The following article was originally posted on the GuideStar Trust blog. Click here to read the original post.

Let’s start with a fact: online conversions are essential for business marketers. In today’s web-driven world, conversions are the main purpose of most online campaigns. For those unfamiliar with the term, “conversion” simply means that someone from the intended audience took action. The action could be calling a phone number, starting a trial, downloading a whitepaper, or signing up for an offer. In the end, the point is for these to result in the ultimate conversion: a sale. Although nonprofits aren’t necessarily trying to sell a product or service, your NPO can benefit from the “conversion mentality”, but just in a different way. Here’s how.

Thinking like a Marketer – What Conversions Mean for Your NPO

A conversion may come in many forms for a nonprofit. It could be a simple thing, such as gaining registrations for a newsletter or likes or shares on Facebook. These are great for branding and may actually increase other metrics. Naturally, though, the most typically sought-after conversion is one that ends with a donation. Let’s be honest; these are crucial for most nonprofits.

However, another important conversion often overlooked is the transformation of a website visitor to a volunteer. And it goes without saying that donated time is also a very valuable asset. But what are some best practices to increase volunteer conversions?

Is Your Website Enticing to Volunteers?

Many best practices that apply to business marketing professionals for improving conversions also can be used by nonprofits. Check your website to be sure it includes some standard things common to marketing best practices. For example, one of the cornerstones is having a website that is professionally designed, easy to navigate, and full of useful information (download the slides from our recent webinar with GuideStar). These elements will build trust in visitors, which is essential when selling your call to action. In marketing, you have to tell your prospective customer exactly what you want them to do. Be clear, with a statement like “click here to volunteer.” It may seem overly simplistic, but it does work.

How to Attract More Volunteers using Landing Pages

You’ve looked over your website in Branded Landing Pagesgeneral terms, but now let’s take things a step further. One of the best means of increasing your volunteer conversion rate is to create customized landing pages within your volunteer management system. These can be used to brand events or campaigns, each with a specific branding. Research shows that making this “message match” can boost conversions by at least 25 percent. Landing pages can also be used to market to certain demographics or manage events at multiple locations.

Perhaps most importantly, however, a landing page can become a customized portal for corporate employee volunteer programs (EVPs), complete with the company’s logo and postings of special volunteer opportunities unique to that group. This trust-building facet shows your organization is ready and willing to go the extra mile to accommodate an EVP and puts both the company and its employees more at ease when visiting your website. (Continue reading about best practices for using volunteer landing pages.)

Stop Missing Out on Volunteer Conversions

Increasing conversion rates can clearly benefit your organization, so don’t be afraid to leverage a few marketing best practices. Business marketers build trust through branding and targeted marketing. You can use these same strategies to drive more volunteer conversions.

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