Welcome to part 2 of Symplify’s Non-Profit Playbook, a three-part series that will help you unlock the full potential of your donor base through conversion optimization and donor engagement automation. In this series, we will show how non-profits can leverage donor insights and omnichannel donor engagement to not only acquire new donors but also increase contributions from existing donors.
In part one of the series, we covered the “Digital Donor” and explored what drives donor behaviour and expectations. Part two will now focus on the importance of conversion optimization. We’ll look at how to leverage data and donor insights to increase donations and website conversions. To complete our three-part series with an exploration of how to create better donor experiences. We’ll examine techniques and best practices for donor engagement and retention.
Part 2: The Importance of Conversion Optimization for Non-Profits
How is your conversation optimization going? It’s a vitally important tool in a non-profit’s digital toolbox. Fundraisers need to think about the kind of traffic being driven to their organization’s website, as well as how to leverage data and insights to increase donations. We want prospects to visit our website, and convert into donors. Then we want to bring them back, again and again.
But how can non-profits increase impact while optimizing costs? On average, the “hit and hope” approach to digital outreach sees a typical conversion rate of about 1-2 %. That’s a lot of effort for quite ordinary results. What’s more, the majority of a non-profit’s budget is spent on the front-end or social media outreach, search and ad-buy portion of a campaign, rather than on what happens once the potential donor is on the site.
Our recommendation? Keep the same budget for social and search, but focus your energy on conversion. Conversion rate results should jump to 2-3% as a result. The challenge will then be to make the strategy sustainable. We find that conversion-oriented campaigns begin with the best intentions, but fizzle out after a while.
So how can non-profits sustain conversion campaigns over the long haul?
Playbook Tip #2: Be Data-centric
Leading organizations leverage donor data to increase conversion and optimize operations.
This is a three-step process:
Step 1: Observation using visual heatmaps
Understand where your prospects go when they visit your website by tracking mouse movements and click-throughs. This provides incredible insight.
Step 2: Donor recordings
Symplify’s heatmap tools allow you to track website visitor behaviour and form hypotheses. See exactly where your visitors are going and observe any friction points that might prevent them from converting.
Step 3: Conversion
Your observations and hypothesis building can now be used for effective AB testing. Build two different versions of the same funnel, and use that to test your theories. Are you getting any uplift on the new version of messaging, or on the use of a new visual, for example, compared to what already exists on your website? Every element of a campaign can be tracked, measured and the resulting analysis used to optimize conversion and improve performance.
Case in point: Barncancer Foundation
This Swedish non-profit is the single largest source of childhood cancer funding in the country. It provides financial support for the development of new treatment methods and education in the field of childhood cancer. Revenue generation is absolutely key.
Symplify worked with this foundation to identify a key issue for the organisation: many prospects wanted to make a donation but were abandoned before they could do so. Heatmapping and donor recordings quickly revealed the lack of a quick and easy way to give money to the foundation online. This barrier to donation was hampering the organization’s fundraising efforts. Potential donors had to jump through several hoops, and the site’s flow had a number of friction points which caused them to lose motivation and drop off before they could make their donation. The abandonment rate was high.
It was also something that could be corrected.
The solution? Symplify provided an easy and immediate way for donors to make a gift. What’s more, we made sure this gift prompt was prominent on each and every page of the website, by adding “Give Gift” to the site’s header menu and displaying a sticky button to visitors as they scrolled through. Result? Barncancer Foundation saw an astounding 42% increase in traffic directly to the Give a Gift donation page, and a 20% increase in donations. The abandonment rate issue disappeared.
With a gift prompt strategy, the incentive to give is always there. That’s true regardless of the type of campaign you’re running. As long as traffic is being driven to the site, an effective call to action will trigger a response.
E-commerce marketers use this tactic. Why shouldn’t you? Non-profit prospects are willing and even eager to donate. Make it easy for them.
Stay tuned for Part 3 of our series, where we will discuss how to create better donor experiences. Donor engagement and retention are key. Learn best practices and techniques that deliver results.