Thank You Pages That Don’t Suck (and One That Does)
If you haven’t noticed already, every single page of your website presents an opportunity.
But what about thank you pages?
If you’re thinking, “They signed up! Oh boy, I’ve got them now,” while rubbing your hands together and mu-ha-ha-ing like an evil genius… Come on now, I know you’re better than that! (And you know, maybe don’t be evil.)
But if you’re also thinking you can slap up any old page and throw the words “Thank You” on it and be done with it, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
By not optimizing your thank you page, you lose an amazing chance to build strong relationships with each one of your new customers and subscribers.
By the way, I’m not talking about the default thank you pages offered by your email marketing platform. If you’re creating a mailing list and leaving the default confirmation page up instead of creating your own thank you page, you are unknowingly creating a “worst practice” page.
Instead of fostering this new relationship, you are presenting your new subscriber with a bland, ugly, and generic page. (And don’t even get me started on the extra sad, grey Mailchimp page…)
So what can you do then to improve the quality of your own thank you pages? Well that's exactly what we're here to talk about today.
Thank You Page Basics
Obviously the purpose of a thank you page is to say thank you. Someone trusted you enough to take the action you requested and that is a thank-worthy thing.
That action can be anything from signing up for your newsletter, filling out a form, or purchasing your product.
But beyond just being a polite thing to do, expressing gratitude compels some people to do more for the person thanking them.
In this small 2010 study, researchers asked a group of people to help a “fictitious” student improve a cover letter for a job application. Half of the respondents were thanked and the other half were not, but both were asked for more help after their initial feedback.
Only 32% of the non-thanked group provided additional help whereas 66% of the thanked group provided the additional help.
It seemed there was something about being thanked that created a feeling of social value and worth which inspired people to do more for the person thanking them. This is similar to the Benjamin Franklin effect which proposes people like you more after doing a small favor for you.
That’s some pretty powerful information when you think about it. People want to do more for you when you thank them. Of course, this doesn't mean you should try and manipulate all your site's visitors into doing your bidding.
Don’t forget what Uncle Ben told budding superhero, Peter Parker aka Spiderman.
With this information, though, it’s easy to see why a well done thank you page has the potential to shift new subscribers and customers from simple followers into loyal fans.
Thank You Page Best Practices
Because I care about you and your website's thank you pages so much, let's go over some best practices and live examples. Seriously, I joined waaay too many email lists while searching for great examples of thank you pages just to make this worth your while.
Determine Your Primary Goal: Browsing vs Conversion
Before we dive into what to include on your thank you page, first you need to decide what the goal of your thank you page is.
Do you want a new subscriber to stick around and to get to know you and your business better? Or are you looking for the next conversion right away?
If someone is new to you and signed up for weekly updates, this may not be the best time to ask them to buy your $1,000 online course. They are still trying to learn more about you and what you have to offer.
But if someone signed up for a white paper describing how your software or service has helped others in their market, this is a good time to offer a free trial, consultation, or evaluation.
To come up with your goal, think about the person who is seeing this thank you page and what they just signed up for or bought. With that in mind, consider what would best serve them at this point in the process.
The One Thing ALL Thank You Pages Need
No matter what kind of thank you page you are creating, browsing-focused or conversion-focused, there is one thing every single thank you page needs:
Confirm the Action Was Successful
Don't leave your new prospect wondering what just happened.
Imagine being excited about getting an ebook to solve all your problems, filling out all the requested information, clicking send and then… nothing.
“Did it go through?”
“Am I gonna get my book?”
...are not questions you want someone who just gave you their information to wonder about.
Obviously, this is not a time you want to confuse your new subscriber or customer. Instead, you want to make sure they know their information went through and exactly what’s coming next.
If they signed up for a download, are you sending the download to the email address they gave you?
If they sent you a question, how long should they expect to wait before getting an answer?
You get the picture. Be clear about what they just did and what’s next.
Check out how Merriam-Webster confirms the action, tells new Word of the Day subscribers what to do next, and what to do if there’s a problem:
There’s no question what needs to happen next so I can learn a new word every day! (Excuse me, for I must now go and confirm this subscription… brb!)
Browsing-Focused Thank You Pages
Now that you know you need to confirm the action, let's look at some of the elements you can add to your thank you page to let your new subscriber or customer get to know you better.
Since you want people to stick around and check out your content, make it easy for them to do so.
Unlike a sales page where you want to remove any and all distractions from the one thing you want the visitor to do, include the header navigation menu on your browsing-focused thank you page. If they want to check out your other pages, your blog, your about page, let them!
Author and angel investor Nir Eyal includes his header on his thank you page:
With the knowledge that an email is on its way, the new prospect has easy access to every part of his site in the meantime.
