How Nonprofits Can Use Forms to Increase Conversions

Written by Laura Thrasher on June 11, 2014

Posted in Form Hacks, Nonprofits

We recently released our Form Conversion Report, a first-of-its kind analysis of over 400,000 online forms. Have you seen the big news? Nonprofit organizations have one of the highest form conversion rates: 15%. You beat the average conversion rate for all industries, which was 11%. Way to go!

We at Formstack are all about conversions. So when we came across a 2012 Marketing Sherpa report that said nonprofit websites’ conversion rate was only 2%, we were baffled. Why were form conversions so much better? The data seemed to indicate that nonprofits that use online forms have more conversions than those that don’t. We wanted to figure out how low-performing nonprofits could boost their rates.

Choose High-Converting Forms
The type of form you use can make a difference. Contact forms, for example, only have a 3% conversion rate. How are you supposed to capture information, then? Try using contests and surveys—they convert at 28% and 21%, respectively. Event registrations convert at 11%, and participants are likely to be qualified leads.

Pay Attention to the Submit Button
When people create an online form, the submit button doesn’t get much attention. According to the Form Conversion Report, the most popular submit buttons are “Register” and “Submit.” Since this is the last chance to convince a donor or potential contact to give you their personal information, use more specific language to clearly describe the user’s action.

A submit button can also communicate the value proposition. When a user hovers over the submit button, the button can tell what’s in it for them. You could use text like, “Help children now” or “Give to find a cure.” Test the impact of a small change in wording and see how it impacts conversions (and donations).

Put the Dough in Donations
Ever wish you could present your organization’s donation form at the best possible moment? The Form Conversion Report states that the peak time for donation form submissions is from noon to 3:00 p.m. Even though people are making donations at other times of the day (and night), it’s worth paying attention to the early afternoon.

To maximize contributions, coordinate social media and email campaigns with the best time of day for donations. Being conscious of timing means that your marketing materials reach donors at the time they are most likely to make a contribution.

Now That’s InFORMative
The mission of a nonprofit organization can only be fulfilled through people. Online forms give people a chance to interact with your organization. By taking advantage of online forms, nonprofits have an opportunity to engage advocates and donors in a new way.

Check out our Form Conversion Report and see how your conversion rates stack up!

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