Dedicated thank you pages are no longer optional for PPC

I hate to be dramatic, but that’s just the way I’ve been feeling recently.

Are there technically ways to get around having a dedicated Thank You page on your site?

Sure. There are ways to get around just about anything you want. But for the short and long term effects on your account, as well as being able to adapt to the ever-changing advertising environment, it’s come time to quit taking short cuts and get yourself a dedicated landing page. Here’s why. 

Smart Pixels

Many advertising platforms are now moving to what’s being referred to as “Smart Pixels”.

Bing and Facebook have recently done this. How smart they are, TBD. But this is what we’re stuck with.

facebook-pixel

These pixels operate in a similar fashion to how Google Analytics pixels have always done. This snippet of code gets placed on every page of your site. You then create rules based on the pages users visit, whether conversion rules or remarketing, and then adjust your campaigns using these audiences accordingly.

Sounds great right? Yes! Until you don’t have a dedicated Thank You page. 

For advertisers that don’t have a dedicated Thank You page, these pixels are kind of a awful.

With no unique URL being fired, there’s not a clear cue as to when this pixel should be fired as a conversion on a Thank You page vs. any other page of the site.

You can get around this by placing the smart pixel on only the Thank You page, but then you’re sacrificing the remarketing capabilities of that channel.

Not ideal, to say the least. Again, I’m fully aware there are ways you can work around this irritation, but is it really worth the effort to build the workaround when you could just make one easy, dedicated Thank You page and achieve all goals? Methinks not. 

Users expect a thank you page 

Have you ever filled out a form on a site to then be returned to the same landing page or the homepage with no Thank You page in between? It’s crazy confusing.

Did my form go through? Is their website broken? Did I do something wrong? This is a recipe for duplicate leads, weird on-site behavior, and confused customers. None of those are desirable. 

In the past, I’ve referred to how internet users are becoming savvier by the day.

They’re hip to your non-use of a Thank You page, and although you might not lose business this time around, the more you differ from the norm, the more their spidey senses are going to go off and you might lose them as return customers. 

thank-you-page1

Loss of upsell potential 

Obviously if someone has hit your Thank You page you’ve made a sell or gained a lead. Bully for you!

But you don’t stop there, right? You’ve got an entirely new page to tell them thank you, track their conversion behavior, and also work to sell them on something else.  

If you’re in ecommerce this is relatively easy. You have actually done this in the checkout process.

But it doesn’t hurt to do it again. Show similar or related products to the newly converted customer. Or maybe they can sign up for regular shipments if the product is needed regularly.

Or a promo code for their next visit. Or subscribe to a newsletter. Seriously, you can do a ton with an ecommerce Thank You page. Get creative!

Lead generation accounts might not seem like good places to upsell on Thank You pages.

Once you’ve got the lead, you’re finished right? Not necessarily. Have a newsletter or free, user driven product demo they could check out? What about sending them to your blog to get more info.

Unlike ecommerce sites that can use the Thank You page to potentially generate more revenue, lead generation accounts can use this page to help strengthen the lead itself.

Get them even more acquainted with your product or service before they even talk to a sales rep. They’ll be better prepared with questions, your sales person might not have to cover everything from scratch, and the time will be more productive. Everyone wins!

In the end, yes, you can have workarounds for not having dedicated Thank You pages on your site.

But should you? Are you potentially missing out on even more benefit than just easier conversion tracking? I think so. 

What do you think? Share your two cents in the comments!

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