Mentored Fundraising Assignment 14 Homework Instructions
6-Month Mentored Nonprofit Fundraising Certificate Program

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Assignment 14: 12 steps to building a perfect landing page template.

This week’s resources:
Class Home Page for Mentored Fundraising
Fundraising Assignment 14 Homework Instructions
Download the ‘Fundraising Assignment Thirteen Word Version of the Example Landing Page’. You can also see the live page here:
https://nonprofit.csd-i.org/subscribe-to-claremont-food-bank-news/

Discussion:
12 Steps to Building a Perfect Landing Page Template. I would suggest downloading the PDF saving it where you can find it again.

This template is a great checklist for your assignment today but also for future webpages develop. So it includes advanced steps that we won’t be using week. But we will be using them in Assignment 15 when we begin building your webpage.

So for this assignment just work through the first eight steps. We pick of the next four in A15.

Assignment Fourteen. 12 steps to building a perfect landing page template.

Important Background Information: Use supporters’ language in your landing pages. Then, supporters will find you.

This week we will use this 12-step guide to fine tune the initial work that you did on your landing page last week.

You can do this work either in your Word document or in your webpage itself.

However, the final part of this assignment will be to paste your content into a webpage in preparation for next week’s assignment.

Getting started
Just look at this month’s simple landing page template and use the 12 hints below to customize it for your organization.

Download the ‘Fundraising Assignment Thirteen Word Version of the Example Landing Page’. You can also see the live page here:
https://nonprofit.csd-i.org/subscribe-to-claremont-food-bank-news/

The Offer
Your offer—your Unique Selling Proposition or USP—is made up of several parts of your landing pages including your headlines, landing page copy and your call to action—but is also reinforced by your benefits, features and testimonials.

Make sure your offer is compelling—and that it has a sense of urgency (join our food drive the first Monday of each month!).

Step 1: Your landing page headline.
The main purpose of your headline is to let people know that they have landed on the right page; they have found the answer to the question they entered in their Google search.

So if they do a Google search on food banks in Claremont, and see a search result for your organization, when they click on that, the headline should let them know that they have landed on a page that’s going to talk about food banks in Claremont. Your headline should match your page title and meta-description that that appeared on in their search results about you.

Step 2: Your landing page sub-headline.
The sub-headline should convey the value of what you’re offering and give additional information succinctly. It should briefly explain in detail the benefit to the visitor.

Step 3: Insert an image.
And image should reinforce the content of the landing page and speak to the visitors needs. It isn’t useful to show an image that isn’t related to your offer: best to leave it out. The image can also be a video: some people feel strongly that this is a good way to speak to the visitor. Others feel this is a distraction from clicking on the call to action. Read through the resources that I have included near the end and decide for yourself. A solution here is if the video can be embedded on the landing page–so that they don’t leave the page.

Step 4: Landing page copy. Introductory content.
The copy on your landing pages needs to do several things. The landing page copy should relate to the keyword searches that visitors have made to find your site, should revolve around the theme of these keywords, and supply additional information about the specific service discussed in your search results (your meta description).

Craft your landing page copy and add it to your landing page template from last week.

Step 5: Benefits: Bullet Points (what visitors can expect to get).
Webpage visitors are scanners—not readers. Bullet points allow them to quickly grasp your offer.

A program’s benefits result from its features. However, benefits are “what’s in it for them?” Feel good. Personal satisfaction. New friends. The joy felt by feeding a hungry child.

Benefits are why people buy; features are what allow them to feel comfortable buying. The features give them a checklist that allows them to make the decision.

Your benefits section should let them know WIIFM (what’s in it for me?). Volunteering is a way to make new friends that will help reduce loneliness. Volunteering is a way to help structure one’s schedule to provide a sense of purpose. Volunteering is a way to do something meaningful to create a sense of self-worth. The volunteer program allows volunteers to select food items that a retired person might enjoy, but not normally splurge on buying for themselves.

The research that you did last week on VOC keywords should give you lots of ideas for benefits.

Normally, features would come before benefits. However, because visitors may only stay on your website for 5 seconds—let’s capture their hearts first. Then they can read a little bit more about the details in the in the feature section in the next 5 seconds.

Think of four benefits that your offer will provide and add them to this week’s template.

Step 6: Features (what visitors will actually do if they accept the offer).
Features are an actual physical property or a function of your program that enables your supporters to fulfill a goal. In this case: solve hunger in your community. Flexible hours, multiple locations, staffed by helpful, understanding members of the community.

Explain the program’s benefits in greater detail by describing your program’s features—but written in the form of a benefit statement. Provide important details about the program in a compelling, clear and concise message.

So features could be that there are volunteer positions available, scheduling is flexible, you’ll be working with other people, and you get to select a package of food to take home.

Step 7: Call to action.
In the upper right you need a button which clearly describes the next step. The button should tell users what’s going to happen when they click it. Pay attention to copy and create a button that the visitor will want to click. It should also stand out by using contrasting colors.

