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Make a List, Check it Twice!

By Jared Matthews 

Strategy and Research Manager, BBS & Associates 

 I love checklists. They help me stay on track, especially when I am venturing into something new.  

 Plus, there’s a great sense of accomplishment that comes from checking things off the list as DONE. 

 As you grow your presence in the world of digital marketing, I thought it might be helpful to provide a few checklists for you to save, bookmark, and reference when needed. 

 These lists are comprised of “best practices” learned from our digital team’s years of testing with the ministries we serve.   

 Creating an Email 

  • Keep the email copy between 300 and 350 words. 
  • Make sure your email copy is focused more on the donor and the impact they can make and less on your organization. 
  • Mix in four or five focused, clickable “calls to action” — buttons or hyperlinked text — throughout the email. 
  • Utilize an intriguing subject line — seven words or less — to give the email a better chance of being opened. 
  • Incorporate personalization of the donor’s first name into subject lines and email body text. 

Note: We recommend testing different subject lines to see which kind resonates best with your donor file. 


Creating a Landing Page 

  •  Copy should be short and to the point.  
  • Paint the need, as well as the impact a donor can make. 
    • Let the donor know what her gift will accomplish. Ex. “$XX will provide XXX…” 
  • Include a compelling photo (and make sure it’s a good one — no photo is better than a non-engaging photo). 
  • Do not include the navigation bar, or footer, that is normally on all your website’s pages. We don’t want to give donors any opportunity to click off or away from the donation page. 
  • In the donation form, only ask for information you plan on using. 
    • For example, don’t require a phone number to complete a donation if you aren’t going to use it. 
  • For the gift matrix, give donors four to five options to pick from. We recommend making one of these options $____. 


Creating Ads (Meta, Google, etc.) 

  • Be sure to read up on your chosen platform — each one has unique copy requirements regarding length. 
  • Same thing for photos and videos — specific requirements apply per platform. 
  • Write engaging copy. 
    • Use action verbs throughout. 
    • Be clear on what you want the reader to do (sign up for a free resource, donate, or otherwise) and the impact involved (either the benefits of the resource or the impact a donor’s gift will make). 
    • Headlines should be action-oriented. 
  • If photos and videos are used, they should complement the copy. 
  • Take time to determine which audiences are shown which ads. 
  • Make sure tracking is set up so you can measure the success of the ad campaign. 


At BBS & Associates, we know what it takes to succeed in the world of digital marketing. If you have questions or want to find out how we can help your organization, please contact Jared Matthews via or 330-665-5227.