Through a brand promise, a company commits to its customer a certain experience each and every time the customer interacts with that business. When a customer enters a bricks and mortar store and makes a purchase the experience is complete when the sales associate remembers to say "thank you, please come again" so shouldn't the experience be the same if you make a purchase online?
Many online retailers and marketers make a big mistake in not leveraging this simple tool.
The customer finds your website, takes the time to surf around reviewing your products and decides to make a purchase, sign up for a whitepaper or register for a seminar only to be met with a simple and unbranded default thank you page that doesn't complete the entire customer experience.
After your customer makes a purchase or signs up for additional information, your thank you page is a great place to reassure your visitor that you did received their information or request, that the product, price and deliver is in order and what they should expect next from you. This could include information about shipping including links to track delivery or how to download whitepaper, or call in information for your seminar.
Your thank you page is also a great place to re-engage your customers by offering them additional products to add on to their orders or to entice them to return back to your website with a coupon for a future offer. Once the customer is already familiar with you enough to make a purchase, here is an opportunity to introduce them to another product they may be interested in at a compelling discount. This is a place to also inform your customers of upcoming specials, events or contests you might be offering and to provide them with a link so they can participate.
Similar to a bricks and mortar store, your thank you page is a great way to reinforce your brand. Depending upon what your brand promise or commitment is, you can use your thank you page for marketing messages, education and commitment to your customers. For example, if you sell widgets, you can include a "how to guide" to educate your customer on how to use the widget. Another example is to provide your customer with a free gift. Similar to the "Free gift with purchase" concept at a department store, you can immediately increase the perception of value by offering a free gift on your thank you page.
Your thank you page is just one of many ways your customers experience your company and should have the sole purpose of creating a lasting impression on your customers. Make it really special and make it support your brand. Too many companies put up a really great website, supply it with strong content and build in incentives for people to sign up, yet they use a very poor thank you page. This is a great opportunity to stand apart from your competition and leave a powerful impression on your customers.