Donation pages are a big deal. Our President once said that donation pages are important because a donation is an emotional decision. And it is — your supporters make donations because they feel an emotional bond with you. That bond is precious: it’s what brought them to your website, what inspired them to give and, hopefully, is what will keep them coming back to you. Perhaps the most important place to maintain that emotional connection is right on your donation page: make the most of your page by including:
1. Pictures and Videos
What emotional appeal brought your donors to you? Are they donating to feed hungry children? To provide relief after a natural disaster? To pay for animal care? Remind your donors what they’re donating to by including pictures or videos of who they’re supporting.
And as a tip: if you include a video on your page, please be sure it’s not set to play automatically when you open a page. It can be off-putting!
2. A Personal Message
Pictures are worth a thousand words but words are important, too. Include a personal note from the head of the organization or (even better!) a thank-you message from someone who’s benefited from your charity. If the goal was to maintain an emotional connection with a donor, think about what you would want to see on a donation page if you were an average person… and then include it.
3. A “Thank You”
Remember how your mom taught you to say “thank you” when someone gave you a gift? It’s important when someone gives you an online gift, too. Whether you make it part of your personal message, write it beneath the “Donate Now” button, or include it on the landing page or in the receipt, you should always make it a point to give your donors a sincere, heartfelt “thank you” for their support.
4. A Way to Stay Involved…
The phrase “call to action” drives me bananas, but the phrase is so overused because it’s unbelievably important. Keep your donors involved with your organization by including elements that will engage them longer; include links to new stories, suggest they follow you on Twitter or like you on Facebook, or ask them to subscribe to your newsletter. People that stay up-to-date with your organization are most likely to give again in the future. Giving them plenty of options is important!
5. …And Good Links
Asking someone to like you on Facebook is silly unless you give them a link to your page. Asking them to subscribe to your newsletter without linking them to the subscription page will not get you good results. Suggesting new stories for them to read is not going to work unless you give them links to the proper pages. Back up your call to action with the tools donors will need to follow through on your suggestions!
There’s more to donor engagement than maintaining emotional bonds, and there’s more to maintaining emotional bonds than including these things on your donation page. But it’s definitely a good place to start!