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Archive for the ‘Conversion Optimization & Usability’ Category

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4 Quick, Effective Ways to Market Your Nonprofit Online Today

By | May 13, 2013

Nonprofit Summit 2By now, you’ve heard a lot about how Fathom gives back to the community, including through May 3rd’s first annual Nonprofit Marketing Summit.  I was incredibly proud of my fellow Fathomites that day for putting in tremendous thought and effort into their presentations, and the way we made online marketing accessible to the non-technical Marketing Directors and Development Directors in attendance. If you haven’t flipped through the slides yet, never fear – I’m going to give you some tangible, quick ways to make a big impact, based on what we reviewed on Friday. If you want more details, the links will take you to the presentations so you can dive deeply into each subject.

1. Take advantage of Google

They’re a $289 billion company, so you’re darn right they should be giving back to humanity, and they do. If your nonprofit isn’t getting its $10,000 in free online marketing dollars, then what are you waiting for? Get your Google Grant application in today! One of my clients, ARZU Studio Hope, uses its Google Grant to drive thousands of paid clicks to its website, leading to donations and purchases of their handmade rugs. Moreover, familiarize yourself with Google for Nonprofits, as there are some nice perks in there that can help spread your organization’s message. Finally, ask your website developer to set up Google Analytics (totally free) so you can start understanding the behavior of people on your website, set up goals that you can easily measure, and much more. These days, I live and breathe Google Analytics, and I can’t believe I spent 12 years working in nonprofits without having used this helpful and insightful tool.

Nonprofit Summit 32. Start thinking about content marketing and SEO

Without getting too technical, what you write influences how you rank in search results; how you rank influences how much traffic you draw; and how much traffic you draw directly correlates to how many donations you’ll receive, volunteers you’ll engage, and supporters you will speak to. When it comes to SEO, start small – pick 30 keywords relevant to your mission that you want to focus on, and then direct all your content creation to include those 30 keywords. You can use this free tool to set your baseline rankings, and then try to see them improve over the next 12 months. My suggestion is to ask your entire staff to write one blog per month, and then you – the savvy Internet marketer that you are – can go through their posts and “optimize” them by inserting those target keywords.

3. Conduct a “Poor Man’s Conversion Analysis”

As my colleague Mike Perla is the first to say, “Drive all the traffic you want to your website, it is worthless if it doesn’t convert.” To understand how conversion works on your website, sit down with someone who has never been to your site before, but who represents your target audience. Ask them what they’re feeling throughout their experience. Focus on readability, usability, and easing the person’s flow through the site. One tangible example – when my nonprofit switched our online giving tool from the cumbersome PayPal to the more streamlined JotForm, we saw our online giving shoot up overnight. Most importantly, know what actions you want your audience to take – donate, volunteer, advocate, etc – and have clear, concise calls to action that will engage them. Want to go deeper, or have a tech-savvy volunteer? Set them up with Visual Website Optimizer (also a free trial) to A/B test different messaging, formats, and calls to action so you can better understand what resonates with your audience.

4. Embrace New MediaNonprofit Summit 1

Social media and video are here to stay, so you better get used to them. You don’t have to do it all yourself – these are the perfect
activities where interns can pitch in for volunteer hours or class credit. When I was a Development Director, I sent emails to all the local universities and design schools begging for video interns; pretty soon, I was inundated with amazing students doing fantastic videos (this one even led to us winning a $100,000 national competition!). I’ve also been impressed by ThunderClap, an easy-to-use platform for spreading the word quickly through social media. So whether we’re talking about charity:water’s mini-documentaries or just Gangnam Style, video is incredibly powerful, and it spreads like wildfire through social media. Leveraging these tools to spread your message will take your nonprofit’s digital marketing from good to great.

So I know what you’re thinking – there’s no way you can fit this into your already-packed days, or you don’t have the knowledge or skills to do these things. Don’t despair! Online marketing is a marathon, not a race. Construct a marketing plan and stick to it; try to spend one hour a day working on these activities over the course of many months, and you will see results.

Even more important, think about these tasks as your own professional development, an investment in your own professional future. By building your knowledge of Internet marketing, you are building knowledge and skills that are critical to the 21st century workforce. And who knows? Maybe it will be you teaching at the Second Annual Nonprofit Summit!

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How To Convert More Through Email Marketing [White Paper]

By | March 5, 2013

OK, so you’re great at creating email newsletters. You always offer interesting information, and the templates are pretty. Enough people like them that you have a significant subscriber base (let’s say 50,000 for example).

But here’s the big question: How much are you converting?

