2015 Digital Fundraising To Do List #1 Conversion Rate Optimisation

Fundraising Conversion Rate Optimisation

In my first post of the New Year (Why Bitcoin probably shouldn’t be top of your 2015 Digital Fundraising To Do list) I promised to share some thoughts over the next few weeks about what I believe digital fundraisers should be prioritising on their 2015 To Do lists. So, to get started let’s focus on the one thing without which none of your other online activity is likely to deliver good results – namely Website Conversion Rate Optimisation.

Back in January 2012 I wrote about the crucial importance of fundraisers getting serious about how they track and improve the conversion rates of their fundraising pages.

I wrote that post in the same week User Experience specialists Nomensa had released their white paper ‘Creating the Perfect Donation Experience’, which included alarming research findings showing that 47% of donors give-up before they have made the donation because the online journey is not intuitive and engaging. I found this statistic worrying but not especially surprising, given the lack of attention being given to tracking, evaluating, and improving the conversion of traffic to donation websites at that time.

What I find both alarming and surprising is that two years on from that report, so many of the fundraisers that I hear voicing concern over the difficulty they experience growing their online income are still focusing the vast majority of their efforts on traffic generation and next to nothing on conversion rate optimisation.

Assuming the Nomensa finding still applies (and sadly I see little to suggest that the sector has got to grips with conversion optimisation so as to change it) this means that for all the effort and budget being invested in attracting individuals wishing to make a donation, almost half of them will be failing to become donors because of a lack of attention being given to optimising their website experience.

If you were to tear-up half of the donations you receive to a direct mail appeal then you would clearly be a crazily bad fundraiser. Yet failing to pay proper attention to what is happening on your donation pages could well be amounting to the same thing.

So, that’s what I’d say should be top of your 2015 To Do List. Before spending time on new ways to bring more people to your donation pages – work-out just what you need to do to properly measure, evaluate, and optimise the experience they will have when they get there.


3 thoughts on “2015 Digital Fundraising To Do List #1 Conversion Rate Optimisation

  1. Hi Jordi. This looks just the sort of course that all serious digital fundraisers should consider to build-up their knowledge of CRO and how to approach it for their organisations – thanks for sharing it.

  2. This is so important.

    I worked with a few different clients over Christmas, and comparing conversion rates I can say that the least optimised ones literally lost out on tens of thousands. Just over Christmas!

    This is especially true if you are driving traffic from for instance Facebook – most of the traffic you’ll drive is going to be mobile, and with a non-optimised landing page, that traffic is not going to give you much. Optimised though, it is going to have almost the same conversion rate as desktop visits.

    It’s baffling to me that charities don’t spend more time and money on this. We didn’t stumble upon the correct way to do a mail pack the first time – it took time and testing. The same is going to have to be true for online – especially donation forms! Not only is our sector not testing and improving – we’re not even adhering to simple best practices that have been long established!

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