How to uplift lead generation performance with a simple thank you

There’s an overwhelming number of focus areas when optimising content marketing programmes for lead generation. But few are more valuable than this key moment of truth in the user experience — the ‘thank you’.

The moment after a prospect explicitly says: “OK then, email me through that premium piece of gated content I just signed up for”. 

While implicitly saying: “Go on then, I trust you enough at this stage to enter into whatever lead nurture programme you have in store for me”.

How you thank a prospect once they’ve subscribed to your content is a balancing act to:

  • Create a great start in this new phase of your relationship
  • Ensure anyone ‘in-market’ is funnelled as efficiently as possible from MQL into SQL territory
  • Cater for the 97% who are not yet sales-ready with the most appropriate brand experience.

In this post we’ll explore just three of many strategies available to optimise the thank you moment in B2B lead generation.

Strategy #1: The thank you email

You will never have a higher engagement rate on an email nurture sequence than your immediate ‘thank you’ email for content subscription.

This snapshot of a recent nurture programme for a professional services provider is reflective of a consistent pattern for open rates and click-through rates.

The immediate thank you email sent out for this particular sequence saw a 53.06% open rate and 33.67% click-through rate.

Thank you email strategy

Get the thanks in first but make sure you signpost next steps for in-market prospects:

  1. Thank them and immediately give a link to the content they asked for.
  2. Be up front. Clearly explain what will happen next and the benefits they will receive from ongoing emails.
  3. Introduce your brand proposition — ideally with a human face next to it.
  4. Signpost to the most appropriate hard offer relevant to the content they subscribed to — Free trial, audit, consultancy offer etc. (a great mechanic is to promote the hard offer in the P.S. after the email signature).
Important technical QA to avoid spam filters

This can be a blog post all of its own but some baseline tips:

  • Use double opt-ins
  • Be very careful with subject line deliverability (tools such as SubjectLine are invaluable for this)
  • Avoid including attachments
  • Ask prospects to whitelist your email domain.

Strategy #2: The thank you landing page

The same principles behind the thank you email are in play here — the page you display immediately after your content sign up.

Immediately reward prospects with the content they asked for as the primary CTA.

But then use the thank you page as a test bed to optimise your funnel. Run experiments with the right combinations of hard and soft offers relevant to the buying cycle stage.

1. Bonus content upgrade 

Generate some immediate goodwill with an unexpected content bonus e.g. a webinar recording without opt-in.

2. Run some new hard offer experiments away from the main website

Thank you pages are a great test lab to check the responsiveness of different hard offers before wider release on your main website. 30 day vs 60 day trial. Audit vs health check etc.

To reduce friction pre-populate your form on this page with the name and email data collected from the front end landing page. Conversion rates from this little tactic can lift by 10–20%. 

Just be mindful of making it too easy. Sometimes a little additional effort for form fills will filter out the genuine prospects from the unqualified button clickers who sign up to anything.

3. Videos on thank you pages

Video is a powerful vehicle to improve conversion on the entry point landing page. A 2019 study by Unbounce puts conversion uplift at 80%.

But video on a thank page can be a powerful weapon for engagement with your core proposition. The barriers are lifted and prospects are in more receptive mode thanks to the value you’ve already provided.

Why not experiment with a VSL (Video Sales Letter)?

A Video Sales Letter (VSL) is a tried and tested tool deployed in the direct response world and can be incredibly effective at holding a prospect’s attention as you walk through your value proposition.

B2B brands nervous of direct response techniques may find VSLs a little uncomfortable, but they do provide a great mechanism to control the sales process.

VSL tips:

  • Tell a story but underpin it with the proven VSL strategy framework
  • Talk around the problem with as many specifics as possible — include statistics, facts etc.
  • Provide evidence. Social proof matters — customer testimonials, statistics etc.
  • Make the closing CTA clear and explicit. Be absolutely clear about the prospect’s level of time commitment if they choose to move to the next stage of the process.
Video platforms

These video platforms all play nicely with the majority of marketing automation platforms and third-party add-ons.

Wistia

  • Good CTAs and email collectors — especially the Turnstyle feature
  • Advanced heat maps — great for examining viewing sessions; what was watched, re-watched or skipped.

Vidyard

  • Nice interactivity — forms and dropdowns etc.
  • Fairly advanced personalisation features.

Vimeo

  • String analytics and customisation
  • Multiple format and sized download options.
4. Chatbots on thank you pages 

Thank you pages are an excellent location to try different conversational conversion strategies using chatbots. 

With the right strategy the conversation can be seamlessly steered in the right direction. The warmest leads can be quickly filtered to the most appropriate sales resource for a call back — sometimes with an appended BANT score for good measure. 

A recent collect.chat report puts a 4x lift in conversion performance for landing pages operating chatbots. An eight-week nurture programme can be condensed into a few minutes with a structured conversational workflow. 

DriftIntercom or LivePerson are a great starting point. If you are looking to get more Jedi with AI based conversational marketing then wit ai it would be a brave place to start.

MobileMonkey has some effective pre-built templates if you choose to run Facebook Messenger as your platform.

5. Site navigation on thank you pages

Introducing your main website navigation on the thank you page can provide prospects with an opportunity to self-educate (and build up a healthy lead score through tracked brand engagement.)

There will be a trade in conversion performance if you run just a single focus offer on the thank you page, but an analysis of your short and medium term conversion performance will help you understand the best ongoing approach.

6. Social sharing on thank you pages 

Doesn’t quite have the potency it once did, but still a useful free ride for content distribution. Encouraging prospects to spread the word on the insightfulness and value of your content can never do any harm. 

Just be careful to put the promotion link back to the front end landing page rather than the thank you page. 

And there’s no need to limit sharing capabilities to social widgets such as ShareThis. You can create a prepopulated referral email to get prospects to discreetly share with colleagues and peers.

Strategy #3: Remarketing on thank you pages

A thank you page visitor is a different category of prospect than a website homepage visitor. The remarketing pixel captured on a thank you page is a prized asset and should be treated as such.

Raising the budget allocation for this specific remarketing audience can be a wise investment.

This remarketing audience can deliver high ROI with the right remarketing ad sequence and frequency — one which blends hard offers, related content and your brand proposition.

Conclusion

The ‘thank you’ moment is an often overlooked but critical leverage point in the design of a lead generation programme. 

Capturing this moment with the right strategic framework and tools is often a very quick win for B2B marketers looking to accelerate their funnel.

For other examples and practical insights on how to get content marketing to work for lead generation in 2019 sign up for our free e-course 5 Plays in 5 days.

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