  • Become a Volunteer
  • Volunteer with New Friends
  • Donate to the Food Bank
  • Feed the Hungry in your Community
  • Learn by Subscribing
  • Be Informed: Subscribe

Make sure your instructions for the call to action are clear—people are in a hurry. “All we need are your first name and email address here.”

You may want to include a one-line offer to reinforce the CTA button.

So in my example for getting people to subscribe to our special food bank newsletter I could say something like:

“Join a new community, make new friends, help and encourage people who are hungry. Click here to learn how special volunteering is at our food bank by subscribing to our people-centered newsletter.”

Interestingly, you want people’s names and email addresses for your newsletter list. It doesn’t matter if you get this information through a subscription, a donation, or volunteer inquiry. They all work!

Think of an action-packed saying and add it to the button on this week’s template.

BREVITY & VISIBILITY
YOU WANT TO KEEP ALL OF THESE THINGS ABOVE THE FOLD. IF YOU RUN OUT OF ROOM PUT THE FOLLOWING THINGS BELOW THE FOLD.

Step 8: Credibility. Social Proof.
Another great thing to do is to include a testimonial—a quote—from a happy beneficiary, from a happy donor, or from a fulfilled volunteer.

Blend the testimonials in with the surrounding content to reinforce the message.

Add a couple of quotes to this week’s template.

Step 9: Trust Emblems.
If you belong to any associations, have corporate partnerships, have received any awards, have been mentioned in the media—include their logos at the bottom of the landing page—perhaps even in the footer.

Add a couple of organizational logos to this week’s template.
Step 10: Proof Read your Copy and All Test Links.
Even a small grammar error can erode confidence. A donate button with a bad link will lose donors.

Step 11: Efficient design and landing page processes.
Visitors should be able to quickly find what they’re looking for and move along through the processes easily and as fast as possible.

  • simplify design and cut out text that isn’t directly to the point
  • stop talking about yourself and let people know what benefits they are going to realize instead
  • make sign up forms as simple as possible with as few fields to fill in as possible
  • eliminate choices: don’t send visitors off to do something like watch a YouTube video which will distract them from clicking on the call to action. You could say ‘subscribe to our newsletter to learn about our new weekly, informative YouTube videos.’ Or—embed the video in the landing page so they don’t leave the page.
  • in a similar fashion, reduce (hide) the number of links on the landing page to further reduce distractions
  • use images that support their moving onto the next step: converting
  • the blink test: will your visitor be able to understand your offer and know what to do next in the first five seconds?
  • include a thank you page that lets them know what’s going to happen next
  • enable social sharing so that they can tell their friends about this exciting step they’ve just taken

Step 12: Mobile devices.
It’s now accepted that 60% of emails are read on smart phones and tablets. The screens are small and they might not load as quickly as a desktop computer. This has changed how landing pages work:

  • landing pages should load quickly: people on mobile devices can be impatient
  • be direct and concise: don’t use a lot of text that can be hard to read on mobile devices
  • use large text and big buttons that can be easy to click on with a finger
  • if you want people to call you—provide a clickable telephone number
  • if your organization and services are local—let people know where you’re from
  • keep forms very simple

Special Note:
Mobile devices over the past five years have really changed the landscape of planning for your website. A webpage now needs to be “responsive.” This means that when visitors with different sized mobile devices visit your website, the page will automatically adjust its size to best fit the mobile device.

Extra Special Note. The more that you do with developing your landing page using these 12 steps, the closer you will get to developing a master landing page template that can be edited into future landing pages on different topics.

You can develop this landing page template in Microsoft Word and play around with it there until you’re happy with it. Then you can let your computer tech post it to your website. So at this point don’t worry about your website too much—focus on content and layout.

Fine-tune your last week’s Word document landing page. Look at my Assignment 13 landing page example from last week for ideas.

The homework to turn in will:
1. Think of three benefits that your offer will provide to potential supporters. Add them to your last week’s landing page Word template. Get ideas from the sound bites you wrote in A 3.

2. Think of three features that will be in support your visitor-oriented benefits so that they will feel confident in moving forward as a supporter of your organization. Add them to your last week’s landing page Word template. Get ideas from the sound bites you wrote in A 3.

3. Find two excellent quotes from program participants. [These can be recipient community members or donors and volunteers—or both.] Add them to your last week’s template.

4. Call to Action: think of an action-packed saying and add it next to the action button on last week’s template. This is your one line offer. It could be something like this:

“End hunger in Claremont. Join a community of doers & support families in need. Subscribe to Claremont Food Bank News & learn the benefits of donating & volunteering.”
Subscribe Now Button

5. Send me a draft Word document attachment of your emerging landing page so I can see how you are doing. This will be what you have accomplished in A 13 and A 14 combined.

See you next week. Assignment Fifteen. Demystifying SEO. Use keywords in your headings, page title, page (meta) description and content.

Tim Magee
Copyright © 2019, Tim Magee