Thank you pages – pages that are displayed following the completion of a sale – are generally last on the list of content priorities for any brand or online retailer. After all, the sale has been made, the conversion is complete and it’s time to look for new customers and the next big sale, right? Wrong.

The best business owners know that the probability for selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, whereas the probability for selling to a potential client, someone who has never purchased from a given brand or company is only 5-20%. This statistic clearly demonstrates that it’s easier – and more profitable – to market to existing customers than to attempt to bring in new business. Clearly, retention must remain a focus for business success. A simple thank you page could be the difference between a customer that’s loyal for life and a serious decrease in potential profit.

When designing a thank you page, there are many ideas to keep in mind. A personal thank you can go a long way toward making a lasting impression and demonstrating true appreciation. In fact, according to McKinsey, 70% of buying experiences are based on how customers feel they are being treated. Positivity breeds positive outcome and negativity or indifference breeds negativity. It’s that simple. Adding a personal touch – a quick video, an image or sound bite – can increase the overall feeling of appreciation in a professional manner that leads to a positive buying experience, even after the sale has been completed.

Keeping that in mind, check out the five ways below to cleverly use a thank you page to generate loyal customers, spread endorsements and increase repeat sales.

1. Include a Coupon

What’s the best way to drive repeat traffic after a sale? Offering an incentive. Once a customer has completed a transaction, consider including an email as a pop-up, or, better yet as an email that can be used toward a future purchase. Include a quick note of thanks and make it clear that your company takes care of customers, long after a sale has been completed. The coupon can be as small or significant as you’d like, however, the better the deal, the more likely a customer is to return.

Coupon Etsy

Not ready to offer a coupon? That doesn’t mean the thank you can’t be helpful. Follow Amazon’s lead by offering a list of sales items that could relate based on other repeat customers’ purchases of the same item.

2. Consider Social Buttons

Sometimes a purchase is too exciting not to share. However, who wants to brag after they’ve bought something great? You can help in this area. Allow customers to share their purchases across their social media sites. This makes your link easy to find in the future and allows the followers of your customers to learn more. Nothing’s better than a testimonial – social buttons make the process simple.

Social Share Buttons

3. Ask for Reviews

Look at your top referrers. What are they? Yelp? Google+? Another site? Pay attention to your metrics. After thanking your customers for making purchases, ask them to leave a review. The timing couldn’t be more perfect – they are excited about what they’ve purchased, why not give them an outlet? Provide a link to your review page or Google+, like Warren CAT does, to streamline the process by cutting out a few steps. Generating positive feedback is always a worthwhile endeavor.

Ask for Review

4. Add a Sign-Up Form

After you’ve taken the time to thank a customer for his or her most recent purchase, invite them to become a part of your brand’s community by signing up for your newsletter. Language like “don’t miss out on future sales, sign up today!” can go a long way toward encouraging action at the close of a sale.

Email Subscribe

By increasing the size of your e-mail list, through your thank you message, you’ve turned a static message into something that can be used to generate additional business in the future, to remind customers that your brand exists and to send out special deals and promo codes going forward.

5. Create a Referral Perk

As a part of your thank you message or email, provide a referral coupon that a customer can share with friends and family that offers a kickback for the original customer. For each person that makes a purchase using the customer’s original coupon code, the customer can earn an additional 5% or dollar amount off of the next purchase.

Tell the World

This is yet another way to increase the potential for future sales, from both existing customers and a new market that you may not be targeting.

Whatever steps you take, now is the time to stop thinking of thank you messages as generic and useless and to start looking for greater possibilities that can increase positive customer experiences.