5 psychological tactics to improve charity landing pages

What is it that inspires us to donate to one charity over another? According to behavioural science, our actions are often driven by emotion rather than rational thought and are heavily influenced by the actions of others. In this article, we unpack five psychological techniques charities can use to create more effective landing pages.

1. Utilise social proof

Social proof is the concept that people are more likely to mirror the actions of others based on the assumption that those actions are the right thing to do in that situation.  When it comes to charitable giving, seeing others give to charity makes us more likely to give.

The Invisible Children donation page appeals directly to this driving force by showing photos of genuine donors.  In doing so, the charity are not only appealing to potential donors to donate based on the actions of others, but also rewarding those who have signed up by featuring their images on the landing page in return for their commitment.

Invisible Children detail

When it comes to fundraising around a specific goal, charities can also make use of different types of social proof such as progress bars to communicate how close the charity is to its fundraising target. When tictoc designed landing pages for the John Muir Trust and it's campaigns, this technique was used to help encourage users to donate to meet the final target, as seen in the example below.

John muir trust detail

2. Make use of celebrity endorsements

Celebrity endorsements might not be a new marketing concept, but that doesn’t diminish their effectiveness. Charity:water’s ‘birthdays’ campaign landing page provides an excellent example of celebrity endorsement in action. The landing page is designed in such a way as to tell the story of how and why people should pledge, before cementing the impact by introducing a raft of celebrities who have also taken the birthday pledge.

Charity water celebrity detail

Why do campaigns like this work so effectively? Psychology studies have shown that celebrity endorsements can “magnify the effect of a campaign”, trigger emotional responses and even improve our ability to remember marketing messages.

3. Show testimonials from service users

As a charity, your biggest advocates may be those who have benefited in some way from your work.  When designing landing pages for the UK charity Connect, it was important for tictoc to illustrate the positive impact the organisation has had upon its beneficiaries.

Connect detail

Research has found that marketing which emphasises the proven effectiveness of an organisation doesn’t actually increase donations.  However, testimonials can have the effect of making your charity more personal and relatable.

4. Use directional cues to guide users

It’s important to remember that people don’t read web pages the way they read books.  Instead, when we view a web page, we tend to navigate towards visual cues such as arrows, contrasting elements or the eye-direction of a photographic subject. 

Directional cues can be used to guide users through your landing page, ultimately leading to the desired objective. War Child uses directional cues throughout their site, and even homepage to orient users towards the donate section of the site.

War Child screengrab detail

As well as using more obvious visual cues such as arrows, War Child also tend to use photographs in which the subject is looking directly at the camera.  When this technique is coupled with persuasive copy such as “we need you”, it has the powerful effect of appealing directly to the user.

5. Choose appropriate colours

When it comes to landing page design, colour plays two incredibly important roles. Firstly, colours help to establish contrast between page elements and help with readability, and secondly, colours are often associated with emotional or psychological responses.  The following example from Oxfam’s donation landing page highlights these two principles in action.

Oxfam donate detail

Colour contrast enables key information to stand out so that users can gain a quick understanding of the impact of the work. Secondly, according to colour theory, the colours used here also help communicate the importance of the work in a more subtle way.

It’s little surprise then that blue is used here to represent factual information, as blue is often associated with trustworthiness, sincerity and loyalty. Green is of course a core brand colour for Oxfam, however in this case it plays the role of cementing user’s understanding of how money will be used. This is likely to be a deliberate move, as green has been known to be associated with financial themes and stability.  Finally, the colour orange is an active colour, suggesting energy and progress.

Key takeaways

As we’ve covered in this article, there are a number of psychological tactics than can be used to design effective charity landing pages. Tactics like social proof enable us to tap into the influence of others, be it our friends or even the goodwill of celebrity ambassadors, whilst subtle design features can help orient users towards specific goals.

When designing websites for our charity clients, we always employ the most appropriate tactics to help our clients achieve their targets.  If you'd like to find out how tictoc can help your charity, please get in touch.