With the arrival of AJAX-based forms, many websites have switched from the traditional Than-You page on a separate URL, to the sleek and sexy notification that shows up underneath the form once someone has signed up. Most content management systems provide this functionality as a standard feature. In fact, the extremely popular WordPress contact form plugin Contact Form 7 abolished support for the traditional separate Thank-You-page.
That is a big mistake. Here’s why.
Why you need Thank-You pages
Fix limited visibility and usability
Especially on mobile devices, notifications are often less visible. This might lead to confusion and frustration among engaged users, as they don’t know if their form has been submitted.
Social media and/or email marketing
After submitting the form, you can give people the opportunity to stay in touch or subscribe to updates. Examples are: receive product updates, notifications of new fashion collections, or invitations to stay in touch by following the organization’s social media channels.
After a form has been submitted, your Thank-You page can provide additional information as a service. Some ideas:
- Download a copy of an online conversation;
- Add a shortcut to add an appointment to a calendar;
- Show related information to prepare for a meeting;
- Provide driving instructions.
Improved marketing automation
A lot of marketing automation systems provide more opportunities and easier integration when you’re using Thank-You pages. It also makes it a lot easier to include marketing automation scripts.
Increase brand credibility
The more people engage with your content, the stronger your brand will get. Showing people the right message tells them that you are the right choice and decrease the risk of them visiting a competitor.
For example, you can build brand credibility by showing testimonials on your Thank-You page.
People who have submitted a form are likely to think favourable of your brand or products. Give them the opportunity to invite friends and share their (positive) experience.
For example, an organization that organizes stop-smoking courses found out that clients who share their intention to stop smoking with friends had a significantly higher success rate. Enabling new clients to easily share their intention increased their signup- and success rate, as well as bringing in new clients through word-of-mouth.
Easier tracking and reporting
Although you can use TrackEvents to track form engagement, many users prefer to see the number of conversions as Thank-You pages in their stats. Generally, conversions based on Than-You page URLs are easier to implement. The same goes for conversion funnels. Also, especially if you are using campaign landing pages (such as from Unbounce), visits to theThank-You page will decrease the page’s bounce rate and provide more accurate metrics on engagement.
A lot of remarketing platforms are reliant on the page URL to set a cookie. Sending sign-ups to separate landing pages gives you the opportunity to tag users who submitted a form. Use these to e.g:
- Block sign-ups from your lead generation campaigns, to save advertising cost;
- Create a pool of engaged people that you can target for new collections, product launches, etc;
- Personalize their experience on your website.
Pro Tip: Have a look at these 10 remarketing strategies and see if there are ways for you to increase engagement.
KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)! Especially in custom solutions, these notifications might use cause technical problems. Not every browser is as adept at handling Ajax-notifications compared to standard HTML - especially when using TrackEvents for Analytics. Don’t make it submitting a form more complicated than it has to be.
Again, people who are engaged are likely to like your brand or services. Provide them with the opportunity to leave a review (e.g. through Trustpilot), and your organization will benefit from higher credibility and, quite possibly, higher SEO rankings.
Increase cross- and up-selling
A notification is a dead end, as it doesn’t communicate anything new or provide users with the opportunity to do stay engaged. In contrast, a Thank-You page can inspire engaged visitors to buy a related product.
Improved loading time
Removing the need for additional AJAX messages and functionality can sometimes give you the opportunity to decrease page loading time. Granted, the improvement will be minimal, but the rising importance of page load for mobile marketing, as well as SEO, can make it worth it for high-performance websites.
When you are not using Thank-You pages, consider implementing them on your website. It’s a one-time change, and the advantages are numerous: better tracking, less risk and more engagement from valuable visitors. And if you are using Contact Form 7, use the free Contact Form 7 Redirection plugin to add this valuable functionality to your website.