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7 WordPress Plugins to Boost Conversions for Your Nonprofit Fundraising Campaign

This is a guest post written by Shane Michael and Melissa Monte of Mittun Creative, a Classy certified Partner.

How many people come to your website each day and leave before they take a desired action? Do you even know?

Conversion optimization provides an opportunity to turn more of your website visitors into actual supporters even if your website traffic remains constant. And, if you have a WordPress site, you don’t always have to be a developer to make tweaks that can improve your conversion rates. After we review why it’s important to spend energy on this type of optimization, this post will outline seven WordPress Plugins that have the power to turn your campaigns from just interesting to actionable.

Why You Should Focus On Conversions

As a reminder, a conversion can include someone who:

  • Makes a donation
  • Signs up for newsletter
  • Shares your campaign
  • Fills out a volunteer form
  • Makes a phone call

—Or anything else that helps spread your mission.

According to Google Trends, the practice of conversion optimization has steadily risen in the U.S. since 2004. These days, if you’re not focused on your nonprofit website’s conversion rates, you’re missing out on willing supporters.

When it comes to conversions, the little things can level up to big results. Small tweaks lead to small percentage increases that over time have the potential to  double or triple your revenue.

Whether you speed up your site or increase social sharing statistics, the following WordPress plugins will help you effortlessly convert more of your traffic into supporters, volunteers, and donors.

1. Exit Popup Plugin

Exit popups prevent lost leads by engaging your visitor right before they leave your site. If someone visits your site and decides to leave before taking any of the actions you want them to take—such as making a donation, signing up to your email list, or seeing how they can get involved—the exit popup will prompt them one last time to take one of these desired actions before leaving.

Exit popups are triggered when the user’s mouse pointer moves toward the browser bar, back button, or close button. The popup should prompt the one action you hope a user takes above all else.

The psychology behind this is simple. When a user is presented with a lot of information and several possible actions, it may lower their chances for taking a next step. When a user is presented with a single option or request, action turns into a simple task and becomes much more likely.

How Nonprofits Can Use This Plugin:

  • Ask the user to opt-in to your email list
  • Use a specific call-to-action such as ‘Donate Today’
  • Remind or inform users of an upcoming event or campaign
  • Prompt users to share or include social proof

Adding social proof, such as displaying how many other people have shared, donated or registered for an event, can improve your results as people are more likely to be influenced to take actions that seem popular.

WP Bounce GIF

Download the wBounce plugin.

2. CrazyEgg Heatmap Reporting

Heatmaps are a graphical representation of how visitors use your site. Heatmaps can reveal incredible insights such as which links get the most clicks and which are ignored. You can also learn how far your visitors scroll down the page,  and even where people navigate their mouse pointers.

This information will  give you the ability to increase your conversions and also improve your website’s usability and messaging. Perhaps your donate button isn’t prominent enough, or maybe you realize people often attempt to click something you didn’t intend as a link. The Heatmap will allow you to make well-informed subtle tweaks that can add up to big conversions differences.

Depending on how many visitors your nonprofit’s website gets and how many pages and clicks you want to track, there are free and paid Heatmaps available. The two we recommend are Crazy Egg and Heatmaps by SumoMe.

A simple Google images search for “heatmap tracking Crazy Egg” reveals great examples.

How Nonprofits Can Use This Plugin:

  • Add heatmaps reporting to your website without special coding
  • Visualize where your users do and do not click
  • Make informed decisions based on real data

Crazy Egg GIF

Download the Crazy Egg plugin.
Download the SumoMe Heatmaps plugin.

3. Yoast Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Yoast SEO walks you through the optimization of your website content for Google and other search engines. It analyzes your site content and gives it a grade, along with actionable steps you can take to improve your SEO grade.

The Yoast plugin does a great job of guiding you to stay on top of the ever-changing rules of search engine rankings. This plugin can also help you optimize more complex areas of your site, such as breadcrumbs, sitemaps, and permalinks. But perhaps best of all, it explains what each component is and why it’s important to spend time on.

When you create a new post or page, Yoast will help you optimize your post description and analyze your content to make sure you’re using enough keywords without appearing spammy or robotic. It even shows you how your post will appear in Google’s search results and allows you to edit this.

How Nonprofits Can Use This Plugin:

  • Rank higher in Google search results and get more traffic
  • Customize each page title for SEO
  • Focus each post on a single keyword or keyword phrase to increase your chances of ranking for it
  • Score your SEO for each blog post and page

Yoast SEO GIF

Download the Yoast SEO plugin.

4. Social Sharing Plugin

Peer-to-peer fundraising is a powerful way to leverage your supporters to raise money on your behalf. To reach more people and increase the virality of your campaign, you can use social sharing functionalities to make it easy for people to take action and engage.

The goal of social sharing plugins is to make sharing your content so simple—usually through beautiful icons or enticing buttons—hat sharing becomes the logical next step. Social sharing has become one of the most effective forms of free advertising available.

Remember the ice bucket challenge? That one simple campaign helped the ALS Association raise nearly $42 billion and did exponentially more for awareness—one in every six people participated, only 10 percent actually donated.

While you may not become headline news, you can use social sharing features to follow the same logic for your own campaign. The ice bucket challenge worked so well in part because it was easy for people to participate through social media. Even if they could not give a dollar amount, they could still share the message with their friends and family who may have the means to contribute.

