Of all the time and effort that is put into designing a website and using conversion rate optimisation to split test and improve it, generally not a lot of love goes into the thank you or success pages your visitors see after they have completed an action you want them to take.
A huge number of thank you pages look something like this:
Sure, it’s a nice message to confirm enrollment but see how much white space is left unused and think of the possibilities of what could also be there along with the nice message. If your thank you pages look something like the one above you are literally leaving money (or other conversion goals) on the table and under utilising one of the most valuable pieces of real estate on your website.
To look at things from the other end of the spectrum, check out this thank you page:
Not only does this thank you page look nice, it also pushes social sharing to the visitor and even uses gamification to motivate that sharing (the more friends you refer, the better the prize). A thank you page like this may not be right for your business but it is still well worth spending the time optimising and improving your thank you pages to something that is. The better your thanks pages work the more they will improve the return on investment you get from all of your marketing efforts.
Here are 10 ways you can optimise your thank you pages which will maximise your results:
1. Reinforce The Sale
After somebody has just completed a sale, an application or has become a lead they can be concerned and experience buyers remorse. Your thank you page is a great place to reassure your visitor that they have made the right decision and reinforce the sale or the company they are going to be dealing with. The following lead generation thank you page is a great example which shows people exactly who they will be speaking to shortly along with their experience. It also showcases trust elements, social proof in the form of testimonials, reiterates the key USPs and allows the visitor to call straight away if they are in a rush.
2. Increase Average Order Value
Most eCommerce websites push upsells and add-ons throughout their website including on product pages, shopping carts and some in the checkout process. Almost all of these eCommerce sites fail to utilise their thank you page however leaving a huge opportunity untapped. By the time someone has chosen a product, completed the checkout process and given you their payment details they are prime candidates for an upsell or add-on and most of the psychological barriers to becoming a customer have gone. This example from Jigsaw Health utilises the thank you page to push a great one click offer that people will struggle to say no to. It also includes a countdown timer to further improve the conversion rate.
3. Drive Repeat Purchases
Whilst most eCommerce websites are good at email marketing to their past customers to try and drive repeat purchases, not many of them utilise their thank you pages for this exact same reason. By incentivising visitors to your thank you page to purchase off you again you not only increase the chances that they will be back in the future but you may even find a proportion of them order for a second time then and there. Shutterfly uses this technique well on their thank you page highlighting how easy it will be to order again (“you’ve already uploaded your photos”) and offering an incentive for the next purchase, along with an expiry date.
4. Generate Social Shares
Once someone has been through your sales process or lead capture forms they are more committed to your brand and if they enjoyed the experience, think its a great offer, or are just one of those people that shares everything there is a good chance you can push them to spread the word about your website to their friends and followers. In this example Marshall Fridge pushes social sharing in a fun, quirky way that suits their brand.
5. Generate Social Follows
For some brands it can be hard to get people sharing details about their company as in the past example, however that doesn’t mean you should give up on social altogether. Rather than encouraging people to share your brand, using your thank you pages can be a great way to convert your actual customers and leads into a social following. The Washington Nationals in this example use their thank you page to generate social follows for one of their partners.
6. Get Referrals
Years before the internet was even around Dale Carnegie researched referrals and their effect in the sales process. He found that 91% of customers said they would give referrals however only 11% of salespeople asked for referrals. This was a huge mismatch that sales managers have sought to close for offline sales, however this mismatch still occurs online with next to no businesses asking for referrals online. In this example after someone has donated to Kiva, they then ask not just for one referral but for a list of friends they can email on your behalf about Kiva. This thanks page has been done so well you can even import ALL of your email contacts using a few button clicks – a smart way to get referrals and increase word of mouth marketing.
7. Improve Your Database
Generally speaking the more complex you make a checkout process or lead generation form and the more questions and fields you have, the lower the conversion rate will be. Generating the sale or lead is almost always far more important than asking extra qualifying questions to a customer so many companies just don’t ask the question at all. Additional questions and details can be extremely helpful however and allow segmentation for marketing purposes and personalisation if the customer returns to the website. Adding these to the thanks page ensures you do not lose the sale, but do get the details off a proportion of customers for later use, as shown by this example from ClickZ.
8. Conduct Research
One of the principal ways to improve a website, offering or product is to conduct qualitative research on prospective and current customers. This can be done through the use of surveys, polls and other techniques and the insights can markedly improve a business. A lot of websites make the mistake of just conducting this research on their main website which although useful, experiences low conversion rates and can distract the user from your end conversion goal. A great place to conduct research on actual customers is your thank you page with questions such as “What made you purchase today?” or “How could we have improved our checkout process?” yielding great results and not jeopardising sales. Mad Science Digital showcases researching on his thank you page for email subscribers, where he asks what the subscribers biggest challenge is which then helps him to shape his email content exactly for his target market as opposed to guessing.
9. Make Money
Recently it has become more and more common for brands to turn their thank you page into a revenue generator by placing third party advertising and sponsored promotions. If you have a thank you page that is getting a lot of traffic this could be an idea to investigate, however it does have branding connotations and will likely push customers away and distract them from completing any other conversion on your website. The Deals Direct thank you page is a good example of this where they popup advertising from ROKT.com (a company that drives millions of co-registration email signups for its partners).
10. Keep People Interested
If none of the ideas above appeal and you want to keep your thank you page simple, on brand and not push too hard to sell anything more, another way you can improve your thank you page is to keep people interested in your website and showcase what else you have to offer. Whether it is a white paper, infographic or simply a collection of popular blog articles, featuring these on your thanks page can help guide people back to your website and allow them to keep experiencing your brand (and hopefully convert again). In this example from Tourism British Columbia they push someone who has just make an enquiry straight back into some very useful content on the region.
These are just 10 ideas but you could really do anything! As always it’s about testing to find out what will generate the best results for your own website. If you have any other ideas for thank you pages let me know in the comments. You may be wondering, am I practicing what I preach and optimising my own thank you pages? Well, you’ll have to find that out for yourself by registering for my newsletter here.