Whether you’ve been managing a nonprofit website for years or you’re just now getting started, you’ve probably seen and/or used a call to action or “CTA” on your website or other sites you visit. If you’re unfamiliar with the terminology, a call to action is simply a piece of content that inspires action from your audience. This content tells users what you want them to do next, while also convincing them to take action. While you can find CTAs all over the internet, it’s no surprise that they vary greatly in their effectiveness. We’ve compiled a few key factors to consider when creating an effective call to action on your nonprofit website.
1. Consider your message.
Make sure your CTA text is both engaging and specific. Be clear about what you want users to do, and be creative in the way you ask. Try out different phrases and verbiage to attract the user’s attention and incite action, but always be sure to be specific enough to let users know exactly what to expect when they click. For example, instead of “Learn More,” try something more like “See What Our Volunteers Are Doing” or “Download Our 5-Step Guide to a Successful Fundraiser.”
2. Consider your audience.
Make sure the user is at the center of your call to action. In the nonprofit sector, you may not be selling something that directly benefits a consumer or alleviates a specific paint point. In fact, your calls to action may often be requests for donations or volunteer signups. But even in these asks, you can make sure your CTA is donor-centric by pointing out the benefit to those you serve. For example, you could say something like “Feed a child for just 50 cents a day,” or “Provide school textbooks for an entire class for just $250.” Whatever your cause may be, you can provide donors or volunteers with specific information about how their gifts of time or money will directly benefit those you serve. For more information on thinking through the user personas on your site, check out our post on website personas.
3. Consider your user experience.
It may be worthwhile to change up your message depending on the device on which a user is viewing your call to action. For example, if your user is sitting at a computer, he or she may have more time on their hands than if they are visiting from a smartphone. When asking for a donation on a mobile device, your “Give Now” button may become “Give With One Click,” or something that communicates the ease and speed with which a donor can give from a mobile device.
4. Consider the visibility of your CTA.
Even if your language is engaging, and you’ve considered the user and his or her experience on your site, your CTA could still be ineffective if it cannot be clearly seen. Be sure to consider the size and weight of your text, as well as the background. If you’re using an image in the background, be sure you’re using some type of overlay or fade to be sure your text can be easily read on top of the image. Furthermore, it’s important that your button is large enough to draw the user’s attention and bold enough to be clearly seen at a glance. It’s also important to consider where you place your call to action on the page. Ask yourself if the placement makes sense with regard to the surrounding content.
Your CTAs are the primary way through which you encourage your audience to give of their time and money to support your cause. Be sure to implement these tips on your nonprofit site to maximize the effectiveness of your CTAs.