Conversion copywriting is one of the seven writing styles that all nonprofit communications pros should master. While this style and microcontent overlap a lot, it’s important to know the differences. Generally, the goal of conversion copywriting is to motivate immediate action.
So why is this important?
When you want someone to do something, you have to ask. And how you ask matters.
Whether it’s clicking on a button or link to donate, volunteer, register or do anything else, when someone takes that action online, we call it a conversion.
The copy that you write, including what’s on the button or link text itself, the call to action next to the button, and copy around that call to action, must all be directed toward that one outcome: getting that click or conversion.
For example, Donate Now has become the default conversion call-to-action for nonprofit fundraising pages.
But what about the other text on the page? Or what do you do if your email click-through rates seem really low? Or your Facebook ads don’t seem to be working? Take a look at your conversion copywriting.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
To elicit an action, you have to solve a problem or serve a particular person’s need, where they are in their own journey. It’s all about knowing your target audience and what will move them.
Understanding the classic stages of awareness is helpful, especially if you are writing a landing page for a certain group of people. For example, people on your email list are at a different stage of awareness than someone in a Facebook Lookalike Audience who is being served an ad but is not currently following your organization in any way.
You always want to speak directly to that one person (use You, Your) and do so in a clear, direct way. Use action verbs as much as possible.
Only speak about that one call to action. That’s why it’s a best practice to strip away your website navigation from your fundraising and other landing pages. You don’t want to give them those options, but rather focus the attention on the single call to action to drive the conversion.
Emphasize the WHY and WHY NOW. Use phrases like “so that” and “because” to connect the call to action to the reason why they want to follow through. Also, include a sense of urgency whenever you can.
Find your “power words” that convert. It will take trial and error to discover what works for your cause and your list. Nonprofit Hub suggests these power words for nonprofits: Imagine, Investment, You, Quick, Easy, Hassle-Free, Because, Difference, Hurry, Introducing.
I also like these phrases and concepts that convert, suggested by Ray Edwards in Social Media Examiner interview:
- If, then
- If you don’t do anything it just gets worse
- What most people do . . .
- Imagine this . . .
- If the only thing you get is . . .
- Don’t let this happen (to you) . . .
- What if . . .
- You’re standing at the crossroads . . .
Take a look at some of your landing pages and email copy. How could you use some of these ideas to make some changes and see if they convert better?