Does my website need a dedicated ‘thank-you’ URL?


By Hannah Wakeman

Digital
30 March 2016

 

ipad-820272_1920When a visitor to your site completes an action that is valuable to you, like a form completion or a purchase, sometimes they are directed to a ‘thank-you’ page. This is where you confirm the action taken by the customer, or thank them for their custom.

You can alternatively show that the action is complete by using an onsite confirmation message that appears after the action, so you don’t necessarily need a new URL. However, before you choose which method to use, there are other things to consider – the impact on your sales and marketing funnel, and the technical tracking of your leads and consumer behaviour.

The marketing bit: Are you missing a trick?

A ‘thank-you’ page is often an afterthought, but if you approach this page proactively, you might find ways to foster relationships with the people who have purchased, or may purchase your product.

present-150291_1280The extra mile

‘Thank-you’ pages are an opportunity to give your leads a little something extra that could help convert them into full prospects, or to keep your existing customers coming back.

Try giving ‘nice surprises’ such as offer codes for their next purchase, or targeted further reading suggestions. If your main call-to-action is a download, a free trial, or a contact form, then your customers haven’t committed to your product or service yet. Additional downloads or content suggestions can keep new leads engaged even before you return their calls or emails. Don’t ‘strand’ your leads down a dead-end when you’re not finished talking to them yet!

Clear Messages

Consumers expect confirmation in the form of a clear message that says, ‘thank you, we are taking care of your requests.’ If you would prefer to have a ‘thank-you’ message generate on the same URL rather than direct users to a new page after the action is completed, then that’s fine; some web designers actually say that this can give a slicker user experience. You must however make sure that it doesn’t blend into the site so well that it isn’t visible.

NEVER send them back to the home page

Digital devices have changed the way your customers engage with you and your brand, and made the process like getting through a maze rather than walking down a road. Customers repeatedly interact with brands in a series of ‘micro-moments’. If you were near the end of the maze, and somebody moved you right back to the start, how likely would you be to start again?!

The technical bit: alternative trackingonline shopping

When it comes to digital marketing, you need to know exactly what return you are getting on your investment. One of the best ways to measure this online is to make sure that you are tracking all the valuable actions (conversions) that your users take on your website, such as making purchases or filling in contact forms.

The easy way to track this is to send users to a unique URL that can only be accessed by those who have completed the conversion. You can then regard every hit on that URL as a goal completion in Google Analytics, or using a code from your PPC interface. This is very easy to do, however, websites are often set up so differently from each other that they may as well be different species. If you are somehow limited in what you can change, this may not be possible.

Google Tag Manager & Javascript

Google Analytics tracks pageviews without any custom coding, making ‘thank-you’ pages ideal for simple tracking. However, if you want to track other actions, like specific button clicks or whether a form has been filled out, you need to tell Analytics how to recognise those actions.

There are custom codes that you can write or adapt to take care of this, but at SpiderGroup, we like to use Google Tag Manager. We use this tool to track events, like the actual click on a ‘submit’ button, or the completion of a form that does not, or cannot, go through to a ‘thank-you’ URL. We can usually find a way to track what we need, even if we have to really sweat to make it work. However, if there are no barriers to editing your website, it could be more cost-effective to create a simple ‘thank-you’ page.

So…do I need a ‘thank-you’ URL?

If you can get a ‘thank-you’ URL on your site, then your digital marketing agency or team will thank you, as this is definitely the most straightforward tracking option. If a ‘thank-you’ URL is off the table, there will always be a way to track the actions and conversions on your website – although it may take some creative thinking! From a marketing point of view though, your ‘thank-you’ page is an asset that you might be underusing. You could consider making some website changes in order to keep your target audience engaged with your brand post-conversion. So the real answer is that you don’t need a ‘thank-you’ URL… but you might want one!

If you need assistance with any area of your digital presence, from web design to marketing and tracking, then get in touch with SpiderGroup on 0117 933 0570 or contact us online and we’ll get back you as soon as possible.

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