Properly done, adding persuasive content to individual Give forms can increase conversions and improve donor experience.
We’ve said before that the singular goal of a Give form is to encourage potential donors to give to your cause. This means that there is a right way and a wrong way to use the content option on your forms. Additionally, giving users a context for how your forms fit into the larger mission and vision of your site can make them even more effective. Using the tips and tricks in this article, you can properly encourage donors to give without distracting them.
It’s as easy to add content to your donation forms as it is to add a blog post, which I’ll walk you through in a bit. But first: why?
Content on Donation Forms
Why put content on your forms at all? Simply put, you should use form content to show your donors how they can fit into the story of your cause. People give (in part) to be a part of a bigger story. Use informative and persuasive content on your forms to tell that story.
Don’t get sidetracked, though. The story has one hero: the donor. If you are raising funds to build a building for your cause, it’s very easy to make one of these things the hero of the story:
- The board members who voted to build
- The builder
- The team who will use the building to make a difference
- The storyteller
- The money/goal itself
None of those things are the hero, though. At least, not to the donor! None of those things matter at all without the donor flying in to save the day.
Of course, you don’t want to make the story about the donor. That quickly becomes some sort of odd pep-talk. Donors don’t want to be the topic of the story, they want to be the (often unseen) linchpin that makes the story a reality.
They need to know that without their donation, the story remains a fairytale. The building never gets built, the needy never get served, and the world never gets changed. All because they didn’t click that little blue button below.
Make the story about the donors because it is incomplete without them. Then show them how their donation completes the story.
To do that, we’ve included a way for you to add content directly into the forms, as well as ways for developers to extend the functionality even further.
To begin, let’s add some basic content to your form. On the edit screen for the form, in the “Form Content” meta box, select where you would like the content added to the form from the dropdown. This will populate a familiar editor (the same editor used for posts and pages) for you to add form content.
Now, you can put anything you want here, just keep in mind that the entire point of this content is to drive potential donors to the “Donate Now” button. Anything else doesn’t belong on this page. Put on your best marketer’s hat and come up with some compelling calls to action and reasons why potential donors should click the button.
A few pointers for basic content:
- Keep it short and direct
- Three-list items work extremely well. Think like volleyball: bump, set, spike.
- Use headers to make your points scannable
Advanced Content With Hooks
The basic method of adding content to your site is nice, but what if you want dynamically-added content on all of your Give forms or a certain subset of forms? That’s where we can crank things up to the next level with Give’s built-in hooks.
Hooks in WordPress are actions and filters. This amazing forum response on wordpress.org will help you to understand them more if you do not already.
Essentially, they are functions that run at different points while WordPress is loading up your pages. By hooking into them you can add additional functionality to your site. In this case, you can add additional unique content around your Donation Form content.
Give Forms have the following hooks available on the front end of a single form.
There are other hooks available, depending on the payment gateway and other options, but my point is simple: there are a ton of ways you can dynamically change the look and feel of your give forms, with the help of a skilled developer who understands these hooks.
So, if you want to add something above the options for payment method (like an image of credit card logos) you could use the give_before_cc_fields hook. This type of branding is exactly what drives people to give.
Because of these hooks, you can create custom styling and custom form content that is not overwritten by plugin updates. It’s the WordPress way of customizing!
For example, here are two snippets which use hooks from the above list to add advanced content to your Give forms.
This first snippet adds a matching gift notice to the top of all forms tagged “match.”
It hooks into “give_after_donation_amount” to display a styleable bit of text about a matching gift. Note that you’ll have to have Give tags enabled to use this. But once you do, adding this bit of code to a functionality plugin will add the Matching notice to all of your forms labeled “match.”
Finally, here’s a snippet that you might have seen before, if you’ve read our article on Give Categories and Tags.
This snippet adds a breadcrumb-style bit of code to the top of forms in Give categories, or tagged with Give tags.
Content is King
Use content wisely to drive donors to click the “Donate Now” button!