If you’re like us, you say “please” and “thank you” automatically. Sometimes when things get a bit too automatic, they tend to lose their impact. If you’ve ever been told to “say it like you mean it” you know that it’s not just about what you say, it’s how you say it. This goes for your thank you pages too.
If creating a thank you page feels like checking a box, the response from your customers will be equally underwhelming (and you’ll be leaving a huge opportunity for post-conversion on the table). After all, it’s one of the few moments where you have your customer’s full attention (after giving them something they valued enough to fill out a form or make a purchase).
Now it’s up to you to drive them towards that next step in a way that’s both thoughtful and engaging. Not making the most of that critical moment in the customer journey is like getting someone to say “yes” to a first date and then walking away (without making a plan or at least grabbing their number first).
See the problem here? So, let’s start by clarifying what a thank you page is (and what you can achieve with it).
Colin was formerly a content wonk at Unbounce (and editor-in-chief of this blog). He’s been known to sling a big word or two, but he’s got a soft spot for the cute lil’ ones. He adores search engines, digital marketing, and descriptive grammar. He’s so fun at parties. 🥃
Danielle is a member of Unbounce’s content team. She loves how writers (and great writing) can create clarity in chaos. When she’s not tightly embracing her Nespresso machine, she’s either tuning out the world with a great book, spiking away stress on the volleyball court, or passionately debating the elusive Oxford comma.
Most importantly, your thank you page should provide your customers with peace of mind. Your customers should immediately be assured that they have (or will) receive whatever they signed up for or purchased. If you’ve ever taken an action online—like submitting a form or making a purchase—without receiving a response, you know the existential dread that follows:
Did it… work? What happens next? Should I do it again?
You might start panicking, check your email for a receipt, or even contact customer service. That’s a whole lot of unnecessary stress that could have been solved with a simple thank you page.
But why stop there? Let’s start by clarifying that, although it’s often used as such, your thank you page should not be the end of the transaction. Why put all of that effort into converting your customers just to fumble the ball.Your thank you page is the next step in keeping your customers engaged with your brand or product, generating continued goodwill, further qualifying your leads—or even increasing customer lifetime value. Thank you pages help set the tone for the relationship you have with your customers moving forward, while also showing them what they should do next or how to get the most out of whatever they have just received from you. This makes thank you pages an essential cornerstone of your post-conversion strategy (more on this later).
What is the difference between a thank you page and a landing page?
When trying to unpack the differences between landing pages and thank you pages, a few crisp analogies should help paint a pretty clear picture. Think of your landing page as the before and your thank you page as the after. You will drive traffic to your landing page through campaign activities like ads and email marketing, and try to convert that traffic by providing a specific offer (often through a form fill or purchase). A thank you page appears after that conversion, which is why we said that thank you pages are a critical part of your post-conversion strategy. That said, you should think about your thank you page as you’re developing your overall landing page strategy(which goes well beyond your thank you page).
That said, a great thank you page might look a lot like a landing page. Why? Because they both present an opportunity to convert your customers. You can also think about it as the difference between warm and cold outreach (yes, we’re coming in hot with another analogy). Landing page visitors are likely cold, either because it’s their first interaction with you or because they’ve arrived on your landing page through an ad or email. People who arrive on your thank you page are warm because they have already shown interest in what you’ve offered, further increasing your chance of converting them again either now or in the future. Think of a time where you were immediately offered a discount for your next purchase or provided with a list of additional resources similar to the ebook that you just downloaded—both are examples of putting a post-conversion strategy into action.
Why do I need a thank you page?
Remember that panicky moment we referred to earlier on where you put your credit card in to make a purchase online, didn’t get a confirmation afterwards, and ran screaming to customer support? That’s why you need a thank you page. All over-dramatized jokes aside, there are scenarios where you truly need a thank you page (like the one we just mentioned) because your customers will have a poor experience without it. But thank you pages aren’t one trick ponies—they’re also great for conversion rate optimization (CRO). Landing pages are used at various stages of your conversion funnel, but there’s always a next step in the buyer journey, whether it’s another piece of content or an upsell or an opportunity to create brand loyalty. Thank you pages take advantage of the momentum that comes from conversion, taking interested and captive customers and sending them on their way to value town by sharing a promo code or prompting them to sign-up for your newsletter for more helpful content.
