Thank You Pages: The Good, The Bad, The Swipe-Worthy

You got the sale. Yay!

…But that’s actually just the beginning.

Funny, and here you thought getting a conversion was the only goal!

Well, maybe you don’t think that…

But judging by the number of stunningly free-of-thought thank-you pages we’ve seen this year – and we’ve got a swipe file of at least 50 of ‘em - most marketers are working hard to get the sale… and then dumping the customer in a dead-end alley, like these 2 do:

Blank thank you pages

Notice those big ol’ white gaps on the above pages? Yeah, those are bright white lights alerting your customer to this fact:

Now that the company has what it wants, you don’t matter.

Inconsiderate, empty pages tell people who just gave you their money or their email addy, “We’re done with you. At least until we want more.”

But are you done with them? I think not. So why’re you acting too cool – or too busy – to keep the relationship alive?

Post-Purchase Marketing – AKA Retention – Starts on Your Thank-You Page

For many startups, marketing is frustrating enough – without adding new pressures to market “post purchase”…

But post-purchase marketing is simply how we retain customers. So it’s a critical part of staying alive and growing as a startup. If you’re sending follow-up emails and offering customer support, you’re already engaging in post-purchase marketing. Now it’s time to extend your efforts to your thank-you pages, which are probably begging for a little love.

So what can you do? Let’s start with the short list of obvious stuff:

  • Say ‘thank you’ or an appropriate version of that
  • Tell peeps what they can expect next
  • Give new subscribers and customers an action to take
  • Keep your brand tone, look and feel alive
  • Provide company contact details, especially if it’s a contact form submission thank-you page

Got those covered? Grand. Then let’s move into some bigger, bolder ways to boost your thank you page for visitors.

6 Quick Brand- and Happiness-Boosting Tweaks to Work into Your Thank-You Pages

1. Tap into Our Need to Reinforce Our Personal Brands

Stylists, designers and decorators often want to be seen as trendsetters. Academics want to spread political news. We all have something that we think we are – whether a thought leader or a closet comedian – and we buy products that align with that and then ‘let slip’ to our friends that we did so.

If your product, service or newsletter is one that reinforces how your customers see themselves and want the world to see them, adding social icons to your thank-you pages may be just the trick.

I recently received a series of video-based emails from Greenpeace, and those emails culminated in a request for a donation, which I gladly gave. Greenpeace invested money in the videos and time in emailing me, and it worked – but then it fell flat with this dead-end thank you page:

Greenpeace Thank You

That’s a missed opportunity!

I was so ready to like this campaign on Facebook – (I was in the humanities, so it behooves me to get my friends to criticize the Harper government) – but Greenpeace didn’t ask me for anything more. Perhaps the reasoning on their end is that they want to avoid donor fatigue – but that’s where a split-test could go a long way.

Compare Greenpeace’s page to that of The Yogipreneur, who works with people whose personal brand is often closely tied to their business brand. She focuses her webinar thank-you page on unapologetically going for the ‘social ask':

Thank You Pages Good

2. Make Completing a Subscription a Total No-Brainer

Building your list? One of the biggest objections to double or confirmed opt-ins – which we use and recommend – is that you’ll lose 20 to 40% of your leads by ‘forcing’ them to confirm their interest in your list.

But that’s where a better thank-you page can help minimize that risk. Ben Settle uses an explainer video with a clear opening shot to help move more people from staring at what would otherwise be a blank thank-you screen to showing them exactly how to be sure they get signed up:

Opt-in thank-you page

3. Add a Survey

The reason we often add surveys to thank-you pages is to learn more about our customers and what drove them to make the decision to buy. It’s a great time to ask those questions and get fresh – not day-old – feedback.

But you can do even more than learn with thank-you page surveys. This study in the Journal of Business Research (2011) found that surveying your customers shortly after their purchase can result in more positive product evaluations. So surveying visitors on your thank-you page can elevate their happiness with you.

Master of Malt does a great job with this, simply asking the question, “How did we do?”

Thank you page Master of Malt

You’ll notice that Master of Malt takes things further by offering more than 1 option for new customers. Although this is counter to our standard One Goal Per Page Rule, it’s far superior to a dead-end page, and it makes sense for a business that gets a lot of repeat customers. Every time I order from them – and it’s a lot ‘cos fancy whiskey makes a great biz gift – I have something new to do.

