Sometimes you need to run a promotion through your website, perhaps you are seeking a new trustee, volunteer, or you are recruiting for an important post. In several recent cases it has been needed to help promote a fund raising campaign.
How do you make sure people see it?
The obvious method of making sure everyone sees something that is both new and important is to modify your site’s home page. Most people land on a home page. However this can make the home page a little messy depending on your website. There will not generally be enough space for you to highlight the event or opportunity without radically altering the home page for the website.
Another very simple way
There is a very easy way of highlighting something to all of your visitors; create a temporary landing page. This means everyone landing on your former home page will instead be directed to a temporary landing page with your key message on it. Apart from delivering your marketing message, you also need to let people know how to get to the real home page. Once on the main website people can navigate normally and would not typically see the landing page again until they choose to go to the root address of your site (the root address of your site is your domain name: http://www.wingrove-services.co.uk without anything after the .co.uk).
How to create a temporary landing page
- Create a new page call it campaign or whatever title you wish to use. I will use campaign in this example.
- Create the content for your page. Keep your messages short, and simple. Limit the text to say one or two paragraphs and have an image on the page as well which is eye catching. A good guide here is that most people do not need to scroll to read all of the content.
- Make sure there is a call to action, for example a link that will take the person to a more detailed explanation of what you are asking people to do or to a fundraising page. More detailed explanations or “sales pitches” can be somewhere else, you don’t want to put it all on the landing page.
- At the bottom of the page add a link to the normal home page. This is so people know where to go to next. It is very important to cater for those that may not be interested in your promotion, or have already seen it.
- Test your page by saving it and viewing it. Does it work? Is it eye catching enough? Make any edits to maximise the impact, and most importantly ask a 3rd party to check it. Many people are too close to what they are trying to achieve, so do check your interpretation of a mini sales pitch on your colleagues and friends.
- Once you are happy with the page the next job is to reconfigure WordPress so that your page called “campaign” becomes the new landing page for the website.
- Go to the menu on the left and choose Appearance, and then select Static Front Page.
- Most sites I have built have a separate Posts page which will be called News or News and Events or something similar. The front page will be called Home or Welcome or something like this. Your screen will look similar to the image below.
- Click on the small triangle to the right of the box marked as Home. From here you can select a new Front page, in my case it would be the page called “campaign“. Once you have done this save your settings.
What has changed?
Your old home page is still on the site and works through the menu in the normal way. However anyone going to your website will now land on the campaign page BEFORE they get to your home page. So they have to read the content on this page before they can read the content on your site. So everyone will read it that visits your site.
It is best to run these for short periods, and better still to change this landing page content moderately frequently. Typically marketing campaigns warn people to expect that something is coming up without revealing all of the detail. These messages are often referred to as teasers.
One common problem I see with campaigns run by charities is they often leave it to the last minute. Plan your campaign, and depending on how important it is make sure they you are giving people plenty of notice. If you have a dinner dance fundraising event or a quiz night you should be looking at advising people 2 months in advance with a refreshed message 2-4 weeks before. Remember that your visitors may only visit your site once a month or less. The best campaigns are supported by a communications plan. This includes what you are going to say, and when you are going to say it, and what you expect to happen as a result. It is a document, it does not need to be complicated, but set your expectations here and check that you are meeting them.
Tie in with social media
If you have gone to the trouble of placing a special page on your site do consider using social media too, to connect to it. Simply copy your URL (website home address) to Facebook or Twitter. So people can go directly to it, and share it with colleagues.
Check Success with Google Analytics
All sites I have built are attached to a Google Analytics account. This is free and you can have access to this information. It has been set up for you, not for me. You can use Google Analytics to check how many people have responded to your campaign. This is a very useful step, and one that should be encouraged, because through this method of testing results you can quickly see if a visitors behaviour has changed. If the visitors behaviour has not changed, then check to see why. Amend your solution to get the results you were aiming for.
Don’t forget to remove it after the event or the marketing period has elapsed.
Log back into your site. Go to Appearance and Static Front Page and change the Front Page to your normal Home Page.
If you need help simply contact me and I can check what you have done.