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 confirmation page is so important
This page will get your sales. Immediately.
I hope it’s pretty clear that the TYP 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.
Note: For the purposes of this article I’ll focus on lead gen (2 step) acquisition. (Agora Marketing Masters members can refer to the MasterCast for a discussion on 1 vs 2 step).
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 crosssell 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.
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 paid traffic, 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.