Thursday, August 23, 2007

Simplifying On-Line Giving

On-line giving is very simple at some station web sites and an almost impossible task at others. Either way, public radio stations can make the process easier for potential givers by creating a specific web address for their secure on-line pledge pages.

It's such a simple idea it's hard to believe it's not a routine practice in public radio. We first suggested it to a client that is a joint licensee, which requested to remain anonymous for this article.

For those of you unfamiliar with the industry, a joint licensee has at least one TV station and one radio station, often bearing the same call letters. Radio and TV often share a common web address such as Radio listeners and TV viewers are directed to the same web site to contribute. From there, it is up to the potential donor to find the correct links to make a radio or TV contribution. It can be quite confusing.

Web giving is made more confusing as on-line content directors update their sites with new bells and whistles. What makes for a an engaging web site can work against creating a simple, utilitarian on-line giving function.

In the past, our client created a splash page during pledge drives that give visitors the option to go to the radio pledge page or to the main site. That was a decent solution and it will remain in place.

But our client decided to make giving even easier by acquiring the web address and pointing it at the secure on-line giving page. That's the address they will promote on-air for on-line giving. It means listeners have one or two fewer clicks to navigate when trying to give.

Any station can do this, even if it isn't a joint licensee. works just as well. It's easy enough for on-air pitchers to say and for listeners to remember. And it's a good step towards making on-line giving easier and faster.

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Blogger Aaron Read said...

I imagine you're touching on the overall obnoxious confusion that frequently overwhelms your average joint radio/TV website. Ugh...I've yet to see one that really works well; all too often the radio side ends up taking a back seat to the TV side.


Your "pledge-specific" URL idea is definitely one of those "so simple, we can't believe everyone isn't doing it" ideas. But I'd like to add this: too often I see a station that ONLY registers one domain...such as of registering every possible permutation of it. Even just getting the .net and .com versions should be considered an essential purchase yet far too often I don't see it done.

8:06 PM  

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