I love showing people untapped sources of conversions. One such untapped source is the "thank you" page. It’s been long viewed as a compulsory part of nodding to the customer’s sign-up or download. I’m here to tell you that it’s more — so much more.
Look, the customer has just knocked on your shop door. They said, “Hi. I’m interested in becoming a loyal customer or raving fan. In fact, I’m also prepared to give you money ...”
So what do you do?
Say thanks and close the door? Sadly, that’s what most thank you pages do. “Thanks” <SLAM!>
Like this one.
This guy is offering coaching classes, PPC advice, analytics, and cool stuff that I might want. So, I enter his conversion process by signing up for his newsletter.
And what does he do?
He slams the door. In my face.
That little green message crammed below a box and above a boring paragraph of junk does nothing to advance me further. To add insult to injury, that little green message disappeared after five seconds! I had to time my screenshot just right to make sure I captured it!
Instead, when a customer comes knocking with a request for more, you say, “Thanks, come on in. Here, have a cookie. And, by the way, you seem like the kind of person that might also want to let your friends know about us, or maybe you’d like another free cookie. And, since you liked that first book, would you be interested in buying this car?”
The thank you page is just the beginning. I’m here to tell you how to squeeze more conversions out of a thank you page.
Let’s make sure we understand the thank you page.
This article is going to be absolutely useless unless you understand a few things about thank you pages. Let me lay it out for you.
What is a thank you page?
A thank you page is as simple as it sounds — a page that says "thank you" to a customer for sharing their information, joining a mailing list, etc.
Here’s how it happens:
- Your landing page or pop-up solicits information, e.g., “Enter your email address and I’ll give you hot and juicy tips that will blast your conversion rate by at least 10,941%!"
- Customer eagerly types in their name and email address as fast as humanly possible.
- Thank you page appears. BAM!
That third point above — a page that appears after a customer has shared their information — is the what I’m discussing in this article.
What is the purpose of a thank you page?
The whole idea behind a thank you page is to make the customer feel appreciated. Like G.K. Chesterton said, “The aim of life is appreciation.” So, show them you appreciate them. Say “thanks."
This is what Aweber tells us about the purpose of a thank you page:
Did you catch that? It’s to say “thanks” and to “provide instructions.” What a dead end.
That’s an incredibly short-sighted view of a thank you page.
In reality, saying “thanks” and sharing some information is only one small part of what a thank you page does. In reality, the thank you page is a next step — a further action. And that further action is further conversion.
The thank you page is a really big conversion deal.
I’m here to explain something so humanly basic and psychologically fundamental, yet so overlooked in the world of conversion optimization. The thank you page is a conversion bank, just waiting to hand you the cash of conversions.
If you’re saying “thank you” on your conversion page, and saying nothing more, you’re wasting your life. (Or, at the very least, you’re wasting the possibility of more conversions.)
To make this point even clearer, let me give you three points to mull over:
- They converted once. They’ll convert twice. The conversion isn’t a one-off event. It’s merely the first drip in what will turn out to be a cascade of further conversion actions. The customer has just said “yes.” They are in a “yes” mood. You can leverage that “yes” mood into more yesses. The work of psychologically priming has already been done. All you need to do now is ask for more action.
- They are already interested. Turn their interest into engagement. A sign-up tells you that the customer has some level of interest in your product or service. You have a decision. Are you going to merely tickle the itch of interest, or are you going to invite them to engage on a deeper level? If the customer is truly interested, they will want to engage. If they’re not truly interested, then they’re not as warm a lead as you want. Let ‘em go. But if you want that bigger engagement, just ask for it on your thank you page.
- They are in the conversion funnel. Let them go deeper. What marketers don’t understand is that this functional and utilitarian thank you page is actually a step in the conversion funnel. Let’s get a visual refresh on the conversion funnel.
Right there in the sweet spot of “retention” are all kinds of converting actions. You’ve scored one. Now, you can take them even deeper into a variety of further converting actions.
The Three Elements of a Powerfully Converting Thank You Pages
So, if you’re ready to turn you thank you page into a conversion machine, there are several elements that you need to add. I’ll go through each one.
1. Give them information.
The thank you page needs to fulfill its basic functions. There are three such functions
- You’re awesome. First, the thank you. Tell the customer how much they rock for doing what they did. “You rock” is fine. Or, you can just say “Thanks.” This is like the basal heart rate of a thank you page — fulfilling the bare necessities.
- What just happened? The next nugget of information is answering the question, “What did I just do?” or “What just happened?” Tell them plainly: “Download the eBook now!” “Check your email to confirm your attendance at the webinar!”
- What’s going to happen next? If there’s a next step, tell them about it. Will they be receiving emails from you? Will they be getting something soon?
This isn’t a lot of information to convey, and it shouldn’t be a speed bump on the way to the really good stuff (below). It should be short and sweet.
BruceClay.com shares an example of a thank you page. This one is from a Facebook page, but it does the same thing:
See what they did?
1. You’re awesome: “Thank you.”
2. What just happened: “... for entering to win a free box.”
3. What’s going to happen next: “Winners will be notified via email in one week.
And it only took 72 characters (not counting spaces).
