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  Your Marketing Mix Needs a Web Site These Days Potpourri

Canadian FundRaiserYour web presence works best as just one tool in your marketing strategy, so promote your site in everything you write: brochures, newsletters, articles, media kits, and sales kits.

The most important thing to remember about creating a web site is to be realistic about what you can expect: What do you want to get out of your web marketing? Without goals, it is difficult to track results and to see what works best.

Some goals might include: Generating leads, selling products, registering newsletter subscribers, registering for special events, reinforcing credibility after people have heard of you, signing people up for tip sheets and other informational materials.

What’s a great one?

What makes a great web site?

According to an abstract by John Morkes and Jakob Nielson on how to write for the web, a study of five different writing styles found that a sample web site scored 58% higher when the text was scannable, and 27% higher when it was written in an objective style instead of a promotional style.

Some other tips on how to be effective on the web: 

Create original, credible content: Original content is the most important trait of a great web site. Sites that have simple, informal writing with information that’s useful to the user stand out and will be revisited. Make it relevant to your target markets.

Include valuable, timely information: Avoid just providing lots of data and don’t make exaggerated claims.

Update the site on a regular basis: Stale web sites don’t encourage readers to return. For the information to be valuable, it should be current and changing.

Edit copy well: Make sure you proofread all of the copy on your web site. Typos look unprofessional and diminish your credibility.

Share information: On my web site, visitors can download articles on marketing and media. As a result, I generate leads, get feedback, and build a database for my eNewsletter.

Give away something of value: Provide software, advice, or humour and people will flock to your site.

Headlines are key: People rarely read web copy word for word. They usually scan the pages. With this in mind, you need to provide good headlines, scannable text, key words, bulleted lists, sub-headings, and one idea in each paragraph.

Know how to use graphics and typeface: Optimize graphic file size for web display and use a typeface that is Internet-friendly, such as Arial. Increase your credibility by using high-quality graphics. Make sure the graphics complement the text.

Be easy to read: Use black text on a white background, if possible. If you use a coloured background, stick with the lighter shades and let the text stay black.

Be interactive: Good web sites engage the user by methods such as inviting questions, providing quizzes, promoting contests, etc. Provide a forum for visitors to share information with others. This is a great way for you to find out what people need.

Be well-organized: Balance the number of levels with page length to minimize scrolling and display time. Make it easy for users to feel comfortable navigating your site. Organize information, using words and categories that make sense to your audience.

Fill a niche: Your goal is to become the site that is known for a specific subject area. Do some research on the Internet, understand your target markets, and fill your site with information that will be important to them.

Sell products on your site: Promote them through your newsletters, both on and off the web. If you are selling eBooks, give away one chapter.

Recommend other sites to your visitors: Visitors like hypertext links, which they find very useful. They can get more information or different information. Make sure that the sites you send them to are credible and professional.

Here’s a checklist of ideas of things to include to make your web site “content rich”: Feature articles and speeches; backgrounders on key staff or events; testimonials (and “real people” for media to interview); photo library in high res and low res, including head shots of key staff; sound or video clips; organization history; Facts-At-A-Glance; position papers and statements on issues; upcoming events and shows; profiles of key executives and staff; demographics of clients; glossary of terms; key messages of the organization; industry studies; archived webcasts from live events, speeches, and conferences; annual reports (from current to past two to three years); future projects.

For further information: Susan Sommers, Susan Sommers + Associates, 15 Dana Cres., Thornhill ON L4J 2R4, 905/889-6029, susan@susansommers.ca, www.susansommers.ca; Sommers is a frequent presenter on marketing and media topics at Canadian FundRaiser Key- To-The-Sector Workshops.

 
Canadian FundRaiser
Canadian FundRaiserSince 1991, the Canadian FundRaiser™ newsletter has been updating nonprofit managers twice-monthly on news, trends, tips and analysis of developments in the fields of fundraising and nonprofit management.

Our service, originally simply a twice-monthly newsletter, has expanded over the years to include workshops, books, back-issue search and Special Advisories for our member/subscribers. And the complete package is now the Canadian FundRaiser™ Nonprofit Sector Management Information Service.

Current Members can search back issues here, renew their Membership, or correct their address information in our secure files.

Through the generous support of a number of Supporting Sponsors, at the head of them our Lead Sponsor, UNxVision Internet Fundraising Solutions, we have avoided price increases for many years, and been able to provide some services at no cost.

Please take a look at the current issue of Canadian FundRaiser™ eNews, and if you haven’t done so already, sign up ­ at no cost ­ to receive future issues. Visit our Key-To-The-Sector Workshop Centre. Ask about Advertising & Sponsorship opportunities. Or send us an article suggestion. We’re waiting to hear from you.

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