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What happens after a prospect fills out a form to download a content offer like an e-book or a guide on your website?
You’ve attracted them to your website, enticed them with educational content and got them to convert on a form. So, once they hit submit are you then going to just replace the form with an inline thank you message and hope they rush over to check their email inbox for the offer they just received?
“Just using an inline thank you message or not telling a visitor what they can expect next can create a really poor experience,” says New Breed’s Head of Demand Generation, Guido Bartolacci.
Instead, you should redirect those visitors to a thank you page.
Thank you pages provide immediate confirmation that a lead successfully completed the ask on the landing page. Additionally, thank you pages provide leads with the offer they requested and set expectations for next steps.
Elements of an Effective Thank You Page
The offer itself
The primary purpose of a thank you page is to provide the site visitor with the offer they filled out a form to receive. If it’s a downloadable offer, make sure that the visitor can download it from the page. If you’ve sent them the offer through another channel, like email, let them know that as well.
If the offer is not something that can be instantaneously provided, maybe it’s registration for a future event or a request for personalized information, set the expectations of when and how they’ll be reached with further information.
Smart form with next relevant offer
“You should always be trying to progress people through their buyer’s journey and try to at least introduce that next step, whether or not they’re ready to take it,” Guido says.
So, in addition to providing the offer they just requested, promote another piece of content that’ll help them progress further in their buyer’s journey.
When selecting that next offer, make sure you’re not trying to rush them through the buying process. If they just downloaded an introductory educational e-book, you shouldn’t be following up by trying to get them to book a meeting with sales. Instead, you should be promoting a slightly more in-depth educational resource.
“Understanding what your buyer’s journey looks like is critical to making sure that the next step is in line with where they are depending on what they converted on,” Guido says.
We recommend using smart content, also known as dynamic content, to promote next steps on your thank you page. Smart content allows you to designate alternative offers based on the user’s behavior. So, if they’ve already downloaded the most logical next offer you can promote a secondary piece of content instead.
Some companies choose to remove navigation on landing pages to limit distractions for site visitors while they’re in the process of converting. Once a visitor has reached a thank you page though, that conversion is complete so the navigation should be reinstated allowing the visitor to once again browse your site freely.
Including a chatbot on your thank you pages gives visitors an opportunity to ask questions in real-time about the offer they just downloaded or signed up for and can help guide them toward the next step in a more interactive way.
While you don’t want to promote more than one or two next steps in your on-page content, you can create conversation paths in a chatbot that provide alternatives based on the information a visitor provides. So, if they’re not interested in the next steps you initially promoted, your chatbot can direct them to other offers in a user-friendly way.
Include links where visitors can share the offer they just received with their network via social media or other communication channels.
“Social proof is a really valuable thing to try and encourage as much as possible,” Guido says.
Ideally, visitors will find the offer you provided them with to be really valuable and want to spread awareness of it, and your company, through word of mouth.
But, you shouldn’t assume that’ll happen organically. You should explicitly encourage it. In addition to including sharing links and icons, ask visitors to share your offer with their network. You can even incentivize them to do so by giving them swag or another offer in exchange for sharing the link or getting a certain number of people to convert on the offer.
Thank you pages are opportunities to keep funnel momentum going for a lead. They’re the first step post-conversion of your continuing lead nurturing efforts.
What the rest of your lead nurturing strategy will look like depends on your company and sales cycle, but it’ll probably include emails, social media and retargeting ads.
While you might not continue to promote the same offer from the thank you page next step through all those channels, the conversion path you established on the thank you page should inform how you guide a lead forward so they move closer and closer toward becoming a customer.
Quinn is a writer and copyeditor whose work ranges from journalism to travel writing to inbound marketing content.