As nonprofits, it’s perhaps second nature to explain why a supporter should donate. Your marketing or messaging strategy may include riveting facts about who you serve, your programs, and why it’s important to your support your cause.
However, what do you think will prompt the viewer or the reader to take out their wallet or take action within minutes? This is where call-to-action (CTA) comes in.
Think of the times when you registered for something. Like attending a rally, volunteering, or running a marathon – this is because they all had an effective CTA in place.
Call-to-actions may seem simple, but they can make a huge difference in terms of guiding your nonprofit subscribers to take specific actions, and better yet, they can help you attract more donors. That said, to ensure that people follow through with your suggested actions, your CTAs must STAND OUT.
In this post, we’ll show you 10 proven CTA tactics that will not just inspire your supporters to take action but also attract more donors. But, before we begin, let’s find out what are CTAs and why it’s important for your nonprofit.
CTA: What Is It & Why It Matters?
CTAs can simply be a word, sentence, or phrase with a clickable button or a hyperlink. Its key purpose is to encourage viewers into taking an action, whether it’s read a book, click a link, get more information, buy something, or donate. As such, if you wish to reach or attract more donors via email marketing, you must incorporate effective CTAs.Here’s an example of how the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) uses a survey CTA in their emails to gain more information about their supporters. The survey includes 3 open-ended questions that help them learn about what encourages supporters to contribute to the organization, what keeps them inspired, and why the cause matters to them.
This email CTA works because:
- The email isn’t just easy to read through, it also reinforces the main CTA several times, requesting viewers to take a small survey.
- Its CTA, which is “Share your thoughts” clearly stands out. It’s positioned appropriately and makes use of actionable and prominent wording.
- Finally, it makes it clear that it’s a short survey consisting of just 3 questions. This assures the viewers that it won’t consume much of their time.
Now that you know how employing smart CTAs within your emails can do incredible things for your nonprofit organization, it’s time to focus on how you can pull it off.
10 Proven CTAs that attract more donors for nonprofits:
1. Make Sure It’s Simple
To create an effective CTA, a simple, straightforward approach is the way to go. Remember, it’s your responsibility to refine complex messages and deliver them in a simple way to every potential supporter of your cause. Below we have a few examples of direct and simple CTAs that will ensure that your supporters know what you want from them:
- “Donate now”- It’s possible that the contact may already be willing to donate before even glancing through the entire email. In such a scenario, using this CTA will help them find the link for donating with ease.
- “Volunteer with us”- With this CTA, you can attract people who are interested in volunteering. Imagine them going through your email content thinking how they can get involved in your cause, and getting excited to find a CTA to support your foundation first-hand.
- “Find out more!” – This CTA will help encourage action from those willing to support your cause, but don’t know how to do so. These people would want to know their options and learn more regarding the different ways of getting involved.
Here’s how Charity Water does it:
2. It Should Be Clear
Your CTAs won’t be effective if your subscribers can’t understand the message you’re trying to convey. This means you need to avoid fluffy language, jargon, poor grammar, and run-on sentences. Make sure your CTA precisely conveys what action you want your supporters to take.
Once you create a clear and well-written message, you can put in some creativity. Perhaps, you can use some strong words to induce an emotional touch to the email. For instance, if you want the contacts to follow a few steps to get through something, you can create a base CTA that reads “Follow these steps!” You can even tweak it up and say something like “Follow these simple steps!”
3. Balance Creativity & Practicality
While being creative can be quite helpful in terms of driving clicks and conversions, it can also do the opposite if you go overboard. Double entenders, puns, and play-on-words are only great and appropriate if they also encourage action.
Let’s assume that you’re building a fundraising campaign related to a football theme. As such, you send mass emails to your subscribers with the objective of encouraging them to take specific action and donate.
Though a CTA that says “Ready, Set, Hike!” may seem pretty decent, it’s doesn’t necessarily convey what action you want the readers to take. Instead, you can augment it by bringing together your creativity, the football theme, and your fundraising by writing something that suggests a more intentional request: “Become Our Fundraising MVP.”
