The most important page on your website
There’s a page on your website that should generate more customers for you than any other, especially if you have a serious lead generation strategy.
It’s a goldmine for sales.
Done right, it will instantly convert readers to buyers at impressive rates all day, every day. Done wrong… you’re leaving bundles of cash on the table.
And sadly it is typically done wrong. Often very wrong.
It’s one of the most underrated and neglected areas of most websites.
This page is like the long suffering devoted spouse…underappreciated and taken for granted. Too often we’re blind to the essential work they’re doing in the background, unaware of how important it is. (Not me of course, my wife frequently reminds me how awesome she is).
Similarly, this critical page on your site is likely working away…barely noticed, tirelessly doing much of the heavy lifting and almost magically turning prospects into paid subscribers.
I’m still surprised how many people make the same mistakes with this page, unaware of the consequences and loss of sales. But with a little attention and TLC those mistakes can be quickly rectified and this page can start performing like the world’s best salesman, selling 24/7.
I’m talking about the confirmation page.
This is the page someone lands on after they’ve given you their email address.
It’s often referred to as the “thank you page” (TYP) for obvious reasons. You’re thanking someone for taking the action you asked them to take.
I’ll refer to this page as the TYP for this article because it’s a reasonable common term and, frankly, we don’t need any more acronyms to confuse ourselves with.
But I like to think of it as the customer accelerator page.
Because now it’s time to ask them for the next step. No, not ask. This is the time to compel them to act.
This is your opportunity to entice those new readers on their journey from interested prospect to excited customer.
Most people seem afraid to take this step. I hear all the time that “it’s too early in the relationship to sell something”.
This is why most people are terrible salespeople. The hardest part of selling is asking for the sale. But it’s often exactly what people want. If you believe in your product, you want to be damn sure people know about it.
Your best prospects want what you’re selling
These visitors aren’t just any old people. They’re no longer cold traffic; they’re your ideal target audience already warmed up or red hot to take this relationship to the next level.
They’ve signed up to your e-letter for a reason. It may have been for the free report or other lead magnet. It may be for the insight and advice you’ve promised they’ll get every day. Either way, if your lead gen offer is closely aligned with your product (which it should be) pitching them on your paid service is the natural next step.
Sure, some of those people aren’t ready to pull out their credit card just yet. Some of them need longer to be sold on this relationship. That’s ok. But at least you’ve further engaged with them.
Your best, most relevant promotion or video sales letter (VSL) should be some of the best content you have. Done right, it won’t feel like a promotion at all. And now is the prime time to ensure every new person coming into your funnel sees it.
In other words, we don’t want “dead ends”.
Always offer someone the opportunity to take another action. Get them engaged and closer to the point of becoming a customer.
Blake, Alec Baldwin’s character in Glengarry Glen Ross, said it best. “A-B-C. Always be closing”.
Why the Thank You Page is so important
This page will get your sales. Immediately.
I hope it’s pretty clear that the confirmation page gives you the opportunity to generate paid customer at “birth” (right after email signup).
That is absolutely the prime reason this page is so important.
The sooner you can generate a sale, the quicker you can measure the success of your leads and scale up your free acquisition efforts. Or conversely, if sales are poor you can turn down the sources of weak leads and save your ad spend for better performing campaigns.
But most of the same principals and benefits apply to direct sale (1 step). The confirmation page when someone orders is equally the best place to continue to sell while people are in buying mode…or even a buying frenzy.
Having an upsell or cross-sell to another product on the confirmation page for a paid transaction can increase cart value by 20% or more.
Again, the point being to have no dead ends. You want your customer to be on a continual journey….ideally buying but at the very least taking some action and creating some level of engagement.
In addition to the immediate sale there are four other important reasons to give this prime asset your attention. And ultimately they all directly relate to increasing sales.
A good confirmation page allows you to:
1. Start the relationship off right
2. Ensure your reader receives (and starts reading) your email
3. Track your signups and sales
4. Target your prospect with the right ads (remarket) and exclude them from seeing the wrong ones (unmarketing)
Bear with me. In a minute I’ll tell you why this single page has all these benefits. I’ll also explain the common mistakes I see and how to ensure your page is built to function like a well-oiled sales machine.
But let me backup for a moment to acknowledge another essential page on your website. The landing page.
Isn’t the landing page more important?
It’s true, like most things, the confirmation page doesn’t work in isolation. Without an effective first landing page that convinces someone to sign up for your e-letter, you won’t have anyone hit your confirmation page in the first place.
So, yes, the first page a user visits is critical. It’s possibly the first point of contact with your business. You need a good first impression and clear call to action (CTA) or you’re dead in the water.
I won’t go into landing pages in depth here. That’s a conversation for another day. (NOTE: We spoke about proven methods to a high performing landing page on a latest AMM Mastercast. View it here.)
But it is essential to focus on creating the best landing page you can. That means testing the format, images and copy to get the highest conversion rate (from visitor to free signup) you can. The better your conversion rate the more people will see your TYP.
But your landing pages will vary depending on how someone discovers them.
If it’s via organic search or social media, chances are that page is more content heavy. But it can feature an email signup option, possibly even a pop up. (Read Brian York’s article 3 ways to turn your website into a conversion machine to drive more of these leads to your business).
