Gaining followers on social media is important. It helps you get your message in front of people who might not typically find you. But what happens if the world goes topsy turvy and you find your social media account has been hacked, deactivated, or somehow destroyed in the blink of an eye? How would you contact your followers?
It’s an unlikely scenario, sure. But how many times have you posted something to social media, wishing you could send it directly to every person who has ever supported your organization? If you put those people on an email list, you could send the information directly to their inbox.
How many times have you wished you could send an email to every contributor, volunteer, or customer? How great would it be to have their email information somewhere easy to access and easy to utilize?
Email marketing can provide these time-saving solutions. But first you need to have a list of people to market to, right?
It’s time to start growing your email list. And it’s always better to start off on the right foot. So how do you do that? How do you entice people to give you a direct line to them? And how do you do it in a way that won’t get you put on a spam list somewhere? That’s a really important question that we will address in Part Two of this blog post.
Before you can build your list, you first have to give people a portal where they can sign up to be included on your emailing list.
It all starts with a smart landing page
Meet Client Y (we’ll use a fictitious name to protect the privacy of our client). Client Y came to us with a problem. Their organization was spending most of their funds on advertisements. And while some of that money was coming back to them in conversions, the numbers weren’t sustainable in the long-term.
The organization had no room to grow because every extra dollar went to an ever-increasing ad budget. Nothing was left to be reinvested.
So we started looking at Client Y’s client onboarding process. You know, their funnel. How were they making that first contact with people that drew them into their funnel, eventually leading them to making a sale? How successful was the process?
The start of their funnel
The first part of their funnel included a landing page with a call to sign up to receive emails from Client Y. We looked at the number of people visiting this page, and we saw that they had a steady flow of traffic.
But that traffic wasn’t converting well at all. Only 4 percent of traffic was responding by signing up. That means 96 percent of traffic was browsing away. No conversion. No sale. Ad spend wasted.
We looked at the page and saw one big issue: It wasn’t designed with the user in mind. It lacked elements needed for us regular humans to feel connected to the brand. Ninety-six out of every 100 website visitors were clicking away wondering if the website was run by humans or faceless corporate robots.
We offered our evaluation to Client Y, and with their approval, we then rolled up our sleeves and got to work on improving their landing page.
Building a beautiful website
Providing beautiful web solutions is what makes Wanna Pixel’s website design team giddy. So we put the team to work.
By drawing from website design best practices, our team was able to design a new landing page for Client Y that increased their dismal newsletter sign-up rate from 4 percent to 20 percent within a few short weeks of launch.
That’s a 400 percent increase. In about a month.
How did our designers accomplish this? Let’s break it down a little.
Nonprofit website design
Best website design practices start with understanding how we humans respond to design and how we behave while browsing the web. What does that mean?
Answer this: What type of device are you using to read this article? Is it a mobile device? If so, you’re definitely not alone. Not surprisingly, 85 percent of people browsing the internet are doing so using a mobile device. So a dynamic design that results in conversions needs to be optimized with both desktops and mobile devices in mind. Failing to design properly for mobile screen size will mean losing out on a significant number of potential donors.
Additionally, tell me the answer to this one: What do you do when a website is taking forever to load? Do you continue to sit and wait, wait, wait? Or do you close the browser and move on? Most of us move on. It’s just part of a fast-paced world. We don’t have time to wait for websites to load. We’ll go find the information we need elsewhere. So a beautiful website design must be coupled with speed (and functionality, but more on that later).
If the website is mobile-responsive and fast, now we have an opportunity to convert visitors into subscribers through great design. What are important elements that need to be included in the design of a nonprofit website to make that happen?
The specific answer to that question depends entirely on the exact nature of your business or organization. But the simplified answer is this:
- Compelling images
- The smart use of color, flow, and white space
- On-point, perfectly placed written content
A website designer who understands how to weave these elements together—who understands both your brand and who you’re trying to reach—is the person you need in your life.
Website design best practices
I mentioned website design best practices. Understanding the meaning of that phrase is vital to any organization before beginning digital marketing projects.
A stellar website for your nonprofit organization will do everything you need it to do. But if you’re not sure what you should look for in a website, then maybe this list will help.
- Mobile-responsive design
- Quick loading time
- Conversion optimized with email marketing
- Data tracking (how else will you know how the website is really performing?)
- A/B testing for landing pages
- SEO smart
- Content marketing optimized
- User experience centered
A website that will pull its weight for your nonprofit is a website built with your past, present, and future in mind. It will tell the story of your nonprofit through design and content, giving visitors a clear call to action. And it will leave room for growth.
Maybe content marketing is outside your reach right now. But wouldn’t it be nice if you could choose to start a content marketing strategy without having to build a new website from scratch? Or maybe you’re not sure how you can even interpret data such as that recorded by Google Analytics, much less use the information to improve your conversion rates. But by having it turned on, you’ll be prepared with invaluable data in the future when you’re ready to ask someone who can interpret the data.
Did you read this and wonder, “What will I do with the people who sign up for my email list? What in the world will I send them?” Check back for Part Two of this series, where we talk about what makes an email marketing campaign turn subscribers into donors and volunteers.