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Digital Giving Expert
Posts: 791
Registered: ‎04-15-2011

Optimizing Your Landing Pages: Improving the Odds You Get What You Want from Your Supporters

This is a summary of our 60 minute Nonprofit 911 webinar featuring John Haydon, which took place on May 3, 2011.  John Haydon is a social media strategist and a co-founder of the consultancy Inbound Zombie in Cambridge, MA, and cofounder of 501 Mission Place. He also blogs about social media marketing for non-profit at


A landing page is any page on your website where you want someone to take an action. That action could be collecting an email, signing a petition, donating or sharing your content with others. A successful landing page is about having one clear call to action. Everything on that page will focus on getting the visitor to take that one action. 


Here are a few quick tips to get the results you want from your landing pages: 



  • Know your audience. Their motivations are different from yours. What drives them and stirs them? Find out and tap into their passion.
  • What's your goal? Pick ONE goal. Have them sign up for your newsletter or donate, but don't encourage both on the same landing page.
  • Who's your audience? Pick just one segment (volunteers or donors or grant funders) and direct the page toward them.
  • What's your story? Storytelling is key to nonprofit communications. Find one story and stay focused on telling it.


  • Maintain same branding on all landing pages. Your Facebook custom tab and avatar should have the same logo and colors as your email newsletter template which should use the same logo and colors as your direct mailings. You don't want to lose your audience by having them reorient themselves to different branding.
  • Space things out. Use white space to direct the eye. Start a new paragraph every two sentences. Use bullet points and numbered items to draw attention.
  • Use big fonts. I suggest 14 or 16 point. Research shows that bigger fonts create more trust. Don't make visitors feel like they are reading "the fine print."
  • Use big buttons. Studies show bigger buttons convert more donors.
  • Focus attention with a compelling and concise headline. Don't use industry jargon and make sure the title communicates the single outcome you want.
  • Focus with a single compelling image. Use an image with one person. Have them look directly in visitors eyes. Professionally licensed photos or photographers are a must.
  • Ditch the sidebars. Use single column layouts. Sidebars will distract from the one goal and give visitors a potential escape hatch.
  • Keep the important stuff above the fold. Keep your story and call to action above the area of the browser that's visible without scrolling down.


  • Leverage social proof. People will be more likely to act if they see others doing the same. Give them a choice to share dollar amounts , but don't make it mandatory
  • Reduce Page Load Time. People start to drop off if your page if it takes longer than 2 seconds to load.
  • Get more out of your thank you page. Lead them to a second landing page after they donate. Your cause is at the top of your donor's mind right after they give. Use that moment to get them to take another action (share, join an email list or text message list, etc)


  • Only include "must have" fields. The supporter's name, address, and email is all you need to start. Wait to ask for other information in follow-up communications so they aren't overwhelmed.
  • Include a phone number. Even if they don't use it, knowing they can call a real person helps them trust you more.


  • You need to learn what works and what doesn't for your organization.
    • Where do people arrive from?
    • Where do they exit?
    • Which inner pages point to the landing page?
    • How long do they stay?
    • What other pages did they visit?
    • Which social media sites end us the most traffic?
    • How are they finding us in search?
  • Debrief. Data means nothing if there's no follow-up.

Remember, you have a limited opportunity to get visitors' attention. Keep your landing pages simple and focused with one clear and compelling call to action and you will be able to turn visitors into supporters for your good cause. 


How are you using these tips to improve your landing pages? Share your URLs here and let us know how your optimization efforts have paid off!


For even more tips from John on optimizing your landing pages, check out the recording from this webinar. 


Adapted by Kristina Leroux