If it’s traffic from paid search, especially from Google or FB, chances are it’s a more focused “squeeze” or “hostage” page. These pages are simple in design and content. They typically have no distractions with all roads leading to a signup. It has a clear purpose: to have someone enter their email address.
Some other paid traffic, like those from Native platforms such as Taboola and Outbrain, may lead to a hybrid page with more editorial content.
Whatever the format and content of your landing pages, they’re absolutely important pages on your site. But I’d still argue the TYP is a page you need to pay special attention to.
Let’s look at those 4 reasons more closely now. Please bear with me. At first glance they seem a little technical and tedious. But they all lead to the same place… more sales.
1. Starting the relationship off right
The landing page may be the first contact the prospect has with you. But they haven’t really started the relationship until they sign up for your e-letter to become a reader.
And chances are, especially for paid traffic with those short landing pages, you really haven’t had a chance to introduce yourself fully.
COMMON MISTAKE #1: treating the TYP like an administrative announcement.
The TYP is prime real estate on your website. Don’t treat it like a housekeeping announcement.
Show, don’t tell.
A welcome video from the publisher or editor can work well. But if you really want the sale your best promotional letter will introduce you via great content.
2. Ensure your reader receives (and starts reading) your email
The first step you want the reader to take is to view your most relevant promotion and ideally buy. The next thing you want them to do is to check their email.
You want to be sure they actively go into their inbox excited to see that first email from you.
COMMON MISTAKE #2: fulfilling the free report on the TYP.
It’s common practice to use a lead magnet, like a free report, to encourage an email signup. But I would discourage you from fulfilling that free report on the TYP.
Why? Because you want that next step to be to read the promotion. And then you want to force the reader to check his email in order to get that free report. That way they’ll go hunting for it. And opening that first email starts that engagement with your e-letter and helps ensure future emails don’t land in their spam folder.
You can certainly provide whitelisting instructions but consider the main CTA being to read your promotional copy.
If you clearly explain on the landing page that they’ll be emailed the report, you’ll be more likely to get a real email address too.
NOTE: in some cases (like 1.5 step as discussed in this AMM MasterCast) the lead magnet might be the promotion itself. In this case, you would want to fulfill the “report” on the TYP (probably also via email).
Otherwise, you can use a message to delay them checking their inbox. Something like “Check your inbox in about 15 minutes for your free report. In the meantime, I urge you to view this important message…”
3. Track your signups and sales
Pixels. Love them or hate them they’re absolutely necessary for your tracking and for ad platforms to optimize towards better results.
COMMON MISTAKE 3: issues with goal tracking and conversion pixels on the TYP.
Pixel issues. They’re the bane of our life. It’s all too common to find they haven’t been implemented correctly (or at all) or have somehow, mysteriously fallen off the page.
The TYP is the place to put your conversion pixels for the ad platforms that are smart enough to offer them. You can also use it to track goals in analytics so you can see what pages lead to a signup.
Without these pixels you’re flying blind in the ad platform interface to see what’s working…and at what CPA.
The ad platforms are flying blind too. It means they don’t have the data to optimise for.
For example, if you’re running a FB campaign with a conversion objective (our most common choice) you need this pixel to fire for FB to recognise success. If the pixel doesn’t fire, FB will soon stop showing your ad to anyone.
Similarly, if you’re using CPA bids for AdWords they need to know when a visit converts to get you more names at that desired CPA.
4. Target your prospect with right ads (remarket) and exclude them from seeing the wrong ones (unmarketing)
Having the pixels on the TYP allows you to create audiences of those visitors. This means you can utilise:
Target those users again. For instance, running ads directly promoting your paid subscription (1 step) to these new leads.
AIM tip: run the same product they just saw on the TYP for a consistent message.
You can create lookalike audiences from visitors to your TYP. With audience fatigue, a common problem in FB, having multiple sources of different lookalikes is always an advantage.
Exclude the confirmation page visitors from seeing future ads. This approach can ensure people who responded don’t see the same offer again. If you just added them to your email list, you really don’t want them to see more ads for that. It’s annoying for them and a waste of money or impressions for you. (Read Un-Marketing: the art of not showing your ads to lower cost for more).
How does your TYP look?
Take a look at the confirmation pages your new leads are seeing. Are you putting a relevant promotion in front of them? If not, try using your best ad copy leading to your top performing sales letter. Or include the full letter or VSL directly on the TYP.
If you do have a promotion on the page, great, you’re on top of your game. Hopefully you’re also measuring the results and testing new ad copy or different promotions and formats.
Some people like to include enticing ad copy on the TYP leading someone to another page with the sales letter. Others like to embed the entire sales letter on the TYP itself. Alternatively, a shortened version of the copy or video which eventually drives them to the full promo might work.
We’ve seen success with all these approaches. We’d love to hear how well your confirmation pages are converting leads to customers, or if you have any feedback on this topic. Please share your feedback or ask a question in the AMM FB group now.
P.S. Remember, this confirmation page is critical for both lead gen and direct purchases. I’ve focused on converting leads to customers in this article. But you should value the order confirmation page in the same way to help you boost cart value by 20% or more.