What are the benefits of a thank you page?
Here are a few reasons why thank you pages are so powerful:
Thank you pages have a captive audience that is looking for a confirmation, download link, or next step, which means they are paying attention (and as a marketer you know this is rare).
Your thank you pages are a perfect first step in an effective post-conversion strategy (driving better engagement and increasing customer lifetime value) and post-purchase experience (the key to retention and loyalty).
Thank you pages are great for personalization. After all, the customer has already shown interest in your offer, giving you insight into what else they might want or need.
If you’re not ready to amp up your conversion game with thank you pages, they’re also a great place to delight your customers and show off your brand personality.
How can I use thank you pages to drive engagement and conversion?
Looking for other ways to drive better engagement and conversion with thank you pages? Here are a few ideas to make the most of your thank you page:
5 thank you page examples (with tips and best practices)
So let’s talk about a few ways you can approach creating the best possible thank you page. Along the way, we’ll explore some very effective thank you page examples (most of which were created by Unbounce customers).
Thank you page for converting MQLs into SQLs: Invite ‘em for a specific, strategic call
The example below from Australia’s Axis Social applies every best practice out there (and then some) to maximize its post-conversion potential:
This isn’t a landing page, though it might look a lot like one at first glance. It’s a thank you page (as opposed to a confirmation box or popup). And that’s why it’s so powerful. It does a lot of what a traditional lead generation page might do, but it does it after the initial conversion goal has been met.
At this point in the interaction, the team at Axis has already captured the visitor’s email address in exchange for a downloadable Buyer’s Guide. Instead of letting the interaction end there, Axis goes the extra mile to communicate their value as an agency. According to Managing Director Matthew Asimus, this page helped them bridge the gap between a marketing qualified (MQL) and sales qualified (SQL) lead:
“We hypothesized that a number of users who engaged with, and converted on, our first MQL landing page would develop an additional level of trust and thus a propensity to ascend from an MQL into an SQL. In essence, we were hoping to move users through a ‘yes cascade’ or ‘yes ladder’ to improve conversion rates. Our initial results from this MQL ascension approach are incredibly exciting. Despite the campaigns using cold paid traffic from social and requesting seven form fields, our landing page conversion rates are nearly 30%. What’s more, our lead qualification rates align with our other sales qualified lead generation approaches.”
This agency thank you page is a top tier example because they made the most of the space by incorporating the following:
Social proofin the form of both brand logos (visible above the fold, naturally) and extensive testimonials from individual clients.
A walkthrough of the social strategy call that highlights compelling benefits (“predictable and reliable lead growth for your company” sounds good to us) and gives the call a definitive structure and purpose.
The enticing promise of another resource, a custom Facebook Ads Blueprint, that’ll prove equally valuable to Axis Social’s targeted customers.
The beauty of this approach is that it also scales to suit visitors without adding more pressure to the experience. If a visitor hits this page but doesn’t want to connect with Axis Social at the moment, there’s nothing here preventing them from clicking away.
But when visitors arrive with questions—or, say, balanced on the fine line between consideration and conversion—this thank you page example gives them the extra nudge they need.
Thank you page for next steps: Be a top notch communicator
Remember how we talked about that existential dread that comes when you submit a form or make a purchase and see nothing after you’ve completed that action? Hopefully by now you understand why letting the visitor know about the next steps is a best practice—especially if your call to action isn’t the ideal end of the interaction. Doing so will reduce friction, frustration, and uncertainty. Even if the next step will be yours to take, let people know what you’re doing and when they can expect to hear from you. For example, notice how Zendrive does it here with a couple of lines:
Aside from the value of crystal clear communication, here are a few other reasons why this thank you page example is spot on:
In the headline, they let their B2B prospects know that they’ve successfully completed the “first step” and then they reinforce the value of the purchase by saying, “You took the first step to upgrade your app with behavior-based insurance.”
