How to track digital performance with thank you pages

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What are thank you pages, and why are they important for monitoring performance? Find out more about thank you page best practices.

Thank you page best practices

You’ll probably be aware of thank you pages and will have almost certainly interacted with them in your own digital travels. A thank you page would follow any form of transaction on a website, whether that’s after making a purchase, or completing a form fill to download some free content through a value exchange.

Many CMSs give the option to display thank you messages within the transactional page but, when it comes to measuring performance and providing a good user experience, thank you pages are invaluable for improving your site’s performance.

Are thank you pages better than in-line messages?

Thank you pages aren’t strictly necessary when you’re working with lead-generation, as you can set your form to display a simple thank you message rather than redirect to a new page. Though this might seem like an easier, more straightforward way to thank a user for filling out a form, there are a few reasons why redirecting is the better option.

  1. Using thank you pages provides a new URL you can easily track, as opposed to needing to configure tags to trigger when a form is complete.
  2. Redirecting to a thank you page gives the user a clear indication that the form has been submitted and avoids the risk of duplicate submissions or purchases.
  3. A thank you page gives you the option to extend the user’s journey and lead them to additional content or resources, instead of them simply submitting then leaving your site.

In short – including thank you pages keeps your customers around for longer, improves their experience with your site, and makes your analytics specialists’ jobs easier!


What should a thank you page design include?

So, now you’ve been converted to at least giving thank you pages a whirl, what thank you page best practices should you be including, to make them as effective as possible?

Recap important information, and tell them what’s coming next

At a minimum, you should be recapping the topline information of what they’ve just signed up for, downloaded, or purchased, and let them know what happens next.

  • E-commerce retailers should include an order number, confirmation of the product the user has bought, and information about shipping. Let them know how long until they can expect their item, which courier it will be arriving with, and any tracking information they can use to follow their purchase’s journey.

  • Webinar and event hosts should confirm the date and time of the webinar and, if possible, include a link to download the invite directly to their calendar. If ticketing is being provided through email, let them know what email address they can expect to receive their join link from. And, if this is part of a larger event, give details on when agendas and speakers are due to be confirmed.

  • Downloadable content should be available quickly and easily, following the form fill. Provide a link to the content within your thank you page or, if you’re concerned about this being shared without a form-fill needed, give guidance that an email will be hitting their inbox shortly.

Ask for referrals or social shares

Generally speaking, we (as people, not marketers!) love it when recommendations come from family and friends, and word of mouth can often be more powerful than any marketing strategy. Your thank you page is an opportunity to ask your users to pass the good word along about your product or service. Providing an easy link to share your content on social media with just a couple of clicks can amplify your reach – if relevant, you can even incentivise sharing, offering discount codes and vouchers to anyone who makes a referral.

Offer an incentive to return

Use your thank you page to offer your customer an incentive to return. An effective way to encourage a subsequent purchase or visit is by offering a discount (say, 10%) on their next transaction, or by signposting to your rewards scheme. As mentioned above, you could combine this with asking for referrals, by offering the discount in exchange for a share on social media, or just offer it automatically to get them coming back for any items they might have left behind.

Signpost to more content

You might have created plenty of content designed to funnel users towards your form fill or purchase, but that doesn’t mean they’ve seen everything! Include links to any relevant blogs, videos, or further content that will enrich their experience, and make it easy for them to stay on your site and see more of what you can do.

You can also take this opportunity to provide examples of more products they may like, highlighting anything that’s ‘frequently bought with’ or will make a natural companion product to their purchase. They may come back for more sooner than you’d think!

Remind users why you’re worth listening to

Finally, you should recap your credentials and awards to build excitement about your users’ purchase or download and to remind them why you and your product are highly recognised in this field. This purchase or form fill could be the very start of your users’ journey with you, and you should be nurturing your brand recognition throughout each contact point.

Consider adding;

  • Awards you have won,
  • Clients you have worked with,
  • Qualifications or certifications you or your brand have earned,
  • Customer feedback and testimonials.

How to set up your Google Analytics thank you page tracking

Your next steps are to ensure you’re properly tracking your thank you page’s performance, and using this to inform your next steps. You’ll need to set up a goal in GA4 for those who’ve viewed your thank you page only after making a purchase or filling in a form. This is to exclude anyone who’s simply just viewed the page (which would filter into the page_view metric).

There are many ways to set up your event, either directly in GA4 or by using Google Tag Manager (GTM). If you use GTM, you can set up a GA4 event where the trigger is a form completion event or, if the thank you page URL is unique, you can use where page_url contains “your unique URL”. Even if your URL is unique (as in, it contains query strings to indicate a form has been completed), you may still want to use a server-side validation script to ensure the referrer for the thank you page visit is the URL of the form. However you decide to do it, there are many options – Analytics Mania have a helpful video that provides a visual step-by-step guide on setting Thank You page tracking up.

You can then monitor how users are interacting with your thank you pages effectively, and assess whether work needs to be done to keep users on-site, or if your new thank you page is performing just as it should!

Want to know how you can use GA4 to assess your full customer journey, across your site? Find out how to make smart, strategic decisions using GA4. Download our free eBook or get in touch with our analytics specialists.

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Photo by Matt Jones on Unsplash

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