Anne Holland

SherpaBlog: Adding Video to Turn Dead-End ‘Thank You’ Pages Into Viral Marketing Campaigns

April 28th, 2008

My husband types two-three words per minute (it’s true, I timed him once).

So, late last Tuesday night, when he decided to donate to Barack Obama’s campaign after watching a bunch of speeches on TV, he got me out of bed to go online and do it for him.

The donation form wasn’t anything unusual — much like most charity and political sites. But, the next page, that ‘Thank you for Donating’ page made me sit up and get excited.

Wow — this is a page every marketer in the world, but especially nonprofits seeking donations, should examine for potential right away. I’ve posted a screenshot of it below, so you don’t have to donate to see it.

Here’s why you should take a look:

Most ‘thank you’ pages are dead ends. These pages show up when you opt in for a site’s email newsletter, submit a form or buy something. You see a “thank you” or confirmation and, perhaps, a receipt. But that’s it. Aside from the rare exception — such as Amazon’s post-purchase page — visitors are given nothing more to do, no place to click to, no more interactive choices. Just flat, this-transaction-is-over politeness.

Emotionally, the moment you’ve done a transaction of any kind, you are MORE likely to be open to doing another transaction than at any other time in your relationship with that brand or site.

In effect, the customer has just nodded his or her head and said, “Yes.” Why not present them with another feel-good offer for them to say “yes” to while they are in head-nodding mode?

Every salesperson in the world knows this. They get their foot in the door and then keep cross-selling and up-selling merrily along. “And would you like fries with that, Mister?”

In Obama’s case, that thank-you-for-donating page features a highly entertaining video, featuring in Web 2.0-style, some of his fans imitating his speeches. Plus, there’s a tell-a-friend viral form that you can use to send a hotlink of the video to everyone you know.

The box for forwarding is awe-inspiringly big. You could enter about 25 email addresses if you so choose. I know I found myself entering a few more names than I had planned just because there was more space and he got me on a roll. (Of course, in my case, I was forwarding to marketers I know to say, “Hey, we can copy this idea!”)

How can you copy this idea?

If you have a newsletter, content site or blog with great content, why not list hotlinks to your Top 3 Most Popular Posts Ever on your thank-you page? This way, new fans can continue exploring.

If you seek donations online, why not add a video about your cause, (soft-sell not ‘Donate now’) to your thank-you page for new donors to forward to friends?

If you market for a highly complex product or service, why not include a quick introductory video of an inside sales or service rep in that prospect’s region with a personal plea to “contact me with your questions about technology, budgeting or integration, I’m here to help you understand this thing.” This would be perfect on the thank-you page after new leads register.

Anyway, take a look at the sample and start brainstorming. This is fairly cheap and easy technology and won’t require your IT department to leap through flaming hoops or increase their budgets.

Useful links related to this article

Email with useful hotlinks Obama sends to new donators:

‘Thank you for Donation’ page:

Landing page that “forwarded friends” get in their in-box from the thank you page:

Yes We Can video screenshot (in case live link dies someday):

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