Abby Jarvis

Abby Jarvis

Today we have part 1 in a two-part series by Abby Jarvis of Qgiv on how to promote your online donation page. Read the first three marketing strategies below, then join us next week for the final three. ~Kristina 

Guest Post by Abby Jarvis of Qgiv

So you’ve got a beautiful online donation page up and running.

Congratulations!

Are you properly promoting it so that it receives the attention it deserves?

If not, it’s time to start!

Whether you’re a small nonprofit that’s just started receiving donations online or you’re a larger organization with a strong digital presence, you can stand to benefit from the six marketing strategies we’re going to outline in this series.

Let’s talk about marketing your online donation page!

Here’s a sneak peek of what we’re going to discuss:

  1. Segment Your Donors
  2. Educate Your Supporters
  3. Send Great Emails
  4. Be Smart with Social Media
  5. Don’t Forget Traditional Communications
  6. Improve Your Website

We’ll cover 1, 2, and 3 today and 4, 5, and 6 next week.

You should also check out these great tips for online fundraising in general.

1. Segment Your Donors

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Before you even start marketing your online donation page, you need to segment your existing database into different groups.

Take a look at the following section of an infographic published here:

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As you can see, donation amount and donor history are the two most common segmentation methods.

However, you can segment according to any number of factors, including:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Net worth
  • Email activity
  • Duration of support
  • Donation type
  • Communication preference

Segment your communications according to what makes the most sense for your nonprofit.

  • If you want more millennials to reach your donation page, segment by age.
  • If you want your newest donors to give online, segment by duration of support.
  • If you want to push your online donation page to volunteers, segment by experience.

Segmentation is key to tailoring your marketing strategies and driving the right kinds of people to your online donation page. Because, frankly, some of your donors won’t want to give online. They’re perfectly content to support you via direct mail or over the phone.

And that’s okay!

Just make sure that you segment your donors into the proper communication channels and tailor your messages according to the aforementioned methods. This will ensure that the donors who want to give online are given sufficient info to do so.

**Bottom Line** Segment your donors so that you have a better idea of who you need to send specific messages to.

2. Educate Your Supporters

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Part of your marketing strategy should include educating your donors about your nonprofit.

Some of your donors will have given to your organization for years and will be very familiar with your work.

Others might not be totally sure of your name or mission.

Your job is to educate each donor and use the information you give to encourage them to give online.

You’ll need to have a slightly different message according to the communication segments you established in step one. The end goal for each outreach instance should be the same, though: to drive more traffic to your online donation page.

Educating your supporters during each phase of their interaction with your nonprofit might look something like this:

  • First-time donors/unfamiliar prospects
    • Give examples of what their donations would accomplish
    • Address concerns they might have about giving
    • Tell your nonprofit’s story
  • Donors who have given a few times
    • Show what their first/previous donations accomplished
    • Explain future projects and the importance of further contributions
    • Offer other opportunities to give back (i.e., volunteerism, events, etc.)
  • Loyal donors
    • Demonstrate appreciation for previous donations
    • Mention upgrading to another giving level
    • Offer other engagement opportunities (i.e., speaking at events, advocating for your cause, etc.)

As you can see, segmentation is crucial for successful communication with your donors.

Each group of donors deserves a different message if you want to drive more traffic to your online donation page.

**Bottom Line** Educate your various segments of donors to let them know how they can give back, ideally on your online donation page!

Bonus: Learn how you can create an online marketing strategy in just two hours!

3. Send Great Emails

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The easiest way to encourage a lot of donors to go to your website and your online donation page is to send them emails.

You likely already know about the power of email marketing as an effective and efficient way to reach a multitude of donors and prospects.

But are your emails the best that they could be?

There’s always room for improvement! Take a look at the following three tips that can improve your emails and help drive more traffic to your online donation page:

Pay attention to your link placement

Your emails should include several links and a strong call-to-action that inevitably lead recipients to your online donation page.

But if the links aren’t placed in the right spots, your donors might skip over them altogether!

Keep this from happening by being smart about link placement:

  • Use a graphic or image: Allow donors to click on a picture of a puppy, child, family, or community that your organization serves. Once the image is clicked, it should lead them to your donation page. Using a compelling image or graphic grabs donors’ attentions and creates an emotional response.
  • Include a link in your sign-off or signature: When donors get to the end of one of your emails, they should see a “Donate Now” button just below the signature line.
  • Be smart about anchor text: Your anchor text (the words that are underlined or highlighted that take donors to a URL) should match the action you want donors to pursue. Since you’re trying to drive traffic to your online donation page, your anchor text should be something along the lines of, “Give Now,” “Visit our Donation Page,” or “Donate Today.”

Put yourself in your donors’ shoes: think about where your eyes would go when opening an email. Situate your links in obvious and well-placed sections of your emails.

Send out emails at the right time

Sending out an email blast at the wrong time doesn’t do your nonprofit any good. Instead, email supporters at the following times to increase open rates and drive more traffic to your online donation page:

  • End of the calendar year: It’s no secret that November and December are two of the biggest months for donations. People are in generous moods and have a better grasp of their financial situations, and they want to make their charitable donations in time to claim them on their tax returns the next year.

Use this timing to your nonprofit’s advantage! Send out email appeals during the last two months of the year (and don’t forget about #GivingTuesday!).

  • During peak email-checking times: People probably aren’t checking their emails at 5 in the morning. Send out your emails at times when donors are on their computers and phones (i.e., during the afternoon and evening).

Additionally, most emails are opened during the beginning of the week (Monday through Wednesday). Keep that in mind when you send out your email appeals, newsletters, and updates.

  • Specific holidays or celebrations: Nearly every nonprofit has a corresponding national day, week, or month. Whether you work to better the environment (Earth Day), help adolescents with eating disorders (Eating Disorder Awareness Week), rescue abandoned animals (Adopt-a-Dog Month), or support any other mission, there is likely a national day, week, or month dedicated to your cause.

Use these times to send out emails to your donors and drive traffic to your online donation page. Donors will be more likely to support your mission if they sense that there is a national movement propelling it forward.

Emails shouldn’t be sent out willy-nilly. Instead, focus on peak times to capture more donors’ interests and lead them to your donation page.

Tell donors what they want to hear

Depending on where they are in their relationship with your nonprofit, donors will want different information (see point two).

Since you’ve already segmented your donors into different groups, craft your emails according to what they want to hear.

Loyal supporters want to know what you’ve done with their previous donations before they give again.

First-time donors will want to know what you’re going to do with their money.

Give each segment of donors the appropriate info that will inevitably send them to your online donation page.

**Bottom Line** Email is a powerful fundraising tool. Make sure that you’re crafting great emails and sending them to the right donors at the right time to drive more traffic to your online donation page.

Abby Jarvis is a blogger, marketer, and communications coordinator for Qgiv, an online fundraising service provider. When she’s not working at Qgiv, Abby can usually be found working on freelance writing projects or binge-watching sci-fi shows on Netflix.

You can find the next 3 strategies in this post.

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