Click here to donate: understanding what’s wrong with online engagement today


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Simon Smith, Sales Director, GOSS Interactive

Jens Sorensen, Digital Marketing Specialist, GOSS Interactive

This session will illustrate the challenges around usability and current thinking of digital engagement whilst providing insight on how to improve and enhance your online strategy.

Published in: Education, Technology, Business
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Click here to donate: understanding what’s wrong with online engagement today

  1. 1. Click here to donate - understanding what's wrong with online engagement today.<br />At the Third Sector Digital Communication and Social Media Convention, Simon Smith and Jens Sorensen from GOSS presented the stream titled "Click here to donate - understanding what's wrong with online engagement today."<br />Additional resources:<br /><br /><br />@RobmDyson: #nfpsm & the @gossinteractive boys are off- nice, quick, run-through of importance of testing websites re copy, content & colours #sem5<br />@charitychap: There is no silver bullet, say @GOSSInteractive, but the great thing about the web is you can try different things for layout. #nfpsm<br />As part of the Convention, delegates were asked to take part in a survey to benchmark their use of social media and digital communications. The survey is still open, but the interim results were presented on the morning of the second day by Rob McCarthy, CEO, GOSS.<br />One of the key findings showed that the majority of charities claim to collect less than 5% of their donations online. This seemed very low, but further research by web analytics demystified indicates that less than 2% of traffic that comes to a charity website are likely to donate.<br />Once the scene was set, the GOSS stream focused on the issue of low onsite donations and revealed the process of how charities could increase the amount of donations through the web by defining and developing the following process:<br />1. User personas - Understand your visitors<br />2. Intelligent analysis - Find out what they are doing<br />3. Test and refine - Improve the user journey<br />User personas<br />Without an understanding of your target audience it's very difficult to present information which will appeal to them. You can run focus groups which, whilst quite expensive can be effective but their constrained environment can mean that participants may not necessarily say what they mean and they are always only ever going to cover a small cross section.<br />A more credible alternative is to understand your website visitors by developing a series of user personas. This allows you to get an understanding of all the different people who are likely to visit your site and the information you need to present to them to increase their likelihood to donate.<br />Each of the above user personas has their own story, motivation and resources that they can give (time, money, expertise). This session was predominantly about increasing the amount of donations through the website and as Emma and Craig were willing to give time to the charity their limited disposable incomes meant that they would not be donating money. Therefore, in this example we are focusing on the targets of Michael, Rita and Rob.<br />Intelligent analysis<br />Once you have identified the users and their needs you can then go on to understand what's happening on the site. One of the most effective and cheapest ways is to leverage your web analytics package. Although there is a huge amount of information available in these packages, we want to separate the 'what is happening' from the 'why it's happening', because this will give us the insight to make effective decisions on increasing the small percentage that currently donate (the former, just describes the things that are nice to know but doesn't tell us how to improve).<br />By mapping out the journey a user must go through in our order to donate we can see how effective the current journey to donation is. We can see from the example that a huge amount of visitors are entering the first step of our journey (6,437). As they go down each step of the process more and more visitors fall out of the process. This could be for a number of reasons including ineffective messaging, no clear call to action or the site and its content seems untrustworthy (especially for less known charities). It is therefore imperative to take each of our personas and see if their specified journey is effective.<br />Test and refine<br />Now that you have an understanding of the people that are likely to donate online and what visitors are currently doing on your site, the next step is to evaluate the previous two steps. Was their journey effective and would therefore tweaking the messaging, copy or call to actions make the site more effective? Or will you need to go back and redefine the journey, message and content because visitors don't engage with your site? If the latter, you will inevitably have to revisit the site as part of an overall website redesign. However, if it is the former you should be able to tweak your site to increase the number of conversions.<br />This tweaking or 'squeezing out the last drop' involves testing different elements on a page in order to see if it can be made more effective. This is best done through multivariate testing which allows you to show different versions of the page to the visitors of your website and then unknowingly to them you can find out what version is most effective at getting visitors to donate.<br />Conclusion<br />In conclusion, if you want to increase the amount of visitors that donate on your website, you firstly need to understand what people want from your website (user personas), followed by understanding which pages are failing to engage on your site (Intelligent analysis). This will then give you the knowledge to test elements of your site, refine them and help to increase the amount of donations you receive.<br />GOSS are experts at usability and user experience, landing page optimization and understanding funnels to increase your conversion rates.<br />Posted by Jens Sorensen, 20th June 2011<br />