The Great Landing Page Debate

In the end, no matter how much you think you know (or someone else knows), it’s really easy to do some landing page testing these days.

By Nick Gehring, Senior Web Developer

Landing Page

Going to keep it short and sweet this week, because what I really want you to do is make sure your landing page is the best it can be for this month.

I’ve been around a long time in this industry, and if I had a dime for every “expert” I met I would probably be rich by now. But, in the end, no matter how much you think you know (or someone else knows), it’s really easy to do some landing page testing these days. If you haven’t been testing aspects of your landing pages, then you need to get on it quickly.

Why is this so important? If you do any digital marketing outside of email (social, search, display, etc.) then you must know that you have very little real estate to close the deal on your call to action. The landing page must close the deal.

Here are the areas you need to think through.

Areas to Think Through

1. Imagery. If you don’t have it, you need to get it—and get it fast. Your landing page is not a donation form. Yes, it may handle the collection of data to complete the transaction, but donors need to see your mission as they complete their transaction.

2. Marketing language. Most testing shows that you must have some marketing language to remind the donor as they think through and complete their transaction. The goal is to keep telling them that their donation is absolutely needed, and the more they can give, the better. Outside of that generic finding, it really is about your mission and your offer. Some organizations have the benefit of defining their mission based on specific dollar amounts, and by all means, you should communicate that. Other organizations don’t have that opportunity, but that doesn’t mean you should just put your gift array on the form with no context. Help your donors understand how the money is used and why it is needed. Be as specific as possible.

3. Scrolling and stepping are often big debates. Wow, those conversations can be so tiring to have, whether you’re the client, the agency or the internal team member. Folks, this goes in waves. For a while, the two-step form worked better. Then, steps didn’t work for a while. Then there have been times where a simple form outperformed a more detailed form. What’s the moral of the story? Test it and keep testing it. The only thing that continues to stay true in all instances is the following: Do not create a form (your landing page must be an extension of your advertising) and do not be confusing. The key is to make it easy for someone to make their mind up and then complete their transaction.

4. Don’t forget the “thank you” confirmation. Yes, your system will create an automated email that thanks the donor for their gift—but you need to thank them before that. First, from a tracking perspective across your platforms and Google Analytics, you must have a confirmation page that signals someone has completed their transaction. But, please, remember that someone has just entered their credit card information and made a donation to your organization. This is a big deal to most people—no matter how large or small the donation. So, don’t make your confirmation page feel sterile or merely functional. And, please don’t make it about you or what else you need. Make sure you have text that is thankful. It’s that simple.

Get Started!

That’s all for this week because I really want you to read this and look at your fundraising landing pages as soon as possible. There is a lot of money to raise in December, and there is time. And, by the way, you do not have to engineer some complex testing structure. There are fantastic tools out there (Optimizely, VWO, etc.) that can set up an A/B test in 5 minutes with two URLs. Many of these even offer free trials.

There’s no excuse not to be testing your landing pages. If you are saying, “But ours works just fine,” ask yourself—are you not interested in making it better?