In order to increase donations through your website not only does it have to look good but potential donors have to enjoy interacting with it. Donating is usually an emotional experience, so how do you tell your story succinctly without it interfering with user experience?
According to Ceros "User experience – notably poor user experience – has been a hot topic in recent months with the much-publicized launch of HealthCare.gov and its subsequent issues. User experience is a part of the design process that you don’t hear about unless something goes wrong. However, it is something that should be an integral part of the design process, from early concepts to the final product".
Here are 8 tips to help you improve your charities' website user experience:
1) Make sure your website is mobile responsive
You would think this would go without saying, but there a number of organizations out there that haven’t adapted their website. Make sure that your website is mobile responsive, this means the pages will automatically fit to the size of any device, mobile or tablet screen, ensuring the font and images are still in a readable size and the potential donor can easily move from page to page. 45% of our readers accessed our website from their smartphones in the last year, so it's never been more important to ensure your website site is mobile responsive!
2) Ensure your message is clear
Simplicity is key when it comes to explaining what your cause is trying to achieve. More specifically, if you're asking for donations explain where that money is going and how it will make a difference. This should be mentioned upfront, in your headline, or in the first paragraph to immediately inform donors that they are in the right place.
3) Use case studies
Tell real stories about how you've made a difference, this will offer donors a human connection to your cause. You should also consider clearly highlighting what each donation can provide e.g. $50 can feed a family for 6 months, this will hone in how big their small act of kindness is.
4) Make your donation button stand out and easy to find
Call-To-Actions (CTA’S) should be in a prominent place on the donation page of your website, the copy within the button should describe the action. Use specific terms like ‘donate here’ to clearly explain what the button will do, rather than just ‘submit’.
5) Use default donation amounts
Give donors donation amounts to choose from: $25, $50 or $100. This saves the donor from having to think of an amount to donate and it will also encourage those who were originally thinking of donating a small amount to follow suit. If you know how much your average donor typically gives online, make that amount an option.
6) Don't ask for unnecessary information
Studies have shown that for every extra field you ask someone to fill out, your conversion rate will decrease. When the Norwegian Cancer Society reduced their donation forms from 11 fields to 4, the number of completed forms increased by 140%.
7) Use a trusted payment provider
Encourage donations by using a well-known and trusted payment provider. Using a third-party who is PCI compliant will put your donors mind at ease. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard ensure card details are processed and stored securely. Once you’ve chosen your preferred provider, include the PCI compliance stamp of approval on your payment check-out page, this will give donors ease-of-mind, knowing that their personal and financial details are secure.
8) Make it easy to subscribe
Email campaigns have proven to drive donations, the percentage of donors motivated to give online because they received an inspiring email has increased drastically in the last few years! Place an email subscription field in a prominent place on your website to encourage people to sign up. Your previous donors will enjoy seeing how their money is making an impact and more importantly you can use content to nurture potential donors into supporting your cause!
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