The page then sets expectations about what comes next (and when): “You will receive a message shortly with your invite to an executive briefing.”
They make the most of their captive audience (and their newfound understanding of what this visitor is interested in thanks to their handy-dandy form submission) by linking to a piece of content from their blog for further reading. Providing a link to a single, valuable piece of content (as opposed to their blog as a whole) helps build trust before the briefing ever begins.
Bonus tip: offer downloadables on your thank you pages
OK, full disclosure: We’re slipping this lil’ bonus tip in here just because it’s a pet peeve of ours.
Have you ever signed up for an ebook, report, or white paper that never seems to find its way to your inbox? It sucks. When this happens, visitors are left feeling frustrated or even a little ripped off, since they’ve just shared their email address (or worse, paid for something) and received nothing in return.
(We can’t click “unsubscribe” fast enough when this happens.)
What makes it so painful, though, is that there’s a dead-simple way of getting around this issue on your thank you pages:
Unless you’ve got a very special reason you need to deliver a file only via email, provide a download link on the thank you page itself. That way, visitors who are anxious to start reading (like us) are satisfied. You can still start a drip campaign, of course. But you also eliminate the possibility that your downloadable never makes it to them.
Plus, when you click away, you leave with a pleasant association with the brand.
Thank you page for surveys: Win them over first, then make a second ask
Sometimes it helps if the initial action is immediately appealing to your prospects. Take, for example, this contest created for Veeam by Gameplan Marketing:
Click to see a bigger version.
Leads are captured by offering prizes to IT professionals (like a fitness tracker, a hotel gift card, or Apple AirPods) in exchange for taking a short survey about their current data centers and cloud storage solutions. Like the example from Zendrive above, the thank you page then reminds visitors what they can expect next (which we consider a best practice).
But afterward, this survey thank you page also makes a second ask. Visitors are (gently) encouraged to sign up to access a free, gated content hub. Since they’ve already provided their info to enter the contest, they’re now more predisposed to do so. Gameplan also includes a sweet explainer video (it appears on the contest page and the thank you page) that briefly outlines the benefits of their cloud-based data-management product. Bonus tip: Want to add a survey to your landing page? Check out this knowledge base article to find out how to do that with Unbounce.
Thank you page for online purchases: Build brand loyalty
This is the only example we’ve shared that wasn’t created by an Unbounce customer (Psst… hey Sephora—we’re interested if you are) but it’s such a great example of an ecommerce thank you page that we had to share.
Click to see a bigger version.
In some ways, this is your typical “thank you for your purchase” page, but there’s a lot more going on here than you might see at first glance. This page is all about building loyal customers, and here’s why Sephora is killing it:
They’re using purchase data to personalize. Instead of sharing a simple call to action (CTA) like “sign-up for our loyalty program”, Sephora is letting the buyer know that, by signing up, they can earn points (four to be exact) on the purchase they just made (and who wants to miss out on points?!).
The secondary navigation is both helpful and conversion-focused. Sephora makes it easy for customers to find their account information (including order details and payment info), while also sharing more info on how to use the site with items like “How to use your loves list”. Most importantly, they’ve highlighted different components of their loyalty program.
They include product suggestions. This page is for shoppers who haven’t yet converted to the loyalty program, which means they may not be repeat shoppers (yet). By including additional product suggestions and framing them as “people also bought”, you’re achieving a bit of FOMO while also showing the visitor all of the great products you have to offer.
Thank you page for gated content: Keep ‘em engaged with your site
One thing that most of these examples have in common is that they lead visitors back to the website or prompt another piece of content. You can take this even further, though.
Here’s what the landing page for this guide looks like:
Click the image to visit the complete page. (Opens in a new tab.)
