Optimizing your online giving pages should be at the top of your priority list (as far as online goals go), that is, if you’re a non-profit and you’ve got a website. Hopefully you agree. If not, drop me a note in the comments.
The sad news is that if you take a close look around the web you’ll find plenty of poorly executed online giving pages (better known as a landing page). It’s a shame because these pages are critical to a non-profits online success – all the action happens on them. To make sure we’re speaking the same language …
What’s an online giving page? They type of page I’m referring to is any an page where you’re driving web traffic with the goal of getting each visitor to give you a gift – money, volunteer time, gift in kind, etc.
Why’s this important? If your goal is to get people to take the action you desire, making a donation for example, then getting as many people as possible to do it matters.
To further make the point, let’s say you send an email appeal to 2,500 people and 750 (25%) click through to your online giving page. If 1% give a gift then you’ve converted 7.5 out of the 750 who visited the page.
Take that one step further and say the average gift was $50. You just raised $375. Imagine then, if by optimizing your landing page you could increase the conversion rate to 5%. That would give you a total of 36.25 people who gave and a total of $1,812.5 raised.
Would you rather get $375 or $1,812.5 from your email appeal?
No matter where a person is coming from – email, web search, direct mail piece – the conversion, or getting them to take the action you desire, is key. That’s what optimizing your online giving page is all about.
How do I optimize my online giving page? So how do you optimize your online giving page in an effort to increase the likely hood that someone will complete the desired action – give a gift.
These 6 actionable tips will catapult you in the right direction …
1. Prioritize the top
A study by Jakob Nielsen showed that web users spend 80% of their time focused on info above the page fold. That means you should ensure that your page is optimized in a way that puts the most important part of your message at the top.
2. Use attention grabbing images
Research show that people tend to stick around longer and become more engaged when compelling, clean imagery is used – specifically imagery with faces.
Take a look at what non-profit groups like Darkness to Light, Heifer, Ifaw, and LIVESTRONG are doing. Every one of their sites uses pictures of people or animals. And, if you pay attention, you’ll notice that they are looking at you most of the time.
Here’s an example of a great image from the Darkness to Light website. If you read the caption that goes with it (have to go to the site to see it) you’d be moved. It grabs your attention visually and encourages you to take the action they’re asking you to take. You might also consider using other visual elements (size, motion, color, position, shape, etc) to draw attention toward the call to action, but remember, don’t over do it.
3. Don’t overwhelm
Remember what it’s like when you walked through a swap-meet for the first time. Or when you first encountered a super Wal-Mart. What about when you first walked into an Apple store.
I’d be you had two very different feelings that provoked very different reactions.
Think about your pages with this in mind. You want visitors to enjoy what they’re seeing. You want them to feel excited about the energy. And you want them to stick around so they can take it all in.
4. Stay focused
Have you been to ESPN.com? It’s not focused.
Your page should have a single focus. One action that you’re driving your visitors to complete. Everything on the page should push your visitors towards completion the action. This means you should be thinking about every element on the page and asking your self … does it guide each person on the page towards the action I’m trying to have him or her take?
What you should have on the page are things that support the action you’re trying to drive. Things like total dollars raised or number of volunteers signed up. Testimonials about how the money or work is making a difference. Information about what the mission of your organization is and how the gifts are being used.
5. Get rid of clutter
If you hold out the point above as your guiding light then this one is simple. Everything on the page that distracts your visitors from completing the desired action should be removed.
6. Keep people on the page
Once a person lands on your online giving page you want to keep them there by removing options to leave the page – outbound links, clickable banners, unnecessary navigation, etc. Everything should be evaluated to ensure it’s 100% essential. If it’s not. Get rid of it. Keeping people around is important.
Ok, your turn. What have you seen effectively increase the conversions on an online giving page? Or you can check out more about online fund raising.
Photo by eBeam