Ah, the humble Thank You page – the forgotten sidekick of the donation page.
After all, the donation page does the hard work of converting donors. But is your Thank You page really just an afterthought?
Why your Thank You page matters
While it’s true that your donation page is largely responsible for converting donors, your thank you page plays an equally important role: Retaining them.
Your Thank You page is the first thing new donors see after giving online. It sets the tone of a new and exciting relationship (in additional to your welcome series).
To increase donor retention, your Thank You page should have at least 5 key elements:
1. Track donor conversions with a Unique URL
Conversion rates speak directly to the effectiveness of your donation page. For example, if 1,000 people visit your donation page, but only 10 visit your Thank You page, your conversion rate is only 1%. Houston, we have a problem (on the donation page).
Tracking conversions in Google Analytics
One of the most reliable tools to track conversions is Google Analytics. Google Analytics has a feature called Goals that allows you to monitor your conversion rate, and make sense of users who donate.
The most common type of goal in Google Analytics is a conversion – when someone completes a specific action on your website. For example, joining your email list or making a donation.
To properly track conversions, make sure your donation software redirects donors to a Thank You page on your website (see the Bloomerang example below).
Your most important website audience
ProTip: Google Analytics Goals also let you analyze one of the most important website audience: recent donors. Where did they come from? Which pages did they visit before making that gift? How effective is email and social media? You get the idea.
2. A sincere thank you (of course)
There’s a reason why momma always told you to say “Thank You” after someone does you a good deed. Beyond basic manners, grateful people build stronger social bonds.
Nonprofits too, build stronger bonds with donors when they express gratitude.
But just including the words “Thank You” on your Thank You page isn’t enough. Sincerity is the key, and there’s no better way to express sincerity than video.
Check out this great example from the Nature Conservancy:
ProTip: Video is easier to create than ever before. Stop making excuses for not using video to thank donors.
3. Reinforce the impact they just made
An important rule of donor retention is making the donor feel like they are integral to the story. You do this by weaving them into the narrative as a protagonist, empowered to “feed hungry children”, “give clean water”, “stop injustice”, and so forth.
After thanking your donor, you should immediately reinforce the impact they made. Connect the donor to the impact, removing your nonprofit from the narrative.
Check out this example from Conservation International:
4. Surprise and delight your new donor
Your Thank You page is also an opportunity to surprise and delight your donor.
Again, your intent is to set the tone for a remarkable relationship. You want them to remember how they feel each time they interact with your nonprofit.
Check out this 15-second Thank You message from Conservation International:
Pro Tip: If you use YouTube to host your Thank You video, make sure it’s unlisted so that only donors see it. 🙂
5. Encourage social sharing of your fundraiser
When someone makes a donation to your nonprofit, you are top of mind. But only for a limited time.
If you’ve done everything right up until this point (thanking them, connecting them to the impact, surprising and delighting them), they will be primed for a follow-up action.
This is precisely the moment to ask them to share. Bonus points if you connect sharing to more impact. Check out this example from DonorsChoose:
Bonus points: Split testing your thank you page
Will be strategies work for your nonprofit to improve don’t know retention? Probably. But you can’t pay the bills with “probably”.
Refine your thank you page by split testing:
- Your thank you message
- Your impact message
- Your sharing message
Select one of these variations to test to see if it improves your post-conversion goal (sharing your campaign, liking your Facebook page, joining your email newsletter, etc.) A few simple split-tests will help you create Thank You pages that improve donor retention.