Is Your Thank You Page Failing?


Almost every website has a submission form. Even mine does. They are extremely useful for your business, and your visitors. But, web designers often forget about what happens after the visitor clicks 'submit'. There's an entire screen full of opportunity, where you have your visitor's full attention, as they look for instructions and details as to what happens next.

Why would you ignore this?! Remember, they have just communicated with you. These are HUGE prospects who are already interested in what you have to say. Giving visitors a standard "Thank you for signing up!" message is a green light to leave.

It's not hard to get your Thank You pages working. It doesn't even take a lot of time. And, it can mean a lot to your customers knowing that you took the time and effort to customize the message and make their experience more valuable.

The Basics:

  • Say 'Thank You'
    I know, this seems obvious. But make sure the page clearly states that you appreciate their interest, and that they are a valuable customer/visitor/partner. Even if they're not a customer yet, start treating them like one.
  • Give a timeline
    If they are expecting a response, let them know when you will get back to them. If they won't hear back for seven business days, and they expect a 24-hour response, it's going to be essential to mention this to them. And, when you say 48-hours, mean it. You will almost automatically lose business if you don't.
  • Set expectations
    No matter what the purpose of the form is, always let the visitor know what to expect next. More importantly, do they need to do anything next? Think of this as the, 'Once you ________, we will _________.' No one likes to be left hanging.
  • Make it unique
    Tailor the page to reflect the content of the submission form. Keep the material relevant, and don't re-use the same page every time. The only way to make a Thank You page truly work is to customize it to that exact interaction. Your appreciation can easily be taken as insincere if you start reusing content.

The Opportunities:

  • Get Feedback
    Your customers know how much they want to spend, their satisfaction level, what they think you are missing. So ask. The Thank You page is a perfect place to prompt your prospects/customers to give you a piece of their mind. You may already have a feedback page on your website. Route them there with a simple internal 'banner ad'. Just keep any of these forms simple, short, and let people know how long it will take.
  • Learn more about the visitor
    You would be surprised how many people are willing to give their deets. Why not say 'Thank You! Now, we would like to learn more about you so we may make the (site/service/product) work best for you, our loyal customer.' This juicy data can help your business in a million different ways that you would otherwise have to pay big money to obtain.
  • Increase traffic
    Adding funnels to content the visitor may want to check out next is a great way to increase traffic. Anything to make the site easier to navigate will increase the time spent on your page, and increase the opportunities you will have to make an impact. Thank about linking to your most popular blog posts, resource documents, guides, policies, and new product pages. Just make sure the link is relevant and interesting.
  • Provide (and get) testimonials
    Your loyal customers are the best salespeople. Let someone who is interested in your products see how happy your current customers are. Studies are clear that people trust an online product review more than a sales pitch, or even their friends. Just make sure the testimonial is positive, yet unfiltered. It needs to be natural and sincere. While you are at it, ask the customer to give their own testimonial.
  • Drive social interaction
    As I mentioned, these visitors are already interested in hearing what you have to say. This is the perfect time to drive people to Like, Subscribe, Re-pin, Share and interact.

Every interaction is an opportunity to sell your brand. Whether you are trying to gain customer information or drive sales, there is no reason you can't implement a few of these tactics. What Thank You page tips do you have to share?

Design Inspiration: David A. Smith

David A. Smith is a traditional sign artist who was commissioned by John Mayer for his 'Born & Raised' album cover. He may be one of the most talented hand type designers I have ever seen. Watch the video to get a real dose of artistry.

It clocks in at almost 18 minutes so wait until you have time to watch and really appreciate the craftsmanship involved. If only we could all apply this amount of dedication to our work.

Special thanks to Adam Fox for the link.

The Best Employees Manage Up

The term "managing up" has a bad reputation. Mainly because people associate the practice with brown-nosing and manipulation. However, truly managing your manager has nothing to do with kissing feet, and everything to do with becoming a better employee. Not to mention all of the benefits that go along with keeping your manager happy and out of your hair.

