publication date: Dec 7, 2011
author/source: Jonathon Grapsas
definitely a science behind online advertising, which is likely why, as a
direct response junkie, I love it. Right now I'm running a ton of different
forms of online advertising with clients including re-targeting people who have
visited their site previously, behavioral display (where we target prospects
based on their online behavior), search engine marketing through Google AdWords
and social advertising through Facebook.
very different, but with some strikingly similar keys to success. Here are ten
tips on how to get found more, clicked more often, and most importantly how to
"close the sale."
Think about the pathway, including the
campaigns usually fall down because there's too much emphasis on what happens
when I land somewhere, or conversely, what's the hook to get someone to click
it in the first instance. They should be given equal weighting. Your ad needs to
be clear, enticing, and unique. Your landing page needs to be free of clutter,
rich in content and easy for someone to complete what you're asking them to do.
Is it relevant?
instances (like Google AdWords) you can be penalized for producing content and
a landing spot that doesn't fit what the advert is displaying. Sure I could
advertise free beer at my house, but if the landing page is about helping to
free child soldiers, clearly my ad isn't relevant. Clever doesn't work.
Ensuring a connection between an ad and a relevant page does.
Keep it simple
the destination. Easy to read,
clear language, free of jargon. Don't make it hard for me to read or watch. The
moment it becomes too hard, I switch off.
striking a balance between good, emotive copy and compelling, riveting imagery
and video. Find the hook to get someone in, then keep them there with good
content. Video isn't used enough, yet is such a rich, powerful source.
I need to do it now
an inkling that it can wait till later, game over. Your proposition must tell
people the single most important thing that they must do, right now. It makes
them sit up from their slouched position and take action (by clicking, then
getting their wallets out). Offering any "get out" (by not using strong, urgent
wording) is a sure fire way to lose potential supporters.
Minimize the clicks
don't make me work hard. You want to take people somewhere interesting,
engaging (sometimes fun), but wherever they end up (say, on a custom built page
with a video story), the ability to make a gift needs to be right there, no
more than one click away.
Learn all the rules
did you know when running Google AdWords campaigns you should capitalize all
words in your ad's copy (except small, joining words like an, at, or on). That's
been tested to death and always shown that doing it improves overall response.
This information isn't hard to find. Subscribe to blogs that talk about this
stuff. Buy the relevant "...for dummies" book that relates to this topic.
of digital recruitment is that you live in the moment. You don't close your
eyes and hope for the best. It's dynamic, it's able to be monitored and updated
easily. Don't think the work is done when you've gone live. Test, tweak, refine
Set up tracking
getting Google Analytics working on the site to which you're sending prospects,
and setting up conversion funnels to see which prospect sources result in
donations. Most of the tools you need are available free. Get someone to help
set these up for you. But make sure it happens. Spending a chunk of time
advertising and not knowing what's really working (beyond impressions and
clicks) is a poor use of your organization's resources.
Follow up, follow up and follow up
gift from someone in the first interaction you have with them online is tough. Include
rigorous follow-up in your plans to turn prospects into supporters, or one-time
cash donors into monthly donors. Think about how to capture more phone numbers
so you can call people. For those who don't provide a phone number, develop an
e-communications plan to continue the conversation. Above all, factor this part
of the process into your planning.
advertising can be fruitful if done in the right way. Far too many try without
working their way through the fundamentals behind it. Follow the steps above
and you'll be well on your way to finding a new audience.
Jonathon Grapsas is the founder and director at flat
earth direct, an agency dedicated to fundraising and campaigning for good
causes. Jonathon spends his time working with charities around the world
focused on digital, direct response and campaigning stuff.
If you'd like to chat to Jonathon you can email him, follow him on
twitter @jonathongrapsas or check out www.flatearthdirect.com