Compare that to other folks in the gift-ordering business, Build-A-Basket, which for all its configurations during the conversion process drops the ball at the end of it all:

Thank you page Build A Basket

4. Give the Download They Opted In to Get

If you collect email addresses or engage in list-building activities on your site, you probably use opt-in bait of some kind, and it’s probably downloadable – whether an ebook or a video. So put the download link on the thank-you page!

Obvious, right?

Well, when I say put the download link on the thank-you page, I don’t mean do just that and walk away, like these guys unfortunately do:

Bad thank you pages

Rather, remind people of what they’ve requested of you, and make it look at least as appealing as it did when you were trying to convert them. Mighty Deals does a nice, practical job of this on their paid download thank-you pages:

Mighty Deals Thank You Page

Note that Mighty Deals also sends customers an email containing the download link.

5. Use Visuals to Excite Customers About What’s Next

So someone just bought something from you… and they really wanna get it… and they’re imagining themselves using it… and you’re not going to show them a picture of it? Come on!

Here’s how Square elegantly reminds prospects of what they’ve just ordered – which is a really simple thing to do but surprisingly rarely done:

Square's thank-you page

What’s especially interesting about the Square example? Instead of using “thank you” in the headline, Square says, “Congratulations!” This speaks to the larger goal of the Square brand to support and celebrate smart business decisions.

6. Add a Video – Especially If It’s Cheesy ;)

It should come as little surprise that Wistia‘s thank-you page uses a cool video… or that that video is somewhat cheesy. It’s fun. It’s what they do.

Wistia thank you

Video is one of those tricky things, but if you’ve got a brand that people relate to in personal ways – especially if you’re ‘the face’ of your company – then a personal thank-you from YOU may help validate a customer’s decision to choose you.

After all, post-purchase evaluation (aka buyer’s remorse) is a real thing. And not just for consumer goods. If there’s a chance that your new customers are going to feel any sense of regret, and if you can help quash that regret, why wouldn’t you?

~joanna

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  • http://codewithchris.com/ Chris Ching

    Thank you for #3! I just launched my course so I can’t even tell you how relevant this article is :) Adding a survey is a brilliant idea. Thanks

    • Joanna Wiebe

      Cool, Chris! That’s awesome to hear. :) Any time you can learn a little more from your visitors – hopefully without annoying ‘em – you probably should.

  • troymuir

    Really great post! It’s amazing how this is overlooked by so many businesses.

    • Joanna Wiebe

      Thanks, Troy! Agreed that it’s insanely overlooked. But maybe we can all join forces to change it. Y’know, linking arms ‘n’ all that goodness.

  • http://www.SelfEmployedKing.com/ Mike Kawula

    This is awesome and I’ve done the video (think it was to long).

    Love the idea of a Survey and I’m going to try that now for my email opt-in to find out more about my subscribers.

    • Joanna Wiebe

      The video didn’t work for you? Well, at least you tried, Mike! Hopefully the survey gives you and your new customers better results. :)

  • http://www.coreyquinn.com/ Corey Quinn

    Thanks Joanna. Reworking my Thank You page now.

    • Joanna Wiebe

      Sweet, Corey! Would love to see it.

  • Aaron Payne

    Great advise thanks! I especially love the “master of malt” thank you page… and might need to try out their services now that I’ve discovered them!

    • Joanna Wiebe

      I know — I adore the Master of Malt page. Critically looking at it, it seems to have too many calls to action; actually using it, though, I like choosing what I want to do next. The thank-you page is that weird moment when you don’t really have a task you’re trying to complete, so it’s like anything could happen there: tweet, connect on LinkedIn, leave a comment, place another order, leave a review, watch a video, upload a photo, or all of the above. It’s such an unusual space in an otherwise carefully plotted user experience.

  • http://fryinginvein.com/ Hubert Sawyers III

    Cool. I have been smart enough to not leave an “empty” thank-you experience. That’s not to say I couldn’t crank things up a notch. Thanks for the inspiration, @joannawiebe:disqus!

    • Joanna Wiebe

      Good on you, Hubert!

  • http://www.designhandyman.com/ DesignHandyman

    I can’t tell you how much this post has inspired me. I can only say: “Thank you!” :-)

    • Joanna Wiebe

      You’re welcome. :) I hope it helps!

  • Aaron

    Seriously good timing! The thank-you page I’m writing and building today, thank you too. So when we get that trail between Vernon and Kelowna built, you’ll have to come run/bike it.

    • Joanna Wiebe

      haha! Sounds like a plan.