Every campaign website correctly has a volunteer page, but how many of them seem like afterthoughts? It’s an often neglected part of the website design and development process. Sometimes they even come across as just a copy and paste job from the last campaign.
Most problems with volunteer pages can be solved by thinking like a supporter. What prompts them to seek out the volunteer page? How do they discover it? What do they want to get out of visiting the page? How are you greeting them?
For email list building and online fundraising, you’ll put a lot of thought into building out the workflow for a donor. Dedicate the same attention to detail for your volunteer page where supporters want to offer something far more valuable than their email address or money – their time. You’ll get more volunteer signups and more action from your volunteers.
Draft Compelling Intro Copy
Don’t just embed your form on a page and stop there. You wouldn’t just send petition signers or donors to a landing page without any copy. Create some brief, introductory copy to let a supporter know why volunteers are important to the campaign. What volunteers do and why they matter to the candidate.
Offer Options Mindfully
Most campaign volunteer pages offer a list of checkboxes for things like door knocking, getting yard signs, or hosting events, but your campaign doesn’t always need that kind of help at this exact moment. If you don’t have yard signs or aren’t making calls, hide those options or list them as (starting in [future month]) to set expectations.
Perhaps the best way to understand how a supporter can help is to ask them with a free-form entry option: “How would you like to volunteer?” They may have expertise that’s helpful to the campaign now or in the future. A one-dimensional form won’t give them the chance to share that with you.
Ladder Up Volunteers
After someone has signed up as a volunteer, keep moving them through the engagement ladder with your campaign. It’s common to redirect the form to a donation page, but you’re likely to get more activity from a supporter if you provide them some immediate “volunteer” steps like opting in for text messages or following the campaign on social media.
Follow Up Promptly
The worst thing that can happen for your volunteer page workflow is for a supporter to say something like, “I offered to help but they never reached out to me.” Even if it isn’t your role on the campaign to work with volunteers, you have a responsibility for ensuring that the person who signs up hears from the campaign. Send the new volunteer a confirmation email and create a notification for the person who works with volunteers. Test to make sure each communication is happening.
The conversion for a volunteer page isn’t just what happens on the website, it encompasses the supporter’s journey from signing up to spending time on behalf of your campaign. Building all of these pieces will maximize your conversion rate.