A social sharing plugin doesn’t just stop at adding buttons to your website, you can also use it to display how many shares the post has received  to add an extra level of social proof that further encourages another share. You can also create display rules, such as hiding the number of shares until it reaches a specific number so as not to make your campaign appear unpopular.

Depending on how custom you want the sharing experience to be, there are free and paid options available of this plugin. SumoMe has a great free option that comes with your heatmaps mentioned above.

Social Warfare is our top paid recommendation. It boasts powerful features such as custom Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter images, custom tweets, tweetable quote boxes within your content, and more detailed tracking.

How Nonprofits Can Use This Plugin:

  • Add social shares to all of your campaign pages to engage people to share
  • Include additional options for people that can’t attend to share the event instead!
  • Incorporate social shares to blog posts and donation pages

Social Warefare GIF

Download the SumoMe plugin.
Download the Social Warfare plugin.

5. Data Visualization Plugin

Most internet users have an on-page attention span of eight seconds or less. As the popularity of bite-sized content like social media increases, this number actually decreases. It’s also well-known that images, especially colored images, draw attention more than text.

One way to use this information is to convert your data into beautiful charts and graphs to help visitors understand and engage with your message. If you turn passive visitors into active visitors it increases the chance that they will take further actions on your website. The more time they invest with your organization, the more likely they will be to donate or volunteer their time.

Visual data can be especially effective with nonprofit donors who may need more information to make an informed decision about donating, especially when higher dollar amounts are at stake. To this end, you can use charts, maps, and infographics to help a potential donor visualize where their money goes, how many people they are helping, and the impact their donation will have.

Additionally, the more visually striking something is, the more likely your supporters will be to share and increase the virality of your campaign. In the example below, you are able to track changes in spending visually.

Data visualization GIF

How Nonprofits Can Use This Plugin:

  • Help donors visualize where their money goes
  • Show visitors your social impact
  • Provide a sense of where in the world you are helping, or plan to help with an interactive map
  • Create graphs to show how you’re growing
  • Create an infographic or report to explain your mission

Infogram GIF

Download the Infogram plugin.

6. WP Image Smush

Large images are one of the top reasons for a slow-loading website, and for every second a website is loading, more people drop off. Amazon reported that one second of extra load time could cost them $1.6B in sales. Yes, you read that correctly, but given what we just learned about attention spans, this number should come as no surprise.

How many donations do you lose because your visitors simply can’t wait for the form to load?

WP SMUSH automatically downsizes large files and optimizes them for the web. This not only greatly improves your website’s loading speed, it also saves you time you would have spent in image editor like Photoshop.

How Nonprofits Can Use This Plugin:

  • Speed up your website to increase the likelihood of donations
  • Improve your website’s usability
  • Decrease the time it takes to share your message
  • Lower your bandwidth usage
  • Streamline the website production process
  • Save staff time without the need for extra software or fancy image editing products

SMUSH GIF

Download the WP Image Smush plugin.

7. A Classy Integration Plugin

With so much noise out there it’s critical that you establish trust with your audience and potential donors in every way you can. One of the easiest ways to do this is to have a self-hosted, branded campaign page that lives on your own website. Integrating your Classy campaigns onto your own website has several benefits, all of which help to boost conversions when done properly.

Before Classy’s powerful API, WordPress users were limited to what they could place on their website and what the user saw when they actually pulled out their credit card to make a donation (on Classy.org). Classy integration plugins allow for a more branded, seamless experience for WordPress users to tie their campaigns to their website.

This more positive user experience then has the power to boost donor trust and conversions. These plugins also allow you to pull in specific pieces of data that prompt donations, like seeing peers donate, and seeing how far away the organization is from their goal.

Depending on your level of technical ability, you have two options to seamlessly integrate your Classy campaigns into your website. Classy has released a first version of their WordPress plugin, accessible on GitHub. For those who prefer an easy-to-use backend with customizable design options, Mittun’s Classy Donation plugin is available on Mittun’s website in two versions, both free and paid.

How Nonprofits Can Use These Plugins:

  • Display a campaign overview and progress bar on your site
  • Show team leaderboards and top fundraisers
  • Further customize the style of your campaign
  • Keep consistent branding with your nonprofit
  • Increase search engine rankings

Classy Press GIF

Download Classy’s WordPress plugin on GitHub.
Download Mittun’s Classy WordPress Donation Plugin.

 

The WordPress plugin directory is filled to the brim with over 47,000 free plugins. Our aim with this list is to give you a solid starting point when you’re looking to boost conversions on your campaign page. Rather than rushing to download every plugin you hear about, we recommend doing a quick assessment of your site to prioritize your conversion strategy. What plugins do you even need? What areas is your campaign page lacking?

Often time it’s tempting to do everything at once and wait for the results. There’s an issue with this, though. Remember seventh grade science class? If you have too many variables and too few controls, you’ll have no idea what plugin, modification, or variable—helped with conversions. If you know what’s working you’ll be able to rinse and repeat, boosting your conversions again and again until it’s time to try the next variable. Think big, start small. You can always install another plugin tomorrow.

 

Shane Michael and Melissa Monte are creative entrepreneurs with a passion for helping nonprofits crush their online goals. As the executives of Mittun Creative, they’re based out of Los Angeles and are on a mission to make the world a better place, one website at a time.


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