Nothing’s more vital to your org’s health than constant interaction with your base to ensure your marketing, programming, etc. is intersects with their needs, wants and interests. So I was pleased to see the National Wildlife Federation‘s recent audience-based approach to designing a more useful and engaging Web site.
NWF’s approach, described here, centers around inviting its supporters and other site users to provide feedback on what they want in the new site — from content, design and functionality to event registration and live chats. NWF is soliciting input through this online survey, which is ultimately efficient — easy for users to complete and easy for the NWF team to review results and trends (stats are automatically generated and compiled by all the major online survey services).
To filter responses, the NWF is asking for input solely from those who use the site (they’re going to be able to provide the best direction on what to change, as they’ve experienced frustrations — or successes — themselves in using the site). And they go beyond general questions to request feedback on a few home page designs — usability testing at the front end.
NWF further cements audience loyalty with its gift of a free screensaver to survey participants — as you can imagine, they have some wild photography on hand. The fact in itself that NWF is asking for help (and people like to be asked to help, it makes them feel involved), is going to make its network feel more involved with the organization. So it’s a real home run.
One suggestion — If I were the NWF team, I’d capture the emails of survey respondents and invite them to join an information Web site advisory board. Then I’d call on the advisory board for input along the way as the site gets built (and after launch). They’ll be an ideal group to test the site before the public launch, to ensure the actual new site is doing its job.
Informal advisory boards such as this are a great way to monitor the pulse of your org’s base and continue to evolve your marketing to be most effective.
P.S. The right messaging is critical to the success of every nonprofit Web site! Download the free Nonprofit Tagline Report for must-dos, don’t dos, case studies and 1,000+ nonprofit tagline examples!