Nonprofit landing pages: 4 lessons from for-profit organizations

Grow your donor base

Looking to get more strategic about your nonprofit landing pages? Performing a competitive analysis is an excellent way to do it. However, many nonprofit leaders limit their research to direct competitors, missing out on the lessons that can be learned from organizations outside their industry.

A key objective for most nonprofits is to elicit action.

 

Whether it be to donate money to a cause, share an awareness initiative or volunteer, every nonprofit marketing activity is designed to convert users. This is referred to as the call-to-action (CTA).

For-profit organizations use landing pages with CTAs to turn interested users into potential customers. They might drive email sign ups or push users to register for a free trial — whatever action is relevant to the organization’s objectives.

Some businesses spend hundreds of thousands of dollars analyzing user intent and improving the conversion rates on their CTAs. If your nonprofit is like most, you don’t have the extra budget or resources to do the same, but that doesn’t mean your nonprofit landing pages are doomed. Learn from these four for-profit businesses.

Related: Nonprofits: How to design a web page in 20 minutes

Nonprofit landing pages: 4 real-life lessons

There’s a reason for-profit businesses use landing pages — they’re an effective way to drive conversions. These four examples can help you create a more strategic page for your organization.

  1. Dropbox: Focus on your value proposition.

  2. Netflix: Understand your audience.

  3. Axe: Stay on brand.

  4. Obama campaign: Continuously test and optimize.

Now, let’s take a closer look at what makes these organizations’ landing pages so successful.

1. Dropbox: Focus on your value proposition

Dropbox is a cloud storage service that operates a freemium business model. As such, its business objective is to generate as many free users as possible with the intention of converting them to paid users through various sales tactics.

Rather than overselling, Dropbox makes a concerted effort to increase registrations by simply highlighting the main value of its service: the fact that it’s free to try.

The landing page for Dropbox Business, for example, features one succinct heading: “Work better, safer, together.” This is followed by its value proposition: “Dropbox Business simplifies your work, with a central place to access and share files.” Then comes the eye-catching CTA button: “Try free for 30 days.”

Nonprofit Landing Pages Dropbox
Photo: Dropbox Business Landing Page

This simple approach has helped Dropbox acquire more than 500 million users.

Nonprofit takeaway

Dropbox promotes its free trial because it’s the most convincing proposition to drive user registrations. Your nonprofit can use a similar approach to encourage conversions.

When creating a landing page, remember to highlight the value proposition that will drive the most activity.

For instance, if you’re raising money for cancer research, don’t focus on the user’s action with text like “Donate now.” Instead, highlight the value of donating with copy like “Save a life.” Or focus on the impact that every donation can make. These subtle changes can make a big difference.

Related: How to make a difference for a cause that matters

2. Netflix: Understand your audience

Netflix, a video streaming service, is very aware of its audience (in part because of its vast data collection capabilities). Because of this, it understands that one of the main deterrents to signing up is the potential hurdle subscribers might face when trying to cancel the service.

Who hasn’t signed up for a subscription service only to be charged unexpectedly? The last thing Netflix wants is angry consumers motivated to terminate the service.

Netflix overcomes this challenge by featuring the text “Cancel anytime” prominently above the CTA on its home page. Users can then sign up with the assurance that if they decide to cancel, it will be a painless process.

Nonprofit takeaway

Before you design your nonprofit landing page, get inside the mind of your target audience. If you’re trying to attract more volunteers, for example, survey your current volunteers about their motivations and obstacles as it relates to your organization.

You might find that volunteers like your organization because it offers flexible hours, which allows them to work as little or as much as they’d like.

With this information, you can then craft copy for your nonprofit landing page that highlights the most important areas to your audience.

Related: 5 ways to show appreciation for your nonprofit volunteers

Nonprofit Landing Pages Volunteer

3. Axe: Stay on brand

Great landing pages shouldn’t just incorporate key value propositions and audience-specific information. They also need to remain consistent with your brand’s identity and follow a similar style as your other marketing efforts.

Axe is a leading men’s hygiene company that consistently creates content and ads that position it as a brand that helps men express their true identity. In keeping with that theme, Axe created a landing page that pushes visitors to take a quiz to help them discover their best self.

This language and the quiz itself is consistent with Axe’s overall branding and marketing messaging — and also helps the company deliver a customized experience.

Nonprofit takeaway

A consistent brand identity across all communication channels is vital to the long-term success of any organization. This is true for businesses and also nonprofit organizations.

If you haven’t done so yet, create a brand style guide for your nonprofit. This will give everyone in your organization guidelines and parameters to follow to keep branding and messaging consistent across your landing pages, social media channels, email marketing campaigns and other touchpoints.

4. Obama campaign: Continuously test and optimize

If you spend any amount of time researching landing page optimization, you’re bound to run into the phrases “A/B test” and “split test.” These terms refer to conducting experiments with your nonprofit landing pages to see what subtle changes you can make to the style, layout, copy or other on-page elements to increase conversions.

While not necessarily a for-profit organization, the Obama 2008 campaign conducted an experiment that illustrates the importance of A/B testing for landing pages. The director of analytics created 11 unique variations of Obama’s home page with each variation receiving 13,000 visitors.

The team analyzed the registration rates for all 11 combinations and determined that one variation resulted in 11.6 percent conversions. This was 40.6 percent higher than the original page — and ultimately resulted in almost $60 million in donations.

Nonprofit takeaway

If you’re going to invest resources in creating nonprofit landing pages, you also need to set up analytics and be willing to test different variations. There’s no right or wrong way to approach landing pages.

The true test is whether you see results.

 

By constantly testing changes to your copy, CTAs, colors, layout and images, and tracking results with significant sample sizes, you can optimize your landing page so that it resonates with your audience and drives conversions. Moreover, you can use that data to support changes to other areas of your nonprofit, which can lead to further growth opportunities.

Image by: Janelle Hewines on Unsplash