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Far too many charities overlook the importance of a conversion-friendly website when looking for donations or volunteers.
If done right, a well-designed website has the potential to influence almost every visitor, regardless of their original intent.
Essentially it will result in driving more users to important pages of a site and once there, converting them at a better rate.
This is vital if paid media is being used to attract them originally, and while many fail here, I feel WaterAid is doing a brilliant job, so I thought I would share why to help inspire other charities.
And for more on this topic, check out Econsultancy's other posts on WaterAid's excellent Instagram campaigns, plus five other examples of charities with great Twitter feeds.
WaterAid makes it impossible for users not to see they need donations.
The recognisable brand colours are consistent and slick throughout the site, but 'Donate' sticks out like a sore thumb – in this case, it's a good thing.
It's also the case in the footers, in case by rare miracle any visitor was able to navigate to the bottom of a page without seeing the first donate button.
It is not uncommon for charitable sites to use the primary navigation to highlight their needs, but I think it is wonderful to see WaterAid making the 'Donate' button almost an entirely new navigation.
Calls-to-action, tone of voice and transparency
I have grouped these aspects of the page together for this section, as I believe they work collaboratively. Individually they may seem like small factors, but when combined together they do an excellent job of encouraging users make the donation if they need a final push.
Copy has been considered, with calls-to-action creating urgency via the use of words such as 'now', 'today' and 'quick'. This will help keep users engaged and moving through the page.
The tone of voice is positive rather than negative. Lots of charities attempt to use guilt to secure funding, but this page is about 'helping' and 'achieving' things. These values will resonate positively with users and make them proactively convert.
Finally, transparency is often questioned in charities... is donated money being spent wisely?
WaterAid is clear in stating what a donation could achieve. Not only will this give visitors more confidence, but it gives them a tangible reward to their generosity. Something that will not only make them feel better, but something they can share with others.
Not scaring users off with forms to fill in
This functionality is slightly odd, but personally I think it's great.
As expected with any transactional site, several pieces of personal information must be filled in to make a donation. However, no one wants to be met with a massive form – it turns people away.
To overcome this, WaterAid’s page hides lots of the form sections until the user has filled in the previous bit. It becomes almost like gamification, whereby the donator is unlocking a new section to fill in, rather than being overrun by them and put off.
Keeping users focused
Like any ecommerce website, there will be people who abandon their decision to donate at the dying stages of form filling. Whether it is a distraction or a change of heart, it is something that no organisation wants to happen.
WaterAid has attempted to overcome this by using a scrolling incentive/USP to keep users on track. As a donator fills out questions and form details, the 'Government will match your donation' box remains visible and ensures that if you are considering leaving, you have another reason to stay.
Time to go mobile-friendly
I am a huge advocate of WaterAid’s donation process; it is both influential and functional. However, a clear mobile strategy appears to be a missing piece in its charity-based jigsaw.
With a growing mobile search volume, and other charities adopting mobile-friendly designs, it is definitely something WaterAid should be considering.
In fact, WaterAid is bidding aggressively on mobile through Google AdWords, so to ensure it is making the most of this paid traffic it needs to start thinking responsive.