One of the greatest experiences people will have with your organization is choosing to make a financial contribution to further your shared goal of changing the world. How those donors remember the experience of giving might be the key to turning onetime donors into donors for life.
Imagine your most ideal vacation. It could be soaking up the sun on a secluded beach or ploughing the powder of your favorite slope. Imagine the long days of discovery and the late nights of cozy community with your family and friends.
After seven days, your perfect vacation has finally come to an end and it’s time to return to reality. Unfortunately your flight has been delayed by bad weather. When you finally get a new flight, you’re stuck in the middle seat with a hyperactive 5-year-old behind you. You sit on the tarmac for three hours and your baggage has been lost.
Research shows that your memory of this vacation will disproportionately skew toward the bad experience you had at the end, painting over the blissful trip with a dark pale of frustration and angry Tweets.
This is a cognitive bias researchers call peak-end rule, that says we tend to judge an experience by how we felt at its most intense point and at the end.
Optimize to the very end
You can help to ensure your donors have an awesome experience by optimizing your conversion pathways all the way to the end.
The first step to optimizing to the end is to audit your experiences by putting yourself in your donors’ shoes. Pay close attention to the communications received at the end of interactions with your organization. Here are some to be on the lookout for:
- Confirmation pages. You’ve successfully moved someone through the “funnel,” now make sure they don’t feel like they’ve just been dumped on the ground.
- Transactional emails. Root out phantom emails and make sure they reflect your organization.
- Mail receipts. Don’t miss this opportunity for delayed donor delight. Use mail receipts to continue the online experience.
- Telemarketing. Do your phone reps leave donors feeling glad they received an unsolicited call from your organization, or wishing they hadn’t answered the phone?
- Unsubscribes. Make a lasting impression with your unsubscribe and you might be able to turn this final end into a new beginning.
As you work with your constituents, consider ways you might optimize the end of their experience.