A landing page is the very first page on a website that someone visits or ‘lands’ on, often when clicking on a link in a search engine or display ad. When referring to an organization’s website, these landing pages are different from the standard ‘homepage,’ as they are designed to cater to someone who would click a specific link or use a specific search term when browsing.
But the term ‘landing page’ can also be used for the pages created on an online fundraising platform, like Gofundme.com. In fact, often a charity will use an online fundraising service’s landing page instead of their own website to solicit donations and promote a specific fundraising event. If promoted well that landing page might show up in search engines even more prominently than the cause’s own web pages.
Creating an effective landing page helps tap into the wealth of resources and supporters that the internet has to offer. Following are some tips for creating a landing page as focused and effective as possible:
Make Your Landing Pages Visually Appealing
Long gone are the days of lengthy mission statements and static pages without images or video. Visitors expect images, video and links to social sites. Get to the point quickly and promote your event with attractive videos and photos of volunteers and beneficiaries. (Be sure you have permission from any persons appearing in the images.)
You’ll be limited to the number of videos or photos you can use on an online fundraising service, so it’s even more important to scrutinize any potential photo or video prior to posting. Be sure to get input from others on what media to add to your page.
If you’re working or volunteering for an organization, add your logo to all your pages appearing on the web, whether your own blog, or pages from third party websites, like an online fundraising service. It doesn’t have to be overly prominently displayed, but its presence, even if only subconsciously noted, will serve to deepen brand awareness.
Limit Information on Your Landing Page
Your landing page doesn’t have to contain every little detail about your organization. In fact, it shouldn’t. Stick to writing with razor-sharp focus to promote the event you’ve created it for. Instead of drafting a long narrative about your organization, make a concise point about your specific event to grab the reader’s attention and aim for a donation.
If you’re creating a landing page on an online fundraising service, it’s even more important to keep your message as focused as possible to your specific fundraising purpose at hand. You don’t want the potential supporter to get distracted by information and links that are not 100% relevant to your displayed fundraiser. Plan to get your donation on the viewer’s first visit.
Use Concise Titles and Wording
In order to harness the power of search engines, it helps to be concise and clear in your writing. It all starts with a good title. Which title do you think would be more effective: “Time is Running out – please donate!” Or “Fundraiser for Jane Smith” or “Fundraiser for New Air Conditioner for Anytown School”? Yes, the last two are definitely preferable to the first one. Why? Because the first one is very generic, and if the rest of the writing on the page is somewhat generic as well, it will be very hard for the search engines to direct interested parties to that page.
Apply the same principle to the remainder of the text on the page: include location and important names in the copy of your appeal, so search engines have something relevant to index and display in the search results.
Include a “Call to Action”
You know that no piece of material, whether it be digital or in print, should go out without a clear “Call to Action.” That includes landing pages.
It’s great to enlighten readers to your cause and convince them to help, but relevant statistics and other information are empty without a concise call to the reader to make an impact for the cause they care about.
Include clear steps for the reader to take, such as calls to sign up for your emails, or direct links to donate, depending on your goal for a particular page. When designing a “donate” button, experiment with different sizes, colors and wording to see which version gives you the best results.
While financial contributions are always great, you can include other calls to action on your landing page as well, like making in-kind donations and opportunities to volunteer. Is your organization’s mission to feed the hungry or replenish the forests? Link to resources on how to hold a food drive or organize a tree-planting event.
If you’re creating your own landing page on one of the online fundraising sites, it’s best to keep all the calls to action focused on donating cash, since that is the main purpose of having a campaign on these sites. Also, you won’t have a choice in donation buttons, but you can assume that the company who runs the site has done all the homework for you and designed a button that’s been tested to result in the most donations.
If you’re able to customize the ‘Thank you’ page that pops up after a person has donated, or the ‘Thank you’ email to your supporter, be sure to include more calls to action, like social media buttons, prompts to sign up for your newsletter and so on.
Are you unsure if you’re using enough or effective calls to action? Why not go through the process yourself and donate some money through one of your own landing pages? As you’re noting how you are led through the process you might find some room for improvements.
Also read: 15 Most Popular Online Fundraising Services
Blog Posts Can Be Effective Landing Pages
If you keep a blog about your work and activities as a charitable group, your posts may in fact already be serving as landing pages for specific fundraising drives, events etc.
In order to make them effective landing pages, don’t assume that someone reading a specific post on your blog knows anything at all about your group. By avoiding too many pronouns and instead using actual nouns and people’s names more often, even someone who has never heard of your organization will understand what you’re talking about. In other words, make each blog post a standalone article instead of writing in a way that assumes your visitors are all regular readers.
Are you currently running an online fundraiser? Or have you spotted an excellent example of an effective landing page? Please share with us and add links in the comments!