5 Dynamic Calls to Action That Increase Donations

Your website is a kind of simple maze that allows people to go to where they want at their own pace. They can click here or click there and you hope they stumble upon – and are moved by – one of your calls to action.

If you could group your website visitors together by their relationship to you and their actions on the site, you would place calls-to-action in front of them as they browsed – with the right message at the right time.

For example, if someone is a first time visitor on your homepage, then maybe giving them lots of choices isn’t such a great idea. Maybe you should show them your most powerful intro video that orients them to your cause and how you make an impact. Or, if a visitor is spending a lot of time on the page of one of your programs, maybe that would be a good time to display a call-to-action about supporting that program.

For those of us used to designing email programs, this is very basic. With email, we segment people based on their past behavior and then craft messages designed to get them to act. The problem is that websites don’t work that way. On websites, we have no easy way to segment what are clearly different groups of the people coming to the site. Email is smart and websites are mostly dumb. They just sit there while you hope good things are happening. You check Google Analytics later to get a sense of what people did, but in real time, you’re a bystander.

Dream with me for a minute about 5 dynamic calls to action we would want to have on our fundraising websites if we could make our sites smarter.

1. Donation abandonment

When you have a donor on your donation page, that’s golden. But they might just not be quite ready to pull the trigger. They are deciding, in just a few seconds, whether they will really go through with it. Oh no! You see them start to move their mouse up toward the corner of the browser. The dreaded Closing of the Window! But wait, how about, just as the mouse starts moving up, you present them with an offer about that matching gift? The offer slides in from the side of the page: “Today, a generous supporter will match your donation 1:1 if you donate now.” That did it! It tipped the scales and now they’re yours.

2. Non-donor activists

She’s here! She’s here! That activist who signed the petition on Change.org or Care2. She cares, and you know it, because she’s already in your email database. And she’s here! On your website. She’s clicking around, looking at your programs. She’s on her second page now. Let’s not let her go. “Your activism is changing the world. And now, with a small financial contribution, you can amplify your impact by directly supporting our work on the ground. Let’s do this together.” Would you look at that? Your ROI for your acquisition campaigns just went way up.

3. Upgrade to a sustainer

How sweet is this? Your recent donor is actually coming back to your website. She just donated $50 last week, and here she is. One thing we know for sure is that the best time to ask for something is when the last action is still fresh. So let’s ask for an upgrade right away. “For only $19/month you can become a sustaining supporter and get access to private briefings on [this very important issue that we know you care about]. If you upgrade today, we’ll also send you this exclusive poster/tshirt/sticker.” We just increased the total number of monthly donors and the success of our upgrade strategy.

4. First time visitor

If someone came into your office for the first time and asked what your organization does, you wouldn’t dump a pile of papers and reports in front of them. You’d take them on a path to understand what you do and how you do it and explain to them that they can be the hero of this story, changing the world through their support. On your dumb website, they just see a lot of stuff and aren’t really sure where to go. Let’s try something new. Let’s take them down a funnel just for them, show them the content most likely to get them engaged and then ask them to sign up for updates or take another non-financial action to get them in the database.

5. Spreading the word on social

Social media, Facebook in particular, has become a critical way to engage supporters and introduce new people to the issues you work on. The problem with social media, and Facebook in particular, is that organic reach is dead. You can’t just post things and expect people will see them. You have to pay. Or, better yet, you need your supporters to engage more with your content, spreading it into their personal networks. That was the whole point of social media wasn’t it? What if you could get your thousands of site visitors to engage with you on social, without ever leaving your website? Your social engagement metrics would be through the roof! And more people than ever would be helping to spread word of mouth marketing about your organization, making a long-term impact on your ability to recruit new donors. 

Is this real life?

I understand why you might think having these calls-to-action show up for only the right people and only at the right time is just a dream. How could you possibly get your IT and website folks to code this stuff? And in a way that it acts dynamically? And what if you want to tweak it once it’s done? What would that cost? Fogetabout it.

Making websites smarter and increasing impact is a huge part of our mission at See3. And this problem – how to make websites smarter – is something we’ve been obsessed with. Now, we have a solution. It’s called Conversion Booster and it can add all of these dynamic calls to action to your website. And, you don’t need to code anything at all.

It’s time to stop hoping people do what you want them to do and start putting the right asks in front of them at just the right times. It’s all possible with Conversion Booster, and you’ll wonder, like we do, how we’ve put up with a dumb website for so long.

Want to see it in action? Call us for a demo at 773-784-7333. We'd love to help your organization turn your dumb website into a smart tool for turning web traffic into donations. 

Author: Michael Hoffman
  • Fundraising
  • Website
  • Donors