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Grow your Donor Base

Why an effective donation page is key to connecting with your audience

The Problem

When The John Ankerberg Show ministry experienced a drop in donations to a cause they were focusing on, it was important to find the root of the issue quickly and solve it efficiently.

The first thing we did was take a look at the site traffic going to a page. Traffic was up, the cause was being talked about, the story of the peoples lives who were changed through the program was incredibly compelling.

So if traffic was good and people were reaching for their wallets to support a valid cause, what was making them go? Our theory was that the donation page itself didn’t reflect the deeply personal work that was being done to reach people around the world. And with 3 strategic changes, we were able to raise donations by 58% immediately.

The changes we made were entirely focused on the content and design of the page proving that style and stories are key to connecting.

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The first point that prevented donors from connecting with the donation page’s message? Pictures.

The cliche “a picture is worth a thousand words” exists for a reason. And when you don’t want to make a potential giver read 1,001 words, images are imperative. So, we:

  • replaced the stock images with real people who were impacted, then
  • found a hero/header image that drew in the audience.

The new photos reinforced the idea that this page wasn’t just about donating, it was about people around the world, and empowering the page visitors to feel like they could make an impact from where they were sitting.

Next, we focused on expanding the message through literal storytelling: We added copy that allows a reader to feel engaged.

So many times, the assumption is that by the time a visitor reaches the donation page, they’ve already decided to donate. And, often that’s true. However, that tends to mean we focus on the finance aspect instead of reinforcing their decision to give to make them feel confident. We:

  • rewrote content to paint a picture of the important work the ministry was doing, then
  • broke the text down into easily digestible pieces.

The story furthered the message the attention-grabbing images told, allowing the reader to know more whether they skimmed the page or soaked up each word. Either way, we made sure each sentence was both useful and meaningful to any page visitor.

Lastly, we targeted the actual donation area: We updated the form to be more visually appealing and seem simpler.

After going through this new, more compelling page content, we didn’t want potential donors to be put-off by the idea that donating required effort. And, a lengthy form taking up a large amount of space can make otherwise willing donors pause and second guess the effort. So, we:

  • condensed the form information with smaller boxes on fewer lines, and
  • made it a multi-step experience, so the donor selected an amount before seeing the rest of the form.

By removing the last potential block between a page visitor and the action we wanted them to take, donating felt like a more natural last step in a journey, rather than an up-front request.

Results

With 3 intentional changes and less than a day’s work, we were able to identify a problem that was important to our client’s ministry and create an effective solution that gave immediate results. Comparing 2 weeks of the prior version of the page and the first 2 weeks after the changes, our style and content changes generated a 58% increase in donations — even with a 57% decrease in traffic to a page we had paused all promotions on.

We'll let those numbers speak for themselves.

This scenario reaffirms a few reminders we regularly discuss here at Crash:

  1. Always be measuring.
  2. Never get too attached to one plan — it might not work out the way you think.
  3. When we win, our clients win, and that's what we're aiming for day in and day out.
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Crash Creative can help your organization win?

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