Start by learning about your boss. A busy boss doesn't always have the time to discuss plans, next steps, and hear about your issues. So find out when they have free time for you and what their schedule looks like. Do they like to talk about things? Do they prefer phone calls, texts, emails, or online chat? The easiest way to find out is to ask.

Stay flexible. Start planning meetings with your boss when it works best for them. This may require staying late or coming in early, but it will be well worth it. One employee wrote a blog entry in HR Bartender explaining how he simply volunteered to catch coffee with his boss after he saw him get turned down by another executive. The offer turned into a regular thing. Now he has 15 minutes of dedicated face-time that would have otherwise been impossible to obtain.

Hone your style to theirs. Some managers are extremely focused on the details and others only want to see results. Ask co-workers who have positive relationships with your boss what style is preferred. A great conversation or email can easily be misunderstood if the tone and detail is not correct. This may take some trial and error, but keep working at it.

Don't force it. Some managers don't want to meet in person and prefer the communication in writing. This is okay too. This will get you to be succinct and save time for everyone. After your send off the correspondence, you have more time to work on your own projects and maybe enjoy that lunch of yours.

Come with something to show. The most important element in this equation is to be prepared to show your performance. Work hard and come with plans, suggestions, results, and anything that has been asked for. True performance will be apparent to your boss. Don't over-promise or over-commit. Just communicate openly about projects and ensure that your boss is kept up-to-date and has the opportunity to get involved.

Remember, this is not a popularity contest. This is ensuring that your boss has the time and the opportunity to get and give feedback. All of this is easier said than done, but it can go a long way to reducing some work related stress. And if you didn't notice, just as much of this plan is about managing yourself as it is about managing your boss. 

Want To Be Taken Seriously? Become a Better Writer.

Different forms of writing are everywhere. They are unavoidable. And, every time a piece of your writing goes out, it directly reflects the type of candidate, employee, or leader you are. It is your thought process, outside your head. This is a scary fact that we all must remember as we send out tweets, posts, and updates into the world.

I know, writing is difficult. Even the most seasoned professionals would agree that you can always get better. So, how exactly do you improve? The following tips are a good start.

  1. Practice. This is the number one reason I started writing recently. Do I hope someone loves my input enough to offer me a job. Of course. But, more importantly, I need to test myself. By putting this blog into the public sphere I am opening my words to criticism. I will probably screw up a line or forget a word. But when I do, I will learn from it, and probably never make the same mistake again.
  2. Say it out loud. Everything is different when you read it aloud. You notice the timing, sentence structure, tone, and you find out how things will sound in someone else's head. 
  3. Make it more concise. My business writing professor was a wizard. Eventually I figured out her technique. One day I saw her writing and couldn't believe my eyes. Her memo went on for pages. Then, she simply started deleting everything that didn't add value.
  4. Work on your headlines. The famous business writer David Ogilvy found that, on average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. Why else do you click and read an online news story? 
  5. Read. Read anything and everything you enjoy. My guilty pleasures are online tech blogs and WIRED magazine. Do I think it will make me the next Walt Mossberg? Not even close. But if only an ounce of his literary talent rubs off on me I have learned. And for that, I am better.
  6. Get feedback. Ask someone you trust and admire to review your work and give you specific feedback. This is may be the most painful, but also the fastest way to learn. I've been doing a lot of writing and spinning for SEO lately and if I wasn't asking for feedback I would be repeating  A LOT of the same mistakes. Many of them I didn't know I was making.
  7. Sit on it. Once you think you have a piece that is ready for the world to see, keep it to yourself. Let it sit for a night, or better yet, for a few days. When you come back you will notice new things about your writing. Most likely, you will have a few extra edits that will really help your work stand out.

(The basis of these brilliant lessons (except the last two) where based on the work of LinkedIn contributor Dave Kerpen. Some of you may have seen the original version of this article.)