Let’s take a look at how HubSpot does it:
1. You’re awesome: “Hi Terrence.” Notice, they used a personal name. No, my name is not Terrence, but you get the idea. It makes a person feel awesome when their name is used. They didn’t even have to say “thank you.”
2. What just happened: They totally assume I know. Which is fine.
3. What’s going to happen next: “Download Ebook.” Ah, there’s my free stuff.
This information step is really quick, really short, really necessary, and really easy to get out of the way with a sentence or two. Remember, the key here is action, not information.
You want your customer to do something else, to take more action. Mere information is un-converting. Action is converting.
Now, let’s get on to the good stuff:
2. Tell people to share it.
Customers are ready to become announcers. You have a prime opportunity to cash in on their social network. When you say “thanks,” you should also say, “please share.”
You don’t need to be overt or desperate. You can just do the typical social share icon stuff. Like this:
This is merely part of having a comprehensive social strategy — saturating every page with social invitations.
Remember the one above?
Here’s how one company did it using text-based social links.
Let me point out that social sharing is itself a conversion action. When a person gets to that level of conversion — personally announcing their involvement with your brand — you’ve scored. They just performed free and reputable marketing via digital word of mouth. It's a win for you.
Make this easy, make it subtle, and make it only one of the other juicy conversion goodies on your thank you page.
3. Make an offer they can’t refuse.
You’ve now arrived at perhaps the most cogent bit of advice. Make them an offer that is impossible to refuse. (Notice how I repeated that ever so slightly?)
When you’ve scored one conversion, you’re ready to score another one. It’s just that simple. Never leave it at one if you can get two. Always drive it to the next point.
The best way to do this is to say thanks, and then give them another killer offer. Good marketers are always ready to say “but wait, there’s more” in subtle and appealing ways. The clutch offer after the thank you message is an essential part of squeezing more conversions out of your thank you page.
Here’s what CrazyEgg does to drive their newsletter sign-ups even deeper:
They told me about my awesomeness and how to nab my newsletter. Plus, they told me what I need to do next:
- Get a free trial.
- Get free content.
Heck, yes, I’m going to sign up for more freebies.
Here’s a company called Orbit. I emailed them with an inquiry. Obviously, I’m interested. They hit me up with a thank you that says, “get our best advice.”
Yes, I might just be in the mood for someone’s best advice.
When I sign up for ConversionXL’s newsletter, I get this:
I’m going to leave aside my gripe about “check your email,” (even though I know it’s the right thing to do) and point out that Peep is inviting me to his private newsletter? Plus, it looks like a free guide to A/B testing? Do I want this? Oh yeah. Besides, look, there’s a picture of Peep himself! This guy must be legit!
See, it’s an offer I can’t refuse.
Let me circle back to the HubSpot thank you page. They are also giving me a sweet can’t-refuse offer. After I sign up to get a free book, I’m in a searching mood and a positive state of mind. Then, they give me this offer:
It’s “advice.” It’s “free.” It’s targeted. I’m ready to roll.
And guess what. HubSpot just nabbed a conversion from the jaws of a thank you page.
When I sign up for the email newsletter of iwillteachyoutoberich.com, I get a nice little thank you page telling me I’m awesome. In 10 seconds, that thank you page automatically redirects to another page:
Image from earn1k.com.
I am part of the “Private Bonuses” group — which makes me feel rather exclusive — but I’m also invited to increase my personal wealth and well-being.
The next conversion steps look fairly innocuous — a couple of social links and text links. What gives? I could handle an extra $1K on the side, and a dream job to boot. This is an offer I can’t refuse. And all I was doing was getting thanked for getting his newsletter.
That’s it. Just give them an offer they can’t refuse. This isn’t the time for huge upsells and major purchases. This is just another offer — a gentle coaxing to the next logical conversion step. Say thanks, and do it.
Three things you should never do with your thank you page.
Allow me to close with three warnings. There are a few mistakes that people make with their thank you pages. Here are the big ones:
This annoys me beyond all reason. I’m expecting something. After all, I gave you the most important piece of marketing information — my addy. And you do what?! Grab it and walk away?! That’s what I feel like if you don’t do anything.
2. Just say thanks.
This is the cardinal sin of most thank you pages. They say “thanks” and then nothing else. Like this boring piece of wasted Internet space:
You know, I appreciate the thank you, but you just missed out on some hefty conversion action.
Just when I’m in the mood for some great free trial, free guide, or more great stuff, I get a “we will be in touch!” That sounds like something that I would hear after I made a proposal and know I won’t get the gig!
3. Make them buy something.
When you ask the customer to immediately make a purchase, it’s like going from 0 to 60 in .5 seconds. They’re going to get whiplash. They’re going to put on the brakes. They might just want to kick you.
The conversion process is a funnel. You ease them into it, don’t force them down it.
Think of sign-ups as soft conversions. The next conversion step could be a little harder, but not too much. You’re ready to take them to the next level, but not quite ready to make them give you their credit card information.
Take it one step at a time, baby. One step at a time.
The point of this article is pretty simple. There are conversions waiting for you out there. They’re located on your thank you page.
If you’ve given people a place to sign up for your rocking newsletter, a free e-book, or whatever, then you’re off to a great start. But it’s only a start. You’re going to say “thanks,” you’re going to ask for more conversions, and you’re going to get them.