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Emails, Tweets, Facebook content, PPC ads, etc. that promote a special event or project should all link to a unique landing page
by Karen Zapp

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When you send out a special announcement that includes a link to your website for more information . . . recognize that people don't want to search for the answers when they get there.

If it isn't blatantly obvious within one or two seconds of hitting the landing page that the visitor is in the right place, then they'll abandon your site.

This applies, for example, to associations promoting your annual conference, a professional development webinar, or even a prospecting campaign. It applies to charitable nonprofits promoting a special event, a capital campaign, an emergency appeal, or any acquisition messages you send.

Every example in the previous paragraph ought to take the reader to a unique landing page. A page devoted to the subject of the original communication. This especially means they're NOT taken to the home page.

In addition, the landing page headline must contain keywords they saw in the original communication. Let's take this example of a charitable nonprofit that sent this "Tweet" (i.e., a message limited to 140 characters on Twitter):

Cell phone recycling helps us send care packages to the troops!

If you click on the link, you're taken to a page with this headline: Donate Cell Phones To Benefit Operation Gratitude.

This is very good example because of the quality of the landing page:

  1. The headline and the featured copy on the page continue the conversation started in the Tweet.
  2. The landing page is short, simple. You often don't need a long or complicated landing page.
  3. The opening paragraph tells you that "$30 or more will be earned for each phone."
  4. There are clear visual options for the quantities of phones donated.
  5. There's a "green" message in the copy - recycling and "zero landfill" (no phone end up in landfills).
  6. Easy to see links to learn more (FAQs; zero landfill; and GRC Recycling).
  7. Buttons to click to print the mailing labels (don't have to worry about the donor writing down the wrong address). And the mailing label includes the name of the charity so they'll receive credit for the phones - the donation.

Word of caution though . . . if you link to a blog make certain the post you're referring to in your tweet or email comes up at the top of the page. Don't make the visitor scroll down to find the relevant blog post. How do you do this? Somewhere in the post - usually at the bottom - you'll see Permalink. Click on that and then link to the URL displayed. This way that post will always show up at the top of the screen.

So for example, here's a tweet of mine . . . .

Lesson & ideas from tiny businesses can be applied to #nonprofits & #associations - Seth Godin's blog

If you click the link in the tweet above, you'll see I linked to the post's unique permalink. However, if I had only linked to the home page, you see something completely different. To find the post I want you to read you need to scroll and scroll; or you may even have to go into the archives if you're looking at this after August 2009. People won't go to this effort; they'll just go away frustrated or annoyed.

Here's another decent Twitter example:

Tickets FORE Charity PGA Golf Tour - buy tickets from CCM. use code CCM

If you click on the link, you're taken to the PGA Tour website with an article on this fundraising event. The headline is "TICKETS Fore CHARITY™" so the headline and the article obviously connect with the tweet and continue the message.

Now the charity (i.e., Children's Chorus of Maryland) who wrote the second tweet example has no control over the design of the PGA's website. But if this tweet were about a CCM concert then visitors would be taken to a unique page on the CCM website. And I would recommend the headline be larger and more prominent than what is on the PGA Tour site. I would also recommend they use a larger font for the body of the article.

These two examples are from Twitter. But the exact same principles apply whether you send out an email with a link to more info; you've written a pay-per-click (PPC) ad; and so on. Send visitors to a unique landing page dedicated to the one topic. And make certain the headline includes keywords from the PPC ad, email, Tweet, Facebook page, etc.

Fail to do this and you'll annoy visitors and depress results. It's that simple.

Interested in more fundraising and marketing insights?


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