Confessions of a Fundraising Copywriter
"We do rank pretty high when you Google us," she said. "And I would think all that should translate into more online gifts. Go figure."
"That's why I'm here. So let's start with these Web reports you sent me. See these page-view stats? Visitors come onto the homepage, then review these internal pages, including your donation page. These are all pretty close in number. But look at how many exit your site on the donation page."
"Wow," she said. "Most of them."
"Exactly. Narrows the problem to the donation page itself. Let's start with the content. There's no case for giving here. You need to restate some of the great copy you have covering this in your other pages."
"Not really. Your information-collection form is the biggest problem. It's much too long and complex. You don't need to collect all of this information here. This is not the time or place to be conducting market research. This is the time to close the deal and encourage people to donate."
"So what should be here?"
"You want this form to be as quick and effortless to complete as possible. All you need is the donor's name, basic contact information, including e-mail address, and credit card data. That's it. But here's the biggest issue. You send visitors to a completely different page to select from a complex list of giving designations."
"Why is that bad? We want our donors to have the freedom to choose where their money goes."
"While your intent is good, the methodology is flawed. You should never send a visitor off the donation page. That alone means you'll probably lose her. On the Web we all have the attention span of a caffeinated finch. You gotta keep 'em focused and make it quick.