Test every link or else you risk trouble

in Marketing for Nonprofits,Online Fundraising

When you create a newsletter, email, web page, text message, etc. make it a priority to test every hyperlink BEFORE publishing.

No exceptions.  Period.

Why is this imperative?

1 – Bad links frustrate readers.  Instead of getting the promised content, they end up on an “error page” or a page with the wrong content.

2 – Bad links give the impression you don’t check your work carefully.  You don’t pay attention to detail.  And if you mess this up people start wondering, “What else is your organization doing wrong?”

3 – Your charity or association gets low response and poor conversions.  How can you get the results you want when supporters don’t end up on the right page? 

This means your surveys are left unanswered.  Donations never received.  Memberships not renewed.  Events not registered for.  You get the idea.

And here’s one more reason: Bad links might turn out to be embarrassing.  For example, this happened to me …

I publish a newsletter twice a month, the Zapp Nonprofit Leader.  Every issue there’s a place where I invite my subscribers to follow me on Twitter.  This includes a link to my Twitter page.

At a glance as I created the link last week everything looked fine.  But it wasn’t.   

Here’s the “BAD” link I found when testing ALL my links prior to publishing my newsletter:

Although I disabled the link, below is a screen shot of where you end up if you could click on it: You’re on a page with a dumb survey.  And there’s no way to get out of it short of closing the window.  This would certainly have annoyed my treasured newsletter subscribers had I sent them to such a page.  And I would have been mortified.

Landing page of the bad link

Fortunately it’s not a porn site.  But someone has snatched up a common typo error (i.e., Twiter is the mistake; it should be Twitter), to capitalize on with their survey and gimmick

Unscrupulous people have created a minefield for us.  Simple typos and other errors can send your supporters onto sites you don’t want to be associated with.  Don’t risk trouble by being lazy.

Instead check every single hyperlink BEFORE you publish your content. 

Verify that your readers, visitors, donors, and members will end up on the right page by testing it first.  Everyone will be happier because everyone is getting what they want – you and your supporters.

Any examples you want to share?  Please add a comment below.