How To Set Up A Thank You Page For Comments
I’ve been leaving quite a few blog comments over the past few months and become accustomed to seeing that blog comment awaiting moderation phrase just below my name once I press the submit button. It kind of tells me that I’ve done everything okay – filled in the obscure captcha, added up 2 + 5 correctly or ticked a certain no spam box.
So it comes as a bit of a surprise…a pleasant surprise….when I get a bespoke thank you page immediately after I make a comment.
The thank you page thanks me and welcomes me to the blog…it’s an instant and unexpected response when I was expecting the same old same old.
This has happened on a few blogs and I suspect that these blogs are doing plenty of things right and on the right track to success. It’s little things like this that can make a huge impact on first time visitors or commentators.
Let me explain why I think this is a good idea.
There are two reasons why doing this makes sense.
The first reason is that it makes your blog stand out which is essential in a world where thousands of blogs are born every hour.
The second reason is that it engages with your commenter.
Not only do they get some immediate response to their comment but, depending on how you craft the page it can encourage them to take more part in the ongoing conversation. It sets your relationship off on the right footing from the get go.
How to do it
The first thing you have to do is set up the thank you page.
Most of the thank pages that I have seen follow a similar format :
- An enthusiastic thank you, exclamation mark at the top. Smilie faces….you name it…anything to create a bit of excitement and emotion.
- Then a picture which conveys some kind of message.
The message is up to you. It could be as simple as reiterating the thank you message or setting the scene for what comes next. For instance, one thank you page had a picture of a little boy jumping over a puddle with a caption underneath. The caption said something like well done for making the jump.
I quite liked this message because it was sweetly reinforcing the fact that the visitor has made a conscious decision to get involved in the blog.
- After the picture there is a bit of a preamble about how the blog owner loves getting comments and people getting involved in his/her blog.
- It also explains that the comment is currently in moderation and should be approved soon.
- The next section is a bit of a pitch to get the person to subscribe to your blog feed or better still sign up to your newsletter list. Some people also offer an ethical bribe like a free ebook, video course or some other gift in exchange for the email id.
It’s a good idea to create a new list in your auto-responder account specifically for the thank you page so that you can assess how well it is working as opposed to other sign ups on the blog.
- Another common feature of the thank you page is to link to some of your best blog posts.
Again, this is a little bit of a pitch for the site and may encourage them to look around the blog. The more they look around the more chance they may sign up or subscribe.
- You could also add links to your social profiles over at Facebook, Twitter, Google + and anywhere else you think is appropriate.
That’s quite a bit of stuff to think about so don’t stress if you are setting up a thank you page for the first time.
No doubt it will evolve just like the rest of the blog into something you are happy with.
You may not have any great blog posts to add to it for now but in a few months you will.
You may not be able to find the right picture. Don’t worry, it’ll come to you with time.
When you have your first draft thank you page ready, you need to create it as a wordpress page.
Once this has been done, you want to download the comment redirect plugin by Joost De Valk and activate it.
This is a program that redirects any first time commenter to a page you specify. To set up the redirect, you simply tell it to go to the thank you page that you have just set up.
So here, as a bit of a time capsule, is my thank you page…well a snapshot anyway. No doubt it will change over time.