Share Related Content
Now is a good time to share any blog posts or products related to what they just signed up for or bought.
You’re keeping them on your site and giving them more opportunities to get to know you and your business, thus building more trust and establishing yourself as an authority.
After signing up for the Wellness Mama list, the thank you page has a plethora of additional information including links to the site's most popular content:
It’s almost a little too much information, though. It’s a bit overwhelming. What am I supposed to do first?
Here’s a few ways Wellness Mama can narrow the focus of her thank you page to give her new subscribers more direction:
- Remove the “Let’s Be Friends!” section but place that headline above the social buttons at the bottom of the page
- Choose three or four of her popular posts and display them in columns with a feature image and the title. This adds a visual element to the page and will draw her new subscriber’s eye to the posts making them more enticing.
Everyone wants to feel like they made the right decision. And what better way to give your newest soon-to-be raving fan the comfort of knowing they made the right choice by showcasing some of your testimonials.
And if you’ve been collecting testimonials with Thrive Ovation, your thank you page is a great place to display them.
Or if you have video testimonials, you can use those here too. Seeing that others have benefited from your services or products goes a long way in validating the action just taken. And it could be what they need to take the next action you request.
In the following example, the University of Southern California Alumni Association’s thank you page features students who benefit from donations:
After seeing this video, donors get to feel good about their generous actions which could increase the likelihood of continued donations in the future.
You just got someone to say yes to your offer. Now’s a good time to ask them for a favor to share the love!
Include links or buttons to your social profiles and ask them to follow your business. You can also ask your new fans to share the same offer with their own network.
Check out social media expert Dustin W. Stout's thank you page:
Super cute Minions aside, he lets his new subscriber know the download is on its way, includes his social links at the bottom of the page, and then asks them to share it on their own social media profiles.
Always try to make it as easy as possible for your new subscribers or customers to share from your thank you page. They already saw the value in your offer, so make it as simple as possible for them to tell everyone the good news.
Conversion-Focused Thank You Pages
Don't forget about confirming the action first!
Move Them Down the Funnel
Your new lead is primed to take action. They just accepted your offer so now might be a good time to make another one.
For instance, let's say you're a coach and a new lead signs up for your newsletter. Use this opportunity to offer an appointment for a free consultation.
And if you use a scheduling app, add that link to make it even easier for them to set up a call.
Online marketer, speaker, and coach Lilach Bullock does an excellent job of this after you sign up for her free email swipe file:
She thanks her new prospect, lets them know the download is coming and how to use it, then provides a link to schedule a free consultation in the copy.
She also includes a contact form underneath her thank you message. If her prospect misses the text link to set up a call, the contact form won’t be missed.
A Bad Example and an Almost There Example
In my sign up smorgasbord, I came across a couple of thank you pages that didn’t quite hit the mark.
Let’s start with a site I had high hopes for, Lexi’s Clean Kitchen:
The subscription is confirmed. That’s good.
But it’s not a thank you page. That’s not good.
She uses a default Mailchimp “Subscription Confirmed” page which removes the chance to more strongly connect with her new subscriber.
Lexi’s thank you page is a great candidate for the browsing goal, and she could do this with the Share Related Content best practice. For instance, she’s got this cool clickable recipe key on her homepage:
This would be a great addition if she were to create her own thank you page. It leads to more valuable information but also content that is specific to the user.
Don’t rely on your email service providers generic pages. You can easily connect your email service from the Thrive Themes dashboard. See how to do this with the step-by-step tutorials here.
Here’s another thank you page that somewhat misses the mark, Content Sparks:
Content Sparks sells business related PLR content. Taken as a conversion-focused thank you page, there should be a more compelling offer to move the prospect down the funnel.
This could be a good time to offer one of the lower cost and popular pieces of content for a one-time, special introductory offer.
Or to be able to send new subscribers more relevant offers in the future, Content Sparks could begin segmenting the audience by having the new prospect choose which content category they are most interested in on the thank you page.
Like Lexi’s Clean Kitchen, Content Sparks also has a great clickable graphic on the homepage which would work well on the thank you page.
If you need help creating a thank you page, check out Thrive University’s How to Set Up a Complete List Building Funnel.
The course covers creating the entire funnel (obviously), but also shows how to create a thank you page aka confirmation page using a template.
If you’re using thank you pages on your website, that’s great! But now it’s time to make sure you are maximizing their potential.
Take a look at your thank you pages. Do you have a browsing goal or a conversion goal? Are you including any of the above tips on your pages? If the answer is neither and none, well then you’ve got some work to do!
Whether your thank you page still needs some work or is already helping you turn new leads into raving fans at this very moment, let us know in the comments if you have any questions or helpful tidbits of your own you can share!