Eye-catching, right? And if it helps convince visitors that this lookbook is worth the download, then call it a success. It’s an awesome resource for any marketer looking for inspiration, so it’s not a tough sell.
That’s why a thank you page is so crucial here. We want to keep the conversation going, so we use a thank you page to ask visitors another quick question on the way out. Depending on what visitors choose, they’ll be directed to additional resources.
I’ve included a screenshot of this choose-your-own-adventure flow below:
The answer that readers provide to this general question (i.e., “What’s the biggest challenge you face as a marketer?”) does three things:
The answer allows us to offer up additional, curated content and resources at the moment of conversion. This is the material we think visitors will find particularly useful. We include content from across the funnel, including editorial, educational, and promotional content.
It lets us get to know our audience and their concerns a little better. The optional follow-up question on the thank you page helps us further qualify interest from visitors via progressive profiling and learn more about customers and non-customers alike.
It provides insight into our audience’s information needs. From a content planning and strategy perspective, this is invaluable as we fill content gaps, decide on what pieces need to be updated, and prioritize the creation of new resources.
So a single thank you page can become a source of marketing insight, an engagement driver, and a lead qualifier. All this happens by asking a single question at the right moment. The best part: this thinking is easy to replicate and highly effective for other use cases, such as a “thank you for your purchase” page. In this case, you would gain insight into what your audience wants from current or future products and provide them with additional information that will help them get the most from your product.
Curious about the Unbounce ecommerce lookbook? Take a look at the whole flow here. (Yes, we’ll need your email.) While you’re at it, download it for your landing page swipe file.
How to create a thank you page
Even though we’ve already hammered you with analogies on why thank you pages and landing pages are different, the process of creating a thank you page is actually quite similar to creating a landing page (here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it).
That said, the main difference is that you might have to strike a balance across a few different objectives:
Saying thank you in a meaningful way that reinforces the value of your product, service, or brand.
Offering clear communication with next steps on how to access whatever your audience signed up for.
Driving your audience towards the next conversion goal (we shared a few example conversion goals in this section).
As always, everything is faster and more efficient when you have great examples and templates to build on. Get started as quickly as possible using our handy landing page templates (and by making the changes that align to the objectives we listed above).
Final thoughts on thank you pages
Well, thanks for reading (about thank you pages).
We find a real-world analogy enlightening here: imagine if brick-and-mortar retailers were to escort you to the exit and lock the door each time you make a purchase.
That’d be crazy, right?
So why do it on your landing pages?
Unfortunately, smart uses of thank you pages like these ones are the exception, not the rule. Frankly, a lot of examples out there look more like this bland form confirmation box, typo and all:
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Pages like this one just don’t put as much care into saying thank you as they do their “pleases.” (That’s not great, Bob.)
A thank you page shouldn’t feel like getting the door slammed in your face and, if that’s the habit you’ve gotten into, consider breaking it.
Thank you pages are super versatile. You can use them with subscriptions, downloads, webinar registrations, shopping carts, quote requests, demo signups, and contact forms. They can be used for upselling (or cross-selling), for offering discounts, for encouraging referrals, for soliciting feedback and testimonials, or for generating social shares. Holy moly.
Whether you’re selling something or generating leads, saying “thank you” in an unexpected and meaningful way is an opportunity to make a lasting impression. And, when incorporated into a thoughtful post-conversion strategy, it can boost your revenue too.
To close, here are three big points worth remembering if you’re trying to make a case for spending more time on your thank you pages:
According to research done by Bain & Company, “loyal online customers, just like offline ones, spend more, refer more people, and are more willing to expand their purchasing into new categories.” Well-considered thank you pages represent an incredible opportunity to create loyalty and build brand affinity.
If you get enough traffic and have a clear secondary conversion goal, remember that thank you pages can be A/B tested and optimized just like your landing pages. Post-conversion remains an important touchpoint for your conversion rate optimization planning.