Every year, nonprofits are spending more and more money on digital advertising. For every dollar they raise online, they spend about 4 cents on ads.
To get the most out of that digital ad spend, you need solid landing pages. It is simply the best, most cost effective way to convert a random visitor into a donor or email subscriber.
In this post, we’ll go over some examples of nonprofit landing pages and we’ll explore how to make your own landing page so it stands out from the crowd and gets results.
Four Examples of Nonprofit Landing Pages And What They’re Doing Right.
1. Charity: Water
Charity: Water aims to bring clean water to communities in need. They’re active in 26 countries and currently have funded 28,389 clean water projects.
The reason this landing page works is because it’s bold and clear. It has a headline that gets straight to the point by telling you where your money is going and a subhead that counters a big objection (“If 100% of my money goes to projects, how do you cover operating costs?”).
Besides the headline, the image they picked is perfect for this kind of scenario. It shows the outcome of what they do (provide clean drinking water) and the type of people they’re trying to help.
It also utilizes a principle called “gaze following.” In short, gaze following means we’re more likely to look at what other people are looking at. Here’s an example from an eye-tracking study that shows its effects. The red spots are what people were looking at for longer periods of time.
More people will look at the headline of the Charity: water landing page because the girl in the image is looking straight at it. Psychology is amazing.
2. Pencils of Promise
Pencils of Promise helps children in Ghana, Guatemala, Laos, and Nicaragua learn how to read, write, and do basic math.
And while this page is technically not a landing page, it does have a lot of things we can learn from.
First of all, it has a very strong headline and call to action. Everyone wants to make an impact, and if you can do it without having to think about it, that’s even better.
The rest of the page supports the headline by showing the progress they’ve made over the years. The key here is that they’re specific with their numbers.
Saying you have 86,436 current students is better than saying you have “tens of thousands of students.” Specificity builds credibility.
Lastly, they put a lot of emphasis on risk reversal. It’s focused on showing people their money is being put to good use.
Shelter is a nonprofit in the UK aimed at providing — you guessed it— shelter for homeless people.
What’s great about this landing page is that it acts as a case study as well as a landing page. It features a father and his son who, thanks to Shelter, didn’t have to spend Christmas on the streets.
Stories like this are powerful. They’re more likely to get our attention, allow us to see the direct impact of our donation, and generate strong emotions. It’s these emotions that are going to get you more donors.
Another reason this is a solid landing page is because it uses quite a bit of risk reversal and social proof. They tell you exactly where your money is going and how much of it will help the homeless.
They also show you who else has donated that day. This is a bit like seeding the tip jar. When we see that other people have tipped, we’re more likely to tip ourselves.
4. NextGen America
NextGen America aims to solve a couple of issues, from Climate to equality to healthcare.
What makes this page great is that it’s simple and to the point. It doesn’t give you a ton of options, it doesn’t give you a million ways to look around the site. It just tells you what it wants and gets on with it.
The video helps you get an idea of what they’re looking for and who they are. While it’s not the most detailed video ever, the illustrations, the music, and the style of editing all position Next Gen America in a way that speaks to its target audience.
CreateYour Own Highly Effective Nonprofit Landing Pages
Now that we’ve seen some examples, let’s talk about how to create your own landing page. While you can go down the rabbit hole and spend months trying to get everything perfect, the reality is you just need to make it good enough to promote.
Tools of the trade
There are plenty of tools available that allow you to create landing pages. They all differ slightly, but they serve the same purpose: to convert visitors. Here are a few options:
If you’re on WordPress, content builders are the way to go. It takes some time to get used to, but you can create amazing pages with them. A couple good ones are:
These tools are all you need to get started with landing pages. Next, we’ll look at the different elements that need to be present on your landing page. Without these, your landing page isn’t going to go anywhere.
It’s the first thing people see and by far the most important element on the page. Ace it, and you’ve got people’s attention. Screw it up, and they’ll close your site, never to be seen again.
We strongly suggest spending 80% of your time coming up with a headline that gets people’s attention. It might be weird to spend so much time on one thing, but it’ll be worth it.
