Why Marketers Should Ditch Thank-You Messages for Thank-You Pages

    by Jeffrey Russo

    Date

    March 25, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    thank-youFinally! You've made it through the long and arduous process of developing a new content offer. You’ve chosen a topic, gone through the painstaking process of developing a great piece of content, built the landing page and its calls-to-action, and you know where it’s going to live on your website. That's it! Right? Or, are we missing something?

    Oh yeah ... the thank-you message. What will users see after they fill out your landing page and click the submit button? Should it be a simple thank-you message that shows up in place of your form, or should it take them somewhere else on your website like, say, a full fledged thank-you page?

    Decisions, decisions ... 

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    It’s tempting to look at your thank you as an afterthought, especially when you’ve poured a ton of time and effort into perfecting the rest of the conversion process. After all, you already have what you wanted from the user -- their contact information -- right? So why spend a ton of time building out a thank-you page?

    The fact is that thank-you pages are a far superior option than thank-you messages. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why you should consider using a thank-you page over a thank-you message.

    Reason #1: Thank-you messages leave visitors stranded on your landing page.

    Most well-crafted landing pages are laser focused on a single goal: getting the user to convert on your form. Everything about the page is probably built and written around that single task. If you are a landing page pro, you may have even taken some steps like removing your website’s navigation and other extraneous elements that could distract users or create friction.

    While all of these best practices work to your advantage when you are vying for a visitor to convert on your landing page, they end up working to your detriment after conversion. The user is then trapped on a page with no navigation and no truly compelling next step to take. With a thank-you message, you are fighting an uphill battle against the user navigating away from your website entirely.

    Reason #2: Thank-you pages are more effective at keeping users engaged.

    Contrast the experience of being trapped on a landing page with no compelling next step against that of a well crafted thank-you page. On a thank-you page, every aspect of the page can be crafted around giving visitors new opportunities to engage more deeply with the brand that make sense in light of their recent conversion. Here are two great examples of next steps that you can include on a thank-you page that are tough to include in a thank-you message:

    • Secondary Conversion Opportunities: Is there a logical next step for you to offer to your new lead? Depending on the topic of the offer they just converted on, does it make sense to offer them some more product-focused content, or an opportunity to talk with someone on your sales team?
    • More Relevant, Useful Content: Many leads aren’t likely to convert a second time from your thank-you page, and that’s okay. For these leads, there is still a valuable opportunity at hand -- to offer up free content in the form of blog posts and other educational materials that can deepen the relationship with your brand. This might take the form of a basic feed of recent blog posts on your thank-you page, or maybe it’s a hand-selected set of posts that are tightly related to the topic of the offer they just converted on.

    Reason #3: Creating an effective thank-you page doesn’t have to be hard.

    When weighing your options between a thank-you message and a thank-you page, you might opt for the thank-you message because it seems like an easier, lighter weight option. But creating a thank-you page doesn’t have to consume a ton of time. In fact, it can actually be pretty straightforward and formulaic.

    Targeted thank-you pages that are tied to the original landing page or offer are most likely to perform well when it comes to getting leads to take that next step. That being said, you might opt to start with just one thank-you page that you can reuse across several or all of your different landing pages, and then build more out over time. This generic thank-you page can offer up general content and a call-to-action that is applicable across all of your landing pages. (For example, if you are delivering the original offer via email after the user converts on a landing page, you don’t need to worry about your thank-you page being more general.)

    The Anatomy of a Great Thank-You Page

    Finally convinced that a thank-you page is worth the effort over a simple thank-you message? If you are planning on building out a thank-you page, here are some helpful pointers on what to include (and you can find more tips about how to leverage your thank-you page real estate for better marketing here):

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    At the end of the day, it’s important to recognize that the thank you is an important opportunity to deepen the connection between a lead and your brand. They’ve already shown you a little bit of good will -- it’s a prime time to put a strong secondary offer forward, whether it be another conversion opportunity, more free content, or a way to connect with you via social media. And it’s tough to do all of that in anything less than a thank-you page.

    Image Credit: stevendepolo

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