Calls to Action that Get Results
It’s go time: Reinforce your donor’s decision to give by reminding them of the impact their support. Include a short but strong statement about how a donor’s support matters. This is also a perfect opportunity to nudge your donors to act now by underscoring the sense of urgency.
In this lesson, you’ll:
- Learn why your call to action matters
- How to craft an effective call to action
- Get practical tips on optimizing all the copy on your donation page
Why your call to action matters
Any successful nonprofit fundraising campaign has an effective call to action. Your call to action is the actual spot where you ask somebody to do something—in this case, donate. You want to make it crystal clear what your donors should do next. Don’t assume that it’s obvious. Your job as a fundraiser is to educate and guide your supporters to making a donation as quickly and easily as possible. Your call to action is a critical part of that.
When writing copy for your fundraising page, your headline should reinforce your call to action. Make it clear and concise. Now is not the time for the Great American Novel. You only need to remind donors what their donation will do, why it matters, and underscore a sense of urgency.
Tip: Use your main call to action as your donation page headline.
Craft an effective call to action
What’s the one thing you want your supporter to do when they land on your page? Donate! So, the words you use should all work together to move them toward completing their gift.
Ready to write your call to action? Keep these tips in mind:
- Use clear terms to avoid confusion. Focus on verbs like “give” or “donate” instead of fuzzy words like “support.” Use “join” only if you have a membership model.
- Tie your call to action to the impact of a donation. What will happen if a donor makes a contribution? What will happen if they don’t act?
- Use deadlines and words like “now” and “today” to remind donors how important it is for them to take action immediately.
Once you’ve created your call to action, check that it meets these four critical criteria:
- Is it feasible? Is your call to action realistic?
- Is it filmable? Can your donors visualize exactly what they are supposed to do? Don’t be abstract.
- Does it have a first priority? Will donors know what they need to do next?
- Is it easy to do? Have you removed all of the barriers to action?
Tip: The most effective calls to action are easy for donors to picture themselves doing.
Optimizing the rest of your copy
Beyond a strong headline and a short amount of text that reinforces exactly why a donor should give immediately, don’t pile a lot of words onto your donation page. Remember, paragraphs of text only serve to slow your donors down and prompt them to wonder what you’re hiding in all that “fine print.”
- Consider the titles you use and how they relate to the keywords supporters might use to search for your cause online.
- Keep it short. This is so important, it bears repeating. Online, people don’t read, they skim. Make your text easy to read and understand by using short sentences and simple, active language.
- Think of new donors that may land on your page. Will your writing make sense to them?
Your donation page should include terms and phrases that match the message you’re sending in your appeals, on your website, and in other outreach.
- Avoid jargon, acronyms, and insider terms. These aren’t donor friendly and will alienate or confuse potential supporters.
So, remember: You’ve already done most of the hard work. You don’t need a lot of words on your donation page, but the words you do have on your page should be chosen carefully for maximum impact.
- Keep all donation page copy short and to the point.
- Be specific about the action you want donors to take.
- Any text should reiterate the impact a gift will have.