4. Elicit Emotions
Your mission as a nonprofit is to spread awareness about your cause and motivate others to take a stand. By using CTAs to induce certain emotions in your supporters, they’ll be more inspired to support your cause. The following examples show how you can use CTAs to evoke emotions:
- “Be the difference”- Making a difference is something everyone wants to do and your supporters will feel important when they click through your CTA, knowing their action will help make a difference.
- “Inspire change”- People who support your cause will also be willing to inspire change. While this isn’t necessarily a specific CTA, your readers will likely understand that the CTA will offer more information regarding your cause.
“Become a lifelong patron” is another example of taking an emotional sentiment regarding your campaign and morphing it into an appealing CTA. By injecting emotions in your CTA, you’re also injecting emotions into your audience members and this inspires them to click. Here’s a good example of a CTA that induce emotions:
5. Use Strong Language
A powerful verb is necessary to create a simple, direct yet effective CTA. Using strong verbs can make all the difference in terms of driving action from your supporters. For instance, take a look at these two CTAs:
“Please Consider Subscribing To Our Campaign Newsletter Today”
“Subscribe To Our Campaign Newsletter Today”
While both examples have the same sentiment, the latter is more powerful as it starts with “Subscribe,” which is quite impactful as compared to “Please Consider.”
6. Create Urgency
You may have noticed how Amazon includes a countdown clock for their daily deals. This creates a sense of urgency for the buyers that if they don’t make the purchase now, they might never get the same deal again.
Similarly, using this approach to induce urgency in your CTA will be quite helpful in driving your audience to take action. Now, your CTA doesn’t necessarily have to include a countdown. Using words like “Today” and “Now” will create urgency.
7. Use The Perspective Of The Beneficiaries
Another excellent CTA tactic is to use the perspectives of the ones the cause is for. Using pictures will further make this technique more effective.
When people see this CTA they’ll be quickly drawn towards the cause by looking at the happy child and would want to learn more regarding how this nonprofit helps others.
8. CTA Placement Matters as Well
Another very important element of an effective CTA is placement. If you don’t place the CTA strategically, your efforts may go to waste. Generally, CTAs that are placed at the top tend to attract more clicks & conversions while the ones positioned at the bottom generate more leads. Essentially, the CTA placement needs to align with your nonprofit’s goals to fully amplify its use. You just need to see what will work best for your email. For instance, if your reader can understand the message of your email quickly, then placing the CTA above the fold seems feasible. Similarly, if the email message requires some explanation, place it at the bottom.
9. Decide On Particular Actions
There are times when your audience may want all their work to be handled by you, which can actually be an excellent opportunity in terms of donations.
Sometimes, simply asking readers to “volunteer” leaves them confused. Instead by being specific about the opportunity in your CTA, you can drive people’s decision to volunteer. For instance, “Volunteer to plant trees” is clear about what the supporters will be volunteering for.
The following CTA from Patagonia is an excellent example:
10. Always Test Your CTA
You may be surprised by how big of a difference a small tweak in your CTA can make. You may not expect your CTAs to suddenly increase by changing the color or moving it above the fold, however, it does happen every time. This is why it’s very important to test. From copy to placement, you can test several elements of your CTA and let the response of your audience decide what’s best.
CTAs can be tricky, however, with a little bit of practice, it gets more fun and easier. Remember, the main objective of a CTA is to make it easier for your supporters to aid you while driving them towards taking an action. That said, make sure to implement the CTA tactics mentioned in this article and you’ll see great results.
About the author:
Robert Jordan, a seasoned marketing professional with over 12 years of experience, currently working as Media Relations Manager at InfoClutch Inc, which offers the most sought-after technology database including AWS customers list, MS Dynamics AX list with other services. Have expertise in setting up the lead flow for budding startups and takes it to the next level. Have a deep interest in marketing, b2b & technology-related discussions. Always open to new ideas & discussions.