We’ve all had to complete an online application at one time and understand how much easier it is when the information we need is at our fingertips. We also know it’s not very welcoming to click on the “APPLY NOW” button and see a lonely login box, leaving us wondering how much longer that application will take to complete without knowing what is required.
Whether it’s for awards, scholarships, fellowships or even volunteer recruitment, you can make your program’s welcome page informative and engaging by providing the resources your applicants need to be successful. Here are some ways to make your welcome page more welcoming!
1. Show a consistent look and feel
- The look and feel of your welcome page should consistent with your organization’s website, aligning with your brand guidelines, including logo, font and colours.
2. Keep your domain name
- Ensure your domain name is a subdomain of your organization, such as “apply.name.org, so your applicants don’t feel that they are navigating to another platform.
3. Make it engaging
- Using visually appealing banners with messaging, graphics and video to create engagement.
- Adding a video of your Director or alumni from your YouTube channel talking about the benefit of applying for your program
4. Be searchable
- Using structured headings and well-organized text in your instructions will not only make it easier for your applicant, it will help your program show up in search engines.
- Add a PDF downloadable version as well.
5. Tabs are here to stay
- Organizing content across multiple tabs provides an easy way for the applicant to find necessary information.
- Provide links or buttons to navigate to other content across tabs
6. Share Alumni Stories
- Speaking of tabs, dedicate one to your alumni and their testimonials on how the program benefited them.
- Adding a video that talks about your program will drive engagement and provide better insights into the benefits of your program and why someone should apply
- Include a button to register for upcoming webinars
9. Key Dates
- List all key dates, including Call for Applications open and close dates, as well as Review open and close dates so the applicant is aware of the timelines.
- Search engine optimization should be taken into consideration so your program shows up in online searches.
- Your welcome page should be readable on any device, including mobile, especially if your marketing outreach includes email newsletters or ads. Most visitors will look at the information on their phone first.
- Ensure your welcome page meets Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) so it is usable for all visitors, including those with disabilities, impairments, and limitations.
13. Build your List
- Build an email list with an opt-in form. Some future applicants may not be quite ready to apply, but want to be reminded of your next Call for Applications.
- Include web analytics tracking code to learn where your visitors came from during your Call for Applications and whether your marketing outreach is working