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How to Use Your Nonprofit Website for Lead Generation

Your organization's website shares your mission and vision with the world. It likely acts as a virtual brochure and shares relevant information with your users, but it is capable of so much more. With the appropriate systems and processes in place, your website can be used as a tool to draw in potential supporters of your cause and mission. Let's explore the necessary steps to turn your website into a lead conversion tool.

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Define Nonprofit Leads

In order to start generating leads, you must first define what a lead is within the context of your organization. A lead is someone who will help your organization reach its goals. This could be a prospective supporter, program participant, volunteer, partner organization, or any other relevant stakeholder. Your goals and audiences may evolve over time, which will require you to adjust your definition of a lead accordingly.

Create Relevant Content

It is your responsibility to guide users through your site and direct them to the best ways to engage with your organization. Developing relevant and engaging content for each audience is a crucial step in this process. Consider what information your users want from your organization or how you can help them best contextualize your mission. A helpful process to fully understand this may be reviewing your previous correspondence with your organization's stakeholders. What are the most common questions someone calls or emails with?

Develop Clear Conversion Points and Calls-to-Action

Now that you have defined the types of leads that your organization is seeking and created content to engage them, you'll need to consider the action you'd like that individual to take.

Throughout your website, include detailed and clear calls-to-action (CTAs) that encourage your users to take the first step to become a lead. Depending on the complexity of the CTA and subsequent conversion, you may want to add step-by-step details about what the user can expect if they take this action.

If we use a prospective supporter as our example, the ultimate conversion point is a donation. Some relevant calls-to-action that support or contribute to that eventual conversion might be

  • Join our mailing list
  • Learn more about {organization name}
  • Donate now
  • Make a difference
  • Become a member

Visually, a CTA should stand out from the rest of the page. These sections of your web page should use messaging, colors, and images that grab the user's attention and encourage further action. Design elements such as headlines, buttons, and links can help improve engagement rates. Learn more about using your website to lead visitors through conversion.

Develop Lead Capture Forms

In order to further engage with your leads and eventually convert them, you need to know more about the individual. Develop forms to capture this information. These can be as simple as requesting an email address or as complex as a formal application for a service your organization offers. It is very important to consider the engagement level of various stakeholders and how they stand to benefit by providing you with this information.

When addressing individuals who are in the early stages of engaging with your organization, your lead capture forms should be straightforward and contain only the most critical form fields. Any forms this type of user is filling out should be straightforward and very brief — no more than three or four basic form fields. An example would be an email sign-up form that subscribes a user to your newsletter. The only piece of information you need is their email address.

As leads continue to engage, they develop a stronger association with your organization. At this point, users are either more likely to benefit somehow from their engagement or they have a better understanding of why their support is needed. Typically you can ask more of them in the level of information and time required to complete the form.

If you need more information from your leads, but your organization lacks an audience at the engagement level described above, offering free digital resources and tools can be a great way to incentivize the user. Consider creating content that is relevant to your organization's mission as well as your audience's interests and motivations. This could be something like an e-book, a printable guide, a digital template, or any other asset that would benefit your audience. "Gate" the content behind a lead form and require the form to be filled out before the user can access or download it.

Relationship Management and Marketing Automation

When it comes to managing your organization's relationship with interested users, it is essential that this data be stored in a constituent relationship management (CRM) database. Ideally, you should establish a direct connection between the forms used to collect information and your CRM. This will eliminate the need for any manual processes and ensure that the data ends up in the right place.

The best CRM tools for nonprofits, such as HubSpot, will help you organize your constituent data in a way that makes sense to your nonprofit. You can view lists of contacts based on the date of last engagement, status, target audience, and more.

The next step is to encourage these leads to further support your organization. Tools like HubSpot allow you to set automatic processes that include emails, text messages, ads, and internal follow-up tasks. For instance, if an individual fills out a donation form on your website, you can set a workflow that automatically adds them to your email newsletter and sends a personalized email every six months to encourage them to donate again. Without any manual work required, your organization is now continuing to engage with this user based on a single action they took on your website.

Setting Up a CRM to Generate Support

With the right systems in place, your organization's website can work as a tool to capture and engage valuable leads. Schedule a consultation to learn how capturing leads and utilizing a tool like HubSpot can help your organization grow.


Additional Resources

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