If your conversion rate is on par with the  industry average, you could actually be earning up to 9X below what you’d earn with superior conversion. “How do you attain superior conversion,” you ask?

Download Fathom’s new white paper to find out:

5 Facets of Superior Email Conversion.”

Some of the secrets Fathom’s Chris Nichols, Director of Email Template & Landing Page Conversion, shares:

  • The power of continuity
  • Designing email templates for conversion
  • Designing landing pages for conversion
  • Macro- vs. micro-conversions
  • The importance of thank-you page

Boost your email conversion prowess by following 5 Fathom guidelines.

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Fathom Wins Gold at Which Test Won’s 2013 Online Testing Awards

By | February 26, 2013

Fathom’s talented conversion rate optimization team, led by Mike Perla, brought home the gold ribbon at Which Test Won’s 2013 Online Testing Awards for their form testing work with Gemm Learning. Approximately 200 entries from more than 150 companies competed for these awards internationally. (Also see our news release.)

This month judges reviewed the entries and chose tests that would be inspirational for the marketing, analytics and web design communities. Judges based their winning selections by a variety of criteria, including technical and tactical basics, measurements used, results data (including counter-intuitive results), and applicability.  In the end, they selected only 32 winners in 13 different categories.

The winning Gemm Learning case study is now inducted into the Hall of Fame. This case study explains how Fathom was able to increase completed form submissions by 36.92% at a 99.9% confidence rate. Awards judge Dan Slagen stated, “The obvious changes are around general aesthetics as the landing page transformed from mundane to captivating.”

Mike Perla’s team has previously received recognition from Which Test Won, having won multiple “Tests of the Week” for a variety of clients, including a radical form redesign for IXACT Contact and lead gen test for Talbott Recovery. To view all of the 2013 Online Testing Awards winners, visit  While you’re there, vote for which version you think increased form submissions for Gemm Learning.

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Boomers, Seniors & the Internet [Infographic]

By | February 20, 2013

When developing a marketing plan, seniors and boomers are two target demographics healthcare marketers should not ignore. This audience is particularly essential to a successful healthcare marketing plan when considering the Administration on Aging predicts that people 65 and older will represent 19% of the population by 2030.

For a senior, independence is a source of confidence and overall life enjoyment. Last year, Anthem released information on how seniors can stay active and “live fully well past retirement.”

One of these suggestions included learning new technology. While the Internet is not exactly new, Anthem encouraged seniors to use smartphones, email and social networks to stay in touch with their family and friends. As noted before on this blog, some seniors are already quite tech-savvy. So in honor of February being National Senior Independence Month, we would like to celebrate with an infographic that breaks down seniors and boomers’ Internet usage along with senior-friendly web design tips.

**Click infographic to view the full-size version and zoom in.

Check out Fathom’s detailed study of social media usage in the top 25 hospitals. Benchmark your own system’s social media situation and get other ideas to build your online presence and reach more potential patients, current patients and caregivers.

Social Media in the Healthcare Industry

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Your Three Brains and Conversion Optimization

By | January 29, 2013

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) involves creating a website or landing page experience that makes it easier for users to get what they came for.  The first step is getting the best traffic to the site or page: The people most likely to get what they want from it.  Even before you do that, it’s important to carefully consider the experience you are providing your lucky visitors.  How will you show them you have what they want?

Neuroscience can actually help answer this with the ‘Three Brains’ model.*  It’s about how parts of the brain work and work together to shape the way we gather and process information from things like web pages.

The three brains are:

  1. New Brain (Neo-Cortex): Thinks – it processes and shares conclusions with the other two.
  2. Middle Brain (Limbic System): Feels – it processes emotions, gut feelings, and shares these with the other two.
  3. Old Brain (Basal Ganglia or Reptilian Brain):  Reacts – whether we should fight, flee or take it easy.

When a person lands on your page, the immediate reaction, before processing anything, comes from the old reptilian brain.  It’s asking easy questions like, Is this good or bad for me?  A few milliseconds is all it takes, and your message may be completely missed, causing your potential lead to fight, flee or bounce away.  We want the lizard brain to take it easy so the other ones can get more involved.

One simple takeaway here:  Impart immediate trust and confidence in your users.  Here are 3 ways to do it.

  1. Make page appearance clean, simple, direct and geared toward showing users how they can get what they want from it.
  2. Include recognizable trust logos high on the page and near any form fields.
  3. Test page iterations against their previous versions and gather ample information about user behaviors.

Learn more about Fathom conversion rate optimization and analysis here:

*The Three Brain (Triune Brain) model was formulated by the American physician and neuroscientist, Paul D. MacLean in the 1960s.


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