Going over all the headline formulas you could use would be an article in and of itself, so here are a few good resources:
- 51 Headline Formulas to Skyrocket Conversions (And Where to Use Them)
- 8 Winning Headline Strategies and the Psychology Behind Them
- 55 Easy Ways To Write A Headline That Will Reach Your Readers
After the headline has grabbed the reader’s attention, your hook has the difficult task of keeping them interested.
It’s kind of like the start of a conversation. It’s important, but also difficult to come up with the right things to say. There are a couple of ways you can come up with a good hook for your landing page.
The first, and arguably the most effective way, is to call out a pain point. This is where you talk about the main problem you’re trying to solve. If you’re trying to get water to communities in need, talk about how having no water affects those communities. To promote a shelter, talk about homelessness and how big of a problem it is.
If that’s too gloomy and depressing, you can go the opposite route and focus on the dream. Instead of talking about the problems people are facing, you’d talk about what the world would be like if the problem didn’t exist. Describe a world where everyone has clean drinking water and a roof over their heads.
The key to writing a good hook is to make it emotional, specific, and vivid. You want people to create a mental image of what the problem/dream is so it generates an emotional response.
Even if you’re a nonprofit, you still need an offer. It simply states what you’re promising to donors, in what form, and at what price. This shouldn’t be anything too fancy. In fact, you want to be as straightforward as possible.
Having a clearly defined offer will help you in a lot of areas. Not only will it be easier to sell, but all your marketing materials will be consistent.
Your intentions may be good, but you still have to show donors you’re legit. We’ve all heard horror stories about nonprofits that get a lot of donations, only for those donations to get squandered on the organization itself and not on the cause.
Transparency helps you seem more trustworthy. Here’s a good example of this in action:
The call to action
A landing page without a call to action (CTA) is like a car without a gas pedal. You can have the coolest looking car in the world, but if there’s no way to hit the gas, you’re not going anywhere.
The same idea applies to nonprofit landing pages. You can have an incredible design, killer headline, and a story that inspires people, but if there’s no way for them to sign up or donate, you’re not going to get results.
To get the most out of your CTAs follow these rules:
- Make CTAs action-oriented
- Make them positive
- Create a sense of urgency
- Make them easy to find
3 Important Landing Page Pitfalls You Want to Avoid
The elements above will help you get a basic landing page going. But there are some things you need to look out for in order to make it work properly. Let’s go over a few important mistakes to avoid.
1. Asking for more than one thing at a time
One of the biggest mistakes with landing pages is that people ask too many things at once. We read horror stories about people’s attention span being shorter than that of a goldfish, and think we don’t have any time to explain what we do.
In reality, the more you ask, the less likely people are going to pick something. This is called the paradox of choice.
2. Bad images or no images at all
“A picture is worth a thousand words.”
It might be a cliché, but it became one for a reason. A quality image on a landing page can tell potential donors:
- who you’re helping
- what you do
- how you do it
- what the benefits are
If you use the wrong images, you’re sending the wrong message to the people you’re trying to persuade. If you don’t use images, you’re missing out on a powerful opportunity to communicate what you do.
Ideally, you have an in-house branding and graphic design team. But if you’re on a budget, that’s not always possible. There are a couple of good sites you can use to find quality stock photos:
3. Being vague in your selling proposition
If people don’t know what you do or who you help, they’re not going to sign up or donate. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? And yet, a lot of nonprofit landing pages we researched weren’t clear about what they stood for.
A landing page should also show people how you’re different from the rest. Maybe you put more of an emphasis on young people, maybe you serve a specific region of the world, or maybe you have a noteworthy process that sets you apart.
Don’t neglect your landing pages
Getting more traffic to your nonprofit is great and all, but traffic is useless if it doesn’t convert into actual results.
Landing pages will make your marketing efforts easier and help you convert more visitors into donors.
How are you using landing pages? Let us know in the comments below!
Robin Geuens is a freelance content marketer who helps businesses write content that gets more traffic, subscribers, and leads. You can find him at Atompilot.com.