Charity Websites Lack Good Donor Engagement

Digital marketing agency dotMailer has analyzed the websites of 15 major U.K. charities and found that, while many follow best practice in terms of design and content, most fail to capitalize on the opportunities of building a loyal online visitor base.

As a result, dotMailer says that the charities “are failing to put their website at the center of a wider digital marketing strategy and neglecting donor contact and up sell opportunities”. The benchmark study, Hitting the Heart, was published today. It details the 15 charity websites against 26 best practice criteria, awarding each a total score out of 100.

Homepages generally scored good marks overall for design, layout and clarity of message with high average scores in particular for putting key messages above the fold (78%), fresh content (78%) and easy-to-use search (100%).

Where charities scored low was in the important areas of collecting permission based email signups and contact data, encouraging existing donors to give more, and in following donations up with relationship building emails.

The report reveals that “not one single charity surveyed” scored a point for sending a follow-up email campaign to donors within 30 days of the transaction.

Dave Ivy, Creative Director at dotMailer said: “Our study identified several key areas in which charities should focus on making changes, such as providing up-to-date content that engages visitors, working harder to capture permission-based email signups, and using more intelligent web content and email follow-up to engage and upgrade prospects to donors and turn existing donors into repeat givers.”

The full report, including best practice advice for all website owners, and a whitepaper based on this benchmark study are available for free download in return for agreeing to be contacted by dotMailer.

This post originally appeared on UK Fundraising and is reprinted with permission.