Websites for charities: 3 tips for a great charity website

20th September 2016

Three digital marketing tactics that websites for charities use

Websites for charities are the central point of the organisation’s marketing activity. Direct mail, TV, social media or print will all lead customers to your website.  So, no matter what your marketing mix is, your website will be the main channel for converting target audiences. People are more likely to donate through your website than over the phone. Plus, the cost of running a great website is a lot less than running a call centre.

Charity websites need more than impactful content. Marketers need to know their audience and deliver a website that gives them what they want. Bigger charities need a powerful website content management system. And, in our opinion, it has to be Sitecore.

With Sitecore’s digital marketing features, it’s easy for charity websites to harness top digital marketing trends. So you can generate and nurture quality leads, increase donations and get long-term support from users.

Here are three digital marketing tactics websites for charities can adopt to increase support:

1. Turn increased audiences into increased revenue

  • SEO – Search engine optimisation (SEO) marketing is a great way to increase traffic to websites for charities. With the right strategy and great content, you can reach bigger audiences without spending a fortune on media. Sitecore’s SEO capabilities make it easy to increase Google rankings, organic traffic and website conversions.
  • Content marketing – Content will build trust with your audience. Users want to know that their donation is going to a good cause. The best way to show this is with regular, highly readable and informative content. The Sitecore content management system (CMS) makes it easy to keep content regularly updated on your website, email marketing and social media channels. And you can embed rich media and videos to increase engagement.
  • Calls to actions and web forms – Charity websites need calls to action (CTAs) to be clear and easy to find. You’ll probably have a few main ones; ‘Donate’, ‘Get in touch’ and ‘Find out more’, for example. Lead the user through your site, keeping in mind your goals as well as theirs. Simple web forms are also key to generating leads. Sitecore makes it easy to create, edit and manage web forms. And you can embed these in your main content for maximum engagement.

2. Increase conversion rates

  • Personalisation – Marketing personalisation is crucial to increasing conversion. The personal touch makes a big difference in digital marketing. The Sitecore Experience Database collects historical and real-time customer data to personalise the user experience. Welcome back returning visitors or target CTAs to the content they’ve been reading. Something as small as welcoming users by name can add a human touch and influence conversion.
  • Omni-channel marketing – The influence of mobile browsing means websites for charities need to be mobile responsive to offer a great user experience. With Sitecore device detection and cross-channel automation, Sitecore will recognise and adjust to users’ devices. And it’ll keep track of user interactions no matter where they happen. So if a user reads your ‘About Us’ on their mobile, Sitecore can point them towards your blog when they visit from a desktop.
  • System integration – Integrating your other systems into the CMS helps give you a single view of every user interaction and business process. The Sitecore architecture is made for easy integration. So websites for charities can integrate a payment gateway to make donation quicker and easier. Or integrate a Customer Relations Management system (CRM) to personalise content based on a user’s location or their interactions with your organisation. This includes their interactions with your site, as well as responses to offline marketing. The simpler and more intuitive you make tasks for the user, the more conversion you’ll achieve.

3. Encourage advocacy

  • Social media integration– A strong, recognisable social media presence increases brand awareness and helps build trust for charity websites. Sitecore Social Connect is just one system that can be integrated with your CMS to improve your social media marketing strategy. With Sitecore you can integrate social media feeds into your website, enable social media sign in and post to social channels automatically. Make it easy for users to share their interactions across Facebook, Twitter or Google+. And encourage them at key points, like after donation. For example, “I’ve just donated to Save the Cats! You can too, just click here”. So you can reach a network of potential supporters without lifting a finger.
  • Email marketing – Use CTAs on your blog posts encourage people to sign up to your email newsletter. Or add a tick box to your donation process. Encourage supporters to get involved with your next event or update them on how their donation has helped. Sitecore EXM lets you create automated personalised trigger emails, send to specified recipient lists and track the progress of your campaigns. All of this from within your Sitecore solution. With targeted email marketing you can turn one-off donations into long-term support.

Get the best from Sitecore websites for charities with Kagool

At Kagool, we’re Sitecore experts. We’ve worked with a number of charities, including Fairtrade Group and WMC, to help them get the best from Sitecore and improve. Whether it’s a full Sitecore build or creating a digital transformation strategy, we can help you create successful charity websites.

If you’re new to Sitecore we’d love to give you a free Sitecore demo. And if you already have Sitecore, ask us about a Sitecore audit to make sure you’re getting the most from the platform.