Get Set Online

online icon (computer and cell phone)Use Your Content Well

PBS stations have incredible online content that viewers are excited to read, watch and potentially share. It’s vital then, that Development staff know what content is popular and engaging to website visitors. Development staff should request access to the analytics of the site to discover where viewers are going and also where they are not. This is important for both the giving pages as well as the programming pages. Seeing the typical path of a visitor helps you make good decisions about how to include development asks or content on program pages. Conversely if there are important giving pages that are receiving no traffic you can evaluate whether they are perhaps too difficult to find and change the path that visitors must take.

Homepage Best Practices

Development staff should be a part of the conversation about development of the homepage since station members are a vital part of the reason each station functions. Development staff can provide important insights to ensure members feel welcomed and appreciated and that non-donors are encouraged to make their first gifts.

Checklist for your homepage:

Does my homepage?

  • Have all high-quality images that align with our mission
  • Let visitors know who we are and what we do in five seconds or less
  • Help visitors find membership information quickly
  • Feature a call to action in addition to donate
  • Have a highly visible email sign up invitation
  • Have multiple ways of engaging
  • Contain an easy to find donate button

Donation Buttons

Best Practices for a donation button include:

  • Usually resides in the upper right corner of page
  • Persists on each page in site (other than donation form)
  • Is larger than surrounding navigation items
  • Font is larger and distinct
  • Has room to “breathe”
  • Is a different color than surrounding navigation (test to find the right color)
  • Employs an easy-to-understand label – Donate, Donate Now, Contribute, Become a Member – test your wording to find the right phrase for your station

Additional Membership Pages

Not only should you develop information for prospective sustainers by promoting selling points such as the fact that sustaining memberships are simple and easy for the donor, and efficient and cost-effective for the station. Information for current sustaining members should also be included. This should be both a message of thanks and appreciation and also include customer service offerings such as ways to change a credit card payment, select a thank-you gift, change an address and so on.

Don't assume everyone who visits your page knows what a sustainer is. If it doesn't clutter your page, include a short pitch/description to the side. Alternatively, you can set the text to appear on the same page (not a pop-up window) when something like "What's a sustainer?" or "Tell me about being a sustainer" is clicked on.

The best way to support WXYZ is to become a monthly sustainer. Your contribution continues automatically via your checking account or credit or debit card until you wish to change or stop. Your membership is always current — no more renewal reminders. Fill out our sustaining form once and you're done!

You should include this description on both the "Make a sustaining contribution" and "Make a contribution" pages; a donor who has chosen the latter may very well be persuaded by reading about the virtues of sustaining membership.