Fundraising

Here’s what nonprofits can learn from chatbots

Today’s consumers are loyal to two things:

speed and convenience.

That’s what they value the most and what motivates them to act.

Chatbots are a prime example of this. They improve the customer journey at various steps through quick and efficient responses, resulting in a better customer experience.

Today, there isn’t a single e-commerce website worth its salt that doesn’t have a chatbot, rendering the previous ‘Contact Us’ button useless.

Aside from better customer service, the lesser-known benefit of chatbots is that they dramatically increase conversion rates, thereby helping businesses grow.

It’s time to bring this growth engine into the online fundraising industry.

An online donation is an act of trust, a beginning of a relationship that needs to be maintained for a long time.

Yet, some nonprofits fail to realize this. For many donors, clicking on the ‘Donate’ button and filling out a donation form is a source of annoyance with too much friction.

We at Donsplus have something to say about that.

How chatbots kicked the ‘Contact us’ button to the curb

First, we need to understand how chatbots prevailed and brought about a tectonic change.

A study by Intercom, one of the leading chatbot providers, discovered mind-blowing results:

Just a single reply in a messenger can increase the likelihood of conversion by 50%.

An additional reply makes that same visitor 100% more likely to convert. A simple conversation of just six messages exchanged increased the conversion likelihood by 250%.

Source

Clearly, chatbots have become a powerful growth-stimulating machine that is able to dramatically increase conversions and website sales.

But what led to the enormous success of chatbots in the first place?

It was mainly their capability to address two major issues that the ‘Contact us’ button lacks:

1. Motivating towards action

The ‘Contact us’ CTA was never motivating enough for the visitors. It wouldn’t push them to ask pre-sale questions or engage with products. Its focus was narrow and simple — enabling only those who really wanted to ask a question to do so. Consequently, such a lack of interaction leads to fewer sales.

Chatbots, on the other hand, prompt visitors to ask questions by showing them messages such as “Hey, do you have a question about the product? We’re here to help”. Their purpose is to motivate the visitor to ask a question, trigger an initial interaction, and increase the odds of converting them to a customer as a result.

2. Providing a much-needed interaction with visitors

Any contact-related engagement from the customer would typically link to a contact form. Let’s be honest — who likes to fill out forms? Especially the ones requiring the visitor to enter their email address and phone number.

At best, the response would arrive within a few hours, after the visitor has possibly changed their mind. At worst, they’d have already found and purchased a similar or better solution from a competitor.

Rather than forcing them to fill out unnecessary forms, chatbots actively interact with the visitor, making the process a lot more pleasant and quicker. With the immediate responses they provide, chatbots strike while the iron is hot and boost conversion odds.


What this has to do with the donation process

So you’re probably wondering by now — how does all this relate to nonprofits and donations?

While reading this, you might’ve realized how similar the donation process on your site is to the one facilitated by ‘Contact us’ button. A ‘Donate’ button redirects the visitor to a donation form a lot like what the ‘Contact us’ button does on an e-commerce site.

And so, the outcome is the same — unfavorable.

Much like e-commerce websites, nonprofits are dealing with poor conversion rates — in fact, less than 1% on average. This means more than 99% of people leave without donating!

So, in the same way that chatbots remove obstacles to drive higher conversion success, Donsplus eliminates the issues hindering the success of the donation process:

1. Driving action

Just like its contact counterpart that doesn’t actively encourage visitors to convert, the ‘Donate’ button just sits there and waits for people to click on it. You may enlarge it or give it a bold color to make it stand out, but it still remains just a passive button. Only 7% of visitors click on the ‘Donate’ button, which means there’s typically no clear motivation for them to donate.

Donsplus drastically simplifies the donation process by introducing a widget in the form of an eye-catching heart-shaped button located on the side of your website. The button stays there at all times and the visitor can see it regardless of the page on your site that they’re on, whether they scroll up or down.

Unlike the regular ‘Donate’ button, it’s not just sitting there as it also shows messages to encourage visitors to take action and donate. These so-called ‘nudges’ include messages like “Hello there, thousands of children await for your support.” or “Please help us make a difference.”

It also sends the messages at specific points where, according to our data, there’s a higher chance they will positively affect the visitor — urging them to click and begin the donation process.

2. Eliminating friction

Traditionally, once the visitors make the first step and begin the donation process, it would take them to a form that would ask for all their personal details. These included their phone number, home address, email, and so on.

As a result, 82% of those who click on the ‘Donate’ button abandon the started donation process. Pick any number of reasons why: they may not like forms, the process may be too complicated for them, they’re not fully engaged, there’s another source of friction, and so on.

And don’t even get us started on that whole redirection policy that is hurting nonprofits too much.

With Donsplus, things look a bit different. Once the visitor presses the Donsplus button, they’re not redirected to a form on another page, or worse, a whole other domain. Instead, a small window pops up and the visitor can complete the donation process easily and quickly, in just a minute or two.

They’re not forced to fill out a boring form with too much detail, so there’s zero friction. What they get is an interactive and friendly experience, one that the industry hasn’t seen before.

The results speak for themselves.

Nonprofits that use Donsplus have experienced increases in donations by hundreds of percent. The highest increase to date comes from a nonprofit that saw an increase in donations by 318%!

Get rid of the traditional ‘Donate’ button today

When looking for ways to increase online donations, a lot of parallels can be drawn with the reinvention of e-commerce conversions. What chatbots have done for online commerce is what Donsplus can easily do for your nonprofit. We bring the same simplicity into the process of making donations to nonprofits

The fact of the matter is that just enabling visitors to donate isn’t enough. You need to encourage and motivate them to do so.

Also, the donation process should be as frictionless, engaging, and quick as possible.

Once you’ve addressed these two major areas — motivation and friction — with the Donsplus widget, you can maximize donations to your nonprofit and focus on all the good work you’ll do with those additional funds.

With Donsplus, we’re confident that the same fate of the ‘Contact us’ button awaits the ‘Donate’ button. Chatbots have shown there is another way — we just need to follow it.