Optimizing Thank You Pages for fun and profit

As a growth marketer, you've invested precious time and resources creating quality content, bringing in traffic and leads. Nice. You also know most inbound leads aren't "sales-ready", so you're running drip campaigns to nurture them through the sales cycle. Smart.

But what if anywhere from 5-25% of your inbound leads would convert on your core product offering right away if you simply ask them to take action?

Enter the thank you page, the place your visitors go after registering to access your content. It's a key touchpoint in your content marketing funnel, and often a good candidate for optimization.

They can be tied to many different offers, including...

  • Blog and podcast subscriptions
  • Whitepapers
  • Research reports
  • eBooks & PDFs
  • Webinars
  • e-courses

Thank you pages can have a big impact on your conversion efforts because 1) content marketing can generate a lot of traffic, so even a low conversion rate can have a large impact, and 2) the Thank You page is often terribly neglected (marketers are so focused on getting people to take that initial action, we often forget about what we can do next).

Why they convert well

There are a two key principles of persuasion from that explain why we should be adding strong follow-up calls to action to our thank you pages.

1. The Principle of Reciprocity

Give people a gift, and they'll feel indebted to pay you back in kind. So, after letting visitors access your eBook or free guide, don't be afraid to ask them to start a trial or get a demo of your product.

2. The Principle of Consistency

People want to behave in a way that's in line with prior actions. So if you can get your visitors to take one small step, like signing up for a webinar, you'll have a good chance to put that persuasive momentum to work to benefit your bottom line.

Some design guidelines to follow

So what are some concrete steps to make sure your thank you pages will work more effectively?

1. separate Your Thank You message from the Next offer

The last thing you want to do is to confuse or mislead visitors into thinking that your thank you page is another step to access your content. This might work, but I'd consider it a dark pattern that will erode your credibility. Make it clear they're content is on its way, and that your subsequent offer is something supplemental.

At InVision, we used clear headline copy to set the right expectations for the user

At InVision, we used clear headline copy to set the right expectations for the user

Salesforce clearly positions their secondary offers as "Next Steps"

Salesforce clearly positions their secondary offers as "Next Steps"

2. Use Message Match

Ideally, message match your next offer to whatever action your visitor just took. This helps make sure the user sees this as a logical next step, which will help drive up your conversion rate.

Shopify's headline ties their secondary action with what users will learn in their Ecommerce University

Shopify's headline ties their secondary action with what users will learn in their Ecommerce University

3. Make Sure Your Next offer is Clearly above the fold

Visitors to your thank you page are unlikely to scroll, especially once they know the content is on its way to their inbox. Make sure you clearly tease your next offer above-the-fold, otherwise your visitors will almost definitely miss it.

At InVision, we ensured our "exclusive offer" CTA was clearly displayed above the fold, and added a bouncing arrow to encourage users to scroll below the fold.

At InVision, we ensured our "exclusive offer" CTA was clearly displayed above the fold, and added a bouncing arrow to encourage users to scroll below the fold.

4. Keep it simple

Follow landing page optimization practices and remove all external navigational links and distracting elements if you want users to focus on your secondary offer.

Kissmetrics uses a minimal design style with a CTA that clearly stands out

Kissmetrics uses a minimal design style with a CTA that clearly stands out

5. Communicate Value

Many visitors to your thank you page will be seeing your core offer for the first time. Make sure you clearly describe what your product is, who it's for, and what value it will bring to the user.

HubSpot's thank you page has a clear value proposition, offering readers of it's Inbound Marketing report a complementary assessment.

HubSpot's thank you page has a clear value proposition, offering readers of it's Inbound Marketing report a complementary assessment.

Time to build & measure

Thank you pages matter, and they're sadly neglected. Following these design guidelines is a step towards getting more from your content assets. But to make sure you know how your thank you pages are performing, take advantage of conversion tracking tools like Optimizely and Google Analytics. To make better optimization decisions, use heatmaps and scrollmaps to see whether users are scrolling to your offer and where they're clicking on the page. And make sure you have the right goal tracking in place so you have a clear picture of what works and what doesn't.

Mike Fiorillo

Toronto

Mike Fiorillo is a growth marketing and customer acquisition consultant based in Toronto, Canada. He is the lead optimizer at swiftCRO, a conversion rate optimization consultancy.

Skills:
SEO, CRO, Google Analytics, Optimizely

Interests:
Tech, Espresso, Design, Travel, Photography, Software, Minimalism