Every business has a sales and marketing funnel which transitions new visitors into loyal, returning customers. Or rather, they should!
When it comes to building your business, it’s not enough to know how to attract customers; the real prize is holding their attention. Customers crave connection; businesses crave loyalty.
After the first transaction is completed, we all want to know – what’s next?
This brings us to one of the most neglected and underutilised aspects of the sales funnel: the ‘thank you’ page (sometimes called the ‘confirmation’ page).
So that we are all on the same page, let’s define what a thank you page is. It is the page prospects or customers are redirected to once they’ve converted in some way. They might have subscribed to your blog or newsletter, signed up for your professional services or purchased the really cool things you sell.
In that very moment, this customer is your hottest, most engaged prospect. You’ve worked hard to bring them to this place in the journey and instead of leveraging on that momentum, we usually drop them out the bottom of the funnel with a polite “thanks”.
Could there be an opportunity to do something different?
Only if you want your customers to come back.
Perhaps it’s time you looked at your ‘Thank You’ page differently. Instead of being the end of the journey, why not make it the beginning?
Studies consistently show it’s 5 times more cost effective to retain a customer than to source a new one. Most companies are proactive in the business of new customer generation, but usually place far less focus on customer retention. Your customers want to come on a journey with you. You just need to build the path.
Start thinking about your ‘thank you’ page as:
- Your “would you like fries with that” page
- A chance to continue the conversation
- The beginning of your relationship with your customer
Don’t think about your ‘thank you’ page as:
– See you later
– Thank you (shocking, we know).
Stop looking at the “BUY NOW” button as a destination and start looking at it as a LET’S GO! Leveraging the momentum at play, it’s possible to turn a once-off customer into a lifelong fan. You can also use it as an opportunity to gather some useful data from them at the same time, to enhance their experience, next time they visit.
Conversion is all about persuasion and decision-making…
The thank you page is one of the optimum points within the funnel where your customers are primed for increased engagement.
Let’s talk psychology for a moment to understand why.
Proximity of Decisions
Have you ever gone into a store with the intention of just buying ‘one or two things’, but then find yourself walking back to your car with one or two bags of stuff? Why does this happen?
Well, the real question is ‘why not?’. You’re already there. You already bought something. It’s no big deal to get something else. Same principle goes online.
Whilst many of us hover around a decision, the moment it’s made, our minds shift into a different gear. Uncertainty is uncomfortable. To counteract it, we rationalise our decisions with logic and supportive narrative.
That’s why we can rationalise purchases that might otherwise seem illogical; and why after making one decision, we are far more open to make another to support it.
Knowing that your customers are open to further engagement at this point in the funnel, let’s talk about the 6 goals of your ‘thank you’ page:
1) A place to confirm the transaction
The “Thank You” page should confirm in the actions of the site visitor, assuring them that they have successfully subscribed, purchased, donated, etc.
That’s just being polite.
2) A place to qualify your leads.
Asking additional questions from your newly converted customer is powerful information.
Valuable insights can be gained about their industry, position in the company, their biggest challenges and more. This kind of information allows you to better serve them in all future communications and campaigns, impacting your ability to provide more targeted and meaningful engagement.
3) A place to build community
There are very few things in the world of marketing which come close to the power of word of mouth. You’ve got a warm, recently converted (hopefully happy) customer – why not give them an opportunity to recommend?
Better still, why not give them an incentive to recommend, for example by offering them a gift, exclusivity or access to something of value, priority service, membership or a discount on their next purchase.
4) A place to build trust
Help your new customer feel great about their decision by introducing them to other happy customers by way of testimonial. Engaging with other success stories invites them to build a sense of trust and relationship.
5) A place to conduct a spot of research
A brief (yes, brief) survey on the way out is an incredibly valuable tool to get to know your audience. How they found you. What is their biggest challenge. What almost prevented them from buying.
Whilst running analytics on your customers is important, the numbers will never speak as clearly as the voice of your customers themselves. Give them an opportunity to feel heard.
6) A place to make a NEW SALE
Finally, your ‘thank you’ page should be a place that clearly invites your customer along the next step of the journey. You’ve got momentum. Now harness it and offer them a new place to go.
Would they like to receive further specials?
Have they heard about your latest promotion?
Or heard about next season’s trends ahead of everyone else?
Why not visit your blog?
Or connect with you on Facebook?
Would they like to start a free trial?
The possibilities are endless.
With so many options, there is one final word of caution when designing your ‘thank you’ page. Be clear about what you want/need this page to do and focus your design around onecall to Action only.
The last thing you want to do with your happy customer, is confuse them. Too many options and they’re going to feel pressured. Remember, you’re in this for the long term. Where does your customer want to go next?
Work that out and let your ‘thank you’ page lead them gently by the hand. The exchange will leave them with a growing sense of reciprocity and loyalty towards your brand.
Which is why they’ll come back.