Transmission Failure: Some Signs That Your Web Presence May Be in the Wrong Gear

We’ve been talking about Spring Cleaning for the last few weeks at the CLC blog. One of the places we’ve noticed organizations can usually use a bit of sprucing up is their web presence.

You know how every home has a junk drawer, an unkempt closet, and a funky corner of an attic or basement? You know how you’re always promising yourself that you’ll do a better job keeping your own funky corner organized? Well, working with small- and medium-sized nonprofits, we’ve found some things to be similarly universal - and forgotten web clutter is among them. Here are some pretty good indicators that your web presence needs attention. 

1.     Your social media has become stale.

Let’s be honest, it can be easy to forget that social media is about now.  If you aren’t sharing regularly, you’re missing the major strength of the medium- the connection, essentially the social element. Your Facebook and Twitter are not newsletters. Instead, they are a pathway to connect to your supporters-current and potential- reminding them of your values and commitments. 

Social media posts don’t necessarily need to list accomplishments. For example, if your organization rescues dogs from euthanasia, sharing news stories about the valuable role dogs in our society. Heart warming stories of animals overcoming adversity always warms hearts. Those stories will remind your supporters of your organization’s important work and encourage them to share content from your page- helping you spread the word.

2.     Your website is out-of-date or doesn’t exist.

“I don’t even have a website. Do people even use those anymore?” We hear this question about every two weeks. It’s true that people don’t use websites in the way that they used to. The majority of brand interactions will come through platforms like social media and email marketing. But that doesn’t mean you can get away without one. A website gives critical opportunities to your organization that you may not have considered, but the most important thing it offers is legitimacy.

In a world where more and more small businesses are opting to forgo websites, having one lends you legitimacy similar to how having a business card may have 20 years ago. There’s also the benefit of being able to be easily found and able to sort information for your potential client’s or donor’s best accessibility. And don’t forget how important recognizing your logo and colors will be for clients getting to know you. It may seem silly, but in a world lacking face-to-face contact, this will be critical to establishing your organization’s identity.

3.     No one looks forward to your newsletter.

If you’re using an email tool like MailChimp, you can easily check and see what percent of your base is opening your emails. As a general rule, if you’re email is opened less than 25% of the time, something is amiss. There are three areas of improvement and they go in order.

First, examine your subject line. If it says something like “Newsletter Volume 8” or “April Newsletter”, there’s your answer. By sending an email by edition or date, you are essentially saying, “I am obligated to post this because of the date. There’s nothing exciting to report.” Certainly not the way to remind your clients of how many incredible things you are doing or how great your needs may be. Instead, post something celebratory or intriguing as your subject and watch the number of opens climb. Why not a title that speaks to your accomplishments like “25 Domestic Violence Victims Found Shelter” or that talks about your needs like “What We Could Do with 100 Blankets”.

Also, make sure that your newsletter is attractive and that your articles are the right length for the forum. In general, email newsletters should not need much scrolling to be read. Knowing your newsletter may be hard to read or incredibly long may prevent your readers from opening the next one.