Quick pop quiz: what’s the very first donor communications piece that a new supporter receives from a nonprofit following a donation?
Hint: it’s not a receipt. It’s not an email. It’s not a letter in the mail.
It’s the message or page that the donor is directed to after they complete their donation – sometimes called a “success” message or page. It represents the very first time that a nonprofit communicates back to a donor. This first impression is absolutely critical to nurturing the donor relationship – but, unfortunately, it’s often overlooked.
What is a dedicated donation confirmation page?
What makes a confirmation page “dedicated” is the fact that it has its own unique URL,
Typically, nonprofit organizations do have a dedicated donation page (nonprofit.org/donate) but don’t go the extra step to create a dedicated confirmation page, either because of technical restraints or because they’re content with a simple confirmation message that appears in the place of the donation form after the donation is submitted.
Not having a dedicated page can prevent you from gaining insights into your donor’s behavior, and limit your ability to cultivate them following a donation.
Here are three reasons why nonprofits need a dedicated donation confirmation page:
1) Traffic and Goal Conversion Tracking
If you’re monitoring your website traffic, you likely know how many visits your donation page gets, how visitors get there and how long they stay. When your donation confirmation page has its own unique URL, you have the ability to do gain the same kinds of insights. For example, you can identify the amount of potential donors who abandon your donation page without making a donation (this can be extrapolated without a dedicated confirmation page, but it’s a little more difficult).
You can also see where donors go after they reach your confirmation page. Without out the dedicated page, you can’t separate those who make a donation and continue to click through your site from those who don’t make a donation but do continue to click throughout your site.
If you’re a Google Analytics user and not yet taking advantage of Goals, check out this guide >>
2) Advanced Customization w/ Immediate Calls-To-Action
Most form builders allow you to customize the confirmation message following a donation, but the options are typically limited to changing the text of the message. This severely limits your ability to keep the donor on your website in order to take another action.
Another action is critical here. Without it, they simply close your website and forget about you until the next appeal or newsletter hits their inbox – while putting a lot of pressure on your acknowledgement email to generate a new interaction.
In addition to a confirmation message, you can content like photos and videos or links to additional website content, events, social media channels or surveys.
The goal here is to keep the donor on your website in order to generate a second meaningful interaction.
3) Continuous Improvement
Being able to customize the page and track its effectiveness will allow you to continuously test and tweak different page elements until you find what works best for your organization. For example, you may find that your donors are less inclined to fill out a donor survey than they are to follow you on social media, meaning you’ll need to find an alternative way to generate survey responses.
If you’re a Bloomerang user, you have the ability to build a confirmation message in Bloomerang, or redirect to a dedicated URL.
If you have the ability to create and customize your own web pages, be sure to take advantage of the redirect option.
Does your nonprofit have a dedicated donation confirmation page? What’s on it? Let us know in the comments below?