Thu, July 26 2007
Filed under: Websites and web usability •
Our colleagues at Global Giving have had some serious work done on their site - and let me tell you, it’s more than just a facelift. I really like the results: hipper, far more user-centric, highly tangible (so important these days), and action-oriented. This is an approach to imitate!
Check out the before and after screen shots below and learn from what they did:
1.) They changed their home page from an “about us” page to an “about the donor” page (the word “you” leaps off the new home page)
2.) They went from a site simply asking for money to one with engaging welcome mats for donors AND explorers
3.) They went from a buried call to action to big, clickable buttons
4.) They made their work more personal, tangible and emotionally immediate (instead of a chart, you see faces)
5.) They showed impact - you can see exactly what dollar amount accomplishes what good
On the extreme nonprofit makeover theme, at Network for Good we recently promised marketing surgery to help a nonprofit using our services. We’re in the process of choosing the future swan and will let you know when they’re named - and what we’re going to do. Stay tuned…
Wed, July 25 2007
Filed under: Social Media •
Last week when I presented at at the CCSNYS conference, I attended a great session by my colleague/friend/technology-mentor Beth Kanter on web 2.0 tools. Beth has a great way of explaining technology clearly and elegantly. I took a lot of notes on her session in order to blog it, but I quickly realized I’d be doing you readers a better service by pointing directly to her wisdom, in her own words. Check out the below resources. They will save you weeks of work and confusion.
1. What is web 2.0?? Check out Beth’s presentations on web 2.0 and fundraising
2. What is Google Analytics? How do you track what people do on your website? Here’s a great primer on web analytics
3. Need great pictures for your presentations? Beth explains how to use Flickr to do that.
4. How do you display a PowerPoint presentation online? Beth explains.
5. What the heck is tagging and why do you need it? Beth gives you the scoop.
6. Is your organization in Wikipedia? It should be! Beth links to this great primer on why and how.
Thanks Beth for holding our hand on these and many other tech topics!
Tue, July 24 2007
Filed under: Marketing essentials •
I am swimming in so much very bad email that when I get a dazzling one - in the form of a newsletter from a nonprofit, no less - I just have to highlight it here.
This was the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s monthly e-newsletter. And it is so good, I was truly feeling the marketing joy.
Instead of the usual “here’s an update on our nonprofit, blah, blah,” you see a story. You glance at the headline and photo, and you just have to read on. It’s about a dad and his son and quality time—which taps right into one of the strongest emotional currents (pun intended) of readers. Just like those McDonald’s ads some years ago that cleverly tied Happy Meals to quality time with your kids (never mind they’ll get fat), this email ties the aquarium into something all parents seek - bringing joy to and bonding with their child. And for far more noble reasons than McDonald’s. The story is so feel-good, you’re just dying to take action—and there’s a link to sign up for the experience you just read about. My only quibble is the call to action could have been more visually prominent, but hey - the story is good enough to make it worth seeking out the link. I’d be there this weekend if it weren’t 3,000 miles away!
The final words on the email:
The casual day trip was a life-changing experience. Said his Dad: “It’s the best thing we’ve ever done together. Period.”
Underwater Explorers—and all of our Aquarium Adventures for kids and adults—continue on a full schedule through Labor Day, September 4. There’s plenty of time to have a life-changing experience of your own.
Hope you’ll see this and be inspired to completely overhaul your email newsletter. One good story is better than lots of little updates that look like a cluttered newspaper page. One call to action is better than ten—or none.
Mon, July 23 2007
Filed under: Fun stuff •
My last post was on top five nonprofit website sins for a reason! This week, I’m hosting the nonproft consultants’ carnival, and the theme is your top five… anything. Top five marketing tips, top five previously untold secrets, whatever. I like lists! So send me your posts and I’ll feature them in a week right here at the blog. Deadline is Friday at midnight. In the spirit of Jeff Brooks, and my general mood at this time of year, I will give special treatment to posts that contain one of the following words: “bikini,” “martini” or “Fellini.” If you score a blogging hat trick, then I’ll worship your wordsmithing skills for life.
Fri, July 20 2007
Filed under: Social Media •
Here are the five deadly sins we commit:
1. TOO EGOTISTICAL: The home page is too often simply an About Us page. It should not be an electronic brochure with your mission statement. It should speak to the user’s values, interests and desires. It’s not “about us,” it’s “about them.”
2. TOO MEEK: There is often no clear call to action on nonprofit pages. Grab a friend or relative, sit them down in front of your website home page, and count how many seconds it takes them to find and click on your Donate button or find another way to do something. If it takes them more than two seconds, you need to place your button in a far more prominent position. Make it central to the page. Make sure it is above the fold. Make it big. Make it colorful. Make it impossible to miss.
2. TOO LAID-BACK: Too often, there’s no reason to act no – as opposed to later, or never. You want to inspire someone to act right now, but that can be hard to do if there’s not an urgent crisis to address. Create a sense of urgency for donating by creating a campaign with a goal and deadline, matching grant, or appeal for specific items or programs that are highly tangible.
4. TOO DODGY: People want to know where their resources will go if you support them. You must inspire trust. Where will the money go? What impact will result? What lives will be saved, what credible goal will be achieved?
5. TOO SHORT-SIGHTED: You need a lead generator. Recognize that getting clicks requires cultivation. While you want someone to take action right away, it’s important to remember that it takes time to cultivate people. Be sure your website includes a way to capture the email addresses of visitors so that you can build a relationship with visitors and turn them into donors in the future. A newsletter is not very exciting; give people a more compelling reason to surrender their email addresses.