Email Landing Pages That Convert Visitors to Assets for Non Profits

In a previous blog, I emphasized the importance of non profits designing fundraising emails that link to dedicated landing pages on your website. Here are 5 tips for designing and writing landing pages that convert visitors to assets to your charity.

  1. Eliminate site navigation. The only navigation you want on your landing page are links to (1) your action page and (2) possibly, if you are offering a premium, a page that tells more about the premium. This keeps visitors focused on your offer rather than allowing them to get sidetracked while browsing your site.
  2. Design a header that matches your email header. Don’t use the same design as your main site unless that is the design you used in the email header. While organizational branding is important, you can design website landing pages with compatible yet different headers.
  3. Write an action oriented headline. The headline should lead people toward the action you want them to take but still speak directly to what’s in it for them. The headline also needs to be similar to or even the same as the headline and/or subject line in the email. This avoids confusion about whether or not people clicked to the right web page.
  4. Use fonts that are proven as easy to read. Headlines should be in at least 12 point Times New Roman or Arial font. They should not be all caps (capitalize only the first letter in all words of the headline except articles). Body text should be at least 12 point Arial.
  5. Lead visitors to the action you want them to take. Explain the offer, but don’t over explain. Explain the benefit to the visitor. Include the Who, What, Why, How and Where. Use at least 500 words that are written to “you.” One of the most common mistakes I see is organizations writing to themselves rather than the people they’re trying to sell. Have at least 3 places where people can click to the donate page, and make these links benefit and action oriented (e.g., Click Here to Help Save Lives).

In another blog, I’ll explain specifics writing techniques for non profit e-appeals and landing pages.

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Non Profit Email Design That Works

Here are 5 tips for writing and designing fundraising emails for maximum results for non profit organizations.

No matter how altruistic and selfless they are, the reader wants to know what’s in it for them. People give to your non profit because they want to make a difference, and you need to specifically tell them – in words that address them directly – the difference they’re making. You also need to succinctly assure them that you will use their funds appropriately and efficiently.

  1. Use action words to get response. In your buttons, use words like “click here,” “learn more,” “get more,” etc. Be careful, though, because “click here” and “go here” in links (rather than graphics) will get your email flagged as spam. All of these links should go to a dedicated landing page that doesn’t include links to the rest of the website – you lose people when you let them browse too much.
  2. Headlines are extremely important. Since you have a limited amount of time to capture your reader’s attention and move them to action, you don’t want to waste time making things hard on their eyes. Only the first letter in each word should be capitalized (not all caps), and Times New Roman and Arial fonts are the easiest to read.
  3. Design attractive email headers and footers that are web optimized. These are much more professional looking than plain text emails. But if the file size of your graphics are too large, the emails will load too slowly, and you’ll lose people.
  4. Be sure to include a web version for people to view if they can’t see the graphics in the email. Put a link at the top that says: Can’t see the graphics? Preview Online. Put the entire email on a web page.

Put these basic tips into use, and you’ll see improved click through to your landing pages. In another blog, I’ll provide tips for landing page response.

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Are you monetizing your email lists?

Randall MainsOf all the eMarketing channels you can leverage to develop online fundraising sources for your not-for-profit organization, email fundraising has proven to be one of the best.  You can monetize your email list.  A good qualified internal email list should generate substantial gifts toward your annual fund, add to your monthly donor groups, and even raise funds for special projects. I will show you how to monetize your email list laterbut for now I want to focus on how to begin building your lists, since many charities are literally at ground zero when it comes to their email lists.

Most companies don’t know how to start building their email lists. While there are numerous methods you can use, both online and offline, you’re best to grow your email lists by addressing your website traffic conversion plan first, which is generally an overlooked subject.  I personally prefer incentive-based email sign-up offers, which I’ll explain later.

Much of the focus I hear about is on generating visitors to your website, rather than converting the visitors you’ll get.  (Many charities have channels to generate traffic — namely broadcast television, radio, magazines, events, direct mail).  Generating traffic to your website without having a plan to convert the traffic into non profit marketing assets is the equivalent of having a billboard on the highway–you do get brand awareness because of the traffic that sees your ad, but you don’t get many tangible assets to work with after your ad ends.

Alternatively, a non profit website design strategy that concentrates on traffic conversion, will add people onto your email list with whom you can later communicate.  Using this method you collect as many names as possible that you can convert into gifts or sales today, plus names that are likely to convert in the weeks and months to come through online fundraising.

Most companies will dedicate zero real estate, or very little online real estate, to traffic conversion efforts. In my next blog I’ll feature websites that illustrate good traffic conversion systems as well as those that don’t.  Installing a good one will increase the size of your email lists, and eventually lead to the significant results many companies are getting out of email fundraising.

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