thank you page? Or were you inspired by this post to create a better one? Send us your thank you page screenshots and we could include them in a future post!
If you have any other great tips for thank you page optimization, feel free to let us know in the comments below!
Image/photo credit: Jon Ashcroft, Sarah Ridgley, Nick Gray