4 ways to leverage Conversion Optimization to grow your digital acquisition

In Digital, Featured by Rebecca Holden

With a growing number of Masterworks clients now bringing in more than half of their new donors online, digital has arrived. It’s fast becoming the place to find and cultivate your acquisition audience. No wonder many nonprofits are designating an ever-increasing percentage of marketing dollars for digital media.

But paid media isn’t the only digital strategy experiencing a transformation. Conversion Optimization is undergoing a parallel evolution — from primarily A/B testing to a broader, more sophisticated strategy. This is helping digital marketers better understand the needs of users and how to test what matters most: converting more visitors into donors.

What exactly is Conversion Optimization?

Conversion Optimization is the process of strategically testing your online experience with the goal of increasing your conversion rate and generating incremental revenue. Digital marketers rely on Conversion Optimization to answer this crucial question: Is our website converting visitors into donors as effectively as possible?

Why should your organization be doing Conversion Optimization?

Has your organization considered what your revenue growth potential could be if you increased your website conversion rate by 10%? 15%? 25% or more? If you’re not asking this question, there’s a good chance you’re leaving money on the table.

Conversion Optimization is the perfect (and necessary) complement to your digital media strategy. Optimizing your online experience for maximum conversions increases the impact of your media dollars and allows you to offer visitors a more tailored, personalized experience — all based on data collected directly from your users. You learn exactly what they want from you.

Here are 4 ways to leverage Conversion Optimization to grow your digital acquisition: 
1. Start with your data

To successfully improve your website for conversion, rely on your data to identify where and what you should be testing. Gone are the days of testing random collections of ideas. Testing platforms now come equipped with heat mapping tools, user recordings and surveys. These tools help answer the all-important question: “What do your users want?” They help you conduct smarter, more targeted testing.

2. Analyze the whole funnel to see where the opportunities are

Before you begin testing, map out each step of your conversion funnel and determine the conversion rate for every page along the way. This data becomes the roadmap for where to focus your testing. Once you know where the biggest opportunities are, you can begin testing into an optimized user experience and a higher conversion rate.

3. Keep in mind that not all visitors behave the same

And audiences differ by channel. Your social media audience may not respond well to the same landing page you use for paid search. Or your branded paid search audience may respond better to a different funnel experience than users searching on broader ministry terms. By segmenting audiences, you’ll discover the content preference for each user group and be able to offer optimized — and ideally personalized — experiences.

Additionally, this same approach should apply to your general website traffic. Creating a streamlined conversion funnel for segments such as returning donors, or users who land on your site via an ad, will allow you to better serve all audiences while still maintaining a high-performing site. With personalization as the new testing ground for Conversion Optimization, you’re no longer limited to one-size-fits-all website experiences.

4. Don’t forget cultivation

Optimizing your online experience shouldn’t stop with acquisition. As supporters are increasingly going online to give, you should also be testing ways to digitally cultivate this expanding pool of donors. Targeting active donors through email and social media — even as you offer specially selected content and personalized appeals — is another area to explore.

…or monthly giving

We’re also seeing a notable shift in emphasis among nonprofits toward acquiring monthly givers. To help our clients grow their recurring donor files, we are deploying Conversion Optimization strategies specifically designed to increase sustainer conversion rates.

If your organization is investing heavily in digital media, it’s worth assessing your website performance to determine the revenue impact of increasing your sitewide conversion rate. If you’d like to learn more about Conversion Optimization, and other digital media strategies, be sure to sign up for our newsletter below. You’ll get a free case study, too!