Awhile back, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported (subscription required) the experience of the American Heart Association, who by systematic tweaking of their online donation process, terrifically increased their online conversion rates.

Importantly, the changes were made on the basis of careful online user research, not seat-of-the-pants intuition. The impressive results … the percentage of prospects who, after clicking on to the “Donate” page, actually completed the donation process increased from 12% to 70%! WOW!

We decided to check in with the folks at Convio to get some thoughts on the current “state of the art” when it comes to converting online visitors into donors.

We interviewed Bethany Little, Convio's Director of Client Success Services (there's optimism for you!), supervisor of the interactive specialists who execute e-fundraising campaigns, website design, social networking promotions, search optimization and the like. Sounds like where the mouse meets the pad.

From the interview:

  • Indeed, make the investment in user testing … know thy audience.
  • Don't give donors options to leave the Donate page.
  • Do give mutiple giving options.
  • Use dynamic content to leverage previous contributions.
  • Less clicks from start to finish, as well as less information collecting, the better.
  • Get websites out of the hands of IT folks.
  • Expect click-through rates in the .5%-2% range for email fundraising appeals.

Click here to get the full interview, or simply download from the White Papers section of The Agitator home page.

The “Donate” page is of course a “landing” page in marketing-speak. Marketing services agency Silverpop and flyte blog offer a treasure trove of practical advice — all based on hands-on experience — on building landing pages that land the customer (donor).

Roger & Tom

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